Blue skies


It’s a lovely day in Wakefield, one of those glorious blue skies, sun shining days that make you forget that it’s actually still February. Sadly we’re still mid kitchen refit, so have lots to do or I’d be out on my bike enjoying the sunshine, or off to the wonderful Yorkshire Sculpture Park just down the road.

We’re so lucky to have such a brilliant place on our doorstep.

Fountain’s Abbey

I signed up to Photojojo’s Photo Time Capsule, where twice a month they email you photos you uploaded to Flickr a year ago.

Today’s Time Capsule contained some photos I took at Fountain’s Abbey last year. I’m quite proud of this lot. Click on the image and you’ll see it in Flickr’s lightbox. They look better that way, honest.

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey panorama

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

The Great Mug Incident of ’13

Tea or coffee?
I need a new mug.

I had a work mug, identical to the hundreds of others which everyone got recently. Most of these mugs ended up in the kitchens, but I’d managed to hold onto this one specific mug since I got it. So, it was with no small amount of sadness that today it got lost amongst all the other identical mugs in the dishwasher.

It wasn’t me who put it there, I hasten to add. Now, to the casual observer, it was just another mug. But this was my mug. I’d washed it every night and kept it safe on my desk. Could you not just take one of the other mugs, I was asked. The ‘exactly the same as the one you lost’ went unsaid.

No. That was my mug.

I know it sounds silly. I know, I know.

So now, I need to go mug shopping. I’ve had a number of mugs over the years, but there are some quite specific requirements when it comes to getting The Perfect Mug.

  • Size. Despite what they say, when it comes to mugs, size *is* important. Too small, and you’re into multiple tea rounds. Too large, and it’s cold by the time you get to the bottom of the cup.
  • Handle. You need a good handle on a mug, one which facilitates carrying multiple cups for the aforementioned tea round. I’ve had mugs with handles which are too small, making the multi-carry tricky, or with sides which slope, causing the tea to slosh.
  • Design. I’m not a huge fan of the gimmicky slogan mugs. I like them to be a little plainer and understated. That said, my favourite ‘at home’ mug is the Starbucks City Mug I got in Barcelona. Perfect size, good handle, straight sides. Trouble is, Barcelona is a long way to go to get a replacement. And getting one from here with ‘London’ on it just isn’t quite right.

So, dear reader, I’m in the market for The Perfect Mug. I’ve got my eye on a few potentials, but am open to suggestions…

* The mugs in the photo aren’t the identical ones I was referring to. Yes, they are identical. But the pendantic amongst you will note that they’re cups, not mugs. Well spotted, you.

Umphrey’s McGee

My favourite band at the moment, Umphrey’s McGee. These guys know how to play them guitars.

And what’s more they release every live show on mp3 (or FLAC, if you’re so inclined). They play a LOT of live shows. Different set lists every night, some awesome covers.

As a good introduction, I’d recommend picking up their Class of 2010 album, a fan-selected collection of their best live tracks of that year.

Or, if you like, subscribe to their podcast. Ninety minutes of fabulous free music every month. And a lot of podcast back episodes to catch up on!

An Apple a day

glowing apple logo on the back of a Macbook Pro laptop
glowing apple logo on the back of a Macbook Pro laptop

Sadly not my shiny. Working on some cunning ideas for a new project in a coffee shop (naturally). I was going old-school with notebook[1] and pen[2] vs a MacBook Pro. I’d made my notes and shot this photo, tweaked and uploaded it by the time my co-conspirator had fired the machine up!

[1] ok, ok, it was a Moleskine. I’m a hipster at heart.
[2] a Staedtler Stick 430M, for those into such things.