Friday, 4 May 2012


A couple of days ago I went with Daughter into Manchester. This was a mistake, as a travelling Moroccan market was in town, selling rugs, bags and stuff. Naturally, we reinforced each other's greed and ended up buying a couple of rather nice leather holdalls.

Guilt ensued, so to assuage it a bit we looked into the local Louis Vuitton outlet. Our large leather cases were well into double figures, but there we could buy a small shiny vinyl handbag for over £500. Shiny vinyl handbags were naff in the 1960s. Presumably they are now daringly retro. But still - £500+???

I know the wealthy have to find some way of offloading their moolah, but these things are plastic! And Ugly! However, it's all probably part of a strange mindset in which more is less - at least, that's the only explanation I can come  up with for the strange pricing on an LV outlet site, a typical example of which is

Authentic Louis Vuitton Mahina Leather Shoulder Bags And Totes
Retail Price : $ 254.34
Concessions Price : $ 1272.00
Wow, Mum, look! I can pay six times a much here! Is that cool, or what?
There's probably an indignant sermon struggling to get out of all this, but on reflection, it's too depressing to think about.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday

I dig this out now and again for Good Friday, so I thought I'd post it here.

Friday morning

Rooted deep in earth's
The trees forgot not,
Though they were by men,
By unnatural storms.
They saw and honoured,
As one passed who'd been
Since the Garden's gates
Were Barred.
All save one dry tree.
It kept its hilltop
Lonely it must bear
The weight
Of He Who bore
The world.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Lent and ale

Gave up bread for Lent, but suspect that this will have little spiritual effect, unless I successfully resist the temptation to grumpiness.... I also doubt it will have any positive contribution to the battle for fat loss. Yet somehow it seems necessary to mark the season in a physical sort of way. I must think about that sometime.

Too busy today, though, trying to catch up after a trip to Nottingham to take Daughter to a university interview. It was incredibly nostalgic to wander round the city centre and see how little (superficially) has changed since my student days.

We lunched at the Old Trip to Jerusalem, nowadays a Greene King pub (Sam Smith's in my day) but improved over my last visit a few years ago by the availability of guest ales: Oakham Inferno and Nottingham Brewery Extra Pale Ale to name two palatable ones. Food was OK too, and my duck with hoisin wrap was supposed to be only 450 Calories....

Saturday, 21 January 2012


I've just been to the Winter Ale Festival in Manchester. This is one of the largest gatherings of Fat Old Blokes in the country, in which a relatively unbloated FOB like me can feel thinner than the average. I went with Daughter (and her inevitable friend) and met up with Sons, so it was a family outing, though we felt that sitting in the space labelled "Reserved for Families" would take more explaining and arguing than was worth while.

The beers were fine, as usual, though it being Saturday, many of the more popular ones were sold out. I did find Thornbridge's excellent St. Petersburg stout, though, so the afternoon was a complete success.

Friday, 13 January 2012

New Year - no resolutions

Wow! Is it really a year since I put anything on this?

We did our our Christmas card as usual, and adapted the design to be an altar frontal for the Christmas/Epiphany seasons. This is what they looked like.

The card

The altar frontal

This was pretty well received. At least, several people said they liked it. Those who made no comment may have hated it, of course, but since they didn't say, they don't count.

I did the original drawing, but the transfer to the big screen was mostly done by daughter who acted as studio assitant, or as we nowadays say in the art world, "fabricator". I understand that this means the artist has the idea, and a menial does the actual craftsmanship. It sounds rather a cheat to me, but it does allow me to claim that I am the world's greatest artist. It's just that there is no fabricator equal to the magnificent, but purely mental, vision.

The fabricator also does her own art and you can see some on her own blog here.

Happy New Year.