Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Manchester United

Busy old weekend

Well, it’s been a fun weekend. Milo continues to delight – even when he is being very naughty. He refuses to walk on a lead. As soon as you attach the lead to his collar, he sits down and refuses to budge. We had a breakthrough of sorts yesterday. Some friends dropped in and we decided that the three of us ought to be able to persuade one small dog to go ‘walkies’. This was the result…

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Milo got about 100 yards from the house walking nicely on his lead, the excitement of us all setting out together overcoming his hesitation. A car passed us and he sat down and refused to move an inch so this is how he continued the walk. I see we are going to have to join puppy school.

I’ve had a very productive weekend. I sorted out my workroom which had become a bit of a disaster area of late. I now have a creative space upstairs for my books and a desk for computer based activities in the kitchen. If I work upstairs, Milo sits at the bottom of the stairs, crying. If I let him come up with me, we have a potential ‘puppy pee/poo’ disaster as although he can climb upstairs , he cannot climb down, so if I become engrossed in what I am doing, I pay for it. So it’s easier to stay in the kitchen with the pooch so he can take himself off into the garden when nature calls.

I also managed to set up my Mac in the kitchen to talk to the printer on the top floor and worked out a very complicated double sided, right way up, back to back, A4 on A3 paper, nightmare of a printer problem. (don’t ask!)  I’m still trying to track down some A3 sized inkjet printer paper which is double sided, about 200gsm (or thereabouts) but which isn’t brilliant white. I want off white or cream even and despite hours faffing about on the internet, I can’t seem to track any down. Any thoughts anyone?

I would be feeling quite pleased with myself had I not made the mistake of weighing myself this morning. Bummer. Literally. So the downside to a promising weekend is that I’m back on a diet. And spending my days working in the kitchen is a real test of my shaky will power. I get on much better when I am two floors away from the kitchen, because then I either forget about snacking altogether or at least running up and down two flights of stairs goes someway to mitigate the damage…

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I daren’t turn on my Wii Fit, it will shout at me…

On the real life sporting front, Andy Murray won the Qatar Open, easily beating Andy Roddick and Manchester United beat Chelsea 3 – 0 which thrilled me no end.

To finish, here are two more things which have entertained me this weekend. First was from my friend Claire, who rightly pointed out how clever this is. In her words

‘This guy traveled all over the world with his recording equipment, recording street musicians playing the same song, and then meshed it into one fantastic and inspiring tune.  Just the feat of getting everyone to play it in the same key, in tune and in the same tempo is mind blowing.  Very nice job.
Music is, indeed, universal.’

and the second was from my friend Sharon. It’s a bit like popping bubble wrap and equally as addictive. Just click on this link, then just run your mouse over the bears. You’ll see what I mean.

So that’s it,  my new week’s resolutions are – train Milo, lose weight, get fit – no problem…

Have a fun week.

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Rain, rain, go away…

Well, I’m back. Thank you so much for all your kind wishes and comments, I will reply as soon as I have drawn breath. I’ve had a very interesting trip despite a lot of very dodgy weather that seems to be afflicting all Western Europe at the moment. We arrived in Geneva at lunch time and after our 2 hour train journey to Sierre then a taxi ride up the mountain, we finally arrived in Crans Montana in the early evening. It was surprisingly warm and sunny (we had expected to be cold!) but by the next day, it had become grey and misty and that set the tone for much of the rest of the journey south.

It was really interesting to see the same places I photographed a couple of months ago – minus the snow. It’s quite astonishing to see how quickly the grass and trees recover after being covered in snow for months on end. The snow covered hillsides had become meadows filled with wild flowers and the cows were out to pasture, each wearing a huge cow bell which rang constantly. The poor creatures must be deaf with the noise. 

Our journey was not going to be a leisurely sight seeing trip unfortunately. We were booked onto a ferry leaving Barcelona the next day so we had a lot of driving to do in a relatively short time. We set off in drizzly rain and and drove to Geneva and then down to Lyon. This part of the journey was through a region called the Jura and the scenery is quite beautiful. I managed to take a few shots as we drove through the mountains and through many tunnels.

After that we headed down the motorway which runs down to the South of France, (called the Autoroute du Soleil – the Sunshine Motorway) heading towards Spain when we reached Orange and bypassing some wonderful places like Montelimar, Avignon, Nimes, Carcassonne and Perpignan. The weather did improve as we drove south but as we were in the car, it seemed a waste! Just after we crossed the Spanish border, we came to Figueras (which has a famous Dali museum) and we stopped for the night in a pretty little fishing village called Port de la Selva.

This was the night that my team, Manchester United played Chelsea in the Champions League Final in Moscow. I managed to watch the last hour or so, in my hotel room on Spanish TV (so no John Motson or Alan Hanson – every cloud has a silver lining) The match was very close and even after playing extra time, the match was still drawn. The penalty shoot out which followed was unbearably exciting and stressful – I could hardly stand to watch it. Luckily, we won and I expect my screams of joy could be heard in Barcelona. Oops! Sorry! Manchester United knocked Barcelona out in the semi finals….. :-) Anyway, don’t let anyone say that we Mancunians weren’t pleased to win the cup!

We were heading for Barcelona to catch a fast ferry over to Palma in Mallorca. When we reached Barcelona, after only getting lost once (and that was because we had a duff road map and the streets had no names or road signs – honest! Maybe it was revenge for the football) we just about had time for a quick lunch before catching the Sea Cat, so I only had time for a quick look around the harbour near the port. (Click on thumbnails for a larger image)

I have stayed in my friends’ apartment in Puerta Pollensa many times and the weather has always been brilliant, so I suppose I was due some bad weather. Friday wasn’t too bad. We did manage to sit in the sun for a while but the three days after that were awful – very unseasonal rain, high winds and storms.

Having said that, I saw THE most amazing thunderstorm which happened whilst there was a spectacular red sunset. Even after many efforts, I didn’t manage to get a photograph of the lightning but shortly after I took this shot there was a HUGE bolt of forked lightning. With the building site in the foreground, this photograph reminds me of Mordor in ‘Lord of the Rings’ :-)

I arrived back in the UK yesterday after our grey, wet week to rain, rain and more rain. Marvellous. Welcome home.  


 

Come on over to my place

I like this paper. I will confess I relented and bought some more from Paper Source as I still can’t find a source of funky modern designs here in the UK. However, I have found another good supplier of lovely paper called the Paper Studio. They are based in Tempe, Arizona and the studio is a teaching studio and paper arts shop created and run by Cindy and Gary who are mixed media and book and paper artists’. It’s no good, I am just going to have to move to the USA.

I have been tagged by Kylee over at Bijoux and Banter to tell you all about my studio. I think calling it a studio is over stating it a bit, it’s more of a work room. I do have to confess though that in the interests of making my fledgling business sound a bit more groovy and professional than it actually is, I have called it Limetree Studio. This is a business card which uses a photograph I took in my garden last summer.

Artist name: Diane Aldred

Business name: Limetree Studio

Website/blog: This is it! New one on the way. Honest.

Do you have a dedicated studio/artistic space? Yes. I used to work in my kitchen but I moved to a spare bedroom.

Where is it located? On the top floor of my house.

Is it a large or small space? It’s quite big, it doubles as a study and all my books are up there as well as a TV and a sofa.

What medium(s) do you work in? Paper, I am an addict.

Do you have a separate area for each? If I was organized I would have a separate area for gluing as keeping glue under control is the bane of my life.

What one word would you use to describe your studio? Comfortable.

What do you think is the best feature of your studio? My plan chest keeps me organized.

What would you change if you could? I’d buy more storage so it was tidier.

Can you share an organisational tip? Tidy as you go (that’s rich coming from me…..)

Describe the usual state of your work table? A disaster zone

Does your work table face out into the room or toward the wall? Towards the wall (which has a large painting of my lovely boys on it) and which I am going to paint soon (as soon as I can get someone to help me move the plan chest…..)

What’s one drawback of your studio/artistic space? It’s too far from the kitchen (2 floors away) so I am constantly running up and down stairs to make tea/answer the door.

Do you have an idea wall or inspiration board? No. I take inspiration from the papers I buy.

Do you listen to music in your studio? Yes, loud music which I sing along to.

Do you display your own work in your studio? No

Other artists’ work? I have paintings on the wall.

What’s one quirk or unusual feature of your studio?
My desk where my laptop is, is always tidy but my book making work space is very untidy. Not sure why….

Whose studio space would you like to read about? I would like to tag the following artists to reveal their studio spaces….

Kim at Laketrees.

Astrid at Tulibri

Amy Hanks

Jane at My Wooden Robot

And now for my weekend. Click on all images for a larger version.

I had a lovely weekend. The weather was fantastic, warm and sunny. I went for a walk around the Fleet on Sunday and then stopped for lunch at a pub in Langton Herring. I must confess I ended up watching TV as it was the last match of the football season and my team Manchester United were tied for first place at the top of the Premier League so everything depended on this last day of matches. Without boring you with too many details, suffice it to say, my boys won the title for the 17th time. All in all, a fantastic day.

I’m off to London for a couple of days tomorrow. I’m meeting up with some old friends who are visiting from Australia. The last time I saw them was about 6 years ago and before that I hadn’t seen them for about 20 odd years. I just hope the trains don’t let me down this time…..

Saturday shopping

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The paper on the outside is an Italian paper I bought from Paper Mojo and the inside one is actually one of Paper Source’s holiday papers but although it is probably meant to be Christmassy it compliments the poppies quite nicely.

Since I had my lovely letter from Falkiners thanking me for mentioning them so often, I hope you don’t think I am just mentioning my suppliers gratuitously, in the hopes of getting more free goodies from them. I only mention them in the interests of my fellow bookbinders and papercrafts people who might find the information useful. Honest. ;-) I must also at this point mention another blog I discovered which is full of wonderful links. It’s called Paper Crave and I spent ages following links to wonderful paper crafts people, stationery and all round yumminess I hadn’t heard of before (check out Tinkering Ink) and it led me to tutorials and free downloads from a wide range of fascinating web sites and blogs. Well worth checking out.

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Along with half of Dorset seemingly, I had to go shopping at my local supermarket. Along with the food I bought, there were a couple of bottles of wine and some beers. The young girl on the checkout called a supervisor over who asked me if I was over 21. I said, ‘You have to be joking! My son is 25’. She said that she had to ask anyone who was buying alcohol if they were over 21 – ‘I need your verbal confirmation’.

What a load of nonsense! With the best will in the world, there is no way anyone would think I was under 21. If I was under 21 and I lied, would she then sell it to me? What if I had said I was under 21? Would she have said ‘Don’t be ridiculous, you are obviously over 21!’ What was the point of the whole stupid episode? The guy at the next checkout said ‘Take it as a compliment!’ I just think it is a colossal waste of time and besides, the legal age for alcohol consumption in the UK is 18, so what on earth was that all about?

But the best news of the day, is that Manchester United have just beaten the league leaders and arch rivals, Arsenal, 4 -0 in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Hurrah!

And here’s my ‘and finally’ item. How silly is this? Made me laugh :-D

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Books and bears

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I’ve had this paper for ages but I could never find it’s complement for the inside – until yesterday. I have had the grey/cream inside paper for ages too but just didn’t connect the two. They actually work very well together. The paper on the outside is a Japanese ‘Katazome-shi’ paper which literally means ‘stencil-dyed paper’. It is also referred to a ‘Wazome’. It’s more expensive than the Japanese ‘Chiyogami’ paper I often use, as it is very time consuming to make apparently. According to Falkiners :

Based on traditional kimono-printing techniques, these elegant bold patterned papers were developed in Kyoto during the 20th century by an inspired soul. Using persimmon-dyed kozo as the stencils, and aided by paste and “Kojiro” (soy bean juice), the pigments absorb deeply into the paper to produce long-lasting colour and the unmistakable look of a print truly made by hand“.

I think this is a very ‘grown up’ book and the paper almost has the texture of fabric – beautiful.

It has been pointed out by various people that I have forgotten to mention several famous Polar Bears in my earlier post on the subject, so to remedy this here are a few more.

Firstly for Ed over at The Pisstakers, and to say thank you for TWO funny reviews this week, here is the Fox’s Glacier Mints Polar Bear. I hope your dad’s teeth have recovered.

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Then for Alex, here is Knut, the cutest Polar Bear cub ever, who was abandoned by his mother at birth in Berlin Zoo. The zoo staff decided that the best thing to do was to not intervene and to leave him to die naturally. Cue public outcry and Knut was reprieved.

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And I have just remembered this one, the Polar Bear in the Chilly Willy cartoons Did I mention I like penguins as well? (But that is a whole other post!)

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Then there is this Polar Bear

and finally, the one I want to see. I am re-reading this book for the third or fourth time and can’t wait to see the film. This is Iorek Byrnison, the armoured Polar Bear from the wonderful children’s book ‘Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman, now filmed as ‘The Golden Compass’ starring Daniel Craig (woo hoo!) and Nicole Kidman.

Not such a cuddly bear….

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And finally, as they used to say on the news, my team, Manchester United, won their match against Newcastle United by 6 – 0 on Saturday, which took them to the top of the Premier League. Marvellous.