Friday, 22 February 2013

Self counselling

  A friend has started to blog. Much like me, it's a diary of thoughts. She got several comments almost immediately. Then wondered if she would post again. She's not sure if blogging is right for her. I have to say I like being a blogger and a follower. I'm starting to become a bit fussier about the blogs I read and follow.  I do like regular posters, you know what's going on and how things are. I used to but the content wasn't that good. So like most, I'm irregular. Only posting when I've noticed a change. However reading through my previous posts and I strongly advise you not to, I see things, that now I wouldn't write down. I'll have to think this through.Shall I write regular crap that may be of some use to me later or do I bow to the self imposed pressure of trying to write something witty and interesting because someone else reads my ramblings ???
   Another day and with another friend, we were talking about our children, relationships and life in general. She asked me how my "self counselling" was going. I was a bit surprised. It never occurred to me, that that was what I was doing. Later that day, I goggled "self counselling" and lots of interesting information popped up. Of the things I read, this was by far the best.

It's Oxford Universities main site. With all the usual tabs, admissions, about us and contact us etc etc. If you find your way to the student gateway page, there's a health and welfare section. In amongst this you'll find the "self counselling" bit. If I've copied the link down correctly, it will take you straight there. I'm working my way through their procrastination program modules at the moment. Well I would be if I wasn't procrastinating and writing here. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with Oxford. Maybe all Uni's have this kind of support for their students. It's funny how the internet takes you to the strangest places.

   It may be a bit early to say but I don't feel like a man suffering from doom and gloom at the moment. A man with a few problems. Much like everybody else. Work (the lack of it) and finances but definitely not weighed down with that dark cloak of despair.
  To change the subject completely, if you get a moment pop over and take a look at

 I've followed her blog for a while now and she turns out some really lovely photographs  Like me she doesn't post regularly but it's worth the wait. I've nicked one of Nick's pictures. Yes this is a photograph. Which she's played around with on the computer. Apologies for the theft Nick I couldn't help myself. I love the colours. It would make a wonderful print or fabric.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfillment and happyness :-)))  

Friday, 8 February 2013

A little confession ......

   I ended up with more than the spice jar at the Auction. I got a picture too. It's a still life in oil painted by some hound called E Moll, in 1924. Seeing as I'm broke I really shouldn't be buying anything. Well anything that isn't a bill, bit's for work or food but I couldn't resist it. No doubt one day in the distant future, I'll die very broke and very skinny but surrounded by some really lovely furniture and pictures.
   Once home, I propped it up on top of the kitchen radiator. Made a coffee and just sat there looking at it. It's very dirty, well so would you if you'd been hung up somewhere for ninety odd years. The varnish has also yellowed. So I've decided to clean away the accumulated muck and then re-varnish. It didn't cost me much (forty quid) and isn't a missing masterpiece so there's no great risk but I promise you I will be very, very careful and not strip away too much.

   As you can see from picture number 2 on the left. I've cleaned a little near the top right hand corner and there's a lot of muck coming off. I'm using a proper picture cleaning fluid and taking my time. I'll keep you posted on the progress. It could do with a grander frame to. The current one really doesn't do it justice. I really will have to get my shit together and start earning lol. The recent visits to markets and galleries and my little auction buys have been really stimulating but it costs. So as much as I enjoyed and may be because, I enjoyed I need to get my work life back. It's not rocket science is it.
   So just to prove to you I'm trying. I promised myself I wouldn't post this until I'd done some work work.
   .............Well it's here so I must of done some work.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfillment and happyness :-) 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Looking out and getting about !!!

   I'm entering my "looking out stage". I've done plenty of belly button gazing over the last few months and well, enough is enough. The time has come to look outwards and forwards not inwards. Contemplation and thinking things through has been really useful and I guess it's stage one in returning to a normal life (well what passes for normal for me).
    I went and stayed with a friend who lives on the coast (North Kent) on Sunday. She'd had a couple of black and white pictures, framed. She'd brought them when she came to the Portobello Road Market with me, a couple of weeks ago. My "task of the day" was holding them up in various locations, until she decided where they looked best and should finally hang. A tape measure, spirit level and several whacks with a hammer to fix the nails and my work was done. She's now on the look out for more old photo's to fill the rest of her hall. So I guess I'm going to become fairly good friends with that hammer over the next few months.
   The following day we had a bracing walk along the shoreline, picking up shells as we went. Once I got home and washed the sand away and let them dry. I filled a large glass jar I had. I'm quite pleased with the result. The original owners having move out and now their old homes sit on top of my desk and keep me company. I'm tempted to buy another tall jar and fill that too.
   That wasn't  my only new addition of the week. After finishing work on Friday I passed an Auction House on the way home. As already mentioned in a previous post I love wandering around old furniture and bric-a-brac. There was a ton of stuff I would of happily given living space too but I have to find some cash to spend on the van soon. So I had to ignored all. All except a blue and white ginger jar, which I left a small bid on. I got an email yesterday, saying my bid  had won it.
   Here she is, lot number 2093,12" tall on her stand. I'll have to do a little research and find out more about her but she's around 120 years old. Some clever bugger has drilled a small hole in the bottom, so it's spent some of it's later years as a lamp but they did kept the top (which more often than not gets lost or broken) so they're forgiven. I paid just over £41 for her. Not bad when you consider that she was probably sitting on a shelf somewhere. While Conan Doyle was killing off Sherlock Holmes. Verdi's opera "Falstaff" premiered in Milan and Grover Cleveland becomes the 24th President of the USA. It's also survived two World Wars and the van journey back to my flat wrapped in my jacket.  
   In all a very good weekend and a first post using my own pictures. I guess you'll have to get used to pictures of whatever I pick up off the floor or hopefully the odd Auction bargain.
  Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfillment and happyness :-)))