Memory of an afternoon tea.

A year ago, we visited the Rabbit Hole tearoom with a friend who was visiting from Yorkshire. We had to book in advance. The food duly arrived in this cake stand with beautiful pots of tea.

Sadly, like so many other places, the Rabbit Hole is closed at the moment. Such a shame for a quaint and magical cafe in the centre of Stoke-upon-Trent, the town which the city of Stoke-on-Trent is named after.

Today’s walk

Up the hill and round the bend to Penkhull…. Just over 3km but it is steeply up and down hill. We walked along the road towards the local high school too. The view over the Lyme Valley where it is set was in danger of being lost as there was a fight over hundreds of houses being built there. Hopefully that won’t happen. Cities need green Lungs…..

I came home then went for a second, shorter walk with a friend. I’m shattered!

Mural at Florence

Based on the Florence colliery this is a mural I painted on panels several years ago. It’s emulsion on marine ply and it was covered in perspex to protect it from the dirt and fumes from the road. I think it’s been relocated from here but I’m not sure whether it’s now inside the building. I haven’t been there for a few years. One day I will go and have a look.

I love sketching

Just found this from June 2019,i was out sketching with #uskstoke at the national urban sketchers meeting in Stoke-on-Trent. We were due to meet in Leeds this year, but of course it was cancelled. This is a drawing of the Arnold Bennett sculpture in Hanley. This is the city centre of Stoke-on-Trent. I think I must have spent quite a while drawing it. Oh come back 2019!

I’m voting Penkhull!

Penkhull flag

Penkhull flag is in the semi-final of the @flaginstitute World Cup of flags today till 11am tomorrow. This is part of the vexillological festival to make up for not having many sporting events this year.

Penkhull was in the doomsday book and was then called Pinchetel. Penkhull means ‘Hill hill’ and is a very steep basalt volcanic plug that sits above the majority of Stoke-on-Trent. It is known as the village in the heart of the city.

The flag was only designed recently. The green represents the village green at the heart of Penkhull, with four roads leading up to it. The Cockerel (also know as a rooster or chicken) sits on top of St Thomas’s Church that is in turn on the green.

The flag was created for a competion run by the residents association to raise community spirit. I’m pleased to say that I partly helped to design it.

So if you would like to join in and vote you can find the vote over on twitter. Look for #penkhullflag #WorldSeriesOfFlags

Thank you. X

Usk challenge ‘what’s good for you’

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Drawn outdoors, we met with an old friend today, properly socially distanced. I was wearing a mask and gloves, and with my glasses on I feel reasonably safe. I ended up drawing my friend and when he went off for a walk I drew the landscape. There were some big trunked willow trees with wrinkly bark in the background, there tiny leaves contrasting with their aged, thick branches and trunks. It has been an overcast day so the colours were not brilliant. After this I took some photos of some interesting views of the area and some of the weedy plants growing along the track. I might post pictures later. When I got home I saw the USK challenge was to draw what’s good for you, and this was it!

X

Happier times

Just found this view of my studio wall, a selection of smaller paintings I did a few years ago. I wish I was still going there. Maybe by September I can get back in there? I’m paying rent for a room I’m not using.

I’ve got paintings to take down there, maybe when I finish this semester I can get back to it? I’m glad I’m busy, I’m glad I’m being creative. I just need to get my act together more.

Anyone else struggling with being organised at the moment?

I’ve just noticed how many times I’ve written ‘I’m’ here. I wonder if its bad grammar….

Mural of The F Frame

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This was a mural I painted quite a few years ago of a local colliery at a place called Florence, near Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. I was commissioned to paint this as a piece for the working men’s club there back in the 1990’s. The image is based on various historical pictures and photos. I had fun putting it together. It took me about six weeks to complete during weekends and evenings. It was painted in the corridor inside then installed later. X

Just a pre lockdown photo.

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In February I was painting scenery and props for our local pantomime, Aladdin.

We were acting in front of about 140 people for four performances. One on Thursday and Friday, and a double performance including a matinee on Saturday. To think just a couple of weeks later we were in lockdown. I saw hundreds of people over those few days, and then no one for three months except on the way to and back from the shops.

I wish I could go back in time? Go back to a time where there was laughter. Fun, silly jokes, time to be with friends. Life was much less worrying then, despite global warming and pollution! I wonder what will happen when things return to normal if they do?