Discover more from The Spaces in Between
Issue #170 - The Spaces in Between
Summer Micro Issue #6 - Beaches
Just like last year, I’ll be taking a break over the next four or five issues, so this is a shorter issue than would normally drop into your inbox. I hope that you enjoy this selection of links and pics, feel free to get in touch, and look forward to catching up later in the summer.
We’re almost at the end of our time in the UK and just a few days to go until we catch a flight back home to Pittsburgh. We’re finally caught up, firmly in the present day than the time-traveling issues of the past three weeks.
It has been lovely spending time with family and friends, we’ve done so many things and as always we’ve missed a few people that we hoped we’d catch up with, but really it is such a rush, apologies if you’re one of those. It is time though, we’re looking forward to home comforts, the boys want their own rooms again, I need my pillow, and we all want to enjoy the summer things, jump in the lake, have a few drinks with friends, and get out on the trails.
This week in Wales we managed a walk along the clifftop, a few sea swims, good food, and even some time reading and dozing off. I finished my summer reads, the first (serious) We are Bellingcat, written by Elliot Higgins, about the rise of citizen journalism in the wake of the Arab Spring, the war in Syria, the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and the Salisbury poisonings. The books details the methods used to trace, uncover and verify stories using tools that are open and accessible, including YouTube videos, photos, maps, and sources where there are seemingly hundreds of data points, where the Bellingcat team (as they are now) are able to piece together timelines, locations, and expose those responsible for war crimes, assassination attempts, murders, and great many crimes that otherwise would not have surfaced.
The second book (not-serious) was Jarvis Cocker’s Good Pop, Bad Pop, which is a biography and rummage through boxes in the attic to find memorabilia, artifacts, objects that tell a story about the early years of growing up in Sheffield and forming Pulp. This was a band whose first line-up performed in 1978 but only found suggest some twenty years later when the magic formula of Barry White, Scott Walker, and gritty northern realism finally produced the band we now know for hits like “Common People” and “Do you remember the first time?”. There are so many (good) pop references, and even a playlist that includes some of those mentioned and cited as influences. There’s so much humor in Jarvis’ dry delivery, some parts had me cracking up. If you ever get a moment too, have a listen to his ramble chat with Adam Buxton where he also talks about recruiting a Jarvis impersonator on Pulp’s tour, it is brilliant.
The other thing about finishing these books is that they weigh quite a bit, especially the Jarvis’ one, and I’m worried by bag is going to be over and I’ll be charged more. I’ll try and finish one of the French comics that I bought, hopefully that’ll sort it, and maybe I’ll be able to sneak in more things, some souvenirs and presents for people.
We had a busy week in Wales, visited the coast and stayed in a Youth Hostel, spent the day on the rides at Oakwood, including a terrifying rollercoaster where to be honest I just closed my eyes and wished for it to end. We swam and ate ice-cream, we climbed over rocks, and closed our eyes listening to the Ashes (Cricket) on the radio.
On Saturday evening we went to see The Bootleg Beatles, play at Cardigan Castle, they were amazing, totally committed to their roles, and thoroughly entertained. It’s so much fun, knowing all the songs and bringing back so many memories of when the Beatles touched our lives. Fab.
The weather has been on and off in Cardigan, I had a swim Monday and Wednesday, it was freezing getting in, but once through the waves, swimming and bobbing up and down felt okay. The beaches here are stunning and when we walked the coastal path we could see down into tiny coves and slate mines, and across to Cardigan Island and Poppit Sands. I could end up here, or by the sea in Littlehampton when we return to West Sussex, wherever, it’s lovely to be by the sea, looking out across the water, watching the colors change, the clouds and waves.
We have also enjoyed more flavorsome food, I’m not saying that you can’t find it in Pittsburgh, but cheap food from the supermarkets isn’t very fresh, strawberries and raspberries are watery, they don’t pop with delicious perfume like they do here. Ever the bread tastes better, although I did treat myself to some crispy loaves made fresh in Bara Menyn (translates as daily bread).
TV is also better, there are shows here that are intelligent, well-made and thoughtful, that are just harder to find in the US. Jarvis would say much bad pop has infected people’s tastes, culture that is cynically made, created to harvest views, rather than nurture interests. As I tell people, America has all the good stuff too, you just have to dive down and try to avoid that greasy layer of floating scum that sits on the surface. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but you get what I mean.
So, last few days, just time to have a look at our house that we still rent out, and see a few people. Despite what I just said, I am looking forward to getting back, I have a long list of work things to catch up on and already thinking and the things we’re going to do. Thoughts are already turning to having a clear out, tidying my office, getting rid of a few things (maybe our first yard sale), and to work where I have a few ongoing projects, planning, writing and catching up to do. I’m looking forward to drawing and making, maybe time for printmaking and learning to paint. I have a 3D course that I need finish up, and ideas for new films and experiences, ready to go.
Time to pack our bags, see you next week.