Three

Pop! You are three. I could go on for days about how quick life goes etc. It wouldn’t make any difference and is getting quite boring now. Life goes quick; deal with it. In other news, life goes bloody quick! I’ve been compiling the biggest VFEL book to date, starting from Missy arriving, and I…

Hidden Wonder

It has been hot now for well over 4 weeks, and by hot I don’t mean typical Scotland hot of 13° and overcast; it has been in the 20’s constantly and to my constant surprise, it’s been the most joyous of times. Sunshine heals the soul. Fact. I always used to shirk away from any…

Potential Within

Bastards. Big Bastards. So who asked the courier to collect D7100 camera body from a workplace that is no longer trading, since April? Who? Me. That’s who. I wish I had checked; I wish I had deleted that bloody address from everywhere, because then at least I’d have the prospect of opening up the box…

Full Frame

For the first time since I started taking photographs with a DSLR in 2006, since being aware of digital SLR cameras in fact, I will be making the leap to the big sensors; the 35mm Full Frame DSLR. It’s exciting and I’m slightly apprehensive. So tomorrow the stalwart D7100 will head off to MPB Photographic…

Sentinels of the Sea

I’m on a bit of a book spree at the minute; some about colour, some about historical airships, and some about magnificent achievements, in particular my continued obsession with Lighthouses. I don’t know why I’m so interested in these bygone instruments of safety; perhaps it’s the human spirit element or the loneliness. There’s something romantic…

Rainy Saturday

We had planned to head through to Glasgow today to visit the science museum. I awoke early, by which I mean I was awoken with a kick to the head and a grumpy stomp to the toilet. I was getting the loaf I prepared yesterday into the oven for lunch today, so got semi-dressed and…

Loose End

What a busy few weeks it has been; from weddings to dinners to barbecues to work, it’s been full on for as long as I can recall. Until now, as we enter the weekend with nothing on our books, except for Father’s Day #3. To welcome the weekend in I made another loaf. I’ve been…

National Treasure

A startling realisation is that I last visited this place over 20 years ago with my Dad. 20. Years. I was calculating it on the way home in the car. Must have been 10 years, I reasoned, before counting back on my fingers what 10 years ago would have aged me. Nope. Further. 15? Nope….

Slate-Coloured Storm

Sailing isn’t a pass-time available to many, and one that either appeals or doesn’t; there’s no middle ground. You either love the prospect of carving through the granite-tinted water with nothing but the invisible air as propulsion, or you don’t. There’s the obvious restriction of having access to a yacht, which is why I’m so…

A Weekend of Ups

Years of planning, effort and stress culminate in a blaze of excitement and nerves. It’s over in a flash and you barely have a chance to take it in, let alone allow the gravity of the situation permeate even slightly into your thoughts. Don’t trip. Don’t say the wrong thing. Make sure to eat something….

Sourdough Odyssey

I have never baked in my life. Well, not voluntarily anyway. Which is why my announcement that I was going to start making my own Sourdough bread was met with stifled sniggers and a healthy helping of “Good Luck.” Well I’ve now baked 3 loafs. So I can call myself a professional now, right? The…

Bogeys in the Bake

Being in the house with two red-heads is hard enough. But sometimes a peace descends. That happened this weekend with the girls deciding to make some flapjacks. It’s nice to take photos of them when they’re distracted as I don’t get the screwed up faces and rolling eyeballs.

Perth Classic Car Parade

We moved back into the district of Perth & Kinross in late March of this year. It was a really stressful time, not just for the move, but because of all that was going on around the move with jobs and suchlike. Then getting the new house decked out and all the hoards of paperwork…

Silver Sands

Sometimes we brave the challenge of having a picnic on the beach. We accepted it this weekend and headed down to Silver Sands, where we faced brisk winds and sandy sandwiches. Sometimes it’s sunny and unbeatable down there. Sometimes it’s sunny and absolutely baltic, often weeks apart. This was a baltic one and we stuck…

The Court House

Just around the corner from us is a place that’s so sacred I dare say it, for fear it’ll shut down like the others. We have a brilliant restaurant about 100 yards from us. From 10am onwards it serves brilliant coffee, cakes, light snacks and bigger eats. More excitingly though, they offer sourdough, clay oven…

Inside Playfair

Sometimes you get access to places you’d never get access to, without of course “discovering” them by hiking a fence or breaking in. Some people make it their hobby to find places that have fallen in to silent disrepair, forgotten to the annals of history with things left abandoned in situ. Anyway, this is not…

Sound of Silence

I remember my Dad getting a pair of Panasonic wireless headphones probably about 10 years ago now. They were big, cumbersome things with a car aerial and a big docking station. Wire free, that’s the future. Well it would be, if they worked. Getting a signal from those suckers was akin to getting blood from…

Half Light of Dawn

I first heard of Abul Mogard through a podcast featuring Thom Yorke. He was talking about what music excites him and amongst the more accessible ones, he mentioned Abul Mogard and in particular his track “Half Light of Dawn.” I reckon it resonates more now with where the overall feeling, than it ever has. A…

See you next year?

It feels like the world is on the brink of disaster. It really does. Apart from a blustery gale or two and some irritation with the new Queensferry Crossing; to me at least, it doesn’t feel like Scotland isn’t really in any sort of turmoil. Yet to look out upon the world is to see…

Son of Saul

A physical detachment from historical events and a subsequent lack of emotional reaction because of it. That’s how I justify why I don’t usually get affected when I watch a war film. I wasn’t there.  I can’t imagine how it would have been and, despite the growing realism of each new reenactment film that appears,…

Esbjörn Svensson Trio

I’m like everyone else. I like music. I don’t spend most nights at gigs, or down the vinyl shop flicking through endless stacks and admiring silky sleeves. Nor do I have an intimate knowledge of any band or artist; certainly not with enough confidence to go head to head with a boffin. I like listening…

The Brain

I first stumbled upon The Brain on Pinterest, whilst endlessly scrolling past screeds of magical, lustworthy retreats and architectural beauties. This one always appealed to me with the almost transparent space and blocky construction; it’s almost brutalist in its aesthetic, which is ok with me. The massive windows either side of a tall, wide bookcase….

Hergé

On the outskirts of Brussels, set within a beautiful lush green wooded area surrounded by what appears to be student accommodation, sits the ultra modern home of the Musée Hergé. In July we embarked upon our first holiday abroad in what seems like a lifetime, beginning with a short drive down to North Shields to…

France 2017

We love France. Since I was a wee boy we went to France for holidays, breaking the cycle only to try various places like Greece (squirty bum), Spain (heat stroke), Mallaga (almost drowned) and Devon. Now that we’re parents, it’s difficult to get enough finances together to travel to these nice places, so take every opportunity…

Ferme du Temple

Tardenois is a place just outside of Reims where lies a ruined Templar church. Which also happens to be a B&B. Yep. It seems like a good idea, and the outside is bloody brilliant. Big sprawling grounds with a massively long drive down an entrance road flanked by beautiful trees; the setting sun dappling through…

2 Years Old.

Our wee girl turned 2 today, and it was the most stressful day we’ve had for a while. Hot, tired, hungry, not hungry, happy, sad. All of these things and more. We had a day out at the Château de Saint-Fargeau and despite being an interesting place, our attention was very much on our wee girl…

Château de Saint-Fargeau

Almost 50 miles from our perch in Asquins is a place called Saint-Fargeau. It’s a small wee town that hosts a massive big castle, called Château de Saint-Fargeau. We’d been before 11 years prior, but went back there on, of all days, Miss’ 2nd birthday. It just so happened to be one of the hottest bloody…

Château de Bazoches

First jaunt out on our France 2017 was to the Château de Bazoches. A short drive away, we thought it was actually the one we visited before, the Château de Saint-Fargeau. Nevermind, it was a day out. After parting with £16, we headed in to the grounds whereby they’d fitted the most crunchy, progress halting chips to…

Le Grand K

RADIOLAB I listen to a few podcasts like Nerdist, WTF with Marc Maron, Joe Rogan et al. All of these podcasts are people talking to other people in an interview type scenario, and generally talking over each other, getting overexcited etc. It’s really riveting stuff and I enjoy listening to them immensely – Guy Ritchie…

State of Things

Will we ever be safe again; to walk the streets without fear? At this moment, it doesn’t feel like it. Last night we were oblivious to the events unfolding in London. Our first night out sans baby. Glorious evening of beautiful food and drink. A thousand people roaming the streets, all oblivious too, all in their…

Melancholia

Today I stumbled upon a Flickr feed from a guy called Sean Doran. In this feed are images, cobbled together from many images, of NASA’s Juno orbiter, currently making its way around Jupiter. There’s some videos up too. It struck me suddenly that these were not CG images or artist’s renderings of what Jupiter might look like….

Inventors of the Modern World

There was a recent episode of The Grand Tour where Clarkson opened the show (from the bank of Loch Ness) by pointing out what various countries around the world had invented; USA invented the aeroplane; France the hairdryer etc. One invention of note on each “slide” that he presented. Then up popped a list of things…

Baron Fig

I do a lot of my ideas sketching in unorthodox ways – I’m quicker and way more adept at sketching ideas in AutoCAD than I am with a pencil. Doing it this way also cuts out a massive stage in the process; I can get quickly from rough idea to workable sketch to production drawings…

Apollo 11

In early July 2016 a campaign was launched on Kickstarter for a replica of the Apollo 11 Flight Manual; a true to life replica with every single detail reproduced exactly how it was in the original. Being the Race to the Moon geek that I am, I was instantly on-board. Knowing how Kickstarter works, the…

Life and Death

Come July this year, the miracle of life that was bestowed upon us will cross the 24-month marker and continue steadfast, for what we hope will be the rest of our lifetime. Within the allocation we have left we hope to see many things, not least of which is a healthy little sponge of knowledge, surging onwards resolutely…

Paul Giamatti

If ever a film could be described as perfect, it would be 2004’s “Sideways.” It’s absolutely faultless, and the biggest reason is Paul Giamatti. If ever a film could be described as almost perfect, it would be Barney’s Version. It’s absolutely spot-on, and the biggest reason is Paul Giamatti. If ever a film could be…

The Cone-Gatherers

I remember still the first time I was handed a copy of The Cone Gatherers, by Robin Jenkins. It remains with me to this day and also serves as an example of my remarkable youthful laziness. English classes in High School were a place to annoy our friends, rather than read books. When our teacher,…

1953 TIMOSSI-FERRARI

We decided to kill some time a few weeks ago by driving an hour out to the antiques centre at Doune. Sounds exciting. The usual trawl around all the knick-knacks and old walking sticks summoned not much emotion. A nice old milk jug. Maybe the odd barometer to stir up the senses, but on the…

Soaring

Over the Christmas break we spent a lot of time idling about, which was both good and bad – good in that we had time to waste but bad in that we usually wasted it eating and drinking too much. Hey-ho. One of the time-consumers I stumbled upon was a YouTube chap called Bruno Vassel,…

2016 in Review

So much happened in 2016 it’s difficult to think back and sort it all out. I’m at a loss. The year started off with a blinder – a year of work leading up to a crowdfunding success. A triumph of focus and determination. A lot of blood, sweat and tears of joy. Post-campaign production pretty much…

Maurits Cornelius Escher

A lot of people will have heard of him, some will only know his work visually. I don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Master but I know a lot of his work having studied him since I was in my mid-teens. M.C. Escher is one of the artists the following generations try to replicate,…

Junko’s Story

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are, or really should be, part of everyone’s awareness. Today I stumbled upon an interactive website which features a first person recollection of the moment the atomic attack hit Hiroshima, written by a lady named Junko Morimoto, who was in her house at the time. It is an absolutely…

Le Petit Prince

I watch a lot of cartoons, not because I am an under developed man-child, but because my wee tiny girl is an over developed baby-boss. And if she wants to watch a cartoon, we’re watching a cartoon. I’ve been through them all, some great (Puss in Boots), some really bad (Peppa Pig, Pocoyo etc), but recently…

The Machine Stops

I have been in love with this story since I was told about it at University, so probably 2002/3? Every time I read it I enjoy it, and I read it a lot. A startling and prescient view of the future written by the wonderful wordsmith E.M. Forster in 1909. In the short story, separated…

The Grid

A while back I stumbled upon a book that looked quite interesting, probably the dayglo orange doing it for me. It referenced something called the grid, a tool upon which to rely on to set things out nicely….or so I thought. A few days later Amazon delivered it. What a magical thing the grid is….

Life

You were born on a Wednesday, at 6:57 in the morning. Nearly 23 million seconds had passed before that very moment, each second filled with thoughts of the little thing growing inside your Mummy’s tummy. That little thing, the little squiggly baby that consumed our every waking thought, turned out to be you, my daughter,…

Sailing Yacht Skua

We were invited to join my Uncle and his pals for a sail around the west coast of Scotland; why not! A trip of a lifetime perhaps. We knew he was going to be buying his own yacht but this was a chartered one, and a long one at that; 40ft long. We got off…

Gumball 3000 – Edinburgh

Just so happened to be meeting a friend in Edinburgh the very day the Gumball arrived in town – lots of incredible cars and even more incredible wankers. But I was happy; a proper Shelby 427 S/C was there and I managed to get a good look at it before the bastard driving it crashed…

VFEL 2013-2014

Not every year, but some years, I like to compile my year’s worth of photographs into a nice neat book. I did it firstly to challenge myself; give myself a target to reach and get good at using a camera. This one is a lot more accomplished and covers a lot of things from portrait…

One Way In. No Way Out.

We left really early, around 6am. The sun was low in the sky and it was chilly, but we were all wide awake; apprehensive for what the day would bring. I had checked the route the week before to calculate the timings and I had come back with around 3 1/2 hours – one way….

Wilanów Palace

Thinking back now, the main thing I remember about this place was how tasty it looked. That light off-white beside that lemon yellow, faded mint green coupled with the architecture; it looked like an elaborate cake. Inside was some really amazingly old art and sculpture; we whizzed around it not really knowing what was going…

Warsaw

We travelled over to Poland in April to see our lovely friends and their little girl. It was set to be a great time as we had a lot planned, including a trip to Auschwitz, which I was really looking forward to, albeit apprehensive. Before we got there though we spent a few days around…