Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Century Cinema /Market - Pitsea, Essex

Fond memories of this old flea pit near Basildon where I spent many happy hours at Saturday matinees watching old Republic serials of Batman, Captain Video, Rocketman etc. and child friendly films like Abbot & Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Childrens Film Foundation flicks and all manner of cartoons and shorts featuring The Three Stooges, Our Gang and the like back in the late 50's and early 60's.  Sadly a bingo hall now like so many others. Just round the back was the fabled Pitsea market which back then had some wonderful stalls that included Alf (The market man) who sold cheap tat and had quite a line in patter and could gather a good crowd on Saturdays to buy almost anything ( I once bought an electric egg whisk from him when I was about 12 for my Mum's birthday - she stuck to the handy fork !) Also remember the ex-juke box record stall that sold scratchy gems for a few pence  ( where are they all now?) and the comic stall for exotic American mags of super heroes and super villians.  A nice old pathe fim here that shows briefly the old market before it was demolished to make way for some space age domes and the hideous fly-over.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Long Felt Want

Actually just a roll of roofing felt which is slightly different.  We bought some the other day from B&Q at enormous expense but our shed is leaking so has to be done.  I almost did it yesterday as it was a nice sunny day - luckily today is nice and sunny too so girded up my lions and sprang into action!  Well, not quite sprang - more of a slouch and a reluctant DIY's droop.
It wasnt as bad as I expected after I got into it and my hands became less numb with the cold. I warmed up with all the climbing of ladders and banging the clouts in etc.  Didnt even hit my thumb once - or cut myself which is pretty good for me!  I managed to stay on the ladder too. I think this was the bit Hazel was worried about but I only went up two of three rungs so not exactly up to the roof!
I probably should have removed the layers of old felt but that seemed like more hard work and anyway more layers mean a dryer shed inside right?   Well, that was my thinking and Hazel agreed so that was fine.  That roof must weigh a ton though as the roll of bitumen soaked felt was pretty heavy and I just about lifted it from the garden seat to the ground!  You can see how it finally looked in this panoramic shot of the back garden from my workroom window - good eh? Should last another 5 years - thats' what the guarantee says anyway.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bumper Mail Day

 Bumper mail art packets from two regular correspondents today which was a nice surprise as I hardly ever send any out these days! Postage has reached appalling price now - just a postcard in the UK being 50p and the Australia is around two quid!   Even the nice people behind the counters at the local PO have become very mean - pushing the letters and packets through the tiny slotted thing they are obliged to do these days and tutting, saying "Sorry, its just too big - that will have to be another two pounds in postage!"  When I ask if they could put it through a mangle to flatten it a bit they just smile ruefully and ignore my pathetic jokes!
So  its cheaper for me to just use the internet to send mail now - anyway as Iv'e said before - the coal shed is full to bursting with the 35 year old archive and I cannot get another stamp in there let alone a packet.  Though I do enjoy getting the odd snail mail I must admit.  Curating the OBRIGADO show at the VAC gallery has made me realise how much I've been missing it. It was a good fix for a while but rather glad it's stopped now.  The Sticker Dude has included some stickers based on an old collage of mine so that was a nice surprise. I shall no doubt find ways to distribute them. perhaps leaving them on trains and buses to baffle old age pensioners?
The pack from D.C. Spaulding in Lomita CA. was more of the late John Evans's collage material which his wife has been spreading around the network it seems.  D.C. said he had far too much so was sending me some. Creative Thing in Los Angeles recently sent me a stack of similar stuff he had been given by John's wife through a third party so I am accumulating quite a rich hoard - mostly tickets, labels, postcards and other ephemera. I am arranging them in small collections like Peter Blake's  "A Small Museum For...." series.  More news anon.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Latest Aquisitions

Latest aquisitions to our walls at home. Top - Small painting on board by our old chum from Boston - Jonathan Stangroom. Middle - Maria Walker coloured embroidery I bought as a Xmas present for Hazel below an assemblage by PLG in Germany. Bottom -  collaged postcard from Fi Webster in Maryland U.S,A. - a swap we did recently.