Friday, 28 November 2014

Crippled Black Friday Procession

In honour of the madness that is Black Friday, which we now do over here even though we don't do Thanksgiving! WTF is that about?... well, i think it's pretty much the monster that is Walmart. Not quite happy enough with their billions, they've now got their English branch ASDA working overtime for them. It's not even a national holiday here, but people are out there fighting over a flat screen tv for a few quid less!

Anyway, thought I'd roll with the Blackness and give you two bands to listen to. The Black Heart Procession (love them!) and Crippled Black Phoenix. Enjoy!

Phantom Poodler

Got another couple of streets in the pipeline, along with providing free bags to put the stuff in. Here's one of the signs in action. I need to make them a bit more resilient, i should have put this flat onto the metal fence behind, but thought that might make it more likely to be taken down!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Well, they're not going to win any design awards, but they'll do a job. I just bashed these out and started putting them out there. Surprisingly of the 4 i've put out so far, 3 are still up. I think that one was just your common drunkard trashing! Anyway, it was something. Got to try and get local people to think and perhaps take back bits of their own community. Got to do something to finally reduce the amount of dog shit on our streets (which happens to be next to a primary school, which makes it even more maddening!). I added the #loveyourstreet just to make it look a bit more like an active anti-dog-poo campaign and not just me putting up a few doodles! #youforgotyourshit 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Taking To The Streets

I promised I'd try and do something about the amount of dog crap on our local streets at the start of this year. I haven't. I had ideas, but got stopped by all the practical issues. I was focusing on pavement presence, but that's very tricky... it's not a substance that's easy to interact with!

Anyway, i was walking to the studio the other day when i saw these simple signs down one street. Probably just one individual who has also had enough. Councils and whole communities seem to have just accepted it, given up and just resigned themselves to shitness. These basic signs caught my eye though, it felt like it was community endorsed, just because there were a couple along the street. I thought it must make any dog walker think twice about not picking up any crap, they would know someone cared, they might even be watching. I don't think it takes much. It just takes a unified community. If no one accepts it then i'm pretty sure it would reduce dramatically, but if they think no one cares, then why pick it up?

Then the next day i saw this little flag on the ground. It made me smile because a couple of weeks ago i had stuck the yellow one below into a small pile of crap at the same place. They'd obviously seen it and were inspired to make their own! I have a comrade on this street. It's also made me re-think using these little post it note and lollipop stick flags. 

I know, not the cleverest slogan! but every time i'd see my scribble i'd smile.
I like it's bluntness, it's so basic it works. It has a ring to it.
I could see it catching on, so feel free to use it in your neighbourhood!

So i'm in my beta-testing mode. I decided to stop thinking, searching for a perfect solution and just start trialling things on the street. See what sticks. I know there's another street that has a sympathetic soul on it, so I thought i'd follow their lead and knock out a quick set of signs i could laminate and fix up along our street. So that's what i did and i'll post about those next.


Monday, 24 November 2014


Isn't it weird that we don't get this kind of information shared at school. That we couldn't possibly handle different approaches. That it's not a definitive single approach. It's these kind of things that always excite me. I do like numbers... Unless they relate to tax and my accounts. Can't stand those!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Great Ferment!

I don't have a photo of the final kraut, just this one when it was freshly made.
It all settles and packs down, reabsorbing that liquid. The red from the onion leaches
out to give the kraut a nice soft colour too.

Cracked into the second batch of krautchi that i made at the weekend and it was SO good. It's just so easy and yet so tasty. I absolutely recommend you get this stuff on the go in your kitchen. I'm going to still be playing around with mixtures, but i will be making a double batch of this one again soon.

 It was 1 white cabbage, 1 red onion, 1 carrot, 2 cloves garlic, small piece of ginger, some dried chillies and about a tablespoon of coriander seeds. I sliced the cabbage, onion, garlic on a mandolin, grated the carrot and finely cut the ginger. Just put all those veggies in a big bowl and sprinkle on about 1 tablespoon of salt (Himalayan pink for me). Then crunch it all up with your hands for about 10 mins, until it's dripping with juice. Then i added the seeds and chilli, mixed it all through and packed it down hard into my jar, you want it all covered with the liquid. Cover it with a couple of the outer cabbage leaves (give it another shove down with your knuckle) . Leave it for a couple of weeks... or more. Done. Easy!

My first kraut that i made at the class was ok, but i was expecting more in the flavour, more fermented. It just tastes like nice cabbage in a very mild brine. I can happily eat that, but it's lacking.
I shall just leave it longer and see how it changes. This newer one was just more like i was expecting. It has a good zing to it. The small onion definitely helps for me and i love the little coriander hits! I've been mixing the two krauts together, which also works for me. Going to make a fermented hot chilli sauce this week i think.

Tracey has more fermented stuff going on her blog too at the moment so pop over there and have a look.

Or head over to Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation if you really want to go fermental!

Monday, 17 November 2014

What A Bunch!

Some of you might recognise this one. Thought it was only polite to join our motley crew ; )
No one's safe! #schoolrundads

Friday, 14 November 2014

Dad #7

You can't go wrong with a bit of high vis.

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Rare Night Out

Went to see The Delines again last night. Back on tour and playing just down the road from us in Bexhill at the De La Warr pavilion. Amazing band. Had my parents down for the weekend, good to see them and have my Dad as resident handyman for a weekend...then the house goes to shit until the next visit!
Anyway, it meant that me and Jakki got a rare night out together. Had a chat with Cory (keyboard and trumpet) after and you might like to check out his other cool music project on bandcamp.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Morning Commute

The Sea was very still this morning and the sun shining, so i did a loop down and along the seafront and back up to the studio. You forget what you've got somedays.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Happy Bonfire Night *!% *.....*!

From the archive. Bonfire Night, 5th November, Guy Fawkes, fireworks etc etc.

Original Parallel Universe, created for The Sunday Independent's Review section.
I really miss having that weekly spot, wish i could find another one.

You can see more of my revised range of Parallel Universe at Yellowhouse

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Got My Ferment On!

The Fermenting class was great, it took all the mythology out of making kraut and lacto-fermenting food. Made it normal, human and even gave it a political edge, which i liked. Taking back control of your food. Forgetting the big boys of food production. Grow a cabbage, use some salt… that's all it takes. Anyway, both me and Mark are now solidly into the idea of fermenting. To not fear bacteria and over rely on the fridge. It's ok to store food outside of a fridge and promote bacterial growth, good little microbes working away for the benefit of your body. I'm ready to make my next batch and mix it up a bit, while i wait for this one to ferment sufficiently. Then i think i'm going to explore Kimchi. I'm going to need Sandor's help for that one. Sandor Katz is the guru of fermenting foods and has a great book, which is seen as something of a fermenting bible. I'm going to have a good read and see what else i can make (well, once i borrow it from Marky!). I'm that little bit more inspired to get growing my own produce next year now, but that has it's own set of obstacles to overcome… small plot, lots of shade and walls on all sides, which seems to have created a snail/slug haven. Shit!

the green is lettuce leaves that i used to stop the cabbage rising to the surface
and it's weighted with a small glass jar filled with water.
I should have just used the outer cabbage leaves, but they got discarded earlier. 

.... and i did make another batch! I wanted to keep the ball rolling. This one has white cabbage, carrot, red onion, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds and dried chilli. One head of cabbage makes about a litre of kraut, once you pack it all down. I'll leave this one for about 3 weeks. The red one i'm going to start eating this weekend and see how it is.