Lazy Sunday #9 & Vlog Time #64 – Introducing Miss Molly

Hello, or even good morning as it is still morning as I sit down to begin this, I have just stuffed my face with a bacon butty and m now sipping my mocha although it is so warm here today I could happily swap it for a nice iced vanilla latte. I have had a week off work and while you would think that would have given me lots of extra time I seem to have been really busy with family and have achieved very little this week, though I do have sore ribs now from laughing so much playing a board game called Vampireology with my daughter and her boyfriend last night, the game took four hours though we hope it will become quicker to play once we stop having to refer to the rule book every other move lol.  But you are not here to listen to me rave about a game you want to know what I have been reading so lets make a start…

  1. First up is a lady who has become a friend, she like so many of us us struggling with getting the breaks and initial sales and reviews to get going with her writing career in terms of making a living from it, so she has decided to treat everyone with excerpts on a Sunday in the hope you will like what you read, I have a couple of her books waiting to be read something I really need to remedy, if the excerpts intrigue you please consider either buying the books or even approach her about a trade for a review, without those Amazon reviews getting your work noticed is almost impossible, https://bridgetstraub.com/2016/05/01/excerpt-sunday/
  2. I confess I am sharing this mainly for one photo in it although it is of course a fascinating post, however the mural painted on the end of that building took my breath away and makes me think in an age of so many high rise buildings why do more companies not commission this sort of work https://anabelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/toronto-distillery-district/
  3. I am sharing this just because it is Monday tomorrow you might just need an extra smile https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2016/05/02/reserved-for-monday-funnies/
  4. Next up a post from my dearest friend Rhonda, she is developing an incredible talent with her camera, the only downside being we seem to be seeing less of her talent with words, however this post is something dear to my heart, that precious gift of being able to wander with your camera and capture a unique moment in time, https://50-shades-of-gray-hair.com/2016/05/06/in-the-blink-of-an-eye/
  5. THe next up is something that plagues every creative person at some point, the spectre of self-doubt this is a great post about trying to get past your inner demons https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/05/02/dont-let-writers-self-doubt-beat-you-4-steps-to-conquer-it/
  6. If you have been around Facebook or read certain other blogs you are bound to have come across this story in the last week or so but just in case you missed it… https://makropp.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/monday-musings-your-books-are-so-good-i-shouldnt-have-to-pay-for-them/

So that concludes the reading portion for this week now onto the vlog which I am afraid is very short this week and you do not get to see me at all, I had intended filming more and adding this footage to the end of a vlog but it was a little longer than expected and she is cuter than me…

One last thing I am going to leave you with is if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me playing with a new app on my phone to create photo collages, the perfect excuse for me to take more photos but here are a few I have made so far the app is called Phototastic, enjoy and I shall see you next week xxxx

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A – Z Challenge 2016, E if For…

Eis for East, Alfred. I did not really have an E that sprang to mind so had to do a search and after dismissing a fwe others settled upon this gentleman.

Painting of East by Laszlo

Painting of East by Laszlo

East was born in Kettering in Northamptonshire and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. His romantic landscapes show the influence of the Barbizon school. His The Art of Landscape Painting in Oil Colour was published in 1906. In April 1888 he had shared an exhibition at the galleries of the Fine Art Society with T.C. Gotch and W. Ayerst Ingram, and was commissioned the following year by Marcus Huish, Managing Director of the Society, to spend six months in Japan to paint the landscape and the people of the country. When the exhibition of 104 paintings from this tour was held at the Fine Art Society in 1890 it was a spectacular success.

East visited Spain after 1892 when he visited Algeciras at the southern end of Iberia.[2]

In 1906 he was elected President of the Royal Society of British Artists, a position he held until his death. In that year, he published his 107-page illustrated “The Art of Landscape Painting in Oil Colour”; in its preface, he made the observation: “The greatest errors in landscape painting are to be found — contradictory as it may appear — not so much in the matter of technique as in the painter’s attitude toward Nature”. In this book he described his techniques using colours, half-tones and pencil sketches.

He was awarded a Knighthood in 1910 by King Edward VII. His portrait was painted by Philip de Laszlo. The Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, designed by John Alfred Gotch opened on 31 July 1913. The Alfred East Gallery is Northamptonshire’s oldest purpose-built art gallery.

East was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1899, having been a regular exhibitor since 1883 and elected to full membership in 1913.

On Sunday, 28 September 1913, Alfred East died at his London residence in Belsize Park. His body was taken back to Kettering and lay in state in the Art Gallery, where it was surrounded by the pictures he had presented to the town, and attracted crowds of several thousands.

I cheated and lifted the bio from Wikipedia simply as there is not much said there apart from a list of his accomplishments, for those outside the UK you may not know Kettering is an army town and has been for many years and I would speculate he came from a fairly well off military family but for all his travels there is something very homely about his art.

BAL14993 The Fiesta by East, Sir Alfred (1849-1913) Roy Miles Fine Paintings English, out of copyright

BAL14993 The Fiesta by East, Sir Alfred (1849-1913)
Roy Miles Fine Paintings
English, out of copyright

I chose this picture first as it struck me that on the one hand you have the feeling of an impressionist, Monet himself regularly painted figures in the garden but the back ground structure was what really made me stop and look again. I cannot be sure if it is an aqueduct or a railway bridge, certainly by this point the age of steam was in full flow, Monet and several other artists painted in the stations in Paris yet East chooses to show architecture blending into the landscape rather than jarring against it,

Many times writers go to extremes in an attempt to surprise and entertain but it is just as true for us that in integrating layers of ideas subtly you can create depth in a story and achieve the same impact  eventually but at a what could be considered a slower pace, in some ways this makes the juxtapositions of ideas more surprising than an initial jarring at seeing them side by side.View_at_Kettering

The final one reminds me again of numerous other artists but I think it also serves as a reminder that just because something is similar to other things it does not negate the quality of the work or the time spent crafting it. They say all stories can be tracked back to half a dozen themes, after that everything is just a variation. Likewise when you consider that there is every chance dozens of artists have stood in that self same spot he paint from at countless points through time, the time differences caused by his eyesight looking at that spot on that day may not be obvious without another next to it for exact comparison but just consider how very different that same painting might have felt if there had been black clouds and rain on that day.

We should all remember that often it is the slightest things that can change everything without seeming important at all.

A – Z Challenge 2016, B is for…

Bis for Bell, Vanessa (née Stephen; 30 May 1879 – 7 April 1961).

Vanessa Stephen was the eldest daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen and Julia Prinsep Duckworth (1846–1895) for many of us she has been overshadowed by her sister Virginia. There were also brothers Thoby (1880–1906) and Adrian (1883–1948), and half-brothers, George and Gerald Duckworth, and they grew up in Westminster, London. She was educated at home in languages, mathematics and history, and took drawing lessons, she attended Sir Arthur Cope’s art school in 1896, and then studied painting at the Royal Academy in 1901. 2-vanessa-bell-7

In later life she alleged that during her childhood she had been sexually molested by her half-brothers, George and Gerald Duckworth, though of course one can only speculate not only if this was true but if it was whether she was the only sister effected and if that had repercussions later in their lives.

After the deaths of her mother in 1895 and her father in 1904, Vanessa moved to Bloomsbury with Virginia and brothers Thoby and Adrian, where they met and began socialising with the artists, writers and intellectuals who would come to form the Bloomsbury Group.

She married Clive Bell in 1907 and they had two sons. The couple had an open marriage, both taking lovers throughout their lives. Bell had affairs with art critic Roger Fry and with the painter Duncan Grant with whom she had a daughter, Angelica in 1918, whom Clive Bell raised as his own child

Vanessa, Clive, Duncan Grant and Duncan’s lover David Garnett moved to the Sussex countryside shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, and settled at Charleston Farmhouse near Firle, East Sussex, where she and Grant painted and worked on commissions for the Omega Workshops established by Roger Fry. Her first solo exhibition was at the Omega Workshops in 1916.vanessa-bell-self-portrait.1257676666

Some of Vanessa Bell’s works were related to her personal life. For example, her illustration for To the Lighthouse, the book by her sister Virginia Woolf, which was not published until 1927, is about a beach with lighthouse that was a part of Bell’s and Woolf’s childhood in St Ives, Cornwall.

I chose two paintings by her the first a self portrait, and I have to say in both this painting and the photo of her there is a definite air of melancholy. it is easy to see that this is a woman who has known pain, something which obviously ran through the family. Though the majority of her paintings are fairly abstract there are other example of still life compositions which I feel are better for demonstrating her actual artistic ability, the more avant garde painting do of course testify for her creativity.

This is one I really liked…

(c) Henrietta Garnett; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Henrietta Garnett; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

White Roses a simple composition however it evokes so much more, the fading blooms wilting, life cut short by the removal from their nature environment and enforced confinement in a vase and the books also trapped by the weight of the water. And of course we know water is the element that took her beloved sister from her.

Do we read too much into the words or paintings of the author or artist? Of course we do! We place our own knowledge, beliefs and theories upon what might be a very simple thing, she may have just seen the roses decided they needed raining a little to catch better light, hence the books and it might just have been a pleasant way to pass an afternoon. The thing is we are both right and both wrong, no interpretation means more than any other because we cannot know every possible meaning for everything. If Virginia had lived would Vanessa’s work have been more well known? Would Vanessa have painted herself smiling in her old age?

So many possibilities but maybe the only real truth is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and needs no other.

A – Z Challenge 2016 – Theme Reveal

Yes it is almost that time of the year again and so time is time to reveal my theme for this years challenge! Last year we did places but this year I have decided to examine another love of mine for this years challenge, ‘Art!’

I want to try to find an artist for each letter, A – Z obviously, art and writing do go hand in hand while the artist creates visions with oils or acrylics, the writer attempts to do the same with words. In both forms the ultimate aim is drawing people in and evoking emotions, and as much as we all say you should never judge a book by it’s cover, lets face it we all do.

So from the first of April we begin a journey from A to Z, some artists will be more familiar than others, so letters are harder to fill while others are harder to choose between for example Dali or Degas? Where possible I will try to add in some background information and a portrait of the artist but I have not yet chosen them all so I do not know if that will be possible yet.

Fridays you will get a double post of the A – Z post plus a vlog so that way we can keep Lazy Sundays.

Right time for me to get some work done and start finish editing Sports Relief footage out of the way but if you want to join in this years A – Z Challenge there in still time to sign up here.

Lazy Sunday #4

It has been a strange lazy day here, I actually awoke quite early but decided to lie in bed and watch the wrestling I had intended staying up to watch last night. Then I got up and did a load of washing which I was thrilled to discover I could peg out and allow to dry in the sunshine.

This was the point when I should have sat at the computer but instead I got it into my head to decoupage an old bathroom cabinet, which turned out to be rather messier than expected.

It is now mid afternoon as I finally sit latte in had and rugby on the radio (the Giants are playing) though at the minute they are not doing well and I might wish I were not listening soon.

So I shall begin our wandering through a few blog from this week, so if you have your beverage of choice in hand and are sat comfortably…

  1. If you have followed this blog for any length of time then you will be aware I hail from an Irish heritage, like so many others. I love this blog because even though the photos are taken all over the Emerald Isle it is easy to dream that ancient ancestors may have strode across the fields or over the streams so often featured, plus the addition of great info and poetry is a bonus, http://nigelborrington.com/2016/03/09/irish-national-tree-week/
  2. I don’t write poetry very often, but that does not mean I do not enjoy reading it so I have several blogs I follow from which I take my poetry fix and one for today is this one which, as someone who enjoys a good soak, I can totally relate to https://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/epiphany/
  3. Another of the blogs I really enjoy is this one which is a specialist photography blog which concentrates on close up photos. Like writing everything can appear so very different when taken out of perspective and this blog constantly reminds me how many things you can miss if you only look at the big picture and not the details http://drawandshoot.me/2016/03/08/frayed-edges-of-winter/
  4. Sometimes you read blogs where the writing expresses feelings that are so raw that you feel the pain and can empathise from your own experiences, life sometimes deals us hands we would rather dismiss, rather not deal with, bury under a million different excuses, to take responsibility for your own life is not an easy thing but I have so much respect for this lady and her journey https://kissthemuse.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/4-3-not-in-vain/
  5. Not much to say about the next blog, if is dark and macabre and he is talking about vampires and mentions my favourite vampires, those created by Anne Rice of course https://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/vampire-month-ambrose-hall-interview/
  6. Finally a post written by a friend, she was the first blogger turned friend I ever had the pleasure of meeting in the flesh, just wish she had not moved so far away as to make coffee meetings rather difficult but I chose this post for her honesty which I have come to know is completely genuine. This post is a little different from most of the stuff she posts, if you are easily shocked you might want to put the cup down away from the computer before you explore her blog further but this post I think relates to many of us and to different aspects of our lives. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and I cannot help think of a certain timelord and the words, “Physician heal thyself” while knowing we never do http://hornygeekgirl.com/perfect-clarity-the-right-thing/

So myfriends I shall leave you now, my cup is empty and shortly I shall wander to the kitchen to see about making dinner, the monster is watching Pokemon and I really should get a little more house work done, I hope you enjoy this weeks choices and will join me again next week for another coffee time xxx

Moving Forward.

Okay so it is the time of year where everyone gets annoyingly lovey-dovey, it is also almost a year since I joined the ranks of singledom index2though hopefully with far more grace than Ms Jones.

While I am certainly not in a rush to get back out there in the dating world I have recently started considering what I am looking for in a future partner and I have realised that I am looking for a person who certainly does not exist. In fact I think of the spell made in Practical Magic to find the true love with a person who could never exist to stop Sandra Bullock’s character from ever falling in love.

So let’s examine my impossible man…

imagesLets start with looks, and yes as I say I fully accept not only am a shallow but I am also aiming way above my own level, and yes I know I am not quite hideous but I am no supermodel either so Brad Pitt is aiming high, but I am even fussier than that as I like the young pre-Angelina Brad, you know long hair Legends Of the Fall Brad, I would also accept Thelma and Louise Brad or Interview With a Vampire Brad but not Fight Club Brad.

I like my guys tall so over six foot is a must, and as well are in fantasy land here he of course will have the perfect body, not for me that is something like this,Awesome-Body-Of-Wade-Barrett think rugby player, wrestler, preferably with the tattoos. Actually any type of sportsman with muscles will do, as long as they stop before the veins pop out, that makes me feel a little queasy.

Right so far seems fairly simple, I need to find a sporty model who doesn’t mind a girl with plenty of curves, except this is where is gets really complicated, you see what I want mentally from a partner is not something that is as easy to match up. You see in many ways the things I am looking for in terms of personality and compatibility are far harder to find.

I need a guy who gets quotes like this without me having to explain it…

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I want someone who understands this world without me needing to tell them about it…

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I want I guys that will love me as much as this man loved his Elizabeth…

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I want someone who has the brains and mental complexities of a genius…

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And on top of all this he has to understand my kids will always come first, that he will find me sat at the computer at silly o’clock because I can’t sleep and so I am writing or chatting to friends on the other side of the world.  They need to understand when I sit staring off into space that sometimes it is better not to ask what I am thinking as the answer may be disturbing and involve a gruesome death.

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Sometimes I think the only way I would ever find my perfect man is if I wrote him as a character, but then he would still not be perfect, after all perfection gets boring very quickly.

As I said at the start I am not seriously in a place right now to start a new relationship and maybe my wish list is indicative of that but should you have the phone number of a wrestling, geeky, sci-fi nerd then feel free to send it my way lol but until then I think the only men in life will be a monster and a timelord from Gallifrey and you know what I am okay with that.

Television Tuesday – Back To Basics

The last few weeks I have been rather slack in terms of blogging general but even more so on certain days, so today we are going back to the original format I intended for these posts so let’s go…

Television

Given my away day this week it can only be one programme…

The reason I have chosen to discuss this, other than the obvious, is also that the season finale is fast approaching and we know that Clara’s days are numbered.  It was really interesting watching the panel with the writers of the show and learning the way that they craft the stories was fascinating. Sometimes my daughter complains that I read far too much into plot points and come up with far too many kooky theories but I fear that the writer in me cannot help but see extra links even when they are possibly not there. One thinks Steven Moffat did say that has really stuck in my head is that if you hit a wall the chances are that whatever is wrong is not what you have just written, it is somewhere further back and one you find the error everything else will fall back into place.

Film

Rewatched this this week…

I loved these films the first time round, sadly so did the kids which led to the DVD’s becoming extremely scratched to the point where only a couple actually still worked, but, as we recently acquired an xbox One and the full box set was on offer at work (throw in staff discount) I decided to invest in a Bluray box set and I have to say the picture quality is fantastic. The thing that struck me was firstly just how young they all look but also just how rare it was that the original cast stuck it through all the films. In books we have full control of how our characters age, but in film that could have been problematic, you cannot be sure how someone will look as the age, and though make up can fix some things others are not that easy to sort out.  Imagine if the twins playing the Weasley twins had suddenly developed differently, if one had shot up a couple of extra inches or the other had put on weight, though they are identical twins these things can sometimes happen. I hate to think that in ten, twenty years time they will probably feel the need to remake the films because of new technology and hope  JK retained the control to make sure it never happens.

Youtube

I love this series ‘Everything wrong with…’

I generally dislike sequels and people cashing in on franchises, also as the parent of a 7 year old monster who wants to be a palaeontologist, they give unrealistic expectations. Okay he knows that dinosaurs are not real but he also now believes every piece of amber should contain an  insect and that you can get DNA from every bone dug up. As a bonus though I want to show one of the monster favourite programmes at the minute that we recorded on the Tivo box.

Vlog Time #38 – Lazy Days & The Deep

I bet you thought I had forgotten all about you my faithful friends this week but nothing could be further from the truth, the vlog this week is in two parts the first five minutes is me chatting then is continues for those who are interested to show footage from our Deep trip, there are also plenty of opportunities for monster spotting as well as the fish…

Television Tuesday – I Am Not Morbid, Honest!!!!!

I haven’t really watched much TV this week which will account for the film section of this weeks selection being missing but I think you will either love my other two picks or be ringing for the straight jacket for me so on we go…

Television

This was shown a couple of weeks ago but I recorded it and only just got round to watching it…

I find programmes like this fascinating because it raises a really interesting dilemma, how long before the sacred becomes purely archaeology? We think of graveyards as sacred spaces, places we lay our loved ones to rest believing they will be left there but with ever growing populations of both the living and the dead more and more we see and hear of graveyards being renovated. In a recent conversation in a Facebook group I am part of between a few other people it was mentioned that they had been approached with the request to add new burials to old family graves, not their own families but to add a stranger in the same space as long gone ancestors.

And in cases like this programme the long dead are removed for re-interment at another location to allow for the expansion of the living, for progress but should they have had the right to rest their for eternity?  I am unsure in my own feelings about these things, part of me says if respectfully done then what is the harm but the other says we how long before there are still living relatives that might be affected? I have done parts of my family tree and have parts that reach back to the 1500’s, how would I feel if one day I set off to find their last resting place and instead found a car park? It is also an issue with us living longer now that the time periods discussed in this may very well be covered by only a few generations, as you know my grandma passed away this year age 90 but she frequently talked of her own grandmother who was born in 1866, now while this may seem a distant memory she is not. My grandma shared her stories, her photo is in an album under my desk (it is too precious to me to risk exposing it to sunlight) my grandma’s younger brother remembers her though his memories are vague, so will we reach a point where we have to actually sign a contract for the length of time a grave is protected for? More questions than answers and I really am not sure how we deal with this but it is certainly something that will be harder to ignore as time passes.

Youtube

Ahhh, those crazy Victorians but I have to confess to a fascination with not only rituals but also this channel…

I have always been fascinated by the rituals that go along side burials, be it the contents of a pyramid buried along side a Pharaoh or the Victorian trend for Memento Mori photography, and the hair jewellery and growing trend for jewellery made from ashes is something that is intriguing. As cremation becomes a more practical solution for many it then does raise the issue of what to do with the ashes, this past weekend my mum, daughter and one of my sister went to spread my grandmas ashes but for other families they want a place they can go to or do they maybe they all want a pendant or a ring…

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Or maybe a keyring and I actually like the options with this because there are all those funeral flowers, but actually I think maybe the drying and powdering of flowers might be a nice way to remember a wedding rather than a death…

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I think at some point probably because of the horrors of the two World Wars our relationship with natural death became changed, we became far more judgemental about how people deal with grief and seem to expect people to deal with it and get over it within months regardless of the relationship with the deceased.  I have heard of grieving parents who had to quit jobs to nurse ill children been given notice six weeks after their child’s death that they need to be going back out to work now. I know people who will not talk about death as if that will stop it eve happening to anyone they know.

As the saying goes there are only to things in life that are guaranteed death and taxes, I do think that things like these examples of jewellery are a good way to start dialogue and maybe when people talk more about death and the realities of loss then life might just start to be treated with more respect again.

Television Tuesday – More Tennis!

Ha fooled you, of course I did watch the tennis and was gutted at Federer’s defeat not because I do not think Djokavic in not a worthy winner but I wanted Federer to get the record number of wins, I think his contribution to the game and the way he conducts himself both on and off the court make him worthy of the accolade of greatest ever Wimbledon Champion, it would be nice if the record books said the same.

So obviously I still have not watched much real TV or films but I have watched a couple of things on Youtube I decided to share one very short one on the long side but hilarious.

First up another video from Devlinsupertramp, I get so jealous watching some of these videos as they are places I  long to go and I fear I will never be able to afford to visit them all unless I win the lottery.

Next up is one that if you live outside the UK you might not get completely but hopefully you can get the gist of enough to enjoy it.  It is a parody of a much loved ghost hunting programme here in the UK but even if you do not know that specific show I am sure you will have seen one of these programmes and still get the humour.

We shall return to our normal programming schedule next week…