Hay-fever

Today is dry and windy. I might go out later but the pollen count is very high. I’m allergic to grass pollen. It started when I was a child, I would wake up with ‘sleep in my eyes’ gunged up with mucus. Then I did a painting in situ in the school playing fields, I was drawing and painting a van dumped on the field. In the week it was there I sat and drew it most lunchtimes. By the end of that week I had full blown hay-fever! I think it was because the grass was really tall and was distributing pollen.

Nowadays there are much better antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays. Thank goodness, the situation without them would be horrible. I walked past a garden full of overgrown grass a few years ago and I could not breathe! Sneezing, running eyes, all of the symptoms. I had to buy hay-fever tablets straight away to calm it down.

Broken glass

Three local teenagers walked past our house today shouting and swearing. I heard a crash of breaking glass so looked out of the front door and saw this. I shouted at them that I would call their headmaster because I recognised their uniforms. I did ring and leave a message for the school. I doubt that they will be able to do much. However it’s the principal of the thing (no pun intended). I know that children want to have fun. But smashing things is not acceptable behaviour. It’s disturbing to think what they could do next.

Aitches

When I was at school our teacher taught us a rhyme to remember how to pronounce the letter H (or ‘a itches are wrong’ it means you are dropping your H). It went like this:

Old Harry Oakes,

Host of the Hare and Hounds,

Has Hard, and Horribly Horny Hands!

We had to stand up and say this in class! I think it’s because we all had Birmingham accents and he wanted us to sound more middle class!

I can remember a few more rhymes and nursery rhymes that have popped into my mind recently. Is this a sign of getting old?

Faces

A bit influenced by Warhol

I watched a programme about Andy Warhol last night. Even though its a while since he died it stated his Warholian influence is still widespread. It made me think about when I first found out about him. It was when I was at school. The paintings and screen prints of Campbells soup cans and portraits of Marilyn Monroe were the images I first saw. I was learning about Pop Art at the time. When you have just been learning about renaissance artists such as Michelagelo or Botticelli it’s a bit of a shock to see something different. Like the Roy Lichtenstein paintings such as ‘Whaam!’ using bright colours and screen print effects. I think Warhol and these other artists were what got me interested in being playful with art.

Sprigs of spring?

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In months my garden

will be aflower,

floral fancies,

blooming anew.

But sadly now

the sight is of grey hue.

Cold sprigs of twigs

leaden coloured,

deadened stems.

Give them some sun,

some warmth

some food?

Then they will improve their mood.

I wait and cry

with many a sigh,

Looking around

For colour on the ground.

Daffodils and Tulips

Crocus and Snowdrops.

Then Bluebells and Violets,

will stir the air,

colours will flare!

Brighten the world,

set bees abuzz,

and waken my love,

of nature.

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.

X

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.