DAYS OUT: Brunch at Mum’s, Walk in Abbots Ripton

Pride of place!

We had a delish’ brunch round at mum’s today. Not been over there in a good while. ‘Twas very nice. Also gratifying to see a number of my ancient artworks about the place!

These aulde artworks are a reminder to me that I ought to start with the art again.

Cottage, Abbots Ripton.

After a lovely lunch, we went for a country walk in Abbots Ripton. Mum’s doing really well with her two new hips! It’s great to see her regaining full mobility.

This whole area – pictured in these galleries – is just part of the De Ramsey estates. Incredibly lovely. But a bit odd. A reminder of the ongoing feudal nature/legacy of England, right down to the present.

I used ‘google lens’ on the unusual large round leaf, pictured in the gallery a note. Whitebeam, apparently.

DAYS iN & OUT: Garden Pond Stuff

Part I

Returning to this project.

Finally getting back into this, after a very long lay-off. This little gallery shows the small bit of progress I made today.

And here a few more pics, just of the garden in general.

Gorgeous rose!
Lush greenery.

Lots of rain, and then lots of sunshine, equals lots of greenery.

Part II

A day or two later…

Had a delish’ curry dish Teresa had cooked a while back, Blue Peter style; here’s one I made earlier.

Mmm… tastosterone!

We had dinner in the garden, and I made a fire.

Built a fire.

And later spent a few minutes more on the pond…

I ‘dug in’ the wee bridge, over the connecting channel of the pond.

Chester checks out the bridge.

What really made my day was when the furry foreman gave it his paws of approval.

The foreman approves!

DAYS OUT: With Dad & Claire, Cambridge

Lunch at Côte, Cambridge.

We went out with dad and Claire today. Lunch at Côte, and The Producers, at the ADC. Great fun! And then a cup of tea and a chat, back at Bramley Way.

Mobile bleedin’ phones, eh!?

I took the above snap because of the ‘cat on the lap’ scenario. Only afterwards did I spot that both dad and Claire are on their infernal phones!

An old painting of mine, at Dad’s.

And here are a couple of galleries of stuff that took my eye whilst in Cambridge.

At Clement’s, Bridge Street.

Only had time to nip in to St Clement’s. not masses to see, to be honest. Some nice ‘arts and crafts’ painted ceiling work.

And a few shots of The Colleges, along Trinity Street:

We had a terrific day out. Thanks Dad, thanks, Claire! Really nice. Lovely, in fact.

MUSiC: Jazz Orgy Continues…

Now playing…

My quest to dig deeper into the Mainstream catalogue continues. I’m especially into the circa’72 stuff. Such as this date by Shelly Manne. This arrived this morning. And I’m part way through a second listen already. Loving it!

WORK: Arty Moments?

At the address, ready to deliver…

I don’t generally post about work. I might post around work. Perhaps most commonly, if I’m visiting a church, say, after a shift. So I’ll refer to work indirectly.

Walking back to Flo’…
… after delivering to a ‘flock of bats’.

I’m frequently prompted to take photos in the Amazon Flex app. And sometimes I’ll also opt to take photos outside the app. Usually I’ll only do the latter if the app isn’t giving me the opportunity to accurately record the delivery.

But every now and again, I’ll see a passing moment worthy of recording, such as my shadow at the top of this post, or the abstractions of a trolley and its shadows, as I’m sat, waiting for my next shift to start.

My fascination with some of these images is no doubt related to the jazz album cover art phase I’m currently going through.

Jimmy Smith and… a shopping trolley!

I love how, in the shot above (an out-take photo from shooting for The Incredible Jimmy Smith at the Club Baby Grand) Smith’s incredible cool sanctifies a shopping trolley. If I had been the photographer – presumably Francis Wolff? – I’d have said ‘Let’s get that ugliness out of shot!

So here’s one of my shopping cart snaps edited a little, with a potential Blue Note style album cover vibe in mind.

Workin’, by Seb Palmer.

And here’s another one…

1st attempt… mnaah!

I include two attempts at funking this photo up, a la Francis Wolff. I think it’s interesting – these are just done on my iPhone – to see how an idea can evolve. Working in Photoshop one could do far more, of course.

And to finish? Going back to where this post started, but now as a cropped hi-contrast black and white image. Quite nice!

DAYS OUT/CHURCHES: St Giles, Tydd St Giles

Revisiting St Giles.

I’m not sure if St Giles was open or not, on my last visit. I think not? But I can’t be sure…

The font is particularly attractive. Nicely and differently carved on each face.

There’s some nice stained glass. Even the plain glass windows are very attractive.

I didn’t have time to linger. And my iPhone was running low on memory, so this had to be a brief and minimalist stop. Didn’t even go look at the separate tower.

A parting shot, over Flo’s roof.

DAYS OUT/CHURCHES: St John’s, Terrington St John

Mackerel Skies over Terrington St John’s.

I’ve passed this church numerous times of late. Always meaning to stop and take a look. But never yet doing so. And so today, I did. It’s down a little track, of a B-Road.

I didn’t clock as much interest or detail as some other recent churches. One thing I did like is the repeat pattern carved into the stone steps leading up to the altar.

Not a podium placing church, perhaps. But in its own humble way very nice. I like the ‘box’ pews. And the main window is great.

… and out.

As I left St John’s, I felt blessed. What is about church visits? It’s certain that for me I prefer to be alone. The peace, the solitude, the aesthetic wonderland. It’s always best on a sunny day, as both nature and human artefacts really sing in the sunshine.

BOOK REViEW/ART/MUSiC: California Cool, Marsh & Callingham

This arrived this morning.

Having something of an orgy of Blue Note appreciation right now. And really loving it. This has put me in the mood to explore more jazz, esp of the ‘50s-through-‘70s era.

And not just the music, either. The whole shebang. Record cover design, clothes, and whatever else!

I’ve grouped the above black and white photos together in a way they’re not in the book. They’re all by William Claxton. Claxton also contributes an intro, and is the subject, in part, of ‘Clickin’ with Clax’, an intro by Leonard Feather.

Many of the covers features herein also feature is photography. Anyway, here are a few selections that I either love, or find intriguing.

I have quite a lot of the music represented here. But there’s also a lot – both in these selections – but even more so across the book as a whole, I haven’t heard. Exploring the visual side of these recordings can lead one into trying out the sounds.

This is a must for a framed bit of wall art!

David Stone Martin was a terrific artist. So much so that early Blue Note album covers are clearly indebted to his style.

Later it could be argued – altho’ Clax emphasises a different ‘West Coast’ tradition (both in terms of musical and visuals aesthetics) – the influence would flow the other way.

For me, another must have for our walls.

This final gallery of images, below, is to show that it wasn’t always super-cool and über hip. Altho’ maybe that was the feeling at the time? They are all – save one or two, perhaps? – good covers. Some fun, some more serious. But I’d argue this lot – esp’ Exploring The Future – haven’t aged as well as the stuff in the foregoing galleries.

And to finish? Another essential cover for the framed wall art category:

Love it!

ART: De Kooning, Again…

Untitled XXV, 1982.

As is so often the case, stuff I’m interested in happens without my being aware of it. In this case I’m talking about a London exhibition of Late Paintings, by Willem de Kooning.

The show itself took place in Autumn, 2017, at the London gallery Sarstedt. See more on that here. There was an exhibition catalogue, now sold out. Which I’d love to have.

What a great cover!

Most of Skarstedt’s publications are on artists I rather dislike, po-mo’ art wank. But there are a couple of others I’d love to see: