A.J. Walker

writerer

Camping at Bishop's Castle (Again)

This weekend it is my now annual pilgrimage to Bishop's Castle, in Shropshire, for the Real Ale Trail Festival. I think it's my ninth in a row as ten years ago I was at T in the Park, in Balado, this weekend in 2009 watching bands including; Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol, Blur, The Killers, Regina Spektor, Mogwai and Squeeze (incidentally, looking at the band list I note that Mumford & Sons were playing in the King Tuts (first on, on the Saturday) though I didn't see them).

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Once I stopped going to T in the Park with my music festival buddies (after 2009) I began to go to Bishop's Castle Beer Festival with my ale drinking buddies instead. So basically this weekend has been a big one for fifteen years or so, albeit with very different festivals. Both involve camping though and I very much enjoy it. Every time I do it I wonder why I don't do it more. It will be my first camping trip of the year and will be swiftly followed by camping the following weekend where I am camping for a wedding! I dare say there won't be too many people leaving their tents suited and booted (although I believe there will be at least one more doing the same).

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Last year at the festival it coincided with England doing rather well in the World Cup. There was a lot of sunshine, lovely booze, boss people and all round good vibes (these peeps in the photo are all looking suitably in the pink). Incidentally, Rachel in the front there, behind her dad on the right, is the lovely lady getting married next week - and the groom is lurking there on the left too.

It's nice to get a new Eurohike tent for this year - even if it is the same design as it used to use. It served me very well (including back in T in the Park).

Roll on a couple of weekends of fun camping, lovely beers, decent bands (largely in the Vaults) and good times.
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Podcasts and Web Formatting

Created a page on Podcasts a few weeks ago and put up four of the podcasts that I currently listen to, namely;

  • Sodajerker
  • 13 Minutes to the Moon
  • New York Times - The Book Review
  • Blank

During the week I realised that whilst my blog was displaying fine on a mobile the Podcast and Publications page was not displaying correctly (they were all fine on the desktop). I've ended up having to double up what's in my website creator (Rapidweaver) then hide/display the relevant pages. Bit of a pain, but not the end of the world. It has however meant I haven't had time to update my blog (or the podcast page) whilst I dealt with it. Anyway, I'm getting there now.

I've taken the opportunity to update the Publications page with the link to the upcoming 'Don't Open the Door' anthology, which is due out on the 26th July.

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It's been a good week for podcast listening. Yesterday I listened to a couple of the Art of Process pods, produced by Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Incidentally I have been a fan of Aimee Mann from the 1990s onwards. The album 'Whatever' (1993) is a wonderful listen and if you ain't got it then you must get on it. I was lucky enough to see her a few times in Manchester.

ArtofProcess Whatever

I can thoroughly recommend the Art of Process to any of you creative types. As the name implies it is about processes people use for the creation of their arts, be it writers, songwriters, comedians etc. The podcasts are around an hour long and involve discussions with successful artists. The two I listened to this week were Ian MacKaye (Fugazis) and Jean Grae (a multi talented hip hop, actress, comedienne etc). Whilst I knew little about the former I knew nothing about the latter. But both were fascinating podcasts and a great listen.

RachelParrisBlank1

The Blank podcasts fit well with the Art ones with conversations with artists (very much UK, whilst the AoP one is US) about periods that they may have suffered to get through, their Blank times. Sometimes in these podcasts there isn't actually that much about the blank times to be fair, and they can be just as much about their processes. Yesterday's pod was with the lovely comedienne Rachel Parris, of Daily Mash fame, who is most personable during her chinwag with the genial hosts. Equally recommended.

Of course earlier in the week my Podcasts included the unmissable 13 Minutes to the Moon and The New York Times Book Review. And needless to say my weekly Archers catch up (poor Jim).
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