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Archive for January, 2010

I recently acquired a copy of the following book about Billy Gibbons, the famous ZZ Top frontman. Well known for his crazy beard and general rock ‘n’ roll leanings,  he is less well-known for his love of amazing custom guitars and good design in general (hot-rodded cars are his other love, seemingly).

The general tone – from numerous quotes by a range of people interviewed for the book – is that he is a true artist, in whatever field he cares to indulge. . .

Rock and Roll Gearhead

Rock and Roll Gearhead

The book is a fabulous coffee-table style thing, full of things biographical in nature, rock trivia and wonderful photographs. I’m less interested in the car side of the book, but the guitars are items of rare beauty. Here are some taster photos, but I really recommend you just go out and buy it (it seems to be incredibly cheap on Amazon for some reason at the moment!?)

a sample of the guitar pages

a sample of the guitar pages

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Just before Christmas I spent a couple of frenetic days in wonderful Paris. Trusty camera in hand, I found the following things of interest . . . (I meant to post these ages ago but got a bit waylaid!)

Iin getting from Gare Du Nord to the hotel, the very first metro station I had to change at was the fabulous Arts et Métier. Imagine my amazement at getting off to instantly find myself in a fully steampunked station! Designed by the famous Belgian comic book artist François Schuiten, it’s a fascinating place to stand and wait for a train! My pictures don’t do it any justice at all (the lighting in there is obviously not great for taking photos!) but hopefully the below give at least a partial impression:

Station sign

Station sign

Along the platform

Along the platform

gears!

gears!

What's through the round window?

What's through the round window?

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There, I fixed it!

I came across this wonderful ‘DIY’ blog the other day: http://thereifixedit.com/

There, I fixed it

There, I fixed it

The reason I put DIY in inverted commas becomes evident when one visits the site – it is actually a collection of the most amazingly bad examples of DIY / jury rigged solutions to common problems, what in the UK we would probably call ‘bodges’ but on this site they call ‘Kludges’. A kludge is defined as follows:

Kludge – An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole.

Have a look and see – I guarantee you will be addicted in no time!

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Top card. . .

I received many great greetings cards over both Xmas and my birthday this year.

Here’s one of my favs- from the excellent Hazel Bee company:

Hazel Bee card

Hazel Bee card

I loved the shamed look on the recorder player’s face – I think it’s how I look when I tell people I play folk music!!

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A Happy New Year to everyone!

Having survived yet another New Year (not my favourite time of year to be honest, although I had a really lovely time in the amazing Cobblestone pub in Dublin, drinking Guinness and champagne, meeting some lovely locals whilst listening to a great traditional music session) life is slowly returning to normal. . .

This is despite it still being deep in snow here in the UK – all very pretty, but I think we are all getting a bit fed up of the general inconvenience!

As always I have made lots of NY resolutions, most of which will probably remain un-realised. However, armed with the following gifts to help me along the way (a single malt and some chocolate tools!) I’m hoping it proves to be a successful and fulfilling year to come  for us all:

Essential supplies for 2010!

Essential supplies for 2010!

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