Wednesday 30 November 2011

The Second Version Two

After the untimely demise of the original prototype, and my horrible pyrographic gaffe in the creation of Mark II, I'm delighted to be able to report that the Binary Advent Candle Mk II I/II is finally finished and ready for ignition.  Here's a piccy:


- The Colclough

Saturday 26 November 2011

Not Having That One Come True

I don't usually act on the content of my dreams.  I usually disregard them within minutes of waking up, and proceed with my day as if the night's imagined shenanigans had never happened - which, of course, they actually never have (except as an illusion inside my dozy head).

But today, I made an exception to this generally-hard-and-fast rule.

I had a dream last night where I found myself unexpectedly in the middle of the next Root Hill camp (this might have been brought on by the fact that a booking form for said camp turned up in the post yesterday morning).  For reasons nobody bothered to explain, the 'Root Hill' camp wasn't at Root Hill at all, but in some sprawling, very badly designed conference centre.  But the main weight on my mind was that, what with it only being the end of November at the moment, this meant the event was taking place some nine months early, and I ended up trying (somewhat awkwardly) to explain to people that I was still working on the camp video from last time.  I remember wondering what happened to all that editing time I should have had.  All those months...

And then, after briefly catching sight of someone in my peripheral vision who may or may not have been Ellie off Countryfile, I woke up.  And having woken up, I thought: no way to I want to let that happen.

So I fired up Sony Vegas after breakfast, and did some more work on the video.  I've confronted the huge blob of football footage which I'd been dreading for weeks and I've beaten it into shape (I don't know why, but it always seems to be very easy to just stand there and let the camera roll and roll and roll when there's football going on, but it's never so much fun to watch the stuff back), and I've chosen a couple of little snippets from the concert to feature in the main highlights reel (not too much of it though, as the whole concert is included on the DVD as a separate video track), and I've tidied up most if not all of the odd loose-end clips that were scattered through my raw footage bin.  Today has felt like a very definite slice of progress.

Whether or not you (the Root Hill-ers who ordered a DVD off me, that is) get to see the fruits of my labour this side of Christmas is still up in the air, but if you don't, then it'll hopefully not be too far into the new year.

- The Colclough

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Sellotape Defeated

I've been having a staring match with my sellotape dispenser, on and off, for the last two months.  Since finishing Arbitrary Stopframe 11, basically.  Thing is, I've been pretty darn sure it must be possible to do an Arbitrary Stopframe episode with sellotape, but I couldn't get the story to hold together.

But as of yesterday afternoon, I've won.  At long, long last, I worked out what to do with the tape, and I've spent a large chunk of today shooting and editing the episode.  Was it worth the wait?  Dunno.  I'll leave that for you lot to decide.  Embed follows...

I could have made a 12th episode a while back, as I've had Sam Arthur's spec script sitting on my hard disk for a few weeks now.  But I wanted to keep that back to use as the grand finale to the series, so it's been waiting around until I could sort out the sellotape.  However, now that the obstacle of Episode 12 is out of the way, I'm hoping to film Sam's script as Episode 13 next week, and put the series on an indefinite hiatus.

In case anyone's panicking, reading that stuff about 'finale' and 'hiatus', I suppose I should clarify: I don't mean I'm permenantly terminating the series.  I'm just going to take a deliberate several-month break (maybe multi-year, but I hope not), and if/when I restart the project then I'll probably make a couple of alterations, mainly moving away from my desk and finding a different location to work in - most likely the kitchen - as this would open up new possibilities for things the characters could interact with.  It's been getting harder to keep coming up with the ideas, as there are only so many items on my desk that are animatable with.

And before you all go cold turkey on me, remember there's still Episode 13 to come before the hiatus...

- The Colclough

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Gallery of the Analogue

Okay, sorry about the wait - here's the aforementioned gallery of photos of my recent drawing and painting work.

First up, two attempts at a stylised depiction of a river.  Both of these missed the stylistic mark I was aiming for, with the first veering off in one direction and the other then overcompensating.  I'm planning to do a River III sometime, but I'll need to get my grubby mitts on another canvas first.

River I (10" x 10", completed 8th September)

River II (16" x 12", completed 19th October)

This one was done in a hurry, mainly to use up some watercolour which I'd mixed for Open to Interpretation (see below), only to find out that it wouldn't work on canvas and I'd have to go back to acrylics.  Didn't want to waste all that paint though.

Yellow Morning (A2, completed 25th October)

This one is the first of multiple variations - although the only one completed so far - on the theme of the giant Sharpie doodle that forms the basis of my current wallpaper on A White Horizon.  The big differences this time are the fact that the drawing developed in a slightly less haphazard way, and I did it on an A2 sheet of relatively pricey (and rather nice) 220gsm cartridge paper, instead of leftover wallpaper backing sheet as used last time.

untitled variations no. I (A2, completed sometime in October, I think)

I painted the background for this one back in May, and then it got buried and forgotten for months before I finally rediscovered and finished it the other day.  The whole thing was more of a technical experiment than an attempt at expressing anything; in particular, I put the gold pen details in the corners to check that it would work on top of acrylics, as a precursor to using the pens on Open to Interpretation.

Coffee, Maybe? (~ 12" x 16", completed 7th November)

The big one!  Not my largest painting by surface area (only my third-biggest canvas, if you count the square inches), but by far my most ambitious and detailed painting ever, and I think one of my most accomplished pieces of visual art in any medium.  My kingfisher impression took nine days to paint, but that isn't counting the time spent sketching the composition in pencil, wandering up and down the River Blackwater absorbing the atmosphere and analysing the colours, and generally sitting around staring at the canvas and mentally plotting next moves.  Not to mention that those nine days were spread out across a period of five-and-a-half months, during which several other, smaller projects came and went.

A Dive in Blue (32" x 12", completed 7th November, after almost half a year in the making)

Details from A Dive in Blue, L-R: tree trunk, background vegetation, kingfisher, oak branch

The latest completed piece: a re-interpretation of a pen-and-watercolour-on-wallpaper-backing abstract I created circa June 2009, this time with pen and acrylics on canvas.  Possibly my smelliest work, as the gold and silver inks really pong when they're wet, but fortunately it's stopped smelling now that they're dry.  Also my largest canvas to date, at 24 inches squared.  The painting takes its name from the fact that every other person who looks at it seems to interpret it differently - is it something on fire?  Is it a flower?  Is it supposed to be an optical illusion?  I don't know myself; I just painted it, and I'm happy for people to make of it what they will.

Open to Interpretation (24" x 24", completed this morning - 15th November)

And finally, a couple of things that I've made a start on in the last couple of weeks, but not got very far with.  I've also sanded down the second of my four ex-cupboard-door boards ready for sketching or painting on, but I haven't decided yet what to do with it, and I didn't think it was worth showing you a bare board with some scuff marks on it, hence the lack of photo.

untitled variations no. II (A2, work in progress, begun 1st November)

Stained Glass IV (18" x 24", work in progress, begun 7th November)

I'll try not to let such a big backlog build up next time 8p

- The Colclough

Monday 14 November 2011

Pyrography Tips for Fallible People

Here's a free bit of life advice for you: before sticking that screaming-hot metal poker into the wood and gouging and burning the letters "VI" into the surface, always make sure you really do want to write "VI", not "IV".  Cause, y'know, if you're trying to make a new Binary Advent Candle, for example, then you might find that the correct marking for the middle hole is "IV" after all.

Not "VI".

I especially recommend that you check your Latin number-spelling before you spend ages doing all the elaborate designs around the candle holes.  Not after, which I did, and which made it all that much worse.

And that's how my productive deed for this evening ended: very badly, with the sickening realisation that "VI" doesn't spell "4".  Accompanied by a little wisp of pine smoke.

- The Colclough

Friday 11 November 2011

Mostly Serkis

Went to see The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn with the family last night.  Mostly enjoyed it.

We used to go to the Odeon in Bracknell until three years ago, when a new Vue opened in Camberley, much closer to home.  My last 15 cinema trips (I keep notes, odd as that may seem) have all been to Camberley, but last night we broke the streak and went back to Bracknell, because Camberley were only showing Secret of the Unicorn at awkward times of day, and only in 3D, which none of us are that keen on.

Bracknell had changed a little bit, but not all that much.  Still more or less how I remembered it.  Seats less comfortable than the ones we've got used to in Camberley, but not enough to detract from the experience.

What did detract from the experience was the stuff in front of the film.  I don't know if all cinemas are the same, but both of ours tend to show ads for non-film-related stuff, then film trailers, then the actual movie that you paid to see.  Well, last night, all of the non-film ads were a load of utter dreck apart from one for McCain's chips, which avoided the usual food-ad cliche of focussing on a nauseously-grinning family eating the product for the whole runtime, and instead showed the chips being made and tested by little machines, designed mainly in the Heath Robinson tradition but with a bit of influence from WALL-E (which, coincidentally, was the last thing we saw at Bracknell before Camberley Vue opened).  The trailers were, if anything, even worse.  I'd already seen at least two different ones for Puss in Boots, which weren't that bad, but the one shown last night was terrible.  There was one for Happy Feet 2: I don't know how the original won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature - 2006 must have been a REALLY bad year for animated films - and the sequel looks awful.  There was one for Twilight six-and-a-half or whatever number they're up to now (I'm not sure, and I don't care, exactly how many have been released): it took me a few moments to realise what the trailer was for, but once I'd cottoned on I couldn't bring myself to keep looking at the screen.  The risk of catching sight of Robert Pattinson's gormless undead mug again was too horrific.  The only trailer that I liked was the one for Arthur Christmas - it's Aardman (see Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit), and despite having never believed in Santa Claus, I was rather taken with the premise that his gift-delivery routine is actually achieved through an uber-high-tech pseudo-military organisation.

But eventually, the rubbish was out of the way, and they rolled the Spielberg.  I must say it didn't make the best first impression - I thought the silhouette-cartoon opening-credits sequence, although decent enough in its own right, should have been kept until the end, and the film should have just got on with the story up front.  The beginning just felt too slow to me, and the mini-plotline in the credits was a bit of a red herring relative to the main story that followed it.

Said main story, however, was very enjoyable.  Steve Moffat was working on the first draft of the screenplay before being offered a job as head writer of Doctor Who, which shows, as the film had its fair share of wit and eccentricity, while Ben (who knows the comic books much better than I do) says they were pretty much faithful to the source material, albeit combining 2 or 3 of the 23 comic books into one film.  Ben reckoned the ending counted as a cliffhanger, but I would disagree - yes, it leaves the door open for sequels (it was always the plan that they'd make a trilogy, with Spielberg helming the first film and Peter Jackson, of The Lord of the Rings, taking over for the second), but the film is a sufficiently self-contained story that you leave the cinema feeling like you've seen a whole film - unlike, for example, Matrix Reloaded or Pirates of the Caribbean 2.  Which is quite a relief after Moffat's torturous obsession with cliffhangers in this year's series of Doctor Who.

The film's reviews were an interesting mix - mostly positive, but with one or two no-holds-barred savagings which mostly seemed to come from a luddite brigade who have never forgiven Computer-Generated Imagery for existing at all, let alone for being applied to feature films.  Well, I'm not an anti-CGI luddite, and while I did think the motion-captured performances weren't always 100%, they scored a respectable enough 95.  The show was stolen by Andy Serkis (better known for portraying Gollum through a similar mo-cap performance in the Rings trilogy) as Captain Haddock: easily the second-most-important character after the eponymous Tintin, if not the outright leading man in all but name; sober for approximately one minute of screentime; prone to impulsive, misjudged actions, and the source of a good two-thirds of the film's funniest and generally-best moments.

I feel I should mention the big action scene in the late second act which is executed in one, long, insanely complicated shot.  Technically impressive, if nothing else, and interspersed with a fair bit of Haddock.

The score was serviceable, but I didn't leave the cinema humming the theme.  It was definitely John Williams, but not John Williams on top form.  Still - no pop songs in sight (or in sound), which I always see as a good thing in a film.

Overall, I'd probably give it 7/ or 8/10.  See it for Haddock, if nothing else.

- The Colclough

P.S.: photo gallery of some recently-completed paintings coming soon!

Wednesday 9 November 2011

My Hundred Days

I've been racking my brains a bit trying to think of something special to do for my 100th post on A White HorizonHannah's done some interesting things for landmark posts, and I initially thought about offering my own take on one of those, but then I decided that the 'centenary' is too big a moment to settle for plagiarism.

On Monday night, I had an idea: a list of 100 of the most important/formative/memorable days of my existence.  I've done some maths and worked out that I've been on this planet for 8664 days (plus however long I was in development pre-birth), so on average I need to pick just one day in every 87 to feature on this list.  Here I go...

In chronological order:

  1. Sometime in the second half of May 1987: conception.  Psalm 51:5b, and all that.
  2. 18 February 1988: started being born.
  3. 19 February 1988: arrived at a hospital in Portsmouth, still inside Mum, and after 24 very unpleasant hours (I don't remember them, but Mum and Dad say they were terrible and I'm willing to bet I didn't enjoy them much either), I finished being born at about 22:45.
  4. Early-mid March 1988: at the age of only 3 weeks, I moved house for the first of several times, from Havant to Bristol.
  5. 13 June 1990: lost my only-child status as Catherine was born, at about 23:15.
  6. Probably circa 1992: that incident with the stuffed E.T. toy.
  7. December 1992: that school Christmas party.  I served my first two terms of school (yes, the use of prison-esque terminology is deliberate) at a little primary in Bristol, which I hated.  I had numerous disagreements with my teachers, despised several aspects of the place which I thought were illogical (why did I start off in Class 5, for example?  I thought you should begin at the beginning, and start in Class 1?), and never made a single friend.  And then there was some sort of party, I think a pre-Christmas one, and there was a misunderstanding as to whether the party food was instead of or in addition to the usual packed-lunch requirements, and after wandering around the building being confused for half of lunchtime, I ended up having to eat some sort of sandwich things that really didn't appeal.
  8. Somewhere from September 1992 to March 1993: on the subject of that school, there was also the incident where my teacher carried me kicking and screaming (quite literally, I'm afraid) to a different classroom to see how well-behaved the children were there.  I fell compelled to point out that I really thought I had a genuine grievance to throw that strop about - I wasn't just being difficult because I felt like it.
  9. Circa 1992 / 1993: I vaguely remember being shown Snow White and the Seven Dwarves sometime in my early days.  In retrospect, it was probably just after the film's digitally-remastered re-release.  It might have been my first cinema trip, and it's definitely the first film or TV material that I specifically remember seeing.  The bit that stuck in my head was this rather charming moment in the dungeon - I hope that doesn't say anything too bad about the state of my head?
  10. Early March 1993: we moved from Bristol to Cardiff.
  11. Sometime in 1993: cottoned on to the fact that each day and each year had its own number - I understanding the calendar, basically.  No idea what date this was, but I definitely remember it was in '93.
  12. Probably 1993 or 1994: my school class (I liked the school in Cardiff much better than the one in Bristol, by the way) was taken up to the staff room and fed small pieces of cooked turnip.  I really don't know what they were trying to prove, I just remember the veg.
  13. Probably late 1994 or early 1995: was allowed to make a cardboard model house at school (can't remember what academic context it might have had).  It only had a ground floor, and my ambitious lighting scheme was curtailed by the fact that they only let me have one bulb, but otherwise the project ranks as one of the high points of my three years in school.
  14. September 1995: began home education.
  15. Second half of 1995: on a visit to someone else's house (I can't remember whose) I came across a Buzz Lightyear toy.  Didn't think anything of it at the time, but that inconspicuous moment was the first time I crossed paths with Pixar Animation Studios.
  16. Tuesday 26 September 1995: started keeping my oldest surviving diary/journal thing.  The first entry was about some sunflowers I'd been growing in the back garden, and the book has some of the petals (remarkably well-preserved) laid out on its front cover under some sticky-backed plastic film.
  17. Wednesday 4 October 1995: the second entry in the sunflower journal records the fact that "we saw lots of snails on dead twigs" - I still remember the incident: the 'twigs' weren't technically twigs, but the dead stems of some annual hedgerow plant, two or three feet high, and the shiny little yellow- and brown-shelled snails which caught my attention, sitting on the dead twigs in large numbers, were almost certainly Cepaea hortensis.  This might not have been the very beginning of my fondness for the species, but it was certainly very close to the beginning, and an important formative moment.
  18. 6 January 1996: we left the UK for a two-year stay in Hong Kong, where Dad had got a contract to set up a test lab for a government agency.
  19. Later January 1996: found a two- or three-inch-long shell in a gutter, white with dark-brown spots.  Kept it (and, I'm sure you'll be glad to know, cleaned it).  It turned out to be the first of several of its species that I would acquire in Hong Kong, and it kicked my recently-formed interest in shells into a whole new gear.
  20. Late January / early February 1996: moved into our new flat at 17G Orchid Court, Sha Tin, which we would call home for nearly two years.  The block of flats, along with four others, is on the roof of a shopping centre, whose McDonalds' and Pizza Hut outlets would be a lifeline, and there was also a musical fountain in the middle of the main atrium, which I found endlessly fascinating.
  21. Saturday 22 June 1996: one of the occasional Saturday mornings on which I went with Dad to his lab.  I don't know whether it was the first, but I saw fit to record this one in my journal.
  22. Summer 1996: my conversion to Christianity.
  23. Can't remember if it was the autumn of 1996 or 1997: was told I would be taking part in the Sunday School musical production for Christmas, and was duly packed off to the upstairs classroom where the first rehearsal was taking place.  I hated it with every fibre of my being - I can't and won't sing on a stage, and nobody has any right to tell me otherwise - so I stood at the back of the group in ferocious silence, with my arms folded and (I'm told) a glare like a thundercloud.  Once the adults concerned had realised I really wasn't going to sing, they decided to let me be the narrator instead, which suited much better.
  24. Saturday 28 September 1996: went for a walk in the local park, and picked up a load of leftover wax from the candles used in the Moon Festival lanterns the previous night.  Made a candle of our own from the leftovers.
  25. Sunday 27 October 1996: my baptism.
  26. Wednesday 27 November 1996: went round the local park to see the giant lanterns that had been set up for the Zigong Lantern Festival.
  27. Sometime in 1997, I think, but it could have been late 1996: our train stopped at a station which happened to offer a view of the road where our bus route to church, the Kowloon Motor Bus 85, went - and on the road below I spotted an 85.  But not just any old 85.  Instead of the dull-yellow colours which 85s usually sported, this one was white - which probably won't mean much to you unless I explain that the white livery was reserved for air-conditioned buses.  After several months of suffering our way to and from church in non-air-conditioned buses, KMB had finally seen fit to put air-con vehicles on the route.  That made me enormously happy.
  28. Saturday 4 January 1997: drew the first in a series of pictures (each comprising four A4 sheets end-to-end) showing various villages in a fictional country of my own creation.
  29. Tuesday 11 February 1997: went down to Hong Kong Harbour to see the Chinese New Year fireworks show.
  30. Early 1997: went to the cinema to see Star Wars 20th-anniversary Special Edition.  It mostly went over my head, but repeat viewings on rented VHS tapes over the next few years were better appreciated.
  31. Wednesday 28 May 1997: Ben born, 20:53.
  32. September 1997: left Hong Kong for a 3-week trip to Australia, via Manila Airport in the Philippines.
  33. Later September 1997: discovered a shell shop in Townsville, North Queensland, and was struck by several specimens of the Venus Comb Murex.  Couldn't afford one at the time, and had to wait years and years to get hold of one.
  34. Friday 9 January 1998: touched down at Heathrow 4 in the early morning, back on native soil for the first time in two years and three days.  My diary says Auntie Tina met us at the airport, but nobody else seems to remember that point.  We immediately head back to the old lair in Cardiff, and on the way make our first crossing of the New Severn Bridge, which was opened in our absence.
  35. Friday 23 January 1998: we acquired our purple Ford Galaxy, which we gradually ran into the ground over the next 13-and-a-half years.
  36. Saturday 13 June 1998: we went to a Christian home educators' meeting, and meet a family called the Johnstons for the first time.  I certainly didn't appreciate the gravity of this moment at the time, but it turns out to have been very, very important day.
  37. Sometime in 1998: completed the loft conversion which we'd done to create a new play room.  Began building a new incarnation of my lego-and-cardboard city.
  38. Sunday 28 March 1999: first visit to Yateley Baptist Church.  I've been there so long now that it almost seems weird to think that there was a first visit.
  39. Monday 2 August 1999: I woke up late for a Monday, realised that Dad didn't come in to say goodbye before setting off to Hampshire for the working week, and started getting a bit upset, before it turned out he didn't go to Hampshire at all that morning, because Sophie had been born at 05:01.
  40. Friday 22 October 1999: we moved out of our house in Cardiff, spent part of the day with friends at their enormous, half-decorated pile (which I found a fascinating place) and then went down to Devon to stay with Mum's parents in Plymouth for a few weeks.
  41. Early December 1999: we moved into our current house in Hampshire, and started going to YBC regularly.
  42. Sometime in 2001: Universe XGT had its beginnings in a Lego-based game while Tim was on a visit to Hampshire.
  43. Last week of October 2001: joined our church's annual Youth Hostelling holiday, which was in Hastings that year.
  44. Thursday 20 December 2001: Mum, Dad, Cat and me went to the Odeon Cinema, Guildford, to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring the day after it opened.  My interest in filmmaking began during these 3 hours.
  45. 15 June 2002: started work on my first-ever animation - a tiny little clip of a plant sprouting, with the frames created pixel-by-pixel in Microsoft Paint.  It was so bad that I don't plan on showing it to you, but it sowed the seed of better things to come...
  46. September 2002: began GCSE studies with an online school called NorthStar.
  47. 5 February 2003: began work on what would become my first completed CGI animated short, Martian Ballet, in collaboration with Dave Allwright.
  48. Not really sure when, but possibly circa 2003: the night Dad and I helped Grandma and Grandad move out of their old house.
  49. June / July 2004: completed GCSEs.
  50. 28 August 2004: completed my first successful attempt at stopmotion, White-tack.
  51. September 2004: began A-level studies at Farnborough Sixth Form College.
  52. 5 January 2006: began work on Arthur & the Punk, the first in a trio of plasticene-stopmotion shorts which would take a total of almost four years to complete.
  53. Sunday 19 February 2006: turned 18.  Now legally allowed to buy pointy objects, tobacco, booze and Quentin Tarantino films on DVD.  Didn't make use of any of these new-found rights.
  54. Friday 9 June 2006: on the spur of the moment, wrote the first eleven episodes of a little webcomic called Cylinder and Miserable.  I put 4-digit numbers in the filenames (e.g. "Cyl_and_Mis_0001.gif" - now reduced to "CM-0001.gif"), but never really expected that I'd need all those zeros.  Time would tell...
  55. July 2006: completed A-level studies at Farnborough Sixth.
  56. Last week of August 2006: attended Root Hill Camp for the first time.
  57. Last week of October 2006: went on my sixth and last YBC Youth Hostelling holiday.
  58. Friday 27 October 2006: Tim and I filmed X-Battles GT1: Attacking, mainly as an exercise to let Tim have a go at stopmotion.  It turned out to be the first of several instalments in an increasingly technically complex series.
  59. Monday 27 November 2006: published the first episode of Cylinder and Miserable.
  60. Sunday 17 December 2006: I drew and published the first episode of an untitled Christian comic strip series, which I would later name Grace and Caffeine.
  61. April 2007: went to India for two weeks.  Got sick.  Nearly died.  Never going back.
  62. 28 May 2007 (or thereabouts): after a very long time with no animals in the house, we acquired the first of what would prove to be at least half a dozen hamsters.  Hammy the hamster was Ben's main present for his 10th birthday, and would stay with us for about two-and-a-half years.
  63. Mid-late June 2007: after 8 months' work, I completed my giant mosaic project I See the Light at the End, in the knowledge that it will soon have to be taken down and put into storage as the building housing it is going to be demolished.
  64. Monday 2 July 2007: got my email working properly after several months of downtime.  May seem trivial in retrospect, but it meant a lot to me at the time.
  65. Wednesday 4 July 2007: as an offhand remark in an email, I suggest the formation of a group called "the Fellowship of the Unsubtle Lead Bricks", to comprise (initially) myself, Tim and Sarah.
  66. Friday 20 July 2007: took, and failed, my first driving test.  Everybody then told me that all the best drivers fail at least once, and the experience spurs them on to become better drivers.
  67. Saturday 4 August 2007: while at a barbecue at Tim and Sarah's, I came up with the beginnings of an idea which I called Alpha One's Laser CafeThe resulting stopmotion film has become the first instalment of a quadrilogy, with the third film half-way through shooting, and the fourth in the scripting stages.
  68. Thursday 13 September 2007: passed my driving test on the second attempt.
  69. Later September 2007: began my BSc course at Farnborough College of Technology.
  70. December 2007: discovered the existence of Farnborough Tech's very small Christian Union.
  71. Monday 31 December 2007:  completed Day-Glo! (the second of my three plasticene short films) with just hours to go before the end of the year, after a final push by Tim to complete the score - the first of several he has composed for my films.
  72. Some time in early 2008: met one Lewis Connolly for the first time.  Apparently he'd already 'met' Cat over Facebook, but this was the first time any of us saw him in person.
  73. Sunday 6 July 2008: had problems, and ended up rather depressed by the evening.  Mum then decided it was time to tell me her thoughts re: me and the autistic spectrum - which explained a lot.
  74. Monday 7 July 2008: I drew the first of what would prove to be an ongoing series of pictures documenting my feelings on the Aspergers diagnosis.
  75. Monday 14 July 2008: visited a small war museum in Northumberland.  The enormity of what had happened got to me somewhat.
  76. Last week of August 2008: my third year at Root Hill.  Met Sam Arthur for the first time.  Can't remember if this was also the year I first met Josh Hall or if that was 2007 (a little help here, Josh?).  Also took over as official videographer for the week from camp organiser Dave Hollands.
  77. May / June 2009: directed live-action film for the first time, on the college project One in a Million.
  78. Tuesday 9 June 2009: wrote the 1000th episode of Cylinder and Miserable, finally making use of all those zeros I gave myself three years earlier.
  79. Saturday 1 August 2009: Cat & Lewis married at YBC.  I was one of the ushers, along with Lewis' brother, and Cat asked me to sign the register as one of the witnesses.
  80. Friday 4 September 2009: the beginning of a long and productive relationship between myself and Sony Creative Software's Vegas Movie Studio.  Proves that despite what some Mac fans claim, you can edit HD video perfectly well on the Windows platform.
  81. Saturday 5 December 2009: completed The Probe Has Succeeded, the last film in my claymation triptych.
  82. Tuesday 27 April 2010: having previously written the script for Megastropulodon Attacks! and been tasked with supervising the visual effects, I was now given the director's chair after Esam sacked the previous director for not engaging properly with the project.
  83. Early June 2010: completed the final module of my BSc at Farnborough Tech.
  84. Friday 23 July 2010: during a sugar-fuelled bout of creative zaniness in the small hours of the morning, Tim, Sarah and I created the first few episodes of our new cross-continuity comic strip Fort Paradox.
  85. Thursday 22 July 2010: completed X-Battles GT4: Deflecting (made by Tim, Sarah and myself), reviving the long-running tech-experimentation series and moving it into the HD age.
  86. Saturday 31 July 2010: drew the 178th and last episode of Grace and Caffeine, ending a creative undertaking which had been part of my life for more than three-and-a-half years.
  87. Last week of August 2010: my fifth year at Root Hill, and my second time doing the camp video - this time in widescreen!  Lots of major highs and lows.  High points included meeting a certain sheep- and Doctor Who-obsessed ginger person for the first time.
  88. Wednesday 1 September 2010: started blogging at A White Horizon.
  89. Tuesday 26 October 2010: found Coco the hamster dead in his cage, and as everyone else except Mum was away on various trips all week, it fell to me to carry out the funeral.
  90. Thursday 28 October 2010: graduated from Farnborough Tech with first-class honours.
  91. Tuesday 2 November 2010: published the first episode of Fort Paradox.
  92. Saturday 27 November 2010: went to the Root Hill reunion in London.  Got a scenic tour of several major rail stations and discovered that I don't like Harrods.
  93. Late November / early December 2010: quit Facebook, because I could.
  94. Friday 3 December 2010: invented the Binary Advent Candle.
  95. Thursday 30 December 2010: did my first acrylic painting since finishing A-level Fine Art six-and-a-half years previously.
  96. Saturday 1 January 2011: completed the 720p HD remastered version of Martian Medicine - likely the final iteration of the Martian Ballet Trilogy, after seven years (on-and-off) in the making.
  97. Saturday 22 January 2011: Hannah's 18th-birthday party - in Kent.  Getting there involved what is, to date, my longest-ever solo road trip.  There was a point half-way back to Hampshire in the small hours of the next morning when I sat in the car in a motorway services car park and seriously considered sleeping there until the morning, but I decided this wasn't a great plan.
  98. Thursday 27 January 2011: set myself a weekly-animation challenge under the title Arbitrary Stopframe.
  99. Thursday 19 May 2011: saw a kingfisher on the River Blackwater, which inspired me to begin work on my most ambitious painting ever.
  100. Monday 7 November 2011: completed my kingfisher painting circa 23:40, after five-and-a-half months in progress.

So there you go.  Me to date.

- The Colclough