Doctor Woods home movies – Introduction

Of course the longer you leave recorded ‘things’ (film, video, photographs), the harder it is to remember/find out ‘facts’ about them later.  Screening/viewing them often helps a bit, but they don’t carry (much) metadata with them, especially after the creator of the ‘things’ dies. Or the custodian loses their mind. There is something reassuring however, in that they gain historical value and wider interest because they’ve stayed their in the archive box unseen for years. And because in the case of film, if they’ve been un-screened, un-played and un-scanned they’ve usually maintained their physical quality. There’s drying, and shrinkage which means you can’t project them, they twist so even a hand wind film viewer stresses them (digital scans are kinder).  The vinegar syndrome has started to attack these particular Standard 8mm examples, and yesterday, while I was editing-handling the reels, the fumes got to me. Headaches and (even more than usual) blurred eyes. That’s something you can slow down but not stop, so there’s a deadline attached to that cardboard box. Continue reading “Doctor Woods home movies – Introduction”

It’s a fantasy as old as Genesis:

with a big enough flood, one gets to start over completely. All of Noah’s bad credit and debts, the embarrassing things his coworkers know about him, the lies he told his first girlfriend and never got around to correcting—all those vanish with enough rain and destruction.

From The Believer magazine on what we are forgetting in our attraction to apocalyptic movies/literature – the aftermath is always messier than we want.


When I asked the waiter what the birds were, circling above the old walls over our balcony table view in Spello, he shrugged, rolled his eyes and said he didn’t know, “Even what they are called in Italian?” I asked disbelieving. Nope. Now I’ve found they’re ‘Western’ jackdaws, Google says in Italian they’re ‘taccola’. If you decide to call them rooks, it is ‘corvi’, (crows are ‘corvo’).

Continue reading “Jackdaws”

The Journal of Albion Moonlight and Kenneth Patchen

“Carol wants me to write a novel: ‘You’ve met so many interesting people,’ she tells me.
Very good, there was a young man and he could never get his hands on enough women.  That’s a novel.
There was an idiot and he became God. That’s the same novel.  I can’t possibly think of any others.

It is rather pleasant to be the author of two such excellent novels.  The critics are divided in their opinions.  One lot believes that they should be shorter; another not, that they should be a mite longer.  I rather prefer short critics to long ones.  I like critics with tan shoes — look nicer, I think. . .”

-From The Journal Of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth Patchen, Continue reading “The Journal of Albion Moonlight and Kenneth Patchen”

Digital Feng Shui – May 1998

A New Age Guide to Monitor Alignment

This was written for the series of <Thinktag> columns I did for Firmware, this was May 1998 when you could brag about a 21 inch screen.

I’ve just bought a new 21 inch monitor. And before I go further, I must tell you that I’m quite happy with its image quality. Monitors being the ubiquitous peripherals that they are, I didn’t need the slim multi-lingual manual that came with it to install it. Continue reading “Digital Feng Shui – May 1998”

A Travelling Camera – Photobooks

I make photobooks, and not just because I’m an old ink on paper person (there were those forest destroying magazines for example).  There are many that are personal gifts for friends, those I create and give and never look at again. These photobooks here were made as albums of personal images from special holidays. They’re piling up on the coffee table so they need to be stored online as well (coffee tables catch fire etc.) I usually took video at the same time, hours of it which I find hard to edit, so these are used to aid memory, usually about the extensive eating and drinking they contain.

Continue reading “A Travelling Camera – Photobooks”

Magnets, rust and shaky cameras

Neil Young is a keen filmmaker and when he is the cinematographer on a project, he lists his name in the credits as Bernard Shakey. Here’s a showreel I assembled when I could see and hold the camera steady. There’s no singing, you’ll get a feel for my regional food interests and some of the commercial work I used to do. If that’s not enough, there’s now a selected YouTube gallery page here on as well. Continue reading “Magnets, rust and shaky cameras”