Classy lighting

Having taken a photo of an old gas lamp in Rhyl last year, I came across these today.

The lamps seem to have almost the same design as the lamp in Rhyl. But these are in much better condition because they were protected inside the Guildhall in Newcastle-under-Lyme and seem to have recently been restored.

Each lamp sits at the bottom of a sweeping curved staircase that splits at the top and comes down on either side of an almost circular lobby. Above the upright lamps hangs a formidable, eight branched chandelier with curving arms. Both the lamps and chandelier are lit with electric light bulbs. But looking at them they appear to have had gas mantles in the past.

Presently the guildhall at the ironmarket in Newcastle-under-Lyme is being run by volunteers. They are holding a cake making competition on Saturday 9 March 2019 for the finish of the fair trade fortnight. They are always looking for new volunteers.

As a bit of extra information apparently the hall was once used for grand ballroom dances. With stairs and lamps like this I’m sure it’s true.

Pastel workshop


I was going to have a quiet day today. But I got up and there was a bit of a disaster in our kitchen. My hubby had decided to brew some beer. But he had added some extra sugar to the brew. Then he has put the bung in upside down. Beer had turned into volcano. Half the brew was all over the kitchen. It had hit the ceiling, there were puddles of ale on the cupboard tops, it was all over the cooker. Basically half the kitchen has been inundated with beer….

After about an hour of cleaning up I decided to go to the pastel workshop with the Orme art group. Basically to escape! The workshop was run by Sandra Orme (no relation).

It’s difficult to describe what we learnt, it was complicated. I’ve added a few photos of the two pictures I did. First you lay down colours in soft pastel on fine toothed pastel paper. Once you have enough pastel on you blend them together, then build up layers using smaller more intricate marks, gradually blending and adding. Sometimes only lightly pressing on the pastel, other times blending more. The direction of the marks can make a difference to how it looks. You can use the edge of your hands, your palms, your fingers or blending tools (like a brush but with the bristles replaced with a rubber tip).

Im pleased with the results. I’m even thinking of getting them framed….

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Life drawing with Orme Art

I had the great pleasure of spending the day drawing my friend Eve when she came and modelled for us at Newcastle Fire Station. One of the art groups I’m in, Orme Art group had booked he as a clothed model for the day.

Here are my attempts at drawing her. The red dress was really spectacular and hard to draw! I felt really out of practice but I felt like I was getting into it more as the day wore on.

It’s over

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After 5 days and 6 performances we finished singing with the play Beautiful thing tonight. We did two performances today and I’m shattered. We have had a great time though. The choir was accepted by the cast and crew of the play and the New Vic theatre staff. I think we had a wonderful welcome and great support throughout the run.

Now the play is off to Lancaster to run for a week up there. They will be joined by a new community choir. It would be good to go up and see the actual play (we only saw the bits when we were on stage). It had come up from Bristol after a run down there.

So what next? Back to normal. One of the choirs I’m in (Loud Mouth women) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two musical workshops and a party. Then normal choir practice with Clay chorus the following night.

I’m staggered at how much singing we have done. But it’s been a blast.

Review

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Well we are doing it. Singing to accompany the cast of Beautiful thing. Clay Chorus and some of Loud Mouth women led by Greg Stephens and Kate Barfield. Here I am with the cast members playing Jamie and Ste. I have to say we are having a good time now people are getting over their nerves. We are half way through a run of 6 performances so that’s why I’m not on social media as much. Here is a link to the review of the play .

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/review-beautiful-thing-new-vic-2167300

I hope you can follow it.

It’s on at the new victoria theatre, Basford  Newcastle-under-Lyme until Saturday.

Tech rehearsal…

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We got here today and have been busy sitting around for a lot of the time, interspersed with standing around on the stage being set in position, then singing as loudly and brightly as we can for our songs. I’m shattered, I hope I can keep my energy up for the performance.

To be honest I’m actually enjoying being fitted for a costume (a tee shirt). I brought my own silly blingy jewellery to wear. I’ve actually got some stuff from the 1990s which I was given one Christmas.

The play is called Beautiful Thing at the New Vic theatre at Basford, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Performances run till Saturday and start at 7.30pm.

The play is about the blossoming relationship between two teenage boys. It is set in 1993 and we are singing music by Mama Cass and hits from the 1990s. I hope I don’t break my leg

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Recent sketches.

When you are out for lunch, or going for a day trip its good to ditch the camera sometimes and just sketch the view. It might end up a bit skewiff but that doesn’t matter, you are making personal memories, things to remember, like the way my friends hat dominated our table at a local restaurant Amore, in Newcastle-under-lyme or the fact I always seem to eat lunch before I think about recording what it looked like. We had a huge meal at the New Inn at Dyserth. Then drawing a view of a landmark, trying to catch its character and the sunlight hitting the tree trunk just at the right angle to cast its shadow on the huge stone walls behind it. Drawing the oddly angled steps that are made to bend round protruding rocks and the stone wall at Dyserth Falls…oh I cram a lot in on day trips!