Thoughts, opinions, rants, art.

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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Cloud (burst)

I find it quite fascinating that in this day and age 'celebrities' would be naive stupid enough to store nude photos in a 'cloud', and then be surprised and indignant that they have been hijacked and gone viral. Really??!!

For a start, do you have to have nude photos of yourself?  That's what mirrors are for! Second, anyone with half a brain wouldn't store anything they didn't want to share, on a computer. Time to grow up folks. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from teenagers, but even they are wise to the ways of the hackers.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Iraq Again

The world is rallying humanitarian aid for the people of Iraq, which is as it should be. Cries of genocide have gone up.

Where were they when Israel was bombing the crap out of Gaza?? Is that not genocide, or is the fact that it's Israel make it OK? The Israelis consider the killing of women, children and civilians and reducing their homes to mounds of rubble a reasonable response to Hamas.

Hamas is fighting for their homeland. Israel was once Palestinian land. If you look at these maps, you will see just how much or rather how little of Palestine is left. When it's all been subsumed I wonder which country will be next?

Another One Gone

How sad to know that Robin Williams is no longer with us. I couldn't believe it when I heard it on the radio yesterday.

I'll bet he's ad-libbing his way through the pearly gates. I'll miss him.  I've enjoyed his humour since Mork and. Mindy.

So many comedians suffer from depression. Very, very sad.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014


My sister, Von, and I have just spent a pleasurable hour remembering bits of our childhood.

On Saturdays we would go to the matinee at the Aspley Cinema. It cost the princely sum of tuppence to get in and we would have some pennies for sweets too. I liked (and still do) liquorice, but I never got any. Von would use her money and mine to buy awful honeycomb lumps covered in cheap, waxy chocolate. This was chosen not because she particularly liked it, but because you got plenty for your money. I disliked it and I don't think I ate much of it. I've never been much of a chocolate fan and it was the sort that those horrible Christmas chocolate ornaments were made from. Coated the roof of your mouth for ages.

The cinema would be full of kids and there would be lots of yelling and booing of the baddies, and cheers for the goodies. There were cartoons and cowboy pictures and Flash Gordon, which used to be a serial. Each week it would end in some nail-biting situation for Flash Gordon that meant you had to come back next week to find out what happened. At the end of the session kids would pour out, all being Flash Gordon or Zorro all the way home.

At the interval a young woman would walk backwards down the aisle with a tray of ice creams suspended by a belt around her neck. If you had enough money you could buy an ice cream sandwich or ice lolly. I don't remember ever getting one of those at the kids' sessions.

I remember the first time I went to the pictures in the evening. My dad took me and my younger brother to see The Dam Busters, which I quite enjoyed. For my tenth birthday mum took me to see The King and I, which I really enjoyed as it was in glorious technicolor! One of my favourite films as a kid was Fantasia.

Back then the movies used to play continuously, so if you arrived part way through the movie you just stayed there until you caught up with the bit of the film you'd missed. It made it a bit disjointed but nobody seemed to mind.

I used to enjoy the Christmas Pantomimes too. Pantomimes seem to be a peculiarly British thing. They are based on fairy stories - Aladdin, Cinderella etc. The principal boy is always a woman; the 'dame' is always a man and there is lots of audience participation from the kids including songs and the shouting to let the lead know when the baddies appear. Lots of good fun.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

At the Movies

Yesterday Rolf and I went to the movies to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, which we enjoyed.

While we were waiting for our theatre to open, another door opened and about twenty young mums with babies and toddlers emerged. I don't know if they were members of a club or something.

This morning I looked up the cinema's information and they have 'crying rooms' which accommodate up to seven people and are for families with small children so that they can still enjoy a movie without annoying other people. What a great idea!

Apparently when Rolf was a kid crying rooms were a feature of cinemas, but none of the other local cinemas seem to do this now.

Also, there was a rather strange looking individual pacing about the foyer and I thought to myself, 'I'll bet he sits near us' and he did. He did a lot of seat changing. First he sat in front of us then he got up and wandered about a bit before sitting behind us - which made me a bit uncomfortable. Then he left the theatre for about ten minutes and returned with a Coke and sat in front of us again. He engaged the older couple next to him in animated conversation but was quiet during the film.

There was a young couple who looked like they were on a date, but as soon as their bums hit the seat out came the bloody smart phones and they spent all their time before the movie started, texting. Never spoke to one another at all. I can see not only handwriting disappearing but the art of conversation too. It makes me wonder what they did before smart phones became the main focus of their lives. I wonder if someone will develop a 'mating' app???

Saturday, 5 April 2014

More Doodle Art

I've done this one on A4 acid free watercolour paper (300gsm) and allowed a border so that it will fit in a frame.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ladies Who Breakfast

On my morning walks on Tuesdays and Thursdays I exchange smiles and 'good mornings' with a couple of older ladies who have breakfast on those two days at the coffee shop. They are very smartly dressed and give me a little wave on my first circuit.

This morning only one of them was there and she beckoned me over and asked me if I would mind picking her a newspaper up from the newsagents and dropping it off as I passed in the other direction. I was quite happy to do that for her. She thanked me saying that she didn't want to lose her place.

I had a little smile to myself as I walked off. The place was practically empty, but these ladies always sit at the same table. However, one morning they had to move onto the next table as there was a usurper already sitting at the one they'd claimed as theirs! That day, on my second lap I saw the young woman getting up to leave and the two older ladies couldn't move their meals and drinks fast enough to get back where they belonged.

As it happened, this morning I had not been given enough money for the paper, so I didn't get one. I don't carry money when I go walking otherwise I would've just paid the extra 20c and got one anyway.

I took the money back and apologised for not getting one. Someone had given her a newspaper anyway, so it didn't matter. We got chatting and her name is Phyll (presumably short for Phyllis) and she was telling me how her family had lived in this district for generations. Along the esplanade there are lots of plaques set into the walkway commemorating local people and she told me she was related to most of them. It was quite an interesting chat.

I don't know where her friend was this morning.

Friday, 7 March 2014

I Found it Again!

I found the kaleidoscope quilt I had put in a safe place. It was in an empty bedroom and I don't even remember taking it there, which is probably why I couldn't find it :)

Anyway, here it is. This little wall hanging (which doesn't have any means of actually hanging it - yet) was hand-pieced - all except for the very outside border, which I did on the machine. The idea came from a book called Mirror Manipulations by Gail Valentine.

I completed it in 2001, according to the label I put on the back, so the details are a little hazy. You use fabric with a large pattern and place the two mirrors standing on edge alongside the points of various plastic templates placed on the fabric. When you remove the template and keep the mirrors in place it gives a kaleidoscope effect and you can move it around the fabric and choose designs which appeal to you. There is a selection of different angled templates to choose from included in the book and you just use that 'template plastic' and trace over them. When you've chosen which particular bit of the pattern you like you then use the plastic template to cut the exact same pieces of fabric from the whole until you have the number of sections you need. It is quite a wasteful exercise, so look around for cottons that are inexpensive to have a go at this. Big designs give you a more impressive end product.

I quite enjoyed the hand piecing as I could cart it around with me. I made it easy by marking the 1/4 inch seam in pencil on the back of all the pieces. It's basically a tiny running stitch which is used. You can see it on the bottom picture first border.

I suppose I should sort out some sort of hanging arrangement for it - loops or something.

If I did this again, I would choose a more muted colour than the purple, which I chose because it matched a colour in the floral fabric. It shouts at you a bit. It measures 80cm or 31.5 inches square.