Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Tempting, dangling plums

      In this case they are Victoria Plums but other varieties are ripe and ready to go too. Particularly Marjorie Seedling and and the absolutely delicious Burbank Giant Prune. What a name for a plum that is, as the admen said 'it does what it says on the tin,' well in this case plum skin.
      When we walk the two terriers it's hard to resist these little and large beauties as we squelch our way through all the windfalls, well the season is so short. So it's one of each on the way out and one of each on the way back home.
      The trouble is if you have three walks a day… well you get my drift.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Fifties sunburst

      It seemed that every gate and door had a sunburst pattern in one variation or another during the 1950's. Perhaps it was a new dawn after the Second World War.
      This example, obviously a customised special, at the entrance to a West Norfolk cottage is pretty basic but interesting none the less. We like the cast metal gate posts too. Lovely little details that you don't normally notice.
      Most people would say why worry about them but the Two Terriers love these little details and we're on the lookout for more rising sun and sunburst gates and doors.
      I think we might have painted the sun bright orange, although in those days maybe that would have been bit too Japanese.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Rusting barn finds

      Old and rusting agricultural equipment in the great scrapyard called West Norfolk. We've said before just how much there is scattered around the area in the corners of orchards and copses, fields and barns but the sheer volume of unused vintage metal is quite astounding.
      We stand and look at the heap thinking it must have a value; as vintage equipment or scrap, but nobody seems to care about it. "Oh yes, that stuff, been there years" says the farmer and that's the debate over.
      No matter what the farmer says it's good to see a little trace of flaking Norfolk Bog Door Blue and that new and challenging heritage colour Norfolk Green Privy.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Yaffle worming

      One to get the twitchers twitching, the Green Grasspecker, a real rarity. In fact he's just a common or garden Green Woodpecker and a quite frequent visitor. Try to get any closer and he's away to the next feeding ground, in fact he was about forty yards away on the front lawn. 
      The way he was going at the lawn you'd have thought he was drilling for oil but he must be another worm lover and he was drilling through the hard ground for his food but whatever the conditions he meant to get his breakfast.
      No matter what his worm catching abilities are he wouldn't win any marks for style with that take-off as he yaffled his way into the trees to decide where the next feeding ground was going to be.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Red letter day

      For students of 1960's typography and typefaces this little plaque high up on a Cambridgeshire wall has all of the desirable elements. Well perhaps not the incised sans at the top but the word VILLA and 1885 certainly have.
      Even the diamond shaped full point, cunningly placed to compensate for the lack of centring, does the business too.
      All in all we like it, apart from the silicon around the top and sides but we're being picky. It definitely deserves better than that.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Victoria bum rides again

      It's that time of the year again when the plums in the orchard are exposed in all their loveliness. Strangely we only ever see Victoria Bums on the Victoria Plums. Thinking about it that seems reasonably logical but these strange conjoined plums never turn up on the Laxtons Earlys, Marjorie Seedlings, Tsars or the fabulously named Burbank Giant Prune.
      Eat half a dozen of those large Burbanks and you're a pig.

      Anyway, we picked ten pounds of Marjorie Seedlings yesterday morning so the boss can press on with her first batch of plum jam before the plums go over the top and become too ripe.
      One unlovable creature that is conspicuous by its absence so far is that black and yellow suited bastard the wasp, long may that absence continue. Usually they are on the windfalls and rotten plums getting drunk and I've never come across one that isn't a fighting drunk either.
      The season of plenty has to have one downside I suppose but here's a real upside. The finished product. Lovely. 

Monday, 8 September 2014

The first cut

Hanging on the gallery wall

      Not necessarily the deepest cut but I certainly stabbed myself once or twice and bled on the block as a beginner wood and lino cutter.
      The place is Teesside and the time is October 1966.
      This is my first ever woodcut carved into a plank of wood salvaged from the sands at the South Gare, right at the mouth of the River Tees, during that summer when we had an international football team.
      It depicts some derelict industrial buildings in Cleveland Hills and a browse through the old sketchbooks seems to indicate that it's a montage of two drawings in those sketchbooks.
      The woodcut measures 200mm x 580mm and was printed on the quaintly named Porridge Paper.