Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Deep Joy

Two of my favourite people of all time- Prof. Stanley Unwin and Roland Emmett on Parkinson back in the 70's.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Busy Weekend

A weekend full of incident and culture including a concert at Sir John Deans. A violin and piano duo by a friend of ours neice who is studying at Manchester School of Music and winning lots of prizes. one can see why - her violin playing was quite amazing. Favourite pieces of Mozart, Franck and Carmen medley. The old school hall was packed.
Last night we saw "Slumdog Millionaire" which was excellent and lived up to the hype. I can see why its been picked for Bafta's and the Oscars now. makes me keen to see other Danny Boyle films that we've missed in the past like "Sunshine".
Popped into Northwich Glass to finalise our new windows. They are so helpful and friendly in there. It will be nice to seeout of our back room window again- at the moment it's like looking through a mist!
This morning was wet but luckily the bootslae at Antrobus was mostly inside though some brave souls froze outside on the cheaper pitches.
I got a few DVD's for 50p inscluding Pixar's "Cars" and Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride". Also one of our favourite films ever - Frank Oz's "The Little Shop Of Horrors". we had it on video but nice to get all the extras like "outtakes" and "making of" etc.
Hazel got some things for her blog including a pile of cotton reels and needles and other sewing stuff. Alos some hideous plates. She got Archie some old comics but he's not too keen these days. We shall keep them though. great to see Foxy in the Topper and Nutty comic which passed me by at the time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rusty Cat Magnate

Another animation at Mini-Clip I made yesterday whilst the kettle was on.
Went to town today to look at trousers and then round the usual charity shops. Found a DVD of a sci-fi film with Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey called K-Pax which I'd not seen before. Also a biography of Tommy Cooper which i look forward to reading.
Some old women in the Salvation Army shop were discussing in loud whispers their various operations and surgical procedures - I kept hearing words like "blockage" and "tumour" so didnt stay long in there. They rarely have any bargains anyway.
Hazel is looking at websites of old aide memoires and getting inspired for her next project. It's time for tea and cake!

P.S. Hazel showed me a great photo she got for her Rusty Nails blog. It was a cat that had picked up a rusty nail on its magnetic collar. We assumed it had been rolling around in a shed trying to catch a mouse or a woodlouse or soemthing and the nail attached itself. Makes an interesting addition. Also the one found by the Ministerios Offioucosos of Kulture in Cuba. Mine, found by the side of the road in Northwich doesnt seem so interesting now - I will have to look for another -somewhere more exotic.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lily Morris

Terrific old film of the great Lily Morris singing "Why Am I Always The Bridesmaid". Shame its so crackly and jumpy though it still doesnt take away from a charming performance and eccentric dance at the end. You Tube is full of such gems of the music hall. Other names to look up are Marie Lloyd, Little Tich, Nellie Wallace, George Robey, Billy Bennett,Dan leno, etc. to name but a few.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Just to show you that I haven't been completely seduced by the animating doo-dad at Mini-Clip. Here's a quick tour of the toys and gew-gaws on our shelves at the moment.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Two more animations from the Mini-Clip site. They are getting better and more detailed as time moves on but I dont think Pixar will be too worried just yet!
It's very engrossing though and you realise just how much work goes into a full length animated cartoon of the simplest construction!
Went into town this morning for a walk despite threat of rain. Posted my prescription at docs. Got a loaf but not much more- nothing in fact! The usual wander around the charity shops- the only businesses to be thriving at the monet it seems. More shops due to close down. Most town centres will be ghost towns soon.
It's that Blue Monday feeling.
Time to go and make some macaroni cheese to cheer ourselves up !

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Here's an elefunt what I animated at a great animation site at Miniclip. This for Ennio Pauluzzi who sent me a nice elephant card the other day.
Another week has rolled by and it's Saturday again.
Yesterday I walked into town and found a few bargains including a brightly coloured tin crocodile from Zimbabwe for three quid which is probably equivalent to a trillion dollars over there. Also a video of the Beach Boys early days from 1976. In the library sale I found a great double CD of "Round The Horne" for 50p.
I got my hair cut previously in the week and look rather like a refugee from a transit camp. I won't be going back to that barber's again!
Today we popped to Aldo and got Audrey a push along seat and basket thingy for the shops- so she can have a sit down when she gets tired or needs to take the weight off her feet. She spotted it boefore but wanted Hazel's opinion as to its usefulness.
It was a bit heavy and cumbersome in its huge box but we managed to slide it along the tiled floor of the shop to the till and out to the car park.
Nice and sunny today but threat of gales, hail, snow and storms tomorrow. I thought it was too good to last!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marbury Again

More Flip fun here with the special Kaleidoscope mix- a flavour of our walk around Marbury Country Park on Sunday. It rained in the morning just as we got into the car so we got back out again and waited until the rain stopped - we are easily put off by the vagueries? of the weather.
Previously I had been finishing off some collages for a bookwork project a friend of Rick Cox is doing. Fourteen pages (A3) but folded strangley to A4 and a flappy bit .
Ive participated before and they are usually of a high quality - goodness knows why they ask me to take part!
Also dropped some collages round to Bill who is a friend and folk band colleague of Mike who invited me to take part in an exhibition in Manchester (Chorlton) next month - all collage work from people he has met on Flickr. Apparently Bill has something to do with the Northwich Folk Club. They play as a duo there sometimes and also in a Caleidh? band (not sure how you spell it ) for weddings and birthdays etc.

Thankfully it has been mild the last couple of days after the freezing weather of the last two weeks. Still ice on the lake at Marbury though and we had fun watching the gulls and ducks sliding across for the bread. A very fiendly robin at the bird hide and a mouse scuttling about in the brambles.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Knutsford Travesty

I took this clip today whilst waiting for the bus to Rudheath. I think I must have just missed one because i seemed to be be waiting ages. Here you can see the Old Post Office which is now a big cavenous pub. The new post office is hardly big enough to swing a cat in!
I walked to town despite the slippy conditions and bought a few things we desperately needed like a 30p video of Lee Evans "Live In Bristol" and a candle snuffer. Saw Treena and Betty in the Age Concern shop too - they both looked very well and said they had good Christmas's.
Woolies looked very empty and sad - one man was clattering about inside, loading shelving units and other shop paraphenalia onto a trolley.
Hazel is in the workshop cutting out round bits of metal for some new work.
A late nail arrived today from Ruth Fledermaus in Alabama. She hasn't been in touch for about 6 years so a nice surprise. It was a lucky nail to ward off evil spirits she reckoned.
I also borrowed the film "Man On A Wire" about the chap who walked from one twin tower to the other via a high wire in the 80's or 90's thats just been released on DVD.

Its' been too cold to venture out most days so weve stayed in and huddled around the radiator.
We did go to Knutsford yesterday though as we were going stir crazy. There weren't many sales on and the shops that had them were too snooty for us to go in!
We popped into the history centre or whatever its called to see the renowned Knutsford Tapestry which was depicted on a jig saw I gave Granma Jones for Xmas. Hazel had seen it before a few years back but I never had. A kindly old gent showed us round as it was housed in a special constructed room at the back - through a courtyard full of weird sculptures and farming implements etc.
He explained that it started out as a small project, just 2 feet by 6 feet and quickly grew when other folk in the town heard about it and wanted their shop or house included. So it turned into a huge community project with many panels being worked on ( cross stitched) at once and when completed the whole thing was sewn together by some genius so you could hardly see the joins. Now it comprises of three huge panels some 20 feet long by 5 feet high.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Shakerley Mere / Chester

Find more videos like this on OPEN Fluxus

Another Flip mix using the "Journal" setting with added background groovy music. Shakerley mere was frozen over mostly and the geese and ducks were walking on the ice - maybe you can just see them in the distance? Maybe not. Compressing for the blog looses a bit of clarity - the original was quite sharp for a cheap camcorder.
We didn't take any bread scraps this time as we were intimidated by the signs everywhere saying "Do Not Feed The Wildlife With Bread!" This makes them swell up and explode or something equally disturbing! Other people were ignoring the notices and feeding them their bread though which made us regret not taking a small bit to slide over the ice and watch the ducks slide amusingly after it.

Today we went to Chester as I was feeling better and it wasn't so icy. It was packed and the shops which all had sales were doing a roaring trade. I bought a new shirt from Gap and Archie kitted himself out with new clobber. Hazel also found some bargains at Morgans , her favourite shop in the whole world. Also got a roll up keyboard for a couple of quid for Archie but he wasn't very impressed I dont think. It did sound a bit like a harmonica that had been crossed with some bagpipes!
We had a vege sausage roll and covered ourselves in crumbs and then a hot chocolate in a Thai cafe.
Then back to the park and ride bus and home.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Another year done gone. It went by so fast and a lot was packed in. Highlights were the trips to Norway in January for Hazel's exhibition at the Kunstbanken in Hamar and our trip to Boston and New York in August to visit our dear friends Sylvia and Jonathan and see a bit of America for the first time ( for me and Archie anyway ).
Other highs were Archie getting Grade One piano much to our amazement as he hardly did any practicing. Also our Silver anniversary of togetherness. 25 years just seems to have flown by! My small exhibition at the local library wasn't really a highlight but my first showing of work for a while so it counts for something.
Also a week in London with our old chums Jane and Graham and to Basildon to stay a couple of days with my sister Barb and her other half Des.
Archie did well again with his animations. "Landlubber" his short for Big Al Davies song got him into the Cornerhouse "Exposures" Film Festival again for the 5th year running.

Last night Archie set off his domino effect match event which lit up the bottom of the garden for a few seconds and spelt out "09". The loud chatter in the background is one of our polish neighbours in the back garden shouting to relatives in Poland we imagine - his phone being just a baked bean tin and some taught string reaching to Krakow!
Hazel lit some amusing fireworks and filled the back gardens with smoke and the Poles retreated indoors. They came out again at midnight and sprayed champagne over each other and shouted something polish at us. We think it was Happy New Year but could have been something very rude for all we knew. We were expecting a very loud party but it was very restrained thankfully and we managed to get some sleep after drinking some cava and orange and watching a bit of Jools and the Hootenanny. Nice to see Dave Edmunds still going strong.