Two years ago

Two years ago I was at a workshop. I was making a peice of a flag to celebrate Philip Astley inventor of modern circus born 1742, in Newcastle under Lyme. Belinda Latimer ran the workshop. Good fun to try a different craft. I don’t do much sewing or embroidery so this was quite enjoyable. I used a sacking type of cloth on top of a type of canvas cloth. I never did see the finished flag as there were different workshops to bring it all together.


I was listening to the Queens’ Speech today (the state opening of Parliament). The government announced that they would be trying to do something about the cost of living and ‘levelling up’, spending on improving the country across the UK. But it never seems to happen. Seeing our once industrial city collapsing in ruins, losing historic buildings. Being overcome by the cost of energy so that factories and shops cannot afford to run. Yes we need to reduce our use of energy, but there seems little effort to do anything about it. Our government are talking about bringing back fracking and opening new oil and gas wells. Yes it is complex, but after twelve years in power we don’t seem to be getting a good result.

Dereliction of duty?

Sister Dora

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was history. I drew Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison, better known as Sister Dora (16 January 1832 – 24 December 1878), she was a 19th-century Anglican nun and a nurse who worked in Walsall, Staffordshire. She nursed miners after mine disasters. She is known as Walsall’s Florence Nightingale. I remember this statue in the town centre in the 1970’s. One of a very few statues of women in the UK. She died of breast cancer aged 46.


Hubby grabbed the Dalek arm so it could not shoot at me. Well not really. This character from the Sci-fi series ‘Dr Who’ was on display in the foyer of the Potteries Museum and Art gallery so of course I had to take a photo. The TV series has been on and off the BBC over about fifty years! It’s amazing how the show has such longevity, but then it could be because the ‘doctor’ of the title can regenerate and turn into a new person. In the meantime ii hope it doesn’t say ‘Exterminate!’.


Draco, the dragon constellation and Ursa minor. Draco writhes up the northern night sky from the constellation Hercules up to Lyra. It sits near the north pole of the ecliptic. It was first identified by Ptolomey in the 2nd century. It remains one of 88 modern constellations.

I’ve found out a lot as I’ve written my college report. Eastern dragons are wise and benign, western ones evil and dangerous. They have lots of different appearances that vary depending on where they are were from or the time they were imagined. No legs, two legs, four legs, winged. Dragons seem to have evolved through time and now a more standardised anatomy seems to have emerged. I wonder how dragons will change in the future?

Tired again

St Michael slaying a dragon type demon. I’m looking at the history of dragon images and illustrations as part of my college course. I was writing about the symbology and semiotics of dragons at three am. My mind is a little boggled, but I think I’m getting on top of it. Only a few thousand words to go. I definitely think blogging has helped my writing skills. Plus as I suffer insomnia it helps keep me occupied when I can’t sleep.

Dragon illustrations

Image from a book of beasts and monsters

For my final college report I’m looking at the history of the depictions of dragons (OK very niche). I’m trying to understand how they were illustrated and how they change across the world. I’ve found out Korean dragons have five toes, Chinese four or five and Japanese three toes. They have different shapes. They go from serpentine to with two or four legs. No wings or wings. Some are fire-breathing. They may be mythical but they seem to evolve.

Pliny the Elder

s Plinius Secundis was a Roman author. He is known to us as Pliny the Elder. He wrote several books on Natural History and I was going to use one of them as source material for my essay on dragons. He described them as serpents which were large and strong enough to squeeze the life out of elephants by sucking their blood.

As you can see from the image of a Chinese dragon the similarity between the two is quite limited apart from the fact they both have huge long thin bodies.

I read this much information but now the book has gone missing. I think my hubby has ‘borrowed’ it. It has bought my essay writing to a temporary halt. I need a rest anyway so thank you Pliny.

Falcon Works

The derelict Goss Falcon Works at the back of Portmeirion pottery. (I hope I’ve got this right). You can’t see from here but part of the roof has collapsed at the other end of the building. You can see it from Penkhull New Road but I couldn’t get a close enough view to get a good photo. The city of Stoke-on-Trent that I live in is becoming more derelict. History is being forgotten or neglected. So sad.

Madness from Russia


Looking East this morning at the rain I feel sad and worried.

It’s happened. Russia is invading Ukraine. Why? President Putin seems to have become angry with Ukraine getting on with life and decided to try and take it back into a new sort of Soviet Union. However he tries to justify it, it does seem like madness. His troops have even taken over the old chernobil nuclear power station that blew up disastrously (in the 1980’s I think?). Why? If they shell that it could spread nuclear waste across Europe, Ukraine, but also Russia. Why be so mad? Why try and hurt people.

Russia and the West could get on, we could discuss things sensibly, but children, adults, older people are being hurt and killed. Why? What right has one man got to hurt and maim and kill people in a country that he does not control. Perhaps this is more notable to Europeans as it is happening on European soil. It says bad things about us that we neglect what happens in other parts of the World. We leave places to their fate like Syria and Afghanistan. We don’t understand the internal politics and the problems between different factions. How can we deal with anything if we don’t understand. Russias preemptive strikes are frightening and baffling.