Sunday, February 28, 2010


Went to two jumble sales yesterday which made a nice change especially as there are no boot sales this week. Jumble sales used to be a regular thing in other places I've lived but very rare in Cheshire for some reason. I suppose it's because we have so many charity shops and boots.
The first was at the Sally Army which I stumbled upon by chance. An old lady barred my way as I went through the door saying " Its not open yet!" What isn't? "The sale doesn't start until 10" I didnt know there was one! I went into the charity shop next to the hall where the jumble was being held. I could see that all the cream of junk had been skimmed off for the sale and all the dregs were left. I went away and came back at 10. It was packed by then and I managed to get three DVD's for 50p each- For Whom The Bell Tolls, Saving Private Ryan and Creature Comforts ( the Ardman Animations ).
The second jumble was over at a community hall in a small village about 5 miles away. This was also very busy - one could almost say "manic" (see Flip film above)! No chance of getting near any of the tables unless you went sideways. I managed to find a gap and purchased two old Pepys games - Bedlam ( how appropriate!) and What's That ( a game of guessing the names of objects photographed at strange angles ). Also a tiny key chain digital camera that I later discovered didnt work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Southend Art School 60's

Partly as a response to an e-mail I got yesterday from Fred Eve, who went to the art school at the same time as me (1963/64) I am re-posting some old photos taken at the time.
Above is the old painting room. Thats Fred I think in the glasses and that's me in the silk screened jacket trying to blend in! That painting was based on the grinding surfaces of a hippos tooth or was it a rhino? I'm pretending to stick a bath sponge onto it with the power of my mind.

Ned Newitt sent me this photo - he's at the front in the duffle coat. The others are Richard Poole, Fred Eve, Vic Mills, Richard Woods and me. We all look intent on going somewhere to do something very arty but not sure what it was!? Probably just to Garons to buy some cakes.

This is taken outside the old dining hall. I think these are Ned Newitt, Richard Woods, Vic Mills and Rick Cox with Russell Colombo lurking in the background.
Vic and Russ were employed to take the dining tickets on the door for which they got a free meal. I always took a sandwich or went to Garons to buy a sausage roll or a bun being a penniless art student. This must be 1963 or '64. A couple of years later the old art school was bull dozed to make way for a roundabout and it was moved to the high rise block as part of the Technical College. Very sad. The dining hall was used some years later by Richard Turpin to make garden urns in. I helped or hindered - I cant remember . I think Bill Freeth rented it also as a studio for making his ceramics.

Far Too Early

Woken from my dream of the Pixie Cafe I stumble downstairs to put on the kettle and make Hazel a sandwich for lunch. Its 5:45 am. A bowl of muesli and a quick cuppa and duffle coated and bescarfed I lurch outside into the frosty dark to sit in the car with the engine running whilst Hazel does her ablutions and gathers up her stuff for college. I have to sit in the drivers seat because you never know when a car jacker will strike. These 6 year old Nissan Micras fetch a pretty penny on the black market! Anyway I am lulled from my revelry by the sound of a car being furiously revved up- flippin' 'eck! It woke the whole street up- even Archie woke up! Its me and my foot slipped onto the exelerator! Hazel is frantically waving at me to stop. What am I doing? How is this happening? Which button have I pressed? Such is my knowledge of cars that it took me a few seconds to dislodge my foot from the pedal. How does Hazel fit into this cramped and uncomfortable space? Beats me.
I expect we shall have a good laugh about it later.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


A collage above from latest batch at Scrapiteria where the intriguing theme this week is make a collage from just one page from a book or magazine - show the original page and then what you did with it. The results have been delightful and very ingenius. Mine have veered towards the macabre for some reason!
A quiet week mostly blogging and collaging and shopping ofcourse. It's for the walk more than anything - the two miles from home to town is just the right length and I get to treat myself with a bargain or two in the charityshops. They must be sick of the sight of me!

Yesterday I bought several CD's - mostly 60's folk rock including the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and various compilations on Topic and Ace labels.
So a nostalgic afternoon whilst making the above and some others.
A nice surprise the other day when an Italian mail art friend Vittore Baroni informed me that I got a mention in Italian Vogue this month in an article about mail art by a friend of his. It was just a sentence but nice to know I am regarded as a collector of many varied rubber stamps of textural and curious design , or words to that effect.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


At last - a film worth waiting to see!

Little Jimmy's Breeches

A postcard i found today at the antique place near us. It would make a great title for a poem or a story perhaps but just taken from the lines written on the back by Cecil - whoever he might have been? Seems this little wastrel looked the spit of Jimmy even down to the striped breeches and holier than thou shirt!
other postcards included a scolds bridal worn by a rather unconvincing dummy and an "Old Salt" who signs the reverse and mentions the "lifeboat procession", whatever that might have been? The mind boggles.

Also popped to a nearby boot sale in Tarporely a bit further on. Two stalls in the wet car park but more inside in the warm. Its a strange place Tarporely - everyone seems to be dithering and dozy- getting under your feet and in the way! Must be something in the water. Also found a boxed set of 3 Terry Thomas films on DVD - good show!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Postcard that Creative Thing sent from California yesterday of Maoris trying to frighten us. I don't think so.
Just back from a the shops. Trying out my new boots that rub a little but otherwise very comfortable and can see them being more comfortable in future once they are worn in. I always have this trouble with new boots.
Got some cheap stuff from Quality Save. Now the Xmas rush is over it's a bit more relaxing to shop there now. Cheap ginger paste, soy saauce and other goodies.
Saw Betty in the Age Concern shop. Haven't clapped eyes on her for ages - not since last Summer. She went off to Australia for two months in the Autumn and had a good time. Also to Tasmania. She's back doing her stall at boot sales but not one for next week as far as she knew.

Some more snow on Sunday so no boot sale at Antrobus as expected. Hazel was worried she'd end up sliding in a ditch- the lanes not being gritted like the larger roads.
getting a bit fed up with the cold weather now and long for the Spring to arrive.
New neighbours have moved in the old property that Bruce the builder has been doing up over the last 18 months. He's done a good job although the front door seems to be needing a coat of paint.