Saturday, March 31, 2007

Austrian Chips

What must they be like? Austrian chips - that's what Archie is having a text just said. Hazel's been fretting that the ordeal of a 30 hour coach trip ( should have been 24 ) would put Archie off travelling for life! They had a delay on the giraffery system round the A67 and the B78 or something and missed the connection at the tunnel terminus so had to wait 6 hours for next train to France. We though the timing was all wrong- going on the Friday when all the schools broke up for Easter Hols. Anyway hes' there now and filling himself with chips. So hopefully he'll catch up with some sleep ( only 4 hours last night ) and awake refreshed and ready for the piste.

We tried to take our minds off his journey by going to Frodsham and looking round the Castle Park Arts Centre which seems to be run by two grey haired ladies who make the hot chocolate in a back room. They do a nice line in pre-packaged fruit loaf and sponge fingers. The galleries are actually quite well lit and modern and in one was a daytime organ class in full swing. I had written to ask about available exhibition space a while back but didnt get any reply. "How awful" said one gray haired lady. The other gave me a pad and pen to write down my particulars and give them to the woman who I originally wrote to. Maybe it will jog her memory.

We walked round the park and photographed the squirrels gambolling amongst the shrubbery. The down to the town and the charity shops. Found a pete and Dud DVD and a Chas and Dave jamboree bag double. Vol. three no less! Also a rare LP of Peter sellers and Spike Milligan doing a show ( with awful fake laughter track ) about Watergate I'd not heard before.
Hazel bought a blouse and a denim jacket. During all this we kept getting texts from Archie saying things like "Going Tthru Germany now" and "Stopping at Toilets Now".

Then to Lady Heyes and the antique barns , Home after a a rummage through some expensive junk I seem to remember having rummaged through last time I was there. More texts. Then home for a late lunch and sort through pile of mail on doorstep including huge postcard from Ryosuke Cohen and two "feet" in envelopes.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Green Jelly Stamps

Just got my rubber stamps back from Bristol. They are made of a strange green jelly-like polymer and smell horrible - a bit like week old pea soup! I would much prefer the old orange flavoured rubber they used to do but apparently this polymer is a lot cheaper and better to print with. I am not convinced though the one I just made up for Archie's "Two Blind Mice" design seems to work o.k. after a few stampings. I've been having fun cutting out the wooden blocks to mount them on with Hazels jigsaw in her workshop. She's hardly used it since she bought it 12 years ago but it seems to cut out thick planks of wood quite well despite vibrating all over the place! I had to try and hold it down whilst Hazel did the cutting. I was rather unkind about her cutting ability and so had a go myself and realised it was far harder than it looked - like steering a pea along a cobweb suspended on a uni-cycle! If you can imagine such a thing- and I know you can.

Well, anyway, I have all my wobbly blocks now and they are all sanded down and now in the process of gluing the green jelly rubber onto them. So will uplaod a photo of them when I have done. Most are feet images for use on the Let Your Postcards Do The Walking cards I am sending out.

Earlier I walked into town to get some fresh air and go to the bank and do some errands. I couldnt help but venture into all the charity shops again. Its a terrible compulsion! I did find a nice book about the Ripleys Believe It Or Not Museum though and some more cheap videos including Leon and Full Metal Jacket.
Archie is looking forward his week in Austria and has a huge Thermos bag of goodies to take on the coach full of snacks in case he should get hungry between here and Stoke. Lets hope they last a bit longer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Down By The Riverside

A fabulous bit of old film featuring Sister Rosetta Tharpe playing some mean geetar! I think this clip was featured on Amelie- that great film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
No Crewe today beacuse of the fog but later it cleared enough to go into town and a mooch round the charity shops and the library. I found several old videos for 50p in the Help The Aged including a doc. about Jimi hendrix I'd never seen before and one of a rare Cicely Courtnedge film from the 30's about the music hall. Also Norman Wisdom and Thin Lizzy! In the Staitonary Box sale we found lods of stickers and scalpel blades for a few pence and a nice peice of smoked cod for a fish pie - actually that was in the fish shop not Stationary Box!

Archie went back to school today after two days off with a nasty cold. Thankfully he seems better and will be able to go skiing on Friday. We were worried he wouldn';t be able to go he was coughing so much at night.

Monday, March 26, 2007

First Bootsale Of The Year

It was nice to get out to the first boot sale of the year ( for us anyway ) in Weaverham. It was nice sunny day though rather nippy. We drove over to Audrey's to pick her up and so saved Hazel two trips.
I found a great book of old coloured alphabets first of all which stretched by platic bag to its limit! I'm amazed it lasted so well considering all the junk I stuffed in it! I should have unloaded some of it into the boot of the car but couldnt see Hazel anywhere - she was going round with Archie. I got a few old scratchy records so hoepfully a few will appear on Boot Sale Sounds which I have neglected rather since being ill. LP's by Flanders and Swann, Hoffnung and Bob Williamson to name but a few. Hazel found some old rusty tins and some metal puzzles. Archie got a great pile of ancient magazines of life in the trenches during the first WW. Photos of smiling Tommies with rats and pointing at mud holes etc. Trying to put a brave face on the horrors of trench warfare. Archie is doing the !stWW in school so these will come in handy.
Not sure what Audrey got - the usual nick nacks and ceramics I expect.

Later we dropped Audrey off and went in for some late breakfast and tea.
In the afternoon Hazedl and Archie went into the garden to do some weeding and planting out some plants they bought at the boot sale. Lots of daffodils out at the moent and the garden looks very springlike and colourful.

The above film is just clips we had left over whilst clearing out the iPhoto files. I added a silly soundtrack. Treemo seems to think it "inappropriate" for some strange reason - I can't think why? Maybe they are in cahoots with Flickr?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Big Al Davies Animation

I think this is brilliant. Big Al shows us all his hats and the music is great too!

Flickr Madness

I deleted my Flickr account this morning due to the stupid new filtering system they have introduced and they had the nerve to deem my account "unsafe" for some strange reason only known to themselves. Its just more media fascism you are seeing on the net just now which I hate. Someone had all their fruit labels blocked too which is eaven sillier! Fruit labels!

So anyway- I spent far too much time on Flickr anyway and I have other fish to fry. Hardly enough time to get round all me blogs! Also been trying to figure out how to publish using LULU which is a bit of a nightmare despite their "simple" demo and walkthrough. I had to ask ace animator Andy Sykes how he did it and he was kind enoughn to drop a few hints and links my way. Now all I have to do is figure out how to use Adobe In Design! This may take longer than I thought! No time for looking at fruit labels!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blood Presher

Yet another visit to the docs for blood pressure check which seems high again so back for more in a couple of weeks. Also a sample to see if the kidneys are working properly. This affects blood pressure apparently. Ohterwise I dont need any more sleeping pills which is good and I could report that I felt like my old self with 25% addition to brain cells in some departments rather like the Numbskulls moving round the dusty corridoors and finding cobwebbed rooms to dust! How long this will last goodness only knows.

I could not figure out the wretched cell phone to call Hazel so had to walk back home to meet her and get a ride into town for wander. We didnt stay long as I'd been twice thgis week already and I should have been collaging really but the sun was out and it was nice to get some fresh air after being zombified for two weeks.

I collected the books I bought yesterday- one was printed in 1883! Posted some mail and went to the library sale again. Still tons of bargains to be had for 50p. I bought some foreign films that looked interesting on the Artifucial Eye label. I'd not heard of any of them but maybe thats a good thing.

Then to Aldi to get some provisions we were lacking and a few treats like bagels and biscuits etc.
Slept well again last night and awoke refreshed. Have been sorting out some old issues of Curios Thing for possible re-printing. Thinking that LULU might be a good option though the Demo. is rather baffling and fast and american. A nice slow simple English version would be better I think. But will listen to it again in the hope some of the words sink into my addled brian.

Hazel has gone off to her weekly Yoga class and I am cooking the dinner - leftover nut roast, Linda McCartney's sausages and gravy. Also the roast spuds, parsnips and carrots etc. Yum!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ivor Cutler

I've been meaning to upload this tribute to Ivor Cutler on the first anniversary of his death for a while now but have been too ill to get it together. I just found this old piece of mail from him whilst rummaging through me drawers. Also there was a postcard from Allan Bennett ( what a name dropper eh?) after we'd sent him a fan letter and postcard of one of my pig paintings. Alan writes " ....I like Sam's Pig - I can tell it's not by the other Mike Leigh!"

So anyway, our friendship with Ivor was very short and sweet. I think Hazel had this cabinet show of her "TEA LEAF COLLECTION" in the Royal Festival Hall in 1991 and Ivor saw it and bought some "Tea Leaf Badges" as he always wore a few on his cap or lapel. Later we wrote to thank him and he invited us over for tea and cakes which was a surprise. Needless to say we jumped at the chance and found ourselves on the steps of a large virctorian building in North London somewhere and no answer when we rang the bell. We almost went home deciding it must be a joke or we'd go the wrong day or something when Ivor tured up on a big wobbly bike festooned with bags. It seems he's been to the bakery to get some cakes and was "caught" by someone wanting a chat. Anyway to cut a long story short we had a nice time and it was fascinating to see where he lived and he even played us a tune on his wheezy harmonium. Looking back you wonder why we never took a camera or recorder to capture this very special moment but we didn't.

A few weeks later we invited Ivor over to our pokey flat in South London and he duly arrived and after tea and cake he gave Hazel a Breathing Lesson and left her a sheet of A4 with instructions on how to do it! I wish i knew where it was? Its around here somewhere. Also he looked at all the artworks and collages I was making and phoned up Walker Books to try and get us both roped in on the comic called SNAP! they were doing at the time . He said " Folk were good to me when i was just starting out so I like to help when I can." or words to that effect.

Anyway, through Ivor's kind introduction I got a couple of illustration jobs at Walker Books until sadly the comic folded a few months later.

So there you have it in a nutshell. A few weeks later we found out that Archie was on the way and we told Ivor the good news and he very abruptly said he wished us well with family life and he understood if we had no time for our friendship as we'd be busy bringing up a baby! Nothing could be further from the truth we said but Ivor became very insistant that we'd be better off without his friendship which was quite shock at the time and I felt quite hurt by it.

Now the baby is a teenager and the strange and multi-faceted poet has gone. We treasure all these little things he left us and still listen to his music and stories. He was certainly a "one-off" and much missed.

O yes, Ivor told me I spelt "friend" by remembering this image - a man sitting in a frying pan on a hot stove - fry-end!

Sleep For Seven Hours!

My first full nights sleep for ages! I feel so much better for it. Mind you, I was like a zombie last night - walking round and bumping into things and trying to brush my teeth with the loofah etc.
The above compilation of film clips are from berlin that Hazel took ( some bar with gypsy musicians and art gallery with strange autoamted trouserage ) Archie did the soundtrack.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hailstones and Sunshine

I had a nice walk into town and back as the bus wasn't around. Lovely and sunny except for brief hail storm. I put up cheap nasty umbrella and cut my thumb on one of the sprockets? I went into thet walled up newsagents and the lady found me some sticky plaster - only two quid for a big packet. So that was good as the blood was beginning to ooze down me thumb and drip into my carrier bag of wet envelopes!

So anyway. the barbers was full up so and the icy wind round me lug-'oles made me think i should wait until the weather warms up a bit before I am too hastey and get me greasy locks shorn. I will try again on wednesaday. Got me first footsdhaped postcard today but in an enevelope from John M. Bennett in the USA. So off to a good start. A packet of ephemera from PLG. Coincidentally sent him a foot shaped postcard today.

The sun made me feel quite rejuvianted despite only having four hours sleep again - or so it seemed to me - maybe it was five?
Bought some cheap vids and CD's from the library sale. Some bloke was going on at the librarians on how the toilet is always locked downstairs . I didn't even know there was one? She was very calm and explained to him that it was a library and not a public conveniance - there are two public toilets nearby if you are taken short. He still ranted and raved but was eventually subdued by her calming voice. Some old codgers in the queue were butting in which didnt help matters saying things like "Your just a trouble maker you are!"

Ive never heard the like in the library before- its always so peaceful and quiet!

Mothers Day

Heres the Mothers day card that Archie made for Hazel. Inside he's composed a nice little poem which says-

" I'm a hammster
I can't speell
If you dindt clean my cage
I would relly smell"

And he's drawn some hamster poo on the bottom ( of the card ).

Hazel's Mom and sister came over later despite the hail stones and the gales ( with sunshine in between!) for tea and cake and exchange of presents, pots of mini-daffs etc.
I actually had enough energy to make a few flyers for my new mail art project "Let Your Postcards Do The Walking" and showed Audrey the foot shaped postcard I'd made. Also asked if she wanted any images tunred into rubber stamps as i plan a new sheet for these upcoming projects. I havent had any made for years so thought it would be good to get some FEET images. I found quite few in some old victorian cataloges and in old issues of Curios Thing. Audrey wanted some Egyptian images and I found some in my rubber stamp archive that I havent used.

Later I cooked a nut roast despite not having any nuts or sage and onion stuffing mix ( an essential ingrediant!). Luckily Hazel found some ol,d hazelnuts and almons left over from Xmas and made light work of them with her planishing hammer!

I used bread crumbs and onion for the stuffing and some sage from the garden, I didnt even know we had any!

It was delicious! A real Sunday roast. Mindyou i was getting a bit tired and grumpy and hot by the end of the afternoon! I managed to stay awake until 9 and went to bed to litsen to some rubbishy Men From The Ministry on BBC 7. Derek Guyler?

He was best I think as the policeman in Sykes ( with Hattie Jaques) But i digress.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Two Steps Forward One Step Back

Not another red nose but a postcard I sent to someone a few months back. I'd forgotten all about it but they uplaoded it to the Comic Relief group at Flickr which was a nice surprise.
The howling winds and hail of last night made my sleep very erratic so I was forced to take half a Tamazipan which I didnt really want to do. Thankfully I dropped off and had about 4 hours. The two previous nights have been better with no sleeping pill atall which made me feel a whole lot better.
Anyway, i see it as a minor blip and hopefully can get back to the usual 6 hours without too much a do.

Went to see Archies first piano lesson yesterday. Considering doing some myself. He did well considering he'd not done much keyboard before despite having a Casio thingy gathering dust in his bedroom since he was about 6 ! It will help his GCSE Music grades hopefully and he seems to enjoy it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Red Nose Day

My nose is probably red enough after this rotten flu' bug but I did buy another today as they had so many left in Oxfam and also this excellent sticker for our wheelie bin from a stall in the middle of town. Also they threw in a great little recipe book for things to make out of your left-overs. The haddock and spinach crunchy bake looked particularly delicious- as did the apple and bread 'n' butter pudding! Yum!

It was nice to have a few more hours sleep and I didn't have to resort to the sleeping pill! Hooray! So I think I must be getting better. I certainly had a spring in my step today and was buying all kinds of junk to prove it!
I even bought the Big Issue which isn't like me atall. It has a few interesting articles too which I will get around to reading over the weekend maybe. Ive started the "With Nails" film diaries I bought years ago and never got round to after seeing Richard E. Grant on that new cookery prog. where they make dishes they had as kids and they talk about their lives which makes it a bit more interesting than the usual kitchen humiliations!

I also bought a few dodgy videos like Airplane 2 and Chinatown with Jack Nicholson. I remember seeing it at the NFT some years ago and enjoying it. Also a fanstatic scrapbook of old sepia photos for a quid from the book stall in the market. It has a whole page of creepy graves! Mostly fun days at the beach though with stripey swimming costumes and boaters etc.

Alos bought some blueberries which I've been having on my muesli in the mornings. They are delicious!

Have been scanning lots of feet this afternoon- mostly from old Curios Things. I'm hoping to get a new mail art postcard project off the ground and making some "flyers" for it. I found a few brains pics too which amused me. Mine seems to be settling down now you'll be glad to hear! Nearly back to my old self.

The gasman came this afternoon to mend the light socket in the bedroom. It was a faulty wire i think. It didn't take him long to trace it. There was an amazing ammount of fluff under the bed. Hazel hoovered it up before he arrived. Have fitted new long-life bulbs to save the planet - ha hah! I wasl listening to some old codgers on the radio the other night as I dozed off. It was LBC I think? One suggested that the current panic about Global Warnings was a big lie and the earth goes through cycles of change every million years or so. What happened to that next Ice Age we were sposed to have? Also he cleverly figured that the ice caps and ice bergs were mostly under water so if they melt they would make the sea LOWER because they would displace the air with water ( Ice expands - water contracts ). This made perfect sense to me in my addled state. You don't know who to belive do you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Chubb Chubbs

It was nice to get out to stretch the legs this morning after being cooped up for two weeks. Ah, the sun on my face- it was full of B vitimins ( or is it D ? )- anyway, I was obviously lacking some and felt a whole lot better after a wander round the charity shops and library. I asked about the exhibition space but the person responsible was having a tea break. I phoned later and booked it, packed it, for March 2008 which gives me plenty of time to sort out my mail art archive and have them framed nicely etc. Also in one corner can be one of the recent projects announced at yahoo mail art groups. I'm hoping to get some flyers made and rubber stamps as soon as i feel able and have more energy.

I actually got four hours sleep last night- taking half a Tamarzipan which suited me better - they make you a bit woozy and dopey the next day and I can't operate "heavy machinery" apparently!
Hazel wnt off and bought a lighter duvet (7 togs ) which seems better for this mild Spring we are having. Also a softer duck feather mattress cover that my sister reccomended. Like they say- you spend a third of your life in bed so its wise to make it as comfy as possible!

I bought lots of tat ofcourse - cheap videos and a Chas & Dave Lp . O dear -says Hazel.

Going for a rest now and read one of the piles of books Ive stacked up over the last few months that I havent gotten around to. It seems like the ideal time to catch up with all my reading.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Slighly Sillier and More Sensible Please

O.K. Hazel pointed out that my recent bloggings have looked rather weird so I am trying to reflect what sleep deprivation and Tamarzipan does to an already addled brain!

So here's a slightly more sensibler ( is there such a worm ?) bloggage at 5a.m after a deep four hours sleep.

It was lovely to get a phone call from my "little" brother the other day, who is actually probably an inch or two taller and wider than me, well last time I saw him that is! He saw the bloggage too and was alarmed by the wordage and phoned to see how I was. This cheered me up no end. He can hardly get two words out of me normally but I think I succeeded in baffling him with my new found knowledge of 7o's rock that had been hidden somewhere deep in the cobwebbed recesses of my brain. I can talk for Great Britain these days if there was such a sport.

Woozy feelings. Its the Tamarzipan the NHS Help Line said. Well worth checking out if you are worried or anxious about something. They have trained councellors who are very easy to talk too.

The Health Service seems to be imploding but the poeple who work for it do so, under great stress and amazed at how much they laugh all the time. I was laughing too when I came out of the Infirmary. Though not surprised so many people go to Poland to have their teeth capped ! The nurses there are fantastic as are all the medics. Humour is a great weapon and was used in the last war very effectively to keep up morale ( ITMA etc.) The radio is great to drift off to sleep listening to some wonderful archives on BBC 7. Thankfull the Beeb get it right sometimes.

Some very strange and amusing films on yesterday afternoon as I woozled after a nap. Mutiny On The Bounty on C5 was hilarious with Marlon Brando heading mostly British cast of swarthy sea dogs and faces you cant quite but a name too? Is that Ted Moult? Bernad Cribbins? surely not! Certainly Trevor Howard as Cpt. Bligh was suitably by turns amusing and frightening! Ooer! Look out its them Tahatian gals again with their bread fruits! Ah the swelling theme music of the bongos - still ringing in in my ears!

Stoppit! Now its getting silly again!

Say something sensible.

O.K. Hazel pointed out that my recent bloggings have looked rather weird so I am trying to reflect what sleep deprivation and Tamarzipan does to an already addled brain!

So here's a slightly more sensibler ( is there such a worm ?) bloggage at 5a.m after a deep four hours sleep.

It was lovely to get a phone call from my "little" brother the other day, who is actually probably an inch or two taller and wider than me, well last time I saw him that is! He saw the bloggage too and was alarmed by the wordage and phoned to see how I was. This cheered me up no end. He can hardly get two words out of me normally but I think I succeeded in baffling him with my new found knowledge of 7o's rock that had been hidden somewhere deep in the cobwebbed recesses of my brain. I can talk for Great Britain these days if there was such a sport.

Woozy feelings. Its the Tamarzipan the NHS Help Line said. Well worth checking out if you are worried or anxious about something. They have trained councellors who are very easy to talk too.

The Health Service seems to be imploding but the poeple who work for it do so, under great stress and amazed at how much they laugh all the time. I was laughing too when I came out of the Infirmary the other day after my blood tests. Have I told you this one? Excuse me if I have.

Anyway, a good nights sleep is the best tonic ever even though you feel like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards. My old Dad used to say that quite lot when he saw the teenage me and my "new" Rolling Stones hairstyle! Looking back now its hard to see what all the fuss was about!
They look so clean and scrubbed and manicured.

I hope this has been a good day for you all. Smile at someone - its catching!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Slap me With A cabbage Day.

Just watchingthe TV 6-30 in the morrow here in blighty.

The dazzling montage skims by my red and eyeballs.

O the tortured worl of misery we live on - someone give Bush a big REd Nose for goodnesss ake !!

These partners for PEACE seem doomed from the start.

Publicity stump?

Was on Marzipan last night and feel like a rawlplug. In fact I think Am a rawlplug ( I thin Murkans call the diblets) ?

I could be wrong.

Just two hours slip again.

Two steps forward and one step back.

Does anybody know a good phone company besides BT?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Painting Box

Lovely and slightly out of sync. old Julie Felix Show from way back when we had flour in our hair and all the world seems like it was yesterday.

One of Johhny Rotten's favourites apparently!

Monday, March 05, 2007

RED Nose Day

Thansk all- their is a group here at Flickr that needs your input. sadly only 9 people on it and its been open year! Join now and boost awareness of a great day of FUN.

I had a nap this morning as I didnt sleep much last night. Up and down like a fiddlers elbow! Stress and being 60 soon i guess- a bit of a corker of a watershed!

I just spoke to my 86 old Auntie who had me in stitches about what a "naughty boy you was - always burying my ornaments in the garden and and filling the next doors toilet with pebbles! Mrs. Dennis next door said "'es gorn and done it again Mrs. Murray!"

Also she walks down a big hill and up a again and gets her shopping despite high blood pressure! Amazing!

So there is hope for us all. She also said "You also buried some wooden elephants and when we found them several years later they had rotted away and all that was left were the rusty metal bits that hold them together!"

I nearly choked laughing at this point. I hope I have her energy and stamina at her age. My other Aunti now in a home for the bewildered is doing well and looks fantastic said Auntie No. 1 - "she looked better than me! - the wrinkles had been iroend out and she had a new hair-do !" What a tonic it was to speek to her and several other poeple tonight - sorry if I burst your ear drums with my incessent chortle.

I think I am going through some kind of mid -life crisis I should have had ten years ago, but Archie has kept me young at heart. My brain seems re-wired- new synapeses and using parts I never accessed before. Its a bewildering and strange feeling! Anybody else been through that?

Watching Silver Surfers later to get some tips! On C4 I think.

Total Eclipse of My Art

This was an amzing experiance but nobody seems to have seen it except us!
Even patrick Moore wasnt on the telly? Until the following evening and then it was last months Sky At Night. BBC going crazy again!?

Still they made up for it today when ther new Shaun Of The Sheep was on which was brill. I nearly wet myself. In fact I think i did. Archie is even more keen now to make some more I think- no pressure or anything! His 5 minutes on Blue Peter went to his head i think! he's having a lie down and reading the book he bought for World Book Day ( or wahtever it was called ) he got a pound toekn from school- everyybody got one and he spent it on a thin volume of Vampire stories.

Hazel has gone to bed for a lie down.

I had a nap this moring and woke up feeling like a banana - so I had one for me dinner.
Quite nice it was too- a bit yellow looking though. Later i had a bowl of muse-li with all kinds of anti-doxipants in it! Ive been watching too much Dinky Dick and Don I think!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sanford and Son

American version of Steptoe and Son apparently! So my Treemo buddy tells me. Thanks for the link scal!

The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand De Flambe!

Or soemthing like that? Do you remeber it now? It was on about twenty years ago when the BBC was a force to be reckoned with. Now they are desperate to win back viewers on the web-de-tent thingy attched to the wires on the compueter some how? Its all a bit of a mystery - a bit like the people who choose all the shows that the Beeb put out these days. Mind you the director, Victory Loius -Smythe who had a hand in the above delightful nonsense inn the 80's has recently delighted us with some fabulous docs . on BBC 4 about Celia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop and Jake Thackray the troubadour and wit. So she's certainly gone up in my estimations!

meanwhile dot dot dot...
as Viv stanshall used to say. The Total Loonie Eclipse was a fantastic site and we enjoyed it so much we have ordered another for next year - here at the back of the Radio Times with all the shed adverts.

Is Senile Dementia taking hold? Watch this Space!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Eclipse of moon

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night by wastedpapiers on Treemo

We are popping in and out the garden to see the total eclipse of the moon. At it it's best from 10-24 Greenwich mean time in the u.k. The best eclipse of the moon since January 2001. The Chinese reckon this is an omen for good and for prosperity for all of those who drink hot chocolate out in the open air , sat in deck chairs. Archie set up his telescope , which took ages and I put on my giant Sir Patrick Moore trousers and did them up around my chest for extra warmth and comfort. Sir Patrick is a TV sensation over here in the U.K. as you all must know. Check out the new BeeB Channel at You Tube to marvel at his enormous archives!

I am off outside now to see the Dragon nibble the edge of the dusky moon through the twigs of the old apple tree - a bit like the bowl of muesli I had this morning.

We have filmed the whole thing digitally so hopeflly so pics tomorrow. I put on my reading glasses by mistake and the moon looked like a giant flaming orb coming down - most alarming! The neighbours curtains are twitching i expect . The Leigh-Jones's are outside again looking at the stars!

The Outer Limits - Season One

The Grumpy Guide To Art

Dear Radio Times, It has come to my attention that your Grumpy Old.... series is getting far too funny and not "grumpy" atall! I nearly choked on a brazil nut last night whilst watching those crazy 40 somethings describe the delights of the Tate and Suurealism, Pre-raphaelites etc. Vic reeves was particularly engaging ( big hit song Shaun The Sheep by the way ).

Could have done without the 3rd rate holiday show and gardening celebs though.

Jenny Eclair was particularly delightful we thought. Just a sort anecdoet about her. Hazel was in a group show of recently graduated RCA students in the 80's in Islington atthe Crocodil Gallery. sadly now defunct.

She wanted to by some of Hazel work. She was making very cheap "Currant Steamers" at the time. Jenny pondered her options- "MMMmmm I'm feeling a bit pre-menstrual today' she declared, " will it be your bueautiful Currant Steamers or some new shoes for my husband?" So she she went off to think about it. hazel never saw her again but phoned up a few days later to see. But jenny was out and her husband said on the phone - "ooh these new shoes are a bit tight! "

Oh how we laughed! No mor e Brazils for me Mrs. Worthington.

It wasgreat to see at the end what bits of art they had bought recently. it seems Jenny has a Cornelia Parker exploding shed hanging from her stair well! Fantastic! one of our favourites too!

All the best, Victor Lewis- Smith



Someone's been in and measured all the biscuits in the night.

They hung them in the Tate for the Grumpy people's delight!

Nicholas Serota said , "That bourbon's far too tight!"

It needs to be at least another inch off to the right!

Dawn's Chorus

Up again- I flit down to the loo.

The dawn chorus is twittering outside in the rain.

The two cooing pigeons woo down the chimney

I collapse into a dream.

The starlings in the big ol' tree

gather for their breakfast

In great numbers- they stand more chance

Against the big thick leather coated booby bird!

In the dawns early flight.


My shirt is inside out - much like my brain at the the moment.

I pulled on my trousers and listened to the rain

Piddle on the window and gurgle down the drain

I looked out the window- and saw all the cars

had lined up in the night to mystify the stars.

Friday, March 02, 2007

For Archie

Sadly, the BBC in it's infinite wisdom have chosen to with hold the embedding of clips fromm the NEW YOUTUBE channel but you can find a tiny bit of the new AARdmann series "Shaun The Sheep" here-

Great catchy title song. Not sure who is doing it. Its on all next week in U.K. at 3-45pm. in the afternoon. Archie is ecstatic! he much prfers this to the 1964 Boxed set of "The Outer Limits" we got him from Woolies. I though the Galaxy Being was fantastic- I nearly choked laughing so much! Hazel fell asleep on the settee! He's gonna get the new Maxiimo Park CD instead. teenagers eh?

How Did We Do It?

How did we raise such a clever boy? Hazel admits she is not the "brightest button in the box", although she managed to get from an Incomprehesive in Walsall to a the high echelons of the RCA in a matter of a few years. I , on the other hand am a baby boomer from the decrepid jiving 50's and found myself in a terrible secondary modern in Basildon where I suffered for 5 years and got one "O" level in art! It took me another 4 years at Southend Art School to get the other four I needed to go onto Art School and the Pre-Diploma Course which was the forrunner of the Foundation Course in Art & Design.
Anyway, I digress!
We went to the High School last night to talk to Archie's teachers about his glowing report and what hi "options" might be for next year. Hardly any it seems! He has about ten "compulsary" lessons and threee blocks of six others that he can choose from but on e must be a IT subject!? derrrr! Why do they make it so confusing? Anyway we made the mistake of going down early to try and spot a teacher to talk to but they all had huge crowds of eager parents and even grandparents lined up ready to pounce. We had a time-table but last year nobody seemed to stick to it and you just had to jump in the queue when you saw a space! Crazy! I wasnt feeling very bright so stayed around for 30 minutes to show willing and then slunk off home to watch some mind numbing cookery programme. Hazel was braver and as it turned out was rewarded with fantastic feedback about Archie's progress that made us very proud! We are still wondering how we managed it? maybe a leap in the gene -pool to Archie's Great Grandfather who we never knew. Perhaps he was a clever bastard, as Ian Dury once said.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Many Hands Make Write Work

New Guinness advert with wonderful animation and music by Balkan Beat Box ( we think, though Guinnesss isnt sure it seems!)

Another sleepless night. tossing and turning- woke up in cold sweat and aching- mouth like the bottom of a parrots cage - make that an albatross! hazel didn't sleep much either. Still recovering from Berlin and this nasty flu' bug. hope none of you get it!