Darlin Ukelele

A surprise package turned up in the post recently. This box was inside. It was a box of tricks. A silent music box awaiting the kiss of life. A limited edition Red Hornet ukulele kit from Jonny Hannah. Read more

Frames of reference

Iron Horses

In 1987 Kevin Atherton made a twelve-part sculpture comprised of cut-out iron horses positioned along the railway line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton to be viewed from a moving train. Thirty one years later the horses are still there and this little book is a record of what could be considered to be Britain’s longest sculpture. Here are a few pages.  Read more

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Bella Ciao

Tom Waits and Marc Ribot and an anti-fascist Italian folk song for the Trump era. Goodbye Beautiful.

“Bella ciao” (“Goodbye beautiful”) is an Italian folk song that was adopted as an anthem of the anti-fascist resistance. It was used by the Italian partisans during the Italian Civil War between 1943 and 1945 in their struggle against the fascist Italian Social Republic and its Nazi German allies. “Bella ciao” is used worldwide as an anti-fascist hymn of freedom and resistance. The song has much older origins though in the hardships of the mondina women, the paddy field workers in the late 19th century who sang it as a protest against harsh working conditions in the paddy fields in North Italy.

Bella Ciao – Wikipedia

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For Rachid Taha

One of the most memorable concerts I ever saw was by the French-Algerian singer Rachid Taha at the Barbican in 2007. It was loud and raucous and boisterous and energetic. It was fantastic! Halfway through the show the stage was invaded by a seemingly endless procession of girls from the audience who danced along with him. Then later Mick Jones of The Clash appeared on stage to accompany him in a performance of Rock el Casbah. It’s my favourite version. And then last week I heard he had died of a heart attack. He was not quite 60. I’ve been filling my workshop with his music ever since. Read more

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Go To The River

I’ve always liked this song, and it just sprung to mind because of the thread of river related posts. It’s called Go To The River by French-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim, originally released in 2010.

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Fonte Ciane

Two days on the island was playing tricks with my head. Maybe it was the heat. But for our first outing we escaped the endless tourist stroll around the streets of Ortigia and headed for Fonte Ciane, and the promise of a gentle walk upstream along the banks of the river to its source. No more aimless wandering, now we had a goal, what could be more simple? The directions were straightforward, it was listed in all the guidebooks, we crossed over to the mainland and followed the signs. Read more

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Waterlog

Waterlog is a short documentary which tells the story of writer Joe Minihane and his battle with anxiety. Finding an antidote in the form of wild swimming Joe sets out to retrace the route of environmentalist Roger Deakin’s nature writing classic, Waterlog. In a journey that takes him to every corner of the UK he eventually finds relief, not just in the cold waters he swims in, but by being open and honest about his mental health.

Thanks to Robert Macfarlane for the recommendation. More here at Waterlog Reswum.

Frames of reference

Take Me To The River

Further downstream is a weir and rocky lagoons also some icy cold fresh water streams fed by underground sources

A few pictures stolen from Christopher Corr’s Instagram, pleasant reminders of the long hot summer of 2018 when the only place to keep cool was in the river. Read more

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The Craft Beer Dictionary

This spectacular new book just arrived on my desk, courtesy of Octopus Books. It’s a delightfully illustrated guide to the world of craft beer by Richard Croasdale, with help from two of our favourite artists. Jonathan Christie was the creative director and Jonny Hannah was the illustrator. It’s an A-Z with a J for Jonathan & Jonny. Here’s a peek inside to whet your appetite. Cheers! Read more

Frames of reference

Passeggiata In Ortigia

passeggiata /ˌpasɛˈdʒɑːtə/ noun (especially in Italy or Italian-speaking areas) a leisurely walk or stroll, especially one taken in the evening for the purpose of socializing.”

Ortigia is a small island, just under 1km square, attached to the Sicilian city of Syracuse by three road bridges. “It forms the charming old town, best explored on foot and certainly the most pleasant place to stay in the city.” We were there for two weeks this summer and during our stay we discovered many circuitous routes as we strolled around its maze of ancient streets and alleyways. Read more

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