wind, wind go away…I want to cycle another day

Well it did drop today which is fortunate when you have a market stall. However its going to be back tomorrow gusting again. I’m going to Newcastle and I would have had a lovely bike ride into town but not when its gusting – not near traffic – so I’ll have to use the bus and walk. I’m really missing the buzz I get from cycling, will just have to wait. Its either been wind, ice, wet ice or ice and wind! Bad combinations. I have a friend who describes not being able to run the long distances she used to run as being like missing a really dear friend  – she cycles but cycling doesn’t give her the buzz she got from running. Its really difficult to explain to folks who just don’t get it – what the experience is like – when you feel really down and whatever your activity is – running, cycling, swimming, martial arts etc  it will lift you out of depression. Its both a refuge and a challenge at the same time – it builds confidence and diminishes anxiety – releases lots of amazingly useful chemicals that just make you feel good. However requires lots of practice – like meditation. So when the elements prevent you doing what you love doing its not good.

I’ve been looking at quotes about the wind in some sort of stupid attempt to try and make it go away – this quote doesn’t really do that but its fab –

“The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.”
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca    




Basil Bunting’s Adana printing press

I’ve bought the late Basil Bunting’s Adana printing press – the Adana Quarto Horizontal Platen press – just needs a bit more work to clean it up. I’ve sussed the way it works – freed up rusted bits and oiled the moving parts. I’ve temporarily removed the rollers to clean them. It is accompanied by much of the odds and sods needed to print – typefaces, leads, chases and furniture.

Confess to knowing nothing about Basil Bunting other than he had a connection to Newcastle and wrote poetry. I will try to find out more. I do know that he used the Adana press to print his poems onto postcards in a 6pt sans serif typeface .

It is strange knowing that I am getting to know the press that he used.

The press is so simple and very effective at relief printing using the lever that pushes up against the solid metal arch creating a large amount of downward pressure with very little effort.  My Adana instruction leaflet is very clear about this – if the packing has been done correctly use only the minimal amount of pressure. I like that – it makes long runs much easier.

I’m almost ready to print – it just needs a very good clean throughout and I need to work out the fine adjustment to get the correct pressure on the sheet of paper. Magic.





Yesterday wed 13th Jan 2016 I spent time drawing in Newcastle Central Station before boarding a train to Edinburgh for a gallery trawl – in the sunshine!!! Came back wanting to start painting with watercolour again ~ to try to move the rolling sky with colours? Arthur Melville exhibition.

The sun brought conversations with other people I will never probably meet again ~ waiting for trains ~ we exchanged information some examples as follows:

Penshaw to Tynemouth by steam train a regular service approx 60 years ago.

David Guest TV celeb & of Liza Minnelli husband fame – I’m sure he will do his own entrepreneuring or whatever he does?very well. Stays at the Vermont Hotel Gateshead quite frequently and goes regularly into the Bridge public house – not to drink alcohol – he’s an alcoholic recovering – he goes in to talk and apparently he’s a very nice chap.

I drew the Newcastle Central Station clock – what can I say – one of two ? are there more? – iconic. While I’m drawing I’m also very aware and tuned in to the soundscape – the whistling of the guards was very entertaining –  a whistling conversation that was not about the trains, maybe. The drawing will be a new card for sale this sunday 17th Jan 2016 at my stall in Tynemouth.

That Leaving feeling – love the music and the video – Tindersticks and Lhasa de Sela ~

Take three Girls on a light flight

Take three Girls – you will be of a certain age –  60ish plus to remember Take three Girls. A BBC series 1969 to 1971  – extremely good drama set in London about 3 young women setting out on their very different lives. I was 15 and found it so absorbing – and the theme music ‘Light Flight’ by Pentangle and all the incidental music throughout the show. Not too long ago I went to a gig in Cockermouth – several of the original Pentangle musicians were performing and they played Light Flight. The reason it popped back into my head as a very good memory is that I was sent an email from Agustin Marti – the proprietor (and my cousin’s husband) of the amazing Faristol hotel/music bar in Altafulla near Tarragona in response to my request to book 3 nights in September this year. A return visit with my 2 pals Donna and Myra. We all want to visit more Gaudi architecture – so Barcelona then Altafulla – we want to explore Tarragona complete with ancient Roman amphitheatre – 7 miles from Altafulla. He replied to my request – oh yes ‘Take three Girls’ and immediately this long buried memory swept back in complete with music.