Thursday, 20 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 157

Whilst, looking for a suitable image for this week's SS, I came across this.  It reminded me of a time when the Grand-daughter stayed with us over the Christmas period.  Now your might have noticed that this is a little boy, but she was very Tom-Boyish, still a plays football for the County.  And, let's face it, this little lad is a bit girly.  He'd have a hell of a time where we come from.
Before I digress too far let's get back to the. story.
She was only four or five but insisted that we put up a stocking for Santa to fill. We, three grown-ups, tried to convince her that he couldn't get in because we lived in a mobile and didn't have a proper chimney. Her response was that he gets into our flat and we don't even have a fire-place. He Will get in; he's magic and invisible. Out argued by a child, we set about hanging up the stocking, setting a plate with a mince-pie and a glass of whiskey - she must have known the old-boy quite well, because she was certain that he liked mince-pies and whiskey (large) and also putting out a saucer of milk for his reindeer.
Eventually we got her to bed and to sleep, we sat back to rest a little.  The Stocking was filled, the other presents set under the Tree. The Scotch was drunk (thanks Santa) a bite was taken from the mince-pie and the saucer of milk was used to make tea. 
Sometime later we all went off to bed.  None of us, however, were due to get much sleep, because we were shortly awaken by shouts of joy - He's been, he's been , I nearly saw him, I heard him, heard him,  he left me some presents.  Half asleep, bare-footed, and trying to maintain the illusion, I walked towards the mantelpiece.  As I walked over I swear I felt something with stiff fur brush in to me.  There was a feint odour, just a fading hint, of the cattle byre.  As soon as it was experienced, it disappeared.  I was just about to dismiss it as a mental aberration when I trod in something that oozed between my toes.  It was warm, moist and obviously fresh, but I could not see it.  It was invisible, invisible reindeer poo.
It must have been magic because since then I've never suffered from athlete's foot or had cold feet.
Seasonal Greetings to all Sepialand

Friday, 14 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 156


The Kiss, a much used title in the Arts, in poetry, in photography,

Alfred Eisenstaedt
 offering reality, but often staged
in paintings

in Sculpture
Constantin Brancusi
The Kiss is seen as the most sensitive of human acts
 and also one of lust and carnality, 
one of friendship and of peace
 and also betrayal 
At this time of the year, it has become confused in the mythology of Christmas and with kissing under Mistletoe [(Viscum album) of the order Santalales (a purely coincidental similarity to Santa)]

Whilst, kissing under the mistletoe recieved much publicity in the Victorian period with advances in reading and printing, it is much older. It was extremely popular in the 15th and 16th Centuries, but its origin go back much further.  Many associate the origin with the Norse myths and the slaying Baldr the Beautiful.
In the Britain mistletoe has always been associated with Druids, who are believed to have held it in great esteem especially when it was found on sacred Oaks.
  The oak is an infrequent host fot the mistletoe and where it occurred the mistletoe was believed  to be endowed with extra magical powers.  It was cut from the boughs of the tree with a golden sickle and let fall to be caught in in a hide or a blanket.  If they failed to catch it and it fell to earth, it's powers would immediately be dissapated.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 155

A very interesting theme this week.  At first I was drawn to the obvious, to overalls, the bib and brace and the workingman's protective clothing, but as I researched the theme I began to consider what is the working man and what is his clothing as defined by his job.

Mid 19th century early Bib and Brace - called an Overall with Apron.  Clearly designed to provide total coverage and protection from dirt and grease, and aimed at the manual factory worker.
So too, the smock of the agricultural worker
His 13th Century counterpart may not have had the same protection
This assembly of Welsh Miners shows typical workingman's clothing
and they remained as "clean" as this because of their practice of working in their longjohns or less

In the 19th and early 20th Centuries specialisation and the factorisation of production extended to every thing and this included working clothes as can be seen from Jacob Reed's advert.
Not all workingmen laboured in factories or on the land or under it, but still they could be recognised the their "Dress"
And, we must not forget the role of the working woman in the home and the distinctive outfit of pinnie and apron worn in the interwar years and up and to the 1950s

The Navigator in Jolly Jill Tar clothing.



Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bridges Abridged, and an Addendum

Alan with his immaculate sense of timimg has once again produced a link that allows me to update progress on the substance of an earlier Blog inwhich I detailed the various Walton Bridges.
The first bridge was captured by Canaletto
This Bridge was built in 1750 and pulled down 23 years later because it proved too costly to maintain.

Over the period since, 4 other bridges have been constructed.  In less than my life-time two new bridges have spanned the Thames, both have been temporary and cheaply constructed with little maintenance. In the same time traffic has grown from a few buses and lorries, and the odd car,  and lots and lots of bicycles, to traffic carnage.

This is an everyday, all day, scene, and a place of numerous accidents.
The first span, of bridge number 6, from the Shepperton side to mid-Thames.  The Bridge was closed during the night and the event was attend by, so I'm led to believe, hundreds of spectators. 

Work starts on the 4 lane approach, across the Engine River, to the Thames to replace the listed causeway.

The new Bridge is due to open mid 2013 - will I live to see number 7?

Monday, 26 November 2012

A Reflection on Architecture

My interest in architecture has tended to concentrate on when buildings were erected with human and animal muscle-power.  It harks back to the days before hard-hats and toe-tecter boots, and Health & Safety, before steam, internal combustion and electricity was used to dig, shape and lift.  Back to when design and planning was learnt by years of experience and carried in the head.

To me this is a piece of architecture of interest;

Neolithic long barrow on Guernsey
A little early and a little exposed, but nonetheless a thing of wonderment;  how did they do that?

Egglestone Abbey 
Again a little exposed and showing the signs of poor maintenence in the past, but this allows us to view it at its most basic.

Little Moreton Hall
Requiring a little updating

Victorian Replication
Liverpool China Town 
Architechture, but not as we normally know it in the North-West
And, now for something modern.  I generally do not hold the modern with much esteem, having seen, and worked on, the construction of Offices, Factories, Tower Blocks and Houses in the sixties, I found too samey, shoddy and lacking in any real aesthetic value.  Much could not even claim a utilitiarian value.
Since the sixties, I think there has been some improvements.
The Spinnaker Tower
A spire to Mammon 
 The Liverpool Dock Building as seen in glass of the not too attractive Mann Island Building

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sepia Saturday 153

As this my first entry for nearly twelve months, I've decided to take the obvious and chose pairs or couples, or two's, and young (and perhaps, not so young) women as the theme this week.  Not only is it obvious but it also give an excuse to go rummaging through the various bundles of old photos lying uncared and moulering for in the back of my draws and images downloaded and stored in half-forgotten folders on the PC.

I'm not sure where this image comes from, but I've taken a lead from our leader and cropped it heavily.  The intention was not to find a picture within the picture but to remove the naughty bits that might cause offence to the sensitive.

This is clearly one of those mildly erotic images so much loved by upper class Victorian Gentlemen.  To be true to their superiority and propriety it has been cropped so as not cause respectable ladies to swoon, shock children or arouse animal passions in the lower classes and the feeble-minded..

In common with many others I often try to imagine, from the faces of the sitters, what is going on in their heads.

Quick, quick, hurry up, I'm going to scream.  Don't you dare, and you Mr Snapper get a move on.

I'm uncomfortable, but cute.  I'm a big girl now but still cute.

Monday, 19 November 2012

I've just noticed my last post was 23rd December;  It must have been some Christmas Party.

That got me thinking.  Time - strange concept looking forward ten months seem like - well ten months, but looking back it is barely 5 minutes.  I have this theory.  Time forward is unused, it is real time, measured in hours and minutes - it is the whole duration.  But, time backwards is a function of age and the memory of experiences .  The ten months since my last post is just about 1.3%. of my experiences.  And that don't seems so long.

Seriously though I must get round to posting a bit more frequently. In the time that has passed, Santa's come and gone and is getting ready to come again.  I succumb to constraints of process that made work increasingly more difficult (or pointless) and retired.  We've been away a number of times, taken hundreds of pictures, planted a couple of relatives, and attended my son's wedding.  

I've taken to going to a gym.  What I'm capable of doing, as an Old, Fat ex-Smoker, has surprised my Trainer as well as myself.  I still need to give myself a little "talking to" to get going, but quite enjoy it when I start.  I do about an hour, but this can stretch on a bit when I'm cooling down on the bicycle, if an entertaining body is working out within my eye-line.

The turning has taken a bit of a back seat to the carving.  The carving is not as immediate, but it produces a lot less dust.

Lincoln Imp in Oak

Greenman in Lime

Little Owl in Apple
I still spend time on the PC, and must get back into the Blogging mode, instead of playing cards and looking at, but seldom responding to, other people Facebook postings.  So much is going on, the New Walton Bridge (a subject I touched on a number of times) is under construction, some of the pictures I've taken are interesting or tell a story, the carving and the turning may be suitable subjects for future contributions.
If any one picks up on this, I'm pleased to meet you and hope to link up again..