Latitude 2016

Eight years after we first went we decided that this year we would head back to the Latitude festival and what a wonderful time we had.

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The only downside to the whole weekend was the heat, I don’t like to complain about the heat although I’m not a huge fan, but when shade and cold drinks etc are in limited supply then the heat really becomes an issue. Thankfully it was only the day of Saturday that was verging on the truly unbearable and the rest of the weekend was just uncomfortable.

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We made our way up Thursday afternoon arriving by 3pm and got straight into the car park and had a shortish queue to get into the campsite. Despite there being plenty of tents already pitched there was space in any campsite we looked at and we spent a bit of time picking the right spot near enough to the entrance, village and toilets but not too near to be disturbed by any of them.

We pitched our tents, grabbed a beer, made some sausage sandwiches, went for walk around then had an early night ready for the weekend of greatness. I don’t think I saw anything over the whole weekend that I didn’t like but a few highlights were:

Christine and the Queens: I imagine that everyone you speak to who was watching this (and some who weren’t) will say this was their highlight of the weekend. The performance was excellent but the real joy was seeing and feeling the appreciation from the crowd and Christine’s reaction to that. (The last time I saw something similar was Funeral for a Friend at Reading when they were first start to break and they were first on and played to an overflowing tent who knew every word to every song)

Chrvches followed by The National: I’ve put these together because this was the thing I was most excited about over the weekend. I was a little bit unsure as to whether The National’s brooding style would translate to festival headlining but they wen’t way beyond my expectation and few bands would have the guts to end a festival headline set with an acoustic sing a long as they did. Chvrches did well to fill a very large stage with only 3 people, 2 of which rarely move.

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Crumpets: Not a band but actual crumpets. We found this on the first day and made it our breakfast stop over the weekend. Was the perfect start to each day.

The literature tent: This quickly became one of our favourite places over the weekend and we saw some great talks and shows. From a show about graphs with Festival of the Spoken Nerd, a discussion on feminism with Standard Issue, a deeply nerdy discussion with my favourite comic book team Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillan to a discussion about security and whistleblowers with The Guardian.

The staff and volunteers: The atmosphere at Latitude is lovely and this is in large part to the staff and volunteers who were always lovely and helpful.

Other highlights: Great to finally see Frightened Rabbit, Lonely The Brave were excellent as always, Slaves provided some welcome anger to cut through all the loveliness (you need some balance), Minor Victories built on the greatness of Mogwai and made something similar but new, Pumarosa who we saw by accident as we headed into the forest to find some shade, David O’Doherty and Mark Steel were hilarious in the comedy tent

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What’s in my pencil case?

To go with a similar post by my girlfriend I decided to do a post on what is in my pencil case. I am a 95% digital designer in my day job but a lot of my work starts with a sketch and I like to get ideas down on paper whenever they occur.

So what’s in my pencil case and the pencil case itself are important for me. That’s why I thought I’d show off the tools of my trade:

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Clockwise, from top left. Field Notes notebooks, mechanical pencils, various pens, outlining pens of various width, rubbers, pencil case.

It wasn’t until I took this photo that I realised that I have no colours in my pencil case. It is very rare that I colour my sketches however. My usual workflow is pencil sketch, pen outline, scan to digital, trace and colour in Illustrator.

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Pens from left to right. Pentel Sign Pen, an excellent brush nib pen for doing varying line width. Pilot Drawing Pen, the workhorse of pens reliable for everything from sketches to note taking. Staedtler Pigment Liner, another workhorse for general usage. Derwent Graphik Line Markers from 0.05 to 0.8, these are the nicest most consistent fine liners I’ve found, the nibs feel strong and they produce a perfect line.

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Pencils from left to right. Staedtler Mars Micro, a good general purpose mechanical pencil. Rotring 500, a beautiful pencil with a really comfortable grip and a nice even weight. Koh-I-Noor Clutch Pencil, great for rough sketches and shading.

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My favourite thing however is the pencil case itself. It’s a Lihit Lab Book-Type Pen Case that has loads of pockets and sleeves that will take everything I need including my Field Notes. It is great to just be able to throw one thing into a bag and know that you have everything you need to be able to work.

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I’ve linked as many of the products as I can to cultpens.com. Not because I get anything if buy from them but because they are the best stationery retailer I’ve found. Great service, quick delivery and regular freebies thrown in with orders as a bonus.