Embassy Court restoration: Bluestorm is inviting the people of Brighton and Hove to join residents at an event called Vive Moderne on Saturday to celebrate the completion of restoration work on Wells Coates' block of flats. Unfortunately I'll be Up North at a wedding! Yesterday, trolled along to Bona Foodie for a veggie pasty, but none were available because of the bank holiday. Made do instead with a vegetable pie from the pie shop on Baker Street (now there's a strange street full of odd shops!) - quite acceptable for 95p, despite the uninspired filling of broccoli and carrots in a tomato sauce. Served with steamed spring greens, reduced to 34p from the Co-op.


Here come the pie shops

Here come the pie shops, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Here come the pie shops. Gardner Street alone now has (or will soon have) three! First was Pokeno Pies - it seems only yesterday that the Cornish Pasty shop opened in Duke Street, now they're everywhere! One day I'll try to document the shops that come and go in the North Laine, which won't be easy since the demise of street directories like Kelly's (superseded by the phone books, I suppose?). I love pies and pasties, tho not eating meat, ones for me are hard to find. And I've never liked cheese and onion ('do I have to spell it out?'). Saisbury's used to do a lovely Savoury Pasty but it's gone now. The only place I've seen with a decent pasty is Bona Foodie in Kemp Town (and now Hove, actually). I also miss suet puddings (and faggots in gravy). I did have a gorgeous suet pud one Xmas at Terre a Terre, filled with wild mushrooms and dark gravy, a bit like this recipe. BTW went on a Clarion bike ride yesterday and ended up at a pub with a carvery! Did manage to negotiate a meat-free meal, and was treated to a plate of English over-boiled veg (but the Yorkshire pud, stuffing and roast potatoes were very welcome)!


EPIC 2014: thought-provoking film about the future of the net and the end of journalism as we know it.


Brunswick Festival

Brunswick Festival, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Popped along to the Brunswick Festival in Hove this affy to meet up with some chums down from London - didn't even know it was on! Bought some weird vegetables.


The route taken searching for the Burry Man.

Edinburgh festival

Edinburgh festival, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Just got back from a week in Auld Reekie during the festival. Highlight was seeing the last night of Fawn Again by John Shuttleworth where he sang 'Can't go back to Savoury now' amongst others in a slightly shorter show than the one I saw in Brighton (that's the Edinburgh Festival for ya!). Guess who was in the queue, standing right behind us? Jim (3-2-1 Bullseye) Bowen! So that's where he gets his jokes – there is a facial resemblence too! Also saw a preview (not the premiere) of It's nice up North, the collaboration between John and Martin Parr. Graham Fellows made a rare public appearance to introduce it, saying the DVD of the latest cut was still burning. So we got half of an old version then after much fast forwarding, the second half of a newer version.

Martin Parr was only there on 'celluloid', but I saw him in person at the National Gallery giving a free talk about his work and collections of boring postcards and Saddam Hussein watches! I asked how he got on with John Shuttleworth (no mention of the film in his talk) – he said they were great friends. Phew! That's a relief.

Another highlight was a visit to the Thermos Museum in the New Kirkgate Shopping Centre in Leith. Catch it if you can – curator Neil Davidson and his lady assistant are saving up for a tent to take it touring. Local scientist James Dewar invented the vacuum flask.

Finally we saw the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at the Pleasance – great heart-warming gig. Highly recommended – and there's a free badge! That swung it for me.

Also saw the Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Dean (crowded!), the Bacon exhibition at the Modern Art museum (boring), and various other art exhibitions. Saw The Odd Couple in the Assembly Hall (not the Rooms!), with Alan Davies and Bill Bailey (and a few others!) which was much better than the critics said. Simon Munnery at the Stand was great, as usual; and Daniel Kitson was hugely entertaining (but expensive) at the Traverse with his stories for the lonely. His delivery reminded me of John Peel, and he didn't say cunt once. He must be after a radio show! The Ceasar Twins (a spin off from La Clique, which we couldn't get tickets for) were really one for the ladies – impressive but cheesy. The free comedy with Peter Buckley Hill at the Canon's Gait [or is that the Canons' Gait] can't be faulted – it's free and the beer's good – only one poor sod lost it, the others were very good (Bennett Arron and Patrick Monahan were the best two). Much better value than the Comedy Zone at the Pleasance, which we had to pay for and only 2 of the 4 comedians (Mark Oliver and Matt Green) were funny.

Low point was our fruitless search for the Burry Man at South Queensferry last Friday. Despite schlepping up and down the High Street, there was no sign and we had to run for the train at Dalmeny to catch John Shuttlworth at the Pleasance! (We also didn't see Rebus at the Oxford Bar!) Next year maybe...



Brighton Pride

pride1, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

A few snaps from Brighton Pride. People kept getting in the way! Shame about the weather.

Building site graffiti shows off hip hop artists' work: "The largest collection of graffiti artists ever assembled in the UK descended on the city at the weekend as part of the Brighton Hip Hop Festival."


Woo! Yay! The new (4th) edition of my book Production for graphic designers is Book of the Month in Computer Arts magazine. Get it here.


Barratt sales centre

Barratt sales centre, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

A Des Res in Central Brighton - have you got any country cottages like yours? No, we only do flats (aka luxury apartments)!

City Point

Like those going up over there...

Hemp ice cream

Meanwhile, in the Bohemian North Laine Quarter (how many quarters can a city have? more than four?), Vegan ice 'cream' from The Hemp Shop, Gardner Street, Brighton sold from recumbent bike.