Farm house near Girona, Spain. Rioja, wild pigs and inflatable catapillars


New Wembley (and Muse)

Fish spent most of last weekend in the Gallery selling glass, including a commission which should go some way to paying for the lake of Rioja we consumed the week before in Spain. I took Alice and Jake to see Muse at the new Wembley. The gig was great*, but the new stadium is fantastic, all memories of the dank smelly hole it was before have been wiped away by a huge light and airy space, more bars than you can shake an inflated plastic stick at, in fact despite it being a sell out, there appeared more staff than punters at times. £3.50 a pint is not sooo bad albeit in a West End style. The food was also good compared to stadiams of old, but still only at a 'good' motorway service station level. 786072-875530-thumbnail.jpg786072-875528-thumbnail.jpg786072-875523-thumbnail.jpg

* = Actually, Muse (pictures HERE) were real value for money. Completely over the top in a bombastic queen like sing-a-long way. Mike Skinner of The Streets was a total surprise, real show man with a great sense of occasion, really caught the mood of the crowd. Dirty Pretty Things, were manic, did there stuff, nice matching shirts as well. Rodrigo y Gabriela, totally barking Mexico couple, doing insane things with guitars, great.


Fish online (at last)

fishG1.png786072-830668-thumbnail.jpgAfter much prodding the fish has finally put her rather amazing glass work on line. It is a brief outline of the slumped or kiln fired glass pieces she has been making with her new business fishG2.png partner Tracy. Annie has just started producing a sequence of panels made with flowers and leafs sandwiched between layers of thin cut glass. Which once fired in a kiln all goes really weird, beautiful weird of course.

A busy month (or two)


Dublin La Stampa

Staying in a very pleasant hotel called la Stampa. Sort of 'far eastern' hideaway meets Malmasion in a Dublin town house. Very grand bar on the ground floor.


10 Minutes of London weather


It is said moaning about the weather is in built into the genes of the English*, me? I just love the unpredictability, this sequence of photos from our office window covers just 10 minutes this afternoon around 4pm.

Note shot one, plague of locust style black sky with bright sunshine in foreground, shot two, full white out blizzard, building has turned all there lights on, finally a few minutes later, what else but bright sunshine?

* = The Scots, Welsh and of course the Irish just get on with it. This due to slightly less variety but a tad more intensity.


Late birthday party

Had a great birthday get together in Scarborough at the weekend. 40 odd years late but my brother Jason finally got his joint birthday party.  12 months on from finding my  birth mother and  a whole new extended family. Life is starting to return to normal albeit with a stack of extra birthdays to remember.


Its my Birthday, yip yip


Wow another year gone, might be worth having a calmer one this time round.

This year rather than the all night party or drunken adventure on Eurostar, Fish and myself are spending the afternoon with Jakes headmaster discussing yet another case of bullying. Followed by a night in the pub? nope, late night getting ready for a big meeting tomorrow. Like I said, even I get older at some point.


We've come a long way

GameOn1.png  Went to the do Game On exhibition at the Science Museum. Huge fun, history of gaming over the last 20 odd years from chasing the mono dots of Pong to waving plastic Wiii wands in the air. Its been an amazing journey for someone of my age. Alice and Jake just found the games of the 80's 'weird' and in no way odd we have moved into Sims2 handheld world.  GameOnn2.png

Preparation is everything

How long does it take to leave the house once you've all agreed you're up/dressed and ready. 10 minutes? 20? nope, two hours!! even by the standards of the chaotic Slade household this was really going some. Mind you the total equation was 2 children, 1 adult and 3 bikes (not used since last summer), oh and a bottle of water.

Once out we did all have a great time cycling to Battersea Park, even had time to stop off at the pretty good Prince Albert for refreshments (London Pride bit iffy, on its way out, Broadside fab)


The guns of Clapham

The only real beef I have about living in Clapham is slightly too many braying city boys in the pubs. So finding I'm living amongst gun tootin' teens (sic The Sun) is something of a surprise.

The extremely sad news of these last few weeks has been made all the worse for the slightly predictable media coverage. The subjects of: guns/robbery/drugs, is the stable of most Sunday night crime thrillers, add teenagers into the mix, what media organisation could resist running a: 'underneath the gloss lies a sordid under belly' story. I guess the Sunday Supps' are spending today getting suitably grubby pictures from the Clapham 'hood, either that or just downloading stills from youtube of sarf London yoof.

the Sun.png 


Spies at the Science Museum

786072-672764-thumbnail.jpg786072-672780-thumbnail.jpg Took Jake to the new Spy exhibition, very Alex Rider meets the young James Bond. lots to do and if you avoid the crowds low on stress. Best bit for me was the shop at the end, normally some tacky exploitation to fleece the last of your cash, but this had been handled with real wit and humour, spy-like brief cases held stock while lighting was provided by angle-poise lamps, simple but effective. the show has a fairly decent web site as well. Not masses of 'science' explained but loads of entertainment. Almost worth the £18 to get in. The main bit of the Science Museum is free and as stunning as ever.-although the shop was looking alittle tatty today.

Good coffee, cold walk

Clapham Common band stand cafe, what was a scruffy little hut serving 'hot' drinks from institute style urns has been transformed into a really charming place serving not just good but stunningly great coffee. Clapham is some what awash coffee.png with options for fairly decent coffee but these boys really get it right. Slide set of the rather chilly walk that preceded it here.

Tardy writing -my fault

There is a load of stuff to put here after two epically busy weekends and a whole bunch of snow today, Bike covered so had to use the horror that is the Northern Line. Pictures tomorrow.


Lost & Found

786072-651695-thumbnail.jpg786072-651698-thumbnail.jpg786072-651700-thumbnail.jpg Wandering around London this weekend I came across part of a bus and a giant pig made of wood. All rather odd, also noticed this view of London Bridge, been past it a million times before but never really noticed the patterns the other bridges make from this angle.

London at a stand still

London was in chaos today, not bombs this time, just 5mm of snow, utterly incredible.

What if it really snowed?786072-645213-thumbnail.jpg786072-645215-thumbnail.jpg


Museum in Docklands

786072-633619-thumbnail.jpg There is a fab museum in the Docklands that covers the Thames and its effect on London's history. Its part of the Museum of London group. It starts with all the standard school boy Roman stuff but develops across stacks of other exhibits. From the battle of fortress Wapping to the Olympics. Its all housed in a huge786072-633682-thumbnail.jpg warehouse space on a quay in Canary Wharf. You can wander amongst some fab mockups of Thames side life and hear spoken word testimonies, all very atmospheric. As a counter point theres a kids area where you can pull ropes and load barges, but Jakes favorite was the working flood plain plus build a dam section (water & sand, indoors!)

The entrance is in a row of (at the weekend at least) spectacularly empty bars and restaurants. Jake and786072-633677-thumbnail.jpg myself would have stayed longer but the unique weather system that Canary Wharf generates ment we were blown back to the car park. Short photo set HERE


Professor Piehead USA


I got my name 'Piehead' during my Saatchi days when a number of 'japes' ended in fire 'incidents'. Seems like the legend that was the Viz cartoon Professor Piehead lives on in the States as this post on a Honda modders site proves. How to deal with a swarm of bees in 10 EASY STEPS. My only observation would be I would have probably gone for the fire option a bit sooner! if the pictures don't load try this LINK as an alternative.


Family Tour


AlicePhilipFish.jpgWe had some fab get togethers over the seasonal break.

As I am bucking the trend for people of my age by increasing the the size of my family. This Christmas was a logistical nightmare but we did it almost without a hiccup! We managed: Devon/London/Sheffield/York/Scarborough. In doing so we just about kept the old and new parts of the family happy, we did however have to skip seeing a number of our mates (sorry Pyes, Pratts etc)


The Pogues

We had a family outing to Brixton Academy to see The Pouges. Very festive. Sort of like panto but with vast amounts of Guinness.

About to hand my laptop in for its annual service. back in the New Year