Sunday 31 October 2021

Halloween in the House

Halloween arrives on the kitchen table.
A mysterious trunk, the requisite pumpkin, and a rocking horse from the attic. (The shelf)
Worry dolls and spell ingredients. Perfect for today.
"Ooh, aah what's in here?!"
Adventurous Racer rides the horse. She wanted a hat with a skull on and this is my attempt. It looks more like Frankenstein's monster to me but she likes it. 
The others wanted a variety of Halloweenish things. The one I like the best is the crocodile hat which Hope is wearing. Madeline is the witch, AMF is the pumpkin. (She is called AMF because she arrived in the box of an Adjustable Milk Frother and the name has stuck.) Lorna is the ghost and Minnie Sutherland is the cat/bat, we can't decide which. Both are suitable. 
The trunk is quite roomy. I have had it for years. It is an old doll's trunk which is a good thing for young dolls too. 
Hope is doing her best to look scary here as she invites you to join their tiny party. There will be mushroom tea and acorn and pumpkin soup later. 
All apart from Racer held onto their worry dolls. She wasn't in need of one as she wasn't worried about riding the horse. Halloween can be a little worrying if too frightening a film is put on, or the trick or treaters are dressed like clowns. We just had the giant cat Eddie to watch out for, and he had gone home by this time.
We decided to turn the lights off and get out the tiny lights, just for a bit of Halloween atmosphere.

And here is the very brightly lit line up, to show off the hats and ghost a bit better! It looks like a police line up but I promise it isn't!


Eddie Helps

Eddie was here when I was setting up my photo table for the girlettes Halloween pictures. He looks very handsome I think, and like he knows how to pose for a photo! I was trying to hang the sparkly cloth over the cardboard stand and he thought that was a lot of fun, and helped me to take twice as long to do it as he wouldn't let go!


Saturday 23 October 2021

Birthday Present

It was my birthday. I bought dolls. I was in Greenwich to pick up Lily's drugs and cat keys, and I decided to go to the antique/junk (it really is both!) shop as I have not been there for a while. I found the girl on the right first. She was cheap and slightly cheaper at the till. Then I found the other one, and found out at the till that she was not cheap, but got a little cheaper, to coincide exactly with the amount of money my Dad kindly gave me for my birthday. So they both came home with me. 
They are sitting on the rocking chair looking quite pleased with themselves to have got out of the shop basement. They don't have names yet, but I expect they will come to me. The one on the right is an Ideal Doll, which is an American company, and is from around 1930. The one on the left has a composition body and bisque head and is made by Heubach Koppelsdorf, a German company and is from around 1910. Her head is in good condition though loose at the neck. Her limbs and body are composition I think, and have some cracks. She has a lovely face. I might attempt to go back to doll paintings so I can paint these two!
I love her little teeth. Her eyes open and close.
This doll has a very chipped surface, so I need to be careful so that she does not get any worse. She has a lovely face too.

Monday 18 October 2021

Up the Garden

Now I have done some clearing, it is much easier to go up the garden to fetch nextdoor's footballs. When I went today I noticed that these toadstools had sprung up, and started to decay, in the week and a half since I last looked. They blend in so well with the dark soil that I nearly trod on them. I took my camera up to take a few pictures, and when I turned to go in, I noticed a different kind on the tree stump. All very autumnal!
I didn't lay down for this picture, just held the camera low down!

They have such delicate structures. 

The ones on the stump are very pink, making a good contrast with the bright green ivy.

Bollie came out to see what I was up to. I am never sure if he likes me to be in the garden. He seems to find it a bit disturbing. Most cats quite like the company.


Sunday 17 October 2021

Swan Corner

I happened to watch a short film made in 1968 on a channel called London Live today. It was called "Swan Corner" and was filmed on a summer day in West Wickham. It is of footage of people going about their everyday business, accompanied by music. I loved it and am pleased that someone had the foresight to make such films as it is so interesting to see how almost everything has changed. One thing I noticed that hasn't is the street cleaner's trolley which was pretty much the same as today. 

It led me to look for more films and I found this amazing site.  London's Screen Archives

I haven't even started to explore it yet but it looks good. Just thought I would share my discoveries in case they are new to you too!

I knew if I looked through my old photos I would find a swan somewhere. This one is from Northumberland five years ago on the road trip Linda Sue and I took. One of the places we stayed was on the edge of a lake filled with birds!Here is a blurry action shot of one taking off. Swans landing and taking off from water are most impressive. And saying that makes me wonder if they ever land on land?!

Quick edit-"Swan Corner" is on the film archives site.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Random Wednesday

Poor doll who needs help but is beautiful. It looks as if she wants legs like those on the sock yarn band.
The local recycling bins on a particularly busy day a while ago. As I arrived there today I saw a woman picking up the good stuff-interesting bird cage thing and something else that looked useful. I didn't pick up this car but I have taken stuff from here before and given it to a charity shop, as people just dump things all over the ground and not in the bins, much of it perfectly usable. Hopefully a person with a child who could use it took the car. 
Soft drawing that appeared one night. 
Hands found in Greenwich in the window of a gallery. Only three of the pictures are palm up. I wonder if people feel more vulnerable that way, or if those people have more open personalities.
Spiky person from my drawing tablet, which, amazingly, still works and connects to this computer fine. 
And that's the end of Random Wednesday.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Being a Tourist

I went into town with Andy today as he had to do some business things as a result of events in the last week which I don't feel able to talk about yet. Anyway, I was not at work, as I have a horrible cold (not covid-did a test) but felt better today than yesterday so thought I would go with him. We got a train, which happened to be a Thameslink, so we got off quite near to Holborn and walked. We walked too far and had to walk back again, but it was a nice day so never mind. We went past about 10 Insulate Britain protesters, quietly protesting at the Royal Courts of Justice, and about twice as many police. The second place he had to go was near Leather Lane, where there was a food market going on.(Hot food stalls rather than veg etc). I went to explore while waiting for him, and turned off down a side street for a detour. Little alleyways to explore.

The plant on the building on the left looked like green fur. The fence is round a primary school playground and the kids were out for playtime, so I didn't take any closer photos. 
This lovely lettering says The Record Hall. I had to stand right back to work it out. I just looked it up and it is a workspace which looks very fancy.
On the way back to the bus stop where I was waiting for Andy, I walked through this amazing place-Waterhouse Square. It was peaceful and had lots of places to sit and eat lunch, which many people were doing. 

And Charles Dickens lived there too! Or at least he lived in a building near this site, which was demolished before the current building was built in the 1890s.

And finally, the number 17 bus to London Bridge...


Tuesday 5 October 2021

Dog Request, Painting Request, Garden and More Paintings

Here is the rest of the dog Steve! The other picture I took of him was very blurry so this will have to do. He is a very sweet and chilled out dog.
On Sunday, as well as short walks to the marathon, I had a marathon of my own to complete. The monster plant marathon. At the back of the garden, in front of the pond, there was a huge bush consisting of Buddleia, Dogwood and Honeysuckle, all tangled together. All lovely plants. All monsters. Combined they are almost unstoppable, and would probably have begun to take over the world soon if I hadn't stopped them! Honeysuckle seems to grow from the old wood, but this remains underneath in a scratchy tangle, with the odd twisting stem which twists around anything in its way. The Dogwood is amazing. It sends out long runners to the ground. These root in several places along the stem, and a new plant springs up from each rooted part. I managed to dig out quite a lot, and get it back a bit, and must now remember to stop them before they root. The stems are long and flexible, and when they go red they make great wreaths, but they are hard to pack into the bags I use to go to the recycling centre, as they spring out and whip you in the face. I continued on Monday, which is when the sun came out, so the cats came out too. 
This clearance will help me to find and retrieve the many footballs of nextdoor's two boys. They will stand on top of their slide and direct me to where the ball has lodged itself, a place often unreachable until now!
Here is the rest of the painting Fresca. A bargain for £5 from a charity shop in Greenwich. 
I have included a few more paintings which came from charity shops, and a couple of my paintings too.
A brightly lit and badly lit picture of these pretty daisies.
I scraped together enough of the yellow paint to do the crown in the end! It is not attached, but my Dad will do that. 
A painting from early on in my teaching career. I had just started teaching in Reception (4 and 5 year olds) The toys represent what I felt was really going on in my room while I was trying to teach phonics or any other subject. Fantasy land! They were a great class. The Pikachu is saying an actual quote from a child, said during one of my 'lessons'. I can still hear him saying it. I didn't fill in the other speech bubbles as I didn't have direct quotes. 
All the toys are mine (surprise, surprise!) I found the Pikachu the other day, and he still faintly says his name. 
This lovely portrait is from a shop in Edinburgh. 
This painting is done on the wooden panels backing the frame. The plant is Andy's, then tiny fig tree. He watered a stick we found when we moved into our flat in Deptford, as he felt sorry for it. A little leaf popped out of the top of the twig. It is now a very big plant, about five feet tall.