Travelling

It’s a while since I lasted posted anything, I know – please be patient with me, I am still getting up to par with all this. Anyway, things are moving, as have I – i.e. travelling. This latest sound clip (see below) is from a recent journey to London for a British Tapestry Group meeting. All did not go well! The meeting was OK – Hillu Liebelt gave a fascinating talk about her work. Getting there was not so easy!

I arrived in London to discover that half the tube lines and stations were not in use. No problem getting to Tate Modern – lovely walk along the Embankment and the Tate is an experience on its own (watch out for the StillWalk). Afterwards I crossed the Millemium Bridge ‘cos I wanted to, and then headed for the tube . . . 1st station closed . . . and the 2nd . . . and the 3rd . . . finally London Bridge was open but I couldn’t figure out which lines/stations were open to allow me to get to Richmond. Knackered by this time, I waited in the ticket queue for assistance and finally took a roundabout route out to the BTG meeting, arriving late and exhausted.

To end on a brighter side – the weather was beautiful and I enjoyed the train journey up to London – got some work done, emailed some friends and recorded this great clip of travelling under the Severn Estuary.

Tesco Rooks

It’s been a while since I blogged but I am gradually getting there! More to come in the next week or two. In the meantime here is a little snippet of sound I enjoyed recently.

Every year about this time we get a huge flock of rooks stopping off at our local Tesco’s car park. The sight and sound is amazing – here is the sound at least!

Tesco Rooks

Impromptu StillWalk

This short walk was made in to parts on the spur of the moment with my old iPhone 3!

StillWalks – iPhone Walk 1

StillWalks – iPhone Walk 2

The blurred movement in the images reflects something of the feeling I had whilst out on an evening walk and finding myself in need of something to eat due to a low blood sugar level. As a diabetic of many years, I am familiar with the symptoms and using my phone in this way this seemed like a good idea to show something of the effect a low blood sugar can have –  a bit like being drunk and having the munchies at the same time. Symptoms can vary quite a lot for individual diabetics and I am lucky always to have been able to recognize the onset of a “hypo” (hypoglaecemic reation).

Churchyard re-visit

I was down the old churchyard on the marshes again the other night (see the Old Churchyard Walk) and took these pics on my phone. Watch out on this blog for the impromptu StillWalk from the same evening also using photos taken on my (old) iPhone.

If you like the mossy pics, why not join the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook

Sound Clips

Incidental sound clips – I am fascinated in the sounds around us in all sorts of situations. I have a particular interest in the sounds of metal. Anyway, I recently found these waterwheels in action and, having been working with StillWalks for a while now with the result that my sense of the sounds around me has developed further than before, I found myself absorbed by the rhythm and mixed frequencies of the wheels turning and the water flowing.

The smaller wheel runs faster and the rhythm is quite distinct – the larger one is slower and the base beat of the water on the wheel much less so. Like watching waves on the seashore, I could have stood and listened all afternoon, mesmerised by the sound.

Small Waterwheel

waterwheel

Small Waterwheel 1

waterwheel

Small Waterwheel 2

waterwheel

Small Waterwheel 3

Big Waterwheel

waterwheel

Big Waterwheel 1

waterwheel

Big Waterwheel 2

waterwheel

Big Waterwheel 3

Other Uses

I said when I started out originally with this blog that it would be about the other side of StillWalks – pretty much anything that is linked to them, sometimes quite distantly. This entry provides another look at how I use the walking element of the idea for StillWalks . . . hmmm! that all sounds a bit garbled. Maybe I should let the video speak for itself.

This StillWalk Intervention (called “Lakeside Intervention”) is about the difficulties of trying to deal with stress and depression – I don’t think it’s finished yet, so it is only available on a small scale for the moment. Click here to see it on Youtube  http://youtu.be/ZOMROH5_zL4

Mossy Thoughts

Thinking about my previous comment on wet Summers reminds me about the incredible amount of moss I encounter when out on StillWalks production days. Admittedly a fair few of these have been in and around woodland so maybe that is to be expected but, despite the fact that our lawn is made up of more moss than grass, I love the stuff.

It’s when it sends up those little heads, the peristomes, that it is particularly fascinating.

If you want some fascinating facts about moss, check out info presented by Year 2 children (6 – 7 year olds) in this screen shot video from a woodland project I did with them a few years ago.

moss on a branch

Mossy Heads - Peristomes!

moss heads

Moss Heads!

A Blank Canvas (Our Garden)

When we first moved into our current house, the garden was almost a complete blank. A flat rectangle of grass with a straight path down one side, an unused greenhouse towards the bottom end with about 30 – 40 feet of brambles and rubble all banked up behind it and chain-link fencing down the sides.

We spent our first Winter planning how we wanted it to look – not too ambitious to begin with, we simply wanted to get some plants in there and take away some of the straight lines. We dug borders and changed the shape of the path and my mother gave us a Flowering Cherry tree.

We were pleased to find out that, until about 12 years earlier, what was now grass had been filled with roses. This must have been quite something – the garden is approximately 50 metres long from the yard and about 5 metres wide and 50 – 75% of this was roses. Anyway, they must have done the earth a lot of good, and the earth kept that goodness all locked up until we came along and started planting. The result was that it seemed like anything planted grew like crazy. Actually, there are some things that don’t do well and, of course, some of the things that do grow well, we would prefer them not to.

Over the years we have managed to reclaim all of the area behind the greenhouse as well as using the greenhouse itself for a number of years for tomatoes, cucumber, basil, aubergine, etc. However, the greenhouse is no more – taken away when we built a studio at the end of the garden. We still try growing fruit and veg but these days the british Summer is more suited to moss cultivation than anything needing a bit of sunshine. Speaking of which, why not visit the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook.

There are always improvements and changes we want to make to the garden but whether or not we get round to doing anything about them doesn’t matter to me, I still love our garden the way it is – never too much under our control!

. . . and the birds . . . I used to play birdsong recordings in the background on the computer sometimes in our previous studio – now I don’t have to. Even without StillWalks, they are always there in the garden, right beside me.

The Cherry Tree

The Cherry Tree in full bloom through the patio doors

New Locations

I guess I’m a bit behind with this but, gradually, I am getting better organised with things and will be trying to put up more regular blog entries as well as a Facebook page and more.

The news is that there are now links to the locations for some of the StillWalks. The full length walks (5 – 7 minutes each) have all got location links for anyone who is interested and these will take you to a Google map. In time, all of the StillWalks on the website will be full length and linked to the full HD versions on Youtube with smaller files available in a separate browser window for those not allowed to access Youtube – such as schools.

More new StillWalks are on their way but the weather here in Wales, lately, has not been what you would call scorching hot! Also to come is a more detailed description of what is involved in putting the StillWalks together – they’re not just a bunch of photos thrown together as a slide show you know!

Arboretum Walk

Ok, so the sketches in the previous entry are there for you to see some of the background stuff that goes into StillWalks. The 1st walk that the sketches are from is now online and is the first one for Spring. There are others coming in the near future and some more recce images taken on my phone for other StillWalks I am working on.

I meant to do more sketch work as it is really helpful when it come to looking and seeing . . . and in that respect, I have been prompting the use of sketch work when doing the school workshops I have started. These are slightly different in that the StillWalks produced include overlaid text and voiceovers from the children which I do not want to use in my own walks but then, the aim of the school workshops is different.