Nutrient: winter - spring

28 Feb 2024
Nutrient: winter - spring

Nutrient: (noun) a substance that provides nourishment essential for the maintenance of life & growth. 

Here are ours for this quarter - 


Scottee the fabulous 

yoga with scottee

A few weeks ago we were tagged on instagram by someone wearing our Sidewinder x Blueberry pyjama suit. I shared it on my stories and was inundated with people telling me how amazing this person was, and they were right!

In these dark global times, being in the orbit of people who somehow, despite their own personal struggles and workload, still have the capacity to do good things with their time, energy and talents is nourishment indeed. I'm talking about the fabulous Scottee: an actor, artist and activist, and self proclaimed 'autistic + mad'. I love Scottee's openness on instagram, have inhaled the podcast Self Help (which my own wonky brain found moving, challenging and funny). Scottee also runs online yoga for 'wonky wobbly weirdos'. Thank you pyjamas for bringing me Scottee! 

School of Song 

Merrill Garbus of Tune Yards

To challenge myself, and to try and switch off from the stressful sides of running a small business, I signed up to an online songwriting course run by School of Song after noticing that one of my musical and performing heroes Merril Garbus of Tuneyards was leading one (start here if you don't know their music).

Although I've played in bands for years, I've never written a song (in fact couldn't even write imaginative stories as a kid - I'm much too uptight), so I am firmly out of my comfort zone, but participating with zero expectation of outcome, and enjoying being immersed in something that isn't work or TV crime dramas. The courses are all recorded, so you can purchase and do them in your own time, but there's something special about having to stick to a twice weekly deadline with 180 or so other folks...  


Poor Things

Poor Things

There was a time when we used to go to the cinema quite frequently, but somehow the hangover of COVID still hangs in the air for us in these kind of crowded social spaces, and what with the sheer volume and variety of tv crime drama 'comfort food' available online we seem to have got lazy about BIG SCREEN outings, which is particularly shameful as we have within easy walking distance a really fantastic 'art house' cinema, the legendary Glasgow Film Theatre. The GFT as it is known by everyone who has ever been there, has been a cherished cultural hot spot for almost 100 years (opening in 1939 as The Cosmo, only the second purpose built 'arthouse' cinema in Britain, after the Curzon Mayfair in London). 

Anyway, Jolene and I have seen a great many films here over the years - both weird, wonderful, regular and irregular - and its definitely our go-to spot for any movie event which calls for the big screen treatment, which by no coincidence have included in recent memory, The Lobster and The Favourite (is it a sign of getting older when 9 years ago feels like recent?). Also La La Land - with all our girls - which was much more fun than I was expecting. It was therefore a no-brainer when Poor Things rolled into view, the latest from director Yorgos Lanthimos, based on a possibly-not-very-well-known novel by the not-well-known-enough Glaswegian writer, artist and all round eccentric creative legend Alasdair Gray (1934-2019). 

Actually, I dont want to add yet another (white, middle-aged male) opinion to the teetering mountain of opposing thoughts on the central theme - is the central character Bella Baxter in control of her destiny (a feminist masterpiece) or is the whole thing just an excuse to indulge in a middle-aged male nymphomania fantasy? - but rather just wanted to recommend it as a great piece of sensorial film-making that deserves to be seen WIDE, if you can, to best appreciate the stunning production design, set pieces, costumes and soundtrack by first time composer Jerskin Fendrix (if only there was an Oscar for best name). Emma Stone is great. Mark Ruffalo is great. Willem Dafoe is great. (I once served him when I worked in a shoe shop in the early '90s. He was enigmatic, tiny and charming.) 

poor things dance

This last Sunday we went to the annual celebration of Alasdair Gray - Gray Day - which took place at Oran Mor, a bar/restaurant/venue/event space in Glasgow's West End, organised by the amazing Sorcha Dallas of the amazing Alasdair Gray Archive. It was great. They have produced a wonderfully rich website/digital experience in celebration of the renewed interest in Gray's original book Poor Things, which really embodies his playful spirit in the way the content is revealed.

Fun fact #2: I met Alasdair Gray many times as a teenager in the '80s when he was the partner of my best pal's mum. He would usually be sat, focused, at the kitchen table with paper & pens, dishevelled in a vest, sipping tea, hair sticking out in every direction... he had things on his mind!

Special Interest Books

I have a problem, and I bet I'm not alone in this. I acquire more books then I need, or will ever read.

One of my compulsions is books whose form/fabrication echoes the subject matter - a crowded field if you like design-related things, obviously - and especially if that subject matter is... niche.

Isn't it great that - in a time when the imminent demise of the physical book has been foretold as inevitable collateral damage of the digital era - someone thinks that the world deserves a book which celebrates the rich diversity of British construction bricks, each represented with a life size photo to fully appreciate the wonder of these overlooked architectural heroes? Need.

brick index

A tall and slim publication in handsome burnt orange and brown which demystifies - and embodies - the many various means of contemporary industrial bookbinding (in both English and Portuguese). What's not to like?

Punch cards. Before digital, this is how we interacted with data.
Quirky archive photos, evidencing hoarder tendencies.
Die-Cut cover.
I'm in.

print punch

Thanks to all the irregular obsessives, and to all the irregular publishers taking a chance. Its my kind of nutrient X