Is there a place you regret leaving ? My parents created a florist shop in a terraced house, we lived in a one bedroom flat above then borrowed £7,000 from Aunt
Alice to buy 8 acres of a 12' high walled garden surrounded by woods
called Bold Hall Nursery. It cut me off from the world, made me different from other
children, so at 18 I wanted to escape from it. When my parents
had to retire due to health, they were given bad advice by a
land agent who told them, 'You won't get much for it, small holdings are
not popular, its acres and acres under glass that sell.' So a heating
engineer offered £70,000 and they thought they were lucky to get that.
He took down the greenhouses, lawned the growing areas and added Tree
ferns and a rock pool. 20 years later he sold it as my parents should
have sold it, as a cottage on a beautiful Victorian garden, for £600,000
to a landscape designer. Me, my mum and two men who worked there were
invited to see it. The heating engineer had enhanced it and I could
still wander off and stand in the wood shed and in the remaining '90
foot' greenhouse leaning on the wall, remnants of the smell of my dad's
lush exotic stock bench at the far end. When we got to the arched 1844
entrance, a long path lined with dark green Hollies and inner lined with
rare variegated Hollies, I said, "Oh no ! he chopped down the holly
trees !" The landscape designer said, "Oh that was me, they had got so
big and we wanted the path wider". What traffic would be going along
there which was wider than our tractors ?
The Hollies were 4' stumps and
he had ripped out the variegated Hollies. The next Christmas Day night I
drove to the entrance in the lane, I just wanted to stand on the ground
by the moat, to feel it and look across to the archway in the wall.
Close to the Archway, overwhelming it, there was a high wall of new brick
at 90 degrees to the old red brick. Dave said the new owner had split
the nursery into two, sold off our house and an L shape of land
surrounding over a quarter of the outside of the walled square including the orchard.
He had built a house for himself on the site of the potting shed inside
the wall and had stripped out the woods, trees were now dotted. I didn't
visit again. I strive to get it back for them even
though they are not here, not that place, now fragmented, and a million is a
tall order but something towards that place.
I have some
difficulty knowing where the nursery is, it is my reality yet it is not
there how it was, its there but not there so where is it ?.
I try to think of this advice. Heidi
has to leave to go to school. "I wish I could take everything with me
Grandfather." "Heidi, the mountain is inside you, you carry it with
"Sometimes you don't know when you're taking the first step through a door until you're already inside." Ann Voskamp. One thousand gifts: A dare to live fully, right where you are.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend, I was still confused about selling my home even though it had been on the market for 2 months. All the leaves came out creating a goldfish bowl of green, causing me to doubt my decision, yet I wanted to move and I still didn't know where to.
He said, "Isolate what you want the most and everything else will fall into place. Don't try to do too many things, you know, a bit of this, a bit of that, otherwise you'll get nowhere."
After a few weeks I realised, though my Victorian apartment is beautiful, my goal is to live in my own detached home in a big garden, lush with trees and for the outside to be the same as the way I decorate the inside, in mid century modern. If I stay, nothing changes. To do this I need to sell while prices are still good, buy something which needs refurbishing, design the interior and hopefully, selling it will be something towards my dream home. Before I was aware of them, I have actually had elated dreams of being in 1950s, 1960s houses layered with rooms of organic shapes in white and rock with areas of curved seating. Sometimes I see architect designed mid century modern house interiors on Instagram and think, that looks like the house in my dreams. Though this might be a grand dream and not to be ruled out, I would be happy with an abandoned fire or petrol station, an old BT building, a Populist Modernist house or a shack in a woods.
"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." Swami Sivananda. He writes about the earth being made up of tiny grains of sand, the ocean is made up of tiny drops of water, life is made up of tiny acts. I think of it that all the small acts could escolate into success or it could come from one or any of those small acts.
I came across an article in Red magazine Aug 2017 which clicked with me as a possibly helpful exercise for clearing worries.
Take a deep breath in and slowly count to 7. As you do, imagine you are inflating a balloon and filling it with your fears and worries.
Counting slowly to 11, breathe out and imagine you are letting that balloon go, along with your negative thoughts.
Watch it float away.
"If you're your own authentic self, you have no competition. Focus on your strengths." Scott Stratten of Unmarketing.
I read that after loosing everything, being blacklisted and bankrupt, Richard Blackwood contemplated suicide but ressurrected himself from the wilderness in his 3 year Eastenders role and upcoming film. Last week, in interview with Lorraine he said, "You might have a plan but God's like, no, I've got a plan so I'm just focusing on what's happeing right now. When it comes to things in life that you want, it's not always going to be smooth sailing, I was bankrupt, people would have thought he's gonna bow out now, it's testament to the fact, if you want something bad enough, you have to go to the parts that are a bit dark and misty."
On First Dates a beautiful young lesbian woman is asked about her family. She explains that her mother hung herself, "When something happens like that you just have to touch yourself and let it settle in pieces, bit by bit."
May 22nd 2018
Favourite 10 TV Series:
The Avengers Jan 1961 - Sep 1969 Sydney Newman, Brian Clemens, Albert Fennell.
The Prisoner Sep 1967 - Feb 1968 Patrick McGoohan
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Sep 1969 - Mar 1970 Dennis Spooner
Twin Peaks Apr 1990 - Jun 1991. May - sep 2017 David Lynch, Mark Frost
The X Files Sep 1993 - Mar 2018 Chris Carter
Star Trek Original Series Sep 1966 - Jun 1969 Gene Rodenberry
UFO Sep 1970 - Mar 1973 Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, Reg Hill
Dangerman Sep 1960 - Jan 1968 Ralph Smart
Thunderbirds Sep 1965 - Dec 1966 Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
Afterlife Sep 2005 - Nov 2006 Stephen Volk
Indian in the Garden of Opal Essence. San Francisco
View full image in the page Peace. Gardens. Statues
May 17th 2018
In the film Paper towns, a girl disappears, leaving clues behind her. A boy who spent an exciting evening with her, follows the clues, sits and waits in the darkness of a derelict souvenir shop. She appears, "where have you been ? " he asks. "Everywhere, nowhere. You have to get lost before you find yourself. " He wakes up.
I was thinking about why people say they are going travelling to find themselves and the idea of finding yourself in travel and other places. We discussed this at a place I once worked and a woman who was funny said, "but what if I go off and find myself and don't like what I find ? ! " When someone goes travelling or to somewhere else, it is so different that they are forced to use their own wits and other parts of themselves they didn't know before, like meeting a new person in themselves, maybe that's where this experience and idea comes from. It is also an intense intake of new sights, smells, sounds, feelings that shake up and question the mind, giving a new perspective.
May 8th 2018
The photograph below is called Statue of Opal Essence. San Francisco. I photographed her at the house of Opal Essence in her magical garden with many strange statues, possibly she is possibly Aquarius. I stayed at Opal's house on my first lone trip to sf, arriving late, Opal was out and I mistakenly chose her bedroom instead of the guest one. A huge comfortable bed where I had a very vivid spiritual dream then the next day moved to my cosy cubby hole den room, stepping on crates and planks to reach it as that part of the house had flooded that night. Sitting with Opal one night by the fire, fascinated by her stories and the shells and keys slightly jangling in her hair, I told her about my dream. She said it was strange because other people who had stayed in her bedroom had talked about similar dreams. I explained about on my previous trip, my connection with the Guadalupe statue at Mission Delores and the story of Juan Diego's vision and how I had begun to notice how her iconic picture seemed to be everywhere in the city. She smiled slowly, "You know why this neighbourhood is called Visitacion Valley ?... because of the visitation of Guadalupe ? " "I didn't know when I booked it. " A smile beamed between us as a sensation rose inside me. The Spanish name for the valley comes from a large land grant called Rancho Cañada de Guadalupe la Visitación y Rodeo Viejo. Legend has it that in 1777 when friars were lost in the Bay’s fog, as it lifted, they found themselves in the valley on the same day as the feast of the Blessed Virgin and some suggest they saw a vision on a rock. View other strange wonderful places in the city in the photography page San Francisco.
April 30th 2018
Favourite 11 Spectacular TV Theme Tunes:
The Avengers by Laurie Johnson
The Prisoner by Ron Grainer
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) by Edwin Astley
Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti
The X Files by Mark Snow
Star Trek by Alexander Courage
Thunderbirds by Barry Gray
Dangerman by Edwin Astley
Man in a suitcase by Ron Grainer
UFO - and strange sounds throughout by Barry Gray
Black Books by Jonathon Whitehead
With such spectacular, odd themes, who would have thought Barry Gray was from Blackburn, Edwin Astley from Warrington, Jonathon Whitehead from Denton or maybe that adds a touch of the bizarre. Gray 1908 - 1984 also composed themes for Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlett and The Mysterons, Joe 90 and Space:1999.
Edwin Astley 1922 - 1998 served as a musician in the 2nd World War and also composed The Saint, The Baron and Department S.
Ron Grainer also composed the theme for Doctor Who and Tales of the Unexpected. His theme for The Prisoner was originally rejected by Patrick McGoohan until he speeded it up.
April 23rd 2018
"If you think Champagne, you'll drink Champagne. " I heard Jane MacDonald say it a few years ago, maybe a cliche but it has worked for her, a happy relationship, tv series Cruising, theatre show tour, a BAFTA, her own tv show, her career seems to have rocketed.
April 17th 2018
"Let's make a decision for today and live with it and see how we feel, then make another decision, and see how we feel. "
I saw this in a tv drama and thought, when faced with a decision that seems impossible to make, this is a good way to try out one way or the other, not to act on it but to live like the decision has been made, the swinging between options stops, the thinking stops and then it may be more clear if that feels right. If it feels right, it could continue to be sure before acting on it. If it doesn't feel right or clear, the next day, live like the other option has been chosen, decided and see how it feels.
April 11th 2018
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. "
Arthur Robert Ashe Jr.
(1943 – 1993) was the first African American professional tennis player to win three Grand Slam titles, Wimbledon, US Open and the Australian Open and to be selected to the United States Davis Cup Team. He is still the only African American man ever to win the US Open and Wimbledon, a memerising match against Jimmy Connors.
A great statement to have in mind when you get overwhelmed by problems and possibilities in what you are trying to achieve.
April 2nd 2018
"I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night, 'there must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me dreaming of being a movie star', but I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest. " Marilyn Monroe
Mar 22nd 2018
The mermaid at the entrance of Portmeirion village looks serene in blue light. I asked Robin Llywelyn about her. He said, "The mermaid from the roof of the Observatory tower is now at the entrance, at the old tollgate. Clough’s plan for the Observatory Tower (often called the Camera Obscura) included a mermaid cut out on the apex, similar in size and style but holding something above her head. We found the sheet metal cut out in the builders yard (known as ‘the compound’) probably about 25 years ago, it was covered in rust from head to toe but a bit of cleaning revealed etched lines delineating the main features. A local signwriter/artist called Nigel Simmons used these lines to recreate what we thought she would have looked like in the 1930s. No photos survive of this mermaid in situ, if you consider the size, weight and surface area of this cutout and the strong winds that blow in off the estuary I think one can fairly well imagine that she would not have lasted the winter on the top of the Observatory Tower before either bending to the wind or crashing to the ground, to be replaced (if she was ever installed, as no evidence exists that she was actually used, perhaps the
impracticality might have become apparent before she was hoisted up the tower) by a much more wind friendly star. "
View full image in the photography page Portmeirion in right menu.
Mar 12th 2018
Sleepless in Seattle. 1993. While Annie in Baltimore is trying on her mother's wedding dress for her marriage to Walter, her mother talks about meeting her husband, "I looked down and I couldn't tell where his hand ended and mine begun and I knew. "
Annie asks, "Knew what ? " She replies, " I knew we would be together forever. " The sleeve of her silk dress tears.
Sam in Seattle speaks about his wife who died, "Maggie, she made everything beautiful. A million tiny little things and when you add them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together and I knew it, I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home...I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and it was like magic. "
After hearing Sam talk on the radio, while watching an old movie, Annie says to her friend Becky, "Now that was when people knew how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance... nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was... " Becky says, "A movie! That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie. " Then....
Mar 5th 2018
"If you believe in something, stick to it, you might not get there, but the journey will be incredible. " A rare saying by Michael in the quirky comedy 'Mum'. Cathy is trying to move on with her life after the death of her husband but is in no way helped by surrounding family and friends, providing only their own problems and put downs and mentioning how Michael is in the way, hanging around, a man who is actually, almost silently, smilingly, the only one helping her. Series 2. Episode 6.
Feb 26th 2018
Grief. I saw something a friend wrote about her grief and it reminded me of the experience I had after my mum and dad died, I would be ok and not even thinking about my dad then a picture of him would come from nowhere together with sharp sadness in my heart, permeate my whole being and I would be crying instantaneously, invloluntarily. They got further apart as time went on but in another way I kind of liked having them because it was an extreme connection to him, I got to experience his presence for a few minutes.
Feb 19th 2018
Photographic Print of Motel Capri on Greenwich Street at Buchanon in the Marina neighbourhood, San Francisco. View full image in photography page San Francisco. This charming pastel coloured motel was built in 1957 and has retained it's retro façade and signage; a fantastic example of late 1950’s motel architecture. Reviews say it is a great budget hotel, very clean, quiet and friendly with free parking. Sun spots are not photographically correct but I like their ethereal effect and remind me of the faded colour and sun spots of old photographs and cine film. It is located on a quiet, residential street in the centre of San Francisco’s Marina District near Union and Chestnuts Streets, both lined with upmarket stores, bars, restaurants and cafés. On Chesnut there is an old town feel with the great Marina Deli, the beautifully restored façade of Presidio Cinema and 14 blocks from Motel Capri is The Palace of Fine Arts, saved from the World Fair of 1915, a fictional ruin reflected in a lake. Close by are Park Presidio and views of Golden Gate Bridge.
To view my Cool and Retro Guide to San Francisco click the Pyramid icon above.
Feb 12th 2018
I watched episodes of a TV mini series called Blonde, a fictional biography about the life of Norma Jeane Baker and how she became Marilyn Monroe. It portrayed a complex, troubled, vulnerable woman, used and manipulated by those around her, causing a deepening unhappiness. Her photographer, as if being interviewed, says, "Her problem wasn't that she was a dumb blonde but that she wasn't blonde and she wasn't dumb. "
Marilyn Monroe Quotes:
"I never wanted to be Marilyn - it just happened. Marilyn's like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane. "
"I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else. "
"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. "
Feb 5th 2018
"Something happens, you have to look a bad thing in the eye. Break the spell. " Endeavour. Series 5. Episode 1. Joan Thursday to Morse after her diificult time in London. When I heard it I wrote it down, it's abstract but rings true.
Jan 29th 2018
Another film on Chanel 81 Talking pictures late at night was Bitter Harvest, released by Rank in 1963. Like Beat Girl, it looks at the way women were, at the time, somewhat owned by men and struggling to find their own path but often jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Janet Munro plays an innocent young woman from Wales who escapes from the role of carer for her father and aunts and the clutches of a married man then is unknowingly taken to London, corrupted and left there. She is rescued by a nice man who lives in a garret, who nevertheless has touches of violent anger. Instead she wants fame and glamour as an actress, which she achieves but at the cost of being a kept woman. It is sad that this film reflects her real life self destruction, her sparkling career was finished 5 years after this film due to her drinking problem, she married Ian Hendry, an alcoholic, the early star of The Avengers and died the year after their divorce at the age of 38. Other links to The Avengers are that it was directed by Peter Graham Scott, Laurie Johnson's music score, played by Acker Bilk, creates poignance to Jennie’s turbulent life and it was produced by Albert Fennell, a writer and producer of The Avengers.
Jan 22nd 2018
Phoenix Mural 1. San Francisco.
I have discovered a forgotten world of British cinema on Freeview Chanel 81; strange quirky dramas with a gritty realism and a dark quality, at times touches of surrealism and the grotesque, even though Adam Faith may be singing a song in a beatnik cafe. They are from my favourite period of 1959 - 1961, or just before or after and are wonderfully refreshing, in their style or simplicity ? but are not simple, their clarity of storyline perhaps. The Human Jungle in 1965 begins inexplicably with a beautiful Joan Collins slowly stripping off her clothes, striptease steps interspersed, walking naked with a glazed expression through a London underground in a manner which is almost Lynch Twin Peaks. The film explores the mind, mental health and psychiatry with a great performance from Joan Collins and a jazzy moody soundtrack by John Barry. Beat Girl in 1960 stars Gillian Hill as a teenager who enters a strip club to seek revenge on her new step mother by finding and revealing her past. A stripper is writhing on the floor over a twisted column of fabric which seems a little shocking, even now, and Christopher Lee as the club
manager starts to entice her into a dark world, with darker consequences. This was John Barry's first film commission performed by the Barry Seven, Adam Faith and Shirley Ann Field, who also starred in Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Jan 15th 2018
"You've got to think that any failure is a step along the way to success. " TV Drama. Unknown.
Jan 8th 2018
A simple but profound quote for a new year, new start: "The beginning is always today. "
“I do not wish them (women) to have power over men; but over themselves.” Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 - 1797. An English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's equality who died at the age of 38, eleven days after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who became an accomplished writer herself, as Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
Jan 2nd 2018
Happy New Year. Wonderful things for 2018. A really good time to clear excess clutter which has built up. Clearing a drawer, a cupboard, my desk or some floor space seems to give me the confidence to know I can clear work jobs which might have seemed daunting. It clears the energy in the house to let space for new things to come in. Vintage icicle lights and baubles are still glowing magnificently on my tree but soon they will hibernate in their special box and the space will be cleared for the hope of Spring light to come through the window.
Dec 29th 2017
I just watched the The History of Mr Polly made in 2007, a charming remake of the 1949 film based on the book by H.G. Wells published in 1910. Mr Polly is a man with whimsical and extraordinary dreams who doesn't resist, falls into, a life of mediocrity. "Most of my life I was half dreaming. I never really planned it or set out to live. Things just happened, it's the same with everyone. I married in a dream, I lived in a dream. I'm awake now though. "
Dec 18th 2017
My favourite 10 Christmas films:
It's a wonderful life 1946
A Christmas carol 1951
The bishop's wife 1947
Love actually 2003
White Christmas 1954
The Holiday 2006
Meet me in St Louis 1944
The Apartment 1960
While you were sleeping 1995
On Christmas Eve it's snowing in Bedford Falls and George Bailey is suicidal. Prayers for him reach heaven, where Clarence, an angel in training, is assigned to save George in order to earn his angel wings. This Frank Capra classic is a perfect balance of dark and light and is one of the most referenced and influential films in other films. It is most wonderful on the big screen at an indenpendant cinema. The film is based on a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern who wrote it after having a dream based on Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol. He struggled to get a publisher for The Greatest Gift, printed 200 copies himself and sent
them to friends as a Christmas card. One fell into the hands of David Hempstead and Hempstead's film production company bought the film rights in April 1944. Several writers couldn't turn it into a successful screenplay and in 1945, Capra's company, Liberty Films, bought the film rights for $10,000 and changed it's title to It's a wonderful life.
View full image in photography page San Francisco.
Dec 6th 2017
"Promise me you'll never settle for anything less than unexpected adventure. " Drama. October Road.
Dec 1st 2017
"Hate doesn't hurt the other person, they aren't affected, it only affects you, it's toxic. I decided to use all that energy on being happy and positive. " A remarkable woman who had experienced a burns attack by her partner's ex, being interviewed from America on This morning in Aug 2017.
October 13th 2017
"You know what I still don't get, why are you trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out. " From the film What a girl wants starring Colin Firth.
October 6th 2017
Hot tub time machine is a crude and silly film but I enjoyed this small piece of dialogue. Four men who are unsuccessful in life go to a ski resort at Kodiak Valley and during a night of heavy drinking in the hotel hot tub, they spill an illegal Russian energy drink on the console. They travel back in time from 2010 to 1986 to a fateful night for each of them and have a chance to change their destiny. John Cusack tells a girl about something bad that happened to him. She says, "You can't let one bad thing ruin your whole life. You've got to embrace the chaos, and life might just astonish you. "
Sep 22nd 2017
Guadalupe, Queen of Mexico 2. Mission Delores. Full image in SAN FRANCISCO. So I married an axe murderer is a 1993 film set in San Francisco, starring Mike Myers as a beat poet who suspects his girlfriend is an axe murderer.
Tony: Every time you meet a nice girl you can get close to, you always break up with them for paranoid reasons.
Charlie: That's not true. I broke up with those girls for very good reasons.
Tony: Oh really?
Tony: Oh really? What about Jill?
Charlie: She was in the mafia.
Tony: What about Pam?
Charlie: She smelled like soup.
Charlie: So Tony, what's the deal with your clothes?
Tony: What do ya mean?
Charlie: You look like Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch.
Tony: What do ya mean? I look hip!
Charlie: No no no no no no, you look like an undercover cop TRYING to look hip.
Tony: I AM an undercover cop trying to look hip.
Sep 15th 2017
I have been travelling through England and Wales and though I saw beautiful places, the areas which remain unspoilt are nearly all in national parks. I see more and more towns and countryside being covered with sheds the size of football stadiums and lego land housing estates rather than developing homes in disused buildings, offices and brown sites. Many years ago I went to a lecture at Building Design Partnership where an architect said that out of town retail parks were killing the towns in America, making them into ghost towns and it could happen here. A correct prediction. Multiple boxes for customers to shop in on the outskirts of towns while our towns have become ghost towns without heart and soul, unpleasant places to be, full of £1 shops, phone, chain and charity shops. Only some tourist towns and certain neighbourhoods in larger cities seem to survive with interesting independant shops. Shop rates set centrally also make it hard for independant shops to survive. The retail sheds seem oversized but the storage, courier and distribution sheds for internet shopping are on a more indescribably gigantic scale, lines of them, sometimes a few miles long. Many products for sale are no longer in shops in town centres because they are stored in these ugly sheds for internet shopping while huge beautiful old department stores lay empty. Buying on the internet saves money but at the cost of loosing pleasant places to be, enjoy browsing and be able to feel products. Ebay is at least recycling products which coming from people's homes. The way space is used seems to me to have become mixed up, oversized and distorted. If products were in shops in town centres, the outskirts and out of town big retail park sites could have been used for housing and it would have left the fields alone, free from lego land and sheds. Buy local. Buy independant.
Aug 22nd 2017
I thought I might try this to simplify problems which seem daunting. In the film You again, the character played by Sigourney Weaver says, "In my PR company we say all you have to do is, Isolate the problem. Exercise a solution. Put it into action. "
Aug 14th 2017
Portmeirion 2. Life and Death. Chess, No. 6, Flowers & Baubles. View in Paintings in Gouache.
Patrick McGoohan and 2 undertakers playing chess in The Prisoner filmed at Portmeirion village, angel wings, flowers, Christmas baubles, a Greek staircase, a board game with ’reward’ from The Avengers, a cemetery gatepost from Harold and Maude, a photograph of a white pathway. Photographic print content is from my photographs. Purple Gladioli at dusk leading into blossom dust or stars and a Frangipani blossom. Fragments of a collage encircling a colourful life and death.
While filming a one off episode of the spy series Dangerman at Portmeirion, the idea for The Prisoner was sparked off for the writer and main character, Patrick McGoohan. Filming took place between 1966 and 1968. Due to the clever design of the village, every step taken is a different view, creating many perspectives, which has a magnifying effect and this effect is further enhanced by film in The Prisoner. I saw a letter in the Number 6 shop from Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who, after seeing the first rushes, wrote to thank Patrick McGoohan for enhancing the village in this way and he also said,
"When seen in colour at the local cinema, a performance he kindly arranged, Portmeirion itself seemed, to me, at least, to steal the show from its human cast. " It is ironic that The Prisoner was filmed as an island because when Clough was first looking for a site to build his vision, originally he was looking for an island but when he saw Portmeirion he knew it was the right place.
Series of 100 Signed Limited Edition Print 30 x 28 cm £100
Aug 10th 2017
The surreal and spectacular film A matter of life and death. Excerpts from Brian Dillon in The Guardian. November 2016.
'With its melodrama, romance and end-of-war spectral visions, the Powell and Pressburger film baffled critics in 1946. But it’s strangeness makes it a masterpiece.
... Miraculously, the young pilot survives, and is washed up on a beach in Devon, where he meets June cycling across the sands. But Peter was meant to die, and the authorities in the next world will not let him go, just because he has fallen in love. So far everything has been in ravishing colour, but suddenly we are in a black-and-white modernist heaven where the first bureaucratic mistake in centuries has set off celestial alarm bells. A heavenly “conductor” – Marius Goring as a French aristo fop – is dispatched to retrieve the undead man, but Peter resists, and a trial looms at which he must plead for more time on earth.
...is also an end-of-war reflection on the living and the dead, including those who have been missing for a time, stranded in between.
Their real world is made of golden light, pink roses, blue skies and June’s scarlet lipstick. Heaven is all sparse and pearly monochrome, shot by Cardiff on colour stock without the usual dyes, so that seamless dissolves could be effected between worlds. Its melodramatic opening apart, the film’s most celebrated moment comes when Conductor 71 first appears on Earth, among big blushing rhododendrons, and quips: “One is starved for Technicolor up there.” '
July 31st 2017
Some eloquent words by Peter Dinklage on Goalcast.
"I hated that job and I clung to that job. 10 years in a place without heat. 6 years at a job I felt stuck in. Maybe I was afraid of change. Are you ? When I was 29 I told myself the next acting job I get, no matter what it pays, I will from now on, for better or worse, be a working actor and now I didn't have a cell phone or a job but something good happened, I got a low paying theatre job in a play called Imperfect love which lead to a film called 13 moons, which lead to other roles, which lead to other roles and Iv'e worked as an actor ever since. I didn't know that would happen. At 29 walking away from data processing, I was terrified but this made me very hungry...literally. I couldn't be lazy. Now I tell this story because the world might say you are not allowed to yet. Please don't even bother asking. Don't bother telling the world you are ready. Show it. Do it. Trust me. You just get a bit derailed but soon something starts to happen. The rhythm sets in. Just try not to wait until, like me, you are 29 before you find it and if you are, that's fine too. Some of us never find it but you will. I promise you.
Raise the rest of your life to meet you. Don't search for defining moments because they will never come. The moments that define you have already happened and they will already happen again. Don't wait until they tell you you are ready. Get in there. I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail. What did Beckett say, ever tried, ever failed. No matter, try again, fail again, fail better. The world is yours. Treat everyone kindly and light up the night. "
July 21st 2017
My top 5 favourite films:
Its a wonderful life. 1946. Directed by Frank Capra.
A matter of life and death. 1946. Directed by Powell and Pressburger.
Harold and Maude. 1971. Directed by Hal Ashby.
Vertigo. 1958. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
So I married an axe murderer. 1993. Directed by Thomas Schlamme.
July 11th 2017
Golden Compass received bad reviews in 2007 and I haven't managed to watch much of it but I did like this:
Farder Coram: "It's an alethiometer. It's a truth measure - a golden compass. It enables you to see what others wish to hide... You can ask any sort of question you can imagine. Once you've got your question framed... " Lyra: "Can I try ? "
Coram: "One thing I do know, Lyra, you mustn't grasp at the answer. Hold the question in your mind, but lightly, like it was something alive. "
July 6th 2017
Rory doesn't get the New York Times job or the small newspaper job she initially turned down because she was sure of getting the New York Times job. Lorelai says to her daughter, "A set back is just a set up for something in the future. " Gilmore girls.
July 2nd 2017
In 7 Bond films production designer Ken Adam created an abundance of spectacular Moderist drama, grandeur, gloss and touches of German expressionism. Fantastical escapism. In Dr No's underground residence of rock, James Bond and Ursula Andress are guided to their prison suite of pale grey marble walls where a thick perspex or glass wall of ice slides back revealing the bedroom with a gold silk quilted bedhead. In 1962 Dr No was the 1st James Bond film. Adam said in The Guardian in 2005, "The budget for Dr No
was under $1m for the whole picture. My budget was £14,500...We thought it would be fun for him to have some stolen art so we used Goya's Portrait of the Duke of Wellington, which was still missing at the time. I got hold of a slide from the National Gallery - this was on the Friday, shooting began on the Monday - and I painted a Goya over the weekend. It was pretty good so they used it for publicity purposes but, just like the real one, it got stolen while it was on display. " Other designs include the Fort Knox interior in Goldfinger 1964, Thunderball 1965, Blofeld's lair hidden inside an extinct volcano in You only live twice 1967, Diamonds are forever 1971 and Moonraker 1979. According to Steven Speilberg, the war room in Dr Strangelove was the best movie-set ever built.
June 23rd 2017
If you would like to check out my Facebook or Instagram it is dahlialoungepaintings or click on the icons at the bottom of the Site Menu on the left.
June 20th 2017
"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. " Foka Gomez.
An avant-garde author who flourished at the centre of Madrid in the old Café Pombo during the 1st World War and in Buenos Aires from 1933. He adopted the marginal lifestyle of a bohemian bourgeois artist, introduced into Spain a touch of scandal from Oscar Wilde, Remy de Gourmont and Marinetti.
June 15th 2017
I watched a documentary about Bette Davies, such a formidable, commanding woman with a sharp wit and gritty character. She said she wasn't a typical glamourous beauty, the studio tried to change her and Hollywood was harsh about the way she looked but she remembered what her mum said, 'Its the best food the birds pick at'. Following the programme one of her films was shown, Now, Voyager, released in 1942. An excellent engaging story of rebellion based on the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty which is now considered a minor landmark in feminist literature, the third book in a series of five novels chronicling the Vale family of Boston. The film contains the famous quote, "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars. "
June 12th 2017
The ends of my fingertips and toes tingled as I walked through more and more gardens. Layers, designs, views. Only green, water flowing, fountains and sky. Not modern landscaping of sparsely dotted about trees and all Rhododendrons ripped out. Lush vegetation, overlapping, hanging graciously over pathways and seats. Trees growing around each other in harmony. Growing in the way they please rather than conforming to conservation rules of a single trunk or trees must not grow too close to each other, chop one off. A Fir, a Holly and a Clematis entwined growing together. A Fir with fingers, a white Hydrangea and a Rose tree entwined gloriously. Tea and Chocolate cake from a cafe in an open shed. A Cockerill came up to me, I shared my cake with him.
Gregarth Hall Gardens is owned by landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Open days are once a month. See Gresgarth Hall on Historic Houses Association.
Tamale 1. Mission. San Francisco. Photographic Print in the page San Francisco.
June 8th 2017
Katrina and Archie almost kiss when his ex turns up to tell him she has left London to be with him. She is sitting on a rock looking miserable while Golly is fishing in the river. He says to her, "If I were you I would take my line right out of the water. " Monarch of the Glen
June 2nd 2017
Twin Peaks. Series 1. Episode 1.
FBI Secial Agent Dale Cooper: "You know, this is — excuse me — a damn
fine cup of coffee! … "
Pete Martell: "Mr. Cooper, how do you take it? "
Dale Cooper: "Black as midnight on a moonless night. "
Pete Martell: "Pretty black. "
Series 1. Episode 6.
"Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair or two cups of good hot black coffee. Like this. "
Sheriff Truman: "A present? Like Christmas? "
Dale Cooper: "Ah, man that hits the spot. Nothing like a great cup of black coffee. "
May 30th 2017
I saw Lulu as a guest judge on Let it shine, as always she had so much energy and enthusiasm. Three contestants had to leave. Lulu said to them, "Iv'e had 1000's of rejections. Let it make you stronger. Don't take it personally. Don't let it stop you. "
May 24th 2017
Flowers for Manchester.
Offerings such as flowers, candles, gifts and lanterns are made at shrines, in temples, churches, homes or at the roadside. I think an altar or shrine can be non religious; a concentration of energy in one place, perhaps to wish for things or like in Manchester at the moment, to show love and regret for the injured and departed ones, to show strength and support or to bring peace.
This is from a series of photographs of exotic flowers and altars.
May 18th 2017
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis admired the works of the sculptor William Brodie and acquired the iconic sculpture Hercules after seeing him in a picture in Country Life, driving him on the back of a pick up all the way from Aberdeen to Portmeirion. Hercules had been cast in about 1863 and was listed Grade ll iin the village in 1971. When Clough was looking for somewhere to develop his vision of developing a natural site of beauty, although he had an island in mind, he knew when he saw it that Portmeirion was the place. This is ironic that Clough looked for an island but bought Portmeirion then 41 years later, while filming Dangerman there, Patrick McGoohan had an idea to use Portmeirion as an island and filmed The Prisoner there with Portmeirion as an island from which there was no escape.
May 15th 2017
James Trustlow Adams. Historian.
"Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. "
May 11th 2017
When I talked to a friend about my confusion regarding where to live, being unsettled here because of all the new housing estates but not knowing where to go because it is happening all over the country, she said, "Don't try to force it, or push things, let it unfold. If you try to force it, you might miss things you're supposed to find. " I think this is true and applies to any situation.
May 8th 2017
Star Trek is showing on the Horror channel on week nights at 6.00 p.m. I switched onto an episode part way through, the visuals and music eery and other worldly, I could easily be mistaken to think that I was on drugs or at least, the makers were. The style of it, the sets, costumes and storylines seem so strange and alien to now yet in many cases it was accurately futuristic. The control room sets are splendid with many dials of lit up transparent perspex switches and bubbles. As usual, a beautiful woman entrances Kirk, wearing an outfit far too impractical for trapsing about a spaceship. Fabric draped asymetrically across the body covering only one leg and the opposite arm yet a sleeve huge enough for secreting a weapon in. It is unique, rich and forward thinking in it's ideas, exploring so many cultures while looking for a utopia.
Photographic Print. Pink Carnation and Tea Glass 3 in the page Flowers.
The painting behind the Carnation is Spiral Vase and Flowers in the page Paintings in Oils.
May 1st 2017
This morning I watched a programme about the eloquent and gracious actor David Niven who starred in one of my favourite films, A matter of life and death, made by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1946. At the end of the programme the narrator said something which is a line written by Biographer Graham Lord, "the biggest wreath, worthy of a Mafia Godfather's funeral, was delivered from the porters at London's Heathrow Airport, along with a card that read: 'To the finest gentleman who ever walked through these halls. He made a porter feel like a king.' "
April 28th 2017
Skins. Pure. An episode about Cassie. 2nd part.
A boy was taking photographs of Cassie, kind of stalking her but she became his friend. When he learned she was photographed in a fashion shoot he spoke to her in a vile way, secretly took photographs of her kissing someone and texted it to her with 'Bitch' across it. The boy she had kissed beat him in the street outside a bar. She walked away from the scene. The next day she is sitting on a bench, silently looking out over the city. The girl from work, the cafe, sits next to her and says, "You are going to do something great ! it's coming......magic. "
April 19th 2017
"You have a diamond my friend, don't loose it while you look for pebbles. "
The psychologist on The Lie Detector says to a man about his friendship with the woman sat next to him, they have been friends for 7 years, they are physical but scared to take it further into a relationship in case they loose the friendship.
April 18th 2017
In a film called The Class, a woman was brought up by her older sister after their mother left. The older sister has a son and is struggling but she meets a man who is training to be a lawyer and as a case study, is helping her with her problems regarding her son and becomes fond of her. She tells him she doesn't want to be with him because it doesn't happen for people like her. Her younger sister says, "What about those stories you read to me when I was growing up ? "
She replies, "I hate to break it to you but those stories aren't real. "
"They must be true sometimes or no one would believe them. "
I have this thought when people ridicule the idea of the existence of ghosts, all the millions of stories people tell of their own real experiences of seeing a ghost, many may be a trick of the light but they must be true sometimes. Genuine people with genuine stories. Spook alert: My dad experienced one in an abandoned mill in Holland in World War 2, they were on 4 hour guard duties, after his watch he lay on his side in the camp bed but after 5 minutes someone was shaking his shoulder.
Thinking he was being shaken to get up for duty he said, "No, Iv'e just come off my watch ! " but looking around, no one was there. 5 minutes later the same happened, he shouted again, "No, Iv'e just come off my watch ! " thinking one of the others was playing a trick on him but in waking one of the others, he was shouted at to shut up. He had a good look around and no one was there or under camp beds and the others were sleeping. It happened a few more times and he hardly slept. In the morning he heard from the locals that the mill was haunted.
April 12th 2017
I came across this in one of my notebooks. Phil is trying to decide if it is right to be with Stella and says something like, "I keep trying and I can't find the answer. " Shirley says, "Well maybe that is your answer. " I don't watch Eastenders but I must have watched this scene and was drawn in by the actress's portrayal of a disturbed woman who was seemingly sweet but mentally abusing and cruelly manipulating his son. Not always but sometimes, doubt is coming from the instinct. Not being able to find the answer about whether to be with a person or situation can simply be fear or it can be, 'that is your answer'.
April 3rd 2017
A while ago I watched a documentary about the Rolling Stones and was compelled to watch the 3 documentaries in a row. Mick Jagger is a unique performer. I have always been fascinated by his dancing because his movements are so random and off the beat, seemingly nothing to do with the beat of the music but it is, it looks right. Watching an old clip, I noticed that his facial expressions act in the same way, are also random and offbeat, happen before you would expect, before the highlight of the lyric and music. It makes no difference that they are 70, their music was based on blues artists and you wouldn't have said to Muddy Waters or Bo Diddley, you're old now, you should stop performing. The fact that they are fit and healthy and that Mick's body looks basically the same through rigorous training for touring is an incredible achievement; we are lucky they are still doing it.
March 25th 2017
A vintage hand made silk top I have had for years.
I came across this interview of Kim Cattrall by Janet Street-Porter in Psychologies July 2013.
Kim Cattrall: I'm not trying to be forward thinking or looking to the past, I'm just trying to be in the present. It's another part of really surrendering to what is. And it's not easy. Everything is conspiring to pull you away from the present - now more than ever - with all the noise and constant communication. We are bombarded by too much information.
Janet Street-Porter: The problem with the modern age is that we over-communicate. Communicating twaddle, absolute b******s. ( Kim roars with laughter ) What I find so wearing is this endless Twitter culture. Constantly communicating how you feel every second of the day ? It's draining your soul out.
Kim: It's all noise.
Janet: Real communication is being with someone who truly is creative and inspirational and you can be with them and you don't even have to talk.
Kim: Last year I went on tour with Lou Reed, who is a dear friend. He writes so personally about his life. There is no b******t about that guy. He cannot pretend, it's just not part of his DNA. Whether he's being incredibly insightful or sweet or vulnerable or vicious and angry and expecting something unattainable, it's very real.
Janet: To be creative, you've got to have your quiet time. I call it input. Every day I spend an hour and a half reading, it's time I've chosen to be still. Or I might walk or play tennis. You can't act or write and be on TV if it's all output.
Kim: You have a choice. You've only got a certain amount of slots in your head. What do you want to put in them ?....Women are just bombarded with this crap, and it's mind-rotting.
March 1st 2017
Rose "When the ship docks, I'm getting off with you. "
Jack "That's crazy. "
Rose "I know, that's why I trust it. "
Feb 20th 2017
Food from a car boot in Holetown.
During my 2 week holiday in Holetown, Barbados, except for the days at botanical gardens or day trips, in the heat of noon, for cheap hot cooked food, every day I walked to a man selling food from the back of his car which he parked next to a field of goats. There was always a queue. Unknown to him, on the day which was my last, it was quiet, he seemed to appreciate my loyalty and asked me my name, we had not chatted before but appearing to look through my eyes, into my soul he said, "You seem like a good person....a person with a good heart. " "Thanks, though if you have a good heart, sometimes you can get trampled on by people. " " Well, you have to ..... " I didn't catch what he said because he said it fiercely with passion as if he might exhale smoke. "You're a person with a good heart but when someone trample on you, you say, 'Gaynor, No ! you don't do that !' " stamping his foot down hard as he said 'No !' It was as simple as that. I walked away smiling. Papa Earl. March 2013.
Feb 15th 2017
Today is my mum's birthday.
My mum led me along with her spirit of immense optimism as though we were going to a nice park or a fun fair. The dilapidated cottage was surrounded by the overgrown trees in a garden and closed within the woodland around it, as if in Hansel and Gretal though without the biscuits covering it and not so sweet looking. An untidy garden lay in front, in the rickety wooden fence my mum fearlessly opened the small gate of dark blue peeling paint but we were abruptly jolted back, halted by 5 or 6 white Geese which came cackling furiously, flapping wildly towards us like fierce guard dogs. A woman appeared with grey leathered skin, wild coarse hair, a mole on her chin beneath a large hooked nose, clothed in many grey layers and brandishing a stick at us. She actually had a black cat. This woman was called Nanny Redhead, pronounced 'Reded'. I was terrified but my mum said, "It's Doreen from the nurseries, we've brought you some cakes. " This got her into a lot of places. She had no time for cooking but seemed to think she could solve most things with a tin of her fairy cakes. She grunted, called off her Geese and we were allowed into a dark, dirty, low ceilinged, beamed kitchen where we sat on hard chairs, uneven on a solid soil floor and drinking tea from dirty teacups. My mum didn't seem to see the stick shaking, shouting reputation of Nanny Redhead; she didn't want her to be lonely.
Excerpt from my book Lost Gateways.
Feb 10th 2017
A while ago I saw a couple in their 20s being interviewed on the This morning tv programme, a white woman and an African man called Aman who had been attacked by and received verbal abuse from his girlfriends' parents. They were now in prison. He was asked, "and you have forgiven them ? " Aman answered, "Oh yes, it's not something I want to bring myself down for ", he said with such grace, smiling a little.
Feb 6th 2017
"Create a psychic shield to protect against other's negative energies. Whenever you're in a negative situation - your boss snaps, a shop assistant is rude - imagine a bubble surrounding your body that nothing can penetrate. It will help what's negative to bounce off it. " From Recharge your emotional batteries. Red magazine 2010.
Jan 25th 2017
Today I want to pay respect to my dad as it's his birthday. He was trained in floristry by the head gardener at Sherdley Hall. When he died I found a pack of 24 A4 notes held together by a bulldog clip in his office titled 'Re Gaynor'. He must have written them for any difficult times, notes on how to deal with them and notes for the future, for any other life situations once they had gone. "For Gaynor after my departure: I remember once telling you that you would always be able to hear me talking to you, no matter how far apart we might be. At some time in the future, whatever the situation, you would know what I would be most likely to say to you, because I would have said those things when we were together, and that still applies. I didn't think of speaking to you on tape, so just think of this as a bonus, as a refresher course for your memory box and if you think you like the idea, record it on the equipment of your day. If ever you feel in need of the presence of mum and dad, you could always imagine us close by and you could hear the things we would say to you because you will be able to remember what sort of response there would be from us to any situation, similar to the one you would like to talk to us about. You as a small child used to ask for her dad to come from the nursery to make her feel better and help her to sleep. What a task ! what confidence she had in me. Do you remember I used to tell you, 'Think about the nice things, think about the nice places.' No matter how old you are, that will still apply, you can think about the nice people you have known.
He is asking me to remember my abilities and achievements to boost my confidence, such as, "You always wanted to help in the nursery, from being 3 years old when we moved there. At 7, you didn't want to do jobs like handing the plants to me, so I showed you how to get the Dahlia plants out of the pots and hand them to me but that
wasn't enough either so I let you plant some, thinking when you found you had spilled a few plants you would give up, but you didn't spill one so you got them out of their pots, planted them and so began your active and valuable help. You always had our appreciation and paying you for your help was only a way of letting you realise, if you wanted to spend, you had to earn. " I made this chaplet for them to say Happy Christmas.
Jan 24th 2017
The FBI have Mulder on trial for a murder he did not commit. Reis is questioned and replies, "What is the point of all this ? To destroy a man who is seeking the truth or to destroy the truth so no man can seek it ? Either way, you loose. "
Mulder to Kersh and the panel, " A bullet between the eyes would have been preferable to this charade..... true evil, is a collaboration of men, which is what we have here today. If I am a guilty man, my crime is in daring to believe; that the truth will out and that no one lie can live forever. I believe it still. Much as you try to bury it, the truth is out there. Greater than your lies, the truth wants to be known. You will know it. It'll come to you, as it came to me, faster than the speed of light. " Series 9. Episode 20.
Jan 23rd 2017
"Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet. " Seneca, a 1st century Roman philosopher.
"Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. " Oprah Winfrey
Jan 19th 2017
In this film three children become orphans when their parents die in a fire with mysterious circumstances. They are left in the custody of a distant relative called Count Olaf who secretly plots to steel their inheritance so the children begin 'A series of unfortunate events'. This is my abbreviation of 2 quotes from a letter from their parents sent on a previous trip, unreceived but now arrives and from the lines at the end by the author Lemony Snicket: It may seem like the world is full of bad but believe me when I say, that there is more good in it than bad, you just have to look for it. What might seem to be a series of unfortunate events might in fact just be the first step to a journey. There is always something to do to make a santuary, no matter how small so the Baudelaires were for this reason, very fortunate indeed.
Jan 16th 2017
This is a hand printed silk scarf of one my designs in the Beach Ladies series, Blue Square with Lobster and Shell. It was photographed at Dahlia Lounge Gallery.
In The Grand Budapest Hotel, the author played by Jude Law, asks Zero about the concierge M. Gustave. "Is it simply your last connection to that banished world - his world, if you will ? ". Zero was the lobby boy and Gustave's friend. "His world ? No, I don't think so. You see, we shared a vocation; it wouldn't have been necessary. No, the hotel I keep for Agatha. (Zero's wife) We were happy here, for a little while. To be frank, I think his world had vanished long before he ever entered into it. But I will say, he certainly sustained the illusion with a marvellous grace. "
I identify with this, love for a different period than the one I live in, the 1950s and early 1960s, 1959 - 1962 in particular.
Jan 13th 2017
"I know you want some answers but the answer is no answer. It's just life. " One Tree Hill.
Jan 10th 2017
Last year I started watching 'the complete collection' of The X Files on channel 'Spike', channel 31 on my tv. Every week night at 10.00 p.m. from April until the end of December, that is an impressive total of episodes. A long time to keep us bewildered, reeling back and forth between the truth that aliens exist or it is a government conspiracy or cover up and a cover up for what purpose ? On this journey there are some bizarre, surreal and spiritual investigations, such as homages to the wisdom of American Indian tribes and the hypnotic beauty of synchronisity. Mulder and Scully are captivating to watch and the tension of will they ever kiss or be together is subtle and compelling. Compared to the standard of the tv series in more recent years, the quality of the writing, story lines, ideas and depth stands out. Last night they showed the pilot episode so presumably they are running it all again, if you haven't seen it. Every week night at 10.00 p.m. or sometimes 11.00 p.m. on Spike.
Jan 6th 2017
"There's no right or wrong, it's a path, follow your heart and it will take you where you want to go. "
The X Files Series 5. Episode 7.
Jan 4th 2017
In the spirit of clearing way for the new year, space for new energy to flow, I find this useful "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. " Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Architect of Portmeirion.
Dec 15th 2016
A photograph taken at Dahlia Lounge Gallery before the wall became midnight blue.
Christmas films list:
It's a Wonderful Life
A Christmas Carol
In a tv Christmas B movie called Mr Miracle, an angel is sent to put a girl back on track with her path in life but he has to find out what that is. He becomes her class teacher and finds out she was going to work in her father's clinic but she doesn't think she is good enough. He tells his angel mentor, "I'm giving her a book on medicine so she will work at her father's clinic. " "It will take more than a book, humans are a lot more complicated than that. " "Why? " "Because they rely on the stories they believe about themselves. " She is giving up her class. He tells her, "You're relying on the story you believe about yourself, you can change your story, right now. "
Dec 8th 2016
"You have corrupted your purpose, and so yourself. " Calypso to Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Nov 28th 2016
I watched 'Enchanted' on Sunday, delightful escapist fantasy. Giselle, a princess in an animated world is banished to harsh New York city by the evil queen so that she cannot marry her son. She only sees and thinks positively about life and people in the real world because she's from Fairytale land. So when she interacts with people in the street or a couple getting divorced, she affects them in a good way, they become positive and see the positive.
Nov 24th 2016
"I just have to do something otherwise I'll end up coming here every night of my life like all those sad ******s and wonder, what the hell happened to my life. " Sean's girlfriend to Sean at the local pub in Sean of the Dead.
Nov 22nd 2016
John Lyndon talking about what life and death are all about in a documentary. "We're betting on a one horse race. Well for God's sake, we'd better win !. "
Nov 21st 2016
I watched Ole, ole, ole. A film of The Rolling Stones Tour in South America. I always notice Mick and Keith speak with intelligence and eloquence.
Lima. Keith is gazing from his balcony over a sea of high rise buildings. "It's huge, it's grown so much since I was here in 1968, they've thrown them up like tombstones. " He talks about first meeting a guitar like meeting a person then, "I felt I'd been given a puzzle to solve, I kept finding a piece of it, I'm still doing it, it still mystifies me the damn thing. " laughing. Talking about the audience, "When you're expressing that much appreciation to each other, it's profoundly touching. It's not something you can ever get used to, it always touches you. "
Their appearance in Havana has just been stopped because Obama has just arranged to come and the Havana government think it will be too much of a shock to their systems to have both close together. Mick asks on the phone, "How long is it since an American president came ?. " "80 years. " He comes off the phone and says, " You have to be ready in life for unexpected things to happen. You have to be ready for anything. "
Mexico. A traditional Mexican Mariachi band are playing their song 'Happy' in the street, it sounds different and funny but right.
Havana, Cuba. People in the streets who love The Rolling Stones talk about rock and roll being banned in the 1960s. "I personally went to jail for listening to a song in the park. " A man says, "Viva los Rollings. " Another says, "They took away our youth. " At the concert some people were crying or collapsed and carried away. It was like a delayed 1960s Stonesmania.
Nov 17th 2016
"Sometimes people will love what you do, others will hate it. You will be judged. None of this matters. All that matters is the condition of your soul. Let it remain intact. "
I wish I had written down where I saw this.
Nov 14th 2016
"It's important to keep your hopes alive because then suddenly, the planets align and it happens. " Unknown.
Nov 11th 2016
"You can do anything you want to in life if you put your mind to it. " Back to the future. Marty to his weak father then in the future, his father is a writer and says it back to Marty when receiving a copy of his new book.
Nov 8th 2016
Exotic Leaves in Green is an Original Oil Painting inspired by a 1950s fabric. This was photographed at Dahlia Lounge Gallery in August 2016.
Growing up, whenever I came across difficult situations or people, my dad would say, 'they're all characters to go in that book you're going to write.' Most vividly in my mind, he said it while raking long flower beds of soil to levels of immaculation near the single Holly tree on a little circle of grass, like a centre point star of 4 paths. The path between the potting shed and pipehouse led to it, off on the right the path edged the field of the large Pear tree, left one led to the steriliser and just after it, bending around behind that, a path which led to the back sheds, stable and a large black gateway into the woods. This was one of 4 black gateways from the walled garden into the woods and through this entrance it was particularly dark and lush with moss and ivy covered trees, a Yew guarding each side, hanging branches, while in sight further away there was a tree in the light with white almond blossom in the Spring.
Sept 12th. I read somewhere, I can't remember where, if you are in a job you don't want, that if you do it with a positive attitude with the best of your ability, you might get promoted or another job will present itself. You don't always get what you wish for but I think it often works, otherwise there wouldn't be the phrase, 'Be careful what you wish for'. If you are somewhere you don't want to be, a job, a place, a situation, if you do the suggestion I read about but also keep wishing and stating to yourself where you want to be, sometimes something happens and the old situation falls away, a new situation appears. Find your will and use it to take you to where you want to be. Dorothy wants to go back to Kansas and Glinda reveals to her that if she clicks together 3 times her heels of red, shiny, ruby slippers and thinks to herself, 'There's no place like home, there's no place like home.....'.
I was driving to see my Aunt on Saturday Aug 9th listening to one of my favourite ever top 10 albums. I have listened to it so many times but it still sounded fresh and pure with Eric Burdon's voice full of raw emotion, pain and passion. My original copy from years ago, 'The Most of The Animals' had 12 songs on it, this one 'The Best of The Animals' has 20 but the best are in those first 12 tracks and the 13th. All recorded in 1965 except track 1 and 9 which were 1964.
In order of preference :
Track 7 Bring it on home
Track 8 Worried life blues
Track 5 Hallelujah I love her so
Track 1 House of the rising sun
Track 13 Don't let me be misunderstood
Track 9 Baby let me take you home
I used to skip Track 1 because it is the most played, it seemed too obvious a choice but today I had a new appreciation of it. Track 7 and 8 are great for heartbreak. Track 9 is a cute, naive, boy girl pop song with a brilliant intro, as pointed out by my first boyfriend.
Hyacinths are native to Eastern Mediterranean and were first botanically listed by the Greek philosopher-naturalist, Theophrastus 372-287 BC and mentioned by the Greek poet, Homer, in the Iliad around the 10th and 8th centuries BC as being among the flowers which formed the couch of Hera, queen of heaven and earth. Both Homer and Virgil noted its sweet fragrance.
The painting behind is Cacti flowers in the moonlight. I painted Midnight Garden for my dad after he died. I asked him for the panel which he had fashioned for some purpose then smoothed at the edges with use and time. The original is not for sale but it can be bought as a Limited Edition Print in the Paintings in Oils section on dahlialounge.co.uk. He was a gardener, working as an apprentice in the garden of a hall and later, owned his own walled garden built in 1844.
"Water can carve it's way through stone and when trapped, water can find a new path. "
In the beginning of Memoirs of a geisha girl.
This was for a wedding on Saturday July 26 th. I painted twigs and cones copper for her blue and copper theme. There were 7 small table arrangements, 1 medium and this metre long one. I like to make one now and again to keep the skill and do it for my dad. Also my mum. Only once they had finished the 1000 plus Christmas wreaths was he 'allowed' to spend time being a perfectionist making the more expensive special orders on Christmas Eve. A heart, a chaplet, a crescent and every year he used to make a 5 foot cross for a woman called Brenda Stolic who he told me, always used to say, "It's for my dad ". It would be edged with moist dyed green magnolia leaves that stained your hands, exquisite colourful waxed paper Dahlias, cones with white painted tips like snow and for the big build up centre spray, some Magnolia leaves looped over, tierred in rows diagonally opposite, coming from the centre then he would get down from the rafters 2 coffin size card boxes covered in dust. Inside, unfolding tissue paper revealed bull rushes, some old, unusual, faded but beautiful plastic tulips and lilac which he would choose from and for the focal point, a large Crysanthymum or Pointsettia.
I was invited to the night party which was excellent food, music and dancing.
Sunday July 20th was a sunny evening but I watched Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese for a few minutes and had to continue watching. It was so beautifully and eloquently filmed and with such rich detail that I became immersed in the world of living at the Paris train station and did not care too much where the story was leading but the story grew stronger and more gripping.
Ships sailing slowly through black night and stars. Barbosa "We're good and lost now. " They are trying to find the end of the world. "For certain you have to be lost to find the place that can't be found, elseways, everyone would know where it was. " Pirates of the Caribbean: At world's end.
Luna "my mum always said 'Things we loose have a way of coming back to us in the end, not always in the way we expect.' " Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
"Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. " William Burroughs.
If you are trying to find an answer to something, don't ask the question. Secretly notice your reactions to it.
An orange Koi fish in milky reflections of a Water Lily pond at Tides in Holetown, Barbados, Caribbean. Although the fish are swimming, the photograph has a tranquility and stillness due to the splendour of colour and the hazy water in the water garden. I like the way the water and colours of the fish blur like watercolours.
View this and other Koi, water lilies and Neptune presiding over them in the photography section Barbados. Lilies. Fish. on my website dahlialounge.co.uk.
The white and orange ornamental Carp passes by and blends with the refections of light and the god of Neptune stone statue in the water garden pond. The Japanese were the first in Koi fish history to take the naturally occurring mutations and develop them further. Japanese rice farmers kept them for food but in the 1820s and 1830s, they began to breed some of the Carp for aesthetic appeal, initially in Ojiya on the coast of Honshu island. By the 20th century, a number of color patterns had been established, most notably the red-and-white Kohaku.
"It may seem as if our world is full of situations we cannot hope to change but those who remain determined can expect surprising results. " I wrote this down in a notebook from something I read but I don't know where that was.