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Happy Halloween!

26 Oct

It’s Friday 26th October 2012, and for the folks of Kilmarnock, and surrounding areas, that means it’s Halloween!

Despite the fact that the rest of Scotland and the world celebrate Halloween on the 31st October, holding Halloween on the last Friday of the month has been a local custom in Kilmarnock for as long as anyone can remember.

Me dressed as Spongebob Square Pants in 2007

As a kid it never occurred to me that this tradition was odd. It wasn’t until I went to University in Dundee, and then started working in Glasgow, that I realised we did things differently in Ayrshire. Every year, it’s always met with the same humour and amazement by my friends and colleagues, as I discuss my plans for Halloween and tell them about this little known tradition.

There’s no real explanation as to why it exists today, but one suggestion is that it dates back to the industrial and mining past of the town when workers were paid on Fridays, and so they had a little bit of spare money to spend on sweets for the kids before it all went on food and bills.

I always laugh at the thought of what new comers to the town  must think of this tradition. I hope locals tell them in advance of Halloween and they aren’t left to wander the empty streets of Kilmarnock on the 31st of October!

Nonetheless, I’m quietly proud of our little peculiar custom and hope that it continues for many years to come!

Happy Halloween folks of Ayrshire!

Me dressed as fried egg in 2006

Blue and white army!

18 Mar

Teams: Daegu FC v Incheon United
Stadium: Daegu Stadium (Capacity: 66, 442, today’s crowd: around 5,000)
Admission: 5,000 won (about £3)

On the same day as my home team Kilmarnock FC play Celtic in the Scottish Communities League Cup final at Hampden, I went to my first Korean fitba match. I’m gutted I can’t be at Hampden today to support the boys but I know they’ll do me proud! So my first trip to watch Daegu FC was a very small consolation.


Daegu Stadium in the sun

Today was Daegu’s 3rd match of the season against Incheon United (a city near Seoul where Korea’s main airport is situated). Daegu have got off to a decent start drawing their first game at home 1 a piece with FC Seoul. Having only formed in 2002, they can be forgiven for not having any major successes. But the fact that they play in the same colours as Kilmarnock is good enough for me!


Daegu FC strip

To give the football fans a bit of background on the K-League – there are 16 teams that play each other twice between March and November. The top six teams at the end of the regular season have playoffs to decide the champions and the final standings for the season. As it is the only professional league in South Korea there is no official promotion or relegation system… strange huh?

Daegu FC play between two stadiums, but today they were at Daegu Stadium – an impressive stadium at that. It holds around 66,000 and is the third biggest stadium in Korea. Built in 2001, it was one of the stadiums used in the 2002 World Cup and was most recently used for the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics which were televised in the UK last August/ September.


The mascot from the 2011 IAAF World Championships

Back to the game, having three Brazilians in the team, I expected some sexy soccer from Daegu FC, but if I’m honest the standard of football I saw today was on a par with the SPL. There’s not much more I can say about that. Nonetheless, Daegu won the game 1-0, scoring in the 35th minute. They deserved to get a goal in the first half, as they were the more dominant team and created the most chances, but in the second half I was surprised Incheon didn’t get a goal. They came out and playing a more attacking game and Daegu were forced to defend instead of creating more chances. But at the end of the day, a win’s a win, and my team won!

It was a fun, cheap day out helped by the spring sunshine. I got to watch the match in my t-shirt and sunglasses – which is how you should watch football – not hunched over trying to shelter yourself from horizontal rain and trying to avoid getting piles! My ticket cost me 5,000 (about £3) and I spent 3,000 (£2) buying some half-time scran – I have to admit though, it wasn’t a patch on a Killie pie!


Half time scran - Kimbap


9 Mar

Two of my friends have a hair and beauty Salon in Kilmarnock, and after recieving a grant from East Ayrshire Council they asked me if I could design them a new logo in return for free hair cuts for the rest of my life. Not a bad deal I think!

However, having come from a product design background (despite all my family and friends thinking I did graphic design?) I have never created/designed a logo or branding for a busines, and so I said I would give it a bash but wouldn’t promise anything!

So I did a bit of research on salon branding, came up with a few concepts, showed the girls my designs and what do you know they liked it!

And so here is my first professional branding project: