Opposite The Cathedral, Down The Alley, Up The Stairs and Hang A Right.

Whilst this blog is usually writing about whatever I’m actually supposed to be writing at the time I have, on occasion, written about other people who are doing good things locally. It’s not exactly as if I have vast numbers reading this blog and the people in question will instantly get a massive boost in numbers. It’s more that it’s very easy to be negative about anybody making cool projects from scratch and sometimes you just need to know that somebody else appreciates what you’re doing.

This will be one of those posts.

Give me a bit of space to set the scene here…

Carlisle is not a massive city. In fact I could pretty much get away with saying that Carlisle is like eight different villages sellotaped together with a shopping district in between. Sometimes it even has the attitude to match. Anything cultural seems to get storied away in small pockets of the city and only let out for a couple of hours a day for grazing purposes. The usual big chain stores exist in Carlisle but it seems a bit tougher for the smaller, individual shops who may specialise in a particular field. Most bigger cities I’ve been to have stores dedicated to comic books and general geekery almost by default. Carlisle never really has, until now.


1Up is in very early days having only just opened their doors at the tail end of 2017. I’ve been in a couple of times firstly to check it out and then to buy new pieces for the X-Wing Miniatures game and some new Batman comics. I don’t know the guys who run it but they always come across as really friendly and willing to put the time in to this fantastic venture.

Building such a business from scratch is difficult and they’ve recently started a crowdfunder to pull some initial cash together and get furniture for the store so they can make it not only a shop but a hub for the culture in the local area. You can read the details on the link right here…


A lot of the time when any new business is covered by the local press the words ‘This is just what Carlisle needs’ are spoken even when it’s the 100th bar or sandwich shop in the city centre. Those words are true for this project however because there is certainly nothing like this in the area. Carlisle does indeed need something like this.

If you have some money going free then please chuck it in the pot. If you’re near Carlisle then pop on by and see for yourself the start of something a bit special. Even if you’re miles away or in another country altogether then still donate. You’ll have the warm glow of knowing you’ve helped somebody get a good project on the road.

The Boston Grammar

In recent weeks a guy who works at the head office of the optical chain I work for left his job to do graphic design full time. I’d never really spoken with the guy nor met him face to face but we had exchanged emails here and there via the internal company system. One of the first things he posted on his blog was a video link to the author Neil Gaiman giving a speech in Philadelphia in 2012. As a pep talk towards going forwards into the unknown searching for a career in creative arts it’s pretty high up the league table. Thankfully I’ve found it again…

Firstly the central message of ‘Make Good Art’ is inspiring at the best of times but the other part of this that grabbed me was the fact he made a list of stuff he wanted to do during his career and worked towards that. Tuesday marked by 33rd birthday, a chance to reflect back and plan forward so I’ve become tempted to do the same. If anything, it’ll be something that you can read back once I’m gone and laugh.

1) Write A Short Film (and get it made).

One lecturer at college once told me during a lesson on time management that you should make a list of stuff you need to do but make sure the first one is something you’ve nearly done or have finished therefore you’ve started your list already. A psychological advantage already then.

2) Write A Feature Film (and get it made).

Working on this one, mostly with ‘King Of Teatime TV’ and more recently ‘The Last Alive’.

3) Make A Videogame.

Which, as discussed before, will probably be some kind of text adventure at this rate.

4) Make A Comic Book.

Might be slightly hard by the fact I can’t draw but if I can convince somebody else to do that bit then we’re away.

5) Write A Novel.

I might have started this one already but with no clue as to where it’s going. The prologue was put up on this blog a few weeks ago.

6) Write An Episode Of Doctor Who.

Yes I know, shooting for the moon on this one but it’s on here.

7) Publish An Article In A Print Magazine

Probably wrestling/videogames, not fussed which one.

One down, six to go.