Friday, 24 May 2013

Wish List On TV!!

A Scoff & Gritt Production (Griff's nice idea). Very excited we now have our slot on Channel 4. It will be shown as part of Random Acts, 11.05pm on the 3rd June. Can't wait... even if I have seen it many, many times before!... but not as many as poor Griff!!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Idle and Free

I'm really enjoying these Tom Hodgkinson books right now, thanks to Saul recommending them on his blog. They're right up my street, right where I'm at in my head these days. I'm dissatisfied with the status quo (their 85th album was really shit!!). No, not that Quo. My lot's pretty good, I'm not a total wage slave, i work pretty flexibly. I spend a lot of time with my boys and i make plenty of stuff and live a creative life. I'm not a blind consumer. A lot to be thankful for then... but it's not enough... but I am thinking about it and continually assessing. We shall see. For now I'm just going to recommend these books. Within these pages are a lot of the solutions to undoing the mess that is the modern World (well, we know most of it is due to the Banks and pitifully useless Governments!... but we can bypass a lot of that, remove them from our own personal worlds). I get a sense that a lot of people are starting to re-balance, to correct a lot of what has gone wrong, certainly over the last century. We don't need as much, we especially don't need as much of all the cheap disposable, not-really-needed-in-the-first-place crap! They can't sell enough of one of the pieces of crap, that they have to make 8 variations of that crap and then try to convince us that we really need it all. Oh, fuck it.. i can't be bothered to go on about it... and them. I'm off to read a really good book and give the kids some hugs... i need it, just like i need these books. Thanks Saul. Thanks Tom.
Does anyone even read this? the stats tell me so, but i'm starting to doubt it ; )

Marie Rogers

 Just wanted to do a little post on Marie Rogers and show some of her work. When i was starting out down this clay road i looked at so many pots, lots of face jugs and always amongst the ones that appealed to me most were the pots of Marie Rogers. Full of life and energy, not complicated or precious, they looked fun, they looked like she had fun making them. I've seen a lot of beautifully crafted pots, very technical sculptural face jugs... but i just can't stand most of them. They miss the life, focusing more on the purely grotesque. Marie was married to Horace Rogers, who was a traditional potter in Meansville, Georgia. One day while hauling a load of pots his truck was hit from behind killing him. It was then Marie began to practice on his wheel and it went from there. Now I don't know this, but i suspect Marie was a lovely person just like her pots, at least i hope she was.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Vegas Man

Firstly, I need a new camera! I know that, I'm working on it. I picked this up from a thrift store in Las Vegas, in fact they had about 10 different variations and left me puzzled. I would have bought them all if i had the room. this one had no glass, so was most suited to a suitcase!.... and also had the best person! they all featured a photo of a house/ houses and had a portrait floating in the air. At first I just thought it was people and their homes, made sense..... but then i'd see a photo with several houses,  then i got to this one, well that is not a man and his house! What are they??? I wondered if they were real estate agents, but it didn't quite fit. Who knows! I do know i like it, it's cool and it in my house.... oh and he will no doubt appear in my work at some stage! Vegas Man.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Ice Haven

I love this dark, funny little book.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Willy Vlautin

Here's a great album i can highly recommend, especially if you like a good story, I've played it a lot. Willy Vlautin is a member of the band Richmond Fontaine and a great songwriter. He also writes great books and one of them, The Motel Life has recently been made into a film featuring Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch. I really enjoyed the book, nice and bleak!... so I'll be interested to see how the film compares. Northline has to be my favourite book of his though and it came with a great instrumental cd,  a perfect mood setter. I used to sit and read it with the cd on a loop... and happily lose myself in it all. There's also a great spoken word cd called A Jockey's Christmas, which i love, again pretty bleak and a catalogue of misfortunes fall upon the young jockey visiting his family for Christmas. For now though I'd start right here with The High Country.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Life's Regrets

I was reading these from a link on Saul's fine blog, How to leave work, and thought I'd just share the key points. They were collected by Bronnie Ware on her blog Inspiration and Chai . She was a palliative care nurse and these were the 5 most recurring regrets of those nearing the end of their lives. Go read the fuller points on her blog. There's something we can all take from these. On point 4, I'd like to tell my good buddy Craigio out in Thailand, that a package will be on it's way to you soon! Go live your lives, don't just pass through it.

• I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
• I wish I hadn't worked so hard
• I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings
• I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
• I wish that i had let myself be happy

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

TV Adverts - The State Of A Nation?

I've been meaning to do this post since returning from America in January. I have to say i was pretty shocked by some of the adverts on the TV there. A relentless stream of medication/pills,  health insurance (and food.. generally how much you could get for so little money). I had touched on this in a post after returning, but now i want to pick it up again. Over on Tracey's blog recently she was using hulu (not available outside the States..yet!) the adverts on cable were getting too much and she was..

"frustrated with cable programming to the point where we hardly turn on the TV anymore. When we do all there is to watch are ads selling you drugs, talk about drug pushers, the network TV companies are the biggest pushers ever"

Anyway, she got me thinking again. TV adverts are a pretty good insight into the habits and problems of a Nation. I decided I'd keep lists of adverts at various times. I'd be interested in getting some other lists from elsewhere. I'd like to see what you're getting, please comment and list them or email me. This was from a 10.15 pm slot during a movie on Channel 5.

• Pay day loans
• Supermarket fuel/grocery deal
• Laundry soap
• Chocolate bar
• Action movie trailer
• Wood preservative
• Vacuum cleaner
• Home Insurance
• Air freshener
• Emergency cash
• Cider what's it say? Hmm. It's more of a 'compare and contrast' project, so we'll see. I really don't mind crap adverts just flogging their product, i can turn myself off to it all. It is what it is... BUT i just can't handle all these 'ordinary people being honest about products/services'... fuck them! ha. It's such bullshit, it infuriates the hell out of me. I shall have to figure out which one tops my list and post it here. You know it's all fake becuase they always have to say "..actually." at the end of their dumb spiel, just to convince themselves it's a real thought and not them just spewing out their lines for money. Like i said, fuck them! ha. Your turn. Over and out.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

This Is Water

I saw this over on another blog, The Tiny Life and thought I'd share. There's also a book of the same name, which i first read a couple of years ago. It's by David Foster Wallace, a writer who sadly killed himself, in 2008 aged 46, after many years of depression. There are some interesting thoughts about how we live and respond to the world around us.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Coming Soon

Wish List, the animated version, is now complete! Griff's done the sound (with great voices provided by Steve Furst) and finishing touches and it's all good to go. He's done an amazing job, it looks great and i can't wait for you all to see it. Stay tuned and I'll be sure to let you know.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bill Mason - Waterwalker

Here's a beautiful, sleepy little film of one man, his canoe, nature and his art. I doubt many of you will watch the full hour and a half, but i did and i felt better for it. Here's a link to the full film Waterwalker and here's a link to more about Bill Mason and his other films with the National Film Board of Canada. He was mentioned by Ray Mears on one of his shows i was watching. Ray was building a birch bark canoe (beautiful things). It was late but i stayed up to see the full process. I figured it didn't matter how late i stayed up, i would still wake up exhausted regardless. I've always woke up feeling shattered ( i think)... but about 4 years ago it all seemed much worse, so i went to the doctors, then a specialist who diagnosed (figured, guessed...whatever) that i was suffering from Fibromyalgia, part of the Chronic Fatigue/ME thing. Anyway, I've no plans to turn this blog into a Fibromyalgia forum! but i will say this, it's a pain in the ass!... well, mostly my legs. Basically I'm knackered most of the time. My brain feels foggy, like I'm not quite connected to the World. On 3 separate occasions i have been talking to someone and asked their name, only to be told i know them already!! Along with this my legs and feet 'fizz', tingle and feel like pins and needles. It's like having aching muscles that feel totally fatigued, but with nerves that are alive and buzzing. my legs also have severely tender areas, not good when your 5 and 6 year olds are climbing over them, digging their knees in. I also feel too drained to do the whole chasing them thing, being the monster, so you feel like a crappy Dad too. Great. I've not mentioned this all before, so thought I'd actually touch on it. If anyone has any experience of it, or is suffering with it, do leave a comment. I think of trying other things, but where to start?... and who to give your cash to first in the alternative medicine world? In the meantime I just pop the pill, which doesn't really help, but does seem to keep my lowest point a little bit higher than it used to be. Too many pills out there though and it's all going out into the systems, water supply etc, not a good thing. I know that. Anyway, back to canoes... i really want to get in one! I don't know why canoes have popped up on my radar, but I'm going with it. I always wanted to go in a canoe, or little boats when i was a kid, but never actually did. Now i live by the sea and i see folk out there canoeing (or kayaking) along, seems like a nice thing to do. I want to connect with the sea, i live right near it, but i don't swim in it... so i may as well paddle on it! There is a canoe club in town that i might look into, but if anyone knows of someone in Hastings that might like to help me out, just let me know! I'll see where it leads over the year ahead. This post has gone on too long now, so i'll leave it there. I hope you find time to watch some of Bill Mason. Oh, and i hope that your legs are alright : )

Friday, 3 May 2013

Jack In The Green - Bogie

A Bogie and his offering for Wish List
...well wouldn't you if you were dressed like a shrub!
It's Jack In The Green weekend down in Hastings this weekend. Lots of crazy folk dressing up and marching along with a big shrub wearing a flower crown! The Bogies are his attendants and will 'green' anyone they feel like along the way! It's a cool event and one of many that Hastings has to offer throughout the year. There will also be thousands of bikers in town this weekend as it's also the date of the May Day Run, where bikers from all over flock to the town. needless to say, there isn't a lot of room!!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My Words of Wisdom

I was recently asked by the lovely Josie, at the Enquiry Desk, if I would contribute my WOW to their series. There was lots of things I could have said, but I just felt that the temptation to just give up and find something else can be so great, that it's nice to remember that sometimes you just have to keep going and not give up on something you love doing. Anyway, It's now up there along with many other words of wisdom from creative folk. Have a look and browse around the various website links.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Jeffry Mitchell & Brendan Huntley

I first saw Jeffry's ceramic art a year or two ago and it really appealed to me, loose, lots of charm and energy, really nice. I love that hand. I'll eventually make a similar one as a money box, with slot in the palm and an armful of tattoos.
 I've also recently stumbled upon Brendan Huntley and I find the same with his too. I really like what he has going on with the drawings and the pots, it's something I'd like to work through too. That's not to say i like all the pots (though i do like most) but i like what they're doing. I do love this white, red and black head though, it's great to see it's drawn form too and see how these things develop. Anyway, i don't want an over long post, i know what short attention spans you all have!