Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Spring in Hackney

April in Southern England usually doesn't get warmer than the high teens (that's celcius kids) so you can imagine how delicious it's been the last two sun-saturated weekends with the temperature going as high as 27 degrees. It's like June, in Spain. The Bluebells were out two weeks early in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex (Winnie the Pooh territory FYI) and back in London the view in all directions was suddenly heaving with greenery.

We did a lot of garden related tidying up, well, Rob did it mostly as it involved sorting out the wooden furniture with it's annual weather proofing facelift, fixing the sun umbrella, mowing the lawn, trimming plants and filling sacks with weeds and stuff. I managed to sit on a sun lounger and read a magazine cover-to-cover in between making marinades for BBQ items.

The best bit was getting two rolls of copper tape in the post (£8 from eBay) which means this years lettuce project is off to a flying start. Or maybe my reputation as a snail assassin has reached the corners of our garden. Either way, the snails are being shy.

Saturday, 9 April 2011



Many years ago I worked in radio doing studio work and occasionally outside broadcasts, as well as the live sound for bands. I could work a mixing desk, EQ a room and know how to mic up an orchestra. You'd think I'd be more militant about audio quality. Alas, it took a visit from a friend who records bands for a living to point out how bad it was that one of my speakers resides on the floor. I had half heartedly decided to get speaker stands ages ago, but as they're all so ugly I kept putting it off.

It turns out that the marble base on my Arco lamp is actually big enough to accommodate the stray speaker. Since elevating it, the music really does sound indescribably better! Embarrasingly so. I thought I needed to be standing between the two speakers to hear things properly but nope, with both at the same height it doesn't matter where you're standing. I take this opportunity apologise to all the friends and DJs who've endured parties and BBQs with that speaker on the floor. And I apologise to Castiglioni for turning his lamp into a speaker stand.