New Adventures In 2019

After a six year hiatus the fabulous New Adventures conference made a welcome return to Nottingham’s beautiful Albert Hall.

Six years, felt so much longer whilst we waited for a new adventure, but melted away as we arrived in Nottingham to meet with friends and faces from adventures past.

New Adventuress has always been more about concepts than code and 2019 was another perfectly curated collection of thought provoking talks.

Highlights for me were Jeremy Keith’s opening talk which called on us to examine the building blocks and layers within the experiences we create.

Helen Joy brought to life the importance of user and customer research, and I hope encouraged the audience to seriously and deeply consider and understand the end-users of their products and services. Ethan Marcotte closed the event with a rousing call to arms for web workers.

New Adventures 2019 felt like conferences used to feel – significant.

An occasion, a gathering, a happening where new ideas, big ideas and important ideas are shared. Ideas that invigorate, enthuse and inspire us to new adventures – wherever they may take us.

Tom Bihn Western Flyer – Some Years Later

When I wrote my original review of the Tom Bihn Western Flyer I had just returned from, what was then, the final New Adventures conference. So I’m delighted to be writing this update back in Nottingham for the triumphant return of New Adventures, once again accompanied by my Western Flyer.

Tom Bihn Western Flyer

It’s been almost six years since my original review so I thought a quick update on my Western Flyer might be useful – how’s it wearing, am I still using it, that sort of thing.

So, how’s it wearing?

I was surprised to see that the original review was six years old not just because it feels like yesterday, but because my Western Flyer still looks like new. I’ve taken this bag all over Europe, from Belfast to Berlin, it’s been in planes, trains and automobiles and is showing no signs of wear. Not one.

I knew Tom Bihn had a great reputation for quality, but this is something else – every stitch, every seam and every zip is still 100%.

Speaking of zips there was one part of the design that bugged me, but I ‘fixed’ it. There are two of double zips on the bag and I found the zip pulls jangled together when I was walking . After a few hours sightseeing around Berlin with my Western Flyer on my back they had to go.

So I took a brave pill, grabbed my tin snips, cut off all of the metal tags and replaced them with paracord zip pulls.

The sound of silence.

Other than that one minor annoyance, the Western Flyer is still one of my favourite pieces of luggage. I use it whenever I can and it always makes me happy, both for it’s excellent design and because I associate it with travel and adventures large, small and new.

The Creative Process – A Sketch

Process Print From Brendan Dawes

I love this sketch from my friend Brendan Dawes – it conveys the creative process beautifully. I’ve seen Brendan use this in his talks, and as he says, it’s always met with a flurry of smartphone action, I may even have snapped it myself.

Brendan is now releasing it as a robot drawn print in a limited edition of just 100.

Treat yourself for Christmas or better still treat me :)

Keynvor – Preservation

Keynvor Preservation Cover

By far my most played and most loved new music of 2018 is Preservation by Keynvor.

Preservation is a wonderful EP, composed by Sebastian Plano, that combines modern classical almost soundtrack-like music with recorded soundscapes of the rugged Cornish coast to create a beautifully evocative suite of music.

Keynvor (pronounced Cain-Vor) is the Cornish word for ocean, and the recordings of the Cornish Atlantic coast are intertwined with the music to spine-tingling effect.

Preservation is supported by Cornish brewer Sharps, with royalties from streams and downloads being donated to Cornish based charity Surfers Against Sewage to help fund their campaign against plastics and pollution in our oceans.

Download and enjoy, maybe with a Cornish beer, and help support the campaign to keep our oceans clean.

Find Time For Quiet

Find Time For Quiet

Via Do Lectures 

Tidying Up

Earlier this week I found myself looking at posts I published 10 years ago and noticed a few missing videos. “I’ll just sort those out” it thought, and ended up revisiting every single post in the 15 year history of this blog.

Most of the videos just needed updating to https versions – nice and easy. Some video links were broken, most were easily replaced, but some videos are no longer available, lost forever, and so I had to remove many of those posts.

A number of my older posts included or linked to photos of mine on Flickr – I deleted that account years ago when Flickr started changing and then charging. I occasionally regret doing so, but Flickr isn’t what it once was.

These days I share photos via Instagram, but I view posts on Instagram as a passing references to a moment in time; Instagram is not a store or gallery in the way Flickr was.

Twitter too is fleeting – when did you last refer to an old tweet, assuming you could even find it? My Tweets are automatically deleted at regular intervals such is the disposable nature of social media these days.

Which brings me to the point of this post, alway host your own words and images unless you view them as 100% disposable.

If you created it and care about it, make sure you own it.

About Time

About time beach scene

“I just try to live every day, as though I’ve deliberately come back to this day to enjoy it, as though it was the last full final day of my extraordinary ordinary life”

Clair de Lune by NASA

Gorgeous…

Yallah Coffee Cornwall

I came across Yallah Coffee the week before I was due to travel to Cornwall, where Yallah are based, and in a wonderful piece of synchronicity they are located just a few miles from where we were going to be staying. A couple of emails later and Rich had kindly agreed to meet me, and let me look around.

Yallah's 'Office'

Yallah are a small speciality roaster that sell to the trade and via their website. My first question was to be “why Cornwall?” but when you see their location on a farm, in a lovely location, overlooking beautiful Cornish countryside why would you want to be anywhere else?

Yallah have direct trade agreements with farms in Rwanda and soon Latin America, which demonstrates a real commitment to high quality and ethically produced coffee.

I was fascinated to see green coffee beans or the first time – coffee beans are green before roasting. There were three varieties waiting to be roasted, I was surprised that even before roasting each type had its own unique smell.

Green Coffee Beans

Yallah roast in small batches on the premises, the smell was fabulous, and watching the transformation from washed green beans to dark roasted beans felt like watching magic.

Coffee Roaster

I bought two coffees whilst there, one each from Peru and Rwanda.

Yallah Coffee

Both are exceptional, but the Flor Del Norte from Peru has a wonderful balance and gorgeous depth of flavour.

Good people making great coffee – highly recommended.