So that was the Edinburgh Fringe

This year’s Edinburgh Fringe felt bigger than before. In fact, it felt a lot bigger in many ways. The crowds seemed denser and much more difficult to navigate through, and even the cab drivers said it was a bigger event than in previous years. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it felt like it.

I did enjoy this year’s fringe. As always there were highs and lows. Amazing shows, and things that are better left unremembered. But that’s the way it has always been, and I’ve been going for quite a while now.

Going to the Fringe is always a gamble. Just because a show has a 5 star rating doesn’t mean it’ll actually be good or indeed that you’ll like it. Added to that, the weather is an even bigger gamble, although you could argue that it’s always going to rain if you’re in Edinburgh for the fringe, and I’d say that’s a pretty safe bet.

But it was good this year, and it was fun on the whole. It’s a tiring holiday though. It’s the kind of holiday that you come back from more tired than when you left, and that’s getting increasingly difficult.

I’ll be posting thoughts on my favourite shows over the coming days, but as for those that didn’t appeal to me, I’ll leave them alone and won’t bother boring you with them.

And then Phoenard arrived

Phoenard Prototyping Device
Phoenard Prototyping Device

I’d sort of forgotten about funding this on Kickstarter until it arrived. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it. I did have a couple of ideas, and I’m sure I wrote them down somewhere, so I’ll have to look them out and see what I can do with it.

I’m sure it’ll find a place and I’m sure I’ll have some fun with it too.

Trying out Beer 52

A first box from Beers 52
A first box from Beers 52

So I found out about this company from the GBBF programme, and I decided to try them out. I got an offer for the first box at half price, and it seemed like a good point to try this out.

So the first box arrived and had an eclectic selection of beers. I was also pleased to see this little extra in there …

Something from Beers52
Something from Beers52

Which was nice. I thought that the first beer I’d try out would be this one …

Soundwave beer
Soundwave beer

Because I thought that the name was excellent. However, when I poured it out of the bottle, this is what I got …

Soundwave IPA in the glass
Soundwave IPA in the glass

Which isn’t what I was really looking for, and wasn’t really a great start as far as I was concerned. I contacted Beers 52 about it, but didn’t really get the answer I was looking for sadly.

So far, the other beers I’ve tried from the box have been pretty good, but this one, the first one, was a disappointment as far I was concerned, and not the result I was after.

Doctor Who and the Drosten’s Curse

Doctor Who and the Drosten's Curse
Doctor Who and the Drosten’s Curse Audio Book

I bought this with some trepidation as I wasn’t entirely sure about the write up and the reviews on Audible. Also, the last Dr Who audio book I bought (non Big Finish that is) was pretty bad, “Corpse Marker” had a lot of promise as it came out of one of my favourite stories, The Robots of Death, but it certainly didn’t live up to that high standard.

Even so, I thought I’d try this, and, so far, it isn’t bad. It is very amusing, and very reminiscent of the Douglas Adams 4th Doctor stories. Witty, amusing, quirky. However, perhaps too much so. In a way, it sound like it has been written almost to be like those Douglas Adams stories, and in a way sails to close to that particular wind. Having said that, I’m not hating it. In fact, I’m quite enjoying it, even though at times it seems like there’s been more attention to the witty writing style than the actual story.

I haven’t finished it as yet, but when I do I’ll let you know what I really think. With no spoilers of course.

Soundscapes Exhibition at the National Gallery

Soundscapes Exhibition at the National Gallery
Soundscapes Exhibition at the National Gallery

So I went to the National Gallery to see the Soundscapes exhibition. I’d heard a lot about this exhibition and I thought that the concept was great, but was interested to find out for myself.

So the way it was set up was that each room had a single painting together with the artist’s sound work for that painting. There were 6 actual pieces and a film about the overall concept where the artists talked about there work and how it had come about.

I think that the idea, the concept, and the process was great, but sadly more successful than the overall result. A couple of the pieces worked well but on the whole I didn’t think it was all it could have been, which was a shame really.

I’m glad that they try these things out though. That’s what’s important really.

Enjoying Spotify’s new Discover Weekly playlist

It’s been a few weeks now since Spotify introduced their new ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist feature. I approached this with some skepticism. I didn’t like the idea of a playlist generated by some algorithm based on my listening habit. I assumed it would pick up all the wrong things and offer me some dreadful concoction of tracks that would be ultimately unlistenable.

However, I was for the most part wrong. It appears that Spotify have done a very good job of pulling this together and making it something that is in fact quite enjoyable to listen to, and that has, somewhat rapidly, become a looked forward to part of my week.

As a result of the discover weekly playlist I’ve already found a few artists who’s work I didn’t know and have looked into further. It’s been very good. I really hope it continues to provide interesting discovery and open up new musical possibilities.

I just hope that they don’t get rid of it like they did with Spotify apps.

Return to Telos, a great end to the series

Doctor Who, Return to Telos
Doctor Who, Return to Telos

So that was a good episode. Not a bad story in the end. A good way to finish off the season, but not the best. Not as good as some of the others in this season. I’m probably being too picky about these stories, as they certainly are very good, well devised and beautifully produced. But when Big Finish can be so good at their job you end up expecting more and more and more.

I’m sure it’s too much to ask. Roll on the next season, with Romana as well!