Alarms and Diversions

I had intended to return to posting about book-related things this Sunday, but that changed when the furnace came on last Monday morning and started making a terrible noise. A man came to assess the problem on Tuesday afternoon. The furnace would not make the sound for him, but given the age of our high efficiency furnace he found several impending problems. Replacement is cheaper than repair (in the long run) and since we were able to catch the tail end of a reduced rate on the model we wanted, we will pay about the same amount as we paid thirteen years ago for the current furnace. Not bad.

Unfortunately, installation of the new furnace and the accompanying vacuuming of all the duct work means that workmen have to have easy access to all parts of the house.

We live in a very small house full of stuff. David and I have spent the week rationalising (read ‘throwing out’) things in the basement. If we were going to have to move things around anyway, we might as well get rid of some excess. (I am fully aware that, possibly as soon as next week, I will be regretting the decision to discard at least one item.) This pile is a condensed version of my completed editions remaining for sale, some bits and pieces from unfinished editions, and empty boxes/packing materials for shipping orders.

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Friday Night Flicks: How To Catch A Bird

Tonight’s haunting little stop motion short was made by Vera van Wolferen as her MA in Animation graduation film at AKV St. Joost Breda.



You might want to spend part of your weekend viewing more of her videos here, looking at her website here, or checking out her paper sculptures on display until the end of October at “the world’s most beautiful bookstore“.

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Last Leg(s)

I will be somewhere over Greenland or parts west when this post goes live. Due to erratic (or non-existant) internet recently, much of the story will remain untold until next week. In the meantime here are a few more images from the last part of our walk:

from the day we walked up from Patterdale and around Brotherswater,

part of the walk from Pooley Bridge to Haweswater,

classic footpath sign in front of baled bracken,

the Haweswater Hotel (you can just see the window of our room on the first floor above the shrubbery),

the view from our room,

and finally, one of England’s rare and elusive mammals, the red squirrel. The Haweswater Hotel plays host to at least three of them.

Back to normal posting next Sunday!

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Friday Night Flicks: Adelene Koh

It’s been quite a while since Friday Night Flicks has profiled a book binder. Tonight’s video is an introduction to Adelene Koh of Singapore. Her comments are thoughtful, and perhaps even inspirational.



If you pick up an old book this weekend, perhaps you will think about the history of the physical volume as well as the contents.

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Further along

We had a few days in Coniston. We took the Steam Yacht Gondola to the end of the lake, debarked at Parkamoor Jetty, then walked to Brantwood, former home of John Ruskin.

A view from the front door of Brantwood.

A display of some of Ruskin’s early drawings of Italy.

There were some books in the gift shop. The Beatrix Potter story books can be found throughout The Lake District, but Arthur Ransome‘s Swallows and Amazons series starts on Coniston Water.

Here’s the guest house Ransome stayed in when he wrote the first book. We walked past it on the way back to Coniston.

Over the next few days we walked up from Coniston through Little Langdale and into Great Langdale to stay at The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, then over Stake Pass into Borrowdale to get to The Royal Oak in Rosthwaite.

This is what the view is like part way up Stake Pass.

This is the view coming down the other side into Borrowdale. You can see a loop of the zigzag footpath down the very steep hillside about a third of the way from the bottom of the image.

We did another steep walk the next day:

View of Derwentwater from Maiden Moor. (Please note: I only took pictures when I was feeling completely secure, so you won’t see the really frightening bits.)

Saturday we went by bus to Keswick and The Cumberland Pencil Museum. You can see the derelict pencil factory in the background. The pencils are now made in a new factory in Lillyhall, where I imagine it is easier for workers to find affordable housing.

It is obviously necessary to include a picture of the world’s largest pencil, one of the featured displays in the museum.

I have not included any images of the tempting coloured pencils in the museum shop, but I am sure you can imagine using them to reproduce the rainbow I found outside.

We spent a little while in Keswick. It was crowded because it was Saturday and the morning had been wet and it was Market Day.

We then caught a bus to Patterdale and walked a short distance to our B&B. Our hostess had predicted sunshine for our arrival, and she was right.

As I am writing this, David is out for a walk to look at Aira Force (a waterfall) and there is a fell-running race in progress. I will close with a quick sequence of images shot from the B&B window.

The little bright spots in the first and third pictures are the reflections of the ceiling light in our room, not a glimpse of the sun.

Perhaps I will just stay in and knit this afternoon.

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Friday Night Flicks: The Cumberland Pencil Museum

In December of 2015, Storm Desmond dropped incredible amounts of water in parts of northern England and Scotland. Cumbria (and the Lake District) were hard hit. Flood defences built after the devastating water levels reached in 2008, and believed to be impregnable, were insufficient to control the rainy torrents produced by Storm Desmond.

Tonight’s first flick is BBC footage of some of the devastation in the Lake District, including Keswick.



This is a picture of The Cumberland Pencil Museum from across the river during a period of dry autumn weather.

This image shows the building from the other side during the flooding.

The pink pointy finger indicates the museum building, the yellow indicates the flood barrier and the green points at the River Greta. The museum already has water above the level of the doors, and it got worse. The building was damaged and some of the contents were destroyed. The good news is that the museum has re-built and re-opened, so we will be able to make our traditional visit to the Pencil Museum tomorrow.

Here’s a video recorded before the flooding:



Perhaps you will draw or write something with a pencil this weekend, or you could just watch another video about a visit to the Cumberland Pencil Museum here.

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A little travelling

I am composing this post on my iPad, which is unfamiliar technology for the job. My apologies in advance for any resulting aberrations.

We have been in England for a week. David helped his brother move his refurbished MG tb engine and attach it to the re-built frame.

We went to Bletchley Park

and saw both the Bombe

and the Colossus.

As I have been interested in codes and cyphers since childhood, I found the stories of breaking the Enigma and Lorenz codes fascinating.

I did manage to photograph one bookish thing before leaving Oxford to travel to The Lake District. This bench was in a park on the way to the train station.

We spent two nights in Hawkshead, and managed to get in a bit of local walking. This is Tarn Hows.

It was raining when I took the photo, so things were actually dimmer than in the picture.

The only bookish thing about Hawkshead were a number of shops featuring Beatrix Potter-related stock. Here’s one close to where we were staying.

Saturday morning we walked to Coniston, then part way up The Old Man of Coniston in the afternoon. It never actually rained where we were, but we stayed below the clouds.

The only Beatrix Potter-related thing around Coniston are my favourite sheep, the Herdwicks, a breed that she helped save from extinction.

The lambs are black, and then grow lighter and lighter as they age. I like Herdies because they seem to be smarter than other sheep … but they may just be calmer.

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Friday Night Flicks: Typography

Tonight’s flick is a student animation of a poem by Taylor Mali. I love this poem, and Ronnie Bruce does a fine job of presenting the text visually.



If you want to re-read the text of the poem, you can find it here. (I defy you to hear it in your head in anything other than the voice of the author after watching the video.) If you want to spend  time this weekend learning more about Taylor Mali, his website is here. (I’m sure he’d be happy to sell you a T-shirt.)

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The Bicycle Race Books Complete

We finished the twenty copies of The Mexican Bicycle Race this week. David trimmed head and foot, four at a time because I am still a little anxious about slippage when using Ko-Ko.

I cut one-and-a-half inch wide strips of the paste paper we had chosen,

then cut the strips into squares.

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Friday Night Flicks: Fresh Guacamole and Honda “Paper” by PES

Last week’s flicks featured some of the earliest forms of animation. Tonight’s two videos feature work by contemporary stop-motion animator PES.

Fresh Guacamole, at a total length of one minute and forty seconds, is the shortest film ever nominated for an Academy Award.



Slightly longer (one minute, fifty seven seconds), there were no Academy nominations for  Honda “Paper” since it is an advertisement. It did get lots of recognition.

2016 Emmy® Award Nomination – Outstanding Commercial of 2016 – Honda “Paper”
2016 Cannes Lions – Gold Lion – Design/Animation – Honda “Paper”
2016 Cannes Lions – Silver Lion – Craft/Animation – Honda “Paper”
2016 Cannes Lions – Bronze Lion – Sound Design – Honda “Paper”
2016 AICP Show – Gold – Animation – Honda “Paper”
2016 Honda “Paper” added to The Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection
2016 D&AD Awards – Graphite Pencil – Animation – Honda “Paper”
2016 The One Show – Gold Pencil – Animation – Honda “Paper”
2016 Andy Awards – Gold – Animation – Honda “Paper”
2016 ADDY Awards “Best in Show” – Honda “Paper”
2016 The One Show ‘Automotive Advertising of the Year’ Award – Honda “Paper”
2015 Honda “Paper” selected to permanent collection at The Louvre’s Museum of Advertising



If you want to spend part of your week-end watching more excellent stop motion videos, you can check out PES’s YouTube Channel.

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