Last making session

I’ve finished painting for the penkhull mystery play, here is the willow pattern backdrop together with a school sign (set in the 1840’s). Im not the only maker, this is my friend Mark. There are others but my phone is playing up so I can’t find the pictures . Mark did the, ‘do not touch display’ sign. ( the play starts in a museum in 2019). So  having a rest for an hour.

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Words

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Do you find yourself thinking of a word that just pops into your mind? I thought of a few today. Gestalt, Normality and Defunct all jumped into my head today.

Another day it could be crumble, grunge or fanciful, which is probably what this is.

I think I need sleep when I can dream of words chasing each other through the sky and over hills. Trundling into the sunset where they burst into brilliant petals.

Words are fun, they need using or abusing, but they definitely can make life interesting, exuberant and startling!

Music and singing

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I’ve been to a choir workshop on Sunday where we learnt songs and short pieces over a four hour period, then tonight I was learning songs for the penkhull mystery play which is being accompanied by Clay Chorus, a choir I’m part of. I’m a member of the cast of the play, so I might not actually be singing all the songs but it’s good to learn them.

It is quite tiring doing so much singing. It takes concentration and the ability to listen closely to your fellow choir members and the choir leader. We learn a capella so we often don’t have any accompaniment.

I also went to a concert on Saturday night and later today I will be watching a live broadcast of the Pirates of Penzance at our local cinema.

Music can transport your mind, calm stress, but also excite and enthral. Music can be raucous, noisy, loud, rhythmic and ugly. It can also bring tranquility and peace.

I think music should be taught more, to all ages and abilities. It should not be elitist and should not be for the privileged few. Music broadens the mind and the senses.

Ignoring the satnav

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Sitting at our destination  slightly tired after a long drive. Got a g&t as no more driving today.

I decided to use my phones satnav. But the options were all motorway driving and I wanted to avoid part of that as I know the motorway is having a lot of work done on it. However the sat nav didn’t know that and kept saying, “in a quarter of a mile turn left” each time I drove past a junction, turn left, turn left. In the end I joined up with the motorway. Then I had an argument with my hubby about the route, he wanted to go our usual way but it took me away from the city centre. We went a different way, just getting stuck in roadworks a few times.

So I’m sitting here after about 90 miles in three hours… Slow but safe x

UK urban sketchers annual event, Sunday

Who knew so many people would get together and draw for three days in mostly very wet conditions. Here are a few more photos of the event on Sunday in Hanley.

Art is important, it is creative, it shows us new things, new ideas, new ways of looking at things. It helps understanding of the complex as well as the simple.

I think it should be compulsory to do some sort of art at school (well I would), but nowadays the core curriculum seems to have shrunk without the breadth of knowledge of the past. In the meantime dumbing down seems to be the norm.

Ah life, so strange. Thank goodness for art.

Singing New Light

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Today one of the choirs I am in sang at a local school for “sing up day”. We sang some a capella songs from Loud Mouth Women’s reportoir and also “New light ” a new anthem based on “this little light of mine” composed and written by Greg Stephens and Steven Seabridge (the potteries poet laureate).

It was a pleasure to sing infront of a full school assembly. The children joined in and even did some of the gestures for the song. I hope they enjoyed it, although some of the little ones seemed a bit perplexed by what we were doing at first.

One of the teachers is a member of the choir and enthusiastically explained what we were doing, and Penny Vincent (who helped organised Stoke Sings choir festival in February) and Kate Bardfield, our choir leader, helped teach the children some of the song including sections of”this little light of mine” and adapted versions of this and a section about the six towns, Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton.

The anthem talks about coal mining and hard clay. It talks about regeneration and a feeling that the city of Stoke-on-Trent is worth fighting for. It was a very enjoyable occasion.

 

A lesson

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The old school walls were damp and the paint was peeling off them. There were holes where ceiling tiles had fallen down and sunshine had broken through the roof.

She walked between discarded chairs, the tables were stacked against the walls. At the front of the classroom stood one of those rotating chalkboards. Grey with layers of chalk.

She reached out and pulled on the join between the boards but the thing was jammed up, no movement.

She remembered the first day she had taught here. Registration followed by the history of the celts. Teaching about Boudicca and the ancient Britons.

Nowadays children didn’t come to school. They were all home schooled, isolated, plugged in. Teaching was easy. Link to the local computer by an imput in the cranium. Download all the information, sit in a chair and learn the curriculum.

She remembered the sweet feeling of imparting knowledge  The look of wonder when a pupil understood a new concept. Ideas flying from lips to ears to brains.

No more, no enthusiasm, just imput, data, no fun.

She sighed, closed the door to the classroom. She walked home.