Wednesday, December 18, 2019

RED JULES @redjules

I cant think of a better post for any of you ! I have blogrolled Jules Middletons blog for many years , and Gods timing is NOW 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

That Delphic Sibyl and other well muscled models

 Cumaean Sybil
Picture here is of the Cumaean Sybil  of Michaelangelo rather than the more well known Delphic Sybil of Michaelangelo; she looks as if she has been to the gym and lifting weights. I wonder just how many  real arms the Artist had actually studied or whose arms were used for  the model here . Michaelangelo he might have been , but my teenagers had a few words for this photo here. 
I've been to Holy Trinity Hull oka Hull Minster to see the exhibition of the photographs of all the paintings in the Sistine Chapel . I went twice actually , once alone with Hull sister and friend and then with Beloved and teenage Grandsons;
  • a  deliberate act to ensure that they will remember that the cultural expeditions with Grandma to Kingston upon Hull covered more than the Artwork of the 21st Century
  • to show them that an interior of an ancient and historic church may lend itself to an update in space management
  • to introduce them to Trinity Market next to the Minster
I was glad that I knew the layout , ambience and logististics of the free but ticketed Exhibition before visiting a second time , as the first time was a confusing journey amongst scores of people in the way with their Audio Guides , inaccessible places for wheelchairs, and a Funeral Service being prepared so that punters had to get round quickly .
I have seen the real thing , the Sistine Chapel  in 1974 visiting Uncle Edgar (who worked at FAO) and Aunty Kay . Rome was then just like a huge GIFT SHOP , religious souvenirs on every corner , and I got weary of the endless Etruscan Vases and glass cases with bits of the original Cross , the SISTINE  chapel was lost  on me too . So I welcomed chance to see the photos showing close up detail , or maybe I'm more interested in Renaissance paintings now and not just waiting for the next birra.

The second visit was much easier, and the volunteers much more used to their best help techniques, new routes for wheelchairs were now in place and a much better arrangement for the display of the famous bits, the Creation of Adam and Adam and Eve . Much better too now  the Sanctuary , showing the photo of the   huge Last Judgement . I loved this, especially the portrayal of the  flayed skin of St Bartholomew with the face of Michaelangelo himself - I missed that in La Roma. 

Here I not only applaud the Minster staff and volunteers, but the easily spotted Turquoise Hull Volunteers trained for the 2017 City of Culture events and now one of the most successful legacies of that year and the follow on years . I hope the POD in Paragon Station will remain .
Here are Audrey and Sue earning a welcome sit down after a mornings work in the Minster refectory, and still  happy to chat Hull  . 
 I have known Holy Trinity all my life, my mother used to take me as a teenager so Youth Services in the 60s , and more recently ordinations, & the Morning Service on Sunday mornings when we stay at the nearby Premier In.

Guess the LP
We had a very successful visit to Trinity Market , and Oh! how different from the covered market of my own teenage years, when coffee was Milk and a dash, and I learned how to buy a crab to dress at home . I would get back to Sutton hoping that I'd remembered to get a Male, and that it wasn't too wet in the cart . I have loved Crab ever since, glad that here in Filey they are readily available nearly every day at our wet fish shop Lovetts. Beloved and I had a long sit , he with an italian Arancino, and me with a Lowenbrau , as the boys hunted for Vinyl records and a lunch fit for a teenage boy -
Pepper Chips. The Street food on offer in Trinity Market was varied and authentic, we loved it !

And just when the day couldn't get any better , beloved bought a  Cycad in the Station Florist  and a huge Opuntia  for our grandson who is collecting and tending Cacti .

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Mick Ronson and the spider in my kitchen

Mural of Mick Ronson in Greenwich Avenue ,Kingston upon Hull 

There  has been a spider sitting in her web for 4 weeks in my kitchen. I'm not moving her , she can enjoy her new home with me. I am a Bruce after all and have always loved the apocryphal story about patience . Backend for me , always comes with Spiders, Green tomatoes, clearing my allotment and a backward look at the recent School Holiday. 
We've not been away , but we've enjoyed being with family and friends who have been in Yorkshire for their Summer break , and loved having the boys around the corner having their freedom from school . If one lives in a Seaside Resort like Filey the streets are swollen with slow visitors, slower Coach party day trippers who just want the shops, and thousands of Dog Owners with packs of dogs for whom this town and Country Park is heaven .Grandsons and I became trippers recently. Reuben asked if he could see the new Banksey in Hull . Hull Live is good for this, the Facebook or Twitter  pages for the Hully Daily Mail. Everything about Hull is easy for us, the buses are frequent, little cafes on Industrial sites do great cheap food for teenagers, Even their loos are always spotless. We found another great one in Spyvee Street , the  RSV cafe tacked on to a Plastics Company , and just near the Graffitti we had come to see, a signed Preg not a Banksey but just as good.

The boys and I look unlikely pedestrians in the very busy rat run  back streets . I love all the use of space, the wild flowers posing as weeds and love being in streets whose names I've known all my life and never visited. 

Who can go past the Old Windmill Pub and not love the decorative tiles? I hope its renovated , even if it becomes an Airbnb or a Caffe Nero , doubtful with its location but a shame if its demolished.  The Mick Ronson Gable end mural was great . A son of Hull , and my sons in law, both guitar players knew all about him. I had not even heard of him , but I'd much rather celebrate him than Philip Larkin , a much hyped resident only of Hull, whose dark poems are too gloomy for me even if the language is well crafted. Id rather celebrate the more upbeat and positive poetry of Sean O'Brien or Shane Rhodes if words need to do Hull a favour. 

The Social Media promoting the popular Culture of Hull since 2017 has helped me a lot to focus on my home city. The pop up works of the Bankside Gallery are for me an outdoor joy for the eyes. Reuben wanted to go back to see  the area around the Scott Street Bridge and Maizecor, Just a short walk across North Bridge from Spyvee street , and even watching the pigeons in the unloading bay eating up  spilled maize meal captivated us all in a surreal moment .  I am thankful for teenage boys who still like simple things.

I wanted to see the permission wall houses of Preston Road, but Twitter helped here with more updates, and I had a comment from @DaveHarrison telling me that most were now demolished.So we just took a ride anyway so that I could see the site of my old School, Greatfield  just off Preston Road. Hull sister obligingly drove us all from Greenwich Avenue to Hemswell Road before driving us to Spyvee Street  . The school gates are still there , just as they were in 1959 , one road to the Bicycle shed entrance, and the main gates for staff cars and  pedestrian pupils wearing caps and berets . Detention from the awful Miss Nuttall for any miscreants with bare heads, Oh! I was scared of her !
The huge Greatfield site is now home to HULL KINGSTON ROVERS whose Craven Park ground has moved from Holderness Road  to Preston Road . I do hope it has an all weather pitch. The clay soil of our sports fields were sodden in the wet ,with huge lakes of sitting water, and sheer ice rinks in winter when below zero. The whole school would be out sliding on the ice , watched over by all the staff , including the head, all wearing their academic gowns. How I wished we had been able to take photos then , but those were the days of my best Brownie 127 , certainly not for school .

Friday, June 14, 2019

Merrily ,merrily...

Not rowing, but Canal Narrow boating is not an exclusive club. Spouse and I now know a thing or two. This is not strictly true as spouse and a colleague once took four  children round the Cheshire Ring when he worked for Social Services forty years ago. He remembers that one child fell in the canal , and he hung  the boat on the cill .

See my language is now becoming techno boatspeak. I now know what a paddle is, a windlass, a chamber and that one sails on the right hand side, and that ducks may have thirteen ducklings . I know many of the places along the Staffordshire and Worcester canal from Great Haywood to Debsdale lock and back.

It took me one week to work out how locks work , whether we are sailing up higher terrain, whether the narrow boat coming towards us is actually a moored boat , and how to make a cup of tea when going in a lock when the boat may hit the bankside and mugs spill .

 I now know how to

  • Wind a paddle up (this may be very strenuous)
  • Let a paddle down (this is never strenuous , but one needs to remember to keep the rachet safeguard on)
  • Fill the water tank,remembering to keep the business end of hose clean and away from ground)
  • put the windlass always back in same place by bow doors
  •  see that what looks like black paint maybe thick black oil
  • spot an approaching lock
  • Always shut bow doors in an ascending lock 
  • How to dry wet cushions and carpets 
  • call to person at tiller that  a boat is approaching (wave a map at them , calling doesn't work)
  • spot the rope marks on bridges, left when boats were hauled by horses
  • Sleep on a a bed like a 60cm wide plank 
I now know one can easily last a week without "Neighbours" and "Pointless" and even without the daily Newspaper whose crossword  punctuates each day .I now know that a child bookworm may read 10 books in 5 days , and that two under tens can easily play on top of a double bunk for 2 hours without making a mess or using any toys except paper, pens and imagination.
I know that I never want to eat another chip . Whilst canalside pub meals are a rare daily treat , the Staffordshire  publicans need to discover how to serve more imaginative pub grub. The one exception was the Manor House Pub at Whittington , who not only let us dine in our own Tudor chamber, but did a Cauliflower Steak ,sounds boring , but was a delicious Veggie Main , cooked on a grill and served with a brilliant sauce.
I didn't read a single page of my book , Spouse managed much of Clayhanger , his themed choice for Staffordshire. I could not really move from my place on the bow watching the canalside Vegetation, the Mayflies , the Ducks and the Gardens of the posh and poor alike. I must have been making the tea when we went past the famous garden of John Massie of Ashwood nurseries , but my sister videoed it .
Favourite Lock ,Bumblehole just south of The Bratch

Spouse & I stayed 2 days in the Premier Inn on the Stone Road, Stafford before joining Family party  of Nephew and wife, and two children , and my sister, at the Anglo Welsh Boatyard. We thought Stafford was a great place , the people loved their town and using our bus passes  to town managed to see The Ancient High House,the two interesting churches   great coffee stops and learn the meaning of the Staffordshire Knot .

Friday, April 19, 2019

My Good Friday & plot updates

Bernard's Old plot , now mine 

If you are a person who prays , please pray that the pigeon I accidentally allowed to hop in to St Oswalds Filey, hops out again in to the churchyard tomorrow. We have had to lock the doors on him for now as we finished decorating the church for that wonderful celebration Easter, the highlight of the Church year.(Update ,the pigeon did indeed hop out this morning .Deo Gracia.)
I am home now and listening to the Verdi Requiem on Radio 3, I love my Good Friday music, I had Part 1 of the Messiah at lunchtime when I had a quiet hour after going to the plot :
There I had  to collect greenery and cut all Barbara's Tulips and Daffodils from the plot next to me. She is always happy to give them to the Parish Church to use, and I'm very grateful. I had been asked to do an arrangement in yellow and blue to look natural and like the countryside in memory of the dear father of Liz who runs the Parish Office. My Cheshire sister who has been in Filey all week celebrating her imminent 70th birthday was commissioned by me to collect twigs. She brought an enormous bunch of sycamore, willow and beech twigs to me on Wednesday . They are the perfect symbol for Easter, as good as Eggs . I had a dilemma with the yellow part of the brief , as the 5 stems of Ranunculus I ordered were very small flowered . I should have ordered 20 stems. I wanted them to look like buttercups in the wild. I did pick masses of yellow flowered Woad from my Dye Bed. Daisy Dot *can have the rest , if it stands well and lasts and is yellow enough it could be a useful addition to the flower palette . I want to cut most of the flowers off as it seeds everywhere and I don't think there is much of a call for a lick of woad these days.

 The gone to seed Kale flowers are in the arrangement as well . One year I did a splendid arrangement of cabbage leaves in St Os in late summer , all different shades of green . I came to water it the next day to find it had all been eaten by the  caterpillars I had overlooked on the undersides. I checked the Kale this time albeit early for Cabbage Whites. Today , gloriously sunny , my plot was full of Peacock Butterflies enjoying the rich nectar of the Wallflowers and Dandelions, Why do some gardeners so hate Dandelions?

I've not had much inclination to blog in the evenings  recently as I have been too tired or absorbed watching Hews Nursery on Utube.  In the mornings my head may be full of things which will make a riveting read but I often fall asleep as soon as I sit down after supper.

I have been going up to the plot nearly every day since January .Time stand still there. I set off as beloved is watching 'Neighbours' at lunchtime. In January when its dark early I'm only there a couple of hours, but as the days lengthen I get later and later. Here I explain that my allotment partner of 6 years has given up . I have now another piece of ground to cultivate so have been getting Bernard's plot into my NO DIG system  by covering every bit with cardboard and straw, and putting woodchip paths everywhere. I explain . The No Dig gardening system is just as its name , one doesn't dig . BUT neither does one walk on the beds, so they are narrow enough to garden from both sides, hence the paths. I did not have many perennial weeds to remove first , as Bernard was a meticulous ridder of Marestail and Couch grass. I am up and running now on my new piece of ground , most of my seeds in the greenhouse are seedlings and potted on , my Sweet Peas 
Sweet Peas in !
are in , my Second Earlies and Main crop Potatoes are sitting happily under their straw on top of the wet cardboard, and I'm about to get planting the Climbing French beans in their modules. My hot beds are still hottish, and the trays of Tagetes will soon be hardened off. Tesco have theirs for sale already out the front of the Filey Store, but I always wait until Kathy at Filey pets and gardens has hers out .

Filey Parish has been supplied with Chrysanthemum' Blooms' for many years , lovingly grown by a member of the St Os congregation . Blooms are perfect for the Brass Vases at St Os as they may last for weeks. Peter gave me a few of his stock plants and I have grown them now for two years and am getting better at the routine. Peter is giving up growing so many , and several of us are trying to keep the supply going . This year I'm taking it more seriously and might even become proficient enough to grow blooms large enough to pass for Peters. I have bought some plugs from Thompson and Morgan and Beloved has potted them on for me to take up to the plot tomorrow for the greenhouse. We did as it said on the leaflet and brought them in at night whilst gradually hardening them off . The ones already in the greenhouse from the cuttings I took in January are looking good too, Peters progeny . I don't believe I just said all this . Five years ago I thought Chrysanths were the most boring plants on Gods earth after Begonias , but I am being seduced.

*Daisy Dot is our local Florist

Monday, January 28, 2019

Bankside with Grandma

Doing Bankside

Its 10 years since I saw my first Banksy . It was in Israel
and was a definite political statement, and even from the coach window was recognisable. Ten years on and Banksy is very much main stream and market worthy . Now with a celebrity status even Secondary Schools deem the artist of note and encourage pupils to discover his work and appreciate it . One such is my grandson Reuben . When I told him about the Banksy on Scott Street Bridge, Kingston upon Hull, he asked if I would take him to see it. 
We had a great day out from Filey , taking the train to Paragon is always good for boys who travel to school in a coach, and everywhere else by car . They however are both walkers ,every weekend they go for miles with their parents on the beach at Cayton, Scarborough and Hunmanby Gap , BELOVED  only slow strolls with the Sholley these days to get the paper, or collect his medication.He potters around quite happily without us, always spurred on by the prospect of Neighbours at lunchtime so we left him to hold the Filey Fort.

WE walked straight to the Banksy on Scott Street Bridge. Its not much of a sight now that its been vandalised, preserved and covered with perspex, as its lost its integrity . THE one in the war torn West Bank has more about it . I won't go on here about the lack of care of the Brits for the man made environment when the gift of a Banksy arrives. Its just as easy to say that any graf is destructive. 
The Bankside Gallery has to be understood . Artists are provided with designated Permission Walls, which like everything may be abused, as in the Preston Road site, now probably gentrified up as another Gallery Site. I cant see any reason not to paint on derelict houses. HCC waits for years before seeing the housing needs, and finding money to renovate existing stock, the graf is a useful wake up call to a Labour Council .(IMO)
Reuben took lots of photos, he's good at that, .Zak hung around patiently asking intelligent questions. I Walked them to the great walls in Air Street , dodging huge lorries trying to park on the corner near the small graveyard. This all added to the urban feel, as Bankside is not a cosy Gallery with seats and the smell of freshly ground coffee around very corner. It is edgy and a small part of the day to day industry that is going on around it. Men in high vis jackets hang out the front of engineering plants and car yards enjoying a fag and a break . We saw no one else walking around looking at the paintings. WE  were the odd ones out . The spray canned ones fitted in mostly well, because we expect to see them in all cities, and railway sides, but we never expected them to be SO GOOD, SO CLEVER,SO DIFFERENT or SO INDIVIDUAL.The boys had their favourites obviously, MANUKO was a tag to look for, and this one was great!
Air Street I think 

Time for a drink , this grandma knows teenage boys have hollow legs, and their mother will be furious if I let them have fizzy drinks, so we had a very sober milk and sausage roll in the Kingston cafe. Its loo I must say , across a yard with a key was better than the Station Hotel, and a thousand times better than the station ones .
So we crossed Chapman street bridge and got the 10  bus to Queens Gardens.
The next part of the Art walk was for me a denouement . The pseudo Banksys are just that, PSUEDO. Boys liked them though , especially the Mary Poppins with the Lidl bag, which Zak spotted immediately . 

Time for a late lunch in the Omelette, still better than all the fancy new  places opening up , and home on the train  to the land that time forget , Geriatrica on Sea OKA Filey.
Saltaire next I think !

NB Ray . WE had the boys for the day as the parents were back at work and they did not go back to school until the next day . This was done on 7th Jan , Ive only just written it up. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Stoneferry to Wilmington downstream

Stoneferry Bridge ,Kingston upon Hull

Wainwright  does not have the monopoly  on walks . I expect that more people have done the River Hull walks over the centuries, even though judging by the rat run from Stoneferry to Wilmington in 2019 most are travelling in fast car . 
I travelled downstream on Monday along the banks of the  River Hull as close as I was able , without being accused of spying, industrial espionage  or looking for  a  wild swim  mudbath. Actually I  never saw any one else on foot apart from a thinly clad Hoodie and a woman with a pushchair . Its not really good for walking , as when  crossing the road to look for places to take a photo, or look at the river , one dices with death. Only at Wilmington, the end of today's river route does one get a Crossing Place with a press the button and wait for the green man.  It really is the industrial heart land of Wincolmlee.  At the end of the walk, catching a look at the fantastic new plant that is Energy Works  crossing Cleveland Street was no joke.
  I am so out of the urban loop. I was even fascinated by the cohort of youths , hiding up a cul de sac , with  new motor bikes and no helmets taking  turns at  shared wheelies out into  the busy road , and trying out their revving .
I had always wanted to have a good nosy around Stoneferry Bridge and see if theres anything left of the house where my 19th Century Family lived until they emigrated to New York in the 1890s. The house was razed to the ground in 1944 by German bombing. every time we drove over the bridge in the 50s the remaining stones would be pointed out to us, but now I cant even remember which side of the Bridge they were, except they were on the West side of the river, and must have been near the Waterworks where my GG worked being the Chief Waterworks  Engineer . As the Waterworks stopped pumping water in 1891, and the site wound down completely by 1901, I now see why my GG needed a new job .
The Stoneferry House
The bridge seen today is the new bridge, built in the late 80s. I came back home to Hull to visit the family home in Sutton and found that my remembered bridge had gone . 
I was enthralled  to see the film about the day all the bridges over  the river were lifted, on 22nd  September 2017. I watched it in  Beverley Library , Beloved was waiting , not very patiently  . 
I have now walked over 10 of the 13 bridges(not Scott Street, obviously). Next walk I will do the remaining ones, and am hoping that I get some company for this one, Stoneferry to Kingswood.

The walk downstream  from Stoneferry confirmed all that I had expected and more. 
  • The Bankside gallery additions were great  and I love that they are works in progress. One has to keep crossing the road to get the scale of the graf.  It is so unlike being in the Millbank Tate where a picture of Gordale Scar , taking the whole of a  gallery wall may be viewed sitting down from 20 metres away on a comfy stool . This gallery  is  raw , and not comfortable , not quiet ever, as traffic speeds  past . It took me 5 mins to get across the road here at 11am long after Hull  rush hour.***
  • The mud of the river was as fascinating always, gloopy and thick and brown , colouring the water a silty mid #hex873600 . Any child, or adult like me ,
    would relish safely paddling in its deep promise of squelch and danger .They have glass bottomed boats in Bermuda, I would pay to go on a zip wire across the Hull in secure waders dangling just above the river. The river is tidal to at least Beverley. What a contrast from the clear water of Barmston drain which begins near the Scott Street Bridge. Friend tells me that American servicemen used the drain for swimming in the war, and staging was built to make it easier at the drain sides. I know that at Hempholme and Wansford the Hull is clear as a bell, where the tides no longer reach. My father used to fish there for grayling and trout  in the 60s. 
  • I loved the heaps of detritus all along my walk, piles of iron work ,ready for a skip and lucre,  soil, mountains of brick dust and concrete and my favourite of all this collection of wood, looking as if it had been specially curated for an exhibition. Is it driftwood lifted from the river, or parts of trees long since felled? I loved it 
  • The scenic views were just as picturesque as any of Ben Lomond from Luss IMO.
    looking upstream from Exhaust Centre 
    British Extracting Co silo from Wilmington Cycle track 

  • One learns plenty about the not so changing face of industry. Here amongst old signs reminding me of the advert on yellow lorries SAM ALLON DEMOLITION , fresh in my mind again from the 50s and 60s are many firms whose business is in Demolition, and Recycling as it has always been,HERE  Hidden behind high fences and ordered in neat rows seen at best on Google Earth are the 21st century sorters and scavengers , money in muck ,and brass from nowt firms who labour relentlessly to clear and tidy with truck load after truckload, though at present many don't have to move an inch from the banks of the Hull . The amazing looking new facility ENERGY WORKS looks up and running , but it isn't . It is going to take lorry loads of Hull Rubbish destined for landfill , & turn it in to ELECTRICITY . Here's HOPING !

  • My 1961 book is a gem  .Published to highlight and attract more industry and development to Kingston upon Hull it does nothing but show me that we are still producing many of the same products . The Fishing Industry might well have gone , but Hull is still making PAINT, PLANT and PRODUCTS FROM OIL MILLING , and it can be seen along the banks of the river to this day.

Was the paint made here?
***I have yet to do my post about my walk with my grandchildren  just look at the art . This will follow. Today's walk finished with lunch at the Wilmington Cafe after walking the old cycle track across Wilmington Bridge. I caught the 10 bus opp Energy Works back to town
the great Wilmington Cafe

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Not breakfast, but start of HOTBED in greenhouse

Are you sure your meadow is a meadow?