This Week, Monday 29 June 2015

beerJust Drinking And Sleeping

In wonderful contrast to the previous weekend’s FFTS15 exhaustion (though mild compared to many of the crew), last weekend was characterised by all day drinking and sleeping for 10-12 hours at a time. I feel much better.

My Dad invited me to join one of their occasional forays into Nottingham’s drinking establishments. Since they start before midday I was a little apprehensive; I’m a happy evening drinker but daytime drinking tends to destroy me. So I enlisted support from Parky. It turned out to be a lovely day:

The Barrel Drop – Hurt’s Yard (off Angel Row)

panorama pinched from their Facebook page

This is a delightful little spot. It’s a dinky, wood lined little pub up a rather exclusive and well hidden alley (which also hides the amazing and best coffee shop in Nottingham: The Coffee House of Nottingham). They’ve got an amazing well stocked craft beer selection, and no Carling-style filth in sight. There’s also a giant stand of ciders, should that be your weakness.

We were only there for a pint and a getting to know everyone chat so I plumped for the Starstruck (aniseed) Porter. At 6.6% it was an excellent starting beer… rich and delicious. It’s certainly a flavour with the potential to overwhelm but

The Hand and Heart – Derby Road

This is a bit further out of town, but since Parky had a with cricket we proposed it as an intermediary between drinking and getting him to the cricket on time. I’m glad we did.

It’s a lovely pub with nooks and crannies in the bare rockface. It’s a place I’ve mainly eaten at before (and happily), but it meets the real ale / craft beer requirements of the pub crawl too.  I was unable to resist Totally Brewed’s Papa Jangles Voodoo Stout which set me firmly on the dark beer path for the afternoon.

The Organ Grinder – Canning Circus, Alfreton Road

I’ve known about this place for ages, but it’s proven just too far up a hill to draw me in before. It has, of course, been a regrettable error on my part. This is Blue Monkey Brewery’s Nottingham pub and serves a dray’s worth of their ales. We weren’t in there for long, but I’ll definitely be back.

I’ve enjoyed all their beers so far, but my eyes and tongue were drawn by a guest bottled ale: Brooklyn Brewery – Black Chocolate Stout. I can’t avoid chocolate stouts even if they do have a hideous £5 a bottle price tag. I’d already had two pints, it was hot and a 10% beer… Tasted of rich Russian aristocracy.

 The Roundhouse – Royal Standard Place

I like the Roundhouse, it’s round and has nice furniture. They don’t have the most dramatic range of beers but they usually have a good small selection.

I went for Cottage Brewing’s Tornado, which was about the darkest they had. It was a refreshing and light beer to consume outside. I guess it was a good break from the rich and hard stuff. The sun was starting to addle my brain by this point (it definitely wasn’t the beer) and I proposed another diversion on the semi-planned beer route.

The Ned Ludd – Friars Lane

The Ned Ludd’s been a favourite of mine since it opened. Partly it’s the oddly shaped ground floor (I think it was an employment agency or something before its refit) and green leather, as well as an upstairs I’ve never seen, but mainly it’s the fantastic selection of strong ales on tap. I’ve spent several nights perched on tall chairs there, ogling the taps.

At this point my photo diary attempts fell apart, and I’ve had to resort to the Ned Ludd’s Facebook feed to figure out what I had to drink… I had Atom – Dark Matter. It’s another irresistible chocolate stout (plus oatmeal!) and was inevitably lovely.

It was crazily warm sitting in the window, which confirmed that I really ought to go home. Originally we’d planned to see Minions afterwards, but the showings were almost entirely full. Just as well, I was pretty much fucked. The mob managed another couple of pubs, including The Junkyard, which is another fine pub/hipster bar deserving its own review. For my part I did very little else that day.

♥Last Week’s Scribbles

This Week, Monday 22 June 2015 – a fine, fine day in Derby with Furthest From The Sea

Upcoming Events

Tuesday 7th July – Interrobang – Improv Comedy Night


Interrobang is part of the Derby Comedy Festival. The only show of its kind in Derby, brought to you by MissImp & Furthest from the Sea Music, Comedy & Arts, features an improvised comedy jam in which everyone can take part, followed by a showcase of the best improv in the region. This is going to be awesome.

Tickets are £5 preorder and £6 on the Door. Click here to book:

Hosted in the Cube (Cafe/Bar) area of Déda Derby through out the night you will be able to order food and drink.

Box Office Phone: 01332 370 911

Déda Derby – Déda, 19 Chapel Street, Cathedral Quarter, DE1 3GU Derby


Enhanced by Zemanta

Lego Blog: Illustrating Flash Pulp episode FP001

Where Are All My Ideas?

I don’t need them, I’ve got Skinner Co’s instead! It’s been simply ages since I’ve babbled uncontrollably about my love of Lego, and of Flash Pulp: one Canadian family’s insane commitment to writing, illustrating and podcasting a monstrous 600 part flash fiction series. Good god, they’re crazy.

In April, I found a new focus for Lego building. I’d done a one off version of an illustration by Opopanax as a secret Kar’mas (Santa – it’s complicated, you should listen to the stories really) gift – Lego Flash Pulp Kar’Mas 2015 which went down really well (happy hugs!) as you can see in their unboxing video below:


Super simple building instructions too! Merry KarMas Assembly Instructions

I’d long toyed with the idea of illustrating more stuff –  has one a bunch of iconic illustrations which I really want to recreate in Lego form – but there’s also the 400+ story episodes cruelly without Lego interpretation. I started with episode 1.

Flash Pulp episode 1 – Mulligan Smith and The Runner

Mulligan is one of the core characters of the Flash Pulp universe, and has possibly the most clearly defined appearance in the stories. I knew I had to get him right. I’m grateful to The Lego Movie for many  things, not least giving us a black (with purple inner) hoodie hood; without it Mulligan would probably be impossible.

I enjoyed making him so much that I compiled a parts guide on Pinterest (which is unfortunately turning out to suck as a site if you don’t have an account). Some of the bits might be fairly rare and were just in my box of body parts.

For ‘the Runner’ I get a good description to work with:

Bernard Thompson, 53, the man in baggy grey pants, stumbled as he crossed the rusted siding and fell to one knee. The impact nearly caused his moist right hand to lose hold of the pistol, but it hastily re-found its grip, unwilling to surrender its last hope.

Bernard was a balding man, and yet somehow the remainder of his sweat-clumped hair insisted on finding its way into his eyes, forcing him to brush aside the rogue strands with his free hand while a salty trickle of yard dust rolled into his lolling mouth.

Lovely details but potentially a devil to render in Lego!

The Runner, and Mulligan on the right

Illustrating The Story

I think Jrd’s got a good balance in the story of giving enough description to help you imagine the space without wasting too many of his <1000 words on something other than character and story. It’s a tough balance to be sure. It’s also perfect for me. I get the sense of the space and then get to play!

For episode 1 I get the following for place description:

Projecting from the towering central building that dominated the scrubby clearing, a dual row of rail tracks ran a smooth curve to the edge of the yard to be cut short by the iron fence and the street’s modern re-paving.


Since I’m trying to do the whole story in a single build, flash fiction is great for providing a clear dramatic point!


Endless Building Choices

Lacking any railway line parts I had to make my own, which look suitably scruffy and run-down. I have since purchased some bits of track and rebuilt the base, but it doesn’t look as good as this – well I don’t think so anyway. It’s too big for my build:

I’m pretty chuffed with the chainlink fences and battered building – it gave me a chance to do some sideways windows and play with texture some more.

I also got to build things off the grid – off-setting the line of the building is quite satisfying:

The light is from LiteUpBlock whose stuff is excellent quality and very cheap (same supplier I used for the Kar’Mas gift) and it looks quite pretty all lit up. A bugger to photograph though, obviously.

Now Read and Listen To The Story!


Here’s the full story: Mulligan Smith and the Runner

There are a handful more pictures here, on Flickr: