Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Bridport

I’m a hothouse flower…

Well, that’s all my travelling done for this year. Unless some miracle happens, I am doomed to the rain and grey skies here in the UK until next year. It was 37°C every day I was in Mallorca, clear blue skies – I loved it. I am definitely a hothouse flower.  I arrived back in the UK yesterday and today it is raining. Sorry to bang on about the weather again but it does get me down.

Anyways, before I went to Mallorca, I was very busy making two albums and boxes for the friend I was going to stay with and for her daughter, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy back in May. It was my friend’s birthday (a significant one) and as I couldn’t think of a present to buy her, I made her the album of photos of her first grandson. I asked her daughter to send me lots of photos of the baby and she kindly sent me nearly 500, so it was a very enjoyable task to go through them and choose the best to go into the two albums. (I printed them on to double sided heavy weight paper using my Canon Pixma Pro 9500 printer using archival pigment inks, for the technically minded among you)

Here are photos of one of the albums – one was pale blue and the other was pale green. The photo on the front was taken in the baby’s bedroom.

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My friends have THE most beautiful house. I am especially attached to it because I helped to choose it several years ago after a whistlestop visit to Mallorca when we viewed 18 houses, with 4 different agents, in 2 days. The house they bought was the last one we viewed – on the way back to the airport. They grow all their own fruit and vegetables – there are olive, almond, carob, apple and pear trees, grapes, tomatoes, plums, damsons, sweet potatoes, figs…the list goes on. Idyllic times.

It was a fabulously lazy holiday (even by my standards) – wonderful friends, great food, lots of swimming (well, floating about on an inflatable reclining chair), lots of reading, chatting and bobbing about on boats. I even managed to keep up with the cricket while I lay by the pool, thanks to my faithful iPhone. In fact on Saturday, I was following The Ashes, the Man U (my team) v Wigan footie match (5-0! Keep it up boys!) and the Formula 1 qualifying (go Lewis!) from the comfort of my sun lounger. A very sweet day on the sporting front.

lollingI even managed not to drop my phone in the pool…

Just before I left for Mallorca, I took part in an event which happens every year in my town, Bridport. There is a carnival which takes place on Saturday and then on Sunday evening, there is a torchlight procession from the town hall in Bucky Doo Square to the coast at West Bay, where there is a huge bonfire and a firework display. It was a fine dry night so 1500 people took part, the walk takes about an hour and it was very atmospheric.

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Milo was in kennels while I was away. I picked him up yesterday. He was in a disgusting state. He smelled terrible, his feet and fur were matted with smelly mud and worse (horse poo?) his coat was full of matted lumps, his eyes were streaming and irritated. I was told the dogs are allowed to run around and play together in a large paddock which is covered in bark chippings. Apparently it had rained while I was away. He has only stayed there overnight before so I was not prepared for the consequences of leaving him there for a week. When I complained about the condition he was in, (I said the standard of care was outrageous) I was told I was outrageous for not wanting my dog to have fun. I dread to think how long they would have left him in this state if I have had gone away for a longer holiday. The sad thing is that I had recommended this kennels to several friends as it appears to have good facilities. I shall be spreading the word and am now on the hunt for another place to take him when I go away.

muddymilo

Poor little pooch. Dog groomers for him tomorrow.

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Lots of stuff (or I’ve run out of titles…)

I was driving into Dorchester yesterday to the hairdressers (no major disasters there, hair same but shorter, hairdresser fully mobile again!) when I passed through an area called Poundbury. This is a ‘model village’ (read ‘housing estate’) which is being built on the outskirts of Dorchester by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.

It is a very contentious development as opinions are divided about the architectural merit (or otherwise) of the houses being built there, the density of the development and its eventual size. This quote is from a local web site and reflects some of the ‘anti’ feeling about Poundbury (the full letter can be read here, it’s hilarious!)

“In my understanding, be it correct or otherwise, the Poundbury development was intended to reflect the architecture and community of a traditional West Dorset country village. This, I assume, is the brief that the designers, architects and developers are working by. It is possible that I am not the only person who is struggling with that concept, considering that the Poundbury development is quite possibly the diametric opposite of that brief, in every perceivable way.

I am no designer, nor an architect or a developer, but it doesn’t take an expert in this field to reach the conclusion that the surreal, and quite frankly “fake” Poundbury development appears to be taking heavy inspiration from the following:

– Kensington & Chelsea
– Walt Disney
– Regents Park Residencies
– 18th Century Normandy
– Southern European/Spanish
– Rural Germany/Austria
– Peckham
– Far-Reaching corners of the Milky Way.”

Personally, I think it’s dreadful and I could fill a whole post with my objections (hmm, now that’s an idea for a dull day) but one good thing that comes from all the digging and excavations that are going on are the poppies which spring up along the roadside. I was driving past and screeched to a halt to take some photographs of them. You can see some of Poundbury in the background.

I don’t mention Dorchester much but I went into town the other day and walked through the Borough Gardens and spotted the clock and the bandstand which have just been freshly painted and look really good.

All the bandstand needs is the Wessex Military Band which plays in Bucky Doo Square in Bridport on Saturday market days. They look amazing in their scarlet uniforms. I managed to get a shot of them last Saturday.

It makes a change to be showing you shots of the towns instead of the coast – I thought you might be getting a bit bored with those. I had a lovely surprise yesterday. My book swap book arrived. It was sent to me by Crazy Daisy Girl (alias Diana Waite) all the way from Utah. It’s a gorgeous little book and to tell me something about the town she lives in, she made the cover from a flour sack from a local flour mill, the pages are red to represent the red rocks which are from the area. Here are some photographs of it.

My album is coming along. I have finished sewing the pages together and have started to make the cover. It has been a nightmare! I am using thicker than usual board as the it needed to be sturdier due to the size of the album, so I had to take it to the gallery I used to work at where they have a huge guillotine which made short work of cutting the board to size. Of course I always have problems with glue and manoeuvering large sheets of gluey paper is just so difficult. I originally intended to have leather corners on the album but to be quite honest it would have made it even more difficult to position the marbled paper so I chickened out… Anyway, progress so far…

So far, so good, so stressful….now I need a lie down :-)

Instead, I am going to go and play with my Wii fit. I am trying to lose weight as you know and this is such a fun way of exercising. I love the step class and the hula hoop and the jogging and the downhill skiing slalom and the yoga….brilliant fun. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, check this out.

I have to close the blinds in case the neighbours think I have gone insane….next thing I’ll be moving to Poundbury :-)

Book swappage

You may remember I was taking part in a Book Swap over at the Book Arts Forum. I made a book as a first effort, fully intending to have a second go at it but as is often the way with these things, time ran away with me and I had to use my original effort as I never got round to trying something different.

So far, so familiar. As the theme of the swap was ‘My Home Town’, I did hit on the idea of filling the pages with images of Dorset (as you can imagine I have rather a lot). This started out as a good idea until I realised that as I had used Bockingford watercolour paper for the pages, the printed photographs wouldn’t stick to the pages terribly well, but having started, I had to finish! I think they are secure but the other problem was that the pages curled slightly and even after a day or so in my book press, they wouldn’t straighten and as time had run out, I had to send it to Rhonda as it was (with a letter of apology!)

Here are photographs of some of the pages.

It’s very intimidating making a book for other bookbinders to see ‘in the flesh’ as it were and even though this is the second swap I have taken part in – I still feel as if I could have done better…. having said that, I’m really looking forward to receiving my book from Crazy Daisy Girl :-)

By the way, thanks very much indeed for the votes over at Kim’s competition. I didn’t win but happily I wasn’t vote-less which was very pleasing. You might like to check out the art work which won, a painting by Emmanuel Martinez called “Pain in the Eye’. Congratulations to the lucky winner!

Now I’m off to continue with my latest project, a huge photograph album for a friend. She has two enormous beautifully made, very expensive albums which she has filled with photographs and I am going to try to make a third which matches the others. No pressure then……. :-)