This is where I ramble on about nothing in particular, in the hope that something may strike a chord with you, whether it be graphic design, football or real ale.

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Thursday 31st March 2011 12:40

As you have probably realised, there are many children's television programmes that I love, none more so that one that is set in Antarctica and centres around a family of anthropomorphic penguins at the South Pole.
The main character Pingu belongs to one such family. He frequently goes on adventures with his little sister Pinga and often gets into mischief with his best friend Robby the Seal.
157 five-minute episodes were made, and one reason for Pingu's international success is the absence of human languages. All dialogue is in a sort of honking "penguin language", and was initially performed without script by Carlo Bonomi. This allows people of different linguistic backgrounds to still be able to follow the story.


The programme is a Swiss stop-motion claymated television series created by Otmar Gutmann and was produced by The Pygos Group and Trickfilmstudio for BBC television. The show ran originally for four seasons from 1986 to 1998 on SF DRS. In 1998, there were two Pingu episodes made (one of them being "Pingu and the Doll") that never aired due to schedule problems. In 1999, they showed the two episodes with a Pingu marathon between commercials.
However, HiT Entertainment's request for more episodes convinced Pygos to bring back the show in 2004, with two more seasons. When the show's final episode aired, they stopped making Pingu due to low advertising and it was canceled yet again in the beginning of 2011, so HiT decided to upload clips of Pingu to YouTube.
To visit the official Pingu website, please click on the logo above.

Wednesday 30th March 2011 16:54

More often than not, I have absolutely no idea what my image of the day is going to be. This afternoon, I'd taken the scenic route home from Petersfield and taken one shot along the way, although it was nothing particularly inspiring but I thought it would do.
Once home, however, I noticed a very dainty-looking moth that was resting on our lounge window and thought that that would be a great subject matter for today's 365. It had a wingspan of no more than 20mm, which is tiny considering the size that some moths can be.

Having taken the shot, there was the small matter of identifying it… out came my 1976 copy of the Oxford Book of Insects and the closest match I found was a certain species of Pug… but that's as far as I got. I then decided to post my photo on Wild About Britain, a superb site, full of people who enthuse about anything nature-related in Britain. One member did come along and confirm that it was a Pug, just wasn't sure which one. I was quite delighted that my book, bought for me some 34 years ago is still one to refer back to, despite the fact that every 'picture' in it is actually a coloured drawing.

UK Moths

After seeing whether anyone could come up with a positive ID, I suddenly realised that I'd once been in touch with a guy called Ian Kimber at UK Moths, a superb website that he's created, with the help of other enthusiasts. As he states on his website, traditionally, moth fieldguides have concentrated on the so-called "macro-moths", of which there are around 800 regular British species. To study all of Britain's species including the often very interesting microlepidoptera, requires an expensive library of reference material. The aim of his site is to illustrate as many species of British moths as possible and to provide this information in an accessible format. Over 2400 species have been recorded in the British Isles, and currently 2076 of these are illustrated, featuring 5867 photographs.
To find out more, please click on the logo above.

Tuesday 29th March 2011 19:00

Received a message via Facebook tonight from Malcolm at Irving Brewery tonight. He said that Claire Sambrook from 'Creative Portsmouth' had called by and dropped off two complimentary books that they'd printed. The book bears the same name as the company and explores the creative elements of the city through its people, community, businesses and students. So what's the link then?

creative portsmouth

Well, come the next issue, they want to feature the pump clips I've designed (with the obvious collaboration with Malcolm) in the next issue of the book. It's a 96-page publication, just short of being A4 in size, full of images and interviews with over 80 local creatives.
The aim of the book is to publicise the enormous amount of creative talent found within the city, showcasing a vast range of work from illustrations, design, photography, street art, painting, architecture and jewellery. The book is being published to also act as a catalyst to attract more creative companies to set-up their businesses in the city.
To say I'm excited about the prospect of my artwork being included in there is a total understatement. Malcolm has invited Tanya and I along to a launch of the book mid-April.
Please click on the exceptionally brilliant front cover above to find out much more and to view the whole publication online via Issuu.

Monday 28th March 2011 11:25

Quite often, as I'm sure you've noticed, I fall behind with my blog for a few days, not because of laziness, it's more a case of locating the relevant logos to go with what I'm talking about (9 times out of 10, I do manage to source a vector-based artwork) and, if push comes to shove, I have to create the whole logo again, often trying desperately to find out what font has been used. Trying to identify the font used for the Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival was no exception…

seriffic grunge

Luckily, right at the back of the souvenir programme, I noticed an advert of the company responsible for designing the logo so decided to contact them. On the same day, I had a reply from a more-than-helpful woman, Charlotte, who told me its name, 'Ringbearer' and, if I'd had any sense, I'd have realised that the font was used for the 'Lord of The Rings' films (Shameful - Ed). Whilst at it, she also informed me of another font called 'Seriffic Grunge' which she'd used for the numbers, mainly because they possessed a thicker outline.
Both fonts are available for free, via dafont.com - please click on either name of the slightly interesting graphic I've created to go to their download page.

Sunday 27th March 2011 09:54

Having had such a frantic and hectic day yesterday, it was great to realise that today was going to be a day of doing very little. What didn't help was that we lost an hour due to the clocks going forward, so it's just as well that neither of us was suffering with any sort of hangover. The answers to all the confusion as to who said what and who was where unfolded throughout the day… Damien and Jamie didn't actually return home from the Beer Festival until midnight, so in some respects, I'm rather glad that we came home when we did, otherwise there would be every chance I'd be nursing the mother of all hangovers.
Apart from catch up with my blog, especially trying the find the name of a font so I could type up our tasting notes, I did very little else really, apart from drink copious amounts of tea.

accident prone

That leaves me to talk about how accident prone I am… no, seriously, if there's an accident waiting to happen at the moment, I could pretty much guarantee that I'll be involved somewhere along the line. A few things have happened to me recently, to the point where I'm now making notes of the stupid things I seem to do.
It all started the other week when I accidentally shaved the bottom of my ear lobe with my hair clippers… talk about blood gushing out everywhere, in fact, it's only recently healed since it happened two weeks ago. Just a day later, I was toasting some Hot Cross Buns when I picked one up, by an area with a sultana in it… it splodged on my thumb, its interior being the equivalent heat to the core of the Sun, causing immense pain, bastard Hot Crossy thing.
Then just last week, whilst getting in my car, my coat zip scraped along the edge of the door, making me freak out like some lunatic, thinking it was a wasp. Not a good look. Later that week, I killed a fly with my bare hand, only when I came to wash the squished gunk off my hand, I realised that one of its legs had impaled my palm… took quite some time to remove it with some tweezers.
So, what better way than to provide a link to an insurance company called… Accident Prone! Please click on the logo above to find out more.

Saturday 26th March 2011 09:30

So, the day had finally arrived… the CAMRA Winchester real ale and cider festival held at the recently refurbished Guildhall, the first to be held in 28 years (not that I knew that at the time of booking), although the website states 25 years… so not sure whether to believe the official programme or the website!
Although the festival is now over, you can find out more about it by clicking on the logo below.

winchester real ale and cider festival

Damien picked us up at 09:30 and we then went back to his and walked to Havant station to catch the 10:19 train to Southampton, where we were joined en route by Jamie at Cosham. We all thought that it was one hell of an arduous journey on the train, considering you can drive to Winchester in around 40 minutes, whereas this journey was taking well over an hour, with a change at Southampton Central. Nevertheless, we finally made it with time to spare and hotfooted across the city to the Guildhall.

guildhall winchester

The Guildhall offers a combination of both the old and the new to create a beautiful and modern venue inside the historic Victorian exterior. Within, there are a variety of function rooms ranging in size and character; all furnished to a high standard and perfect for both grand and intimate events. The newly restored and refurbished Bapsy Hall is one of the largest function rooms in Hampshire and can accommodate a wide range of events seating up to 620 people.
To find out more about the historic building, please click on the logo above.

© jamie smith

Whilst waiting for the festival to open, Jamie captured this candid shot of Damien and I using his Hipstamatic app on his iPhone. Damien was busy looking at the architrave of the Guildhall, whilst I was busy examining the Festival ticket. We all agreed that it was one hell of a cool shot, so thanks for letting me use it on here, Jamie.

Once inside, it was a simple case of showing our tickets where we were then given one of those event wristbands, where the organisers always manage to capture some of your arm hair in the sticky part of it, but to make up for that, we also received a free pint glass and programme. Not only that, because Damien and I are both CAMRA members, we were also given £2 worth of beer tokens, effectively meaning that our tickets for the whole event only cost us £2! Bargain or what?
We'd made it… we were here to enjoy the day and sample as many ales as we could, in the hope that we'd make it home in one piece and avoid the possibility of vomiting along the way.

denmead brass

During the afternoon, entertainment was provided by both the Winchester Morris Men and Denmead Brass. The Morris Men were formed on the 11th March 1953 in the Eclipse Inn in Winchester and now perform at a variety of local functions and public houses, usually during the summer months.
Denmead Brass are a traditional brass band with strong community links, being able to provide music for any occasion. They were absolutely brilliant, performing some absolutely great tunes, such as 'Jerusalem' and 'Land of Hope and Glory'… song sheets were handed out and literally everyone in the hall stopped and sang in a somewhat drunken tone… brilliant atmosphere… absolutely brilliant.
For more information about Denmead Brass, please click on the logo above.

WRAACF tasting notes

All in all, we sampled eleven real ales (and possibly a couple more that I may not have made notes about). Rather than take up too much room writing about them here, I've created what will hopefully be the first of many 'official' tasting notes that we make whilst at real ale festivals. We discussed each ale, the look, colour, aroma and taste and then provided a mark out of ten… although comments did become a little puerile towards the end of the session, but that's beer for you!
To view the PDF of our tasting notes, please click on the image above.

Amidst sheer confusion, (More like drunkenness - Ed) we somehow ended up on separate trains on the way home, causing further confusion… but that's beer for you too. What a thoroughly excellent day; a huge thank you to everyone who played some part in making it possible.

Friday 25th March 2011 12:00

Ever since finishing fifth overall in the Amateur Photographer of the Year competition in 2000, I've always told myself to see if I could equal or better it… unfortunately a distinct lack of commitment has failed me since. Even though I subscribe to the Amateur Photographer magazine, I still forget about entering and then end up kicking myself for the rest of the year, having not entered (Wondered what all those bruises were - Ed).


Anyway, Fen, a good friend of mine, asked for my opinion on three shots he was thinking of submitting into this month's 'Inside A Building' round (the second of the competition subjects this year, the closing date of which was today). I replied to him, as he'd asked and then thought, "Sod it, why don't I enter it?" By hovering your mouse over the logo above, it will reveal my entry.
Please click on the logo to find out more about future rounds.

Thursday 24th March 2011 06:58

There have been many times in my career as a graphic designer where I've been asked to type out sheets and sheets of A4 page spreads because the original had 'gone missing'. The thought of this has been very daunting, however, there are programs out there that relieve all of this.
OmniPage is an optical character recognition application which supports and recognises more than 120 languages. It is available from Nuance Communications which was acquired by ScanSoft, as well as taking over its name in October 2005. OmniPage converts images such as scanned paper documents and PDF files, into document file formats used by computer applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, or HTML files.


The software is compatible with devices like TWAIN and WIA, thereby covering virtually all of the scanner and multi-function devices on the market and is often bundled with many models. It is marketed in two different versions, one directed mainly to industrial or higher level professionals, which includes a number of additional features including advanced speech software for the production of audio-books, and a more basic version oriented for personal use. Multi-platform versions of the software are also available (which work with the various versions of the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems).
For more information, please click on the logo above.

Wednesday 23rd March 2011 21:54

Ever wanted to create your own font and actually hand craft your very own alphabets? Well, you can, via a very groovy website and it's all available for free! You don't even have to install anything either, the tools are all available online, whenever and wherever you need them.
Fontself is an original platform that was founded in 2008 by a team of passionate designers and computer geeks with a shared passion for typography, hand-drawn illustrations and user-friendly software. They are also proud to be based in the homeland of the Helvetica font - Switzerland. They provide simple and intuitive solutions for the use, creation and distribution of cool personal fonts and their goal is to bring a whole new experience of text to a wide range of casual users.


The process really is simple… you need to sign up and agree to the usual terms and conditions (please read them carefully) and then begin to create your own font. You can either print out the template they provide which has all the lowercase and capital letter fields, as well as numbers, punctuation and many of the diacritic letters that are used within Western languages. Once you've filled in each box (there are 117 different characters, but it's entirely up to you how many you choose to use), you can then scan your document in and edit it from there. Alternatively, if you're confident enough to develop it all via an application program such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, you have the option of downloading a .PNG template and then following the process from there.
To find out more, please click on the logo above.

Tuesday 22nd March 2011 15:48

Over the years, I've developed great online friendships with many people interested in photography, some of which I've been lucky enough to meet. There's one guy, a few years older than me, called Seymour who lives in Israel and not only do we have the common interest of photography but he's also an ex-graphic designer. After posting my 365 shot for yesterday, he commented, "I love it when you go all graphic on us." To be honest, I was unsure about posting it, and said so. Later on, he went on to say, "I'm an Op-art, supergraphic freak. Used lots of supergraphics in my interior design… had primary green, blue and yellow vertical stripes running floor to ceiling and onto the ceiling in my living room!! Victor Vasarely was my God/hero/inspiration… you get my point I think."


I did get his point but, I was ignorant, who was Victor Vasarely? I needed to look him up immediately and am so glad I did! I can completely understand how such work can be an inspiration to someone. His understanding of shapes, forms, colour and light source was utter genius. To be able to create such work on a computer does take some know-how and much of the shading can be done in Adobe Illustrator with a simple click of the mouse in most cases, yet to be able to paint these, often to the size of 4' square is truly remarkable.
So, a little bit about him then… born in Pécs, Hungary, on the 9th April 1906, Victor Vasarely was an Hungarian French artist whose work is generally seen aligned with Op-art. His work entitled, 'Zebra' created in the 1930s is considered as being one of the earliest examples of the 'Optical Art Movement'. He had an illustrious career than spanned a considerable amount of years and died in fairly recently, on March 15th 1997, aged 90.
To visit his official website, please click on the logo above.

teenage angst void earth and fire

His work inspired me to see what I could create in Adobe Illustrator and these are the first three I completed. Titles (from L-R) 'Teenage Angst', 'Void' and 'Earth and Fire'.

Monday 21st March 2011 20:00

Well, it's Monday night which means it's Jazz night. Some time ago, I mentioned that my Dad hosts a Monday night radio programme on Bolton FM and his show is going from strength to strength. With the help of Facebook, I've managed to put the message out there and, since you are able to listen online, from anywhere in the world, many of my friends tune in to listen to him every Monday night.
Last week, I had friends from the USA, Ireland and Israel listening to him, which can't be bad!

bolton fm

As a matter of interest, Bolton FM broadcasts on 96.5FM and can easily be listened to via the internet. Launched on June 20th 2009 at the One Bolton Festival, the station is owned by Bolton Community Radio and is located at Ashburner Street Market in Bolton.
To find out more about the station's daily schedule, please click on their logo above.

Sunday 20th March 2011 21:00

Enthusiasm is one of those personality traits that requires the correct dosage. Over-enthusiasm annoys the hell out of me, especially as it borders pretentiousness, which I absolutely loathe. On the other hand, under-enthusiasm pisses me off on an equal level for I don't feel apathetic people deserve to be on this planet. I suppose the subject of the enthusiasm also has to fit in there somewhere because, let's face it, even if someone had the correct level of enthusiasm, would you really want to share it if they were showing you their collection of shoe insoles or something?

There are many television presenters whose enthusiasm captures my attention and imagination and the particular chap I'm going to talk about tonight has to be one the most interesting presenters around. Having done a bit of internet research though, I was astounded that used to be the keyboard player for 90s band, D:Ream, although I won't hold that against him.

wonders of the solar system

Born on the 3rd March 1968, Brian Cox is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a professor at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN, in Switzerland as well as the R&D project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the CMS experiment. All sounds complicated to me, but his enthusiasm and ability to avoid condescendence is outstanding.

"Professor" Brian Cox has presented a number of the science programmes for the BBC and, on BBC2 tonight, the second part of his 'Wonders of the Solar System' was repeated. Haven't the foggiest why I missed them first time around but they're absolutely brilliant (Out of this world? - Ed). I was hoping they'd be available to watch via iPlayer, sadly they're not, so I'll provide you with a link to his official website instead.
Please click on the opening graphic to his BBC2 show to find out more.

Saturday 19th March 2011 10:30

For a few years now, a windmill at the top of Windmill Hill in Chalton, just outside of Petersfield, has been a major fascination for me. Some weeks ago, I looked at the Ordnance Survey map online, just to see where the most accessible point was to walk up to it, and that seemed to be via the small village of Blendworth, just outside of Horndean.
The walk starts on a single track lane that joins Blendworth with the A3 and there are a couple of parking places available, if you wish to start your walk from there. It's a steady incline that takes you across Blendworth Down and on to Windmill Down, where the windmill first comes into view. Although Windmill Hill isn't the highest point in Hampshire (the neighbouring Butser Hill is), you're still able to take in some fantastic views of the surrounding area, including the whole of Portsea Island and the dominant Spinnaker Tower and the Isle of Wight beyond.

chalton windmill

Chalton Windmill is a Grade II listed tower mill, located on the top of Windmill Hill at Chalton, which has been converted for residential use. Records of mills on this site date back to 1289 and the first time a windmill was marked on a map was one of John Norden's, dated 1607. Since then, windmills have appeared on John Speed's map, dated 1611, Joan Blaeu's map, dated 1645 and John Ogilby's map dated 1675. The one that stands today was built in the early 19th Century and had four Patent sails carried on a cast iron windshaft and the cap was winded by a fantail.
The four-storey tower mill was threatened with demolition in the 1950s and thankfully a preservation order was placed on the mill by the local council. Around 1978, permission was granted for the mill to be incorporated into a new-build house and since then it was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Petersfield Society.
Since there are very few links around of exciting windmills, I've chosen to include a shot that's part of The Francis Frith Collection, this particular shot of the windmill was taken c1965. Please click on it to view his amazing catalogue of shots that span the length and breadth of the country.

the red lion

From there, we drove around to the other side of Windmill Hill, the village of Chalton itself and had a short walk around there before going in the Red Lion, a pub I've spoken about on a few occasions. We'd decided to stop there for a spot of lunch and a beer, Gales 'Seafarers' to be exact. Tanya ordered a Chicken and Bacon Salad with a side order of chips, whilst I opted for the Fish and Chips with a serving of peas. We've eaten there on a few occasions and have thoroughly enjoyed our meals each time.
The pub itself dates back to the 12th Century and still retains many of its original features, including an inglenook fireplace.
To find out more about the pub, please click on the logo above.

Friday 18th March 2011 14:58

Often, the subconscious works in mysterious ways. Yesterday, during one of my very frequent visits to the MyFonts website, I noticed a particular font that was incredibly striking. It may well have had something to do with the very eye-catching graphics that always accompany their featured font of the day.

road art

The font in question is called 'Road Art' and it derives from painted lettering found on the roads of the United Kingdom. From those images, each character was then created from the original photograph. It was designed by Jonathan Sleeman in 2008 and has since been published by The Tree Is Green and there is also a Dingbats version available. I have been in touch with the publishers in the hope that they'll be able to provide a more detailed description of the creation of the font but haven't heard anything as yet, all I can tell you though, is that it's available for purchase via the MyFonts website.
Please click on the image above (I've included the Dingbat graphic as a rollover) to find out more.


(So, where does the subconscious come into then? - Ed) Oh yes, nearly forgot, didn't I? Well, whether it was the Road Art graphic from yesterday or not, I spotted a shot for my 365 project whilst leaving the company where I freelance at… just so happens that it's very closely linked indeed!

Thursday 17th March 2011 20:11

A mate of mine, Jamie, often posts his 'Hipstamatic' images on Facebook. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it's an iPhone 'app' that brings back the look and feel of the plastic toy cameras from years ago. Since I don't own an iPhone, yet do love the superb range of possibilities that Hipstamatic offers, I decided to do some research, in the hope that someone, somewhere, had replicated it as either a Photoshop plug-in or action.


After some hunting around, I did find an absolutely incredible program called 'Poladroid', and, as with the very best of these applications, it was developed for Mac users with other users considered as an afterthought. The program was developed (OMG, save the puns - Ed) by a guy called Paul Ladroid, hence the clever name he's given it and, as stated on his website, 'as a very young person, he showed that he had marvellous capacities for capturing expressions of his friends and family and reproducing them immediately'. Now, with his program, he's allowed users to look at the world other than another angle, another vision.

ready to hatch urban girl

To download your free copy, please click on the logo above… once you start to 'process' your Poladroid, you can 'save' different stages of it being developed… the image appears like it would on an actual Polaroid camera… very cool indeed. I put two of my recent 365 shots through to see what they came out like.

shape collage

Now then, from that website, I spotted another link which was equally exciting… seriously, it was. It was an advert for 'Shape Collage'… just the name alone had me intrigued. The program was started by Vincent Cheung in 2007 mainly because he had thousands of images on his computer and had no idea what to do with them. He thought about making a photo collage with them but didn't like any of the available collage-making programs, especially as they required too much work, or they didn't look nice or offer you enough control.


As with many people with incredible intelligence, he began tinkering around and actually invented a new algorithm for automatically arranging photographs in a collage (Don't you just hate these people? -Ed) He then realised, as you do, that this algorithm didn't just restrict the user to boring rectangular collages like everyone else, but could be used to absolutely any shape he liked… and so, Shape Collage was born.
To find out more and download your free copy, please click on the logo above. Please note that unless you pay a small fee for an upgrade, it will put a watermark of the website on your image. As you can see above, I decided to use the numbers 365 and use every one of the 321 images I've taken so far to create my own clever collage.

Wednesday 16th March 2011 07:00

Time to announce another internet discovery… and this one is rather amazing, well I think so. You may recall me talking about a site called 'World Lingo' which roughly translates almost any language of the world into almost any other language of the world. It's all very well, yet the literal translations aren't always accurate.

Over the past week or so, I'd been asked to create an artwork for a sign which needs to read, "Now wash your hands" both in Afghan Pashto and Persian text. Despite me using the World Lingo site to create such a thing, the artwork I submitted didn't read right and I was then sent a scan of someone's handwriting to compare with, yet if you're unaware of where certain letters are on a keyboard, you're as good as fighting a losing battle.


What many people cannot seem to understand is, the alphabet of some countries is totally different to the Western languages, virtually every letter is different, so you cannot even bank on a Western keyboard being the same layout as an Arabic one. This morning though, I actually found a website that replicates an online keyboard with the relevant letters and everything. It's difficult to explain unless you actually visit the website. Basically, 'Lexilogos' is a comprehensive set of resources for the study of the languages of the world.
Please click on the diabolically bad logo above to find out much more.

Tuesday 15th March 2011 09:38

I learned a new word today, although with my background in art, I'm sure I must have heard it before, just not taken any sort of interest. I'd created a graphic of a netball player and it was described as very 'Matisse', who happened to be one of the leaders of the particular artistic movement I'm going to talk about. The word is 'Fauvism', which happened to be a style of painting by early twentieth-century Modern artists. The style, 'les Fauves' is French for 'the wild beasts' and this loose group of artists emphasised painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values that were retained in Impressionism.

national gallery of art USA

The style began in around 1900 and actually continued beyond 1910 but within those few years, the movement hosted three exhibitions, led by artists Henri Matisse and André Derain. Other artists who were very much part of the movement included Albert Marquet, Charles Camoin, Louis Valtat, the Belgian painter Henri Evenepoel, Maurice Marinot, Jean Puy, Maurice de Vlaminck, Henri Manguin, Raoul Dufy, Othon Friesz, Georges Rouault, the Dutch painter Kees van Dongen, the Swiss painter Alice Bailly, and Georges Braque (subsequently Picasso's partner in Cubism).
Although the exhibition on the following link has well and truly finished, there are some good links to Fauve painters on there… please click the National Gallery of Art USA logo above to find out more.

Monday 14th March 2011 23:06

Now here's a thing… would you ever put the words 'considerate' and 'constructors' into the same sentence? Furthermore, would you ever develop a company name out of them? Well, a certain organisation has. I noticed the name whilst travelling back from London just over a week ago, it was part of the hoarding around the soon-to-be-opened Hindhead Tunnel, found on the A3 between Portsmouth and Guildford.
Whilst the creation of the tunnel has undoubtedly caused a major upheaval with animals, insects and flowers, I guess you have to weigh up the long-term aspect of such development, and I'm sure, given time, the natural areas will recover and probably benefit in the end. I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.

considerate constructors

All I do know is that organisations such as Considerate Constructors do question the well-being of everything concerned. Started in 1997, this important initiative operates voluntary Site and Company Codes of Considerate Practice, with which participating construction companies and sites register. The Scheme is a non-profit making, independent organisation founded by the industry to improve its image. The Scheme is neither grant maintained nor funded by the Government and is solely financed by its registrations. Why on Earth the Government couldn't think up of such schemes is beyond me, but then again, their priority of importance makes fuck all difference to you and me.
For more information, please click on the logo above.

Sunday 13th March 2011 11:32

Having had such a hectic day yesterday, it only seemed right that today was more of a leisurely-paced one. Apart from a few things, it was, such as fulfil my routine of visiting the bottle bank and do my bit for the planet, then totally contradict that and fill my car up with petrol at Tesco (wouldn't it be better to just do the tank rather than the whole car? Health and Safety issues and all that… - Ed)

Since I was there, I checked out whether there were any new beers in the actual store, when I stumbled upon one that I seemed to recognise the name of, yet hadn't seen the label before… peculiar but one to investigate later. Once I'd finished there, it was then a journey over to Morrisons, to buy most of the usual stuff plus a few other things, one of which was another beer, strangely enough, called 'Iceberg' by Titanic Brewery… more about both ales later.

After what seemed to have been an eternity, I finally arrived back home and could chill out for the rest of the day. It was almost perfect timing actually because the third of the four FA Cup quarter-finals was being televised on ITV1 this afternoon, the all-Premier clash between Stoke City and West Ham United was being played at the Britannia Stadium. I wasn't particularly bothered about the outcome, all I knew was that I wanted Bolton to be drawn against either of these clubs and not the winners of the other two games (Manchester United had defeated Arsenal last night and Manchester City were odds-on favourite to beat Championship side, Reading).

iceberg-hopping hare titanic iceberg badger hopping hare

Whilst watching the match, I chose to open the first of the two beers I talked about earlier, 'Iceberg' by Titanic Brewery… for a start, it's most definitely a quaffing ale… at 4.1% ABV, who would argue? This wheat beer is pale straw in colour, to the point where it looks like a lager. What was also quite coincidental was the fact that Titanic Brewery are based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent and the reason for the name of the beer is in honour of the captain of the Titanic, Edward Smith, who hailed from the Potteries. Anyway, I digress slightly… so with a mixture of Marris Otter pale malt and fine wheat malt, they could hardly go wrong, I can't think of one ale with Marris Otter malt in that I don't like. This combination produces an ale that's refreshing and zesty, with a taste to match… a prime example of a summer session ale.

So, now on to the second ale, 'Hopping Hare', a 4.4% ABV thrice hopped ale by Badger Ales (Hall & Woodhouse). The three types of hop used in the process of brewing this ale are Aromatic Goldings and Cascade which combine to provide a citrus-grapefruit and floral aroma, whilst First Gold possesses the bitterness. The ale has a distinctly hoppy aroma with an underlying fruitiness and is light amber, almost copper in colour. It's another incredibly refreshing ale with a crisp sweetness and spicy overtones. What's most peculiar is that I have actually had this ale before, only it had a different label when I first tried it.
Badger Ales have appointed BrandOpus to re-design its beer labels (why they couldn't have asked you is anyone's guess! - Ed) They're hoping that redefining their brand will make their beers attractive to non-traditional drinkers… whilst some may argue, "you can't polish a turd", I believe that brand recognition and appeal is a major aspect of whether something sells or not… although it does help if the product lives up to the brand, and in this case, it does.
Please click on either bottle above to find out more about each brewery.

Oh, and just for your information, Stoke City beat West Ham United 2-1, in an incredibly feisty game, whilst Manchester City beat Reading by a quite disappointing 1-0 scoreline. The semi-final draw took place mid-afternoon and Manchester United meet Manchester City, whilst Bolton Wanderers face Stoke City; both matches to be played over the weekend of 16-17th April… come on you Whites!

Saturday 12th March 2011 12:45

WOW! What a day… after all, it's not every day I have the chance to watch Bolton Wanderers play in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup… but before all that, I thought I'd start telling you about our day from the very beginning.
Since finding out that my 365 shot yesterday featured a building from Havant's Heritage Trail, I decided to look into it further and found that leaflets of the trail were available from Havant Museum, so I suggested to Tanya that we spend the morning walking along it, especially as it had so much to do with local history. I'll admit, I'm a geek when it comes to local history, I love to find out the most trivial information about where I live, just because I've always been one to embrace the area in which I live. Not only that, I just love researching things so, all in all, I was in my element this morning.
To find out more about Havant Heritage Trail, please click on the logo below.

havant heritage trail

Once we'd picked up the free leaflet from the Museum, we began our tour. Since we were at the easternmost point of it, we started at roughly the midway point with regard to how it was numbered on the map. Either way, we were going to complete it and it seemed the logical thing to do. The trail was funded by the Rotary Club of Havant in 2007, to mark their 50th anniversary.
Although Tanya and I had seen many of the blue plaques that mark the way of the trail, there were many that we had never noticed, each one with an explanation as to why they had been included in the trail. It was incredibly interesting, as well as a way of keeping fit.
Along the way, we learned that No.15 on the map, 'The Twittens' is actually an old local name signifying a town footpath. These ancient tracks were often referred to by old inhabitants as 'Back Lanes'. Twitten means 'Betwixt and Between' in country dialect. The Old Post Office (No.19 on the map) was built in 1936 and has the Royal cipher of Edward VIII, who was King of England for just eleven months before abdicating to marry Mrs Simpson.

Another very interesting fact we found was about The Railway Station. The first railway ran through Havant in 1847 and in 1858 the 'Battle of Havant' occurred between two rival railway companies. The London South-Western wished to link Portsmouth to London and the London Brighton and South Coast refused them permission to cross the tracks of the already established coastal line. In 1859 consent was finally given.
Midway through our trail, it just so happened that The Old House at Home was part of it, and Tanya suggested we stopped in there for a half, before carrying on. Whilst in there, I noticed that the Birmingham City v Bolton Wanderers FA Cup quarter-final was being shown in there. I'd previously made plans with Damien (Tanya's brother) to go and watch it round at his house, since I'd recently unsubscribed from ESPN, and when I 'phoned him to ask if he fancied going there to watch it instead. Of course the answer was a positive one.

the old house at home

From there, the trail became a little more hectic, yet I insisted that Tanya didn't rush, yet she chose to become stressed, mainly due to the fact that she knew how much I wanted to watch the football. We completed it with around twenty minutes to spare, yet we needed to go home and drop our cameras off and then walk back down to meet Damien. I did mean that I missed around the first twenty minutes of the match… although when we arrived at Damien's the score was 0-0, by the time we arrived at the pub, it was 0-1 to Bolton after Johan Elmander had put Bolton ahead in the 21st minute with an absolutely amazingly well-taken goal. It seemed apparent that Bolton would be going into the break with a goal advantage, yet Birmingham were not prepared to let sleeping dogs lie, and sure enough, they reaped the rewards of an equaliser in the 38th minute. This was going to be fight to the death. Luckily our food arrived within the break so it meant we could enjoy it without being stressed at the same time.
We had an absolutely superb time in The Old House at Home, please click on the logo above to find out more about the pub.

birmingham city v bolton wanderers

Strangely enough, the second half started off rather lacklustre, that was until the 66th minute when Kevin Davies was brought down in the penalty area, only to convert the awarded penalty in fine fashion, giving the Trotters a goal advantage again. With just ten minutes to go, the outcome was almost decided, that was until Kevin Phillips went and ruined it all with an unbelievable 20-yard strike that sailed over Jussi Jaaskelainen's head, dipping agonisingly into the back of the net. One of those attempts that nobody could have done anything about. I was as good as ready to drown my sorrows, knowing a replay at the Reebok would have been the best to expect when as much as a last-ditch attempt came Bolton's way after Kevin Davies headed across the box for Lee Chung-Yong to nod home from six yards in the 90th minute. The win put Bolton into the last four of the FA Cup, the first time in eleven years. What an amazing match!
To find out more about the FA Cup, please click on the image above.

From The Old House at Home, we then walked the short distance to The Robin Hood, literally yards away and enjoyed a pint of Fuller's 'Front Row'. The Robin Hood is also on the Heritage Trail and was created from the conversion of two early 19th Century cottages. To the rear of the building there once stood a former malthouse. After having a pint in there, we then headed to the Bear Hotel, a Greene King pub and another one that's part of the Heritage Trail. The Bear Inn is an 18th Century coaching inn which provided a regular stopping point for stage coaches on both the South coast run and London route.

real crisps

Our final stop-off point was the Wheelwrights Arms where we enjoyed another pint and then had the munchies… so we had a rather nice bag of 'Real' crisps - a brand I'd never tried before and they were absolutely delicious.
As they state, "We're REAL. We've got a simple mission as we see it: deliver the best possible potato crisps with the best possible flavour. And do it in an attractive pack too." And that's exactly what they do, the Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar crisps were just what the doctor ordered.
For more information, please visit the Real Crisps excellent website by clicking on the logo above.

And that was it, we had an absolutely superb day out… we then made our way home and actually hit the sack before 9 o'clock, we were THAT shattered.

Friday 11th March 2011 17:32

What a week! Cannot recall the last time I was this busy. Luckily though, many of the things I've been working on are near completion, not that I don't like being busy, it's just that sometimes a slight break is welcomed. Once home, Tanya suggested going into Havant because she was eager to have a look in Carphone Warehouse and then stop off at our local garden centre to buy a few plants and things.
At first, I was totally reluctant to go, especially as I'd only managed about five hours sleep last night and then I realised that there was a location nearby that I'd wanted to take as my 365 for quite some time.


Tanya was particularly interested in the HTC Desire S, launched at the Mobile World Congress 2011. The brand new smartphone lets you capture and share videos in HD, experience enhanced internet browsing and make video calls with its front-facing camera. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the award-winning HTC Desire, the Desire S features a powerful Android™ operating system that lets you do things faster.
HTC is one of the fastest-growing companies in the mobile sector and has achieved remarkable recognition over the past couple of years. Business Week ranked HTC as the second best performing technology company in Asia in 2007 as well as giving the company the number three spot in its Global listing in 2006. Since launching its own brand 18 months ago the company has introduced dozens of HTC-branded products around the world.
Please click on the logo above to find out more.

urban girl

Anyway, I was saying about the location in Havant, just around the corner from The Carphone Warehouse… as I was driving down the road, I noticed a girl wanting to cross and since she was in the spot where I wanted to pull in and take a shot, I let her cross (to be truthful, she actually annoyed me that she was in my way!) Anyway, despite being on double yellow lines, I leant out of my window and took the shot I'd wanted for quite some time, only for the girl to walk right into it… ended up with what I'd class as a great street photography shot… I was over the moon with it!
Once home, I decided to try and find out what the building was, only to find that it's part of Havant's Heritage Trail and was once a Glove Factory… click on the image to find out what else I found.

Thursday 10th March 2011 23:34

This evening, I started work on the final of four line drawings I'd created for the first FoldingBikesUK advert. Having finalised the logo a week or so ago, I'd been asked to create an advert to go in the CTC Magazine (Cyclists Touring Club). 'Cycle' is the second largest circulation cycling magazine in the UK so it seemed the perfect publication to put the FoldingBikesUK brand around.

FBUK advert

FoldingBikesUK will be concentrating on four main brands, Montague, Jango (in particular, the Flik), Dahon and Mezzo. Luckily, Jango had already created an outline of the Flik, so it meant creating outlines of all the other bikes, in their 'folded' positions. The Mezzo D10 took around four hours to draw, although one of those hours was spent trying to fight severe fatigue. I have to say, I'm delighted with the overall look and feel of the FoldingBikesUK brand, along with the illustrations… let's just hope it brings in some great business.
To view the PDF of the advert, please click on the image above.

Wednesday 9th March 2011 09:11

Not often I talk about bands two days on the trot, but it was down to me talking about Elbow's new album to a work colleague of mine, where I freelance, that prompted me to talk about another band.
Basically, his daughter is the girlfriend of this particular band's frontman, Nigel Thomas. Formed in 2005 and based in London, they are an English rock and indie band, having entered the UK Indie Singles Chart twice with 'Trauma Town' reaching number 9 and 'Bill Hicks', number 6.

the foxes

As yet, they've only released two EPs 'Lover, Killer', released in 2007 and 'Depression, Joy And A Moment Of Fame', released in 2010. They plan on recording their first album due for release in the not-too-distant future. As you can see from the logo above, the band are called The Foxes and are on Room 10 Records. This summer, the band will be supporting the Fun Loving Criminals on tour.
To find out more, please click on their logo above, and make sure you visit their myspace link to listen to some of their tracks… scroll down the page to watch the video of 'Lover, Killer', an excellent song.

Tuesday 8th March 2011 15:15

So, the day finally arrived yesterday… Elbow's fifth studio album was released. I'd decided not to talk about it until today so that I could let it take hold of me, like Elbow tracks usually do. As usual, the album is full of catchy riffs that literally grab hold of you after the third or fourth listen. Elbow have this knack of knowing how to get into their listener's mind.

build a rocket boys!

Released on Fiction Records/Polydor, 'Build A Rocket Boys!' certainly starts where 'The Seldom Seen Kid' left off. There are some stand-out tracks on the album, as well as many others that I've already found myself humming or whistling.

Favourite tracks for me? The opener, 'The Birds', very much a harmonious start to the album with the usual catchy riffs, a great rock beat and a juicy baseline and haunting cello, followed by 'Lippy Kids', with the piano riff and whistling taking hold immediately.
My two favourite tracks are 'Neat Little Rows', definitely the rockiest song on the album and an absolutely superb piano riff to accompany it… just brilliant, and 'Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl', which has a great title, especially as it's a proper northern town and one I've been to on more than one occasion (in fact, an ex-girlfriend was from there). It has some lovely strumming guitar, a mellow keyboard riff and superb lyrics… "I have a drop leaf window with cats and broken yards, sunflowers and paint cans and stolen shopping carts…"
The album finishes on an upbeat note with 'Dear Friends' which has a great summery riff to the final track on the album… could imagine being sat on a beach with a beer, soaking up the sun… very relaxing.

Overall, the album is very sombre, although the cheeriness of the Flamenco-Latin style tracks do work very well with some of the more haunting ones.
To buy your copy online, please click on the album cover above.

Monday 7th March 2011 13:38

Not often I talk about other photographers, I know, mainly down to the fact that unless I find something completely different about them (no matter how amazingly good their work is), I don't really see the point. Let's face it, most photography has been done now, especially since the advent of digital cameras made everyone into a photographer, or at least that's what we're led to believe. I don't mean that last statement to sound as if I'm some arrogant elitist, it's just the truth.

It's the same when graphics programs started to be developed, every Tom, Dick and Harry thought they were a graphic designer because they were able to create their company name in Brush Script, in rainbow lettering, on a curve. Clever stuff. Not. Whatever happened to creating thumbnail sketches and taking a design further? Whatever happened to the art of hand lettering? That's what a designer is.
Anyway, enough of my rant, I want to introduce you to a mighty fine photographer, someone who takes the art that stage further. I'm not saying this work is original, but it's certainly original to me.

martin wilson

Martin Wilson stands by his father's words, "make every picture count". That's what both he and his elder brother were told when they were given cameras and a roll of Kodak film back in 1973. Martin was just eight at the time and his father's advice became so deeply ingrained, he's been following it ever since.
He still uses film, using every single frame to show that his work has been taken consecutively. Once using the film, he has it developed, scans it and pieces the final image together on computer, making a large contact sheet.
Rather than me try and explain his process any further, I thoroughly recommend you click on the logo above, take a look at his website and judge his work for yourselves.

Sunday 6th March 2011 08:10

Having had a good night's sleep, we enjoyed some breakfast before heading off for a walk this morning. Fen and Caro decided to take us to part of Hampstead Heath in London. The Heath is only a few miles north of central London, yet you wouldn't be mistaken for feeling as if you're within the heart of the English countryside, after all there's almost 800 acres of glades, woodland, heathland and meadows. Rich in history and heritage, it has ponds, valleys, hedgerows and ancient trees, attracting many varieties of flora and fauna, especially birds and as well as kingfishers and reed warblers, all three species of British woodpecker can be found here.

hampstead heath

We really only touched on exploring the area, concentrating on The Hill Garden, a somewhat rundown, yet enchanting area that once belonged to William Lever (Lord Leverhulme) who was born at 16 Wood Street, Bolton on the 19th September 1851 and died in Hampstead on 7th May 1925. It's only since doing research that I realised just how spooky the whole thing is! Who'd have thought that my home town was the same as Lord Leverhulme and, unbeknown to me, I visited where he died today?
Anyway, to find out more about Hampstead Heath, please click on the logo above.

london01 london02
london03 london04

Once back, we sat down to enjoy a Sunday roast with Fen, Caro and Caro's mum, Dottie and, after a good old chinwag about all sorts, we decided it was time to head home, especially as it was almost 4 o'clock. What a brilliant weekend… saw lots, drank lots, ate lots and chatted lots.

london05 london06
london07 london08

We arrived home just before 6 o'clock and we'd decided that we would do nothing more than chill out for the rest of the day. I managed to catch up with my 365s and start to do my research for this weekend's blogs. I also managed to sort through some of my favourite images I took whilst in London, two of which link to the larger versions in my 365.

good fucking design advice

Later on that night, whilst checking my emails, I opened one from my American-based mate, Lee, which has to be be one of the funniest emails I've received in a long time. Developed by Brian Buirge and Jason Bacher, the site offers everything you could possibly want (and need) regarding advice about design. Make sure you hit 'home' a few times, you'll get the idea.
Rather than me good any further into it (apart from recommending the excellent 'family filter'), just click on the wallpaper above to find out more…

Saturday 5th March 2011 07:36

We were early risers today because we were going to London and staying over with some friends of ours. The whole day had been planned for some time, although another couple, David and Claire had sadly backed out of the day due to Claire's mother not being too good.
We ended up setting off slightly later than planned but didn't encounter any bad traffic or problems getting to Finchley and were greeted by Fen and Caro when we arrived. We sat and had croissants and coffee, catching up on things before we headed off into London for the day. Tanya had expressed interest in visiting two places before we started eating and drinking for the rest of the day.

st paul's cathedral

The first place to visit was St. Paul's Cathedral. I'd been a couple of times at least and recall going inside on those occasions, yet £12.50 entrance fee is very steep, especially if you're wanting to go in as a couple… I can think of many ways to spend £25 and entry into a cathedral is way down that list.
Despite choosing to avoid the astronomical fee, you're still able to capture some incredible views of the building in and around its grounds, as well as further afield.
A cathedral has actually stood on this site for as long as 604AD and has remained a very busy place of worship ever since then. The imposing and iconic shape of the dome tower is an instantly recognisable part of the London skyline and today's cathedral has stood after its completion since 1710, having taken 35 years to build after its predecessor had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The masterpiece of architecture was designed by the court architect, Sir Christopher Wren who died in 1723 at the incredible age of 91. The Latin epitaph on his tomb is translated as, "Reader, if you seek his memorial, look around you." Other famous people buried there are Admiral Nelson and Duke of Wellington, although burials are no longer held at St. Paul's.
For more information about the cathedral, please click on the logo above.

modern tate

After we'd spent some time in and around there, we then walked down towards the Thames and crossed the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern Gallery. Tanya was very interested in seeing a piece of work called 'Sunflower Seeds' by Ai Weiwie which is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, yet every single one is intricately hand-crafted porcelain, making each one unique. Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by a team of hundreds of skilled specialists in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.
The exhibition can be viewed at the Tate's Turbine Hall and is free to view up until the exhibition closes on the 2nd May 2011. To find out more, please click on the logo above.

By the time we'd finished doing our touristy bit, we were all incredibly ravenous so a pub that sold food was very much on the agenda… after trying several, we were almost at the stage where a pastie shop would do… until we found 'The Old King's Head', just off Borough High Street. At last… we could sit down and chill out with a beer and some much-needed food. It was a lovely pub with a great atmosphere and the food was ridiculously cheap and ridiculously good! Remarkable that you're able to buy two meals, albeit Gammon, egg and chips with peas and salad and a Lasagne with chips and salad for just £11.50. Not only that, I spotted one of my favourite ales that I'd never actually had it from the pump before, St. Austell's 'Proper Job' which ended up being an absolute hit with everyone… we ended up drinking three pints of it before moving on to the next pub.

the harp covent garden

From there, we then walked to 'The Harp' in Covent Garden, which has recently been named 'CAMRA Pub of The Year', so it just had to be visited. It's a very small and homely pub, very narrow (particularly around the bar area) but is quite a long room, as well as having further seating upstairs, tackling quite a narrow staircase in the process. The outside of it is very homely indeed, a typical English pub with a distinct homely feel, assisted by hanging baskets with seasonal flowers in them. My review of the actual pub itself isn't meant to be detrimental in any way, because what it lacks in size, it compensates for its atmosphere. The place is absolutely buzzing, all with like-minded ale drinkers, just like being at a beer festival really.
If you're wanting to visit 'The Harp', please click on their pub fascia above to find out opening times and much more.

sambrook's brewery

They had several beers on that I'd never tried before, including a couple from a London-based brewery I'd never heard of before. We sampled, 'Junction' and 'Wandle', both by Battersea-based Sambrook's Brewery as well as 'Old Chestnut' and 'Sussex Stout' both by Sussex-based Dark Star Brewing Company.
Since I'd never sampled any Sambrook's ales before, I thought I'd include tasting notes for both of these ales. 'Junction' is a premium session ale with a rich fruit taste. Auburn in colour, this 4.5% ABV ale has a distinct 'Pedigree' nose. Very nice indeed.
'Wandle' is quite a malty 3.8% ABV golden-coloured best bitter, and despite it's lack in strength, it's not devoid of flavour, with light spice and citrus notes. We thoroughly enjoyed all of them and left 'The Harp' feeling very mellow and very hungry again!
To find out more about Sambrook's Brewery, please click on their logo above.

ciao bella

So, to finish off what had been an incredibly enjoyable day, we went for an Italian meal at 'Ciao Bella' on Lamb's Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. The majority of us had Penne all'Amatriciana and I know I really enjoyed mine! The restaurant itself is very nice and was quite busy considering it was early evening when we dined. Situated across two floors, you have the choice of ambience… either a buzzy ground floor or a relaxed basement restaurant. Once again, the food was very reasonably priced (around £8.00 for a main course) and I'd recommend it.
Please click on the logo above to find out more.

Friday 4th March 2011 22:55

After yesterday's short and very brief account, I thought I'd spend a little more time compiling today's blog, especially as I found another great free vector site as well as the fact that we watched quite a funny film.

pink moustache

So, the first thing I'm going to talk about is a website called 'Pink Moustache' that includes free vector artworks designed by Helen Gizl, a graphic designer based in Thessaaloniki in Greece. Along with her partner, Gerasimos, they run a small design agency and he created the website I'm about to provide a link to, which features many vector sets that Helen designs in her spare time… not only that, she is more than happy for any visitor to use her work for both personal and commercial use.
Please click on the very cool Pink Moustache logo above to find out more.

the cat in the hat

Later that night, we watched 'The Cat in the Hat', a 2003 American slapstick comedy film loosely based on the 1957 book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. Produced by Brian Grazer and directed by Bo Welch, it stars Mike Myers in the title role of the Cat in the Hat, and Dakota Fanning as Sally. Sally's brother however, who is not named in the book, is known in this version as 'Conrad' and played by Spencer Breslin.
While the basic plot of the live-action adaptation of The Cat in the Hat revolves around that of the book, the film filled out its 82 minutes by adding new subplots and characters quite different from those of the original story, similar to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Reviews were critically negative criticising the film's crude humour and mature content which is pathetic when you take some of the humour from the 'Shrek' films into account.
To find out more about the film, please click on the movie poster above.

Thursday 3rd March 2011 13:34

Today's blog is simple and really takes very little explaining. It's a website that enables you to convert any HTML (HyperText Markup Language) website or file into a PDF (Portable Document File).


Created by Stephen Dent Construction, you simply input the URL (webpage) into the converter field and, depending on the size of the webpage, it will convert within minutes, and you don't have to install anything to do so, nor do you have to register anywhere. As well as providing such an excellent service, the site is available in seven different languages.
If you're in need of converting an HTML website, please click on the logo above to find out more.

Wednesday 2nd March 2011 06:10

As if I hadn't given myself enough to do with my blog and my 365… I had the crazy idea of 'Word of the Day' as my status on Facebook. Now then, I'm not one of those who goes on Facebook to tell everyone where I am, or how I'm feeling… I go on there to do one of four things, and they are, post my 365, tell jokes, post my Word of the Day or generally abuse people with my wit. (Didn't know you had any - Ed)


So, what makes a good word, well, for me, I'd say onomatopoeia does or, failing that, the suggestion of an innuendo is always good. The noun onomatopoeia is thought to has been first used in around 1577 AD. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word originates from the Greek word onomatopoiia meaning 'word-making', whilst the Merriam-Webster Dictionary reports the onomatopoiia is derived from the Greek onoma 'name' and poiein 'to make'. Onomatopoeia is the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (i.e, whizz, bang). However the word Onomatopoeia can also be used to describe the use of such words for rhetorical effect.

Over three years ago, I bought the domain name onomatopoeiac.co.uk, in the hope that I'd use it for something one day. Well the time has come and although it's not looking how I want it to right now, it will with a few tweaks here and there.
To catch up on Word of the Day, please click on the logo I designed above.

Tuesday 1st March 2011 07:54

Google's homepage made everyone quite aware that today was St. David's Day or, as the Welsh spell it, Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant. It's the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and it falls on the 1st March every year, the date was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David, who died on this day in 589 and became a national day of celebration in Wales ever since the 18th Century.
To celebrate this day, people wear a symbol of either a leek, or daffodil. The leek originates from an occasion when a troop of Welsh were able to distinguish each other from a troop of English enemy dressed in similar fashion by wearing leeks. An alternative emblem developed in recent years is the daffodil, plus it's a lot less pungent.

st. david's week

Swansea, Wales' second largest city, although it has a population of almost 100,000 less, celebrates St. David's Week and holds a festival each year. The festival includes Welsh Male Voice Choirs, Traditional Dancing and Hunt The Dragon. This year, Swansea Indoor Market celebrated it's 50th year of trading, as well as there being a Copper Craft Workshop, along with Swansea Copper Day.
To find out much more about the festival and the history around it, please click on the logo above.


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