Wednesday 31 August 2011

Green Feet

Hi! Alfie here! I'm just hijacking my Mum's blog to show you how handsome I look even after playing out (my Mum says I'm a bit bedraggled, but I don't know what she means.)

We had a great run around the field this morning and I got to play football, chases and races with my boy brother- I won every time. It was great fun because the big grass mower was there and it leaves lots of clumps of mown grass for me to wee on!!

I'm really liking the green tinge around my paws from all the wet grass.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Time Flies When You're Flying High

Ever feel like you are wading through treacle? Time keeps running away from me and the school holiday (lack of) routine means that I begin a job, only to walk into a room much later and realise I was distracted and never finished it. Don't get me wrong, I love having the children at home, but I do like my own space and my own sense of order. And whose idea was it to introduce them to skype???

They are all out with friends at the moment so i have leapt onto the computer to get a little post in while it is all quiet:)

Yesterday we braved distinctly chilly and wet weather to visit Rushton Spencer Country Show. We were treated to the daredevil pursuits of the UKFMX team. The photo is poor and you can see what a drab day it was, but the stunts were quite amazing particularly as they had a very short run up and landing space, on very wet grass!

There was a lot going on, including a dog show, vintage vehicles, car boot sale, crafts, off road vehicles and clay pigeon shooting.

We were very taken with these beautiful alpacas. There was a stall selling very soft scarves made from their wool.

 The little one seemed very suspicious of my youngest son and kept eyeing him up and making a very peculiar noise !!!

 Whilst I have been writing this my youngest has been back in twice, I had to get up to answer the phone to my daughter and again to answer the door to my other son who came back and forgot that the back door is open and the phone just rang with a wrong number- HEY HO!!!!!

Monday 22 August 2011

Always Drinking Marching Band

We enjoyed a weekend of live performance, street theatre and dance in Manchester Piccadily Gardens. The event was organised by
and was lively and full of energy.

We watched some fantastic young dancers, got a soaking from Avanti Display (, and enjoyed the buzz and bustle of the crowds.

Always Drinking Marching Band from Barcelona


Tuesday 16 August 2011

Art or Vandalism

As my son has spent part of the day making a stencil of his face for his Graphics homework and another part spraying large graffiti letters on the back of my shed, this is a topic close to my heart.

It is a curious question that even local councils struggle to answer whilst cleaning some graffiti off walls and at the same time protecting anything sprayed by Banksy with perspex sheets!

                                                      Graffiti removers Southbank

I have to admit to being a lover of street art, the vibrance and edginess of it. At the same time, I hate to see names and words (usually rude ones) artlessly scrawled around the neighbourhood.
 I can't help but admire the guts it must take to climb to some of the less accessible places graffiti writers challenge themselves with. On the other hand, I wouldn't break the law myself and can't really condone trespassing.
                                                              Leake Street, London

It offers a challenge to my parenting skills too. My husband and I are proud of and encourage our teenage son's artistic talent. We help to immerse him in the vitality of a world of street art, photography, zines, skateboarding, BMXing, parkour and music. We have had to draw a strict boundary over which he is not allowed to cross. He understands that defacing private property without permission has consequences beyond being grounded and losing computer rights. For now, he channels his talents into making teeshirts, sketchbooks and repainting my shed!

                                                            Skate park Southbank

Sunday 14 August 2011

Friday 12 August 2011


Some highlights from my London trip.

Oh how I love Big Ben!

A street performer dressed as a chameleon. Well, I say "performer", though all he really did was pedal!

The Savoy Hotel. Not the best photo, but I was so excited to turn the corner and come face to face with this hotel, I just had to share it.

Tower bridge, complete with a red London bus.

English breakfast tea and a Danish pastry outside a French cafe.

Thursday 11 August 2011

The Seagull Has Landed

On the South Bank of the Thames, the RSPB membership recruitment "office".

 Open, but no customers yet! He's giving away free puffins for each new membership.

I think he has given up.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Beauty In Unexpected Places

Southbank Centre London

Juxtaposition of vivid colour and grey concrete. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

There is never a trip with Mr Dotty without a walk on the seedier side of town in search of urban grunge, street art and graffiti. You can probably imagine the smell in the underpass on Leake Street and the green puddle looked decidedly suspect, but the sunlight was shining at the end of the tunnel and the colours on the wall were dazzling.

I'm planning to print some of the graffiti onto fabric to make some art postcards.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

London At Last

It has taken me 43 years to get there (well, in the end it took less than two and a half hours by train).
I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I holiday in Skye -big skies, no traffic, lots of sheep and few people. I hate large crowds and not being able to stride in one direction without bumping into someone. I hate paying £3.50 for a cup of tea. I hate queueing!

In spite of all that- I loved London! Vibrant, exciting, bustling, colourful and so beautiful!

Even the train journey down amongst hoardes of Manchester City and United fans on their way to Wembley was worth it to see Big Ben with my own eyes.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

I Love My DMs

I have had so much trouble recently over my car, but it has made me appreciate how much I enjoy walking. I am out every day with my dog, so I own several pairs of comfortable shoes and a pair of wellies that I couldn't live without.

I'm not a high heel sort of girl- I just can't stand up in them- and if I was I would probably go for the most extreme, madly high pair I could find (that's the sort of girl I am- though in a quiet way!!!) Don't get me wrong, I do own a couple of pairs of nice, high heeled  "going out" shoes, but they are really for getting from the car to the venue and standing still in between.

Mad, pink, glittery,
Rocketdog pumps-a
bargain at 5 squids!

I do have a bit of a reputation for mad shoes, mostly my collection of Doc Marten boots. I never had a pair as a student, but since I got my first pair, I have just loved them.

These were amongst my first- a proper pair of walking boots. I've walked miles in them.

I wore these for my wedding reception under my beautiful long dress (minus the blue laces). We had a ceilidh and I was determined I was going to be able to dance! I'm not sure if you can tell from the photos that they are white and very glittery!

The red ones were a present from Mr Dotty. I saw them in a sale, but couldn't justify buying them. When I descibed them to Mr Dotty, he dashed back to the shop in secret and bought them for me-sweet!

The black ones are my winter boots and look fab with jeans or skirts, going out in the evening or striding around with the dog.

These are the next ones I would love to buy.

Product DetailsI think they would be perfect for me!!!

Monday 1 August 2011

Celebration of Rust

As promised, here are some more images from Willowpool Garden and Antique Centre featuring rusty objects that can be found piled up there. I find them beautiful and intriguing.

I love the fact that although they have outlived their usefulness, these objects continue to evolve, developing deep colours and textures.

Is this the final resting place for these old radiators?

The layers of peeling paint would be a great source of inspiration for a textile piece.

I tweaked the image a bit, increasing the contrast.

I know I am not alone in my apprecaiation of rust- when Mr Dotty goes to Skye he takes more photos of corrugated roofs and dilapidated drainpipes than he does of the views!
Let me know which unexpected objects you find beautiful.