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.