Monday, 31 January 2011

sights for sore eyes

It's raining catkins, and we have the first snowdrop in the garden, so life is returning, slowly but suddenly.

Walking without Hatters is a strange experience, I chunter on as usual, whether there is anyone to listen or not, but there is no lithe figure bounding ahead or snuffling behind.

We hit the tide just right to see these waders down at the hard. Think they are sandpipers in amongst the oyster catchers and redshanks.........maybe. Where are the binoculars? never where I am.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


This is more like the real colour.

Friday, 28 January 2011

arting about

Fortunately had already arranged a Day Return to London to see my lovely friends Ruth and Adam. So that took my mind off sadnesses for a while.

Since a spotty teenager I have been besotted with Epstein's sculpture and the Modern Sculpture exhibition at the Royal Academy gave me the chance to see Adam.

Even more dramatic from the front. He is so gorgeous, huge in honey toned marble, I wanted to lick him, but Ruth [who is usually up for a lark persuaded me to desist]

Ruth, recently moved back to London, is 82 and walked my feet off. She was trial running a new posh wig, it had got a bit lively by later in the day.
We especially liked seeing a Hepworth inside a building for a change. Altho the artists like their work to be seen out in the elements, it is actually engrossing to see it dominating a smaller space [and warmer].

Damian Hurst's Eating Outside wasn't much of a shock having formerly made friends with his shark and sheep, most of the flies have died and pile grotesquely on the floor even tho they have recently been refreshed with new steaks to suck.
The pics are all from their website by the way as they wouldn't allow photography and the catalogue was pants.

Queen Vic on the left is looking down her nose with full "we are not amused" at the plastic contemporary version of Genghis Khan on the left hand side. The Royal mound is marvellous, so solid and pompous but with such a cheery gold frippery above her that at first I thought it was ironic, guess they may have sarcastic responses bubbling under in the mid 1800s

I guess the reason I loved the exhibition so much was the clever curating that juxtaposed
ancient [from Easter Island; Ancient Egypt] and modern and for the first 3 rooms it was all accessibly figurative
Even the Eric Gill's could be appreciated if one didn't allow ones mind to wander to his abuse of the daughters he carved so delicately.
Lots of artists have been omitted from the show. I would like to have seen a Rachel Whiteread Elizabeth Frink maybe not a Gormley [don't take to his wire figures] and won't go far to see the gore of the Chapman brothers.
Gilbert and George are already on show else where.

Of the modern stuff I probably like this Switter? hut best, it has a vaguely textural feel. There is another in the front entrance which many walk by not noticing it as "Art"

Behind the Academy there is another exhibition of Art Fashion Identity

These felted tunics took my eye and more disturbingly they were showing that video where in 1965 Yoko Ono did "Cut Piece" where the viewers were invited to come up and cut of pieces of her clothes. Which of course they did. Very chilling and not in the cold sense, but there again it was cold in that it made my blood run cold, as they say.

There was another video loop where two naked people stood in a doorway, man and woman facing each other and persons in the room had to squeeze between them to get out of the gallery.

My skin afterwards felt as if I was wearing this pin dress, very prickly and ...........cold.

The Sixty Minute Silence video made in 1996 of a formal pic of a people dressed as a phalanx of police was a much warmer and funny experience, especially when one of then fell asleep and had to be nudged by a "superintendent".

Lovely trip, thanks Ruth.

Monday, 24 January 2011

hattie the dog

Sad news is that Hattie the dog had a bit of a stroke on Friday. We nursed her over the w/e but she got no better and although she was obviously still willing in her mind her poor old body had had enough.

So today we had to take her to the vet.

RP carried her in, and I stayed with her at the end. She was happily chewing a biscuit as she left us.

We miss her very much. I am so angry, she was a perfect pet, a bouncing joyful part of the family.

Friday, 21 January 2011

in memory of Nigel

One of my stitching groups is faced with a Regional Challenge. We are part of the SE Forum of stitching groups, so each has to concoct a collage type thingy of aspects of one's region. We discussed at length and have about 20 possible areas to develop. One that caught my eye is pargetting, of which there is quite a bit in Suffolk.
So when in town this week I took some pics of the local Ancient House, with my new camera lens. Dropped the last one and broke the focusing motor whatsit.
New Year Resolution Do not hang camera on door knob any more
Do more sketch book work.

I quite like this one and may have a go at an Sample. The other Suffolk trademark is Suffolk "pink".
This was the tinted whitewash that used to painted on the cottages to refresh them each year. Some say that the pink tint was achieved from crushed fruits and berries, others that it was bulls blood and some red wine.

These were taken by Felting Needle

I especially like this simple mark making

There is also some rather sweet wood carving

Saturday, 15 January 2011

adrift in Norfolk

Before we wended North I started this piece, possibly to cheer the grey day.
However as it is quite large it is a bit too chirpy so I have taken the ladies off and put them on a darker background..............and added hair.
Not sure Picasso would approve. Now of course I am stuck in exactly the same place as before, what to do now.................the ladies were stuck to the background before, having peeled them off they are now merely tacked on, so I have to think of a way to stitch them down I suppose...............oh dear.

Whilst in Norfolk I solved the problem by taking lots of balls of wool with me and crocheting a big squarish "throw" from the ever reliable trebles. Half done so I can revert to it tonight when I am sick of poking the above.

Millions of pink footed geese fly over head clacking away, camera can never catch enough of them, probably they are actually chuckling, especially at all the twitchers anxiously twirling their long lenses and not having much more luck.
Hattie the Dog can still do a tight turn at speed, but she did flag a bit after the long walks. Given her unreliable rear end RP took her out 4 times a day to make sure we maintained our £100 deposit, [rather than hers] so she really had a work out.
The cottage had 4 televisions! living room had a 42" and bedroom a 32" - frightening. We have one 28" at home. Rather than march around with Hats I watched a lot of very colourful snooker or read Xmas books.
The Reversal by Michael Connelly was a return to form as they say.
Three Seconds by Roslund and Hellstrom was an intricate tale of how long it takes for a missile launcher to crash into the prison hostage before the taker can move and hide in the ventilation shaft. Guess how long? Hope I haven't spoiled it for you. I could have left them behind on the traditional shelf but they are both spanking new hard backs so I will try and loosen my hold and pass them on from here.
From the shelf I read a Lisa Scottoline, a sort of slightly tighter Stephanie Plum type tale.
One day we went to Blakeney to pick up a new cup for RP as we had broken the last one. The church there does a nice line in fine bone china mugs, and the man does like to stick to his traditions.
From their shelf I plucked Sarum by Edward Rutherford the epic yarn of Salisbury from Ice Age to recent times..........1344 pages. I have found the Stone Age hard going but hopefully it will pick up.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

on TV

Took a box of Xmas amaretto biscuits to textile group today as part of New Year generalised good wishes, now I have tooth ache.
Is there no justice. Usually I take a packet of crisps and watch everyone else get fat, but the festive season got to me and I tried to be nice.
New Year was quiet, watched the fireworks on TV; before that passed the evening watching In Ception also on TV.
Strange film, sort of metaphysical and wham bam thriller at the same time. Far too much bamming and not enough exposition about getting into the 3rd layer of the dreamers subconscious. Never really believe Leonardo de Caprio either, to me he is stuck as a puny teenager even with a beard.
Have been lusting over the Swedish Wallandar films tho, sub titled on TV, the guy is fat and blond but somehow extremely ...........ooomph And then there was the new Zen series on the TV, I don't care if Rufus didn't look or act at all like the book, he is beautiful.
It is my Mr Spock syndrome that is my undoing. These intellectual bottled up types, very wowy.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

xmas is over

Daughter, flying without a safety net as usual, sent me these slippers she had made by felting a sweater. They fit perfectly and I feel like an amiable panda padding around in them. I have often admired people who can do this kind of thing, daughter knows no fear. I would never try, being convinced they would never fit etc.

Another plus, after comfort, is that unless I stitch leather soles onto them i can't go out to the bins. Oh what a shame.
Tragically the parcel I sent her and GG hasn't arrived yet.

Also the Christmas Cactus has flowered on time, maybe it waits for the snow. It's a nice splash of colour.

Everything outside is a very muddy brown, except for the holly berries. I didn't get round to making a holly wreath for Xmas.
Mother insists that the day is now definitely longer, being past the solstice. Doesn't do much to cheer me yet. The fairy lights are all we can rely on for a cheery glow.

The birdies seem to be back, goodness knows where they hide to survive. Now it is milder we have the tits and finches scrabbling on the feeders, so tiny and fragile. Gulls and pigeons bullying each other for the bits of ham and bacon on the Van Gogh.
The cat doesn't even lift an eyelid preferring to sleep by the radiators.
I have knitted RP the back and front of his boring grey sweater if it doesn't fit it won't felt, even if I was brave enough to try, as he chose cheap acrylic wool.
Asked Ma to do a sleeve as I thought she would welcome something to do, of course she just interpreted it as me needing the help to get it finished before Next Xmas. I swear she doesn't have a positive thought in her ancient old noddle. No wonder my generation are scared to try anything challenging. Boo Hoo.
She stomped home off home clutching the wool and the remaining mince pies, I guess Xmas is over.