Lost in this beautiful world

I have been enjoying the album Lost in this beautiful world by Jon Lacey. It's a melodic piano and guitar driven folk album with an authentic feel, partly due to the raw quality of Jon's voice. The songs are introspective and engaging.

I discovered Jon's music while searching for recordings by one his collaborators on this album Tom McConville. We saw Tom play at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis during our last visit to England in October 2011. It was fun night with a small enthusiastic crowd of locals and the odd traveller. His playing adds haunting depth to some of the albums best songs.

Tom McConville & David Newey at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, October 2011

Get the Album from iTunes

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Notebooks and Manifestos

I have love notebooks, especially interesting quirky ones that help me feel creative.
My latest notebook is the Makers Notebook from Make magazine. Its modelled after a lab book with graph paper pages. Solidly bound and with loads and useful (and just plain weird) data in the back pages. Included in the book are two manifestos, The Makers Bill of Rights and a Crafters Manifesto. Here is an extract

People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can't see.The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.

One of my other favourite notebooks are Moleskins - these are fantastic and come in many great formats. Lots of magnificently illustrated moleskins can be found at moleskinerie and at their Flikr pool (here).  This photo is taken from the Logan Wines Cellar Door in Mudgee.

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The huge climbing kiln at Kawai Kanjiro's House

Ceramics Destinations in Kyoto

The following are worth considering if you are in Kyoto and interested in Ceramics.

Kawai Kanjiros' House

We have visited this beautiful old merchants house with its huge climbing kiln several times and always found it rewarding. The enormous climbing kiln and beautifully preserved house are worth spending some time exploring.

Kawai Kanjiro was a key player in Soetsu Yanangi's "Mingei" movement 1 in partnership Shoji Hamada, Kenichi Tomimoto and Bernard Leach.

The term mingei (folk art) was coined by Soetsu Yanagi in 1926 to refer to common crafts that had been brushed aside and overlooked by the industrial revolution. In the wake of te great tide

More photos of Kawai's House are here

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Clear thinking - well informed outspoken

No its not this author, although we can aspire...I'm referring to George Monbiot, who's new book Bring on the Apocalypse - Six Arguments for Global Justice has leapt to the top of my reading pile. To do that it displaced Nicholas Shakespeares book Secrets of the Sea which I reserved at the library with great anticipation due to my attachment to stories about Tasmania. Not to mention any number of magazines and other tempting material.

The essays in Monbiots' book were, I suspect, originally published in the Guardian in the UK. This makes for snappy, easily digested reading. If only we had such daring writers regularly featured in our daily rags here in Sydney. Monbiot makes no bones about being left wing and he lets fly with compelling discussion about so many of the ills of modern life that you find yourself cheering him on as you read. He is driven to write the material that he knows will not be well received by the establishment and bravo to the Guardian for being prepared to publish him . If it wasn't we would only find this sort of gutsy writing in journals like Resurgence and The Ecologist.

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