Very “intense” at FieldCandy

10 06 2013

First born, you may recall is “out East” at Waterloo. She’s a keen Rover Scout and always has half an eye open for interesting outdoor gear, sales and the like.

Today she told me about a UK company called “Field Candy“. They offer a range of tents very (and I mean VERY) similar to the Vango Force 10. Regulars may recall that I possess such a beast, and  very good it is too. Heavy to haul around, but that’s why you have Sherpas I suppose!

Force 10 up Seymour

FieldCandy hit upon the idea of spicing up the old workhorse (sorry – I mean their tent that just happens to look a LOT like the old workhorse) by offering a bewildering array of cool fly sheets. Limited editions too, to ensure that yours is always very special.

Perhaps you’d like the bubble-wrap look:

All wrapped up | FieldCandy.

Or perhaps you like to fall asleep between the pages of a good book…

Fully booked | FieldCandy.

The old UJ is certainly tempting:

Rule Britannia | FieldCandy. But at £395, I think I’ll just stick with ol’ faithful. We’ve shared more than a few adventures together over the almost 30 years we’ve been together. (Though she did get a new fly-sheet a couple of years ago when the zip finally gave way).

 

Mk4 Vango Force 10

 





Battersea: Power of London Launch

3 04 2013

Eliza Doolittle at Battersea Power Station showing off her Palladium boots with co-host Remi Kabaka from the Gorillaz. I was actually reminded of wandering through Fountains Abbey, in Yorkshire. Obviously it’s nowhere near as old, but it has its own elegance despite its raw utility.

Battersea: Power of London Launch | Palladium Boots.





On Jaffa Cakes and Socks

27 03 2013

Second born came home the other day. She’d been on a school band trip to the UK and France. By all accounts it was a bit disappointing. They spent most of their time there travelling between places rather than actually at places. It culminated in a couple of hours free time to go shopping in Paris.

On a Sunday morning.

Paris, you’ll recall is in France – a nominally Catholic country.

Though shops in La Défence were indeed open… they were ejected from the coach nowhere near there, and therefore were condemned to wander the streets of Paris sans distraction! Still – she brought home most of the Euros I’d given her.

They’d previously spent an entire day going to/from Chartres. Chartres has a cathedral with stained glass windows with a very special blue. It also has… it has… well, it has a cathedral. (These were PNW teenagers remember, not culture vultures who think centuries old stained glass and the science of colour is quite interesting really.)

Source: Wikipedia – Chartres Blue

At least when they were in the UK they got to see Stonehenge and Bath. Not Woodhenge though.

You think I’m joking don’t you? Second born did too. I shit you not – there’s a Woodhenge too near Avebury. Kind of the prototype, I suppose. (The post holes are marked with slightly more resilient concrete posts now.)

Wikipedia: Woodhenge marked now by concrete posts

She was very kind in getting everyone presents though, on her return. Mine were beyond awesome. Firstly a box of Jaffa Cakes! I did share a couple today at work to rapturous, if slightly confused reception. Jaffa Cakes are a British delicacy made by McVitie’s the biscuit company. Oddly, in Canada there’s a French pretender sold by the LU biscuit company, known as Pim’s Orange.

I found this picture of Jaffa Cakes on a web site called “Tea & Sympathy” a very English phrase – despite it being a New York site.

Source: Tea & Sympathy. Jaffa Cakes

There I also found the following delightful quotes:

An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of 1.” – George Mikes
Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on.” – Billy Connolly
The British have an umbilical cord which has never been cut and through which tea flows constantly.” – Marlene Dietrich

I also found a good image of the French pretender on Amazon, for comparison. One can’t deny it’s a little more polished. More refined. Chic. In a word – French.

Source: Amazon – LU Pim’s Orange

But that was not all. No – far from it! She also fed my obsession for socks. The more weird and wacky the better. Slowly, slowly my preference is being met in BC, but it’s been a long time coming, and needs regular supplementation from Europe. To date it’s mainly via H&M which is a Swedish company and somehow manages to get around the “boring sock” mandate so rigidly enforced in the North American market. That unwritten rule ensures that most North American men wear only black, grey or Darwin-forbid: white socks. The more daring might go as far as brown, but that’s your lot! I can’t help but feel the market here must surely be ready for socks of more than one colour! Or indeed a colour! I am not averse to wearing neon orange or lime green, if only I could find them! (I used to own a pair of each bought in Germany 8 years ago. Falke was the brand. Their subsequent demise was a low point in my life).

She brought me two pairs of quite jaunty socks from TOPMAN in the UK. Bless her.

source: TOPMAN - Aztec and stripe socks

Source: TOPMAN – Aztec and Stripe Socks

Source: TOPMAN - Geo Fox Socks

Source: TOPMAN – Geo Fox Socks





Got a mermaid in your life?

6 02 2013

A friend works in a print shop. They just finished a job making banners for this company. They’re Canadian. Looks like a great laugh for the little mermaid princess in your life.

3-Fins custom mermaid tails. – Home.

3-Fins custom mermaid tails. - Home





Why did men stop wearing high heels?

25 01 2013

Gender questions can be quite vexing.

We tend to make vast assumptions based on our own current experience and be uneducated on historical aspects.

For example, in the 1600′s the height of masculinity was to be indicated by the wearing… of high heels!

Today? Not so much…

The BBC has an interesting piece on the matter: BBC News – Why did men stop wearing high heels?.

The Why Factor is broadcast on BBC World Service on Fridays at 18:30 GMT. Listen to the heels episode via iPlayer or The Why Factor download.





Ska or Betelgeuse?

26 09 2012

So I came by a new pair of socks the other day.

I love socks.

Not just any old socks though. No – I prefer loud, retina-scorching designs and colours. (Probably comes from eating too much spicy food – dulled my senses.) This has a downside though. North America tends to prefer white, black or grey socks for men. Sorry – “gray” socks. Even spelling it wrong can’t make it interesting.

Thankfully there is a more recent trend to change things up a little and I have actually seen a few more stripes and patterns appearing. Mainly in the heal/toe area where it’s not actually seen, but it is a start, and we should give credit where it’s due. So I was quite pleased with these locally sourced socks. Along with my particular choice of ties (i.e. that I even have them), my socks often garner attention, and these were no different. “A little Beetlejuice” was one comment. I thought more Ska/2-tone myself – what do you reckon?

Sorry for the washed out colours in the BlackBerry photo. They’re actually a rather fetching lime green, in between the black.





PANTONE Creates A Tool To Help Identify Precise Skin Tones – DesignTAXI.com

18 08 2012

For most of my career I have worked in companies supplying software to the print industry. Largely workflow related to the efficient passing of digital images to colour output devices. Early on, I learned that reproducing realistic skin tones was a huge challenge. (This was the common excuse for the disproportionate number of images of nude women used as test images.) As I’ve discussed elsewhere on the QE pages, the human eye is very sensitive to identifying and recognising human faces… even when there actually isn’t one! Just a slight mistake in the colour hue and the human eye will “reject” the representation however. For the makeup industry this is a perpetual problem.

PANTONE have made a solid business out of tools to help reliably reproduce and match colours. They recently extended this technology into their own makeup and have hooked up with Sephora to help get more market access. Read more at Design TAXI by clicking the link or the image below.

PANTONE Creates A Tool To Help Identify Precise Skin Tones – DesignTAXI.com.





Victoria’s other secret

12 08 2012

I admit I did laugh when I saw this little boutique on Fort St.

Not quite the same level of raunchy design one has become used to at VS shops… but eye-catching nevertheless. (Wha’? My eyes are easily caught…)

Incidentally, www.victoriassecret.ca does not take you to the Canadian online store for the underwear shop, but instead to Victoria’s tourist portal. Kudos to whoever spotted that little omission from VS’s marketing department…





Richard Branson on Office Ties and the Company Dress Code | Entrepreneur.com

29 05 2012

I like Sir Richard. I really do.

I like the way he started business in a phone booth (to get a free phone number) selling vinyl records. I like the way he made a brand name worth more than any product associated with it. I like the way he had a line of condoms called Virgin Mates. I like the way he took on the big guys like BA, and redefined whole markets.

But I was a little saddened to read this article. In it, he talks of his own self-confidence at not wearing a tie in the massed presence of others who were. Kudos. No problem with that. Anyone who’s seen the types of socks I wear could never believe I thought otherwise when it comes to expressing individuality.

But it was his assumption that others could not like to wear ties that bothers me. Others that choose to be as individual as he by wearing a tie when nobody else is. Is this invalid just because he doesn’t like ties?

Je pense pas, mes amis!!

And just for the record, does anyone have a photo of his socks?

 

Richard Branson on Office Ties and the Company Dress Code | Entrepreneur.com.





The Siege of Savile Row | The Chap

25 04 2012

Yegods! A&F to open a children’s store on Savile Row?!

Simply not cricket, what?

The Siege of Savile Row | The Chap.








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