Monday, 28 November 2011

under whelming

After young Grayson I tootled along to the Tate Modern to see the Tacita Dean installation in the Turbine Hall. It was a lovely day, sun shing, crisp and bright, river all ashimmer, however I had been tootling for some hours and rapidly running out of steam.

Finally took my courage to the sticking point and hailed a taxi so that I would get back to the station on time for train.

I guess it was the right thing to do as I would probably have washed up in the next tide if I had tried to walk back to Embankment Tube station, but even tho there are bus/taxi lanes there are also Road Works, cost me £15 to sit in the middle of them for what seemed like hours.

Finally jumped out and ran the last 50 yards.

The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman[&woman]

Left the cold and misty river to struggle up to London on Network Express.

A great massing of gents in black coats with lap top bags and a coffee.

Being unpractised these days I sat in a nicley empty seat pointing the right way only to be turfed out as it was ticketed as booked.

Ended up at a table for four, two of which discussed office politics all the way as I sat muttering to myself with my back to the engine.

Arrived on time however, but Ruth assumed I would be late and went looking for me outside the British Museum, while I rotated inside looking for her. We never did meet up. She hadn't my mobile no. and couldn't hear her own!

However Grayson was well worth it. The collection of BM artifacts, placed with his own responses made me see everything with shock and awe. Much the best kind. I have been trying to add Brian Sewells review which says exactly the opposite and so astringently. I half agree with him and am half besotted with the exhibition.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

two beauties

The cats have landed. So great having them around. They have been fostered, very caringly for about 6 months we were told, nobody wanted to take two cats together. The foster mum had two big boys of her own who will be relieved to see them go, it took me some time to realise she meant two tom cats.

She is deeply into cats, said she had to move from one house when her previous cat died, she just couldn't stay.

Her husband is Spanish, so presumably thinks it is an English affliction.

She claimed our new babes didn't really seem to know their names [Immi was short for Imogen she thought] but I have taken the liberty of re-naming them Gert and Daisy.

They were two comedians during and after the WWII, that I presume I remember from Workers' Play Time, a dread comedy show on the wireless when I was a kid. They were played by Elsie and Doris Waters, sisters to Dixon of Dock Green.

Daisy is the big beautiful black and white one, Gerti is the slinky beautiful tortoiseshell.

So far [day 2] they have explored the house but are a bit nervous of eating, either that or they disapprove of my choice of cat food.

They do eat it at night, I suspect Daisy has first dibs.

Cooing these names at them at every opportunity seems to be working, already they come when called, and so far it hasn't driven RP mad.

They do seem to like walking on my key board, sleeping on my stitching and last night one of them must have walked over RP's switch board and turned all his computers off. Energy saving too!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The cat woman came today, from Cat Protection League, to check us out as future cat owners. apparently we passed and hopefully can pick these two up on Monday.

We picked them out because their pics looked so delicious and their back story intriguing. Ebony [the long haired 1 year old] has lived all her life with Ibbi 2yr old [?] the strangely marked one in an upstairs apartment.

As usual when the new baby appears it disjoints the family arrangements and these two were turfed out.

Immi is somewhat opinionated, [bites] so they have been in foster care for some time as the League of Cat People didn't want to split them.

I reckon they are lesbians and Immi is obviously the butch one. What on earth can Immi be short for?

We will have to keep them in for a while and then introduce them to the idea of a cat flap.........and the two dogs that live next door, and the bossy cat that lives below the bank. He has become very smug since Agamemnon left him the extra territory to strut around in.

Still no sign of a puppy, we have been drifting, making a change seems more and more distanced and I guess we are getting used to having the freedom to go out without a backward glance. But coming back to an empty house is horrid.

Once I looked at these two however the whole enterprise seemed possible and I am now very impatient for their arrival on Monday. [ Foster mum is away over the w/e]

Cat woman kept saying well if you don't like the look of them we have others, in a worried way, so i don't know what she fears, but we are firm.

Can't play Goddess with these things, have to take whatever turns up.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Fiber Futures: Japan's Textile Pioneers

Try clicking on title below to see the video of Japanese contemporary work, a bit different from what we do round here.
However in the main it doesn't excite moi, beautiful but ?soulless...........or at least doesn't connect with my soul. Great to have as part of the jolly old pantheon tho.

Fiber Futures: Japan's Textile Pioneers

looking for inspiration

I was at a workshop with my SLAPPER pals [Stitchers Lacemakers and Patchworkers Practise Embroidery Regularly] where we used ......I was going to say pesto but that's not right, Gesso that's it. Painted on fabric then when dry roller other paints/dyes etc lightly over it so it shows thru, and generally over lay and print up a fabric until it is ready to be finished with some stitch.

Now I have several lovely lengths of cottons all ready for action, but can't think what to do that isn't facile.

Think this might be a Gauguin print, that I took a pic from at some point to stimulate a birth of a design thought.

I don't think I can get away with something quite like Gauguin's but maybe more like this one from the Palais des Beaux Arts in Lille.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

French trippers

To try and celebrate/forget the fact that I am another year older we caught a Euro star from Kings Cross to Lille.

Closer than Findhorn C!

Done Paris a few times, most people shocked that we should reject a return visit for a provincial town in the Nord, but we thought that the train goes there, it must be OK.

I don't like going underground and even worse under the Channel [very dark out there] but it is quite quick and I had my kindle.

I had downloaded the new Connelly, PD James and Lee Child. It can be deduced that I didn't sleep well on French pillows as I came home 4 days later having read them all. Wasn't "thrilled" by any of them but they did pass the time.

The hotel had been built in the seventeenth century as a convent for the Minimes order, quite a rigorous group who may be somewhat surprised by the luxury of their accommodation now the cloisters have been covered with a glass roof and a piano bar and restaurant inserted.

We took the Metro to Le Palais Des Beaux Arts, and were amused by the cocktail lights twinkling in the ceilings but not so much by the huge Broken Glass chandeliers, very lumpy shapes.

I did have my birthday money burning a hole in my pochette, but French shops are Very Expensive. I took one euro as one pound which isn't quite right [specially in these Crunch times] but served for me, as I am in-numerate. Many of the shops were the same as in London, if more sparkly clean, but the prices were often twice as much.

So I returned home mostly still clutching.

Bought the new J Grisham at Liverpool St, cheaper in hardback than Kindle!

The trains from Liverpool St station had been in total disarray all day, but had largely been sorted so we arrived home only 10 mins late.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


K gave me a jar filled with walnut .....what are they called, not the shells, the green outer fruit type covering. Anyway if soaked, boiled and strained thru muslin they are supposed to make walnut ink, like the monks used.

I looked up some recipes on the webby [not surprised to find what I needed, the surprise would come from not finding the info] and set to.

One is supposed to throw in some rusty iron, vinegar and some gum arabic. Had to do without the latter.

I let it boil away for some hours, giving the very smelly potion a suspicious poke every now and again. It smelt a bit like when I used to boil up lights for the puppy dog until RP [he was Working Person then] threatened to leave home.

Eventually I got bored and sieved it thru a square of RP's precious wine making muslin. Being a textile artiste I have plenty of muslin lying about, but he had to buy his own, so i thought I would make use of it too.

The result is a half jar of dark brown fairly translucent liquid, that paints paper in a golden brown. Not really dark enough for monks, but probably useful to me on paper and fabrics, and quite good fun. I could have boiled it further to render it down more, but am going to see if I need to after having used it.......for something.

Maybe these old world recipes will come in useful when the Euro collapses, America bombs Iran and the "deadly flu virus" has swept thru.