Archive for October, 2009

What I’m Reading at the moment; ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barber’s Tale’ by Chris Firth

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, BRONTE BITES with tags , , , , on October 24, 2009 by echostains

Branwell Brontes Barbers Tale by Chris Firth

Branwell Brontes Barbers Tale by Chris Firth

I am  in that inbetweeny period where I have no new books to read (sob) so I’m having to rely on old ones: ones I have read years ago, like ‘Samuel Pepys’ Diary’.  Occasionally I come across a book I’ve bought and for some reason or other, haven’t got round to reading.  Well, such an occurence happened today!  I found a bag I’d forgotten about containing reading matter!  The bag contained stuff we had bought on our recent visit to Haworth including a book called ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barbers Tale’ by Chris Firth, where apparently ‘Fiction collides with history…’ and it is a ‘literary thriller that will explode the Bronte myth’ according to the Bradford Observer June 12th 1867 (yes, that’s what it says on the back).  So great stuff, looking forward to reading this!  By the way, the book was entered for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2005.

The other reading material is in the form of an old ‘Everybody’s Weekly’ from the 1950s.  I thought it would be interesting to see the sort of fashion and advertisements that were going in the period I was born, and see exactly what has changed (me, obviously, lol!) and how much.  So plenty to be getting on with.  I will report my findings of the book an magazine when after I have read them.

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Weird and Wacky Design: Bread and Butter

Posted in ART, SCULPTURE, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , on October 23, 2009 by echostains

What a malleable material bread is.  You can make anything out of it.  I made a lot of salt dough designs including ‘dummy’ bread once, painted them, varnished them and sold them.  Some of them are still going.  Salt dough really does need to be varnished though, damp is it’s natural  enemy, and once it gets into the dough – well that’s the end of it really.

bread the staff of life and death?

bread the staff of life and death?

You used to see dough sculpture in many a country kitchen, nowadays it rears it’s head in the most unlikely places and with the most amazing results.  Kittiwat Unnarom is a Fine Art student who makes amazing bread sculptures (see above).  He makes body parts from bread!  Not salt dough  but bread.   They are startlingly realistic and what’s more they are edible and alleged to be delicious!  He has his own bakery, called ‘Body Bakery’ in Thailand.  From the video, it looks like a raging success too!

Now with bread, you’ve just got to have butter.  So here’s a beautiful edible sculpture.  Seems a shame to eat it doesn’t it?

butter swan

butter swan

Here is the website (below) where the above sculpture came from.  All the sculptures use food as a medium (including ice).  Some of these are absolutely marvelous I think!

HERES the link

The Star Inn: A Cliff Hanger…

Posted in HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, THE STAR INN - THE RESCUE OF OUR LOCAL PUB with tags , , on October 22, 2009 by echostains

Follow that Star......

Follow that Star......

 What a great meeting it was last night in the Friendship pub, Prestwich Manchester.  The Star committee were well organised.  There were five groups , ranging from Finance to Community.  The builder’s group, which were the largest was very busy: packed with men offering their ideas and services.  One of the proposals, and first on the agenda  is to  build  a Ladies toilet INSIDE!  Yes, unbelievable as it is, the Ladies toilet is, and always has been outside, despite protests throughout the years.  So this is quite a radical move eh!  and I suspect one of many, though they do hope the fabric and history of the place will still shine  through.  There’s no website yet, but if you would like to help, please get in touch with Margaret via  

STAR
E-mail Address(es):
  StarOnTheCliff@live.co.uk

The Star will shine on

The Star will shine on

Last night Nicola from BBC Four came around with her microphone to gather pieces of information regarding the plans for the pub.  She will join the Star people on their journey from beginning to hopefully happy end, and maybe a documentary will emerge!  It’s clear, from last night’s meeting that ideas and enthusiasm abound regarding to the re making of the pub.  A new start awaits ‘The Star’   and people are raring to go: ready to get stuck in, despite the hard work which lies ahead.  One thing is for sure, with all the good will, organisation and belief, this project will not fail for lack of trying!  The reopening is planned for December.  Can’t wait!!!

The Star on the cliff just slumbering at the moment

The Star on the cliff just slumbering at the moment

 Follow this story from the beginning;

The Auction

What Happened

Resurgence!

UPDATE: The Star Inn now has it’s own website http://www.staronthecliff.co.uk/index.html

If you would like to become a friend of the Star Inn on Facebook, catch up with meetings, see old friends and track our progress click HERE

Bits and pieces, Whats going on and What Needs to Go On

Posted in WRITING AND BLOGGING with tags , , on October 21, 2009 by echostains

 

Warhol is one of many artist's featured in my blog

Warhol is one of many artist's featured in my blog

Just going through my Categories to see which ones I haven’t posted about lately.  At last I managed to do another page in my altered book.  I haven’t done an Artist Birthday for a while, so I will have to see into this.  The artist of course, has to be one I actually like (which narrows it down a bit..).  At the moment I have solved the problem of displaying all my Altered book pages (coming in November, along with another little idea I’ve been toying with).

 

I llove Spam, but not on my Blog please!

I llove Spam, but not on my Blog please!

Something that has been annoying me lately is the spam I’ve been getting.  I am having to get rid of it manually sometimes as it comes in the disguise of praise for my blog!  Yes I’ve fallen for it a few times.  But no more.  What the hell has,  what essentially is an art blog, got to do with Real Estate? Gambling? and other businesses.  Do they think they will actually got sales through pretending to be genuine readers?  Well, they won’t!  Moan over, I’ve been playing about with some of the new WordPress stuff, like galleries and the image editor that puts frames around the pictures.  I may change my Theme at the end of November (my one year anniversary).  I’ve still got got of ideas about what to include on my blog….coming soon.

Looking back recently, I seem to be doing a lot of reading and watching.  Must be these Autumn nights: Winter draws on, so to speak, lol!

Take a Tea Break:Tea Runs Rings around Me

Posted in DESIGN, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , on October 20, 2009 by echostains

Charles Sherman teapot with six ring infinity

Charles Sherman teapot with six ring infinity

I’ve not put any teapots on my blog for a while.  I have been looking at them though and found several new interesting ones.  This teapot with six ring infinity is more of a teapot metaphor than an actual teapot.   I love the indulating way the ceramic snakes and meanders, tracing the shape.  Sherman explores the pierced form HERE with more Infinity rings.

I put two more teapots in this post (with writing) and it’s disappeared!  This happens from time to time and it is SO frustrating.   I seem to have 2 copies of it, but the wrong one is saved…doh!  I’m going to leave it here now because the time is getting on.  More teapots tomorrow

 

Dear Reader I read it: The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Speaking in Tongues is Worth it’s Weight in Gold

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, HOME with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by echostains

Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

I acquired this book from a book club in the 70s and read it avidly. Some time this year, I bought a second hand copy of it as I had mislaid the original. So I read it again. The Olde English is a bit hard to get into at first, but after a while a strange thing happens – you start thinking, therefore reading in the language.  It all starts making sense! This happened with Irvine Walsh’s ‘Trainspotting’. At first I couldn’t make head nor tail of the words, then ping! the dialect suddenly fell into place and I started thinking (therefore reading) in a Edinburgh  (well, a kind of Scottish) tongue! Weird or what? How did that happen? I’ve never even been to Scotland (and I really do need to go at some point). You see, through genealogy, I have found that one Great grandfather (yes that close) was a Blacksmith, born in Newton Stewart Dumfries and Galloway. From that man comes my granddad’s great grandmother (not sure which side there) who came from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and then on to Glasgow.

 

Trainspotting

Trainspotting

I digress as usual, – though this a fascinating subject (to me anyway lol!). The point of this post…now then what was the point again? I thought it would be fun to have a look through Pepys Diary and have a look what he was up to on this date over 300 years ago. Why? to see if there is any similariaty to what is happening today. This is what that busy Chief Secretary of the Admiralty was doing today in 1664;

Wednesday 19th October 1664

“Up to my office all the morning. At noon dined at home, then abroad by coach to buy for the office Herne upon the Statute of Charitable Uses, in order to the doing something better in the Chest, than we have done, for we are ashamed to see Sir W Batten possess himself so long of so much money as he hath done. Coming home, weighed my two silver flaggons at Stevens. They weigh 212 ozs 27 dwt, which is about 50/., at 5s per oz., and then they judge the fashion to be worth above 5s. per oz. more – nay, some say 10s. an ounce the fashion. But I do not believe, but yet am sorry to see that the fashion worth so much and the silver come to no more. So home and to my office, where very busy late. My wife at Mercer’s mother’s, I believe, W. Hewer with them, which I do not like, that he should ask my leave to go about business, and then go and spend his time in sport, and leave me here busy. To supper and to bed, my wife coming in by and by, which though I know there was no hurt in it; I do not like.”

-Broholm-hoard that I keep tripping over

-Broholm-hoard that I keep tripping over

The thing that stands out for me in this entry is that people were going to have their silver weighed in over 350 years ago! I don’t think that Pepys was thinking of selling it, I think it was a just a way to have it valued from time to time and to assess it’s monetary value as the market fluctuated. Adverts abound about Cash for Gold these days. ‘Got any unwanted Gold? Why not turn it into cash!’ They say things like;

hopelessly out of date gold chariot that I've tired of

hopelessly out of date gold chariot that I've tired of

“I had a pile of unwanted gold, and I sent it off to Blah for Blah and received 84 million”…

 or words to that effect. The words ‘unwanted gold’ suggests people sat around in GOLDEN palaces, whilst GOLDEN geese lay GOLDEN eggs. Piles of treasure trove and broken tiaras lay strewn all over the GOLDEN floor. One is so sick of tripping over them all the time…..

 “Right, I must have a tidy up! I can’t move for all this GOLD…now where’s that envelope? Hang on, it’s a bit small for all this UNWANTED GOLD!!!!!!…’

unwanted old pharoah bracelets just gathering dust really

unwanted old pharoah bracelets just gathering dust really

Read Pepys’ diary daily HERE. Who knows, you may start reading in Olde English and surprise yourself!

 

Book Review: ‘The Gorse’ Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT with tags , on October 18, 2009 by echostains

 

patrick hamilton

patrick hamilton

This post has been transferred to my other blog Bookstains here