Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A Welsh Whitewashed Cottage

The whitewashed end to this Welsh cottage was part of my childhood. It had electricity, but not water. A chemical toilet in the stinging-nettle garden, no bathroom, two small bedrooms and a tiny kitchen at the bottom of the stairs. My parents rented it for one shilling and sixpence a week, or seven and a half new pence. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Road to Nowhere.

The Road to Nowhere, a short story by Simon Bor, is available to read HERE.

Some strong language is used.

The previous blog entry, documenting the inspiration of this story, can be found HERE.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Instant Magic; My Polaroid days.

My first instant camera, taken by my iPhone, my latest instant camera.

I started making animated films while still at school. Cutout films were produced in my back garden with my Standard 8mm and later, Super 8 home movie cameras, and featured changing lighting conditions and gusts of wind that blew legs and arms away from my characters.

While I waited ten days for the results to come back from Kodak, I would create a more instant form of storytelling. My Polaroid camera was used to take stills to illustrate my early storytelling. They are far too embarrassing to publish, but still exist. Looking at these small black and white photos, I can still recall the excitement as, aided by the waft of chemical, I peeled back the grey paper to reveal my latest attempt at photography. And they haven't even faded after forty years.

Monday, 14 May 2012

New homes occupied five years after building

This is an update to a previous story on the blog.

In The first swallow of 2012, I told of how we were required to build nesting ledges for swallows, when converting our barn five years ago. There are a dozen of these ledges, and for the first time, one of them is in use this year.

We have about five or six breeding pairs of swallows this year, around the same number as last year, and hope that more ledges will be used over the next few years.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sounds from Vinyl Groves

Plain-paper-wrapped vinyl 45 rpm singles were part of my youth.

It started with "She Loves You" by the Beatles, bought for me by my father after Beatlemania  reached my primary school in Wales.

The first record I bought for my self was "The Last Train to Clarkesville" by the Monkees.

As the drug scene of the sixties got its hold on pop music, my parents dissuaded me from buying records, but by the early seventies collections of singles by Slade, T-Rex, Wizzard and Roxy Music started to grow in my bedroom, augmented by LPs from former Beatles, Focus, Eno, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Doctor Feelgood.

By the mid seventies, the plain wrappers started to be replaced by printed designs. At first just for special releases, but soon this was to be the norm.

Then there was punk from The Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash and The Stranglers. The DIY era of the 45 had arrived. Soon my family was involved in the industry. My brother's band "The Users" releasing a couple of singles, then my sister's group "Dolly Mixture" releasing a string of singles before hitting No1 as backing vocals to Captain Sensible's "Happy Talk".

The last single I bought was "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, but I continued to buy LPs throughout the eighties until the fateful day when the new CD player was installed. The age of crackles, skipped groves and fluffy needles was over.

Out of my head

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