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Reflections 2018 w41

Version 2

Fluffy has a name, and even though my first attempt at making a puppet was a little off (character), my son’s smile at being given the chance to name and take him home says his eyes saw none of the imperfections. He has been warned not to brush or comb fluffy without a lint roller present, I even hoovered him, but still he sheds.

Now that this project has been done, a commissioned, one thinks it would still be called this if they just supply the canvas, not sure, but the premise is the same, piece of artwork is to be done next.

This is another piece for the B-WELL group, but after hearing what they wanted/thought I was doing it became apparent they were not the same. But one said I would sketch an idea or two and see what I came up with.

Several sketches later an idea was formed and the artworks concept was born.

It has been worked on several more times now, but tomorrow it gets started, with a now narrow window to complete….No pressure.

Just to throw a spanner in the mix one is doing a style that has previously never been attempted by myself. Well not since Junior school…A long, long, time ago.

Should be interesting.


Reflections 2018 w40

It is late so this is going to be a short one.

I have finished sewing my first puppet, all I have to do is place on the eyes when they arrive and it is all done. It has its faults, but I am rather happy with it; after all it was a learning process with some of the equipment as well as the sewing.

I now understand why the fur puppets have the fleece hands, they were a pain to turn inside out, plus in the end the fingers were cut off the foam because one could not get them into the sewn fur hands, fleece has some stretch in it.

The next project is going to dye the fleece I have bought, I could only get white locally, to a colour I think the muppet puppet will look best in. The fur was general fabric fur, here in the uk at least it seems hard to get puppet fleece/fur, once I have more experience I can order from America, I will also have a better Idea as to how many puppets per meter one can get out of the material. One has a couple of interested people who want to buy. It is always nice when a hobby pays the hobbies expenses.

One thing that one wishes one knew before embarking on the fur puppets project, is a simple but effective piece of information. Luckily I already had this piece of equipment.

You will when combing and/or cutting fur, become rather close to a lint roller. Fur, like sand on a beach, gets everywhere, and clings to all manner of clothing. Any one who knows my sisters dog knows how he can at times lie down only to leave a fur coat on the floor when getting up and moving, it looked like we had a visit from his ginger cousin.

If I had not had a lint roller I would have a hell of a job getting the fur off.



Onto the next project…

Another piece of artwork for B-WELL, I have an idea for it, but not for its layout as of yet.

My Writing Kiln Potteries Prize Entery 2018

He Comes

I can hear him downstairs rummaging, searching. It was only a matter of time before he came after me, and now he’s here, going through the house.

I had time to hide, to get into this dark, small, space. The door to the loft is hidden on the inside of my built-in-wardrobe. The smell of the mothballs mixes with the musty air held within. I dare not use my torch for comfort, for fear the light will give me away, so I sit here as he searches, not daring to move, my eyes, tightly shut.

He calls up the stairs, telling me he is coming, taunting; why does he taunt? 

A stair creaks, with it I know he is near the top. My heart is beating against my ribs, thumping so hard I think he will surely hear it, my back presses more against the corner of the walls in a desperate attempt to get further away. He doesn’t know about this place, he can’t know about it, how could he know? 

I’m safe here, as long as I remain silent.

My heart races, the squeak of the door handle now a shrill as its turned; he’s here! I can hear him moving around the room, his footsteps getting louder as he gets closer. The wardrobe door quickly opens, my breathing stops as he scrapes the rails moving the clothing across, my eyes scrunch painfully closed. 

Boo! I found you, your turn to count… “One…Two…Three…Four…”

Reflections 2018 w39

The results are in for the Writing Kiln Potteries Prize; and I did not make it to the shortlist. But it is still a win for me, at least over my inner critic, because I entered a public competition.

With my second attempt at a short story now under my belt I have moved past the self doubt stage, the voice that says it’s not good enough; it was, it still is, and it will be published here on Wednesday.

What will the next one be about?

Who knows.

At the moment one has a poem that will just not gel together, what I want to say and what fits the timing are not co-operating yet. Normally I move onto another one as it sorts itself out, but this one is like Spot vying for attention when I watch a film at treat time. No matter where I move my head, hers moves in front of my eyes, blocking the view. So I am walking away from it for a week or two, to create that space.

Art too is currently on the back burner, Puppet building has taken centre stage. Plans have been downloaded, printed and pasted onto card, from . Two puppet plans are free, and he shows how to build them on Youtube. I recon one could build one so one is going to.

I go and find the materials later this week.

So thats it for the moment, it feels like a car journey that’s half way done, not there yet but far enough away that a cuppa is needed.

Reflections 2018 w38

Well it’s that time of the year again, when I have to admit defeat and replace the crochet blanket and sheet with the sheet and 4tog duvet, yes, the nights are getting colder. It’s also the time I look to see if I can get away to Shell Island in Wales for their final week of camping at the end of October.

Spot and I do not go for the fireworks, although she can be in the mood to watch them from a great distance, but rather the near empty campsite/”island” we share with maybe five other tents, that is until the Thursday, when it starts filling up for the firework night.

The weather we are used to here is usually windy with a high chance of 55mph gusts, so it is a great place to either ruin your tent or prove it. Trust me, once you get back to a tent that is flat to the ground, and you want to keep the tent more than one year, you get a tent that can withstand the winds. Also you start to look for the higher part of the more none-field camping areas, after you have woken up to a moat around your tent, if your unlucky, inside at least part of it.

I now hang my rubbish bag at night, not because of bears like our American cousins, but rather because of local, Welsh, wildlife.

Have in mind this was a two man dome tent standing at a whopping 105cm (41inch) at the very top whilst you read the next part.

I will never forget my first encounter with the rubbish thief, one was disturbed by the rustling of the bag and posed my head out of the top opening of the inner tent doorway, torch in hand, fully expecting to see a rat or a mouse. But instead I locked eyes, with the almost as surprised as me, badger. It lasted for what felt like a minute, until he/she grabbed the bag and made a run for it, the badger came around again the next night and tried to get the dog biscuits, the food was kept in the car after that and I now keep all food in an airtight container.

But my encounter did not end there…

Knowing that it liked the dog food, I waited the next couple of nights, using the red light on my head torch. And when the badger came again I quietly left the tent, the dogs in the tent with my ex, food in hand. Neither of us seemed to know we were supposed to fear each other, and we spent a good half an hour together, enjoying each others company. Me feeding the badger at nearly four foot away, and the badger eating the dog biscuits. The badger left when it had eaten enough and I did not see it again…

That holiday..



Reflections 2018 w37

Anxiety is all in the mind they say, but if you put your mind under too much pressure you get one hell of a headache.

Every so often one goes out of my comfort zone, this is usually connected with a day out with the children, even if one was looking forward to the days activity. I like watching fish, it relaxes me, so when we had the chance to go to Blue Planet near Cheshire Oaks I was looking forward to the tank tunnel as much as the children.

We went to Cheshire Oaks for dinner first, we would not have if we had known about the  building work, my sister has been several times but not being able to see the shops threw out her reference points, and made it feel crowded. I could not believe how noisy it was, even the road with a sparse amount of cars seemed deafening. My coping method was just working, the din fighting for my attention over the headphones. I could not leave the food place soon enough.

That was the start of the headache, it continued to grow in intensity when we timed our arrival just behind a birthday party at The Blue Planet. The dusk like conditions and warmth of the centre had me wanting to go to a corner and sleep, my natural response to   getting rid of a headache, but the volume of the party would have denied me it anyway.

I think it would be a good place to go on a school day, for me at least, as the feeling of trying to stay in front of the party would hopefully not be with the visit at that time. I could watch the stingrays for hours, there is something about the way they swim that is just mesmerising.

The kids seemed to have a good day, and I don’t know about the other two but my lad fell asleep shortly after setting off back to home. I was that knackered I even fell asleep at a reasonable time without my sleeping tablets, a rare event in itself, however I did get woken up by the now splitting headache at around 03:00hrs but was back to sleep after taking more pain killers. Even now as I write this the headache lingers on and probably will do for at least another day if I avoid everything else stressful.

It’s not just the headache, but how the body feels tight, wound up like a spring that does not get the release of pressure that causes the pain. No it’s not pleasant going outside of your anxiety comfort zone.


Reflections 2018 w36

There are certain programs from ones childhood that remain in ones memory, even if the memory of the program has long since gone. For me, one of these is a program called Blakes 7, a British tv show from 1978. It appears the entire show is on youtube.

The title music is how I remember the cast has the all too familiar faces, although one could not have described anyone of them before re-watching the series. Nothing is coming as a ‘surprise’.

The dodgy green screen, ‘classic’ sci-fi music and amateur dramatic acting that was so the rage of the 70’s was to be expected, and although it looks really dated I have not judged it on such cosmetic things.

I am now 4 episodes into series one and for the life of me cannot see what the appeal was for me as a wee nipper. The script comes across more political and of a humanitarian agenda than Star Trek was and the action is, as of yet, less than what I remember Tom Bakers Dr Who was, also running at the same time. But I remember I was an avid watcher of this.

To be honest it may have just been because there was only three channels on the tv at the time, HOW did we manage??? Or it may have been because it was in colour. A lot of the sci-fi films one watched as a child were black and white, you still cannot beat the original war of the worlds though, so I am not sure this would have been the reason. Safire and Steel, also British tv, was in colour but the stories were more along the lines of Dr Who crossed with the Twilight Zone, one story of trapping a creature, which may not have had a face, in a circle of mirrors, because thats how it moved about from person to person – creeped me right out. (This is all from memory and may not have been the story written for the program but rather what my child brain interpreted the story to be)

But there is none of that in this…I’m at a loss. I do not see the appeal now.

Sometimes the memory of something is always better than the thing in the memory being recalled.


Side note…

Why do people place adverts for items to be sold on sites like gumtree, only to leave the advert running weeks after it’s been sold? It costs me money to text them and costs them to text me back, muppets!

I have just checked – the add is still running, 3 days after my contact with them. Why???