Tuesday, December 07, 2010

An Experiment in Trade

Update: Trade success. Gotta love Twitter.

I've been selling photos on Etsy for a little while, although not had as much time as I'd like to devote to it. But it's been fun and rewarding when sales have come in - so fun and rewarding that maybe it's worth experimenting a little more here.

Here's the deal: I'm going off hard cash a little, and getting increasingly frustrated with having to shunt money between services such as Paypal, with each service taking a cut each time. I want to try something new for a change.

So I'm offering a mounted print of one of my photos in exchange for a license for AirFoil for the Mac. ($25 = about £16 at the moment.)

How it works I'm not quite sure - I figure something like this:


  • The print will be 8 inches on the longest side, printed on really really nice paper by a local guy I know. Seriously, this paper is often better than the photo. It's like cloth.

  • I'll mount the print, probably with a couple of inches of cream mount, but I'm flexible. I'll also cover postage, of course. Worldwide. (Hey, it's an experiment.)

  • The AirFoil license purchase looks like it would need to be in your name, so you'd have to be happy with me using a license under your name.

  • Otherwise, it should just be a case of buying the license, and forwarding me the details by e-mail.
Interested? (Hmm, it'd make a great Christmas gift and a lovely tale to tell your kids.) Just drop me a tweet, blog comment, Flickr message, e-mail, text, or any other message. First come, mostly first served, but sure we can sort something else out if more than one person wants a print (however unlikely...)

Commence. Trade successful.

Finance Cornershop's Next Album

Yesterday I paid a tenner for a CD single. Crazy? Maybe - I don't usually buy singles, and hardly ever on CD.

But the CD's a signed copy of the Brimful of Asha EP, by Cornershop. I remember watching Cornershop play BoA of Jools Holland, and rushed out to buy Born for the Seventh Time. A dozen or so years later, the album is still one of my favourites, with its mix of tunes, styles, and rhythmic quirks.

But I still wouldn't normally pay a tenner for a single. And actually I haven't - I've merely pledged a tenner. Cornershop have started a music pledge to finance their next album, independently. And I have to admit, I love this idea - give away limited editions and unique stuff as a new way to create value. That's worth a tenner in itself.

There are 91 days left to raise the rest of the cash. Get over there and see if you fancy something.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Review: Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature, History, and Possibilities in English, With Selected Examples


Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature, History, and Possibilities in English, With Selected ExamplesJapanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature, History, and Possibilities in English, With Selected Examples by Kenneth Yasuda

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I was given this by my sister and her husband after my various attempts at haiku on Twitter. It's an old thesis turned into a book, which explains the fairly academic style. At points this can be fairly dry, and can assume you know a lot about the background of poetry and haiku (which I don't), but there are also some excellent parts to it, and overall I found this really interesting.

The first and last sections held my interest the most. The first is a discussion on what a haiku should be, and discusses ideas about zen experience in poetry form, the idea that a haiku represents a single breath, and the notion that the haiku should give you, as the reader, a complete sense of what, when, and where.

The middle section deals with the 5-7-5 rhythm and why it may actually be essential, and how the haiku developed. This was a bit of a slog, as reference to poetry timing terms is completely lost on me, and I always get mixed up between hokku, renga, and so on. Still, very interesting in terms of Japanese history and the emphasis placed on poetry in society. Tales of haiku competition being organised, with 3,000 poems being written against each other, were fairly other-worldly.

The last part then elaborates on the use of the seasonal element, and is well worth a read as it's worth getting a deeper insight into what this should entail, along with how it's been used over the last thousand years or so.

As haiku develop in pace with the world, but also as they get taken up with some misunderstanding and simplicity in the West, this is a pretty fascinating book, and offers some excellent advice and perspectives for those looking to understand what a haiku is, beyond its simple rhythm.



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