Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tooth Is Stranger Than Friction

Where has the week gone? I don't know - anyway from what I remember it was o.k. At the weekend we went to Knutsford and saw "Horton Hears A Who" at the cinema which was fun though the place was full of tiny tots being a matinee and the noise was terrible! Popped into the town to look round a gallery and craft shop that was selling some of MMU students work- ceramics mostly.
No boot sales again but it was drizzling most of sunday so probably just as well. We went for a walk around the mere at Shackeley when the rain stopped ( or was that the day before?).
At the moment I have a numb right hand side of my face after going to the dentist for a filling repair. The left hand side has only just settled down after the last filling. She said it was a "high spot" on the filling and she filed it down for me. It was absolute torture being a very deep filling and need two jabs of the needle. Ouch! Hopefully no more fillings or repairs for a while.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lazy Tong Terror

This is the new rag rug that Hazel has been making for the last few weeks whilst watching television in the evenings. Its mostly made from old clothes, T-shirts, and cheap material from the market. Archie usually draws the design but being a grumpy teen he declined and I had to do it. It's a plate with egg, sausage, mushroom and tomatoes. Isn't it obvious?!
It graces or back room now under the table where the old rabbit soiled one used to be. All we need now is a grumpy rabbit to poo all over it and all will be complete!

A sneak previw now of a weird metal gadget before it gets put on Hazel's A1Scrapmetal blog. I bought it for her from the Oxfam shop for three quid.
Lazy tongs were used by midgets in the 19th century to retrieve rude books about corsets and brassieres from the high shelves of the infamous Bodkin Shops which flourished in the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th.

Here you see it half extended. To show it fully extended I need a special lens for my camera and special license from the post office. I expect Hazel will show it to it's fullest advantage in her excellent blog very soon.
She is especially jubulent at the moment as the Interactive Arts course she works so hard on has been given 5 more years after it's 5 year review.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wet and Windy

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Hazel took this clip of Archie at the Manchester Science Museum recently when they took a break from computers and looked round the Body World exhibition. Not sure where this is though - Archie seems to have a spinning thing growing out the top of his head. It's clever camera trickery and very blurry for some reason.
Meanwhile the weather played a major part in spoiling our weekend. No boots or walks as it rained most of the time. We tried to find one over at Winsford that betty (in the Age Concern ) told us about but realised soon on that our day was doomed when we got stuck behind a massive wide load flanked by several police cars on the by-pass travelling around 5 miles an hour. After 30 minutes I eventually turned off into the industrial estate thankfully so we could proceed but by this time the rain was heavier and when we eventually got to where we though the boot sale was it wasn't! We asked a man and his dog and they sent us off down some muddy track and still no sign of it. So we came home via Morrisons.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reeling In The Years

Special title of todays bloggage for my little bruvver John who is a big Steely Dan fan. Thats him in his favourite jumper and hat he wears when he's out gazing at the stars!
Trying to think of all the exciting things that have been happening of late - since I last blooged. I bet you are all on tenderhooks!
Mmmmm? Well I had to go and get a blood test at the infirmary in town- a yearly thing it seems when you get to my advancing years. The male nurse said I'd feel a little stab and I did! Ouch! Thankfully I was only the second in the queue so it didn't take long - if it had been in London I would be waiting hours I expect, unless things have dramatically improved since we lived there.
It was a "fasting blood test" which meant I wasnt allowed any breakfast or even tea with milk- so all I'd had so 12 hours was a sip of water! So afterwards Hazel, who drove me to the infirmary and held my hand, treated me to poached eggs on toast at Charlie's cafe. Yum! Poached eggs never tasted so good.
Then we went round a few charity shops for half an hour. I found two series of Fry & Laurie on DVD for 3 quid. Blimey, they look so young and thin back in the 80's and it was still quite funny. We watched the first episode last night as there wasn't much on. Mind you, I was young and thin back in the 80's too!
Today it was mostly catching up with mail art blogging and rummaging through the coal shed for likely specimens. I nearly caused an avalanche as the boxes of mail art are piled up so high! Also carried on with dubbing old reel to reel tapes to Cd. The ancient Philips tape recorder is on it's last legs though and has to be switched off to cool down every so often which is a pain. I was afraid the tapes might spontaneously combust!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Potato Cakes And Hail Stones

I took some photos in Marbury today but haven't had time or inclination to upload any of them. They all looked pretty rubbish anyway on the screen- washed out for some reason and I altered the settings on my camera several times to no avail.
So it's an old collage I just found which will do nicely. Mr. Spock in drag being followed by a crazed horse. Babyfaced Detective Bisto of the Yard follows at a safe distance.
The weather had put the kibosh on the weekend really but I did manage to wander into town and go a book about Hundertwasser in the Oxfam shop for Archie who is doing him in art for some reason. I've always hated his horrible swirly abstract paintings but his architectural stuff seems more interesting. He seems to have dabbled a lot in all kinds of areas including performance art and collage.
I got a small rusty tin, shaped like a trunk ( not an elephants ) for Hazel.
They went to Manchester on Friday and managed to catch the Body World show at the Science Museum in their lunch break. Plasticised corpses by some mad German fellow - Vog Hagen Plankton. Sounded pretty grim. Archie was keen to see it though. He enjoys all those bodyshock programmes and not the least bit squeamish like me. Maybe he'll be a brain surgeon?
The builder scratched Hazel's car with his wheelbarrow as he covered every sqaure inch of next door's garden with gravel, so she wasn't very happy especially as she'd asked him if the car was o.k. where it was and she would move it if it was a problem. O no- he said - that will be fine! She's stuck a note through next door saying they owe her fiteen quid for a paint kit patcher upper.
We had hail yesterday and some sunshine- lots of rain in the night so the park was very soggy and big puddles everywhere. A dog tried to grab Archie's bag of duck bread.
Couldn't move for twitchers- they had camped out in the bird hide and put up all their binoculars and tripods, cameras, telescopes, microscopes, theodolites etc.
Made a fry up for dinner with some Potato cakes and eggs, toms and garlic mushrooms. Yum!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rain Rain Rain

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Mrs. Spock on her way home from a Star Trek convention in 1897. She's haunted by the ghost of Red Rum.
Its raining again here. It rained all day yesterday. I walked into town and bought some cheap videos. One Japanese and the other Spanish. Also DVD of "Withnail & I" which we have on video but for 1-50p you cant say no. I can't anyway. Sadly no extras with it.
Looked for some plugs for the old reel to reel tape recorder but to no avail. Listened to some old Charlie Gillett "Honky Tonk" shows when I got home and did some collages. Sorted through an old 1980's box of mail art. Added some to mail art blog and sent a few to a researcher in New York who is putting together a book about Postal Art for possible publication. Hard to choose ones' favourites as they all look good to me now some 20 odd years later. Added some to mail art blog.
Archie is doing his "work placement" at MMU and travels in with Hazel every day. He's working in the computer room and learning about 3-D animation and Vector and other software I've never heard of. he seems to be enjoying it and especially the big fried breakfast when he gets there!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

T-shirt Violation Squad

Hazel has started a new rag rug for the back room as the other got pooed on my Flo the grumpy rabbit. Here she is slicing up an old and favourite T-shirt that I bought from Mark Pawson some years ago. It was a bit far gone I must admit. Its nice to see it will survive a bit longer in it's new guise.
Its been snowing in the night - just when we thought Spring was here, we are plunged back into Winter again! (see bottom photo early this morning ) Its all melted now except for the bits in shadow.
Got some new postcards from Boomerang which was a nice surprise as I thought they had been crossed off their books! A big parcel arrived and a neighbour took it in as I was too slow to answer the door. Good timing as I am very low on all the others and down to last couple of "Party Games" and "The Hypochondriacs" and maybe a couple of dozen of "Cinema" and " Marilyn Monroe". Funnily enough I have hundreds of "Arses Of England" left over!?

Hazel picked the winner of the Grand National yesterday but forgot to put bet on! Doh!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Crewe Market

Hazel and I went to Crewe this morning. Archie didn't want to go, so stayed in bed. He's been reading until 3 in the morning.
The flea market was pretty busy for a change - the warm weather had brought people out. Hazel found an old scrapbook from the 60's with postcards and other ephemera stuck in. Here is a matchbox label and a club card. There was also an envelope of old wedding invites and replies - some on official wedding stationary and others on scraps of paper.
Hazel also found some gadgets for her collection - a butter scraper and bottle opener from Germany in it's original box. Also a lovely enamel tin of icing equipment and nozzles with nice illustrations on the lid and sides. I expect these will turn up on A.1. Scrap Metal blog soon.
I didn't find much despite looking through hundreds of scratchy records. Most of them I have already! I found an old game and a DVD of "Kind Hearts & Coronets" and a dodgy looking one of the animation "Madagascar".
On the way home we stopped off at the Co-Op to get some things despite the tendency for mishap. The last time Hazel went the shutters crashed down and narrowly missed decapitating Audrey. She rushes through the door now just in case! If it's not the shutters its a robbery or the till playing up. Today the lady behind the counter got a button caught in the till which caused some merriment and consternation. Always something.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools

A trip out to Chester today to celebrate the new month. Archie bought several packets of Pocky from the Japanese shop and ate most of them. I managed to get one which tasted a bit like a cork beer mat covered in creosote.
We blind folded Hazel and made her drive to the Park & Ride place and got the bus the rest of the way. It started to drizzle as we arrived which is pretty typical of our day trips to anywhere! Thankfully it stopped after a few minutes. Got some CD pockets (x45) from the Pound Shop. When I got them home I realised why they were so cheap - made of recycled crisp packets.
Hazel got two Sooty egg cups from the Oxfam. They seemed a bit battered and dear at a fiver each but she reckoned they were rare. I must admit I had seen any like them before. When an egg is inserted Sooty looks like a trappist monk!
Archie got a PC game called Monopoly. He's playing it now. It has a relentlessly cheerful cocktail jazz background theme that makes your brain go to mush after about 30 minutes.
We had a picnic by the River Dee in a howling gale and walked back along the Roman wall. Amused by centurions on the way as we peered down from the battlements, pretending to spear tiny children. They were all carrying small plastic sheilds but the javelin he was carrying was more thasn a match for them. They all seemed very keen to step up to the plate and get skewered. "Me! me! me!"

Went round most of the charity shops and the market much to Archie's annoyance. Hazel found the posh clothes shop she knew from Llandudno. She did not buy anything though despite money burning a hole in her pocket. All too summery and light apparently - she's waiting for a shipment of heavy cord yashmaks.
No buskers but a man was cheerfully strangling a pigeon in the town square and had gathered quite a crowd.
Got home in good time despite several miles of ornate bollards and chickenwire sculpture blown from the centre reservation onto the hard shoulder.