Springingtiger's Blog

The Party’s Over…
August 30, 2016, 00:41
Filed under: social media, Steampunk, Technology, Travel

Steam Powered Giraffe. Q & A

It’s time I was asleep after another long and satisfying day. The Asylum Steampunk Festival concluded today, but I have not yet had time to gather my thoughts on it. There will be blogs once I have had time to reflect upon it.

Like much of this year’s Festival today was, for me, dominated by Steam Powered Giraffe. I don’t think they realised just how big they are in the UK. Last night’s gig drew, according to the band, at over nine hundred their biggest audience to date. The demand to see them was so great that the Question and Answer panel had to be made a ticketed event to control numbers. It was well worth the walk to the Event Control to pick up a ticket.

The Q and A was great and the band answered a wide range of questions, some more candidly than others. What came across strongly is that they are a group of close friends who like working with each other.What was also apparent was that they really do enjoy interacting with as well as entertaining their fans. There is much more to say, but I am too tired to do so now.
Asylum may have concluded for this year, but it hasn’t finished. I know many people are heading home with ideas, many with purchases to realise those ideas. There are many who having now dipped their toes in Steampunk are ready to dive in to next year’s Festival. My head is buzzing with ideas too, over the next few months I hope to unravel them.

I Won’t Rabbit On!
August 29, 2016, 01:07
Filed under: Uncategorized

Some days are good, some are great and any day when you get to see Steam Powered Giraffe in concert as well as getting to talk to Rabbit is a great day.
I would tell you all about the parade this morning, and the concert, but I am far too tired to do so tonight. I will soon.

Another Day
August 28, 2016, 00:31
Filed under: food, Steampunk, Travel | Tags: , ,

Perhaps I should say another great day. I am not at all biased by meeting Steam Powered Giraffe and getting my photo taken standing between Rabbit and The Spine…okay, yes I’m totally biased, but it would have been a great day anyway. Perhaps not as great, but none the less, a great day.

Lincolnshire is a beautiful county and my day began with a drive through it, along rural roads, to get to Lincoln. Lincoln was awash with Steampunks of all shapes and sizes and all ages from all over the world. I was well impressed by one gentleman from the Gambia who managed to stand out in a crowd of Steampunks by wearing Steampunked African traditional dress. I did manage to get to some sessions, but I could so easily have spent the whole day just walking around watching people. 

The festival appears to have become a tourist attraction also for non-Steampunks who were having a great time watching the Steampunks and taking photos. They were also wandering around the stalls on the various Steampunk markets and I noticed a significant number adding hats and goggles to their t-shirts and jeans. I overheard two young ladies looking at the stalls outside the castle as one described to the other the type of Steampunk look she was going to put together.

I could so easily have spent a couple of hundred pounds on a magnificent gun cleaning with polished brass and copper, unfortunately I didn’t have that kind of cash in my wallet and passed on the opportunity. Asylum presents some serious shopping opportunities with items to suit every budget and some to exceed most budgets. I found myself more than once smiling stupidly and exclaiming “Shiny!”. My favourite overheard comment was, “I don’t know what to do, take photos or shop!” I could appreciate her dilemma. 

Were we still compelled to use film in our cameras, I could have exhausted by budget entirely on film stock without exhausting the photo opportunities. There were just so many amazing sights I eventually found I was suffering Camera fatigue.I might have wanted to capture everything, I had reached a state of overwhelm and stopped.

The day didn’t conclude with getting my photo taken with SPG. My younger brother took me to Ethan’s Japanese Steak House to celebrate my birthday (No it’s not my birthday yet, but I won’t be in Lincoln on my birthday). I won’t write more here as it deserves its own post as well as a glowing review on Trip Advisor. Can life get any better than this? Oh yes, tomorrow I’m going to see SPG in concert! For now I’m just going to look at my photo with SPG them go to sleep.

What a Day, WOW!

The Poppy Wave

It was Sam Luke I spotted first and I was confirmed it was him when I saw Bunny Bennett to his left, she is a pretty young girl. Where did I see them? On the Steep Hill in Lincoln down from the Bailgate. Sadly I was too gobsmacked to speak. However by the time David Bennett came, shortly behind them I had found my voice and what did I say? “Look irs the Spine!” 
My brother replied, “What?”

“The Spine!” I exclaimed too loudly. However David heard and gave me a wave. I am chuffed. That was just one high spot in a day of high spots.

Last night, having at last, made it to Lincoln I went to the Advanced Guard, a party for Asylum weekend ticket holders who had turned up early. (Guinness £3.00 a pint) A crazy transvestite comedian and a soprano mistress of Off Coloratura Innuendo. Good start.

This morning, in beautiful sunshine, I drank tea in my brother’s garden before joining him on a short cycle ride. Then it was into Lincoln for the Asylum beginning with Virgin’s Meet for first time attendees. Some chatting with creative types before visiting the Market in The Methodist Hall. I was saved from buying a ridiculously well priced cap only by my big head. However there were some amazingly creative people peddling some amazing craftsmanship.

I bumped into my brother and his wife in the castle and so together  we went to see the Poppy Wave which had been at the Tower of London. It was as we went in search of tea that we saw the members of Steam Powered Giraffe.

The best thing about being too late to get tickets to all the evening events I’d have liked is that I get to spend more time with my brother and his wife. This evening we drove to Skegness, walked along the Front then had Fish and Chips at Tony’s before going home. The wonderful thing is that I have a whole day of fun ahead of me tomorrow so I’d better get some sleep now!

Steaming to Lincoln.
August 24, 2016, 23:38
Filed under: Steampunk, Travel, Writing | Tags: ,
  1. Tonight, just a place holder blog post because I shall be up early in the morning to catch a train to Lincoln. Technically a bus and three trains, but you know what I mean. Sadly none of those trains will be drawn by a steam locomotive which renders my title somewhat incorrect. However I am going to Lincoln to attend Asylum, Europe’s largest Steampunk Festival, hence the title is not inappropriate however inaccurate.

    Traingate: At Least It Runs On Schedule!


    One of the things about the media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn over the last couple of days has been an attempt to undermine his image.

    Firstly there was a suggestion that his treatment of MPs would were he a private employer see him take to an Employment Tribunal for racial discrimination. Unfortunately a claim not backed up with convincing evidence. Worse still is the revelation that Labour MPs really don’t understand Employment Tribunals, how they work, the relevance of the ACAS code nor how difficult it is to prove discrimination. However let’s be honest Corbyn’s opponents have shown little interest in promoting employment rights, so why would we expect them to understand their mechanics?

    Now after one attacked was derailed along comes ‘Traingate’ as the press are dubbing it in an attempt to make it sound more serious than it is. Jeremy Corbyn was filmed sitting on the floor of a Virgin Train. On the film he complained about the poor conditions and overcrowding experienced by rail passengers and suggested that it was another reason to support renationalisation on the railways. Right on schedule as the leadership election ballot papers were sent out Virgin Rail hit back releasing CCTV film that allegedly showed Corbyn walking past empty seats. As far as I could see those empty seats were bearing reserved signs. More importantly other passengers on the same train corroborate Corbyn’s story. Indeed when he sat on the floor he was joining a group of passengers who had also not been able to find empty, unreserved seats.

    Much is made of the fact that Corbyn was eventually shown to a seat by staff. However the news media fail to mention this was forty five minutes into the journey. Passengers have pointed out that staff were going up and down the train ‘shuffling people’ to release seats. Another passenger interviewed mentioned that some seats were being taken up by children and luggage and so those seats would have appeared occupied.

    Why is such a fus being made of this? Obviously, as Atul Hatwal admitted on Sky News, to attack Jeremy Corbyn’s image as a man of integrity in the eyes of the people. He also suggested that the Blairites would mount a fresh challenge every year with a continuing campaign to undermine the Labour leadership. It is hardly surprising that Hatwal has been called on for the task as he was a spin doctor for Tony Blair’s New Labour government. As he said of his work as a press officer, “It’s only spin if you get found out.” Obviously by his own admission his impartiality is open to question in this matter. Any sensible observer must suspect he is still spinning on behalf of his old boss, Tony Blair.

    Would Virgin misrepresent the facts? I think that given Jeremy Corbyn is committed to renationalising the railways, it would suit them to prevent Corbyn coming to power. Of course there will be many like myself who wonder whether Richard Branson and his company’s attacks are motivated by the threat of renationalisation and the loss of millions of pounds of taxpayers money, or whether it originates from Branson’s good friend Tony Blair.

    There is no love lost between Blair and the right wing of New labour and Corbyn and the workers movement he represents. Many people believe Blair manipulated the Labour Party to steal the leadership from Gordon Brown after the death of John Smith, he is if nothing else an arch fixer, or as the Blairites have it ‘realistic’. When we look at those who lead the attacks on Corbyn, John Tiernan, Atul Hatwal, the Murdoch Press, Richard Branson and the PLP the thing that is most glaringly obvious is their connections with Tony Blair. Am I suggesting Tony Blair is orchestrating the campaign against Corbyn? I wouldn’t dare, bad things happen to people who speak out of turn and I’m not as brave as Dr David Kelly.

    When A Plan Comes Together (The GUESS Newsletter is coming together again)


    I went to the Film and Comic Con (Collector Mania) at the weekend and for fun, instead of one of my bought pairs of goggles, I wore on my hat the goggles I made from yoghurt drink pots for the Glasgow Ubiquitous E Steampunk Society newsletter. I am pleased to say they were very well received.

    It is my intention to have at least one step by step Steampunk build in every issue. I wasn’t sure if I would manage it however on present showing there may well be more than one next time alternatively I am set up at least until next year’s AGM. I am pleased to announce that there are at least three full builds and one wee one in the pipeline.

    I am delighted that Ambika of ‘Sundara Run’ will provide a step by step build of a fascinator. I think it’s the one she was wearing on the ‘Farewell Ela’ photo-shoot so if you want a preview just scroll through the pictures on the Glasgow Ubiquitous E Steampunk Society Facebook page until you find it. If you haven’t read the newsletter and want to know more about GUESS that’s also the place to go. You’ll find a PDF of the newsletter under the ‘Files’ tab and more besides.

    As I said there are more makes in the pipeline. Assuming it works out okay we have one on building a BFG from a brass pipe, plywood offcuts and a cardboard tube, which may or may not be in the next issue. There is also another build being put together on turning safety glasses into aviator goggles using leather scraps.

    The fascinator is up first and there may be others. I am hoping members (especially those busy getting gears from Ebay) will keep a photographic record of their work to share with the newsletter. I am not limited to just one an issue.

    I have been promised at least one article about a member’s relationship with Steampunk, but there’s plenty of room for more.

    There will be reports on Society activities including our upcoming ‘Walking Workshop’ on the third of September. If you don’t know about Walking Workshops you’ll find an explanation and report of the last one in the current newsletter. It was a very enjoyable experience for all participants.

    I have also been promised a page of Steampunk humour…whatever that may be. There’s one way to find out, but it involves waiting to read the next issue in October.

    What I am enjoying most is that members are now actually coming forward with contributions. I hope that more will. We don’t just need full articles, small pieces are very welcome. We need top tips and handy hints. Reviews of events, fairs, concerts are all welcome. Any other Sreampunk group that wants to give notice of activities is welcome…indeed you can always share Steampunk events to our Facebook page.

    The first newsletter was somewhat of a kite flying exercise. I expect number two to be more of an airship and by three, all being well, we’ll be in the Rocketeer’s airspace. So please don’t just watch this space…fill it. Hope to see you on our Facebook page soon.


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