ic: website ic:blog
  ic: website Home · Archives · Photo Gallery · ic: forum RSS logo - thanks to www.nineteenlabs.comWeb feed (RSS)  
The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

« October 2009 | Main | December 2009 »

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Vive La Difference (in Luton..!)

Even though it's only Saturday night, the weekend has already been packed to the gunnels with things going on... unfortunately, one of Beth's guinea-pigs, Pogo died overnight - she'd been unwell for a little while, and was finding it difficult to move around.

Pogo the guinea-pig

This afternoon, we popped to Pets At Home to see if we could find another companion for Frisbee, and Beth found Hopscotch - a baby cavy, who is tiny (she's only a few weeks old), but won't be for long!
Hopscotch the guinea-pig

The weather has been extremely volatile, with gale-force winds and torrential rain overnight and in the morning making the idea of going out somewhat unwelcome. However, the day improved somewhat, and we managed a visit to my Dad's early afternoon - he always has some amusing stories to share! - and this evening, once the children had gone to bed, I was able to pop out to St Thomas's Church in Stopsley (www.stopsleyparish.org.uk).

David Alexander, the vicar there, is certainly adventurous; I first got to know him on Twitter (he's @stopsleyvicar) and heard about his visit to Manila in the Philippines, shortly after the typhoons. Tonight, though, he started another project - a 24 hour sermon, streamed live on Ustream (www.ustream.tv/channel/stopsleyvicar). I stayed for about half-an-hour, and I'm hoping to pop back again tomorrow afternoon, to see if he's still awake! If you have the opportunity (and he's still going!) I'm sure he'd appreciate a tweet!

Tomorrow, we're hoping to go to the official 'switching on' of the Luton Christmas Lights - last Saturday night was the Luton Fireworks.. there's plenty going on at this time of year, and it's only going to get busier!

Posted by james at 9:20 PM

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Luton's 2009 Firework Display

Tonight was the first Luton firework display we've attended since the children were born - one or both of them were just a bit too young up to now (and it was damp last year!)

The event was organised by Luton Cultural Services Trust, and the display was created by Alchemy Fireworks, a local company.

It was actually rather impressive, and the children stood, spellbound (well, apart from their excited commentaries!) at the musical masterpiece as it illuminated the clear, cold November sky. There couldn't have been a more perfect night for it, and thousands of folk came to Pope's Meadow to enjoy it. Here's a brief video and audioboo:

A video from icmusic.vox.com - click it for a larger version.


An audio recording from audioboo.fm

Posted by james at 10:00 PM

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Dark clouds and sunrise..

I was taken aback by the dark grey clouds that shrouded a tangerine sunrise this morning.

was taken aback by the dark grey clouds that shrouded a tange... on Twitpic
A photo from TwitPic - click it for a larger version.

Posted by james at 7:30 AM

Sunday, 1 November 2009

"Chris TV News": Hi-tech half-term homework!

Chris was given a couple of bits of homework to do over the half-term break, one of which was to: "Using all the skills you have acquired in journalistic writing, produce a report on an exciting event that took place in half term..." His choice? To create a news-style video on the clock change.

We took full advantage of the half-term break to set up a miniature TV studio - I found a big old table that we could use as a 'news desk' and, clearing some space for it in the studio, put some spotlights above and in front of it so that it could might look reasonably authentic.

Chris's first idea was to use a webcam, but the picture quality was dreadful, so we borrowed a proper digital video camera (thanks to Beth's Dad!) and recorded the various scenes based on the script he had written, throwing in some comedy ideas as well. We had great fun making it, and both Chris and Lenni showed natural talent and composure in front of the lens - hopefully this comes across in the video!

Sticking it all together was just a little too fiddly a job for Chris (I decided to record a separate audio track because camcorder microphones are notoriously noisy, so this had to be dubbed on in sync with the picture) so I took on the challenge of Windows Movie Maker's many foibles to compile all the bits under his direction. I think I'll stick to iMovie or Final Cut Express on the mac next time!

For my part, though, I think I've learned a lot about how to light, frame and generally make video, so hopefully our next venture will technically be a little more polished. If I can resist the temptation to buy my first video camera (Argos have a Flip HD on special offer at the moment..), that is!

At just under two minutes long, it's far from a feature-length epic, but I think Chris's teacher will enjoy it, and considering the effort Chris put in, I think it was a great way to spend the half-term.

Without any further ado, then.. here is Chris News in all its glory:

Posted by james at 11:13 PM

This site is owned and operated by Image Communications, including all content and stuff.
It's powered by Movable Type 5.2