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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Outdoor Adventures in the Peak District

Last weekend Colin and I went to Manchester Punk Festival. We had an absolutely awesome time; seeing over 30 bands – some we knew and some we didn’t, making new friends, singing, shouting, dancing and staying up late. You’ll soon be able to read the proper review over on Colin’s Punk Rock World (I’ve personally reviewed 11 of the acts we saw!), though for now you’ll have to take my word for it. But before all of music, we had a flying visit to the Peak District…

We were blessed with the most glorious weather, with pure sunshine and warm temperatures – I even put suncream on. Unfortunately we only had Wednesday afternoon and evening, plus Thursday morning before heading to Manchester. We made good use of the time we had and had a great time exploring and generally being outdoors. Colin and I have both agreed that the Peak District is wonderful and we’d like to go again for a longer period of time. Maybe with an OS map next time!

After stopping at services near Nottingham briefly on the journey, we arrived in time for a picnic lunch. I’d looked up the coordinates of a car park with a walking route nearby. The idea was that we would be walking to Three Shires Head – where Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire meet, with a bridge, all picturesque and stuff… but we didn’t have a detailed map and didn’t have any phone signal to use the Internet. So, we just ended up wandering. Beautiful weather and scenery all the same.

Nothing but rolling hills and sheep for miles.
Colin did good exploring.
There were lots of sheep.

We stayed one night in Buxton which was a lovely town itself but also home to the spectacular Buxton Country Park with stunning views. We took a walk around the park and up to the iconic Solomon’s Temple on Thursday morning, before leaving for Manchester later in the afternoon.

Explorer Colin is off again!
King of the world / castle / hill.
Solomon’s Temple.
The views from the top were breathtaking.
Too perfect a view not to take a selfie.
Time to go be punks…

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Japan Nostalgia

It’s coming up to two years since I visited Japan for the first, and as yet only, time. As ever, I am feeling huge nostalgia towards my Japan trip. I keep looking back over my photos (check out my full travel journal if you haven’t before) and wishing myself back in Japan…

Love Japan Magazine shared this wonderful video of a 3-week railway journey through Japan on their Facebook page. It’s a beautifully filmed and edited 4 minute video. I can definitely envisage this, or bits of it, being used for a promotional video for tourism in Japan – I’m sold anyway!


This film is a collection of audiovisual moments and memories of a 3-week railway journey through Japan in 2015. We were whizzing through the country with the Shinkansen visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kyoto as well as lots of wonderful little places along the way, meeting the most friendly people and experiencing a culture that somehow balances it’s rich tradition with a very futuristic present.

Monday, 29 February 2016

The Xtra Mile Recordings Tour of North America

After a little encouragement from my boyfriend and my mum – the latter a surprisingly big Xtra Mile fan – I decided to try and come up with something to enter into the recent Xtra Mile poster competition. I am a graphic designer afterall, plus I hadn’t done much music-related design work in a while.

‘Calling all artsy XMR fans! We want you to design the special, limited edition, screen printed lithograph for Skinny Lister, Beans On Toast and Will Varley’s North American tour. We are looking for an unique and original piece of art for this special #XMRtour, happening in March and April of 2016. Anyone can submit a design. You are allowed to create whatever you see fit for this poster…’

I had an idea fairly quickly (using the Skinny Lister flagon) but spent a good few hours moving things about and changing colours. Entries for the competition closed on Friday so I didn’t feel too reluctant to share my design here… and now I’ve just found out that I won! I’m so pleased.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Japan: 100 years ago

It’s been almost 2 months since I last posted here on my blog – and even then it wasn’t much of a post! As I mentioned then, I don’t really have time to be updating so often… BUT I came across these lovely Japanese postcards at the weekend and bookmarked them to share – they are too good not to.

This set of colour postcards, all issued in the first decades of the 20th century, show a different pre-war Japan. The signs of technological progress are everywhere: overhead power, telegraph or telephone lines, utility poles with multiple arms, trolley cars, steam boats, huge cranes, steel bridges, factories, and modern office buildings are all part of Japan’s cityscapes. And the visual effect of these coloured postcards make me feel like I might understand where the best Japanese anime movies have their roots. Gizmodo


I’ve now delved into the original source of the images – New York Public Library’s digital collection of Pacific Pursuits: Postcards – and spent some time admiring even more stunning scenes from early 20th century Japan.

Those that Gizmodo picked out are great and certainly do show Japan making their technological advancements but I love those that show a more traditional Japan as well. I’ve picked out some that show places that I’ve been to myself, alongside some places that I haven’t but would love to visit. In contrast to the other images, these places do still look like this – temples, shrines, castles etc. It is, afterall, the traditional side of Japan that I love more than anything else.

Those that I’ve been to…
Maybe next time…

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

I'm not dead…

…I just don’t really have time for my blog any more. Nor anything much that is post-worthy!

I’m still writing for the Art of Punk series on Colin’s Punk Rock World (a post about logo designs was published today). I also write reviews sometimes, such as the lengthy gig review for Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls at Alexandra Palace that was posted last week.


In more visually creative news, I linoprint-ed some Christmas cards the other weekend. You may or may not remember my designs from last year – check them out here too. I think I like this year’s little reindeer more than last year’s design.