My favourite stuff of 2017 and a review

Will I ever learn? Every year I come here and write a blog post with some wonderful plans for a New Year ahead, full of photography, filmmaking and exciting art projects.

This year was a break from the 12 monthly projects, a chance to relax and get away from the forced creativity that would enable me to do bigger better projects.

I did nothing.

Only thing of note this year outside of a very creative job was my photography from New York. To be honest, I was rather pleased with a number of photos I took.

More importantly, let us look externally at things that I thought were awesome in 2017.

Travel location – Brooklyn, New York

Such an amazing city which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. As a simple country boy, I never imagined I’d see places like this and get to stay with some amazing people and go to Coney Island looking for Warrriooorrrssss.

Albums – Top 3

Any year that has Ed Sheeran as the most streamed artist isn’t a good year in my books. Still, some banging tunes came out this year. These three albums contain some of my favourite tunes.

  1. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
  2. Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruin
  3. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister – Planetarium

Special shout out to Wolf Parade returning with a massive album

Feature Film – Tony Erdmann

Again, I did not go and see enough films this year. The top pick for this year is reliant on you enjoying super dark, long and German films. If not give it a miss.

Short Film – Glue

Between the amazing follow shots, the awesome jazz soundtrack and some serious pow pow, what’s not to love.

Advert – McTavish Surfboards – Dirt Nap

Only came across this recently but it’s gorgeous. I do enjoy a visually amazing ad, it’s like perfume ads, you see them and you’re just like “wha??” but it’s a visual representation of a smell, how could it not be “Whaaaaa??”.

Sporting event / Venue – West Ham Vs Bolton, Olympic Stadium

This was a bit of a grim one. We got trashed, was a horrendous game but it was so much fun. The stadium looked majestic as we walked up to it, the chants were hilarious and the sleeper train home to Glasgow afterward was a delight.

Documentary – Right To Roam from Patagonia

Another recent discovery but a really inspiring one from Patagonia. When you live in Scotland sometimes you forget how amazing the freedom of walking, camping, and exploring is in this gorgeous place. Well worth a watch and yes snowboarding again, it’s playing on my mind perhaps.

TV Show #spoilers – Twin Peaks: The Return

Easy one for me, enjoyed this weirdness immensely. Such a visual and audio treat. Could have done with less Dougie Jones but you had to go through that to get kick ass cooper.

Beer – North Sea Stout from Pilot Beer

Drank a lot this year but this recent beverage has peaked it. Sea water in a milk stout, it makes no sense but tastes yum.

 

2016 Monthly Projects Halfway Review

So here are the first six monthly projects for this year. A bit of a strange collection if ever I saw one. Most people who do these sorts of year long projects seem to align them within a theme, medium or concept. My monthly projects however are just a chaotic splurge of stuff.

We have video, photography (digital and film), design, drawings, social media and writing. From annoying hundreds of people and invading privacy over a month to making a short video while on holiday. Perhaps I should have had a thememonthly projects.

I now have six more opportunities to make some great stuff. Thankfully I am taking part in the September – Collaborative Project which will be a great chance to make something fun with the very talented Iain McAuley. We are making an Atari style game called “Avoid All Friends” it will come with a classic “looks nothing like the game” poster and I will have a mini arcade machine to play the game on for the Exhibition. We are still in the early processes but look forward to sharing some of the art work when we get it.

If anybody knows of any great projects like Expired Film Day please do get in touch and let me know. I am currently considering doing the Brew Dog #homebrewdog as one of the later project to get some creative homebrewing in. I will also be doing a music video / art piece with Cully at some point but time is a pressing factor as always.

 

Best things of 2015

Here is a quick run down of the best “things” I have experienced this year, any of them make your list of best things of 2015?

Best Album

Sufjan Stevens – CARRIE & LOWELL

This was an easy choice for myself as this album has been on repeat at home and in the car since its release. Sufjan reinvents himself again from last years self titled Sisyphus, with Son Lux, and the rapper Serengeti. This raw, honest and brutal album has just been amazing listening. If you havent yet give it a lisen and get it in your life.

Buy Sufjan Stevens – CARRIE & LOWELL

See Sufjan Stevens

Best App

Periscope

Without a doubt this app has been a real highlight of what 2015 has been all about. If you are unaware of what Periscope is it enables you to live stream video from your phone with people across the world able to watch, comment and give you hearts. For example the above left image is me with 28 other people watching somebody walk their dog in Georgia. Mind blown. If you haven’t had a go I strongly suggest it.

Free on App Store / Android Store

Best Beer

MochaccinoSmall

Still some beers to drink this year but this cheeky milk stout has been a major leader for most of the year. Having been an admirer of Pilot and their cheeky Twitter feed I drank the Mochaccion Stout at the 2015 Glasgow Real Ale Festival.

Buy Pilot beers here at Ale Sela  or Drink Monger

Best Coffee

Coffee

Tim Wendelboe

I have drank a lot of coffee this year. This little coffee shop in Oslo has served me the best coffee I have had all year. We were in Oslo for five days and went here about seven times, amazing coffee, beautiful wee shop and great staff. Highly reccomended if you find yourself in Oslo.

About £4 for a coffee.

 

Best Film

The Lobster

This was a real surprise favourite for me this year. I managed to catch it at the new third screen at the Glasgow Film Theatre. With Colin Farrell as lead there was a very strange audience around. They were in hysterics at some terrible ads before the film started and I was beginning to get worried. Were they hoping for another Phone Booth? I suspect they were. This was soon proven correct as a number of people got up a left during the film. It isn’t everyones taste and this brooding dark comedy won’t make everyone laugh but I was laughing my head up, usually due to knowing I really shouldn’t be.

I was really impressed by the Colin Farrell, usually a good reason to switch off a film (Excluding: In Bruges) He manages to absolutely nails this role and with some really strong performances around him I suspect awards.

The Lobster also manages to supply one of my favourite castings of all time, Jacqueline Abrahams who plays “Donkey Shooter”. Perfect.

 

Strathaven Hot Air Balloon Festival 2015

strathaven hot air balloon festivalstrathaven hot air balloon festival

For the second year in a row I made it along to the wonderful Strathaven hot air balloon festival. This year unfortunately the morning launch had to be cancelled due to strong winds so instead we headed along to the evening glow. The Strathaven hot air balloon festival is such a great quiet town festival with Jazz, food and a real carnival atmosphere.

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After confirmation that the Balloons weren’t able to take off we were instead treated to an evening glow. After of course the Strathaven community jazz band entertained the crowds.strathaven hot air balloon festivalstrathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival

#TBT – @Notsquares @Forfey – August 2010

Every August in Northern Ireland something out west would manage to tempt the Belftiats from their caves to cross the River Bann. Being the only thing of creative interest to happen in Fermanagh since a certain Oscar was knocking about, Forfey was always on my calendar. Unfortunately this year building control decided it wasn’t to be.

Amigos, aficionados, artistes. It is with a heavy heart that we at Team F tell you that our beloved festival will not be taking place in 2015. For the last number of months, we’ve striven to pull strings, scratch backs and otherwise lather-up the authorities, but to no avail – our venues do not pass muster with building control. We’re still engaged with local, regional and provincial officialdom to see what can be done going forward, but for now, “Anno Rex” remains our latest and greatest achievement. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last nine years. We’ve seen some unforgettable moments in the most unlikely yet intimate venues. We’ve got bruises and fond memories from year one to year nine. We hope to make many more (of both). Love, Team F.

A photo posted by Forfey (@forfey) on

 

Here is a few Throwback Thursday photos from five years ago at a great weekend. Not Squares absolutely destroyed the place and more than one barn in Fermanagh had a hangover. Here’s looking forward to 2016, 2017, 2018…

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Home

Well hello
Its been a long time since i updated this and a very long time since i wrote a blog that was anyway long or informative so i feel its about time now that i am home that i sum it up a bit and give a bit of a general low down on how i feel now that i am home.
Well first off a gap year. If your thinking should I take a gap year? I would say definitely its not just a break from school etc but its also such a great learning experience and even if you never write it into some CV you will learn so much as long as you just throw yourself into everything and anything. You’ll not only become more culturally aware and experience a new country or two or three but you’ll also learn so much about yourself.
If your set on taking a gap but not sure where to go then i would advice you to have a wee look at East Africa, its got amazing weather with the most beautiful scenery and as long as you stay away from the touristy places in Kenya and Tanzania then you can keep to a limited budget also its plenty safe as long as your sensible you wont have any problems well not that aren’t hilarious when you look back at them, part of life’s rich tapestry and all that.
Well what a year so many things so many people so many places so many laughs, new friends new clothes new shoes new ideas. I don’t know where to start to tell you, only thing i have for you is this blog, read it in its entirety and also roddys blog and you will get a gewd idea about what a gap year in Uganda is all about it has all the gewd amazing and crazy bits but also the terrible miserable bits but they don’t really count cause they are out weighed….
Well I hope you all have enjoyed my blog over the last 8months i am sorry about there not being so many updates recently, duno if il keep blogging but maybe give updates or something.
At the moment i am at home in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, its cold but im starting to get use to it. I have a few university opportunities but as most of you know i want to get into film but most chances in film come with experience rather than some degree, so i am currently hoping to get some apprenticeship after doing some filming with big heart productions i think its the direction i want to head to.
I am also currently looking for a car more specifically a mini, and thats pretty much where i am now, hoping to get a small part time job untill i get a chance to do an apprenticeship because university doesn’t appeal to me, my idea of an education would be getting a back pack and heading to Scotland,England,France,Spain,Morocco,Western Sahara,Mauritania,Senegal,The Gambia,Guinea Bissau,Guinea,Sierra Leone,Liberia,Cote D’Ivoire,Ghana,Togo,Benin,Nigeria,Cameroon,Equatorial guinea and finally become a nature reserve warden on Gabon’s beaches! Now that would be a dream! Maybe one of these days as i am currently in a race with Roddy to see who will be the first to Gabon!
Il try and update this with random thoughts as often as i can
There will be a bit of an update to the site in the next wee while, gona update it and make it into a more of a general website rather than just my blog
Thanks for reading
God Bless
Guy Phenix