Monday, 28 May 2012

Sculpture in Winchcombe

Bird bath by Peter Garrard

Yesterday afternoon I went to the preview of a Sculpture Exhibition at Charringworth Court in Winchcombe, hosted by Richard and Susan Wakeford and curated by Jane from

A proud man and his leeks by Keith Jameson.
It was a glorious summer evening with lots of guests and the artists....I had a great time....the evening seemed to go past so quickly so I didn't manage to chat quite as much as I'd like too ! The great thing about seeing sculpture in a garden is that if you don't have a great imagination it helps you to see how art would look in your own home...quite different to seeing it in a gallery space.

This week is the start of Winchcombes Festival of Music and Art....and its shaping up to be a very enjoyable week. Once again I haven't managed to have any of my art on display or have an open studio. Each year I think that I will but when the time comes I seem to be busy. At the moment I am working on the restoration of a beautiful 1938 Lakin Waltzer.

If WHEN my workshop/garage is up and running I WILL  join the Art trail...fingers crossed !

Jane also has smaller sculpture and Art for sale in her gallery just up the road from Charringworth Court.

Natasha Housego
Susan and Richard haven't  held a Sculpture Exhibition before but I think that they have been great to open their garden to such a lovely exhibition. They must have been working very hard because their garden looks gorgeous. Susan also has her beautiful quilts on display as well as bags, cushions, toys and fabric pears for sale in her conservatory.

If you are nearby Winchcombe this week then do pop in and have a walk around the Art are sure to enjoy yourself....and be inspired !

PS I'll add all the artists names soon !
The following links to a slideshow video

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Art and Music in Winchcombe

Next week sees the start of The Winchcombe Festival of Art and Music....and once again I've been so busy, with work and just life really !  that I've not managed to have anything on display again. Last week I was designing the St Kenelm Poster, another poster and badge design for the Day of Dance, designing a logo for my friends company 'Hotch Potch Flowers' , some illustrations for Helenas poems and a painting for my Dads Birthday  ! so this week I thought I'd tray and do a daily short blog with either links to festival happenings or to my art work.
Today's is a quick sketch tour of Broadway I was there for a couple of hours waiting for my car to be fixed for its passed...wheres the champagne !....and decided to enjoy the sunshine and do some sketches.
I even managed to pickup a commission ! Life often feels so much better when the sun is shining .
When I got back to Winchcombe I popped to see how Jane from Winds of Change Gallery was getting on. There's a  Sculpture Exhibition in a lovey garden in Winchcombe starting on Monday 28th May, well worth a visit...I'll be writing a blog all about it in the next couple of days.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Red, White and Blue

It's that dreaded time of year MOT time ,Why does it come round so quickly ! I do have one thing right though it's a lovely garage near Broadway, Worcestershire and a short walk away from a lovely footpath along the old railway track-which is being restored. While waiting for the result I went across the road and up the pathway, and found the most fantastic display of Red it gave me the idea of writing a patriotic red,white and blue blog.

Silene dioica the Red Campion is named after Silensis, he was a drunken but merry God of the Woodlands in Greek Mythology. Other names for it are Billy Buttons, Gypsy Flower, Bob Robin, Dolly Winter, Robin in the hedge, scalded apples and Soldiers buttons....amongst a few . You can make soap for washing clothes by boiling the root in water.

Another interesting fact that I didn't know is that it is in decline ,so It's lovely that there are so many .The 'long-tongued Bumble Bee' loves it....yes there really is one but it is also in decline, unfortunately for me I didn't see one but it's sunnier this morning and so I'll pop back there again just in case. I'm not wasting petrol my car has to go to get worked on for it's MOT !

Wild Garlic..Gypsy's onions, stinking jenny, Bears Leek, Buckrams and Ramsons. Native Americans used it to treat Asthma and help other respiratory problems. in the middle ages it was used to treat Cholera and the plague. Its now very popular for being used in cooking. Oliver Rackham suggests adding the leaves to peanut butter sandwiches.....I've peanut butter at home so I'll pick a few leaves's illegal to pull up whole wild flower plants, but a few leaves should be fine. i think I'll try rapid drying of them in the microwave to see if they still taste OK.

Speedwell, also known as Gypsy weed, Persian speedwell and birds eye, you must have noticed that most wild plants have a gypsy name.. It can be used to aid digestion and help bowel movements. It also has a calming effect and may help with depression. St Veronica is said to have wiped Jesus's face with speedwell flowers on his way to Calvary so some of the healing powers went to the plant. I like the saying that its about walking well because you can see two little legs and feet popping out from the centre of the flower, Travellers in Ireland had the flower sewn into their clothes to protect them from danger, and a drink of boiled speedwell was given to cows with calves to protect them from evil and fairies. You can buy essence of speedwell from Saskias remedies

A lovely natural  red, white and blue border near Broadway, Worcestershire. I noticed that the elder flowers are almost in bloom....hooray almost time for 'lashings' of elderflower cordial !

Links to more of my blogs about flower uses and meanings

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Gloucester Hole

On a recent trip to Chepstow, instead of going shopping I decided to walk down to the well !
In the cliffs on the 'other' (English) side was a square hole cut into it's side, and a painted Union Flag.

Luckily for me there was a blue plaque on the ground with an explanation.
In the 1850's a local antiquarian had asked locals about it, and they had said that it was originally an entrance to a larger cave that had been squared off and enlarged. A crane was built into it so that large ships that couldn't moor in the shallower Welsh side could moor by the cliff and be unloaded. The cargoes were then moved onto smaller Severn Trows. I've always loved the Severn Trow, it is a really lovely boat with a good shape and sails.

Severn Trows-

 The square hole leads to a much bigger space, 27 feet deep and wide and 15 feet at it's highest point.There are a couple of other stories, one of which is that  Isambard Kingdom Brunel stored explosives in it when he was building the Chepstow Railway Bridge.The Shirenewton Quakers might have stored Tea in it too. From 1688 The Quakers in Shirenewton were known to have visited many homes....and of course drank a lot of tea!
The Cave could have been used for smuggling and for the hiding and storage of people and goods.  In the 15th century Chepstow had an illicit trade dealing with Icelandic  dried fish. All along the Severn were regular smuggling haunts., smuggling wine, tobacco, cotton and sugar. If only the walls of the cave could talk, being so close to the Castle it must have some great stories.

The union flag had been painted by Salmon fishermen in 1935 to celebrate George V Silver Jubilee. I always thought that it was only called a Union Jack when it was flying from a pole but I could easily of got this quite wrong. When it is a high tide the River Wye sometimes covers it with its tidal rise of forty feet is second only to the tidal rise of 46 feet in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
This next clip is from Pathe news, It's called Twicken Ferry ....I know its not about  Chepstow but I couldn't resist adding it.. and its always good to finish with a song !

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Stow Gypsy Horse Fair

Thursday's Stow Horse Fair was a total mud bath but I'm still glad I popped along....
At Brill-on-the-Hill
The wind blows shrill,
The cook no meat and dress;
At Stow -on -the -Wold
 The wind blows cold-
I know no more than this .

If you don't go you always think you might miss things, such as friends, new wagons, stories..etc
I've been going for a longtime and I'm now one of those people saying it's not what it used to be. I remember it when the fair was the other side of town with wagons and stalls along the road, an auction and market in the field, a small fair in the town, the baptist jumble sale and the 'hippy' travellers with their showman's wagons and horse drawn wagons where the fair is a way the 'hippy' travellers kept more of the horse drawn way of life going. Recently I bought a negative viewer where you can scan them onto your computer, I wish I'd bought a better quality one but in amongst all my negs were a good amount of Stow back in the late 1970's. I'll put them on the web when I have a chance but will have to put blooming watermarks on them. I expect you have all had the same problem as me, people using your pictures saying that they are at the moment any of the gypsy or fairground photos will have to have a watermark, sorry about that. I think all of us are happy for images to be used as long as we have a little link or credit
....right I'm now stepping down from my soap box...on with the day. 

There weren't as many wagons and it wasn't as busy but with the mud it 's not surprising. I still managed to bump into some old faces and catch up, Friends from way down south and up north. 

This year I found myself thinking of friends passed away such as Frank, Nobby and Hezy...all regular wonderful people that were always at he Fair...It's not the same without them.

It's good to see little ones dressed up and ready to carry on the history and culture.
Stow Fair first started in 1107 as a weekly market, then with its charter in 1476 it became a bigger hiring and sheep fair happening twice a year n May and October.

I've produced another little music I'm afraid, daftly I forgot to take my tape recorder...and I'll upload to utube once I've remembered my password !

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Gargoyles, Imps and Hobbits

I have to admit that I'm of no particular religious persuasion but that doesn't stop me being interested in all sorts of religions and the wonderful architecture that seems to go hand in hand with it.
Winchcombe has a wide variety of churches.....really wide.....but St Peter's as a building, stands out. As you drive over the crest of Cleeve Hill, leaving Cheltenham You breath a sigh of relief as you drive down into the valley and see the golden cockerel on top of St Peters Church.  Its on the main thoroughfare through the town and along with lots of lovely shops, pubs, galleries and Cafes...its well worth stopping and having a look. Back Lane car park is a £1 all day,so you'll have time to walk up Vineyard Street and up to Sudeley Castle.
In 1175 there was a church dedicated to St Peter but it was ruined at the same time as the Abbey. The present building was built in 1468. Although some people believe that it is not a wool church I like to think that it was because that was originally where all the money came from.
Of course recently it was in the news for Liz Hurley having her marriage blessed in it....lots in the OK magazine and lots of upset due to her having kneelers made when the church really needed an old boiler replaced .......!...anyway leading on the church has fantastic Grotesques and least forty...maybe cartoon portraits of locals, priests, landlords..who knows. Some think that this one was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's The Mad Hatter.

 It would be great if it had been ,it would add to the literary giants linked with the area such as Tolkien , Hobbits and Humblebee woods, and J.M.Barrie a,Tinkerbell and Stanway. The weather cock is also rather magnificent measuring 6foot from beak to tail . It came from the Church of St Mary, Redcliffe Bristol in 1872.....I don't know why they didn't want to keep it, It's lovely. There are a few tails of it having gun shot holes in it because of a local farmer, who shall remain know who you are....having pot shots at it ! There is also the story of Mr Ford of the car fame wanting to buy the whole church, dismantle it and take it back to America .
Inside the church is a frame with a curtain protecting an old alter cloth . It was made by Queen Katherine of Aragon by reconstructing a 14th century Cope....recycling even then.!
If you do visit , don't forget to look for the Winchcombe Imp., that's the one inside as oppose to all the Winchcombe Imps outside !
I've made a little video made up of photographs of the interior and exterior of St Peter's church, complete with the sound of their Wednesday night bell ringing practice.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Sudeley Castle : Winter into Spring

I've been having more fun piecing photos and sounds together for another video
 The sound taped well until right near the end when a gust of wind caught the's all a learning curve. Daft really when I should be getting on with working.
Unfortunately for me a couple of months ago I fell flat on my face in our high street, tripping over a pot hole. After visiting the Doctor I've found that I should have been using lots of Ibuprofen because I have blooming 'house maids knee ', which appears to be getting worse before it gets better.....So these past weeks I've been trying very hard not to kneel but its not easy when you have to paint furniture etc. In the past I made a habit of painting and drawing sat on the I have to work at a table like a sensible person !..anyway I've not written this for you to-
 a) feel sorry for me
b) think..That would have been a laugh seeing me fall over....( I have to admit I am one of those people that does find it funny when friends fall over )
c) what an old moaner...
......No, what this has done is made me spend a bit more time sat at a table with my laptop making little videos..
..I've one more in the pipeline then I'll get on with earning some money ! If you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed making them....etc etc

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Boho home

I've been having fun making small slide video's and uploading them to UTube. After taking masses of photos around my home I played with them on my computer to give them an aged look....this also meant that I didn't have to go round dusting !  The fantastic band 'Moishe's Bagel' very kindly let me use their music for the background.
 Well here it is, I hope you like it....Thank you for watching.


Blog Top Sites