Saturday, 19 November 2011

A little (lots of) help from my friends

I had a lovely day at allerton road farmers Market. Sold lots and had a good natter to lots of people. It's what it's all about! Having spent last night in the satsuma studio from 5.30 til 11pm - packing orders and preparing for today, I have to say with Fiona dewar and mr William brown I'd have never been ready for today. Good friends are hard to find, and last night I was grateful for two smashing ones. Xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

All you need is hug....Borneo Orangutan Article...

By Fiona Rogers and Anup Shah
I often get sent links to articles on Orangutans and this one is spectacular. If ever anyone wanted to see how similar we are to them just read this article about Fiona Rogers and Anup Shah's trip to Borneo.

Orangutans will copy people washing their clothes in a river, they will take another piece of washing and start washing. They jump in canoes and head for the best fruit on the other river banks.

We should leave them be and promote eco tourism that benefits local communities. You should read about the achievements that the Sumatran Orangutan Society are making with their replanting program too - let's hope mother nature will beat the greed of these palm oil and pulp companies.

Click here to read the full Article

Festive Indoor Winter Market, Liverpool, 3rd & 4th December - come on down. ho ho ho


If you've never been before...why not?? It's great and get's you a in real festive mood.

So why not spend some time here, amongst local makers and producers, hit the mince pies and grab a glass of red away from the commercial high street craziness on mian street.

Savvy shoppers ahoy! See you there.

Ooh and also Sophie Green, who I share an Arts studio with in Liverpool will be there too with her fabulous artwork including Prints, Original Drawings and Paintings plus the obligatory SG Cat Badges!

Paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, textiles, knit wear, clothing, cards, vintage prints and photographs, ceramics, jewellery, glass, handmade beauty products, accessories and much more!


A café will be setup beneath the beautiful antique organ serving a range of food and drink throughout the day, and a programme of free musical performances will take place in the historic Crown Court Room, plus another little historical surprise we're not telling you about yet...

Winter Arts Market

10am - 5pm

Sat 3rd & Sun 4th December 2011

St George's Hall, Liverpool (opposite Lime Street Train Station and Queen Square Bus Station)

A modern chimney sweep's toolkit

Ok so you may have seen my post on saving the Jackdaw out of the chimney. And I was pondering on what we used to do it:

2 butterknifes - now recycled
1 mop handle - since disinfected
1 sheet (egyptian cotton) - since donated to the vicarage shed for rags

Move over Bear Grylls! :)

Sunny chops.....the new member of the satsuma family

I'm still chuckling from Saturday that Chris (my friend's husband) thought I'd named Little Satsuma as I was called Jane Satsuma....which to be fair most people tend to call me these days...amongst other things!

Anyway TJ, my house rabbit who I got in September 2010 was getting miserable, so we snippety snipped him and began a quest to find him a nice girlfriend who was about the same size as him....most rescue centres were innundated with boys...because people keep the girls for breeding, which upsets me. When you see how many of these little furry chaps are in rescue centres no-one should be breeding anymore - it's wrong.

Anyway so we found a little girl on RSPCA website rehoming search - she was called Lolly and was in North Wales, Bryn y Maen, and I went to see her one weekend in February. She had an awful start in life and been taken out of a house with many other animals. I don't know what had happened to her but she was very timid and very beautiful. I loved her as soon as I saw her, she was like TJ but black.

I passed all the checks and was allowed to get her two weeks later, when TJ had settled from his snip. She had been sharing with another little chap called Frankie (just paired the day before I saw her) but he has a new mate now thank goodness as I felt awful, I'd have taken him too if I hadnt had TJ.

It took 3 weeks to bond them, most of which I spent the evening in the hallway whilst they fought for domination, then one day I came home and TJ had done a super high jump over the boundary fence to go see her....and now they are inseparable.

I firmly believe that pets should not be left in the garden and forgotten about.....treat them with love and affection and you'll get hours of fun and entertainment with them.

The picture is of Lolly's first summer trip in the vicarage garden...she took a while to come out and was very scared, but half an hour later she was eating grass, throwing herself around and kicking here legs in the air. I think it was the first time she'd felt sunshine on her little chops.

All any creature needs is loving care and freedom. Mine live in little beds, well Lolly actually ate her first three beds as she destroyed everything when she first came to live with us, and they are, I hope, happy as larry...whoevere larry is! xxx

Throw those curtains wide...

I downloaded spotify again today, not had it for ages, but I heard a few bands on various radio stations to and from London, and so I'm listening to them.

One of my fave songs ever though is Elbow's 'One Day Like This' from 'The Seldom Seen Kid' album. what I love most well in fact I love's super cheery, uplifting and you can still here his accent when he sings which I love.

One to play when it's a bit pants outside and you fancy a blast of cheeriness!

Up on the roof.....the biggest clockface in UK :)

As I'm typing this my rabbit, TJ, is sat on my feet, he's come to see what I'm doing. He even managed to communicate to me he wanted more hay on Monday morning - he's very clever.

Anyway so the Liver Building was 1000 years old in July, and John William's from Royal Liver kindly agreed, as we work in there, to give us a tour....ooh it was great. We found out how the atrium was the old booking hall for the Canadian liners taking people to emigrate, we saw the commemorations to the men who had given their lives in the Wars, we went up on the roof, into the clockworks room and way way up the spiral steps into the towers where the clocks are and where the birds sit atop.

My legs were wobbling with fear at the very top, the views were amazing and John was very interesting. We also got to see the original boardroom that is untouched since it was built...It was full of ornate carvings, the seats had liver birds on them, there was gold leaf ceiling. It even had this little desk that they used to use to call the various secretaries/ tea ladies/ minute takers etc!!!

A true gem of a piece of history....and did you know there is a third liver bird hidden away in Liverpool watching over us??

Amazing to think it was built on an old dock hey! There are some great ghost stories I've been told about both the Liver and the Cunard Buildings but I shall save them for anoother day...x

Oh and we collected around £50 in donations, which was matched by DB so it raised £100 for Alder hey children's hospital. Good stuff chaps x

The Docker's Umbrella - underground in Liverpool's disused railway

It turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year when Gill Torres (DownSouth Liverpool magazine) and I met our tour guides for our planned afternooon 'Ghost Hunting' in Dingle disused railway terminus. It was the last station of the Old Overhead railway or as the scousers know it 'The Docker's Umbrella'.

Totally and utterly fascinating. There are loads of vintage cars down there just left to rot, like and old Liverpool corporation van, there is rope everywhere (some made and some not) this would all have been used on the docks – the roper maker died and all his stuff was just left there. The actual station platform is now a car mechanics garage. There was a fire here in early 1901 when a train caught fire and as it entered tunnel it met with lots of flammable stuff – 8 people died so it’s abit eerie being down there thinking of that.

Well worth going on I'd say but take your wellies and a woolly hat as it's freeezing down there! xxx

Enter your Huckleberry Finn....What??? Cockney Cashpoint :)

I was making my way to London City along the Hackney Road on Tuesday morning this week. I stopped to get out £10 (or as I now know it a 'Speckled Hen').....I put my card in and it asked what language did I want....'English or Cockney' made me chuckle all the way to London Wall!

Huckleberry Finn =  rather than their Pin
Sausage and mash = cash
Speckled hen = £10
Rattle and tank = bank

Very amusing! My Gran was a Cockney and would have loved this. We used to sit and sing all the old London songs old man said follow the van, any time you're lambeth way, knees up mother brown....good times, good granny xx

The most clever lift in London

I drove to London on Monday night. I stayed in the hotel near Shoreditch and I was amazed to hear that the lift (elevator) had learnt french in the last 6 weeks. She can tell you which floor you are on, that you are going up, that the doors are closing. I said hello to her in french to mark the occasion "Bonjour ascenseur, ca va?" Sadly she must have gone shy as she didn't reply. So we headed up from the rez de chaussee to my bedroom for the night and I trotted off merrily to meet my complimentary slippers!
I hope she doesn't learn too many more languages as it might make using the lift a rather long process!

Days off....daydreaming

Ok so i am off today after a late drive back from London last night. I have a to-do list made, but I'm going a bit Shakespeare on it right in "to do or not to do". I have been playing with TJ and Lolly my house rabbits and doing some jpegs of the flyer for this Saturday's new Allerton Road Farmers and Producers market.
And I have so many things I want to write about I could be here allllll day!

I want to write about:
St George's Hall Winter Arts Market on 3rd and 4th December
My Pet rabbits and their story...from Leeds via Wales to a Liverpool vicarage
Allerton Road farmers and producers market
The funny cashpoint and the lift that learnt to speak french
and ooh just allsorts .................

Free as a bird...

The day: before halloween, a Sunday. Background: I had just re-arranged my room the night before and I was relishing the rare lie-in that awaited me!

My bed was right by the sealed fireplace....and so I was peacefully asleep, when around 8.30am I was awoken by an almighty squawking and what sounded like flapping by my head. I'll admit I freaked out and started crying (this doens't bode well for me wanting to change career and become a vet!). I rang the caretaker, who looks after the vicarage where I live. So he said if i wanted to save whatever was there I had to unblock the chimney. So after a bit more crying, I called Dick Van Dyke and he wasn't I rang Will and Matt.

After taking off the fascia board we unveiled an amazing original fireplace from the 1800's and a bird's leg poking out of it, at which point I screamed and ran out ( Matt then unblocked the chimney, which unveiled a rather big big, live and breathing, fat, scared, stuck..Jackdaw. And then a dead bird fell out. Cue more screams. So aided by the mop handle I had gone to get Matt got him to move...and then he flew out the fireplace into my room! holy moly....he ended up flapping at the window but he was safe and he was free. Matt calmed him down and we used a sheet to wrap him up. Matt took him downstairs and as soon as we got outside the fat jackdaw flew off, giving Matt a thumbs up as he left (that bits clearly me being stupid as birds don't have fingers and thumbs). We found 7 dead birds and I feel awful they may have died and they were just a few metres away from me and if I'd known I could've saved them.

But anyway why I'm writing this is to say if you have chimneys, if you live in an old house...get them covered. You could save a few of our feathered friends....I am now going to try and convince our landlords to net them off or see if I can get someone to come and do it.

Watching that little (fat) chap fly off it made me think that freedom is the most important thing any creature can have. Freedom to be, freedom to move, freedom to choose, freedom to fly away.

"Curiouser and Curiouser" said Alice

Thursday 3rd November - Whilst not a great 'art buff' I do appreciate Art and if I have an opportunity to go see some, then I'll take it!

Nearly 2 weeks ago I went to the private view of the Alice in Wonderland at the Liverpool Tate. I got there I headed up to find Di & Lorraine. I really enjoyed it..all the old manuscripts and the first presses of the book. And these amazing little tea sets - so cute.

I never knew that Lewis Carroll was his pen name and he was really called Charles Dodgson and Alice was based on the daughter of a vicar from Oxford from the Lidell family; Alice Liddell.

It seems from what I've read since that Charles has great affection for Alice Liddell and so I wondered where they both ended up; I found this info on another website ( Charles lived to see Alice in Wonderland become one of the most translated and beloved children's stories ever. He saw the first stage version in 1886, and saw edition after edition sell out. Charles died on 14 January 1898 of a severe bronchial infection, possibly aggravated by the newfangled asbestos fires he had had installed in his rooms to replace the unsafe coal fires. As for Alice, she eventually married one Reginald Hargreaves and sometimes toured to speak in celebration of one Lewis Carroll anniversary or another.

The Tate takes you through a little journey, of a book you remember from long ago, and I imagine many will wish to re-read after attending. I loved it as I love all the animals in it, and the crazy creatures he created. And it may be one of the reasons I have always loved animals. That along with Gerald Durrell's books!

So do go and see it if you get chance, it's on until 29th January 2012. Personally I wasn't keen on the contemporary art section that made up the second part of it - but it's all about personal taste, and I guess Art is there to evoke feelings of any kind.

Worth a trip....don't forget you looking glasses hehe!....x