Pantone Visa Credit Cards

This would be a brilliant idea if you could select any Pantone colour at all for your personal credit card. This should be possible too, knowing modern digital print technology like I do, but we might be spoilt by too much choice…

But these new Visa Pantone cards  are pretty cool as they are – which do you fancy?

 

Get stuffed in West Leeds

As part of our local Festival I love West Leeds there was the opportunity to have a stuffed animal living with you in your home for a week. There was something about this idea that I liked and I when I saw the list of animals on offer, I really fancied the barn owl. So I applied to the Get Stuffed project and a couple of weeks later a barn owl was delivered to our house.

The lovely wife and difficult daughter were quite frankly weirded out by the whole thing and looked at me like I was deranged as I set him up in the conservatory, cruelly allowing him a view of the trees without actually screeching in them. He (we think he’s a he but not sure) is a magnificent specimen set in a beautiful pose showing off the size of his wings and his comparatively small body. I christened him Leodis – the old roman name for Leeds, a city that features owls prominently on its coat of arms.

I was determined to integrate him into my life and planned a few visits during the week that would create a nice story to tell as part of the project. There is an exhibition planned at the beginning of the festival in July – worth keeping an eye out for. In the meantime, here’s a few sneak peeks of what Leodis got up to during his stay…

From the sea to the land beyond

There’s not many bands that can completely rock out one minute and then play a sublime orchestral interlude the next, but British Sea Power are one of them.

Hot on the heels of their no holds barred Krankenhaus club night in Brighton, where every night was bonfire night, BSP appeared on the bill of the highly regarded documentary festival DocFest in Sheffield. They were playing their original score for director Penny Woolcock’s film From The Sea to the Land Beyond, a wonderful film using archive footage to capture Britain’s unique relationship with the sea.

From the remote Scottish Isles to nostalgic footage of seaside holidays, shipbuilding preparations for war, the brutal lifestyles of fishing folk to the majesty of the waves, this film really is a meditation on our coastline and how we have changed over the years – whilst the sea remains a constant to our island nation.

 

 

 

The archive black and white footage inevitably brings an honesty and integrity to the work with people filmed doing everyday things looking at the camera in a mysterious, odd way. It was struck that 100 years ago cameras were rare things where now we all carry one in our pocket in the form of a mobile phone. Interesting too how the more recent colour footage didn’t quite carry the gravitas of the early monochrome – I think I prefer my history in black and white.

From The Sea to the Land is a unique project commissioned by Sheffield DocFest and Crossover and this was definitely an evening to savour. The might and power of BSP’s music matched the epic maritime scenes whilst their tender and delicate compositions transformed everyday scenes into a moving tableau of British life.

 

Special mention to Carl Milner for his rather wonderful images from the performance.

Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Record sleeve of the day – so evocative, takes me back to another time. The record sounds pretty good too.

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest

This is the most popular post on my blog by a country mile. And I have no idea why. Perhaps it’s because it’s a popular search term for students or perhaps it’s just one of those books people like to read about.

I thought I’d revisit the review I wrote on the book especially since I saw the movie fairly recently. The book is still pin sharp in my mind some months later and the mood and style of a book is often the thing that endures for me. On top of this, the characters were so beautifully etched that they still shine in my minds eye.

The first thing to note after a late night showing of the cinematic adaptation is that it is actually a very good translation of the book. Of course it won oscars and it featured some incredible performances notably Jack Nicholson with unknown (at the time) actors delivering beautiful performances. All these years, I resisted reading this book because I thought the film would have ruined the book but do you know what? I don’t think it would have. OK, I accept that I did it the other way around which is usually the recipe for disaster but not in this case.

Worth reading the book and seeing the movie then, I don’t think that it matters which order. You choose. They are both telling the same story but in very different ways.

Anyway – here’s my original blog post on the book from earlier this year…

This month’s book club is the less well-known book of the rather famous movie. Most people of a certain age – ie knocking on a bit – will be very familiar with the Jack Nicholson starring, oscar laden celluloid version of the book by Ken Kesey.

But I had reservations about reading this book – I won’t lie.

These reservations were simply that I know the film too well. I’ve seen it countless times – admittedly a few years ago – but the film is a piece of powerful and iconic film making. I was talked round in the end, or perhaps I caved in. Either way, we read it last month.

The first thing to notice is that the book is written from the Chief’s viewpoint. As one of the inmates of the mental hospital, the story being told from his perspective is very different and refreshing from the beginning. The rest of the book has been faithfully told in the film version albeit with the lack of intensity and depth found in literature. Kesey wrote this book in the late 50′s and it speaks of that time – America changing and coming to terms with that change, the onset of the liberal 60′s with all the free love and drugs culture that came with it. It’s a gripping tale of a rebel who gets a bunch of dysfunctional people to function again in some way and it’s a story of sacrifice and human spirit.

The face of Jack Nicholson looms large on every page and although Kesey’s central character doesn’t really resemble Nicholson, it’s hard to shake him off. The true sign of brilliant casting and acting I think. I came to the conclusion that the book was very, very good and that if I’d read it before I’d seen the film it would have scored much higher. I’m not a huge re-reader of books and as a consequence the fact I knew the story well softened the body blows it contains. I scored it a not too shabby 8/10 but it could easily have been a 10.

If you’ve not read it, or not seen the film either, I can highly recommend you read this book.

One word of warning: in the canon of blokey books we have read on our blokes book club, it doesn’t get much blokier. It’s not PC and it contains some language and attitudes that are probably best left in the late 1950′s – but well worth a detour from any sensitive chick lit you might have on the go.

Brighton, Part 2

The full story of our second road trip to Brighton to see the mighty British Sea Power at their last Krankenhaus club night can be found here on Into The Orchard.

In the mean time, here’s a rather lovely selection of images by Carl Milner. It was a real treat for me not have my camera to hand for the Brighton trip – knowing we had such a good snapper in the party meant I knew we’d have some good images.

Brighton is such a cool place to hang out.

Our Monarch as a Pantone swatch

I liked this cheeky celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Pantone‘s 60 years of helping designers and printers get the colours right every time. It was produced by ad agency Leo Burnett in London – I must say I would have liked to get my hands on a swatch.

Wonder if the actual colour of the frock Her Majesty wore on the day is in there?