Saturday, December 12, 2015


Yesterday we went over to the Blakemere Craft Centre and antique emporium to have a rummage. Audrey , Hazel's sister came too. We didn't find that much - some stocking fillers and odd ceramics. The old postcard stall isn't there anymore which was my favourite bit - spent ages sorting through trying to find old photos of Southend and other places we know well. Bought the tree from the garden centre and the nice man there gave us a discount as we are regular shoppers. Managed to cram it in the car just about with me holding the pointy end so Hazel could see in the rear view mirror!This lovely old galloper roundabout was being erected on the car park in readiness for some festive celebrations at the weekend. Shame it is pouring down with rain. Hazel has braved the elements to go into town for the artisan market. I'm staying indoors to collage and do the last of the crimble cards.

Friday, November 06, 2015

32nd Anniversary

Nice day with Hazel out for a drive before it got too wet. First a stroll round the Flashes ( filled in salt workings - now a bird sanctuary ). We hadn't been since it opened 6 0r 7 years ago and amazed at how all the small saplings planted then had grown into small trees. We tried to catch the falling yellow leaves but they were too quick for us! Bumped into a few solitary men with dogs carrying overlarge sticks. One turned his head to negotiate the eccentric gate - his owner said "He's quite intelligent!" My boots were beginning to pinch a bit - still wearing them in - so glad to get back to the car. Drove to the nearby Salt Barge opposite the new Lion Salt Works museum. They hadnt quite opened - busy preparing a hog roast and bonfire for the evenings festivities. We were seated inside and ordered our drinks and later when the cook arrived we ordered lunch. We thought it sounded like a light lunch - omelette and salad - Hazel had battered king prawns and salad and side order of chips. But two huge platefuls turned up that were delicious but we couldn't eat it all. Bang goes my diet again!

Sunday, October 04, 2015


Nice drive over to Chester to deliver some work to a small gallery/shop in Northgate. Too early so walked round the charity shops and market. Eventually the gallery opened and i was able to unload my stuff. Meanwhile my arms had stretched 3 inches longer. Then we met up for lunch - a cheapo vege sausage roll al freco outside the cathedral - watching the many and varied folks walk by on there way to the Gay pride procession which we didn't know about. Amused by hairy man in big owl outfit. I wanted to take photo but he vanished into the crowd flapping wildly at shop windows! Lots of rainbow socks and stockings in vogue. Had a coffee in our favourite coffee shop - nice to get a sit down. Not many bargains - the Poundshop had some weird 3-D pictures of men who changed into vampires when you walked passed them - we have one on the outside loo. Got another for Halloween. Also a rubber gerbil. Home by 2pm. Still misty - the promised sun never appeared.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Anderton and River Weaver

Nice walk along the River Weaver yesterday with Hazel and her train buddy Liz. Watched the boats go in and out of the historic Anderton lift. Lovely sunny day so we had lunch out on the decking over looking the Trent and Mersey Canal. Delicious prawn sandwich, crispy chips and salad. I had a lovely pint of local brewed ale. Walked off this feast by going back through the woods and Carey Park to the car - parked in the long stay car park as all the others were full. Home for fruit and cake in the back garden which was nice a quiet for a change.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Nice weekend over in Marsden, West Yorkshire with our old chum Dave Smith. Hazel took along some pansies to brighten up his sad looking window boxes and pots by the front door. Had a pub meal with Dave and some of his friends - ate far too much and back on the diet again. Pretty uneventful drive over the moors although we did encounter some Bradley Wiggins clones who clogged up the trecherous windy roads on occasion!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Boot Sale Bargains

Off to the craft centre bumper boot sale this morning in the sunshine. Probably the last one of the year. The field normally reserved for a Segway course was packed full of cars and so spent a happy hour or two rummaging in other peoples rubbish and collectables. Half the stalls were of toys that had outgrown their usefulness. Hazel did well with her finds - some tins and one particular nice toffee tin with squirrels on which we have already but this is a better less worn one. Also some useful stationary like drawing pins and paper fasteners. Everything was so cheap she said , she didn't have the heart to say no! Another cheese dish without a lid - just what we need! I didn't get anything although i enjoyed the hunt and rummage. I must be getting more picky as I get older - not even a DVD or scratchy record caught my eye.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Loches - France

Lovely week in France with our old chums Roger and Jilly in Loches in the Loire Valley. A beautiful spot in a quaint old town by the river with a chateau, donjon, cathedral and medieval tower etc. Wonderful street markets twice a week that sell delicious home grown produce and many types of cheeses - goats a speciality of the area. Yum! We did eat well and need to go on a bit of a diet now we are home. I feel I've added a few pounds. The weather was perfect for the first few days then got really hot and humid when we went over to Charmond for the Flower festival which was a bit energy sapping - good fun though. Also got a cold whilst there so not ideal for sight seeing. Mostly we stayed in the garden and ate and drank. Roger and Jilly are excellent hosts and very laid back.They also took us to the local Emmaus charity shop come jumble sale which was wonderful too. We picked up a few bargains - most of which they will bring back for us when they return to England next week. Archie came too which was nice as we don't get to see him much these days now he is in Brighton.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Triple Celebration.

Lovely weekend despite the rain showers. Triple celebration of Archie's graduation ceremony at the Dome in Brighton , Hazel's birthday and our 3rd wedding anniversary! Phew! It was all a bit hectic but we managed to cram a lot into the three days and had some nice meals out and eeven managed to do some shopping and wind swept walk along the prom and play some old penny slot machines! Even caught the Marina boot sale before the heavens opened. Nice to get back to the relative quiet of Cheshire.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day

Very nice to have our son here on Father's Day. We went to a boot sale at Moss Farm in the morning. I got a stack of clip art books to cut up. Hazel got some plants and other bits and bobs. Archie found a lead petrol pump for our collection and a lead tree. Later he cooked us a lovely mushroomy, stilton and pasta dish that his girlfriend Meriel makes. Yum!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birthday Treats

Nice birthday treats beginning with a slap up pub lunch at the Salt Barge opposite the newly restored Lion Salt Works next to the Trent & Mersey Canal. Good friends Tony, Pene and Dave turned up to accompany us. Wandered around the grounds and museum for a good two hours , watching videos and inter-active exhibitions of brine brewing and salt scraping. Fascinating - much to my surprise! Mind you, I'd just had two pints of Tatton Ale in the pub so that probably made it all seem engaging!

Friday, June 12, 2015


Lovely sunny weekend in Brighton and London to see Archie's degree show at the sculpture department. His "push alongs" were a big hit with visitors and he had to make sure they were all working everyday - going in to do repairs and clean the rubber wheels etc. Had some nice meals with friends including Meriel's family who came over from Dublin. Also Roger and Jilly and Deborah and Bridget amongst others. Nice to look round the junk markets and antique stalls and wander down to the pier for iced coffee and ice cream and play on the penny slot machines. On the way back in London we visited the Morley gallery near Lambeth North tube to see Archie's "Tan-annoy" sound sculpture in the Engine Room show. Also met up with our old chums Jane and Graham for a nice lunch in their new flat just round the corner.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Roger Stevens - The Position Of Jupiter

Our old poet friend Roger Radio ( Stevens ) who I met in the mail art network some 25 years ago, invited me to do the artwork for his latest CD " The Position Of Jupiter". Well, he actually chose it from my archive of old collages. Delighted of course to be part of this venture. A collage of mine was also on his last CD which you can find at his website with all his poetry books and other musical projects etc.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gotta Wee by Dear Eskiimo

Archie made this Flash animation for Dear Eskiimo back in the noughties when he was about 12 or 13. A couple of the band went on to form The Ting Tings. A link HERE at FacebOOK.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Link Gallery - MMU

Nice to meet up with long time FB contact Charlie Holt yesterday at MMU's Link Gallery to put up the Marilyn mini exhibition. Charlie printed out all the images from the FaceBook group he started inspired by a postcard from the Tate Liverpool recently. A friend found him the great Warhol posters. Hazel had a busy day but managed to drop by with essential Blu Tak and a tape measure.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Marbury Country Park

Nice walk in the bluebell woods at Marbury the other day whilst the sun was shining. Lots of bonkers dogs about diving into the stream for sticks or maybe the sheer joy of being loose and smelling all those smells. The wild garlic was not as strong as it usually is or the bluebells in full glory yet but still quite a sight! One of our favourite times of year when everything is so green, fresh and new.

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Lovely day having lunch with our old chums Tone, Pene and Dave. So nice in the garden in the sunshine - so different from last week! Had pudding al fresco and quick game of darts in the summer house. I need more practice!

Saturday, April 04, 2015


Just back from a 4 day break in Berlin which was interesting. Shame the weather was so awful - rain, hail, snow, gales and more rain, almost constantly! Thankfully the sun came out on our last day so we had some respite in between the showers. Consequently we spent most of the time indoors in museums and art galleries. Culture vultures that we are! Highlights were the Raushenbergs, Beuys and Warhols at the big main contemporary gallery in the old station ( I forget the name ). Also enjoyed the Medical Museum, Communication Museum and the Pargamon Museum which is similar to the British Museum - full of ancient facades of buildings and huge statues etc. aquired back in the Victorian age one assumes when all the world's treasures were there to be plundered. Everyone very friendly and helpful. Had some nice food in various places mostly near our hotel in the West of the City. Guntzelstrasse? our nearest tube station about three stops from the Zoo. Too cold for the Zoo but we did venture into loads of shops like Ka-Da-We ( a bit like a posher Harrods ) and some weird Xmas and Easter inspired shops . Germans are mad for glass baubles, cute pixie houses, candles, Easter bunnies and eggs etc. And sausages which we managed to avoid. Didn't spot any Kartofflepuffles either? Had delicious Italian food, Indian food and German cakes! Yum! Nice to be back home in the relative warm.