Act on CO2 video

I’ve only just noticed that the video (shot by the PR company) of my house being inspected by the climate change minister and an energy boffin as part of the Act on CO2 campaign has made it online. Worth a look if only to see how boffin-like the energy boffin looks or if you’re a bit nosey about the size of my kitchen:

Birmingham in Super 8

I love Super 8 film and have a small collection of reels shot in Ireland in the 1970s (by my late father) and the late 1980s/early 1990s (by me). I’ve now gone and retrieved the whole series of 50ft cans from my mother’s house to start the process of digitising them. I had previously copied them to VHS by filming a projected image but inevitably the colour saturation suffered – the very thing that gives Super 8 its ‘glow’ (see discussion of Super 8 used for a wedding video). I do also have a couple of reels of black and white stock that even at the time (early 1990s) was extremely difficult to get hold off. I now plan to send a miscellaneous reel to these guys to get a HD transfer. I can’t wait to see the results. 

Given my footage is largely non-Birmingham based I thought in the meantime I’d do a quick search to see what Super 8 stuff was online that was filmed in around the city. There’s disappointingly little except for a nice piece shot at the Moseley Folk Festival in 2007 and a piece onThe Optophonic Lunaphone about a new instrument used by the Modified Toy Orchestra. There’s a strange short film called The Bouncy Bride of Frankenstein (b/w horror film shot in someone’s Birmingham back garden) but I did manage to find the nostalgia I was seeking with a film of Kings Heath in 1960 (actually shot on single 8):

And despite rumours of its death Super 8 as a format is very much alive. There’s even proper serious industry events about it and a wonderful, simple, yet incredibly challenging, stripped back movie-making initiative called Straight 8. Best of all, in Birmingham we have the fantastic 7 Inch Cinema who are big fans of the format and often put on dedicated Super 8 events. 

More to follow on this as my own transfer results come through.

Pic: Hollywords

Links for January 1st through January 4th

Some links for you:

Allotment – Year One

We got our allotment patch in Bournville just about a year ago so I thought it worthwhile to list what we grew and how successful we were:

  • Cabbage – I now love cabbage, having hated it from childhood. Problems with white cabbage butterflies but still had about 6 heads.
  • Carrots – total flop, carrot root fly won the day
  • Cauliflower – slugs had a field day but plants recovered to give us about 6 big caulies
  • Corn – stole the seeds from my neighbour and reaped a full guilty harvest.
  • Courgettes – one plant gave about 8 fat courgettes.
  • Garlic – flop, sprouted but then died off.
  • Herbs – got a nice herb patch going with transplants from the garden.
  • Leeks – again from a neighbour, very tasty.
  • Lettuce – a triumph, this is so easy to grow in many varieties
  • Onions – about half came through but small.
  • Parsnips – a surprising success. Enough for about 4 meals only but will do more next year.
  • Peas – a brief but bountiful harvest
  • Potatoes – earlies were wonderful, main crop floury and disappointing.
  • Rhubarb – lots of it, so much we gave it away.
  • Pumpkins – did the lack of bees this summer result in the total flop of the pumkin crop? I had such high hopes.
  • Runner beans – way too many, there are only so many things you can do with them.
  • Swiss Chard – easy to grow but have made little use of it on the dinner table.
Overall a good start and we ate well off it, I can only hope next year proves as good. I’ll bore you with the occasional update as we progress in 2009.

Links for December 29th through January 1st

Some links for you:

Ely New Year’s Eve 10k – Race Report

What is it about this race? I’ve now run it four times and despite achieving sub-40 minute 10k times pretty consistently elsewhere I still haven’t done it here. This year I crossed the finish line in 40 minutes and one second. How frustrating is that? Three training runs in the past six weeks probably goes some way to explaining the time; that or the two glasses of wine, a beer and that extra slice of cheesecake the night before.

Ely Runners put on a great 10k. Its main, and unique, attraction is the bottle of real ale you get for finishing it but it’s also a well-organised run around some rather nice flat countryside. It starts in Little Downham just outside Ely and you basically complete a squarish route back to the village. If the wind is up then it can be a tricky course given how ‘up’ the wind can get across the Fens. But this year was calm and cold. Very cold in fact. I went for the gloves and vest look but there were some runners who were covered head to toe. Of course I was freezing but I had hoped that would make me run quicker. Clearly it didn’t.

Chatting to a runner afterwards he tried to console me by saying that in some ways this race is too flat. Actually it does have a single incline at the 8km mark, hardly a hill but with a lone piper at the top of it creating the effect of it seeming more epic than it actually is.

The race finished with a sprint across a frozen field, not a quick enough sprint by me but the conditions did deliver some good results with the winner, Rob Joy of Notts AC, finishing well ahead of second place in 31:15. Congrats to everyone who braved the cold – and especially to those 49 runners who did get under 40 minutes.

Race result:
David Harte Bournville Harriers MV40 0:40:01 51st

(pic Charlie Barker – he’s captured my peculiar ‘thumbs-up’ look very nicely)