Wednesday, October 30, 2019


It's that time of year again when you spend lots of money of nasty looking sweets to give to trick or treaters who knock on your door on 31st October. Hazel found this plastic skull in one shopping trip recently. Alas poor Yorick? Not sure how you spell it. I expect it will be in the window with all the other pumpkins, spooky lights, flappy bats etc. Hazel is more into it than me I must admit. I always let her go to the door with the treat bowl. The bowl is usually empty by 7pm and we can turn off all the lights and hide.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Memorial Court Indoor Boot

Clocks went back so confused about what time to get up and what day it was ! This happens every year about this time. managed to get to indoor boot just after it opened so plenty of bargains to be had. Hazel got loads including a button box, tins of tools and gadgets, sewing paraphenalia, bottles from a old bathroom, toffee tin, pin box, old wooden rulers, rugg making stuff, etc etc. the list goes on! I was given a free digital camera as it has no leads or charger to go with it. It's a Kodak EasyShare C763 in case anyone has spare leads they don't want.
Here's Hazel sorting through one of the button boxes that also contained many sewing threads and cards of poppers and suchlike.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Curious Things

Some fuzzy views of the new "interactive area" in the foyer of the Curious Things exhibition in Special Collections, MMU, Manchester. There's a rubber stamping table to add to your free stamp card/ exhibition guide etc. A bowler hat post box in memory of W. Reginald Bray and a section to stick your artworks. Here some students from fine art history department are having fun with the stamps. Thanks to Sophie for the photos.#mmucuriousthings

Monday, October 21, 2019


New mattress delivered and old one disposed of. Two burly blokes with tattoos on their tattoos humped it up the stairs only knocking a few things off the walls ( nothing broke thankfully )> they took a photo of the mattress in it's final resting place to prove it had been delivered and not eaten ( or whatever else one does with them? ). Phew. I need a lie down after all that!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Birthday Boy

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.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Anderton Boat Lift

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