• Category Archives Canal
  • Underground Manchester- under Great Northern and G-Mex

    Underground Manchester

    On Sunday a few of us went on an organised tour of old canal tunnels and air raid shelters under the Great Northern warehouse and G-Mex (now Manchester Central, back to the original station’s name). It was a short but fascinating glimpse of a piece of industrial history.

    Experimenting with longer exposures gave a few good results.

    Underground Manchester

    Underground Manchester

    Relying on the flash gave far grainier pictures, but some shots I didn’t have the time to set up a long exposure.

    Underground Manchester

    There are more pictures in my Underground Manchester set on Flickr, and Ickle has a few as well.

    I believe this is the Irwell end of the canal we were exploring.

    Dead end lock

    After the tour I tried a few long shots of the Central Library.

    Manchester Cenral Library


  • Capturing light with chemicals? What an odd idea.


    Icy Canal, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

    As I was heading off to Hogmoney I couldn’t find my digital camera anywhere. However, I did have my old APS camera and a lot of out of date film.

    The thing about film is that you’re aware there’s a limit on the number of shots you can take with it. So I was wary of the APS and most of my Hog pictures were taken on my phone. I took a few wintery shots and finally finished the roll at the Ida Maria gig earlier this month.

    My little APS has never been happy with the dark- low light photos have always had a lot of noise in them- so the excessive grain probably isn’t down to the fact the film was supposed to be used in 2005.

    I have a few more rolls of film, APS and 35mm, lying around and I may use them up as well. So I’ve created a 2009 On Film set on Flickr.


  • Dead end lock


    Dead end lock, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

    I don’t know if this canal spur, by the Victoria and Albert hotel and across the road from Granada studios, used to go further or if it was a loading dock.


  • Salford, so much to answer for

    I met my love by the gas works wall
    Dreamed a dream by the old canal
    Kissed a girl by the factory wall
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town

    Clouds a drifting across the moon
    Cats a prowling on their beat
    Spring’s a girl in the street at night
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town

    Heard a siren from the docks
    Saw a train set the night on fire
    Smelled the spring on the smoky wind
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town

    I’m going to make me a good sharp axe
    Shining steel tempered in the fire
    Will chop you down like an old dead tree
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town

    I met my love by the gas works wall
    Dreamed a dream by the old canal
    Kissed a girl by the factory wall
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town
    Dirty old town

    Ewan Maccoll – Dirty Old Town


  • Canal boats on Barton Aqueduct

    I have around 200 photos of the aqueduct opening. I may string them together to make an animated gif.


  • Best in the world? You're having a laugh!

    Originally uploaded to Spinneyworld 24/08/05

    Last Monday Spinneyworld sent Clare to the final day of the Third Test as a wandering reporter. Here’s her report-

    The start of the fourth test is approaching, so I shall tell my tale of the final day at Old Trafford. I can definitely say it was worth a tenner! It was even worth getting up stupidly early so I could get the tickets; the tiredness eventually went away with several cups of overpriced tea. Other than tea at £1.50 and beer at £3 (my student stinginess have obviously stayed with me), it was a brilliant day with brilliant people too.

    When I got in, some time after nine, I searched for somewhere to sit. Whilst looking for a spare couple of seats, I almost sat in the no-alcohol area; that would have been scary. I finally found some decent seats but no one sat to the right of me for ages, I thought I must have smelled or something. That was until the excitable Australians came along, in particular Mick aka “Box Head” and his bro Matt aka “Box Head Junior”.

    The sun was shining the cricketers were stretching, could life be better? Before the day started I assumed we were to draw; 10 wickets in one day, against the so called best in the world, not likely! I was going to enjoy a good day’s cricket no matter what the result was and being a pessimist works for me. However contrary to my belief it started well, the first wicket fell pretty quickly – Langer was only in for 42 minutes total. He was caught out by Jones, with a pitiful score of 14 runs. Another supposed batsman Hayden does similarly poorly as Flintoff bowls him out for 36, although he did get a six, which was happily displayed by my new Australian friend. These were the only wickets to fall before lunch; I just kept thinking “damn we should have declared earlier”. Wickets fell at a greater pace after lunch, many thanks to the man Andrew Flintoff; unfortunately Ponting’s fantastic form was giving the Australians a reasonable total. Maybe it’s a good thing we tallied up those extra few before declaring? My mind changed yet again as we experienced a long lull of wicketless dullness. The crowd amused themselves by doing Mexican waves, I had to join in of course. There was a particular patch where they were obviously dull farts and wouldn’t play. They received a “boo” from the crowd each time, followed by a “yay” once they were passed. Maybe this section was the alcohol-free one?

    The home crowd had the hope that Flintoff would do it for us again, there was constant chanting “Su-per, super Fred, super Freddy Flintoff”, it didn’t seem to work. My attempt at turning fate was by making ultimatums with the Australians. We made a deal that if England got a wicket in the next 6 overs I’d get my boobs out. That turned Mick into an England supporter! Every time there was a possibility of a catch or something he’d shout at the top of his voice “Catch IT”. It didn’t work. It did bring about a new deal that if Australia draws he had to run around Canal Street in the nuddy. We explained what Canal Street is famous for. By the time play was stopped for tea there were still 5 wickets to go. We definitely should have declared earlier. Yet hope shone again, it was especially amusing to see Gillespie go for a big 0 from an lbw. He has definitely sucked ass in this test. He used to do well before he had the silly long hair; he was certainly a fantastic bowler, so maybe he’s like an anti-Samson?

    Our pleas to Flintoff paid off as towards the end, he gets Warne out, with the help of Jones. Flintoff gets a bit excited and starts doing acrobatics to celebrate. I went similarly insane when we finally got Ponting out, we were almost there! The last half hour I was on the edge of my seat, one wicket to go. We had the captain out, could we do it? As you probably know the answer was no, giving a slight anti-climax at the end. The Aussies were over the moon, but the mood was generally happy on the other side. It had been a good day’s cricket. Also, if you want to see an Australian run in the nude, be at Canal Street on Friday 26th August!

    That was one of the fantastic things about seeing a game of cricket, I don’t mean nude Australians, I mean that it’s such a friendly atmosphere and no one goes on a killing spree or a huff because their side didn’t win. The closest we had to tension was one guy shouting “Rat Boy” to Ricky Ponting as he received Man of the Match. I was invited to come out for a few drinks with the Aussies, how could I refuse? Now this wouldn’t happen in football, would it (not like I’m bitching about football). Seriously though, please inform me if a Manchester United fan has ever gone for a friendly drink with a Manchester City fan after a match.

    My only criticism of cricket is that England had obviously been the superior team throughout the time at Old Trafford, yet we come out with a feeble draw! Oh well roll on Trent Bridge. You never know, this could this be the first time we win the Ashes since 1986!


  • So Much To Answer For- Part 15

    Rachel’s flat, leased whilst she was in Manchester, was a split level apartment on the top floor of a block behind the railway station. As he could appreciate the beauty in old industrial buildings and canals, Joe liked the view. He was under orders to stare out of the window whilst Rachel changed into something less formal.

    “Why would someone burn down your studio?”

    “Don’t know. The guy from City Life said some bad things about a show I had stuff in. And he’s probably got a lot of spare time nowadays.” Joe had a good idea what it might have been about, but none about who could have done it.

    “Could it have anything to do with your dead friend?” Rachel read his mind.

    “He wasn’t my friend.”

    “Sorry. Your dead acquaintance.”

    “Sorry. Just a bit touchy about it.”

    Rachel had thrown a dark hoodie on over jeans an a T shirt. It said UMIST across the front, her brother and Joe’s alma mater. “I want to blend in.” she said.

    “UMIST doesn’t exist any more.”

    “Oh, well in that case I want to stand out.” They stood together at the open window. “You smell of smoke.” Rachel observed.

    “I hadn’t noticed.”

    “Let’s go get you beer. The pubs should be open by now. I’ll even buy you lunch.”

    They skirted Piccadilly and went to Bar Fringe on Swan Street for food and Belgian beer. “Are you trying to get me drunk?” Rachel asked two hours later when she noted the ABV on her third bottle of Kwak.

    “No more drunk than I’m trying to get myself.”

    “That rat’s looking at me funny.” Rachel indicated a cartoon rodent embedded in the wall.

    “I think that’s our cue to leave.”

    They drank up and headed out into drizzle that became a downpour before they had crossed the road. “Could have done with this earlier.” Joe dead panned as they huddled in a doorway. The rain refused to let up, so they scooted from doorway to doorway and under awnings along Oldham Street. Joe named each establishment as they passed them, giving history lessons if they stayed outside them long enough.

    The gaps they crossed became larger and they spent more time in the rain between each stop, until they ran out of cover and sprinted the last few hundred yards to the apartment block. Joe was first to the door. He turned under the glass awning just in time to see Rachel closing on him. She slowed, but not quite enough. He caught her and helped her come to a halt.

    They leaned against the door, breathless and laughing, and made no move to part. “You’re soaking.” Rachel announced eventually, red faced, “Let’s get you upstairs and out of those wet clothes.”

    “Does that line ever work?”

    “We’ll see.”

    Under instruction, Joe stripped off in the bathroom. He even discarded his boxers, and they were merely damp. There was a bathrobe behind the door. He tried it on and it came to just below his knees. It would do.

    Rachel was wearing climbing trousers and a short loose T shirt. She took Joe’s clothes and started going through the pockets. Wallet, keys, phone and various bits of paper found their way onto the settee. “I’ll dry these.” She pulled the belt from his trousers and draped it over the back of the seat.

    Joe sat and watched the rain wash down the windows. A big bastard and a guy with tattoos? They had to be involved with Hill somehow. His killers or his associates? Or both? It wasn’t beyond Hill to have come up with some mad scheme to swindle the people he was working with. And now, for whatever reason, they had a vendetta against Joe. What had Hill got him into this time?

    All worries were set aside as a warm body pressed against his back and a glass of white wine appeared before him. “Are you trying to get me drunk?”

    “No more drunk than I’m trying to get myself.” Rachel tried to climb over the back of the settee. She slipped as she settled down and spilt wine over her climbing trousers.

    “I’ll have to get you out of those wet clothes.”

    “We seem to be going in circles.” Rachel put her wine down, stood and stepped out of the trousers. She was now naked from the waist down. “I think that’s enough flirting.” She took Joe’s glass and put it beside hers on the table. He could only nod agreement and grin. Strangely enough he was concentrating on her face. She straddled him and they kissed.

    Part 16
    Part 14
    Part 1

    NaNoWriMo Progress

    Other fiction- check out Heavensent, the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I recently wrapped up, or download Another Education/Ruby Red or Ten Years Asleep.

    Donate Now I’ve started writing again I’m unlikely to stop, but it would be nice if I could eat during my breaks. So please feel free to donate some money to my starving author fund by clicking on the PayPal button below.




    Fiction, ,


  • That list in full

    In fact, here is the whole 100 Things list as it currently stands. I’ve updated links but not any of the aims. Reminders of things I have done are welcome, as are suggestions for removal and replacement.

    (Some of the later Things name the people who came up with them during a drunken brainstorming session.)

    1. Play croquet

    I don’t even know the rules to croquet.

    2. Play strip croquet

    Ah, the effect that Heathers can have on you.

    3. Cycle the Coast to Coast

    4. Keep a tidy house

    Without calling in any sort of housekeeping services.

    5. Live for (at least) three months in another country

    6. Shoot Tony Blair

    Already done that.

    6. Try to get elected

    What to, I don’t know.

    7. Take part in a threesome

    Yes, I know I’m not even participating in any twosomes at the moment, but this is a long term list. (And if I do achieve this one, I probably won’t announce it.)

    8. Take part in a foursome

    9. Take part in an orgy

    Is an orgy 5 or more? Or is there an official lower limit to an orgy? Are there different imperial and metric orgies?

    10. Make it into the Popdex (and/or Blogdex) top 100

    Which will be good all round. If I can manage to make it onto the list regularly, even better.

    Edit Popdex has started behaving oddly, I’ll settle for getting on the Blogsnow list instead.

    11. Mention sheep and still get laid

    12. Make a living from writing

    13. Make a film

    It doesn’t have to be a feature length movie, but that would be the next step.

    14. Get out of debt

    I’ll discount any mortgage from this requirement, and just allow for clearing overdrafts and loans.

    15. Become a millionnaire

    Foreign currency counts.

    16. Climb the highest peaks in each country of the United Kingdom

    17. Learn to juggle

    18. Build a model village

    19. Upset the Daily Mail so much that they run a story about me being a threat to the nation’s morals

    20. Visit the beaches of D-Day, and the little town of Quenast my grandparents’ house was named after

    21. Visit Pearl Harbour

    22. Read Moby Dick

    Gratuitous Zelig reference.

    23. Get interviewed by Richard and Judy

    Or a passable equivalent.

    24. Own a Land Rover

    And actually use it for off roading.

    25. Have a bike for every day of the week

    Mountain bike, Jump bike/BMX, road bike, recumbent, folding, commuter, unicycle.

    26. Give a grand to charity

    Not raise a grand, but give one. Raising a grand should be possible, especially if I do 27.

    27. Do over a hundred miles on the Bogle Roll

    My plan for next year’s Roll. I’ll need to get another of my 7 bikes to do it.

    28. Learn to snowboard

    29. Get a dog

    But not whilst I’m living in the city.

    30. Own a thousand CDs (or have 100 Gbytes of MP3s on my computer.)

    I’m going to cheat and allow CD singles in this.

    31. Attend the Glastonbury festival

    32. Roast my own coffee

    Done that.

    33. Send a dirty text message

    34. Propose to someone

    35. Fly in a hot air balloon

    36. Go to a shooting range

    37. Spend a whole day watching all three of the Lord of the Rings films back to back

    Extended cuts.

    38. Buy a house

    39. Own a piece of Microsoft

    40. Moblog

    First done here, then conclusively here, here and here. And regularly since.

    41. Canoe on the Thames

    42. Figure out the question

    43. Brew beer

    44. Learn a new language

    Spoken, not computer. And not Klingon.

    45. Start a craze

    46. Make love in a hammock

    This one inspired by The Sure Thing

    47. Visit every continent

    48. Fly a helicopter

    49. Build a tree house

    50. Hold a party for a hundred people

    51. Make love outdoors

    The roundabout incident doesn’t count as it was unplanned, drunken horniness. However, I could go for getting 46 at the same time.

    52. Join the Mile High Club

    53. Join the Mile Low Club

    In a cave or down a mine.

    54. Join the Two Metres High club

    On a train. Sleeper carriages count.

    55. Exceed 40mph on a bike

    Downhill counts.

    56. Build a house

    57. Learn to play a musical instrument

    58. Get a signed letter from a serving head of state

    Probably not going to be Tony, though.

    59. Break a record

    Even if it is for the silliest ‘Hundred things to do’ list.

    60. Burn all my CD singles to MP3

    61. Appear on Have I Got News For You?

    This will probably be just before or just after offending the Daily Mail.

    62. Swim with Dolphins

    It was going to be swim with monkeys, but I reckon any mammal will do

    63. Visit Japan

    Kawaii

    64. Get a HGV or Motorcyle licence

    The motorcycle licence would be cooler, but I value my limbs the shape they are.

    65. Learn Morse code

    66. Attend Burning Man

    There were also plans to create a BM equivalent in the Scottish Highlands, to be called Soggy Man.

    67. Dance naked in the rain

    68. Drive a race/ rally car

    69. Fulfil Sabs’ dream of seeing me walk out of Lyme Park lake wearing breeches.

    Penny. Well, it was Sabs’ idea originally, but Penny added it to the list.

    70. Get a woman to pose in the nude (for my comic.)

    Zoe. I asked Zoe if she’d pose naked for me, but she said no. Shame. I’ve also widened the scope to posing for anything, just to improve my chances. Any volunteers?

    71. Play UV pool

    Daz.

    72. Do roman chariot racing with big fat men in place of horses.

    Zoe. This is a far nicer version of Lesley’s suggestion of ‘Become a pony boy.’

    73. Flash at a concert audience

    Penny. Originally ‘Flash at a Status Quo audience’ but I’ve expanded it.

    74. Be a model at an Ann Summers party

    Penny.

    75. Swim the full length of the Bridgewater Canal

    Penny. So long as I don’t h
    ave to do it in the actual canal.

    76. Learn the national anthems of the Six Nations

    Penny and Lesley.

    77. Design a sex toy

    Zoe and Penny. Full description- ‘Design a sex toy and advertise for testers and reach quality standards for ISO and BSS’. By setting such stringent conditions they just volunteered to be the first testers. There then followed a brainstorming session on what would make a perfect sex toy, the notes from which will form the basis of a future post.

    This project is under way. After posting the list of recommended features, I received quite a peak in hits. I have now moved on to the shopping list for building the test version.

    In the meantime, there is a range of Perfect Sex Toy clothing- Ladies top, Ladies Tank Top and Long Sleeve T Shirt.

    78. Be an extra on a TV programme.

    Emily. She originally stipulated Hollyoaks, but it was decided I wasn’t blonde enough.

    79. Buy lingerie for a woman

    Penny. In person, from a shop. Original conditions- ‘Buy a woman a thermal vest in person from Pleasure and a matching set from Kendals including peep hole bra and crotchless knickers whilst dressed in a flowery dress.’

    80. Buy the Pete Waterman (SAW) compilation album

    Penny. She insists it’s not because she’s too ashamed to buy it herself. It could have been worse, she could have suggested the karaoke version

    81. Learn to salsa

    Penny and Lesley. I’d also like to learn to make the perfect salsa dip.

    82. Have sex in an ambulance or hearse

    Penny and Harry. Originally an ambulance or ‘vehicle of the dead’ while on the move.

    83. Grow a bonsai tree

    Penny. A bit of wishful thinking considering I killed my last two bonsai. My sister did buy me The Art of the Bonsai Potato for Christmas.

    84. Have a drink in every CAMRA pub in Manchester

    Harry. Originally it also said ‘within one week’ but I edited that out.

    85. Get an 8 pint certificate from The Crown in Stockport.

    What they actually do is put your name on a board in the pub and, allegedly, get you a tankard engraved with your name.

    Anyway, the challenge has been done, and recorded here and up. Pictures.

    86. Get zipped up in a US style body bag.

    Harry. Only if I can take a big knife in to cut my way out.

    87. Create art using my body.

    Penny. Originally ‘Create modern art using your body and any other body using bandages, plaster of paris and vaseline and get it displayed in a gallery.’

    88. Get a piece of art displayed in a gallery

    Me, but inspired by 87. I’m allowed to do a Banksy.

    89. See a psychiatrist

    Penny. After some of these suggestions I’ll have to.

    90. See a psychosexual counsellor

    Penny. See above. And I think this should also apply to some of the people supplying suggestions.

    91. Bowl on the Bowling Green again.

    Emily. That is, the bowling green that used to be in front of UMIST union. They’ve done horrible things to it. Does boules count?

    92. Attend a televised awards ceremony

    93. Learn a programming language

    Properly, not in the half arsed way I learnt to gaffer tape routines together in VBA. Griff says that C# is quite a lucrative area to be in.

    94. Visit every Disneyland

    This was actually Griff’s aim, but I stole it.

    This aim has been removed from the list.

    95. Get a free crate of Glenfiddich

    Sometimes breweries will gift crates of their products to writers who mention them. I’m also open to offers of Jennings Sneck Lifter.

    96. Go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef

    97. Get as close to an active volcano as possible

    98. Attend a gala movie premiere

    Hell, if Rebecca Loos can do it, so can I. But I’m not shagging any footballers except
    these two.

    99. Publish a cook book

    My sister’s been promising to write one for a while now. I must get her to finish it.

    100. Get ‘Ian Seat’ into the OED

    Being the position in a crowded room, bar, etc, which has the least advantageous view for eyeing up members of the opposite sex.


    101. Burn all my CDs to MP3

    102. Eat in, or from, every restaurant and kebabery in Rusholme.

    Which could be a year or so’s work. Longer, considering how rarely I eat out. It’s not called the Curry Mile for nothing.

    This replaces 94.

    103. Go Guerilla Gardening

    Next spring I’m walking around Manchester with a stick and a pocket full of seeds. I’m going to plant peas and herbs and other veg in flowerbeds and hedges.

    104. Follow the route of the M60 by bike

    Utilising side streets, riverbanks and paths.

    105. Appear in a TV commercial.

    Because they pay residuals. If it got shown enough, I could almost live off it.

    106. Make love with a cheerleader.

    Every American boy’s dream.

    105 and 106 are provisional. If no-one can come up with better suggestions, they stay!

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  • I am the Resurrection

    A very modern Madchester Passion Play is to be performed this Easter. Featuring Bez as a disciple and versions of songs by Joy Division, the Buzzcocks and M People, it will take the form of a parade through Manchester from Canal Street to Albert Square culminating with an “as yet undisclosed song from the top of Manchester’s town hall”.

    Canon Robin Gamble, canon evangelist at Manchester Cathedral, has been tasked with encouraging churchgoers to attend the event.

    “I wouldn’t know a Buzzcock from a ballcock so I couldn’t really comment on the music. All I can say is that they are not doing a Christian service, it is a piece of contemporary theatre and that is going to get people to think about the story in modern terms,” he said.

    “It is going to come from the streets, with the sounds of traffic and people bustling around and it will make people think about this story in a new way. It is going to be challenging and shocking and is going to get things rumbling – it’s going to be brilliant.”

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  • oybike

    oybike
    oybike,
    originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

    Bike hire for manchester city centre, facilitated by mobile phone.

    I wonder how many of there will end up in the canal, as in amsterdam, and recent experience makes me hope they’re well secured.

    But i don’t mean to sound negative. I hope this is a success. Proving that cycling in the city can be a commercial opportunity will do wonders for the cause.
    Technorati tag:


  • Queerest of the Queer

    I’ve ridiculed wrestling before and it’s time to do it again. Most of Canal Street would mock WWE “sports entertainers” for dressing too camp, but the fans and the wrestlers generally can’t see the homoeroticism of oiled up perfect young men grappling each other whilst half naked. I think The Rock gets it, and his self mocking role in Be Cool plays to it, but he’s one of the few.

    Jim Hellwig, now officially known as Warrior was one of these wrestling clones during the 1990s. Lacking the acting ability (!!??) of Hulk Hogan or the political ability of Jesse Ventura, he had to cast about for a career when the WCW collapsed, and chose to become Ranty the Right Wing Arsehole(tm). A recent appearance organised by College Republicans has brought him to the American public’s attention again after he was videoed making stupid proclamations such as “Queering don’t make the world work!

    It was fairly obvious what I had to do- old wrestling footage, a snippet of a Garbage song and one of the other stupid things he said later- warrior.avi (1.8mB)

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  • I-401

    A large World War two Japanese submarine has been found on the sea bed off Oahu. The sub was captured at the end of the war whilst on a mission to drop germ bombs on US cities, or bomb the Panama Canal, using the folding wing bombers it could carry in its hold. When Russia wanted to inspect I-401 it was scuttled to keep the secrets of the largest pre nuclear submarine from them.

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  • Single to manchester

    Well, if you’ve been reading all about my adventures cycling along the Rochdale canal, then i can safely say i’ve managed to moblog. That’s number 40 off the list. The suggestion box is open for new challenges.
    One thing i should have checked before i set out- Rochdale Canal extends beyond rochdale itself, going on to Halifax. Damn those wacky industrial revolutionaries and their naming conventions!
    Next time i may go all the way to halifax (do canals have sources the way rivers do?) but, if this means i’ve kicked my cycling funk, i’ll probably try the ship canal adventure next week.
    If i’m going to carry on moblogging I ought to find out what the data tariff is on my contract.


  • Scenery

    I still don’t know when webcomicsnation is going to launch and I can start publishing Deputised Experts. But I thought it was time I highlighted some of the work that’s gone into the comic, so now there’s a gallery. It’s not in the pinup collection style of the Mary Tales gallery. No I thought I’d do something a little different. I’ve assembled a collection of the backgrounds. Let me introduce you to them.

    Chapter 1, Page 1 is a full page shot of the front of a block of apartments. I cheat a lot with the backgrounds, tracing them from photos then adding shading in a variety of ways. The building in this picture was actually boarded up when I took the shot, but, as with almost every building within three miles of the city centre, it’s now being turned into posh flats just like the one in the comic.



    This is quite a large file, I warn you.

    Some early scenes take place on the periphery of a big demo. Most of the reference photos for this were from a few years ago and one from a recent Anti War demo.

    A later scene takes place in a deli, as two of the characters discuss matters over a coffee. These were images where layering really came into its own for the various patches of shading.

    Chapter 3 (they’re short chapters) opens in Salford Quays with two panoramic establishing shots. One of the Lowry and Imperial War Museum from across the Ship Canal and another of the Lowry from close to the War Museum. For the second picture I thought I’d experiment with ways to get the grey fills that bulk out the basic black and white art. In the end I used a Photoshop filter for removing scratches and dust with the size limit set way up to remove loads of detail.

    Some other images used in establishing shots- MI6 headquarters, a street near to Manchester’s central Police station and the Katja. The original MI6 picture was taken in the summer of 2001 on a wander along the banks of the Thames. There’s a terrace overlooking the river that I’d actually been able to walk along before crossing the bridge. I imagine that’s closed to the public nowadays. The Katja was taken from a found image of a cargo ship, with the watercolour filter applied to get the background greys. The ship plays an important part in the backstory to the first DEx storyline. I’ll probably be using a 3d model for future views of it.

    And finally, some out takes. The Flea and Firkin and some woodland. Now I’ve done these images I’ll just have to find a use for them some day.


  • Lonesome Cow Boy

    With only some forms to fill out (and some tuition to pay), the first year of my HNC is now over. The fact that I’ve been given Summer projects suggests that they want me back, which is nice. I’m going to have to slot them in between my own Summer projects, though. Project 1 is Get a Job, but, failing that, I’m going to aim for setting myself a goal per week and seeing how many I can achieve. An ongoing goal is to get a week’s worth of Deputised Experts and Mary Tales done each week, so that when webcomicsnation finally goes online I’ll have a big healthy buffer of ready material. Other projects include learning enough Flash to do an interactive cow map, cycling- and documenting- the length of the Ship Canal, getting pictures for the Look Up, Look Down, series of walk guides around the city centre and aiming for a hundred miles a week on my bike ready for next year’s Bogle.

    One cow I found yesterday-

    And the view from the window about twenty minutes ago-