Thursday, July 30, 2009


yay! I'm so delighted with this Thursday's Theme of buttons.

I love buttons. Its a bit of a fetish if I'm honest. Old buttons are most favoured and count as the best possible "find" for me at a car boot fair - a jar of old buttons with just glimpses of little treasures inside, and the prospect of coming home and sitting with a cup of tea and a tray, sorting through them all....

Some of my fondest childhood memories are being occupied whilst a bit poorly with my mum's button box - sorting through them, tying them into little bundles. She had buttons in that box from her mother and grandmother. And now I have them in my collection. Plus... um.... a few more ...

I do have a rather ridiculous amount of buttons. The 3 pictures here are just the medium sized buttons, medium-small, and buttons on cards. I have other receptacles of small/tiny buttons, large and extra large buttons, mother of pearl buttons, glass buttons, wooden buttons, metal ....

But I can't stop myself.

I am willing to share - I've done a couple of button swaps with other bloggers, now thats good fun and great to discovered kindred souls and be reassured that I'm not just weird. Or, if I am, that I'm not alone in my weirdness.

There are people who are button-phobic. My sister-in-law has a mild form of this. She does wear clothes with buttons and thats not a problem for her, but she would NEVER voluntarily put her hand into a box full of buttons, it freaks her out.

So whats weirder, having way more buttons than I could ever use, or finding buttons freaky?

I'd have enjoyed taking more photos of my buttons, particularly of individual and favourite buttons (I have faith that some (few?) of you will understand...) but I'm afraid I ran out of time, plus I have a lovely niece sleeping in the spare room where the buttons live... Maybe another time.

Some of my button collection are now finding a further vocation as I'm making and finishing projects for made4aid - in fact, before I knew that this was today's theme, I had some buttons out selecting fastenings for bags - so, here are previews - and they'll be on auction at made4aid later in the summer/autumn....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I just carried all this shopping home on the bus. Plus my swimming stuff.

Which was a bit silly as we now (after 25 years.....) have a car to carry heavy shopping. Albeit only an old mini which has not too much room, even if you take out the spare tyre.

(I make no comment on the silliness or otherwise of taking photos of my shopping. Blogger has a lot to answer for).

And some of the tension which swimming had dissolved away out of my shoulders returned as I walked from the bus stop to our house.

But I'm a sucker for all the cheap fruit and veg in the market (3 melons for £1! 2 pineapples for £1!! 8 avocados for £1!!! lots of other heavy stuff for £1!!!!) and I couldn't resist the sunflowers even though they were nearly the last straw.

On the upside, we will be eating healthily and drinking delicious and nutritious fruit smoothies over the next few days. And the sunflowers make me smile.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Some pictures from a visit to Suffolk in March. This is the East coast of England, on the big bulgy bit above London and the Thames estuary - beautiful countryside where I take long long walks with my friend Lucy and her crazy bouncy dog.

I wish I could have taken photos inside this cafe, it felt like stepping back into my childhood ...

Thursday, July 23, 2009


These are the shoes my daughter has been wearing to school since last September.
Come rain, shine, frost, snow...

I can't say that I'm happy about her choice but she has strenuously resisted any suggestion that more weatherproof shoes would be a good idea. Almost all other schoolgirls of her generation are wearing these slippery and insubstantial bits of tat and we gave in on this one rather than fight.

We took sensible shoes very seriously when she was little, and here is the first pair she ever wore for walking in, when she was about a year old:

Its ironic that she seems to be conforming to peer behaviour in relation to her school shoes, when her other clothing choices are far less conformist.

Her new rock boots were a combined birthday (or possibly Christmas) present about 18 months ago, when she was 13:

This picture of them is consistently one of my most viewed photos on flickr.

How times change.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If I could stop myself wittering on and writing too many words then I might find the time to post here more frequently.

I shall experiment with posting photos and no words for a while...
wish me luck.

from my friend Lucy's house in Ipswich.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Well this is sort of an update to my previous post, on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Which seems sort of cheating, except that it did come out of a consideration of "stage", todays Thursday Theme, as I was thinking about how almost anything can be a stage, if its the space where a performance takes place.

An orange box can be a stage, if someone performs on it - as I saw some living statues doing yesterday in Covent Garden, but sorry, wasn't quick enough with my camera, we were in a hurry. Here's someone else's picture of one. I always think this must be such a tough way to make a living.

So the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square has also become a stage for the 100 days of July, August and September as members of the public take their hourly turns to occupy and use the space in whatever way they choose.

So - you can read more about this in the previous post, with a photo of a Womble who put in quite a lively performance.

The occupant yesterday when I walked through Trafalgar Square appeared to be drawing what was going on around her.

What she was doing was quite unspectacular but her location made it a performance, and her being there turned the plinth into a stage.

You can also see from this photo what sort of "summer" we are having.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


picture from here

Plinth is such a good word.

Trafalgar Square in London has 4 plinthes, one at each corner. Or is that plinths? And can I be bothered to check?

3 of the plinths (I didn't check, its just my instinct) are occupied by 2 generals and a monarch, but the 4th has always been empty and has been the subject of much discussion over the past 10 years or more.

Since about the turn of the century the plinth has been used as a temporary exhibition space.

I really liked Mark Wallinger's statue of Christ "Ecce homo", though I don't know if it would have such impact in a different context. Well, different context different impact maybe. But in Trafalgar Square I thought it was impressive. It was such a small statue (life-sized) in relation to the hugeness of the Square with Nelson's unfeasible column towering above, and the immense lions and military figures. And it was so quiet and still amidst the hustle and busyness of London. Its silent and understated presence effortlessly threw into question the oversized celebration of British power and militarism.
It was impressive almost through being un-impressive.

I also really liked Marc Quinn's statue of Alison Lapper - beautiful, maternal and also disabled like - but also very unlike - Nelson. Another statue which worked so well in this particular context.

So....the current project on the 4th plinth was dreamed up by the wonderful Anthony Gormley, possibly most well known for his Angel of the North.

For 100 days members of the British public (or anyone living in the UK) can apply for the opportunity to spend an hour on the plinth. Doing whatever they like. Anything within the limits of what is lawful. A living portrait of the UK.

You can watch what is going on - Look here. As I write this, there is a woman sat there who appears to be setting up a teddy bear's picnic. She's reading a book to them.

There have been people singing or playing music. People sitting reading a book, or blowing bubbles. One man sat and made and dispatched dozens of paper airplanes. Another took a canvas and spent the hour painting his view.

And so it was that last night, on my way to meet a friend for an evening at the theatre, I saw a womble being delivered up onto the plinth for his hour of glory.

Click here for more info. on the Wombles of Wimbledon common.

And keep watching this blog...... my name has gone into the draw to get a place on the plinth in September or October. Its about a one in ten chance.

I used to be shy and retiring. I sometimes hardly know myself these days.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


This face-in-a-wall is just down the road from where I live and it reminds me of two ghostly things.

Firstly, it reminds me of a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - The Yellow Wallpaper published in 1891.

The narrator has been confined to a yellow room which she hates, in an isolated country house where she has been taken as a "rest cure" for her "mental fragility". Denied contact with family, friends, even her baby - and denied the chance to work at her writing - she begins to see movement under the wallpaper, a figure writhing around the room.
"There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.
Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day.
It is always the same shape, only very numerous.
And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don't like it a bit."

A woman, trapped under the yellow, creeping like the women who creep around in the garden outside. Were they ghosts? or were they figments and symptoms of her growing madness?

Its a great story which you can read here, based on the writer's own experience of being prescribed a "rest cure" for her post-natal depression. It was a critique of the way Victorian women were treated as hysterical and unstable because of their biology. She sent a copy to the leading doctor who had pioneered this treatment and though he never replied to her, he did actually change his practice after reading the story.

Which also reminds me of Gaslight, what a great film, with similar themes of haunting and female madness.

Secondly, thinking of ghosts and creepy women reminds me of a night when as a child I was sleeping in my sister's room and woke to see the figure of a woman, standing motionless in the doorway. Her hair up, in a bun maybe, her arms crossed in front of her. Not my mother. Not anyone I knew. No one who belonged in our house. She didn't respond to my whisper. She simply stood.

My sister, sleeping the sleep of the unhaunted, would not stir.
The woman standing there would not stir or speak.

My terrified whispered calls to my mother must have become quite loud in the end. I recall the agony of needing to cry for help but not wanting to attract the attention of this silent, still but threatening figure.
After an interminable period of fear, my mother appeared and, pushing open the door, revealed the ghostly figure to be a dressing gown hung on the doo

I can still feel and remember my frozen panic.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm really wanting to be a more regular blogger and have so little time and head-space at the moment..... its frustrating.

So here is Logan, I hope he will provide some entertainment while I try to make time and clear head-space.

Pre-cat flap. Nowadays he can come in and out at will. But doesn't he look svelte in this picture?

but not so svelte in this one...

hmmmm, is there something interesting in here?

now there is!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


... dillo

At least in my view, this is a funky dillo.

We have a lot of armadillos in our house. None of them real, you understand.... it just became a bit of a "thing" for a while.

In my early blogging days, I used to post a dillo a day, just for a while. Though I'm not sure I ever got through them all.

We have little armadillos and larger ones. Cuddly, hand-made, ceramic, flowery, tiny and cute and slightly weird...

I think I posted once about the origins of the armadillo theme... hang on, if I can find it, I'll link to it here.

But this one - this is the funkiest of them all.