CLOTHES, etc: Green! Part 2


Well… I pulled the trigger, and ordered me those green tops, from I got a bit of discount, and free shipping, as I ordered four items. These beauties:

A jacket (2XL).
Long sleeved shirt (XL).
Short sleeved shirt one (XL).
Short sleeved shirt two (XL).

I’m hoping they’ll arrive in time for my b’day! And we’ve booked a table at an Italian restaurant. So I’m chuffed!

And to fund this sartorial extravagance? I’ve booked two extra shifts, delivering for Amazon. Cool!

CLOTHES, etc: Green! Part 1

I’ve got a thing for green clothing right now! My 51st birthday is looming. And I really want some new clothes, to put a little cut in my strut, a bit of glide in my stride!

I love the T-shirt/vest/top, whatever the thing above is! Need to get my bloated belly in shape though, to really enjoy sartorial splendour!

I love these khaki green Converse trainers. Over recent years I’ve developed something of a sneaker fetish!

Oh, man… I sooo dig this green shirt! I’m thinking that a short shift I do delivering for Amazon can net me me one of these items a pop. Five or six extra shifts, and I can have all of these… if I so choose! The temptation is too strong!!!

I love both colour, shape and pattern of this shirt sleeves top. Is this what Los Yanquis would call a vest?

I’m really not one for ‘trackies’, to be honest. But I do love this stylish zip-top. Although I’m not gigging at present, I’m intending to start making drum videos. Partly purely for pleasure. Partly as a means to improve my playing, and partly to make more teaching resources available to pupils. And some snappy togs for drum videos is a definite must!

Okay, so these aren’t green. But, hot damn! They are super sexy. I jes’ gots to get me some of these!

Back to the green theme. Above, some really nice Adidas Hamburgs! And below, a ladies sweater that I doth covet!

Fannily emuff I am actually getting a ladies jumper for my Xmas or birthday, quite soon. In yellow:

Looking for’ard to wearing this baby!

DAYS iN: Holidays – Staycation, Day 1


The plan for today is extremely modest; lazy morning, late lunch, a trip to Huntingdon to look at antiques and walk by the river, maybe sit and read. And poss’ a movie back home with dinner, to finish.

We had booked a small cottage via AirB&B. But, for the first time ever, we had to cancel. Times are tight! And, by the looks of things, likely to get worse. We would only have bee. Just outside Norwich. So not far! But instead we’ll be home.

Pancakes… and look at that expression!

We’ll try and make it feel like a holiday with little day trips. Like the one we’re about to leave on now… Just finishing a moules marinierre and pancake lunch, and then orff we go!

Oh, and a literal footnote; yesterday some Brazilian flip-flops arrived. No doubt just in time for the change from summer to autumn!

Later we went for a walk along the river in Huntingdon. The sun came out here and there, and we had a picnic type snack, and sat and read in the car!

A venerable aulde tree.
Boaty folk enjoying the river.
Being by rivers is so calming.

WORK/MiSC: Today’s Office, Groovy New Tee

Loving my new Steely Peanuts T-Shirt!

Today is apparently an official heatwave. And, dang-nab it, it sho’ is hot!

Today’s office, #1.

Having just recently got my beloved car back on the road, after a cam-belt failure (which I repaired myself!), just being able to drive to work – last week I taught the same day’s workload using public transport and a taxi to get around – is bliss.

And, I’m realising that my life really isn’t too bad at all. There are things that need tweaking. Most obviously a greater income, and a concomitant lessening of expenditure!

But by and large my actual work is both a doddle, and usually really quite pleasant. The kids I teach are all quite charming. And whilst the range of ability is wide, and weighted towards the lower/lesser end (today is a two primary schools day), they’re all both pleasant and enthusiastic.


MEDiA: Waterwalker, 1984

Wow! I do love YouTube, for giving us all the chance to stumble across gems such as this. Thanks also to the NFB, or National Film Board of Canada.

Bill Mason, who made this film, and ‘stars’ in it, is Canadian. I have Canadian family and ancestry, on my dad’s side. So these facts set up something of a sympathetic resonance for me.

Then there’s Bill Mason himself, the man: he is, or rather was, an outdoorsman and artist, who made, I’ve subsequently discovered, numerous utterly gorgeous and fascinating films, of which this is one of the best.

The chief charms of this are simple yet kaleidoscopically rich, like the environment in which the film is set, on and around Lake Superior.

One of the things Bill addresses, a vexed issue for me, is spirituality. This was the only note struck in this otherwise perfect reverie of sound and vision, nature and culture, that – if not necessarily jarring – gave me pause for some (Indian!?) reservations.

But I’d like to take this post as an opportunity to consider a few things, and there are many, that this film either touches upon directly, or stirred in me by association.

First there are the ‘renaissance man’ and self-reliance aspects. Bill, who formerly worked as a ‘commercial artist’, was a conservationist, famed canoeist, artist, writer, family man, and all sorts. I love all of that! I have my own aspirations to living a multi-faceted life. Richer, one hopes -not fiscally perhaps, but in other better more important ways – than the monomaniac furrows our society drills us into pursuing.

So, there are many things Bill’s example encourages: to spend more time in, and pay more attention to, nature, and indeed all our environments. Art, get up, and out, and make some. Buy or build a canoe; get out and start messing about in the water!

It was also interesting to learn that Bill’s health wasn’t terrific. A sickly child, he has severe asthma all his life. And yet he didn’t allow this to stop him from adventuring. Maybe his derring-do contributed to his early demise? But then again, maybe not? And at least he lived a rich and inspiring life while he lived.

Some might laugh reading this next bit. And it may indeed sound facile. But I truly couldn’t care less! And that’s the fact that I like his style. And I’ve gone as far as to add elements of it – some were already there, others just a little tweak in already beloved themes – to my own sartorial repertoire.

I already had the neckerchiefs (though mine are too small!), and brown leather walking boots, and many a checked shirt. But the red outdoorsman socks are new! And so too is the very particular red and black check ‘lumberjack’ shirt!

Bill’s particular style of art – he favours palette knives over brushes, and cites J. M. W. Turner as his chief inspiration and influence – is terrific, albeit not entirely to my normal tastes. But that he does it all, is inspiration. It was interesting to see that he, like myself and several artists I’ve known personally, is highly self-critical bout his work, and often destroys what others. Might regard as decent work, because he’s unhappy with it.

Then there’s music. In other Mason films he strums guitar or plays harmonica. It amazingly, one might add. And his family aren’t exactly fulsome in their appreciation (does this remind any of us of our own domestic musical life? Or is it just me!?). But for Waterwalker, the music is supplied by (?) and (?). (?) is a star in his own right. And the music totally suits the subject!

Some of it, such as the actual ‘theme tune’, might induce cringing amongst some listeners. I’d understand why. It has a ‘new agey’ earnestness. But I love it.

Another facet of the whole thing that some might find they react to differently than I do, is the whole tenor of it all. It’s definitely dreamy, romantic, and perhaps even somewhat solipsistic? And it’s no surprise such movies helped created a cult of Bill Mason. But as a ‘fellow traveller’, and sympathetic romantic introvert soul-mate, I love it all. As did critics, numerous of his films, inc’ this one, winning a variety of awards and accolades.

Also interesting to me, is how stuff like this leaches into other areas. For example, I noticed, whilst watching a recent Jack Stratton ‘Holy Trinity’ episode, on YouTube, that he had created a logo and a whole invented Vulf Films thing suspiciously akin to the Canadian NFB (National Film Board) doodad.

Just as Bill Mason’s film is simultaneously about following one’s own individual and sometimes lonely paths, it’s also about connections. Be they to nature, or each other, immediate or indirect. Love it!

CLOTHES/MiSC: T-shirts as Signals

My most recent acquisition in this line.

As a kid I had a few T-shirts – only a very few, mind – that proclaimed something.

One such was a Blackfoot one. They were a US ‘Native American’ rock group, most famous (I think?) for a track called Morning Dew (‘Mourning Jew!?’ says my inner Woody Allen!).

A bit weird, that one. Acquired primarily for the colourful design, at a time when being a rocker/hippy, of sorts, was my intent! I did like the group, or at least the few songs of theirs I’d heard. But in truth, a Thin Lizzy T-shirt, something I now have, but didn’t back then, would’ve been a better representation of my tastes and listening preferences!

I then went through a very long and, retrospectively, rather bleak ‘no logo/label’ phase. A combo of anti-advertising sentiment and a semi (pseudo?) political stance.

Nowadays I’ve relaxed back into a childish glee in using my chest as a communications platform. And I’ve slowly but surely been amassing a collection of T-shirts whose sole porpoise – aside from temperature regulation and public decency – is to let the world know a little about me, without I have to open my yap.

There are still a number of things the puritanical politico-moralist in me eschews; I don’t like brand labels, nor am I fan of slogans. Maybe it’s a legacy of the artist-illustrator-designer part of me? But I prefer T-shirts that are primarily visual. Sometimes, as in the Moog or Lizzy tees, this design is textual. But mostly I prefer pictures or ‘designs’.

Some of these purchases have been happier than others. I’m quite disappointed with how my Mr Natural Robert Crumb T-shirt is fading with each wash. And a couple of Herbie Hancock designs I got (from China, most likely?) are kind of great, design/image wise, but are made from hideous synthetic material (the sort often used for football shirts). I definitely prefer good ol’ plain cotton!

Pics: Herbie tees…

My most recent acquisition – whilst pictured at the top of this post, it hadn’t actually arrived when I started drafting it – is an Impulse record label logo job. I really wanted the maroon variant, with cream disc, etc, the above of the two pictured below. But that wasn’t available. So I went instead for the brown and orange variant below that. Still nice!

My preferred but unavailable choice.
The variant I eventually ordered.

This whole trend towards forlornly broadcasting one’s interests, perhaps esp’ so since I turned 50 (Jan’ this year… gulps!), might seem a bit pathetic. But I reckon I’m past caring!

Here’s a mini gallery of some of the designs I have. What does this little collection say about me, I wonder? I’d like to think it’s just a bit of harmless fun. But Teresa seems to be more of the ‘what are you wasting money on those for?’