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Category Archives: Life

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year

From my poor neglected blog , Happy New Year and have a picture of some dead seeds hanging atmospherically from a tree!


Loch and Lock

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Morton Castle Lock

Morton Castle Lock


Morton Loch

Morton Loch

Morton Loch

Morton Loch












A short admiration post for my short break in the Nith Valley Scotland, no WiFi, no TV ….lots of quiet, wildlife, walking and scrabble.


Three Blogs That……..Part 1!

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Three blogs that…..I have been stalking.

Despite having been missing from here for a while doesn’t mean I haven’t been haunting other people’s wonderful blogs.  Something  lovely happened yesterday to prompt me to take keys to screen again.

The first blog I have spent lots of time around is the wonderfully illustrated ziggyshortcrust as she describes herself “elf whisperer, skinnydog wrangler, campervan tootler” how could I not spend time there!   I have long been an admirer of her line drawn elves of many types so when she announced a project to revive the ‘lost art of letter writing’  I practically begged to be included!  After thinking I would have to wait with my nose pressed up against the letterbox for weeks….yesterday I came home to the most perfect rendition of both my Raven and Mage!!

Hope she doesn’t mind but I love them soo much I want to share them here, go and look around her site and maybe claim one of her illustrated letters with elves for yourself.

Mageand Raven


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I knew I should’ve been somewhere else these past few days – Roodharigan!

Apparently 1,400 redheads gathered this past weekend at an annual festival celebrating red hair in Breda, Netherlands. Organised since 2005 by the Dutch painter Bart Rouwenhourst, he was inspired by artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Gustav Klimt, known for  famous paintings depicting redheaded women, and the first ‘festival ‘ began after he advertised for models for a series of paintings and many more redheaded women turned up than he expected resulting in a group photo shoot and competition.

The festival this year –  officially known as ‘Roodharigan’ – was attended by red-heads from 52 countries and took over Breda city centre in Grote Market square. The two-day festival is a gathering of people with natural red hair but is also focused on art related to the colour red. Activities during the festival include lectures, workshops, large group photo shoots, fashion shows and strangely women dressing as mermaids in a tribute to the Disney classic The Little Mermaid!

© Disney / Pixar  

Personally I’d have gone for Merida [Brave] classier costume – and much easier to walk in!

Set in Stone

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Set in Stone

One of my favorite places to wander ‘with Basset’ is the local cemetery as it is pretty old and borders on lots of countryside, the last couple of times I have been there the local crows have been out in force and I have bemoaned the fact that I had no camera with me.  This week camera in hand hoping for some totally cliché shots and there was not a one – restraining the urge to thrash some gladioli and muttering Smiths lyrics I decided  instead to revisit an old love of mine the beautiful carved stonework found on the older gravestones.

So here we have tactile weathered spirals, fronds and flowers, celtic knots and elegant scripts with apologies for my poor photography.

Maurice Sendak 1928 – 2012

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Not just the creator of  “Where the Wild things Are”, not just a  ‘Childrens’ illustrator or author but so much more.

As he said “You cannot write for children. They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of  interest to them.”

So sad there will be no new work to pore over but he has left a wealth of illustration behind which I will never tire of revisiting.

So here are three of  many of his wonderful illustrations


Illustration from Dear Mili {Wilhelm GrimmMaurice Sendak Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1988

1967 sketch byMaurice Sendak, part of a proposal for a new illustrated edition of  The Hobbit. (Credit: Maurice Sendak/Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University)










And one of my favorite quotes

On E-books  “I hate them. It’s like making believe there’s another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of book! A book is a book is a book.”

From a Guardian interview in  October 2011


 According to The New York Times, a posthumous picture book, “My Brother’s Book,” is scheduled to be published in February 2013.

Duvet Days

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Its been more like a duvet month, but now I have peeked my bleary eyes back out into the world I realise how much I’ve missed.

There have been giants in Liverpool

 From Royal De Lux Promotional Video

No matter how you feel about the ‘celebrations’ surrounding the Titanic anniversary – the image of these three ‘puppets’ walking around Liverpool is something that will be playing in my mind for some time.  The handwritten letter from 10-year-old May McMurray which she wrote to her father, who was a steward on the Titanic, never reached him and it was this that  French street theatre company Royal De Luxe based the Sea Odyssey street theatre on.  Her father did not survive the sinking and a century on May’s letter is on display in Liverpool’s Maritime Museum.

  Image via Daily Pictures

Since last years Savage Beauty there has been a  plethora of  fashion exhibitions at some of  Britain’s  cultural institutions, curators are hoping the  glamorous designer creations will draw  in the crowds.  I think they merit a separate post but I will mention one as it started whilst I was hiding from the blog sphere…

1st May to 9th July

The Design Museum is hosting an exhibition celebrating the career of Christian Louboutin. This 20 year retrospective has an exploration of the design process, through every stage of the journey, from the first drawings to the finished product, it covers his creative influences and showcases his innovative designs.  The most fascinating thing though has to be the  life-size hologram of  the Burlesque dancer  Dita Von Teese wearing a pair of the designer’s glittering creations as she dances.


In the UK we have been plagued by both drought and the same time..something to do with the wrong kind of rain apparently.  This tenuously links me to Earth Day which I also totally missed but more than one billion people in 192 countries took part in the 42nd Anniversary. This makes it the largest civic observance in the world, I’m hoping to remember next year if only to promote  Reading for the Earth, Reading for the Earth™ is a national effort that promotes  reading environmentally themed books during the month of April, in honor of Earth Day.

Plus they use one of my favorite quotes ever on their website –

 In summation – I shouldnt hide from the world – there’s much fabulousness out there!! [ and possibly duvets are evil!]