So it was quite an exciting day - 27 years ago in St. Thomas's Hospital where our boy was pushed out into the world. Hazel went into labour around 10-30 in the morning so not far to toddle ( or did we go in taxi? ) My diary doesn't mention any modes of transport. Two days earlier "Hazel feeling miserable. Crying and tired, poor thing." She cheered up later . Visit from Michael Lumb who took away three carrier bags full of our mail art archive for his PHD studies. Carol came round for lasagne. Friday was "A blur!" is all my diary says. For the 10th - "Gosh, so elated and tired and confused- my head spinning and aching and the days events rushing through my poor addled brain. Dear Archie arrived at 9.43pm. weighing 7 pounds and 2 oz. and howling like a banshee! Poor Hazel had to have stitches which was worse than the contractions she said. She sucked on the gas line like it was going out of fashion. Went in hospital at 1.30pm so quite quick. Arrived home from hospital about 8 mins. past midnight (Saturday). Walked but no hassle thankfully.Tired. Hope to sleep and Hazel and Archie too. Weird being a father - can't quite believe it! Slept fitfully - woke at 7. Phoned people on Hazel's list. They didn't mind being woken up." and so it rambles on...... and here he is 27 years later in his flat in Fulham with his birthday crown and inflatable crabs! He's off to see Graham Norton tonight with Bruce Springsteen and James Blunt and some other stars courtesy of BBC ticket unit.
As Archie and Meriel were here for a couple of days we decided to go over to the Anderton Boat Lift as Meriel had never seen this wonder of the industrial age. It's free to get in and see the mini-museum now containing some old penny slot machines. So we had fun spending old pennies on the "Haunted Graveyard" "The Haunted Library" and the "Laughing Clown" etc. I think these were originally over at the Candle Factory near Beeston.
Nice but somewhat stressful evening at PV at Special Collections in Manchester. Went on train and met up with Rick Cox and Allison, Tony and Pene Eve, Mark Pawson in the Benzie cafe for a chat and quick look round the dissapointing MA show. Then over to library and SC for a mingle with gathered throng. Staff there had pulled out all the stops and provided lots of drink and hospitality. I had to read Roger Stevens poem out as it was National Poetry Day which was slightly embarrassing but managed it and even got a round of applause. Hazel read her speech as did the head of Special Collections - Anneka? Mark P. gave us a potted history of the mail art movement from Fluxus to the 90's. Great to see Russ Columbo turn up from Fife in Scotland who I hadnt seen for over 50 years! Also amazed to see Jennifer Williams from London on a day excursion just to see the exhibition! Also there were Charlie Holt, some assorted staff and ex-staff of MMU nd even a few students. Chatted to several poeple who I didn't know but seemed intrigued by it all which was nice. A friend of Keith Bates. A man from the Victorian Envelope Club? One man who said his friend makes painted postcards and would be sure to tell him so he could send me one. Quite an evening and very tiring - trudged back through wet Manchester streets to the train station and home
Greeted by a lost partridge or a pheasant maybe at the car park in Congleton this morning. Pouring with rain. Went to meet up with old chums Tony and Pene and look round the antique emporium. Prices seem to have gone up since last time so didn't get anything. Hazel found a bit of 30's stained glass to prop up in her workshop or summerhouse.Nice coffee and toasted tea cake for elevenses. More antiquing. Lunch in cafe on top floor. Soup was a bit salty Hazel said. I had mushroom and cheese toastie and salad which was very tasty.Braved the weather to look in the most boring museum in England . Home through massive puddles. Splish-splosh!
Strange isn't it that nearly 40 years later Archie is renting his studio from ACME as I did back in the 70's except then mine was a pre-fab in Stepney for £3 a week or something stupid and I could live there as well! Good to see ACME still a going concern - helping out artists in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Stepney was pretty basic but very cheap to live back in the 70's and 80's. I got to exhibit at the Whitechapel gallery a few times and made enough work to get my foot in the door of a couple of galleries in the west end. All run by crooks sadly so didn't last long. Mail art came along and rest, as they say, is history. Our 40+ year archive "Curious Things" opens in Manchester on Monday and on for 6 months. #mmucuriousthings
Nice day depsite the drizzle in Manchester again to sort out the vitrines and print some labels etc. Also made sketch of where everything was in the mailed objects cabinet and did a diagram and key to find everything which will be added to wall. Hazel printed more labels with her Victorian rubber stamp set. The invites are printed and look very nice. Posters look amazing! More soon! #mmucuriousthings
Busy day today so just got round to putting our boot sale bargains on here. Our old chums Stella and Brian came with us to the boot sale at Vagrants near Nantwich. They are on a road trip to see friends and family in their massive campervan. They stayed for lunch and we went for a nice walk to Marbury Woods this afternoon and then to Hazel's Mom's for a cup of tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake. Stella was a neighbour of Granma and Audrey's and hasn't seen them for 19 years so they had a lot to talk about. They came back to ours for cheese and crackers and now on the road to Bolton.
A kind of diary, a log, a ramble, nothing to do with the Flowerpot Men. My life as an artist, a collagist, a rubber stamper, a networker, a collector of all sorts , a letter writer and a postcard maker. Observations about this and that in no particular order.
I grew up in the home counties around London during the 50's and 60's. Went to several art schools including Southend ,Chelsea and Manchester. Trained as a painter and printmaker but now mostly using collage. Collect novelty songs and old mail art amongst other things too numerous to mention.