Mask

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What mask do you hide behind? Are you a wise owl or something more peculiar. I’ve seen photos of Italian masks, all black, with a massive beak shape. I think they wore them during the plague? Apparently people have recreated them and are wearing them during the pandemic. It’s because we are more interconnected than in the past, so people can reference historical times and be recognised as doing something that would not have been understood in the past…..

Life, the world, history, fascinating,

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Student memories

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Forty years ago, here are two of my friends who I shared a student house with. Unlike the accommodation today things were different then. It’s like something out of ‘the young ones’ TV series. There was no hot water, just a broken water heater. I hate to say this but there was no bathroom and we used the showers at the college. The washing machine was an old twin tub. Our cooker was gas, but there was no gas fire. Instead we just had a coal fire to warm the whole house. And the toilet was down the yard in an outhouse.

We moved on into a slightly less tumble down house, finished college, and ended up in our own house. But I actually enjoyed life in that house. X

History?

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What will history make of 2020 and the Covid 19 virus? It is clearly momentous, but what will be the outcome.

Will we return to our profligate ways as if nothing had happened, and slip back into old routines after a hiatus of several months, or is this a game changer where we will all be poorer and have to be more self sufficient.

Maybe the survivalists that have been prepping over the last several years have it right. Or the environmentalists who have urged us to stop global warming will see a glimmer of light from this current situation.

However you look at it there will have to be questions asked about the leadership of the world. That doesn’t mean that people have necessarily done wrong. Just that the chaos of the virus has too many ramifications to take in. It’s too great a problem to allow us to get all the right answers. That said there are some strange leadership decisions out there. Maybe some leaders should engage their brains before they open their mouths….

St David’s Day

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“Saint David’s Day is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century, by Pope Callixtus II, though it is not a national holiday in the UK.” Wikipedia

Sorry to use a quote from Wikipedia but it was easier than writing it all out!

St Davids is also the smallest city in Britain. It is in South West Wales. Its somewhere I’ve always meant to visit, but never got there.

Old glass lampshade

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Saw this in the pub a few days ago. I’m not sure if it’s antique or a reproduction but it has a feeling of something from the start of the last century. I liked the main shade surrounded by three smaller shades all held together by solid but delicately shaped metal. I wonder if it’s converted from a gas mantle?

I imaging its a considerable weight, so I guess it’s screwed into a ceiling joist. I didn’t think to look at the lights in the rest of the pub so I don’t know if it’s the only one there. Perhaps it’s from a reclamation yard? There are a few round here. Anyway it’s good to see old things about.

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What is a blog for?

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Blogging seems to be all sorts of things. I follow poetry, science, history, art and all sorts of other subjects. I post pretty much anything I’m interested in. I try and write things that are interesting, sometimes short stories or poems, other times about my art.

I started out thinking it would purely be about painting and drawing. But I suddenly realised that I wanted to include more than that. My writing and grammar skills are not honed. I used to write essays in English or History classes, but that was on the subjects on the syllabus. When I got to Art school I had to write essays and a thesis, so blogging came slowly. I hope what I write is enjoyable or interesting.

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Industrial archeology

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Photo of Middleport pottery. The walls are stained with pottery clay. These buildings are now artisan studios. Make do and mend. Reusing old buildings rather than knocking them down. But it costs money to do that. Historical buildings are getting demolished, history is being destroyed. Old buildings that could be refurbished are sometimes left to rot. There is a place in Dudley, in the West Midlands, called the black Country museum. They have demolished old buildings, then rebuilt them on the site. Maybe my city should do the same. X

Writing in the past….

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I’m watching a programme about the author George Eliot and I suddenly realised how different the world must have been then.

She took a man’s name so she could get her books published. She went from a deeply religious belief to someone who became strongly atheistic.

She lost her mother at age 16. She was self taught, and learnt a lot from being allowed free access to a local land owners library.

But apart from her history how was she influenced by the world? Modern history had  not happened yet. No Einstein, no Marie Curie, no first world war, no one knew about the Universe, the world was not fully explored. No TV, radio, computers, no electricity supplies. How did people communicate except by letters and books. No telegraph. Travel was by carriage, or horse. The trains were only just being thought of. How would she have described the modern world and how it affects the life you lead. She was living through a changing era. The chartist riots were happening.

Women were rarely published. The books by Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters were only ones of a few women authors. If she had lived now, she could have written under her own name, Mary Anne Evans, not a masculine pseudonym. She took the pen name George Eliot when she started to write fiction, not the romantic novels that other female writers were creating at the time. She wrote books like the Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede and Middlemarch. 

Contact!

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Because I put the post about my art on Facebook the editor of our local paper has contacted me. That was unexpected.

He’s possibly going to write a feature about the paintings. Now is not the time to get nervous (which I sometimes do).

Fingers crossed I can remember what was the meaning behind all the paintings, it’s a long time ago! If they do an article I will let you know.