Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Jousting Tents

Every year my work (Castle Fraser) holds a Jousting Tournament and Medieval day.

I was very taken with these colourful historical tents, where Medieval Realm and The Rhynie Wifies were demonstrating medieval life and crafts.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Reading project 2: Viewing

Reading project 2 is a viewing project of viewing Austen. Would greatly appreciate any recommends. A big amazon parcel came today with Pride and Prejudice; Colin Firth version, Persuasion; Amanda Root Ciaran Hinds version and Lost in Austen. I already have Sense and Sensibility; Emma Thompson version.

Lost in Austen is slightly tangential, I have also seen Becoming Jane which is quite good.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Just a random Watercolour

This is Shadwell Park, in Norfolk. Another house from my beloved Victorian Country Houses book. (The Mark Girouard one, if you wanted it.) Shadwell is built in three parts. Many houses grew and grew over time, which I find interesting. There is a Georgian bit, clad in a mid-Victorian bit (on left) and a bonkers high Victorian bit on the left. The tower is actually the entrance to the stable block, it looks like a church because that is what the architect (Teulon) usually designed.
I often fantasise about hot summers spent in an overgrown garden of a sleepy stately home and this place looks perfect!
Incidentally, I discovered the artist John Piper was ahead of me on my Victorian Country House pictures. Check out his 'Victorian Dream Palaces' and other works here at the Tate. This one is also of Shadwell and is fantastic! I think I first saw paintings by John Piper on a trip to the then mothballed Dunecht House, stacked in an empty drawing room.

Monday, 8 July 2013

A Reading Project

Call me a philistine, but I didn't use to like Jane Austen. As a teenager I felt they were boring compared to my beloved Brontes.

Now I realise she's all about the witty dialogue and the tricky relationships and I can identify with that.

So, I set myself the project of reading all of her books. Sadly I haven't managed to do them chronologically, but I have done them all except Sense and Sensibility. So far, my favourites are Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice. I didn't like Northanger Abbey though, apart from that I have loved them all.

Character I like to imagine I resemble: Lizzie from P&P. Character I probably resemble: Emma. Most hated character: Mrs Norris from MP. Most loved: Mr Darcy of course!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

And now for something Completely Different...

I wasn't sure this sounded like my kind of thing:

Topless Ukelele
Gothic Burlesque
Life Drawing

Well, the drawing bit did. I always try to give new things a go, so thanks to an invite from my friend Lola I found myself in the downstairs room of the Malt Mill pub. While everyone else in the world was watching Andy Murray I was enjoying performance and life modelling by burlesque perfomers at Dr Sketchys ...

I was a bit nervous about this as I thought it might be a bit seedy, but the ladies are talented dancers/singers and are never indecent. On the left, the lovely and funny Magenta Lust, who is like a rather gothic chorus girl. I also won a cake for 'Best Humorous Drawing'! If you enjoy something really different and like art with a bit more fun, come along to the next one which is in a month's time!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Artichokes. Why?

The artichoke has long been on my cooking challenges list. They look really amazing and I like them on pizza, in pasta etc.

To cook: tear off stem and boil for about 30mins or until you can pull a leaf off.

To eat: pull off leaves and dip in vinaigrette, scrape base of leaf between teeth. This is fun but there is pretty much zero to eat there. Then cut fibrous bits off base until a tiny edible bit remains. Eat it.

Well, it was fun to cook and made a lovely picture. Apparently the artichoke is actually a giant flower bud, related to the thistle, which makes sense when you look at it.