Two boots today at Vagrants near Crewe and the cricket ground a few miles further on. Slim pickings but I did get a sill PS3 game Borderlands with extra levels which I had not played. Also a nice Penguin Book of Comics from the 60's. Hazel got a few bits including a tin jug, French linen table runner, brooches, necklace, beads, etc. etc. Some mad drivers on the roads but we made it back in one piece. Glad of the cool tiles in our little house. More mail art sorting. Now Hazel is painting the landing floor boards a bright bluey grey. Chucking out lots of stuff that was gathering dust.
Lovely sunny and very hot day again yesterday for the annual Northwich River Fest. Beforehand we went round the excellent artisan market where all kinds of foods and home made stuff was being sold by vendors braving the intense heat. The Dragon Boat race was good - we managed to find a shadey spot on the other side of the River Weaver to watch it - well, the first race anyhow. It went on all day and today too so we didn't stay long - just long enough to soak up the atmostphere and watch some miscrient pirates fire a small cannon and say piratey things into the Tannoy system. Aaarrrrgh Jim Lad! etc. Also happening were lots of charity stalls and food outlets, bar-B - Q's etc. The smell of burning sausages and onions wafted over the assembled crowdsW
Two boots today ( Whitegate and Verdin Park )with Beth and Hazel. I didn't get much - just slightly fried and a stack of blank CD's. Hazel found some interesting objects including a needle case ( which Bob saved for her ) a file box ( which was on our list of things to get ), a metal file box, a small nuts and bolts cabinet with lots of plastic drawers, a plant, a plastic banana, flowerpots amd a toffee tin. Nice to back into the relative cool of the house.
I foolishly voluteered to demonstrate how to make hand carved rubber stamps at local art fair yesterday. It had been a while since I'd actually made any so tricky in that artificial light and with failing eyesight! I managed to bluff my way through with Hazel's help who is always very engaging with the punters. The "Grand Day Out" organised by the chap at the local art shop was a big success despite the World Cup England match being on at the same time! We had to rush home afterwards to catch the first goal.
More mail art sorting for proposed exhibition at Special Collections in 2019. Steph, who is in charge of SC came over for lunch and looked through some of what we had sorted and tried to get an idea of the task involved in looking through 40+ years of correspondence and finding out more about it. At the moment putting the regular correspodants into zip lock files. When they have outgrown them they go into a box file. Art Nahpro ( Paul Jackson ), Mark Pawson , Eric Finlay, John Evans and Michael Scott have their own box file and close behind are Creative Thing, Ed Giecek, Mark Greenfield, Vittore Baroni etc.
Two boots this morning. A few bargains inc. a "cow moo" for the cow moo collection. Hazel got lots of clips, ties and a copper ash tray pressed by machine - a sample Bob said.etc. A hollyhock and beads for Beth - who came round with some delicious vegan carrot cake this afternoon. We sat in the garden to eat it with some tea - a welcome break from all the mail art sorting. Three boxes today. One box too many! Phew! Also a snap of Hazel in the pantry which she cleared out yesterday to make room for the small cupboard from the front room - now swapped with a document cabinet to stand the small TV on.
A late birthday celebration with old cums Tony and Pene - a nice pub lunch at the Salt Barge by the Trent & Mersey Canal. Went for a pleasant wander down the tow path afterwards to walk off the fish, chips and local brew. Then back to the pub to see what the football score was. When we left England were winning 2-0 against Panama but on our return, 50 minutes later it was 6 - 1 to England. Not really that much excitement in the beer garden though. We came back to ours for some birthday cake and tea in the back garden. A friendly robin had a bath nearby in the old weighing scales. Very warm!
Slim pickens at the two boots today alhtough we had fun taking a detour because of some accident or other near the last but one roundabout. Somehow managed to take the right turning without the sat-nav's help and ended up on the right road. Very warm again. Weston cricket club was first - very busy. Din't get much just some CD bags, which are always useful. Also a plastic water pistol for Archie's collection. 20p. Vagrants was a lot quieter and peope were starting to pack up even though it wasn't even 11 o'clock! I didn't find anyhing. Hazel got a few bits and bobs including a thermometer ( for jam?) a hand blown glass jug, some plants, rusty wire and some other stuff. Roads were fine on the way home. Had tomatoes on toast - not the home grown ones Hazel bought at the boot sale but some that had been in the fridge for ages and just about edible. Yum!
Nice bank holiday weekend with a trip to Alsager to start with for lunch with old chums Tony and Pene. Al fresco salad and quiche and other delights - pudding was rhubarb and almond frangipan tart with Madagascan Vanilla Custard no less! Lovely walk to the allotment where T & P have a patch they share with neighbours. The artichokes and garlic were doing well. We had to be quick as they didnt have a key to the gate and they might be locked in if everybody else went home. Luckily we were fine. More tea and biscuits when we got back. The following day it was another boot sale in Lostock by the church graveyard. Got some lovley old Practical Mechanix mags from the 50's for 80p each. Hazel found a few bargains including a pile of candles and a scary mask for Archie's collection.
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Slim pickings at the Verdin Park boot sale. Hazel got a small wooden cabinet to pile ontop of her other small wooden cabinets, a silver ring, a silver spoon that's probably not silver, and her bargain of the day - a victorian skirt lifter gadget she's been after for many years and finally found one! Muggins bought a used rubber stamp and type thingy which doesnt work - all the ink had dried up! Doh! Bumped into our old neighbour Rob with his kids that have all grown up - scary - they were tiny last time we saw them.
Nice walk in Marbury Woods again to see the bluebells before they vanish. The smell of wild garlic was quite over powering! A few dog walkers but mostly pretty quiet. We sat on our favourite bench and watched a big blonde dog wade into the stream and come out two tone - his bottom half a lovely muddy brown! His owner seemed used to giving him a bath as he raised his eyes heavenward as he walked passed after him. Earlier we'd gone to the artisan market in Northwich but didn't find much. Good sunny weather so lots of people in town which was good to see.
Another excellent weekend in Llandudno for the annual fair and auto jumble etc. Very warm on Saturday and Sunday which really brought the crowds out! We prefer the drizzle actually and have more room to move about! You could hardly move for day trippers. Despite the heat we enjoyed it and Hazel bought loads of bargains from the many antique shops and charity shops etc. Also the auto jumble provided many treats. The bus ride there alone was worth the price of admission ( buses were free - throw a coin into a bucket on the way off ) Nice food too at our usual haunts - a real feeling of deja vu for most of the weekend as we eat virtually the same food in the same places! It's only in llandudno for some reason - everywhere else we like to ring the changes.
Nice picnic in the back of Tone and Pene's campervan before a long walk round Marbury Woods to see the bluebells despite aching all over after helping to fill lorry with stuff for refugees in Greece at CARE UK in the morning. Then to the garden centre to buy a few plants. Afterwards , tea and biscuits with Granma and Audrey. What a social whirl we live in!
Nice couple of days in sunny London to see Archie and Meriel's group exhibition over at RAW Labs in docklands. Stayed with our old friends Jennifer and Matteo in leafy West London by Hyde Park where we went for nice walks to see some art at the Serpentine galleries and watch the swans hiss at passing dogs. Also the parakeets that love apples. More art at the Welcome Museum and the Design Museum - thanks to Meriel who got us in to see the Hope Not Nope exhibition . We ache all over now after all the walking.
I have a few works in this show about the assembling artist book ISSUE that is in it's 20th year - a special celebratory exhibition with some of the poeple involved. I curated an issue a few years back and have contributed to half a dozen or so over the years. Lost count now.Always a treat to get in the post. Thanks to old Southend Art School chum , Richard Cox who started it with a couple of his mates in Cardiff. here's photos of the PV he sent me. Sadly I couldnt go due to prior commitments.
Nice morning over Nantwich way to two boot sales - the first at Vagrants wasa bit chaotic and muddy. The second a bit further on at Weston was much larger , round the edge of a cricket field and better organised. Got a few bargains at each including a massive frame ( too big really but only £3 ) some sewing stuff, plants, rulers, heavy rusty weight, heavy rusty old flat iron, letters on a wooden board (?) and a lovely pewter thimble in the shape of an acorn. Home in time delicious mushroom and squeaky cheese bun for lunch.
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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 dad , 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.