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We need to talk about Diane Abbott. Now. (EXPLICIT CONTENT)

June 8, 2017

I haven’t posted lately but feel I must reblog this …


This is not a recipe. I wrote this as a series of tweets today and readers asked for it as a blog post, so here it is. Our politics may differ, so feel free to skip straight back to the recipes if that’s what you’re here for.


Right one of us political writer people needs to do this and it looks like it’s me. Grab a seat. I wanna talk about Diane.
Diane was first elected as an MP in 1987, the year before I was born. She has been dedicated to serving the British public for longer than I have even been alive. Hold that thought. Understand it.
Diane was the first black woman to have a seat in the House of Commons. She MADE HISTORY. Her father was welder, her mother a nurse. How many working class kids do we have…

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Music in the studio on or off?

May 29, 2017

I have a lot of music in mostly cds, my Iplayer in packed and even some albums from collected as a teenager in the 1960s.  It doesn’t get played as much as I would like;  as I listen to the Radio 6 music during the day. However, while working I do find that distracting; so have taken to selecting instrumental music from my collections; but I don’t have very much … Brian Eno, Mogwai and Minor Victories are pretty much played back to back.  I have discovered that some sound tracks are pleasant as background although Twin Peaks is haunting almost disturbing if I remember the program and On the waterfront by Davis Amram is well played.  

I am not sure if the music has improved my work per se but the routine of switching off the radio, choosing and playing while preparing my workspace has added another layer to a nice experience and I have enjoyed working more … and wish I had thought about it sooner.  

an iris …

May 28, 2017

… might be nice this retirement …

May 25, 2017

I have been a full time artist for several weeks; not enjoying being my own boss although I  am discovering some delights.  However, not before I realised that I am hard task master, have outrageous expectations and fail to give praise.  After tears and dramas I have become watchful and learning to be my own best friend.

Especially as I do spend most mornings from dawn in the studio and afternoons preparing for the next day … and evenings pretty exhausted.

On the plus side I have learned a lot; doggedly repeating techniques and exercises with either silk screen printing or learning about my Adana press; is paying off.  Perhaps, the results are not aesthetically pleasing yet; simple things like time management, preparation of papers and inks, adapting a good workspace, drying times and reasonable expectations; all things that were hit and miss have become better controlled with not so many horrible or happy accidents.. I am learning left from right,  top and bottom; so important when printing, registration is improved and other technical disciplines are falling to place.  

So these weeks of focus, when I have been feeling so lost and alone have been bitter sweet.

I am thinking that if I can find ways to soften the load, with say, some outings and simply in the garden with a cup of tea and cakeI might enjoy this retirement malarky.

Last of the tulips ..

May 14, 2017

Round the corner … a little step

May 12, 2017

Today 4 weeks into my retirement; after a time of heart heaving, grief and regret;  I turn a corner and today I put on a skirt! Now, to some they may say ‘So what?’ but my skirts are 14 inches long; 2 inches longer than those I wore in 1966!  Therefore, I am am today in more ways than one (remember no hair) I am exposed to this nasty cold wind; but celebrate a step out of the gloom.

However, while I have missed the work situation I have been working hard as an artist and here is a little linocut that I did yesterday and today I will be trying the image as a screen print.  So happier days ahead!

From the garden this morning …

May 7, 2017