There were 14 minutes before the E3 bus was due today, when I stepped out with my 3rd daughter (Marcella Rose) for a trip into Acton Hill. I had a reasonable bet with myself that we could cover most of the distance before the bus came. So we walked through Gunnersbury Park, getting a clear and open view of Brentford, Chiswick and Acton skylines ahead. We'd got as far as what used to be 'The Broadway' Greek restaurant before the bus came along, but we were warm from the walk and defintely in Acton! A weave in and out at Acton Town station/Bollo Lane zebra crossing towards the Mill Hill Tavern landmark (across from the old Passmore Edwards Cottage Hospital) then right, onwards and upwards to Acton High Street.
It was a good day to walk back, Eastwards from Windermere Road.
We had a warm welcome from volunteers 'of 'We Love Acton' group, who were running a tombola stand and was one of many stalls set up to bring the spirit of 'Christmas' into Acton. It was great to see the 'We Love Acton' regular photographer David Lawes, as felt like my wishes for an assistant had landed square in front of me when I saw him! Many thanks to David* for co-operating with me on this quest for Acton.
*The photographs on this blog, or linking to today's events are courtesy of David Lawes, with permissions.
As we crossed over the A-4020 Uxbridge Road, friendly forces brought a smile to Marcella, me too!
photograph courtesy David Lawes
Tell Mungo's about rough sleepers
This was a welcome site to the right of the 'We Love Acton' community stall, where St. Mungo volunteers spread the good news about helping rough sleepers.
St. Mungo's mainly cover the London area, but check out their website for more information. It's well worth sharing with someone that has no place to go this Christmas.
St. Mungo's opens doors for homeless people
providing accommodation and support projects
St. Mungo's is a charity that offer help for homeless
Set up in 1969 by a Glaswegian in Battersea, London.
Glasgow's patron saint is St. Mungo
St. Mungo's is a non-religious organisation
'Is Harmony Open' Christmas Appeal
If you see anyone sleeping rough in Acton, London or in your locality please contact St. Mungo's.
Help is out there for rough sleepers.
The orange hats on St. Mungo's tables caught our eyes from a distance, Marcella loved hers!
Here's a link to St. Mungo website, click on Marcella's orange hat
St. Mungo's was, for me 'top of the tree' for Acton
We also nipped across the road to West 3 Art Gallery
click on the Love Heart (below)
to see my favourites at the December 2012 exhibition
ART of Calm blog entry 6th December 2012
Today my GP advised me in the better use of my inhalers, I have to collect a spacer from the pharmacy later today and await appointments for chest x-ray and blood tests. This ongoing sensation in my chest has been a bit of a mystery as it seemed to come on for no apparent reason. However, I've noticed lately that there's a pattern to when it comes, which concerns my emotional/mental state.
As calm and composed as I may be there's a feeling that alway rises when feeling under attack, or unsafe. I think the same applied after I slipped on that wet floor last year. The world isn't always a safe place but what we think about a person, an event or a place makes a difference to our state, where cognition plays a key role. How we see the world around us makes a difference, so I wont forget that I have kind, supportive people around me and remind myself that the best practice is staying focused on constructive building.
It's a fact that some of the people that I've had to interract with in certain places have not been in integrity and stuff like this can lead anyone to 'fight or flight'. Even though passiveness is part of who I am, I'm known to speak out against injustices. It's been in times like this that I have found that a 'peculiar posse' can develop in the moments that follow the speaking out. But speaking out is best practice, for turning the other cheek can sometimes mean getting a 'slap' from another direction. Napoleon Hill states in his dialogues that there are times we have to 'fight' but it doesn't have to be with the sword! O pen is a mighty tool, as is a paintbrush and a powerful imagination.
In the meantime I'll carry on with my creative work and take inspiration from life's events for my storylines.. there's one in the back of the creative side of my brain called 'Mrs Jaffar and the Chattering Chair'; another (maybe a poem) called 'Ack and Will Went Up The Hill'; plus 'Grace in a Stoned Wall'. My imagination works wonders!! It's a better medicine than some bitter pills, helping me see people, places or events from a different perspective.
In the meantime I'll take solace from colour palettes and scenes of water
Green.. Blue.. Cool.. Calm.. River.. Stream.. Lake
These are colours of calm, though colour psychology has also determined that pink has a calming effect. The image below is calm inducing for me, it may well be brought into the story of how misplaced loyalty led a certain 'Ms. Pasiv' to the 'edge'. Will it be a drama? we'll see, but it certainly needs to cover how the 'crap of life' can lead us all to be own own hero. Pass O Pen.
Enough said, blog on.
The ART of EATING WELL blog entry 27th November 2012
Tonight I watched tv for a change, first was 'Amazing Spaces' and I enjoyed seeing the redesigning of both a canal boat and an old caravan. But following on from this programme on Channel 4 was another called 'Heston's Fantastical Food'. It felt like a journey into the world of Willy Wonka! A giant tube of Rolos with a uniqueness that gave everyone the feeling of having the last one. Heston Blumenthal created a different filling for each!
If I'd been one of the lucky visitors of Heston's Giant Sweet Factory in Chesterfield England I'd be lining up for the mandarin tiramisu Rolo. Sweeties are a not just a pleasant memory of childhood, they're a popular way to satisfy the palate and make gifts of treats. Heston's chewing gum dinner was a very clever idea. But no matter how sweet Heston's savoury looking confectionary spaghetti was, I'd stick to the Italian way a handed a down a from my Italian mamma.
I've a munchie for a Rolo now! Luckily I've a bar of Milka with nuts and raisins tucked away..
I've found it, munch munch.
Fillings.. that remind me. I had two fillings a few months ago and one fell out. So I went back and the dentist re-filled it after drilling an even bigger hole! She didn't re-charge me for the re-fill but considering that I paid more £60 for each one I'd have challenged the cost if I'd been expected to pay again. It's going to be temporarily filled with chocolate for now, but I will brush my teeth later. Promise.
Are you wondering why I'm blogging about sweeties with a title called 'The ART of Eating Well'?
Tonight's sweet moments in front of the tv reminded me to get started with a food related blog, one I planned to start months ago after visiting Butler's Thai cafe style restaurant in South Ealing, London, where the owner Niddy serves up the best Thai Green Curry I've ever tasted and raw carrots get carved and placed as ornamental flower/s on your plate (and yes, you can eat them if you like raw food).
A second nudge to get going with a blog on food came via my Abel & Cole deliveries. I've been ordering from them for a few months now. Good food, free recipes, tips, tricks and treats and my best purchase (so far) is the full cream milk! plus a chocolate cereal that lends to a perfect partnership in eating, no matter what time of day. Neither of these two products are found in my local grocery shop, nor the local mini-market chain further along the road. Both have good food, though I'm never really certain how much 'junk' goes into some of the food packaged.
I'm pretty certain that with both Abel & Cole and Butler's Thai I'm going to get food that is good and wholesome, but if I want 'junk' food I'll reach for the sweet stuff and dream on about that giant manadrin tiramisu/jaffa cake Rolo!
ART of Glass blog entry 24th November 2012
A week away from home in the Costa Blanca allowed me to step out with great company and rest the stress, opening myself up to the new and unusual in art. I met an artist called Ebbs who's created clay relief panels and mirrored mosaic wall plaques. A relief panel of Boudicea on a horse driven chariot was a runner-up favourite to what I referred to as 'my lovers back'. I'll have to leave you mystified on that one, until Ebbs sends me photo images! when I hope to show some of his work on my 'Best of British' pages here in this website.
Who says the Costa Blanca isn't British? the coast may well be Spanish/Mediterranean but there sure isn't a shortage of Brits there! I was glad to meet many from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and it was a welcome bonus meeting Ebbs! He invited me to view his portfolio of work and was my guide in visiting a few of his artworks displayed locally.
Glass is a versatile material to work with, whether it's mirrored or not. The pieces that I've worked with are teeny compared to the large works by Ebbs, but I flow in my own way with what I do even if I have to put projects away half done (family first here and my work has shifted to and fro over the years while I help with the domestic needs that constantly change for a mother). A couple of years ago I asked a local glazier's for their waste glass and pushed my luck a little by asking for the pieces to be cut to a specfic size. Eddie the owner was kind enough to drill a small hole in each piece and with the addition of a glass angel (from my craft box) mounted onto each one the salvaged waste glass became ornamental.
Do you have a glazier's near to you and are interested in creating art from waste materials with a community group? ask them for their waste glass, if you're lucky you may get a little more co-operation as i did.
I've published several inspirations on this page for those who are looking for creative ideas and inspiration, including some of my work with glass beads, which are perfect for decorative design. Out of the box thinking is great for creativity, have a look at what's on the link below (click on 'Colour My Angel' banner) and see if you are inspired to embrace the art of glass.
The ART of Dance
I was captured on camera again! dancing... at The Priory, Terrevieja, Spain.
A week of uninterrupted detachment from the usual was aided by great company, good music and needlesss to say the running path of salt from San Miguel. There's been something in my left arm that's been niggling me since I slipped on a wet floor over a year ago. I'd been dancing that day too, not at a regular dance but at a world acclaimed Tony Robbins' Business Mastery event that was held in London. My imagination often goes into the 'field' and I did find myself thinking all sorts about why this slip happened, but it's a better feeling to step out of the 'whys and wherefores' and help myself to heal. I'm glad I visited the healing plains of San Miguel in Eastern Spain. I'm also glad for the musicians the world over for keeping the spirit of dance moving through time.
Sometimes I'm asked 'what sort of dance?' when I tell them I love dancing. If I was to name the dances I do I'd call them 'dragon dancing' because for me it's about the energy that rises within us in dance. The dragon for me isn't so much an inner or outer 'beast' to be slain though. In one sense the 'dragon' might be seen as the negative side that anyone can possess, something that the word 'ego' or fear allows. Also, it can relate to something outside of us that is perceived as an enemy, or a threat. But both are limiting for the dragon, which in many cultures is a symbol of healing, good luck, wisdom and authority. Each year in China a celebratory focus of the Chinese New Year includes the Dragon Dance,* where the dragon is regarded as both are frightening in appearance and yet benevolent in character. This year, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.
Dancing reminds me that life is always worth celebrating, even if the pain of that slip still lingers in my left arm. I know that the art of dance raises something of a dragon in me, it's wild, free and stable enough to stop with the sound of the last drum beat.
photographer has promised to send me digital copies, will I share them with you?
Roll them on Graham!
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DRAGON IN CELEBRATIONS:
BiM: Art of building in the 5th dimension? blog entry 11th November 2012
I'd intended to blog on this subject a couple of weeks ago, sometime life takes me another direction. No doubt I'll come back to this interesting development in the field of building/construction at some point, but if you have something you'd like to comment on regarding BiM (or some other blog on this website) let me know via my Facebook:
ART OF COMMUNICATION: Blog entry 2nd November 2012
I mentioned 'all the changes' recently on Facebook and an acquaintance asked 'what changes?'.
I didn't reply, the list is too long! Mainly from what I experience via the Internet the changes are many. Suddenly I'm re-connected with so many people I've not seen for years, sharing news and stories. It's a past come into the present, with global conversations being shared in an instant. The person who asked me was unknown to me before I'd joined an online Facebook group called 'We love Acton/ This group's re-united many people who've lived or live in Acton, West London, UK. That's good news in communications!
Then within my field of work the shift out of retail and back to my portfolio marks changes, now I am more in a creative flow it feels like a re-connection with my athentic self. Following on from 7 to 8 years of selling on eBay UK I now have just a 'small corner' for you to buy from (if you're looking for gift ideas) and it's based within the domains I own. The 'art of being chartable' is not new as I've always found time and money to give to worthy causes.
My family situation changes, constantly as some leave home, start families of their own. Then with my youngest Skype has made much difference, as I recall the ridiculously over the top phone bills. Thank goodness for Skype! It's a new way of communicating for the younger generation, they learn with ease how to use today's technology.
Has the art of communicating fully shifted into the changes though?
Not as I see it, the word that came to me today was that not enough CEO's or high level managers are using today's advanced technologies to their full potential. I've witnessed the same in a certain area of governorship, though I will say that there are many who are making good use of communicating via the Internet,
It's been said by some peoplethat I've spoken to tha 'it's not safe for confidential issues' or 'the Internet is too transparent'. But I don't agree with either, because if people have security measures in place their conversation are or can be private and as far as transparency is concerned, what's the problem with that?
I don't have a problem being open and find that it certainly helps with levels of communication when others are open too.
ART of keeping calm and carrying on building blog entry Sunday 14th October 2012
It's 2.22am. This time of night is not peculiar to me, some nights it strecthes to 2:45 and on the very focused missions I'll work here through the night. I plan it well now my youngest child is more independent and able, tonight she's with her dad. So I do what I love, it is work of course, it's working a certain wheel to increase a greater awaeness of the ARTS in London. I like to use capitals as the word embraces so many areas of creativity, all of which involve designing and making.
One of the pluses of working at this time is that no-one interrups. So if I am publishing news of arts events this is the perfect time. My body seems to need less sleep as physical time passes, so it's no major problem. Not now, it was in the past when I was building up my e-commerce shop, I had a lot of distractions then (when I was a recently 'landed' divorcee and mum of 5). They're all adult now except for the youngest. I'm glad she's independent now but these late nights didn't always help me on the school runs, during a brief spell on 'total chaos mode'. Quite funny looking back on it all.
It's not happening now.
I'm working on a project for an interior design programme. I'll tell you more about it soon.
Did you ever try Spirulina? we've had some here in a pear and banana smoothie. My half filled glass has a pattern around the rim. Vibrant green 2D statues of goodness, stuck on glass. Something in me has shifted, usually I'd be reaching for my camera to see what the pixels bring. But more important right now is to drink the rest, keep calm and carry on building.
That reminds me.. the 'Art of Eating Well' is something I've been considering adding to this website, I've a fair few positive things to say about both Able & Cole (I have a small box of healthy food delivered each week) and a local Thai food restaurant called 'Butler's Thai'. If you have something helpful, interesting or useful going on with your ART and you're in Ealing (West London) do get in touch with me to chat about sharing good news here.
My mobile number is at the bottom of this page and is the best way to contact me.
ART of Apothecary blog entry Thursday 11th Ocober 2012
I was reflecting a few minutes ago on my candid comment whilst at Apothecaries Hall last month. It was during the Open House weekend visit, on the Sunday. Rain was continuous that day and I did feel a little chilled by the cool moisture, but it didn't stop me and my trusted guide from making several visits in/near to the City of London.
At the entrance to Apothecaries Hall from the street, there's an archway that leads to a square. At the top of the arch is the Coat of Arms of this historical livery company, which is the oldest in the City of London amongst those that still exist. The Society of Apothecaries was incorporated by royal charter from James I in 1617
The coat of arms was seen everywhere, as I moved through varying levels of information and symbolic references of interior design. The stairwell impressed me the most, each spindle was turned with wide girth and rounded off at intervals producing a design that resembled apothecary's jars.
The Worshipful Master of Apothecaries Hall corrected my thinking regarding the first coat of arms when I asked a question. I am very glad I did ask 'who is the lady sitting on the dragon?' and to my surprise the answer was:
'That's Apollo, the God of Healing'
Next question was about the rhinoceros, which you can look up if you don't know. The Internet's a marvel!
The Art of being Open blog entry 28th September 2012
Open has become a key word in my vocabulary as 2012 sets into its autumnal phase. It all began in 2011, when I returned to art practices because there was enough in my budget to hire studio space, I found the ideal space on the top floor of a 5-storey block at 'OPEN Ealing' Arts Centre. The capital letters in this case are a part of the branding of the organisation that established itself as a significant venue for the arts, in West Ealing, London.
The use of the word 'open' holds connotations of doors inviting a greater step towards creativity, which is something I've always been passionate about. A few months on from departing from that light and airey studio space, I put closure on eight years of on-line retailing with eBay UK. It was time to flow in my passion and set a certain stage for continuing what I'd begun at OPEN Ealing Arts Centre.
The creative energy within me is often freely expressed, onto a multitude of surfaces and using various media. This allows the artist within me to open up, a symbolic unfurling of petals and I found many an inspiration from gazing far beyond suburbia, to distant southwards skies. Doing something with both hand and mind has a beneficial effect on everyone, especially when it serves to build, be that confidence, communities, self-esteem, or simply co-operation. On one level they're all hard work, but like much of life we can all take out of it what we put in. We're all here to create something useful, including (and not limited to) painting, poetry, performing arts, or even making a contribution within grander schemes of housing, education or welfare.
Open is for everyone and not limited to the arts centre along the Uxbridge Road in West London and at OPEN Ealing it was good to use space as a practitioner of my craft, a spectator of others crafts and a provider in certain on-going projects. As I type this many are gathering up the last vital pieces of what came to be a well attended, well supported local cause and I hope to see the arts centre in more permanent location in the very near future. The doors to much needed arts space and provision are closing in Ealing, but not forever! In the meantime I'm glad to find more open doors and wider afield.
Technology has given us doors to knock upon yet there's no porchway, doors morph into laptops and mobile devices, etc. where we can access useful data by pressing the right buttons. Cyberspace has become a great source of information and the events that I've attended in the physical sense are also publicised via the Internet.
porta abertaoffene Tür门户开放porte ouverteΑνοίξτε τις πόρτες Відкрийте двері Åpne dører
باب مفتوح Deschideţi uşilepuerta francaporta apertaOtevřít dveře دروازے بن
Åbne døre 門戸開放 דלת פתוחה open deurद्वार खोल Nyissa ki az ajtótرها ى باز Otwarte drzwi политика открытых дверей öppen dörr serbest ticaret เปิดประตู문호 개방의
I have to admit that the 'Open Lectures' and 'Open House London' events of September 2012 were discovered through word of mouth from associates, but they're interesting enough for me to blog them. So others may physically visit these events and/or use the technological portals. They're both useful in making the most out of 21st communications to find about more about the town, city or country in which they live or further beyond, plus the artistic/architectural practices of others.
Britain has a very 'colourful' political history and London has many interesting buildings that span many centuries. However, you'll have to wait another year for Open House London but it's not too late if you want to go further afield. I've discovered Open House has global counterparts and their events do not all take place at the same time, thanks to the 'Open House Family' and Open House Worldwide organisation.
The event that takes place in Barcelona, Spain on 27th and 28th October 2012 has caught me eye and is aptly called ulls, ments i portes obertes, which means 'eyes, mind and open doors'. I wonder if any of Gaudi's Art Nouveau style architecture is included as I would certainly be interested in seeing if this style continues to echo far beyond the times in which it began.
I'm limited on photographs until either a photographer wishes to collaborate on this blog, or images come through from regular methods. I'm open for either, but in the meantime I may have to use my artistic interpretation of the spaces within-and-without architectural constructs and political impressions.
Hoping you enjoy this story-blog of a journey from OPEN to Open, as Art and Architecture in Britain and the wider world opens up on your lap.