Alliums are part of the onion family and are grown for their spiky round flower heads in purples and reds.

This display was at the Dorothy Clive garden a week ago. I think the leaves are from a different plant that was growing below the allium stems. I think if we go back in a few weeks a completely different set of flowers will have opened up. If you are in Staffordshire I would recommend a visit. The garden is down a country road and is on a sloping hill. Lovely on a summers day.

I wish our garden was sunnier but we planted a lot of trees soon after moving in and now the garden resembles a jungle. Still that must be good for our carbon footprint.


Lost mural of Burslem Riot that was destroyed in a fire

My legacy is my art. I have painted for years. I hope that someone wants them when I’ve gone.

I was involved in painting several murals over my time as an artist, but sadly most of them have been destroyed in one way or another. I painted a mural in the stairwell of the Unemployment action centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent just after I finished college. Then we found the building was going to be demolished. So myself and a friend got permission to go in and take photos. Unfortunately the photographs came back blank. The film had not been attached to the spool and was not exposed!

Then I painted some murals with a council art group. Over a few weeks we worked on a school canteen (alien/ sci-fi landscape) a ward at a hospital (images of Stoke-on-Trent to aid elderly patients memories), and a memorial for the 1914 to 18 war. All of these were demolished.

Finally I did twelve murals at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. This took me the good part of two years on and off. The painting above was a mural I did of the Burslem riot of 1842? I researched it and a lot of the characters were based on local Burlem residents and people who worked at or frequented the Leopard. All of the murals were destroyed in a fire that burnt down the hotel.

I have also painted scenery for the local pantomime and Mystery plays, but I don’t know what has happened to them.

What is the legacy you want to leave behind?

So if this isn’t my legacy what is? All the paintings and artwork I have created over the years since I was a child. Not all of them still exist. Art turns out to be quite ephemeral in some ways. But I’ve sold enough that, if no one wants the ones I still have, the rest have gone to new owners. Even if they were to appear in charity shops, I hope that some do find good homes.

Rode hall bluebells

We finally got the weather for our walk around the grounds of Rode Hall. It was lovely, calming and peaceful. I know it’s strange, but I wondered where the musical backing track was….. But there was beautiful birdsong.

This was the last day of the actual bluebell walks, but they are obviously still there for a little while. There is a Rode Hall website and I’m sure there will be details available for visits there.

Middleport visit

After visiting the Arts and Minds gallery in Harper Street Middleport today @arts_and_minds_vsn, we popped over the road to Middleport pottery to get a replacement burleighware tea plate to replace the one I broke. While we were in there I saw this stags head decorated with flowers on the wall. This is the kind of trophy I approve of… Ceramic! I took a photo because it was interesting…. I like the fact it is on an old wall with cracked and flaking paint. The place is an authentic piece of industrial history.

Etruria Industrial museum.

Etruria Inustrial museum today, the museum is open on Fridays now and their first big event is in June. We visited today to drop off some paintings at the cafe there and to have a look round the Princess beam engine that was designed by James Watt I think. It’s a combination of steam and vacuum that was used to power a belt that is attached to flint grinding pans. This was where flint and bone was ground to a wet slurry that was dried to powder to be added to clay to make fine bone China. The mill is next to a canal to draw water in for the steam engine, which was also discharged back into the canal and to transport it’s ground flint and bone along to potteries in Stoke on Trent and beyond.

The original mill was called Jessie Shirley’s bone and flint mill and the painted name of it still partly remains on the building.

Photos are of the engine and boiler house including the governor on the beam engine which is used to regulate the amount of steam produced and the speed the Princess engine rotates.

Sawadee Thai taste

What is your favorite restaurant?

This is an friendly restaurant. The food is tasty and plentiful. I still find it exotic even after going there for a few years. The owner/chef is very gregarious and cheerful.

Examples of the food we enjoy include papya and seafood salad, different types of red green and yellow curries, sticky rice, and obviously speciality Thai meals that I like but at this time of night I can’t remember the names!

When we go there we eat the food and then I wonder why I haven’t taken a photo! I’m not really of the generation that does that. OK I take photos of food I make but that’s because it’s either a recipe or I’m surprised I managed to make it.

Sawadee Thai taste is a small restaurant. It can accommodate around twenty people and will help organise parties. It’s in Stoke in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. The atmosphere is friendly and informal. It is not expensive.

People sketching

When I was out sketching a few weeks ago there were lots of other people drawing. After I finished I took this photo of my friend drawing the same view I’d done. He was working in charcoal and pencil I remember. The day was overcast with patches of blue sky. The ground is covered in concrete, but the way it is breaking up I think there are probably cobblestones underneath. There is a large area of cobbles around the corner where you enter the Middleport pottery complex. In the backdround you can see a small wooden crane which was used to load and unload barges. Forty years ago my hubby worked at another pottery, he actually used one of these to lift packed pottery ware to load onto a lorry. He said you could lift a big weight easily because of the gearing on it. The one he used was cast iron. It had a band brake and a pawl and ratchet to hold the load in place as it was swung over the lorry.

We are not that far away from the past, history is not that long ago. A lot of the old industry in the area was using old machines and equipment, because they had always done things that way and it probably saved a lot in investment. Even now there are lots of pottery molds to be found in the area. Sadly a lot of them get smashed. Losing our heritage. Do we really want to wipe our history out completely?

Need to take better photos…

Three pottery paintings I did a few years ago. The one of the jug is going to a new home soon. ❤️

I took them to a joint performance of our Clay chorus and the Starfish choir because we were singing a song about the Willow pattern (this is based on a Spode platter) and also a ship called Hispaniola bringing pottery clay from across the seas that had been written for us by Mark Whitter. I was very proud to have my work appreciated.

I am making cards from these if I can so I need better photos to show them clearly .

Snow coming…

Beautiful photo by Aaron Burden from unsplash. I don’t normally use other people’s pictures but this is free to use on the Internet.

We have had snow warnings, for Thursday night and for Friday. We have had a lot of snow across the country over the last couple of days, but in the South and the North of the UK. But a low pressure zone is travelling up from the South, and an Arctic blast of cold air is coming from the North. The wet air from the south is due to turn into snow somewhere over the Midlands and Northern England (Staffordshire and Derbyshire). Lower levels are due to be 10 to 20 centimetres, but higher ground might get 40 centimeters. Not sure how much that is in inches but it sounds a lot? I think 12 centimeters is 4.7 inches? So today we got the shopping done. Made sense rather than getting caught out tomorrow or Friday.

Rode Hall snowdrop walk

Rode Hall snowdrop walk is lovely at this time of year. The snowdrops are in full bloom and other spring plants like Heli ores, Cyclamen and Daffodils are also in flower or coming into flower.

Rode Hall is off the A34 in Staffordshire, near Rode Heath village. They charge £6 per adult to walk round the grounds on the snowdrop walk. There is a lake and a wooded area. The hall sits in beautiful grounds with a walled kitchen garden next to it. They have a monthly market which is next due on the 4th of March 2023.