Internet Treasures

One of the best things about t’internet is the trove of treasures it can offer up to you. No longer are we limited to what we find geographically, or even what someone else has deemed worthy of distribution, anyone can take anything they create and make it available to the world in a host of different ways.

And I love it! Rather than buying some generic piece of tat that will languish on a shelf for years to come, you can buy some lovingly crafted work of art that just happens to be a CD, a cookbook, or a simple set of postcards.

In my ever growing collection I have a lovely little hand-made ‘Snickety-Snack’ Cookbook from Kamutflake Girl, an album of retro inspired dance tunes called 3 Flavours of 8 Bit by Dainumo, Jeesh & P SUS, some prints I won from the very talented Rakkadeer, and now the latest addition to my collection, a beautiful book of poetry, a CD of music, and a collection of postcards on the theme of The Perpetual Picnic by the gorgeous Samantha Lamb.

internet treasures

I was so excited to get this in the post. Been a fan of Sam Lamb’s work for ages. Her simple style of work belies a cunning eye for the beautiful and serene. And her attention to the details of a happy life give her pictures and poetry an optimistic nostalgia.

Sorry, I know that’s a bizarre mish-mash of adjectives, but like I say I’m quite charmed by the stuff she does. And Sam really walks the walk when it comes to living a lifestyle too. On her farm in Oklahoma she starts every day with a picnic, taking the time each morning to really appreciate the day. And she always has a camera to hand to document her adventures, so that she can post them on her blog and share them with the world. It’s the kind of thing that inspires me to pursue the life I want for myself, and to do it the way I think it should be done, as that certainly seems the path to true happiness.

It’s not about being ‘professional’, or doing ‘the right thing’, but rather about doing what you enjoy, and making something you love. And if that means life (and what you make) ends up a little rough around the edges, well all the better! Sometimes the crusty bits are the ones with the most flavour. 😉

Kiki’s Birthday Battenberg

Been wanting to do one of these for ages. There’s not many cakes I miss, but the Battenberg is one of my favourites, and ripe for a bit of veganisation. And since it’s my birthday I thought why the hell not!

birthday battenberg

It was fairly easy to do in the end. I just made a batch of the vanilla cupcake mix from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, split it into two batches, mixed some pink food colouring in one of them, then put them in two lined cake tins and baked as directed.

battenberg, slice

Once they’re done all you’ve got to do is roll out some marzipan into a thin sheet, give it a light coating of apricot jam, slice the two sponges into square ended oblongs, and construct them in a checker-board pattern on the marzipan, using apricot jam between the layers to hold it together.

blow!

Finally wrap the marzipan around the sponge, slice off the excess, dust with icing sugar to combat the general stickiness, et voila! one battenberg. Then all you’ve got to do is make a wish and eat it quick. Tastes just like Mr Kipling used to make. 🙂

Got a pretty decent haul of pressies this year too.

birthday haul

From left to right: a t-shirt from my twin brother, a book, some mini silicon bun-cases from Sabera, a punky mug from Regine, some vegan fudge from Mrs Mu and Bean, and a meditation CD from Carolina. The book is my present to myself. It’s The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first Fighting Fantasy book I ever bought when I was a kid, and the only one I never managed to complete. But now, 20-odd years later, perhaps I’ve got the nounce to finally beat it. I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!

Week 25: In which our hero lists some stuff, does some stuff, and wins something

Ok, so what have I been up to this week? Well, after my lack lustre performance last week I’ve had my nose to the grindstone… a bit. So here goes;

First, I made a big list of “Every Idea I’ve Ever Had”. This didn’t take long, I’m sorry to say. Actually it took longer than I expected. Put down on paper it seems I’ve done quite a bit of thinking over the years. Most of it was rubbish like, as is always the way, but the good stuff is pretty good.

It was fun to revisit some old ideas, but many of them had to be discarded as they’re just not interesting any more, or technology had left them behind. Like ‘End of the roll’ for example – a collection of photos that people have taken to finish off a roll of film just so they can get it processed. Everyone uses digital these days, so there are no end of the roll photos anymore! A loss, I think.

However, many of the ideas still have great potential, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t list them here. You will be apprised of any progress as and when it happens. For now let me summarise my lisitng efforts thus: 4 product design ideas, 3 business ideas, 2 video ideas, 6 book ideas (including 1 potential series) and feature length 7 movie ideas.

The purpose of making the list is so I can select the best ideas, the ones with legs, and really start to run with them. I realised last week that, if I really want a Brand New Life, I need to be doing something new every week, not just every now and then. I need to be creating something, or writing something, or coming up with a recipe; something tangible that advances me forward in my attempts to do something new! To that end…

satan soundtrack cover

I did a couple of things this week. First was the artwork for my as yet unwritten horror comedy Fuck You, Satan! Don’t worry, this isn’t my thing for the week, this I just did to amuse myself. Actually I think it came out kinda nice. I also did a disc design which makes me smile too. 🙂

If you’re interested, here’s a download of the playlist.

My thing this week was writing a step outline for Apogee/Perigee, a script idea I have about a boy who never talks. It opens with someone getting killed, and there’s a wolf in it, and that’s all I’m saying about it right now. This will be my art-house movie, my usual stuff being very commercial (and that’s how I like it). I won’t be coming up with a soundtrack for this one, as Fever Ray’s first album is all the soundtrack I need. If you want to see what I mean check out the video (incidentally, one of the most mesmerising videos I’ve ever seen!).

It will be a beautiful movie when it’s done. Hopefully I’ll get to direct it myself, once I’ve made a few quid selling scripts, and have a bit of a reputation. It’ll take me off in a new direction; the thoughtful, compassionate, critically acclaimed part of my career.

Remember all those competitions I was entering? Well, I finally won something! Just a tenner, but it’s the first time I’ve ever won anything on the National Lottery ever! Seriously. I once won £3 on some scratch-cards once, but that was when I bought 20 in a row thinking buying a batch would give me a better chance of winning. Technically it did I suppose, but the return on the investment wasn’t up to much, so I abandoned that strategy and never bought scratch-cards again.

But this time I won a tenner, after playing the same numbers both Wednesday and Saturday for 4 weeks. Collected the winnings today and immediately reinvested £8 in some more numbers for 4 weeks. If this keeps up I’ll be rich by the time I’m 40, hahaha.

And to finish this week, here’s a video that really made me laugh. Enjoy! 🙂