Monday, 22 May 2017

A Cellar Full of Clay


You may remember that last year, sister #1 and I painted pottery skulls for my birthday.

This year, for her birthday, we went to The Painting Pottery Cafe and learnt to throw pots!


They have potters wheels set up in their bright and airy cellar, and after a demonstration of how to make a basic pot, we were able to take it in turns to make our own! My sister and I were in the second group to have a go, and were joking to each other that our pots were going to look terrible because we'd never done this before.


As it happened, my pot turned out pretty well!
My sister managed to damage hers, but the instructor was quick to fix things so she could continue, and her pot ended up looking really cute--she made the top into a heart shape! It looks like really expensive, and hasn't even been fired yet!

The workshop was well-taught, instructions were easy to follow, and the staff were friendly and helpful (and endlessly patient, considering they're going through the same procedure with novices hundreds of times this month!)

The Painting Pottery Cafe are running 50 minute long classes throughout Brighton Fringe, though have taster classes throughout the year, too. If you're local to Brighton, it's worth checking them out if you're looking for a fun and new thing to try.

We had fun with this workshop, and can't wait to collect our pots once they've been fired!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Silent Disco and Serenading Diners


Yesterday, a friend and I embarked on a silent disco walking tour, a Brighton Fringe event run by the most excellently lycra-clad discophile, Guru Dudu.

The tour sounded suitably ridiculous for my tastes, so I was eager to get tickets and find out what it was all about!

As it turns out, it's about making a complete tit of yourself in the middle of a crowded city, and having a ton of fun in the meanwhile--all whilst listening to some funky tunes.


Armed with headphones and after a quick 'happy yoga' session, we were off through the streets of Brighton, ocassionally stopping for a mini danceathon, or to serenade unwitting diners at outside restaurants with a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, or casual evening picnickers (who sang back, and were possibly a little squiffy).


It also involved frolicking through the Pavilion Gardens to the sound of the Kate Bush classic, Wuthering Heights, stalking through the streets to Everybody (Backstreet's Back) and a fashion parade to I'm Too Sexy.


Of course, no disco is complete without some Abba, which led to the playing of Voulez-Vous and lots of pointing and exclaiming, "Ah-ha!" at random passers by.

Part walking tour, part disco, part flash mob, this was one of the most fun and ridiculous things I've done in a long time! Though I'm naturally a shy, introverted and socially awkward person, it was impossible not to get into the swing of things when there are a good 30-40 other people also making utter tits of themselves, all in the name of disco!

100% Would Do Again.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Moulettes @ Brighton Spiegeltent


Brighton Fringe Festival always brings some great events, and this year that included a gig by the band Moulettes, which I went to yesterday with a friend.
I saw this talented bunch of people at Hurst Festival back in 2015, and was impressed then, so it was good to have the chance to see another of their performances.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wilde at the Warren


On Saturday, a friend and I went to see Box Tale Soup's production of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is one of the shows I've booked to see at this year's Brighton Fringe.

Performed at the fringe pop-up site, 'The Warren', this performance had more puppets than it did human actors!

I did wonder what it might be like, since that there were so many puppets, but it turned out to be thoroughly engaging, incorporating some aspects of dance/physical theatre, and of course those dry, witty quips that Wilde was known for.
The set and costuming was simple but effective, the puppets looked neat and the actors were on good form--two of the cast played several different parts, including the voicing of the puppets, and it was easy to distinguish the different characters.

It might be easy to pass off a play involving puppets as being 'something for kids' but this certainly wasn't.
This was the first time I've seen a performance of this story, and it's been a while since I read the book. The play was not only a good memory-refresher, but really enjoyable!

I'd recommend going to see it, but in my slow-poke manner I've ended up posting here after their performances of it are finished--but they are back with a performance of The Wind in the Willows in June (which is more child-friendly).

Monday, 1 May 2017

April Roundup & 365

A Spot of Tea (110/365)
After three months of not doing much (seriously, why is everything closed during the beginning of the year?!) I actually got out of the house a little more during April.

Very little more.

Still, I have things to write about in this roundup that go beyond rambling about April's 365 Project photos.

As with March, unfortunately some of my plans this month had to be postponed or cancelled, which seems like a fact of life at the moment!
However, I'll catch up with people soon enough.

Despite the cancelled plans, I had some fun this month, both with activities and with photography!

So without further waffling, here's how my April went...


Sunday, 23 April 2017

State of Mind

Daydreamer
(In moments of stillness, the action happens Inside)

In the process of keeping up with 365 Project, I've begun the second of my photography projects for goal #12 (Complete 3 Photography Projects).
State of Mind explores different emotions and mental states through a series of 'faceless' self-portraits, each one being a personification of those mental states or emotions: the residents of 'The State of Mind'. 

Inflated Ego
(That moment of smug big-headedness)
This is still a fledgeling project so I'm still developing the ideas!
Considering the subject matter of this and A Strange Pair, it seems matters relating to psychology are of interest to me, doesn't it!

Discombobulating
(Confused, surprised, trying to comprehend)
I started off using a few handheld props, but am looking to make more use of masks and/or headpieces, to give an effect of the head being Different rather than merely having something held in front of it...

Poisonous
(Those negative thoughts that catch us unawares)
In the image above, I reused the mask I made for one of the prompts on Delightful Aberrations some time ago! I'm glad I kept it. Comparing the above image to the one created last time I used this mask, I can see how much I've benefitted (technically at least) from my cheapo camera remote. Life is so much easier when you don't have ten seconds to rush between camera and backdrop!

Idealist
(Too many flowery thoughts, not enough roots in reality)
I also discovered that I can 'MacGuyver' together a flower mask using tissue paper, staples, an elastic band and a piece of bent wire!

This project has been fun so far, and I've started to think a lot more about each persona. I'll likely take more in future, since there are so many more mental states to consider--and just like Poisonous, they are not always good.

The State of Mind, like any state, province or county, has its bad guys.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Stop!

Things That Stop The Flow

After a few weeks of brainlessness, I'm finally participating in the theme challenge at Delightful Aberrations!
This week, one of the prompts was stop.
I worked this into my project, A Strange Pair, which I originally started partly for the challenge and partly for goal #12 (Complete 3 photography projects).

I've been continuing the project, and had planned to post all the images together when I'd finished it, but today I got my hands on the items to take the image above, which is a pairing that comes directly from Daniel Nettle's book, Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature:

"When asked to sort pictures of objects into classes, schizophrenics often depart from those categories most intuitively accessible to the rest of us, such as 'tools' or 'fruit'. One subject put together a bath plug, a padlock, and a circle of red paper 'because all three stop flows or processes'."
- Nettle, D. (2001). Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature.
Oxford University Press, Oxford
Since 'stop' was one of the prompts for this week's challenge, it seemed the obvious choice! It works for the prompt, and works for my project, too!

I still have more ideas for A Strange Pair which I haven't photographed yet. It's a real exercise of the mind to figure out these pairings, without them being too obvious or typical!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

One Year Music Challenge: Top Ten


At the end of last year, I completed my One Year Music Challenge, which I did for a goal from The List:
029. Listen to 2 new musical acts every week for 1 year
I used this goal to push my boundaries and try music from genres I don't normally listen to alongside the rock/pop styles that I usually have on my playlist!
Between suggestions from friends and googling phrases like "musicians from [random country]", I ended up with a huge list of artists to try out--far more than I actually needed, in fact!


Once the challenge was over, I used a handy tool from traveltip to generate a map of all the countries from which I'd listened to music. I thought I'd listened to a lot of music from around the world, but as it turns out, it was only just under 19% of the world's countries!

Admittedly it was harder to find music online for artists from some countries. Then again maybe I was looking in the wrong place.

Anyway, this challenge was fun, and through it I found a lot of musical acts that I really liked!

Here comes my top ten.
Those that put up with my waffle on a regular basis can probably guess who is at number one...


10. Kitaro (Japan)
Super-relaxing New Age instrumental music! I first heard this artist in week 16 of the challenge, and go back to the music every time I want something peaceful to relax and daydream to!
Kitaro Official Website

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Roundup & 365

Paper (60/365)
Though I titled this 'March Roundup & 365', I have to admit this post is mostly about, 'here are the photos I took for my 365 Project during March' rather than 'here are the things I've done'.

Unclothed (61/365)
Flying Leopard (62/365)
Drooping (63/365)
Fresh-faced (64/365)

I started off the month with the intention of doing a lot--another daytrip to Portsmouth (this time with my sister), a trip out with a friend from college, some local events and several trips out on my own to go to some museums, or just to wander around and take photos. That is alongside writing one piece of flash fiction every day this month!

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Way We Work: Flash Fictions 28-31


It's the end of the month, so here are the final four pieces for my flash fiction goal, written over the last four days!

Flash fictions 28-31:
Pareidolia - A supernatural story about seeing faces in things
Missed Connection - The tale of a man obsessed with timekeeping
Little Rituals - The story of a woman who counts
Finish Line - A tale of a woman who has to see things to their end

With the exception of Pareidolia, these are companion stories to Background Characters and Connections in the previous flash fiction post--about people with their little quirks and the habits they have to make life acceptable to themselves.

Hope you enjoy these ones!

Pareidolia
Date: 28th March 2017
Prompt: Orb

"It's a great image, good use of shadow, but you've got dust marks again," John handed the photo back to his disappointed student.
"I think it's in the film," said Emma, who had printed the same image six times with the same result.
"Let's see your film. Marks like this usually happen when the light catches dust particles in the atmosphere. Did you shoot with a flash?"
Emma shook her head and handed over the film. "I didn't need it"
John hummed as he studied the film through a magnifier at the light box. "It's definitely in the film..." He checked the other frames. "You've got dust in all of these."
"What can I do?"
"Clean your lens and reshoot. Pay more attention to dust in the air."

Emma nodded, knowing it wouldn't work. She'd already cleaned the lens and the mirror of her second-hand SLR camera, carefully loaded fresh film in a clean environment, yet still ended up with weird dust marks on all her photos. It didn't matter the location or the conditions she shot in, the annoying little circles continued to show up, like ethereal bubbles that had definitely not been there when she took the photo.
"My granny calls them spirit orbs," she commented.