During the daytime of ATP when the bands weren’t on, we made the most of being on an unfamiliar stretch of the south coast and did a couple of little local trips. I’m always amazed to find places so close to home yet so startlingly different to what I’ve ever seen of the UK before. It’s a little island of surprises that I really should explore more.
On Saturday we went to Rye, which we both really loved. It’s packed with vintage shops, tea rooms and pubs and an amazing sense of history. For once I didn’t do a ton of obsessive research before arriving, but it was actually nice to wander without a set plan in place and just see what we discovered.
We booked on a bit of a whim to go to the TV on the Radio-curated ATP last weekend. There’s something so deliriously surreal about pitching up to an out-of-season family holiday park that’s definitely seen better days with a bunch of musicians that most people have never heard of and a few thousand other music fans for a weekend. Throw in a desolate beach, no phone signal let alone 3g, one hourly bus out of the place, no other entertainment except a really rubbish arcade, bars which basically only stock vodka VKs and Carlsberg… and you get the idea.
What’s really great is you’re all lumped in the middle of nowhere staying in these hideously dated and depressing little chalets and the bands all stay there too so you’ll spot the artists wandering round around, watching the bands with you and visiting the local attractions. It’s now your last chance to experience the spectacular weirdness as after this year there’ll be no more holiday park ATP festivals, so grab some tickets for the June or November events while you can.
Here are some photos of my favourite acts from this time round.
I found these photos when I developed my film from Barbados. I think they’re from 2011 given that they’re of the South Bank’s Festival of Britain, which was that year. A little time capsule of summers past.
I totally lied when I said I was done with Barbados posts. Sorry. At least it’s a bit warmer in the UK now, so looking over holiday snaps doesn’t feel so painful. I knocked together the video above from the clips I took on my camera. The speeded-up timelapse sunsets are my favourite part!
I semi-forgot that I took a film camera along too – my trusty Olympus Trip-35 – so just got around to getting the photos developed.
Finally, Blurb offered me a chance to try their custom book printing service again (here’s my first book), so I had a fun evening with their BookSmart software creating a holiday album of my favourite digital snaps.
I went for full-on luxury this time: a large format landscape book with image-wrapped cover. It looks stunning – a true coffee table tome – and the inside pages are so vibrant, they really do colourful Barbados justice.
Their Booksmart software is a great tool to use if you want more control over the layout of your book. It takes a bit of getting used to and can be a little slow and crashy – but bearing in mind it’s dealing with 800mb of images I can forgive that, and it saves automatically so you never lose anything. But it was easy to reorder and add pages and to make sumptuous full-bleed double-page image spreads. You can also create custom collage templates to add several photos per page (or use the premade ones), and add text captions in a large choice of fonts.
I’m super pleased with how my book turned out – it will be living in pride of place on the coffee table next to my Bajan pottery and foraged fossilised rocks. My family all want a copy too, so I think I’ll be ordering a few more smaller format versions. For £15 off your first order, just click here to get started, entering code FRIEND at the checkout.
Blurb gave me a voucher to review their service, and the referral link is an affiliate link
Some photos from an intimate Efterklang gig at The Lexington last week. It was a semi-secret gig under the pseudonym Black Summer – the day after they supported Foals at the Royal Albert Hall, quite a change in pace I’d imagine… They were on top form, the addition of a female singer giving an even more ethereal edge to some of their songs, with the usual charming patter from lead singer Claus between songs.
Gig photos often come out weird colours because of the stage lights, so I tried making some of my shots black and white to counteract it. I added a touch of grain too for a filmic kind of atmosphere. I’m pleased with how they turned out.
More snow photos? Oh, go on then. We took a slightly bracing walk into Abney Park Cemetery yesterday – it’s basically on my doorstep and I’ve never visited it in seven years of living in the area. Shameful, as it’s really beautiful; ‘like Narnia’ as Josh put it. It’s much bigger than I thought, with loads of pretty trees and some beautiful old grave monuments, and even a somewhat creepy abandoned church in the middle. It didn’t really stop snowing here all day, so it got pretty thick.
Beautiful type on these 19th century graves
Trying to throw snowballs through the church windows!
It’s been a funny old week. It started well: it was my birthday on Monday, and since it’s such a miserable time of year for a birthday I always try and celebrate it properly. I was lucky enough to have my mum down for the day so we went shopping and had lunch, then had dinner at Yauatcha which was really fabulous: dim sum, salt & pepper tofu and cocktails galore. Then my dad was also in town the next day so we had another dinner at Gail’s, one of my new favourites. And we’re going to Brighton next weekend which I’m really looking forward to.
Unfortunately I then fell ill with a yucky cold on Wednesday so I’ve been holed up at home for the last couple of days recovering. In fact I’m quite grateful to have managed to dodge Christmas, my actual birthday and Brighton without being ill, and it’s not too much of a hardship being tucked up at home with the kitties when it’s so cold out. I did get some fresh air with a quick walk around the beautiful deserted park yesterday, camera in tow. (It was caked in snow the day I was born 28 years ago, hence the title of this post.)
Poor swans, in a little pool in the middle of iced-over water!
Sarah and I popped down to God’s Own Junkyard on Wednesday night, a fabulous pop-up collection of new and vintage neon signs, movie props and retro advertising signage on Beak Street, Soho. The curator/artist Chris Bracey collects junked signs from movie sets then repairs and resurrects them into brand new art pieces. The temporary exhibition/shop is only there for another couple of weeks, and I highly recommend visiting while you can – as you can see it’s quite stunning.
The popup shop at 47 Beak Street is open until January 25th; check the website for opening hours.
It’s time for my now-traditional monthly photo roundup of the year! 2012 has been a funny one – lots of hard work as I continued to settled into freelancing, a new part-time job which solved a lot of that, a bit – but not enough – travel, a new cat-baby and all the associated joys and stresses that brought..! Happily most of the madness has died down now and I am genuinely looking forward to a more serene, grown-up 2013. I already have travel plans (Brighton and Barbados, and that’s just before April), some great work projects lined up, and goals in my head for personal projects. I’m turning 28 in two weeks and that feels much better than weird old odd 27.