Thursday, 23 July 2009

A miscellany of facts from Hereford

Worried about relatives getting more forgetful about when to take the burgeoning stack of pills they have to take? Local Gps liaise with client's pharmacies to provide prescriptions that can then be packed into clearly labeled “Dose-it” packs. These can even be subdivided into morning, midday, afternoon an night doses.

Jothi means “light” or “Lamp” - a lovely name for a cheerful lady shop assistant.

Bagless vacuum cleaners may not need bags, however, the do often contain filters that need to be washed and left to dry for 24h when the dust drum is emptied.

The direct translation of the German word for vacuum cleaner “Staubsauger” is - “Dust Sucker!”.

Wargrave House Surgery in Hereford is in a beautiful grade II listed building and garden. According to the receptionist, originally the house was bought by Charles II for his long time mistress, Nell Gwyn, a 17th century actress who was also renowned for her wit and described as “Pretty, Witty Nell”. The Wikipedia article at gives an informative and entertaining account of her known history,

Monday, 6 July 2009

Great first weekend of my Cambridge Open Studio

Doors open, signs up, coordinated with Alison Hullyer just down road with her own studio at 11am on Saturday 4th July.

My first visitor (and buyer!) was Ann Hales-Tooke, for whom I'm publishing her newest book, The Lost Priory. She arrived in the morning sunshine in a lovely dress and summery hat. An artist herself, Ann gave exhibiting a miss this year.

Other visiting artists included Hiroshi Shimura, who had done most of the photos for the 800th year celebrations for Cambridge University, whos work gives a unique insight as a Japanese photographer in Cambridge; Stained glass artist Sarah Hunt who loved the luminous colours of the human hair in polarised light; Kathryn Shaw and photographer Soo Martin, with whom I exchanged photo and printing tips!

The added delight were the families with children who came, excitedly looked at butterflies and seeds under the microscope or earnestly worked on the quiz.

My quiz was a surprise hit. I'd numbered the pictures on the walls and provided descriptions or names of the pictures on the quiz sheet; the idea was to try and match the two. Daniel (aged 9 going on to 576 as he reliably informed me as his alter ego second ghost Captain Blighte) held the record at 28 out of 29 correct answers till beaten by Daisy late on Sunday afternoon.

People spent a lot of time looking and thinking about the pictures if they did the quiz, which was great as it gave rise to questions and conversation. I'm not sure if it might have detracted people from buying. The best sellers were the Postcards printed through

I was particularly delighted when Mervyn Foster, a friend through HBN, Complementary Therapist and Raconteur, made the effort to drop by and also tweet on his visit!

Talking of tweeting, I kept a steady stream of tweets going linked to #ChrisCOS on both days.
The only quiet section really was a couple of hours during the mens Wimbledon Final - Jane did regularly bring out and update a board with the scores for visitors during the game.

Today, I'm still emotionally exhausted from a great couple of days and will gather my strength for the next weekend.

You are thoroughly welcome to drop by next weekend, I'd love to see you! the exhibition is at 3 Hall End, Milton, Cambridgeshire, CB24 6AQ and well signposted from the north end of the village. Remember there are also 200 other artists exhibiting in July as part of Cambridge Open Studios.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Cambridge Open Studios diary - Friday 03rd July

Had got pretty stressed out yesterday with picture hanging and also continuing saga of BT line awaiting repairs (now a fortnight without landline!). So took the middle of day off to go to Mervyn's seminar on Stress, cancer and Complementary therapies. Certainly relaxed me.
Continued completing the little things - like a quiz and lables. Finished at 4 in the moring after a dash to Tesco for printing paper as I'd run out.

Cambridge Open Studios diary - Thu 2nd July

Today was a day of measuring and hanging pictures! I'd planned the layout in PowerPoint, with measurements in proportion. Transferring the idea to the actual walls worked well, though it was time consuming, with the las pictures going up at 7 in the evening.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Cambridge Open Studios Countdown Diary Wed 1st July

Absolutely exhausted after a productive day getting the garage sorted out as a studio with the excellent help of Alex and Louise. We first had to mount 10 boards to the walls to act as hanging surfaces, the routine developed as follows.

Alex "The Rock" would hold the 1.9m x 0.6m board in position. I would first drill through the board and into the masonry with a small 4mm drill. Then the holes in the wall were enlarged to fit rawplugs. The Board would be positioned and Louise "Muahahahahahahahahaha!" would use the power screwdriver to fix the board. Then the routine would start over again. We finished mid afternoon.

Then came the painting of the the boards which took till about 5:30, with Louise and I sharing the work.

The finished area looks really professional and we are all physically exhausted.

Picture hanging planned for tomorrow!