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June 11, 2017

Reprography: the art or process of creating, printing and reproducing documents and graphic materials.

The college Reprographics Department I facilitate is in place to support teaching and learning, through the timely provision of an array of printed resources.

Teaching and learning time is valuable, teachers and support staff at the frontline of secondary school education are well aware that their own time is also valuable. Our department is here to create and produce requested printed resources, making more preparation and teaching time for staff.

Mindful of good service, a timely response to print requests is just part of the value we provide. As a reprographics service, we aim to turnaround print requests from all staff, within hours. Juggling multiple requests from hundreds of staff can be exacting but scheduling work so we meet required deadlines is an essential part of the service provided. 

Requests may be for a few dozen worksheets, a few 1000 booklets, through to a varied mix of classroom material; reward cards, certificates, posters, notices, incentives etc. The quality and broad range of items possible is notable.  Work may be single-color, full-colour, stitched, folded, hope-punched, laminated, bound… all on a variety of stock materials and finishes.

From scheduled test material and syllabus resources to items designed for more kinesthetic, tactile and visual learning, our daily output is significant and varied.

In an age of digital information, printed visual material is still important in our education system. Printed material can be used in classrooms to encourage students’ learning process and make it easier and interesting. Quality printed graphic material can be a great tool, helping make teaching and the dissemination of knowledge more effective and more successful.


June 3, 2017

Characters at play… I was going to write a load of waffle about browsing the campus library years ago as a student, looking for a play to explore and direct. I did write a few paragraphs about how our days are surrounded by the theatrics of our lives. How life’s stages are filled with sets, props, and characters. Our minds are filled with scripts, narratives, subtext, and routines. The constructions around us; our habits, our favourites, our choices, our vocabulary, our acquaintances, our attitude, our responses… All part of the theatre of our lives.

I was thinking about how we embellish, enhance and enchant our lives. We imbibe our chosen feel good foods, impulse buys and guilty pleasures. We assimilate ideas, philosophies, promises and traditions. We are entertained by new stories, we are empowered by tunes and mantra, we are informed by polemics, fear, doubt and hope. Framed by our chosen station, our favourite coat, or our familiar chair, popular distractions infuse the working week, blockbusting entertainment punctuates the normal. But…

But, with all the theatrics above in motion, I cycled to the village for pies from the butcher, I had coffee and a chat in the church cafe, then cycled home to make bread. How much more middle-aged, middle-England, middle-class can I be? I have even descaled the coffee machine. I have just spent a well overdue two days with the family, walking, picnicking and generally chilling out together – Thank you Universe!

However, my Saturday morning’s warming visit to a coffee shop, is scripts away from a today’s meeting with BD and cold thoughts of value.

Perhaps we may never know how the world might work unless we stop directing, and allow ourselves a part in the play. Breathe, feel, re-act… ignore the expectations of the audience, and the ambitions of the cast…

Characters at play.

Little things

May 13, 2017
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It’s been a while, time flies when you’re having fun.  Much water’s flowing under the bridge, around the stones, over the shingle…

Over time, many things morph to polish off our sharp edges and sharpen our perceptions.

  • While watching ‘Genius’ recently we’re reminded that “Human perception is frightfully narrow…”.
  • Simon Parke’s ‘Abbot Peter’ reminds us “Every contact leaves a trace
  • After reading David Eagleman’s ‘Brain…’ about the mechanics and chemistry of our neural interactions; I think(?) the narratives we create(?) are mind-bogglingly amazingly cripplingly awesome. Interaction can be magical…
  • My favourite idea carried from my art student daze… ’the interaction between things is what makes them fecund’ (thanks to Wallace Stevens)
  • And so many other nuggets sifted from the stream… as Aristotle said, the whole becomes greater than it’s parts.

After doing a little favour recently I was given a card that made me smile. “the little things that count” Spike Milligan. Thanks FP.
Yes indeed, I guess it’s the little things that make the world go around.  It’s also very often the little things that make us smile.

I was also reminded of the quote “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”. This is often misattributed to Mother Teresa. I guess religion can guild many simple ideas with sentimentality. But in essence, it can be true.

A simple work ethic of doing everyday things (perhaps ‘mundane things, but that’s subjective judgment) with honesty and dignity. Even in this age of automation, if someone didn’t keep doing the key routine unrecognised things that keep the big machines working they would not work, or perhaps at least (or worse) start to perform poorly, dangerously or ineffectively. 

Thinking of ‘home’, ‘work’ and ‘faith’… Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross recently said ”…who’s gonna do all these jobs?…”

Here’s to more poetry, here’s to truly discovering more from less, here’s to a blessed cleansing of perceptions…

The torn edges,
The stains,
The spittle,
The red mist,
The black dog,
The burning,
The bruises
The rust,
The tarnish…

The pulse…

The breath…

The silence…

The water…



Brooks saddle ~12,000 miles

April 12, 2017
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WOW, thanks Brooks Saddles.

I treated myself back in 2013 to a ‘Brooks’ saddle. Alas, last month after about 12,000miles (been doing >3000 a year) I heard a snap.

I had to switch my Brooks Flyer for the old off-the-self saddle that came with the bike that, yes, looked comfy but after a day my backside was not happy about the cheap ‘comfy looking’ saddle.

After 4 years of 5day-a-week riding, my Brooks is like an old pair of boots! Snug as slippers!

Disappointed, and fearing the worst, I called and emailed Brooks with my ride history and proof of purchase. Seven days later my saddle’s been returned fixed! WOW, ready for another 12,000 miles at least!

Like I said, my brooks saddle’s like an old pair of leather boots – snug as! Thanks SG and Brooks Saddles.

Simply, a walk…

April 11, 2017

It’s that time of year again. Last March we posted a Spring walk. This week we did our first ramble of 2017.

Nothing difficult, simply a round walk along The River Soar from Barrow to Mountsorrel, up the mound, and back down to The Waterside for an anniversary ale (13 years), and then there’s The Navigation for another on your return (site of our first date).

I have recently been reading, watching and listening to more stuff that reinforces Ezra Bayda’s “What happens when we slow down and pay attention? Everything! Innumerable delights are right at hand.”

It’s coming to the end of Lent and although I have not been able to focus on it this year, a few nuggets have settled in the sands of uncertainty.

I’ve forgotten all I learnt in the desert.
I didn’t, as the guide advised, create notes.
So the soothing mirages we realised have melted.
Yes, nothing held back, nothing held onto.
Nothing, only breath.
And a hope for bird song in the privet.

Your conscious experience (reality) is really just an immediate memory.

Apostle Paul was “reasoning with Jews in the synagogue and Greeks in the marketplace about {stuff}” Acts 17:17
Reason, not abstract concepts.

“the mind, like the feet, works at about 3mph … modern life is moving faster than the speed of thoughtfulness”

“You don’t perceive things as they are, you perceive things as you are…”

“Beauty is the discovery that objects are not objects; love is the discovery that others are not others.“ Rupert Spira

“Perhaps the way we do anything is the way we do everything”

“We humans prefer a managable complexity to an unmanageable simplicity” Fr Bruno Barnhart

“…and I am lucky enough to know that I am in the Midst” Barbara Brown Taylor

…there is a wholeness which lies on the other side of ego, where we can learn to rest assured … to know “for the first time” a “second innocence”… a simplicity that takes us beyond the simplistic. (Brian Draper)
“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Words; midst, rebuke, becalm

There are some other walks we’ve done here if you’re interested: Walks

Flyer “Improved Performance”

April 4, 2017
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DJS Sports Massage are about to launch and came to me for a bit of bling!

Dan needed some fliers and imagery to reinforce the service and help spread the word.

DS Sports Massage is a new venture run in Leicester by Dan Squires, a recently qualified Sports Massage Therapist. They offer mobile house calls so you can enjoy a massage in the comfort of your own home. DJS offer a range of professional services from sports massage treatments to sports injury rehabilitation programmes.  Sports Massage offers full treatments which include a range of various techniques including:

  • Deep friction
  • Soft tissue release (STR) 
  • Myofascial Release Techniques (Deep Tissue)
  • Neuromuscular Techniques (NMT) 
  • Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)
  • -Pre & Post event Massage

Check them out here:

Butterflies 2017

March 31, 2017


In 2011, we did this. We thought we’d do it again as the kids seemed enthusiastic and curious.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched 5 caterpillars, eat, grow, form chrysalis and emerge as butterflies.

I read that “to become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests itself … certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures”

A caterpillar is a larva. We watched them eat, eat and eat, and shed their skins to get bigger and bigger.

After about 10 days, they climbed to the top of the cup, shed their skin one last time, and each formed a chrysalis. The chrysalis hardened, and within this the caterpillar transformed its body into a butterfly.

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I am told, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. Certain groups of cells survive the digestive process. All the information needed to become a butterfly is present in the caterpillar when it initially grows from an egg.

While in the hardened chrysalis, most of the transformation is an unseen process, but you see the chrysalis harden and bulge over about 10 days. It wiggles every now and then, reminding you that something’s going on in there.

Finally, after about 10 days, out climb butterflies – simply amazing.

You can get the kit here: