Thursday, 26 July 2012

Come ride with me!

East Yorks must be the best place to ride a bike. I had to stop every few hundred yards to take a pic; the landshapes were just so good.

Trees on legs (a giant caterpillar?)

Lashings of
Hockney colours and shapes

Sturdy tree ahead
We were in 'lashings of ginger beer' mode, and we also got two great pies from Roberts and Speight in Beverley, and I mean great. Ended the day in the Wolds Inn at Huggate. This is all Hockney country, and you can see why he is so passionate about it; his colours are hardly an exaggeration. Hockney you tube As I often say when we are somewhere good, it is 'Just Like The Camino' (JLTC), and we were even treated to some little yellow or orange arrows painted on the ground to remind us; well it was the eve of St James's day.


Those hedgrow/roadside plants inspire so many artists... I love this artist; you will probably have seen her stuff on greetings cards etc: Angie Lewin

 So steeped I am in the psalms just now, that I can't see even a muddy puddle without thinking of the pilgrim psalm 84 'Passing through the valley of Baca ['weeping'?] they make it a place of springs'.
But I tried a new thing, which was the Biking Video. Sadly, t'owd man was supposed to be on it behind me, but somehow he wasn't there. I gather he stayed put, shaking his head sadly and ready to call an ambulance; so although I swing the camera round for you to see him, he doesn't appear. Most of the roads we were on were single track and gravelly, but this was a bigger one with opportunity to let rip. It's the reward for a lot of uphill stuff.

T'owd man relaxing at journey's end in home-made shorts (we don't do Lycra much).

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Happy St James's day!

Fire from/for heaven
The title really speaks for itself. I really warm to the 'sons of thunder' and their fiece loyalty, as in 'Shall we call down fire from heaven, guv?' attitude. There are some of us who are a bit worrying for anyone throwing a party, and I imagine the same was true of them - whatever would they do next? The hula hoop factor; sometimes it works, and sometimes it lands on someone's head when you throw it out of the bedroom window - I know, mine did, fortunately he was OK about it.

So this is what we did at a bit of an unplanned party when the Barton Botafumeiro arrived; we had to put it through its paces, with thoughts of health and safety to the fore as you can see.

And then today, t'owd man did a blessing of it in church. It was admired by all who went up to look at it; presumably anyone who was not keen on the idea of the thing ignored it. It's a small replica of the one in Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy! We do!

The real botafumeiro

But I love this next one -Those notes.... the sound of the crowds whooping like children at the seaside, and the way the priest manages to forestall any cheering by leaping in swiftly at the end with his 'Oremus!'... and the first notes on the organ; Geoff did us proud at this normally music-less eucharist by thumping them out at the end and bringing tears to our eyes.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The great and the good.

A founder member at the FMB pub. Cider, naturally!
Memsec departs from Hull station, with Philip Larkin
I know I shouldn't.
This is not an official record of the SOTS Meeting! Rather it is a record of what took Memsec's eye when she remembered her camera. Thus many wonderful moments are not recorded, such as when Hugh Pyper was presented with his Olympic towel after his 'From Zion to Olympus' paper. (Our current president has a good eye for suitable gifts.)

Here goes....

Retiring hospitality sec Elizabeth Harper has kept SOTS in order for many years.
Assembling cheerfully for the yearly Outing
Travelling cheerfully; Janet is looking forward to resting from SOTS accounts.
Outside Manchester Town Hall
Descending with promise of Tea in the town hall. I was tempted to say 'Jacob's ladder',
Tea in the elegant depths
The bee became a symbol for Manchester's hard working population
This Manchester building has been unfinished for over 10 years. Why do I think of Babel?
T'lads in the 'Ford Madox Brown'.
Home again in Lincs with treasure from the African art exhibitions across Manchester: highly recommended.
...and the grass got cut.
(Yes, your thought is correct: photo taken in spring, hence shadows of bare branches of walnut tree)

Bike night?

Mmm, Bike Night. Clearly not as exciting (to me) as little squares of embroidery. Or it has got lost in the exciting events of recent days. Bike night is about things that go brum brum, and I did take a bit of a video of a wet street in Barton. I did take a fancy to a small Italian vintage bike which had broken down at the bottom of the hill. I think it is a Parelli or summat; it's blue, slim, and a 125 cc. About right.

I do like to see the bikes coming down the hill into Barton.

Bikes descending
Elswick motored bike
Happy with this
There were some oldies too, even one that had been made in Barton in the days when cycles were made here. This one is an Elswick. The people who were looking after it were suggesting I could have an engine fitted to my trusty new steed pictured here.                                                                           

This little bike came in at about £220, and it is holding its head up high here among the big boys.

Admittedly, Barton's normally quiet Priestgate looks pretty decorated with these things.  But I don't think my heart is in it, do you?                                                


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Tonight's the night

It's Barton Bike Night! Biggest of its kind in the country, I think. I'm going out on my push-bike - and it will be push tonight I think, because of the crowds we get, thousands - with my camera. Watch this space! (Oh no! She's on a high again! Quick, get the cigars....)

"I wish I'd got drunk at the wedding", or "A little bit of reception history".

I'm so excited about this little square! And so you can imagine what I get like when I am in charge of a hula hoop. That's what was worrying my sons this weekend; it was middle son's wedding, and I announced I'd like to take my hula hoop, and also make a short speech. Terror gripped them!

The little square arose directly out of the wedding, as I had to get in the bath a day or so after it, in order to calm down, (It was their fault! If only someone had got me a big drink of beer instead of the lemonade I got myself, which merely fuelled me to new heights!) and I thought that just the thing to take to read in the bath would be a book on something repetitive, and I selected this, written in 1903 before a lot of exciting things happened:

This got me thinking about psalm 119, which is nothing if not repetitive, and I thought "How lucky I am!" that this thought-bath had been so successful! And what is more, my bath (of yore, that is) even made it into one of the speeches; not mine, rather, one of the two best men remembered that when he was a schoolboy, he once burst in on me in the bath when he was looking for somewhere to be sick. (No, he didn't actually, he must have found somewhere else.)

So I got out of the bath after about 3 hours - yes I had a sleep in there - and ignored all the mess around me and got out mi colouring pencils, ruler and Japanese 0.3mm pencil for accurate drawing, and got to work.

And then it got coloured in, and the whole thing has taken off in my mind. I thought too that I ought to read ps 119 again (I might be implying a lie there - have I ever read all of it before?) And so I did, and got out the commentaries by Davidson, Eaton, Alter, Prinsloo (oh I love the Prinsloo one, it's in the big Eerdmans volume, and he talks about the meaning so well and succinctly, and has a diagram too), Dodd, Weiser (so very mid-20thC on this one!)  and so on.... I have more, but... and of course I'd already got it into my head about it being an acrostic, with 8 verses hanging on each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. And there was more 8-ness yet, with 8 words for 'the law' (sort of) being used, one in every 176 verses except 2 of them. I looked back at my little square (see top pic) and saw how there is a lot of 8-ness about that, look work that out for yourself if interested, and I was pleased.

Ps 119 thread
There was one verse in the psalm that I learnt in childhood, v 105 'Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path', and I had earmarked this as the basis for the idea for this psalm design. I was thinking of having it written out somewhere, (my wonderful sewing machine will do this, you see) but then it evolved that I thought I would instead merely represent it in colours, as I had already bought a reel of cotton specifically for this verse. It goes from dark to light and back again in long repeats, like a light that guides you and sometimes flickers or doesn't show quite everything you think you need. I thought that the author of the psalm was actually quite interested in pattern as well as the stated subject matter, and so for once we would all go with pattern and leave words hinted at in an abstract way. The basis of the design you see is actually the structure of some Arab lattice work (as the book rather unspecifically calls it), and they loved their patterns-not-pictures-and-words too. (S'funny - 'Thy word...' and yet I have decided to leave out the words I first thought I'd put in! 'Thy word' is shelved!)

But there is yet more.... It being the wedding, lovely son bought his mum a bouquet of flowers, and it happened that the colours of cloth I'd chosen for the design were sooooo like them! How does this happen?

Eric, doing things properly with a bone folder as used in bookbinding.
And like my wedding hat ribbon and skirt fabric! And the now-wilting roses I'd put in a bowl for the tea party for our new in-laws! So everything was coming together in uncanny ways. And then I went out of the room, (oooh sorry did I galumph?) and the flowers must have wobbled, and the thing fell off and landed on the floor with a flopppp! (being in one of those clever cellophane vases). So I transferred them from the floor to a vase, and found I had some lovely gold crinkly paper left that I am drying over the side of the cot. This took me back to the hour before the wedding, when my Polyfilla makeup exploded over my cream silk blouse and I had to wash and iron it to be presentable. I just about managed, but should have not ironed it as the designer-crinkles were flattened out of the front of it! I was distraught! I was soon OK though when I proudly walked down to church with my little grandson. (I'm saving the crinkly paper for him; look here he is making envelopes for the rose petal confetti. Yes, he drinks champagne while he works).

The happy couple
And soooooo - the wedding was fab, fab, fab. I know, I know, 'What did you wear?' (A tablecloth actually, the one on the right not the left; the neck gear was what I started to make when I was 14 and I decided to stop now and use it, unfinished, as a scarf. That, or finish it by the time I am 306 at this rate.) Here I am with Father Liz. We were both very happy, as our husbands had just done well, mine had just married his son, hers had played the organ superbly, including that Widor thing.

And the speech? Mine seemed to go down well, written as it was on the back of a credit-card-sized piece of card, its main theme being my son's lovely dimples and his flicked-up eyebrow (aw, fond MUM stuff! Look closely at the pic below of the darling and his lovely bride!), and the naughty story that I seemed to get away with (well they did ask for it!). After that, the hula hoop came out, and I remember very little except madly hula-ing - oh dearrrrrrr - I will go down with the in-laws' guests as 'that mother who took her hula hoop to the wedding'. Why did no-one get me a stiff drink and sit me down? The only thing that finally calmed me was the cigar. I wish I'd had it earlier. Unaccustomed as I am to smoking at all, nevertheless I did it perfectly, and managed to stop before I was sick in anyone's bath or anything.

The wedding, as I say, was fab fab fab, and the bride and groom looked the equal of Wills and Kate any day, and I hope their pic appears big at the end of this post.

Somehow it was all too much for someone with 'my condition' to cope with in any other way, I suppose, and perhaps I could have done worse that to madly hula and dance for 3 hours non-stop. My hula muscles were very sore the next day, but I still managed to have a go outside the vicarage door (see below) and do a demo, as I gathered that people were starting to demand lessons. Only my sister and I could really do it, properly brought up you see, oh, and one bloke whom I didn't manage to photograph. No, the hoop is pink, but the light caught it here rather spectacularly. (She's going to get herself one, by the way.)

The wonderful Carol - she is, you know, more than you will know.
I really worry about me, I know I'm a bit on the 'something'-spectrum, but in the end it worked out, I didn't disgrace myself tooo much I hope (did I boys, did I, oh I do hope not?!), and at the end of it there was such a burst of something-or-other that my design for psalm 119 just flowed out of me. Now to sew it.

I know - the hula video is sideways. I need to lie down sometime!

High or wot? Water - my downfall!

(Psalm 119. The finished piece will be in Southwark Cathedral teashop in November, and probably some progress reports here on the blog in due course. Joolz & Soph are now on their way to Spain on a boat. Or in a boat. On or in? On earth or in earth, as it is in heaven? Oh get me a cigar someone and shut me down.)

Wills & Kate, move over! Joolz & Soph are here now.