Friday, August 31, 2007

More from the festival des creatifs

These are the two stone sculpture pieces I worked on over that first weekend of August.

Batala at Notting Hill 2007

I wasn't there. I wish I had been, but I wasn't. Next year I will be. This clip, like most of its type, lacks the sound quality to do it justice. This is just the warm-up!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sea Otters and Their Stones

While surfing through LinkedIn contacts I came across a guy called Tim, who has a website. And on this website he tells us why the site is called otterstone.

Sea otters feed on clams and sea urchins from the sea bed. To crack open the tough shells, the sea otter pounds them against a stone which it balances on its chest. An otter keeps a favourite stone in a 'waistcoat pocket', which is a fold of skin under its armpit. Otters carry their favourite stone with them at all times throughout their life no matter what else happens.

I've had one or two breathtaking moments watching sea otters do this, when I lived on the shores of Loch Etive in Argyll, but I didn't know that they kept the stone! That's outstanding! Thanks Tim.

(Credit to Mathew for the photo.)


Been sketching with li'l lamb since she got back from her first day at school. This is my effort, it's not Leonardo but it whiles away the time and keeps the eye hand coordination in use. Lamb didn't like her effort, but I might get permission to show you a part of it. Don't hold your breath.

Festival des Creatifs

I mentioned the festival recently with a view to putting up a photo or two of what I got up to. Here's the first one. A print from a lino cut. Great fun to do, absolutely compulsive, transported be straight into 'the zone.

Friday, August 24, 2007

As yer man Fraser said, 'we're doomed, we're all going tae die'

Listening to this after a trawl through my old tapes, I found it hard to believe that when this was a round I really believed it was likely to happen ... Was that just me?

Trade a paperclip for a house

Here's the full story - chapeau, as they say in France

Monday, August 20, 2007

To be human


To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.


What to remember on waking by David Whyte


Somehow I didn't find the time to mention all the creative workshops we managed to enjoy over the first weekend in August. One of our friends organised a 'Festival des creatifs', with 25 workshops of various sorts to enjoy, for an all-in family price of 10 €. Bargain. I spent most time sculpting stone, and had a ball with that. (Photos to come when I've collected my camera from where it was left on Saturday night.) But also managed some lino-cutting and printing, (fantastic) ; and woodworking, (too many machines involved). The rest of the family did kite-making, making paint from natural colours, and scultpure using stuff from the tip. We had a great time. Being able to play and create without pressure as an adult is a rare enough experience. I have dreamed of getting some buildings together to make supported adult creative play an opportunity all year round. You know, nice place to stay, great local food and booze, and a nursery play room for grown ups and children to get stuck in and messy. What do you reckon? Should we try?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Animoto - create your own videos from stills

just came across this site, and tried this one out. Bit of a mismatch between the music and the photos, but you get the idea!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Music I mean. Here's a clip of Rodrigo y Gabriella, wonderful stuff. Buy it! Go and see them live! You won't regret it.

I also came across a new composer at the annual concert in the local church. Two Dutch guys, Pieter Grimbergen and Erik Lips, have put this on every year since 2002, and it attracts a full house every time. The new (to me) composer is Carlos Guastavino. I'm looking for some recordings to listen to.

And we're doing a local series of our first gigs as a Batala band - Samba Massif, at Langeac, (today), Brioude, (Saturday), and Blesle (next Tuesday).