Friday 5 November 2010

Jill's Pet Services Website for Dog Walking in Twickenham

I just launched for Jill's Pet Services. Jills Pet Services offers a professional, friendly, reliable and fully insured dog walking and pet care service in Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton, Isleworth, Whitton, Richmond, St. Margarets and surrounding areas. took me about 30 hours to create and put on the web. Far too long really! A lot of delays in learning Illustrator and Dreamweaver. I was pretty pleased with it in the end though. I like the little birds and the few design elements I made. The contact form took a little while to work out too. Jill is pleased with it too.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Rare celebrity photos

Here are some super rare celebrity photos. Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Hitler, Elvis, JFK, Marilyn Monroe. Many more. Thanks to Ben for the link.

Friday 24 September 2010

The Blackout!

Cool. We are off to see The Blackout in December. Not been to a gig in a long while. It's probably going to be a lesson in 'how to feel old' since the age limit for the venue is [drum roll] 14.

That said, The Blackout's album, 'Best in Town' is fantastic. Only a couple of fillers, the rest is full of brilliant riffing and great melodies. Not sure how their live show will sound vs the prodcution on their record - which sounds incredibly powerful and tight.

Will post a review when we get back.

District 9 and This is England

District 9 is a very, very good film. Highly recommended. Sharlto Copley, the fella who plays the lead role is fantastic. It's exciting, funny, emotional and action packed. Watch it, Prawn.

I watched This is England, because I've been watching the TV follow up This is England '86 and realised there were some connections that I needed to make. The film is spot on too. It re-creates 1983 brilliantly. I especially liked the scene where the young boy is cycling around on his own and buys his catapult, The Black Widow.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Twickenham Samurai

Years ago I remembered seeing a programme about a Samurai from Twickenham. Until yesterday I'd failed to find any reference to it on the internet. then I found an article which lead to another and another. The programme was : "The WORLD ABOUT US: The SAMURAI FROM TWICKENHAM"

The guy featured in it has an interesting bio here:
So all these years later - I knew I hadn't imagined it.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From a Young Man

Before you ask - no I don't have a copy and no I can't share the songs with you. I was lucky enough to hear two songs from the new Manic Street Preachers album, 'Postcards From a Young Man'. I was invited with a handful of people to hear a couple of songs at the Sony offices in London. I'm assuming they were rush mixes although they sounded as good as finished. I heard the title track 'Postcards from a young man' and a second song called 'The end of love'. They both sounded like potential singles. They both sounded very upbeat. Surprisingly happy in the vocal department. Postcards sounded like motown/doo wop crossed with Queen. It sounded excellent. The beat and tempo of 'Design for Life' with a piano over the intro and a bit at the end that sounded like the finale of Queen's 'Somebody to love'. It was grand and excellent and pretty catchy. 'End of love' started with some descending arpeggios on the guitar and a rim shot pattern on the drums before crashing into a majestic song with lots of vocals and harmonies and a guitar solo. Sounded a bit like the Darkness at times (no falsetto though!). Both songs were very much Manics songs - but Postcards with its piano bits could be a different band if you couldn't hear the vocal. I'm no Manics super fan - but I quite like the big hits...these two songs I heard sound like big pop hits. They aren't listen-in-your-bedroom-hate-yourself-and-want-to-die numbers, they are grand rocking pop songs with catchy bits and stuff you could hum.

Friday 25 June 2010

Free Jetsonics downloads

My band is on HayesFM 91.8 tonight. Rocking! they are also online at

Also this weekend (now in fact..and it's only Friday!) you can download our new songs completely FREE. All we ask is that when you visit you also join our mailing list so we can say hello :-)

So go now to and hit the music knob to download the new songs.

Then join the mailing list by clicking here:

Monday 14 June 2010

Richard Avedon portraits of The Beatles

Why have I never seen these amazing photos before? I would like to take some fantastic photos like these. Of course subject matter is important, but still very nice.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

I need to see this Adidas world cup advert!

"Adidas is using the England versus USA match to debut a Star Wars-themed World Cup ad. The German sportswear giant has hijacked the bar scene from the first Star Wars film, splicing stars including David Beckham, Franz Beckenbauer and a light-saber-wielding Snoop Dogg into original scenes featuring Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Sounds awesome.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Dusty The Disco Dog is available on iTunes

Dusty The Disco dog is available on iTunes. I don't have iTunes installed here, so I had a France check for me. Alors! En Vente! Excellent. The dancing Disco Dog phenomenon is going global :-)

Thursday 13 May 2010

The Bad Health Blog

What? What?! Did this suddenly become The Bad Health Blog? I have no idea. I *do* know that 'The Fear Fever' is quite a good name for a song.

The fear fever

Recording this weekend with The Jetsonics. As always, just like before every gig, I feel ill. Symptoms this time include a mouth ulcer - that's genuine - I can see it. Tingly throat - looks a bit dodgy but probably just imagining it. Dizziness - probably self-induced through worrying.

We're set to go into the studio for 12 hours. I'm thinking it's too long and we would have been better of doing 8+4 if we could. 8 on the backing tracks and instruments and a separate 4 hours for vocals. We're planning on 3-5 songs depending on how well we do and how time pans out. 12 hours is a huge amount of time compared to the 3 hours we used to allow in the previous sessions. I'm sure it will turn out well. Steve Lyon is a pro and he'll undoubtedly make us feel at ease.

This week's photo shoot with Paul Slattery turned out well too. Very well.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash Tribute - Haymarket Theatre Basingstoke review

The Haymarket theatre is modern and comfortable. Has a bar. Sells ice cream. Even leg room is not bad and we had great seats, just off to the side and four rows back.

The band were excellent. All great muscians. The guitar sound particularly was perfectly slapped-back to give an excellent Lutheresque tone. They delivered two sets ranging from 'Hey Porter' through to Cash's cover of U2's 'One'. Highlights for me were an excellent 'Jackson', a tear-jerking rendition of 'Long black veil' and a raucous 'Ring of Fire' where their three-part harmonies were to die for.

The band spiel said they aim to use vintage instruments to recreate the sound of the era. Not quite. Marshall amp, modern Yamaha acoustic. I felt these were out of place on the stage. I also thought the show could have been improved if the band's leader had stayed in character. He spoke between songs about Cash in the third person and I think it would have added to the evening if he continued to be Johnny Cash between numbers. There was - for example - no 'Hello. I'm Johnny Cash' at the beginning of the show. I know we weren't watching impersonators, but being that the music and sound of the band were so good and so close to the originals, why not play the whole show as a piece of theatre? From my point of view that would have made things even better. Vocal harmonies from the bass player and June Carter were excellent, though June's faultless vocal perfomance was let down by her nose stud and shabby hem on her dress. This was a decent sized theatre, £16 a ticket and I feel that these kind of loose ends should be tidied up, because if they are, the show will be exemplary. As it is, it's very good.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

How to draw Caricatures

If you are here to find out how to draw caricatures, you are in the wrong place. The right place is here: Tom Richmond is fantastic at it. He is also very good, it seems, at explaining some of the how tos. For some reason I am very excited about the idea of looking at and drawing caricatures. We were at Legoland the other day and they had someone drawing them. Very simple. Very, very simple line drawings with a thick marker and little or no shading. Your typical theme park caricature I guess. they were great, the likenesses were excellent. I find it genuinely interesting. I wish I had more drawing skillz. I have some. But not many. The ones I have are underdeveloped. If I had more time and less hobbies I'd sit down and work through some caricature drawing lessons. I don't think that's going to happen. So in the meantime I'll snatch a few ideas from and try to improve my doodles as I sit at my desk doing my proper job.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Honey Don't!

I really want one of these. I got a flyer through from GAK in Brighton yesterday who announced this Epiphone Wildkat in a ridiculous orange colour. I needs it. I wants it. I gotsta, gotsta have it! I think it would look very cool at the next Jetsonics' gig. I could even quiff my hair.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Thanks, Denny Dedmore

Thanks to Danny Dedmore, I completed the Rubik's Cube. I can't say I solved it since I just followed Dedmore's algorithms to complete the puzzle. But it took me an hour or more of reading and re-reading to get the gist of what he was on about! I used the link here which had some nice instructions. . If you have a cube and tried to solve it but failed, then make yourself happy and give these instructions a go. It's only a short leap from there to actually learning the algorithms and completing the thing on your own.

Monday 12 April 2010

The nice thing about Pentax

The nice thing about Pentax is that the PK mount still built into their modern cameras will hold any PK mount lens ever made. Unlike other manufacturers Pentax decision to stick with this same mount means I can go into London Camera Exchange and get myself a Makinon 80-200 f/4.5 for £9.99. It's all manual. It's heavy. It's made in Japan. What a nice way to enter Zoomworld. I took a few photos with it at the weekend and it works well. Nothing worth posting. Well - I have some photos of my boys playing football, but nothing you need to see. Once I take something cool I'll post it here so you can see what the output of a £9.99 lens looks like.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Kick Me

Kick Me
Originally uploaded by abraham_love
I went for a walk around the park. I had my camera tucked inside my jacket so the security folk would not ask why I was taking photos of leaves. Intent on taking a photo of something, I saw this abandoned football at the side of the road and moved it into position. Centre stage. It was flaky, rotten and forgotten. This was its chance to shine. This was fifteen minutes of fame. I got down low and took about ten photos. I tried to look like I wasn't taking a photo of an old football in the middle of the road. But I was. There was no disguising it. I tapped the ball back into the gutter and walked away. We were left with this shot which was best of the bunch. Fiddling in Photoshop with levels, curves, saturation and unsharp mask gave us something worthwhile. Thanks, ball.

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Band field trip

The Jetsonics had a band outing last night. Went to the Albert Hall to see The Specials. The Royal Albert Hall is a spectacular venue. Small enough to feel cosy, big enough to feel like an event. Excellent lighting and excellent sound. The Specials were exciting and fun and tight and after thirty years they still played Gangsters/Ghost Town/Too Much Too Young like they were playing them for the first time. Rude boy!

Monday 22 March 2010

The weekend that was

Went to Legoland. First day of the season and it was lovely, dry and mild. The boys had been looking forward to it since it closed for Winter. Nothing much has changed there, but familiarity and 6 months away just means it's all the more fun when you are five...or two. Even spotted The Wire and Rockstar actor Dominic West while queueing for one of the rides. He was looking very much off duty. Slouchy with shades. I still spotted him though. Kirk Cuddy at Legoland? Damn right.

Friday my band played an eighteenth birthday party somewhere halfway between here and Brighton, or at least a long way around the M25. Was good fun. A short set, but as always we put on a show and larked about. Had a Mars milk on the drive home. Bought it from the garage where the man served me from behind his glass window. I don't want to be in a petrol station at midnight. All the more odd that I was not buying fags or Rizla like everyone else. Mars Milk? Yes, Mars Milk. I don't think it's even called that any more is it? Mars Energy maybe?

Watch Adventureland. It's not the film the posters want you to think it is. It's not Superbad. It's not a laugh out loud teen comedy. It's a romance, filmed with love. It feels almost amateurish and innocent. There are a few laughs. But mostly it feels gentle and understated. In fact it feels a bit like TV show Freaks and Geeks. Not that good, obviously. But had it been the pilot for a TV show, I may well have watched some more of the series.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

The Jetsonics website

Now we're done with Dusty the Disco Dog, it's back to The Jetsonics. I'm working on the website at the moment. It looks pretty cool. I uploaded the idea including rollovers and graphics and it looks smart. Grungy and retor and cool all at the same time. Needs some tweaking to tie the thing together...oh and some content. That would be good. But otherwise I think it should be done within the week.

The gig at The Grey Horse was really good. A good venue with a large enough stage to ponce about on - while you don't need a vast audience to fill it. They were all lined up at chairs and tables in front of us, layout felt a bit cabaret at times. But the music 100% rocked and the crowd enjoyed it. Excellent turn out. The college kid on the sound did an OK job, but he just did the mics for vocals, no amp mic'ing. There is some video of it over at youtube:

He's not just a dog...he's a disco dog

The song went down well. The remix was worthwhile. I took out some of the compression on the top end and it was less harsh. I added the noise of a whale. I added a crowd under the choruses which gave it a nice party atmosphere and a tambourine to give the whole thing some body. You know the wife was at playgroup today and some of the mum's were singing it. Solid gold hit.

There is talk of an additional verse - we'll have to see about that.

Monday 8 March 2010

The good news bad news

The good news is my Dusty The Disco Dog song sounded great at the first event on Saturday. I was busy taking photos so wasn't fully concentrating, but it came across well as far as I could hear. I'm pretty proud of that one. I think it'd be a good idea to make it available for sale - maybe on the official site or as a CD single at the events. Maybe both.

The bad news is - photographs in a big dark room with disco lights look like photos in big dark rooms, unless you light the whole thing up. White balance? Not even close. Trying to avoid individual people shots with the 50mm, I was trying to take photos of the room with the 18mm end of 18-55 and these didn't come out too well. Better higher ISO performance and a 2.8 short zoom would have been nice. There're a few that are usable, but nothing to write home about. The decent ones I ended up with were when I fired the flash at the white ceiling ... bouncing is my friend. Although these don't capture the real-disco feeling of the event, they are much better, sharper photos.

Dull photo-centric interlude ends.

Wednesday 3 March 2010


Searching on Google, results returned: ZERO.

Flabberwhopper needs to be on the internet, so here it is. Let's see how long it takes to index this entry and appear in a Google search for Flabberwhopper.

Flabberwhopper is an extraordinarily large creature, I don't think it has legs, though underneath its rolls of flab they may be there. Flabberwhopper eats and eats. Burgers mostly. The more burgers the better and the bigger the burger is - the more Flabberwhopper likes it.

Flabberwhopper can also be used to name something or someone of extraoridnary size:

"I'd like a Flabberwhopper portion of chips please."

"Did you see that elephant? It was a real Flabberwhopper."

Did you really need to know that?

Friday 26 February 2010

D.I.S.C.O. Dog

I did it. Made the disco song for Dusty the Disco Dog. It's pretty good. Very catchy. Everyone likes it. In my mind it seems to be missing something in the middle frequencies. I wonder if a little bit of EQ would fix it or if it needs some other instrument in there. Also the chorus could do with a lift. Not sure how though. Tambourine might help. I started getting to grips with Cubase, not quite as good at it as when I used to run it on my Atari 1040ST, but still good enough to get the song done.

Friday 19 February 2010

Dusty Does Disco

I've been busy with a couple of things recently helping out with some photography and music for Dusty the Disco Dog. I've written a song which is really good. My boys liked it and were happily trying to sing along and do the little dance routine. Thing is it was just a demo, guitar and voice (and dog barking) and it needs to be a bit more poppy, so I'm currently re-working it with other instruments and a few disco samples. It's harder than I remembered. See I haven't made a dance track or used a sampler in years. The last time I did it was 19" wide, was grey and said S1000 on the front.

Thursday 4 February 2010

The Wolfman

Saw an excellent trailer last night for The Wolfman. Benicio Del Toro. Emily Blunt. Anthony Hopkins. Was an excellent trailer. Paced perfectly. No idea what the film will be like, but looked very exciting from the 90 seconds I've now seen. No surprise that Rick Baker is doing the special effects makeup. Check him out on IMDB. I'm sure he was first on their list when involving makeup effects people. Look at his CV: The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, the Thriller video, Greystoke, Werewolf (TV series), Wolf (the Jack Nicholson one). That fella knows wolf makeup!

Sunday 31 January 2010

Pretty baby cupcakes in a homemade box

Here are some lovely little baby size cupcakes that The Wife made for her friend's new baby. they looked great. She has really gotten the presentation down now and in little batches there look excellent. So out comes the camera and another chance for me to practice food photography. I'm spoilt by having a nice walnut worktop to phtograph on and today some good natural light from the kitchen window. Now...will anyone notice if I eat one of these?

Monday 25 January 2010

Thursday 14 January 2010

The Man Who Shot The 60s

Great documentary last night about Brian Duffy the photographer. Peer of David Bailey and Terence Donovan, he was shooting the coolest people of the 60s. The programme on BBC4 was excellent and thoroughly recommended to anyone with a passing interest in photography or the 60s

My grandad, James Daubney was also photographing celebrities in the 60s. More on that later.

Tuesday 5 January 2010

DIY ringflash

DIY ringflash 2
Originally uploaded by abraham_love
UK Strobists...Here's a ringflash - perfect for after Christmas since you are bound to have an empty tub of 'Celebrations', right?

Eat chocolate. Take off the lid. Put 50 CD-R tub on the bottom of the box and draw round it. Cut that hole carefully minding fingers. Cut the top off the clear lid of the CD-R tub. If you are lucky like me - the CD-R tub even has a lip on it. As you push that through the celebrations box it will wedge and catch itself - no need for sticking or anything. Cut a hole for your flash. Here I used an old flash that is non-manual. I used it as a test, but it's the right power for a decent portrait with a 50mm on my K100d at 1/180 f/4.5.

Probably clear as mud - hopefully picture will help.

Monday 4 January 2010

Ultimate Band for Wii

I can thoroughly recommend 'Ultimate Band' for your Wii. We got the game for Christmas. It's far less serious than Guitar Hero. In lieu of would-be-cool, it's genuinely fun. The songs are all decent cover versions - and credit to the gameplay - it doesn't really matter since the game is such arm-flailing fun you don't need the original artist versions.
You don't need a pretend guitar to play. You use your wii remote and your nunchuck. Drums, guitar, frontman - punching, clapping, windmilling. Great fun.

You can get it for less than £10 too. Bargain!