Thursday, 30 December 2010


Work on Wednesday - one lone day in the middle of the week to meet a 31/12/2010 deadline. After the work was done I took the bus over to seething mass that Oxford Street has been for weeks. I've been looking for a new pair of glasses, popped into the Alain Mikli shop at the bottom of Regent Street.

Shoppers are hitting the shops, as are the tourists. Swarming along the pavements, packed into buses,  jostling around the stock searching for a bargain - shoes, clothes, electricals. Where people find the cash... The desperation of it all makes shopping an agony. I still haven't found a frame I am keen enough on to spend the arm and leg they cost - I like a slightly quirky frame. My favourite ones are from a couple of years ago and I still like them the best but I've had them reglazed 3 times now and they are terribly scratched again. I've found good shapes but the wrong colours, or good colours but the wrong shape.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Season to be Jolly

On the eve of Christmas Eve we were shopping in Edmonton Tescos. They had run out of brussel sprouts and I was told if I had wanted them I should have been shopping two days ago (not so much of a bad thing for me but terrible for some of my Christmas guests - they were texted and told of the situation, five minutes later they called to say they had some). Shortly after this a fight broke out between some customers. Lots of shouting and a massive crowd. Eventually someone came on the tannoy and asked customers and staff to move away from the entrance.

Two geese cooked for dinner, stuffed with a highland stuffing with the addition of two chopped bramley apples and a chopped quince. Apparently delicious (being a vegetarian I didn't eat any of it). Two full jars of goose fat drained off and given to the meat eaters for roasting other things later. Dinner was great, company was great. Played games.

Hoping you all had a great time, whatever you did.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Snow reflecting moonlight bright like day. The clouds are white, one section of blueish light towards the horizon. Moonshadows fall across the sparkling ground. The sound of melting - water slowly dripping, ice losing its grip and falling, crunching. Tomorrow much of the precarious balancing stacks will have fallen from the branches and shrubbery will be green and brown again. Spells the end of the magic.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Winter draws in

I've been to Beckton to pick up a parcel - 1. its far away (all the way to Stratford and beyond, bus to Asda, across the street to a shopping arena and round the back of some factories to the depot of the postal carrier), 2. its a dump, 3. when I got the parcel back the goods were damaged and I had to send them back.

Someone at Bruce Grove tried a cashpoint scam on me that didn't work. Beware the helpful passer by telling you the machine is swallowing cards while pressing cancel button (without you noticing) - you leave to go into the bank to complain, he draws out the money. It didn't work but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Hate it when people try to rip me off.

Its been snowing - the streets are lined with exactly the right snow to muffle the sound of the world around us and heighten the crunch under foot. Snowmen appearing on every street corner and all over the parks. Sis in Dundee has been trying to get a snow shovel for a couple of weeks now - they are all sold out...

Got a tree, half decorated it, its the last few days before getting a break and I can't wait. Made mince pies, and marzipan for the cake. Sent the gifts to Scotland, maybe not in time to get there for christmas itself.

Monday, 6 December 2010

December evenings

It's 530 but feels later. Misty. Like fireworks night is supposed to be. Sort of frosty mist - great for eating potatoes baked around a bonfire in tinfoil and being warm on one side (hot face) and freezing on the back. Someone came back from a trip to America and brought mini hershie bars (not sure of the spelling, is it 'y', 'ey', dunno) and bitesized peanut butter cups. Blast from the past. Nanny used to send us parcels with these and hershies kisses and red hot gum. Quite unlike anything we had here at the time. I remember these space fillers more than the actual gifts - I think there were nighties with yolks and high necks made of highly electrostatic material or t-shirts for the Oklahoma 49ers. The parcel always came a bit before Christmas and we would open when it arrived rather than waiting. Treat.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Snowy Scene

London snow - not like the Dundee snow (sis says its sometimes up to their knees, theres a foot of snow sitting on top of her outside bin, she has had to knock the icicles off their roof before they injure someone, push and dig a car out of her road along with 5 neighbours, and push an ikea delivery van out of the road - they live at the top of a steep hill and have been snowed in for a week now) - its a sprinkling in comparison and while we haven't been snowed in it has caused some travel chaos.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Court Room Drama

We had to go to court this week for reasons I'm not going to explain. I had to do a witness statement and therefore was called to be available to the court in case I had to answer questions on it. I imagined being cross examined by a rabid counsel for the defence and cracking under the questionning. Glad to say life is not like in the movies.

There were barristers in cloaks with funny bits hanging off the back (apparently for attracting their attention from behind by tugging on it... not sure I believed this explanation except it was given by a person with a humour by-pass) and wigs that looked like they were slightly balding. There was a judge sitting high up on a red leather chair, wearing purple, not making much eye contact. There was verbal ping pong between the barristers (my learned friend) and the judge (your honor). And a listings manager or clerk or something who was like a bouncer who liked talking in a booming voice (top of the stairs announcing the court number to the waiting room), All Rise when the judge went in and out of the room. Eventually when the barristers were conflabbing and the judge was out for a while he came through the court and said we all looked like we were waiting for the film to start, next time through he called out ice creams ice creams.

And the outcome wasn't exactly favourable and will be drawn out for potentially another year.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Season (to be jolly)

So, having endured the onslaught since August by turning a blind eye (don't believe in even mentioning it until well after Halloween), my mind has finally turned to christmas with the current freezing weather and plans afoot. I made mincemeat for mince pies last weekend, the fruit for cake is soaking, to be made tomorrow, there will be goose (!?!) for dinner. The last time (and incidentally the only time) I cooked goose was one christmas at Georgia's. They cracked open the sparkly wine before getting the dinner in the oven. As the bottles stacked up someone had to take charge, otherwise we probably wouldn't have had any dinner at all. That time we just bunged it into the oven with all the usual stuff. This time I've been looking up recipes and advice. Apple sauce, or quince compote, and some kind of apple stuffing, it seems may be the thing. (Would you believe I'm a vegetarian? I've been practicing cooking poultry so it doesn't dry out all year - start it sitting on its breast - and I'm not sure if that's necessary with a goose.)

Haven't done any shopping yet though. Did pass through Oxford Street once and hardly dared get off the bus the crowds were so huge.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Social Network

iPhone app - Instagram - social networking through photography. I use my account to post pictures taken on my iphone as I go about. Other people treat it differently - posting only their best ever photos. Linking to others is called following, people who follow you are your followers, theres a link button at the bottom of each picture where you can like it. There's a popular page where the most liked photos appear. To be really popular you need to be doing really good landscape/urban photography, sunsets and sunrises of the dramatic type that we rarely get in the UK and kitten pictures.

Social networking always works the same way - there's a giant love-in for a few people that attract a lot of attention from those who want to become popular - these few grow huge followings, their posts are loved by many and always appear in the popular lists but they are unable to share the love with lesser known meteorites because it takes them so much time dealing with their own huge following. It was like this with blogging (7 years) and is like it with Instagram (10 days). One of the A listers of Instagram was bemoaning that they must be doing something to keep his pictures off the popular page - must be a bit of a dent to his superego (loss of popularity is a concern) but as one of his commentors said in a kind of aside - I'm still waiting for a picture to grace the popular list.

I find its like in reality - I've always been just slightly too left-field to be really popular. As a teenager I wore that as a badge of honor. Must learn to take that attitude to online social networking!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

End of Term 1

So another 10 weeks (11 counting half term) has slipped past. We've made glaze, experiments, disasters, pots, failed to finish anything significant, eaten pizza, drank wine and sambucca and are now resting. In the last two weeks I have made some significant progress towards some better work but being as it was the last two weeks it isn't finished yet. There are still some pots with images of nudes on them in relief, a pot that was made in half an hour that is 65cm tall (still drying), and a pot for wooden spoons that looks a bit like a joke pot but hopefully will be less so when glazed. In the meantime the results of all the weeks are a rag tag of glazing and making experiements that have to be squirreled away in hidden corners.

Next term I already have a better plan and clearer idea of what it is I am attempting to make.

Last night we talked about what it is that we get out of attending the class - mixture of development of skill, playing with material, using hands and brain in different more primeaval manner and the results we are looking for - symmetrical and unsymmetrical, perfect and kooky, could only agree on one thing - we like it. What we do it for is completely individual and what we are trying to achieve is also.

Friday, 19 November 2010

On the use of pale green

Passed a launderette while on the bus. Pale green walls. Presumably when designing it pale green is going to feel clean and fresh. Together with bad lighting and steam, hardy plants and industrial washersa nd dryers it ends up dingy and drab, lending a sickly glow to the interior and people within.

Hospitals with high ceiled wards and corridors. Pale green here intended to be a soothing colour to help the sick get better. But too many years between coats means it looses its clean sheen and ends up dirty in the corners.

Lewisham College under the reign of the formidable Ruth Silver used pale green as the institution's colour. Not until I left working there did I appreciate how a single colour scheme and a redecorating schedule that ensured a new coat of paint over the whole college every year, kept the place seeiming orderly, clean and refreshed.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


How can a supermarket run out of plastic bags? I know we are supposed to be cutting down on their use but for the whole store to run out seems like extraordinarily poor stock management. I mean, couldn't they have cab'd some over from the next store over (it's only 10 mins away). They were handing out bin liners instead - flimsy things that wouldn't hold 2 tins of beans without splitting. They wouldn't give out bags for life for free either. Many disgruntled customers.

Sunday, 14 November 2010


Its almost the end of the term and I've managed to get not much done again. Done some experiments with glazes, and using shellac. But actual end results minimal.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


I've had my email account hacked. Someone has stolen my password logged in and sent tonnes of people a spam email from me. If you are one of those people I profusely apologise. They also posted onto this blog (now deleted). Ugh. I feel like someone has been in my house rummaging around my papers. Broken in. Hate it. Maybe its more than burglary. Maybe its more like stealing your identify and pretending to be you. Actually this is a bit of an exaggeration but I don't like it all the same.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Remember remember

Didn't actually go to see any fireworks display this evening but looked out when I heard a loud crack to see a couple of colourful sparks sprinkling over the rooftops of my neighbours.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Bus driver says might as well transfer to the bus behind we'll be here a while. 150 passengers file off the bus unsure of their likelihood of a squeeze onto a following bus due to the overcrowding from the tube strike. A militant italian cyclist was trying to get his bike half on the bus to stop the driver absconding while he called the police. A fellow passenger told me he was claiming the bus driver nearly ran him off the road. Believable, yes, but when the cyclist clearly wasn't injured and his bike wasn't damaged wouldn't a more appropriate course of action be to take the driver's shift number and lodge a complaint. Particularly when the tubes were on strike.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Early to Work

Been expected early to work. So having to get up at 6.30. Before the clocks went back it meant I saw the sunrise twice without getting up for it specially. Red and gold and lovely. Quiet time. Leaves have turned. Bright yellow, orange. Sometimes a bright blue sky behind. Leaving the house at 7.30. Emptier on the way to the station. Leaves under foot, not yet slimy. Train station is more crowded, train is more crowded. These are early start people. Suited. Booted. More ferocious in their quest for a seat. Fewer seats available and none of the emptying out of the train at Seven Sisters that there is when you set out an hour or so later. Walk to work from the station faced with more head on pedestrians hot-footing it to catch the train. Look for the cat lady (haven't seen her again since although once saw two cats who must have been remaining after).

Work - whirlwind of organising, deciding, troubleshooting, emailing, question-answering, telephone calls and other distractions. And hot.

Sun sets over the ridge in the west, shining gold evening light into the side of the building. Afterwork, it is dark or darkening. The air is light on the eyes which by now are tired. The quiet and cool of the outside is refreshing. Stand on the platform of the station, high over the surrounding neighbourhood. Navy blue sky. Aeroplane passing. Slouched in a seat, staring. Longer the week goes on (and it is only second day), more tired I become. Can't wait for the weekend.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Cat Lady

Walking past Choumert Road carpark first thing. Sunshine. Leaves on the trees turning golden. At the far side of the carpark an old woman in an electric mobility tricycle is being followed by 3 cats, tails up, excited. As she moved closer to the wall of the houses that back onto the carpark she was joined by another, and another and another cat. Fluffy, tabbies, black and white ones, older, younger. 10 cats. And another and another. Trailed by 20 cats, all their tails held up expectantly. Milling around waiting for the bags to open and the food to come out. Never seen this before despite working near here for 5 years.

Monday, 25 October 2010


For some time I have been coveting the iphone, looking on green-eyed (in the jealous sense rather than the literal sense, although I am green eyed) as people on other network providers were able to get one. Kept hassling Tmobile for when they were going to start offering it. Eventually 2 months ago they did give me one. It has been everything I hoped it would be. Arrived in the neatest packaging I have ever had for a mobile phone. I have overcome the urge to constantly be playing with it - all the apps you can get, lovely things that are so useful (scan tool, crop photos) and addictive (angry bird, doodlejump). I have been caught up with an Instagram - which is like flickr but on the phone, constantly updateable. So I find I have neglected the blog. Perhaps this is the next stage that blogging will take, no longer a computer thing instead a mobile thing. Perhaps it has already made that leap.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Ceramics Class

New technique tried - leather hard clay is painted with shellac patterns, wet sponge is wiped over the clay body which removes layers of clay around the shellac design leaving a raised pattern.

Monday, 11 October 2010


The low autumn sunshine glints across the silky strands of a monster cobweb that is partially formed between the ceiling, shelving and wall. It will, when competed, include several webs interlocked on a plane. Clearly not a lot of dusting gets done here in the office, and the things stacked on the shelves are seldom in demand.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday morning

The smell of fox is strong in the morning. Transported from a city street to a country woodland edging a field. Autumn is in the air - damp earth, yellowed leaves litter the pavement, mist hazy. Trees which started late this spring are having a patchy fall - one side yellow and brown already the other still holding dark green. In the garden a few late summer blooms have been resurrected with the autumn warmth after heavy rain and mingle with autumn colour. Grass is growing fast after spending so long brown and dormant in parched july/august. One winter flowering crocus has emerged under the japanese cherry.

Saturday, 9 October 2010


There's a crowd of oglers by the alley on the side of the post office. A community police officer is saying "there's nothing to see here" attempting to shoo them away as you would a flock of angry geese. Murmmerings in the crowd. If that were you and me we'd be dead! One elderly west Indian to another. A large bottle of evian has splattered on the floor. I follow the gaze up to the roof line. The officer was right, there was nothing to see.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Fog Sandwich

Its been a fog sandwich of a day. Way into work on the train the tops of tallest buildings were obscured by the low hanging cloud and the air had that moist grey feeling of fog (even though the visibility wasn't bad). Middle of the day the sun managed to brighten up the sky, warmth came through. Seemed very much an end of summer day, rather than the autumnal we have started to become accustomed to. By home time the cloud has come down again and in the distance the tall buildings have disappeared once again into the sky.
Late Night, Church Street

3 men lurch along church street. The night is warm for October. Pavements have dried since the last rain.
...he said he was cleaning a strip club...
A strip club?
Yeah, up west, I said, so you're mopping up cum in a strip club!!

Raucus man-laughing.
They pass four tall men standing on the corner having a discussion. Two of them are wearing trilby hats.
Someone shakes a sheet out over their balcony and creeps back into the shadows.
Outside abney road cemetery a man sits on a bench to drink a vanilla smoothy and smoke a joint.
Another man passes me by and says Hi Leoni. I look blank. Hi Leoni, he tries again, does it burn down there? I have no answer. He's got wild hair, no coat and seems confused. I'm not Leoni, I finally say. He passes on by continuing up the road going in and out of pools of street light.

Monday, 4 October 2010


Remarkable light at sunset - one side of the sky had gold shimmmering out from under the clouds, the other thickening black clouds darker than any seen recently. Amazed to get home before any rain fell.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Gloomy Sunday

Some days, when you open the curtains and discover it is grey and threatening more rain after a night of heavy rain, it seems the right thing to do to curl back under the duvet and wait for the next morning of reasonable brightness before getting up.

But, alas, this is seldom an option. The feeling has infected my disposition all day however - overly aware of the oddballs and theives in the neighbourhood. Beggars. Pickpocket on the bus. Drunks. Odd man I've seen before who must live in my neighbourhood who sits too close pressing his leg inappropriately, smelling of beer. It was a relief to get back home and close the door against the outside. And then it rained some more.

Fine and Dandy

He's got a strangely high voice chatting on his mobile phone. Wearing a tan leather suit and shoes. He's telling the caller how he's been out walking about in the pissing rain looking for a feisty woman. When he turns round he also has a big moustache, heavy gold chains and medallion rings on every finger.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Our original trip was postponed in May due to BA strikes and the volcanic ash. We spent a September weekend there instead. We walked through the city looking at the Gaudi buildings, popping into art galleries (Picasso, Dali, Miro and Tapies). We ate tapas and ice-creams. We visited the Mies Van Der Rohe pavillion building and sat in the park for some sunshine relief. Nice sisterly trip.

I wasn't sure whether I loved the Gaudi or not - its so over exposed and we see so many images of it that it wasn't as suprising as I was expecting. Its been there for a long time however, and it has to be seen in context of when it was built. At the time it must have been really different (architect friend discussed with me at ceramics class on Thursday). Parts of it are stunning.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Aunty Bettys

Out with ceramics class for the first class of the term - back to the regular haunt (pizza place off Blackstock Road with awnings for sitting outside).

Can't remember why but I was relaying a description of my Aunty Betty (actually not an aunty, a second cousin but its a snappier title aunty - anything for a good story) - a farmers wife who always wore stilletto shoes clattering around the farmyard, a yellow twinset and black conicle bra (large pointy tits) and could butter a whole loaf of sliced white in 20 seconds while making sandwiches for the farmhands.

Two other people (out of 6) had aunty bettys, which seems quite a high proportion.

One of these alternative Aunty Bettys lived over a petrol station, ate jujubes, spent a lot of time longingly looking at the picture of her husband who died from a war-related illness having been gassed in the trenches. She caught something from kissing her budgie and died.

The other alternative Aunty Betty would sit cross legged on the floor peeling potatoes. She believed that the kitchen table was the real repository of the adventures of the household. Her architect niece designed a house for her in which the kitchen had to be exactly the same as it was in the previous house so said kitchen table could be exactly as it had always been.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ladies who lunch

Australian ladies lunching. One is on the phone. "Matthew has to wear glasses all the time, in class as well....can you make sure he is going that....yah....thanks."
Comes off the phone. Yes, she says to her companion, we took him to the opticians this week - he has something progressive, he won't go blind, but its from wearing hard contact lenses. Its impacted on his cornea - its shaped like this [I refrain from looking round to see the shape]. Have you ever had botox?
Yes I love it - I'm getting some more for my birthday.
Where did you have it done? [I assumed she meant which clinic, her friend thought differently]
I get it here, here, here, here and here. Its great.
When did you last have it done?
About a year ago so there is nothing in there now...
But it looks great!
Thankfully they pick up their stuff and leave us in peace with our lunches. I'd like to say flounce off to the shops but I had my back to them and couldn't tell.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tamara Drewe

This was a very funny film - I laughed out loud. Perfectly drawn bored rural teenagers up to no good (I only have the reports from two rural teenage friends to go by but they seem to get up to a lot more mischief than I ever did living in the city - sex in fields, sniffing inappropriate substances, stealing stuff, climbing over fences to get into festivals) - perfect angst - all those hormones surging through the pubescent bodies - in LOVE with pop idols. The idea of a writers retreat (nightmare - certain it is like this - lots of talk about my work, self obsessed and idolising those already published). Keeps true to the feel of the Posy Simmonds strip it came from.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Ally Pally

Bus drives over the hill and passes in front of the palace. The changing London skyline looms out of the mist - new tower at elephant and castle with it's weird horn shape and satellite dishes, the city with it's ever growing height and docklands. Wonder how long before these three areas join up into a manhattanesque horizon. St Pauls finally overshadowed. Off the bus the air always smells of damp under growth. The garden centre is empty now that the autumn is arriving.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


mcdonalds in Bruce Grove has their new orange and olive green design with a huge plate glass window. Three youths sit in the bucket leatherette chairs inside the window. One of them is picking his nose.

Saturday, 4 September 2010


So the month has turned and we slide into the autumn  months. Not ready for it yet. Blooms are reaching their ends. Plants are leggy with dying flowers. The earlier crushed ferms have put out some new shoots since the rains hit and the grass is green once again. A tomato plant has grown out of an air hole of the compost bin but I don't think it will have enough time to actually make tomatoes. Red onions have been harvested and plaited up. Ongoing battle with the squirrel to keep the bulbs from last year in the pot he likes to dig up.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Walking the dog

Its a sunny morning on the way to work, turning into Choumert Road there are two people with buggies walking towards me on the pathway. First is a man with his daughter. He is talking to her, pointing stuff out. The second is a grandma with the rainhood over the buggy. As I pass I realise that the granny actually has two yorkshire terriers in her buggy - its a specially designed dog buggy by the look of it. Doesn't it sort of defeat the purpose of walking the dog if they are riding?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Ernesto Neto

Hankering after seeing something good - went to Hayward to see Ernesto  Neto. Large interactive installation on the top floors of the gallery. Stretched transparent coloured fabric with what looks like knicker elastic edges, forming caverns, spaces and tunnels. Tubes of fabric (like a pair of old stockings) linking different skins, sometimes providing a hole to see through, or reach through, sometimes looking like a stalegtite.Watching other people inside the structures, ghostly wandering. Towers to stand on and view from a different angle, height. Feels like being inside a body, enveloped. Really worth a look.

And don't forget your swimming togs and a towel if you want to go in the heated roof top pool.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

London River

Sometimes you have to see a film even though the reviews don't rave exactly. But it is filmed in a tight triangle of London with which I am very familiar. The hotel that the French father stays in is at the top of my Dad's street, as is Haringey train station that they all keep coming out of. The girl's flat is over a butchers on Blackstock road next to the college where I study ceramics. They walk about Finsbury Park, visit North Middlesex Hospital (I am fairly certain), ride a 259 past Manor House, have a cab ride through Crouch End, walk along the New River canal. Its very green, strangely. Not at all alien, although it might be to other people. My main distraction, from knowing the landscape too well, was my inability to suspend my disbelief because the routes were not right. Nobody would arrive to London get out at Haringey and then try to find a flat on Blackstock Road (same train, get off at Finsbury Park), you wouldn't walk to Blackstock road from Burgoyne by going over the railway - quicker to cut across the park. Anyway, it was a worthy film, quietly told. Tragic.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Spiky Men

First spiky man
Black hair spiked high at the front, skinniest skinny black jeans, black shirt open revealing sparsley hairy chest, dogtags, rolled up sleeves, tatoos, suntan.
Minute later, second spiky man
Black hair spike high at the front, beard. Black jeans, jacket, striped teeshirt.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Boyfriend Jeans

The boyfiend was looking for a pair of jeans to replace the ones that had worn out. Many pairs seemed to be designed with the right kind of styling and made in the particular shade of denim. Pairs were taken into the changing rooms. Coming out he was tugging at the belt loops saying they don't come up high enough. Look at my pants coming over the top, flinging his shirt up and displaying a good 6 inches of boxer over the top of the low-slung jeans. They're made to be that way I said. But they don't come up enough to keep my tummy warm. Looking round for inspiration I struck upon the shop assistants - jeans seem to be made this way at the moment I said pointing out the way their's were hanging off, paired with long teeshirts. Perhaps you need lower slung pants. (There was a section of Calvin Kleins that would have suited). It appears that all the jean styles now have a low rise with a belt-position just above the penis (has been a fashion for some time) but don't require the wearer to have the crotch hanging down to their knees (although there are still fans of this way of wearing jeans - belt hoops under the buttocks rather than over them). Finally pursuaded a pair purchased.

Later he is debating whether to take them back - finding it difficult to get used to the low-slung feel. Search for the perfect jean will go on.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Kids Films

In the last two weeks I've seen a number of films that are Us or PGs.

Toy Story 3 in both 2d and 3d - it was good, all of them have been. I came late to the joys of Toy Story but am fully converted. The niece and nephew loved it.

Space Chimps 2 - the only saving grace of this rubbish was that it was only 95p to see it on saturday morning. Absolute crap otherwise.

Karate Kid - they've done a good job of this remake. Liked it a lot. And Jadan Smith - is he ever going to be hot as an adult.

Monsters Inc on dvd - loving the movie. I remember at the time they talked a lot about the animation of fur and hair being ground breaking - it featured a lot.

Coraline  on dvd- neice desperate to watch it even though her friends found it really scary. She scared herself more than I believe the film scared her.

The Incredibles on dvd - loving this movie, neice and nephew are still a little young to understand it well enough. Great though.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Walking by the Jolly Butchers
  • turquoise soles and turquoise socks
  • three screaming faces on a teeshirt
  • purple cap
  • yellow bicycle tyre rims
  • fat man turns and runs back
  • wrist plaster cast, blue outer layer
  • cowboy boot strut
  • pink teeshirt and purple trousers
  • panama hat at the bus stop
  • beige old man
  • man in espadrilles
  • necklace of large multicoloured sequins
  • giant man, white hair, red suede loafers
  • long blond barbie hair down to the arse
  • tie dye teeshirt and mauve hareem pants
  • long male ginger hair
  • leopard print tights
  • toddler in a lime green shirt with a mobile phone clamped to his ear
  • shirt with orange satin ruffle
  • white dress very low cut back, green knicker elastic showing, tattoos, necklace made of giant buttons
  • long yellow skateboard
  • white trousers, red belt, tarten trilby
  • musicians pass in opposite directions - one pair guitar and keyboard, other pair symbols and violin
  • recumbant bike
  • scruffy crusty dreadlocks down to back of knees

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Today has all been about:
  • Getting bits for putting up shelves (and rescuing dying plants from B&Q)
  • Putting up shelves
  • Catching fragments of the Golf Open (this is a diversionary tactic - boring sports suddenly become appealing in the light of something more pressing to do - I have even figured out that birdies are below par scores and bogies are over par scores)
  • Moving boxes around the room (sis and family coming to stay on Wednesday)
  • Cleaning bathroom
  • Chucking stuff away in the box room.
  • Planting the rescued items (leaning on an ants' nest and getting ants running up and down my arm which freaked me out a little bit - been a bit itchy since then).

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Norfolk Pit Firing

16th century thatched cottage, lovely garden on a lane to the beach. Beautiful weather. Drove up on friday night, stopped at a local shop on the way to pick up provisions. Skateboardy youths hung outside bikes thrown down and skateboards discarded. Man strides over, irritated there is stuff blocking his way he violently kicks a skateboard out of the way. 5 people pick out their essential items and get to the checkout with full baskets. On arrival we are greeted by the early arrivers. Cheese on toast for dinner but couldn't turn on the cooker. Cheese sandwiches for dinner. Stroll on the beach watching the sun set, sea lapping at the shore, sucking stones back down the beach. The earlies had been swimming in the sea and seen seals.

Later we lay in the garden looking at the stars. We watched satelite trajectories and shooting stars, milky way. I spilled wine in my hair.

Saturday spent preparing the pots in the garden. Those wishing to swim swam. Trailers arrived - Fran, superhost, Georg, with corregated steel sheet and sawdust, and the boys (driver overslept by 3 hours). Sense of anticipation built up over the day.

7pm everyone went down to the beach. Georg drove the sawdust and pots in the car. Lots of chiefs stood round with spades and discussed pits - size, shape, placement. They thought initially to use some existing holes as the basis of the pit and then abandoned them having decided it was harder to make it suit than start from scratch. Once decided to begin again it was dug in minutes. Then off for a dip in the sea again.

Tide seemed to be creeping in and the original holes gradually filled up with water. Then the pit started flooding. New pit site was chosen. Fran put a stone on the tide line to check when the tide turned. New pit was started and completed. Tide was receding. Pit was lined with sawdust, pots put in, filled up with sawdust. Screwed up newpaper covered the top and covered with sticks. Ceremonial lighting of the pit. Initial concerns about causing a public nuisance subsided when it transpired that all the parties on the beach were barbecueing, some with much more smoky fires. Lidded the pit and watched.

Half the party went off in search of fish and chips. Fran and Maddie returned to the cottage for snacks and came back with veggies to roast on the pit and carrots with their greens still on. Much wine was drunk. There is something very primeaval about sitting with a fire in a group. Back to how our ancestoers would have lived. Seeing the sky. Using the mateials around us. Cooking on an open fire, eating with fingers. Basic needs met, no luxuries, plenty.

The Polish group along the beach were burning a huge tree trunk. The men ran off for a dip and came back sans trunks, whooping and leaping while cupping their privates. Their women folk laughed egging them on, they played up to it with accidentally-on-purpose dropped towels, followed by fire leaping, risk of chargrilled balls.

The pit embers glowed but the warmth reduced. Wrapped up in blankets and huddled together eating 8 fish and 3 chips (ordered 8 fish and chips and 3 chips). The crowd drifted away as the wine ran out and tiredness overcame them. Then there were three of us, staying up, drinking wine until we were unable to stand, watching the sunrise begin. One swam in a sea that was much warmer at night than in the day. And then we went home.

Pit was opened the following morning. Pots were washed in the sea to reveal an array of smoky results.

Finally dragged all the firing schrapnal back to the cottage. Pots were cleaned up and polished and lunch was eaten. Then drove back to London.

A particularly wonderful weekend. My feet are itchy for more like that - open road, travelling, beach living, pottery.