Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Live Drawing

Hi all,
For the last little while I've been doing some life drawing. I just thought I'd share some of my better pictures. I hope that you can see some improvements.
Cheers Kate 

Bec 7.9.11

Bonnie 14.9.11

Homework 14.9.11

Bec 21.9.11

Warmups Bec 28.9.11

Portrait Bec 28.9.11

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day Finale :) I liked it!

Hello all,
I suppose I ought to admit that once the story started getting more sci-fiy that I relaxed about the mass murder storyline...I must be more comfortable with shootings and bombings, which is the violence to be seen in the final episodes (not to mention seen in every other thing on the telly these days). I enjoyed the cheesy alien/earth thing they got happening, I can even handle the final twist...all of which is firmly rooted in Torchwood reality. I find myself already looking forward to another season (although I couldn't find a whiff of it on the web yet). Here's to hoping they do!

On something completely different that has been going on in my life recently...I'm taking life drawing at Kelly's shop, and if I remember to take photo's I'll post some of what I'm achieving. Thanks to magnificent auntie Elwyn, I'll soon be looking to help host some other art classes with Kelly too! I just have to get this sleep/socialising thing more under my own control ;)

Ok, well that's it for now. I'll post some pics soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm back...
Well, I didn't think it would go well...and it was what I expected. Torchwood exposed the badies, and the governments claimed they were acting for the good of the people. Rather than shutting down the projects and claiming plausible deniability, they've kept them open for the disposal of 'excess' human life.

I suppose that my reaction is worse because I've spent the evening whilst waiting to see the episode by browsing  photos of death and destruction...the bulk of which has been archived in reference to various wars around the world. (I must explain that I got onto the topic quite by accident as I followed a photographic link to prints from the 'Danse Macabre', which was one of my essay topics while I was at Uni. There were many prints made during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, in response to the deaths that occurred after the plagues in Europe. They depicted the dance that every man from every walk of life must take with Death as you're carried off to the afterlife. {I actually built a couch, with a colonnade which I was going to paint with facsimiles of these charming prints...thus I still collect images off the net occasionally, rather than sketch directly from the aged books.}) Anyhow, in my browsing the least unsettling images I found were the peaceful images of cemeteries...Places where individual headstones had been laid by grieving loved ones.  Personally I find the mass headstones that are all identical, as offensive as waste of human life that caused them. To me they scream that there was no-one left to grieve, or that there wasn't enough of a recognisable body left for someone to claim. I feel sick to my soul about it.

On a side note, I feel sick that another generation is being taught that it's acceptable to fight rather than to lead by example. If ever I find that Raph or Mill, intend to join the armed forced I am going to sit them down and make them watch every one of the photos I downloaded...and ask them what if the people lying dead, and broken were people they loved...and if they were willing to cause another family the pain and anguish of having to find members of their family in shattered pieces. I want to point out to them that no matter what side you are on, what you're doing is wrong! Certainly some may say that if the allies hadn't gone to war with the axis in the second world war, that the atrocities would have been far worse...but if everyone had been living with respect for each other's lives in the first place then things wouldn't have gone so far as voting the Nazi's et al into power, and our own governments would have exerted pressure in time to reinforce the benefits of tolerance. *Deep Sigh*


I can't write any more tonight, it wears me out contemplating how simple it should be, and yet how hard we seem to struggle achieving it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Don't know why it took me so long to find this song...

I just watched Submarine for the first time, a simple coming of age story, with a nice soundtrack and nice directing (by Moss from The IT Crowd, aka Richard Ayoade). Just quirky enough to remain interesting all the way through.

 Anyway, here is a lovely tune for you, from the soundtrack. 

Alex Turner - It's hard to get around the wind.

It's like you're trying to get to heaven in a hurry
And the queue was shorter than you thought it would be
And the doorman says, "you need to get a wristband"

You've got to lift between the pitfalls
But you're looking like you're low on energy
Did you get out and walk to ensure you'd miss the quicksand?

Looking for a new place to begin
Feeling like it's hard to understand
But as long as you still keep pepperin' the pill
You'll find a way to spit it out, again
And even when you know the way it's gonna blow
It's hard to get around the wind.

Stretching out the neck on your evening
Trying to even out some deficit
But it's saber tooth multi-ball confusion
And you can shriek until you're hollow
Or whisper it the other way
Trying to save the youth without putting your shoes on

Looking for a new place to begin
Feeling like it's hard to understand
But as long as you still keep pepperin' the pill
You'll find a way to spit it out, again
And even when you know the way it's gonna blow
It's hard to get around the wind.

I can hear you through my window
But I'm never quite sure who is who
But they want the world on a dessert spoon
It always sounds like they're fightin'
Or as if that's what they're about to do
It might not hurt now but it's going to hurt soon

Cheerio Kate 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Torchwood : Miracle Day

Hi All,
As you may have noticed I'm a bit of a Torchwood fan (Yes, I'm still hoping that someone will give me a life size Captain Jack). The latest series is Miracle Day, and I'm five episodes into the story.

I have to say that the latest development in the story is quite disturbing. Aside from the fact that so far there have been no aliens (perhaps due to the series shifting to the US)...They have chosen to turn the whole world into a Nazi Death Camp. I feel quite sick as I contemplate where they hope to take the story. Certainly the storyline of experimenting on humans or aliens has been covered in the past, and the parallels have been drawn between Joseph Mengele and other scientific experimenters. But do we actually need to take things one step further into the horrors of our past? To actually put people into a gas chamber and just incinerate them. Surely this is taking things a step too far? The Second World War and the atrocities that were perpetrated then, are not so distant in the memories of the survivors and their children.  What they are trying to say could surely be extrapolated from a less explicit storyline.

Part of what I have found appealing about Torchwood, and Dr Who, is the exploration of our humanity and ability to respectfully apply those rights to beings that are foreign to us. I realise that part of that is facing the times that we have acted inhumanely towards each other...the act of holding a mirror up to see ourselves in a clearer light. My point is that in the past we have been given enough food for thought without having to make direct references.

Certainly I've read enough Sci-Fi, to have covered most of the post-apocalyptic terrors...and each time it has made me more concious about how I treat the people I come into contact with, and more determined to support equal rights for all. I'm not convinced that being force fed issues, leads to that self realisation. I would have thought that it is in our personal interpretations of the storyline, and the application of what we have discovered about ourselves, that works to make the world a better place.

I could turn off and not watch Torchwood, and thus put an end to my pain. I would miss the characters I've come to know and love. There is always the promise of knowing the outcome to try and keep me tuned in; I also know that eventually right will win, and the power of the people will turn against the corporation perpetrating the evil, thus theoretically my world balance ought to have been restored. It's all part of the formula...make us believe that we are capable of the worst, give us an option to do right, and then reassure us that the world will be a better place afterwards...oh and don't forget the scapegoat, without one we might actually have to live with the knowledge that it was our fault after all.

I will continue to watch, just because I'm a sucker. I just wont like what I'm viewing...but hey I watch some of the trashiest horrors made on abysmal low budgets. I will continue to miss the strong characters, the moving music, and the more thoughtful story lines that the original Torchwood had. Hopefully things will improve, the only other alternative is that they die.

My raised ire will over the insensitivity of the storyline will eventually dissipate, and I hope that not too many are offended by it in the mean time. I may of course feel the need reiterate my concern over the dumbing down and force feeding of historical atrocities at a later date.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Soft drink cans.

Hi All,
I've been reading my usual array of things online and stumbled across this great use of soft drink cans.

A simple yet effective heater for the house.
It reminds me of the soft drink bottle greenhouse I want to make, so my tomatoes have a head start. My main problem is that I don't drink enough soft drink to amass my construction materials ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My two favourite animal clips

These crack me up everytime.
The Mannequin Bird.

Techno Tim Cat - click to visit

The cat always makes me laugh. No matter how miserable I am.
Cheers Kate

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Look

Howdy all,

Long time no see :)
Life got busy. I'm busy overhauling everything since my brother and everyone else has moved out. The lounge looks great, with different furniture in it thanks to Maria giving me some replacements for the stuff I gave to Trick. It's all lighter and brighter. I've got fabric to recover a couple of chairs, although technically I've got 5 that need doing. I figure the antique I ought to get someone else to do. BTW,  do you like my background? They are poppies that I grew last spring, and are so bright and cheerful I decided to share them with you...although if they make your eyes go funny looking at them on the screen I'll consider changing them. When I re-jigger my garden I'll definitely be putting more in, and maybe some tulips.

The garden also needs an overhaul. Things just fly by in the crash after being a little hypomanic. Not that I achieved anything around the house when I was hypomanic, since I decided to write a book. It's not finished, and I didn't like the direction it took about half way through so it needs a major rewrite before I show it to anyone.

I'm in a spring cleaning kind of mood...getting rid of as much stuff as I can that doesn't bring me joy. Although I'm struggling with the raft of papers that litter my desk. I take note on things that I read on the internet and interest me...but then I don't know what to do with them all. I'd put them all in a book but I hate tearing pages out when the notes no longer have any relevance. Filing cabinets aren't any good either since I tend to put things in them and never think of them again.

I'm dead set frustrated with mp3's. They are such a hassle to organise once you've downloaded them. A cd was easy you just shoved it up on a shelf with the others in that genre...and you could find the one you were looking for without having to scan thousands of songs. I suppose things would be easier if i didn't download stuff from so many genres, then I could just hit play on the whole randomised list. As it is I prefer listening to things to set a mood, so classical mixed with jazz, blues, indie and alt rock just doesn't do it for me. Sorting through 28,000 songs is going to be a long job. *sigh* Bloody wmp isn't working either so I have to try and work in itunes and I can't figure out how to get it to delete the crap songs from my hard drive as I sort them. I wish that I could work it properly because then it would also be easier to put stuff on my iphone.

Now for some of my favourite classical pieces. Rimsky Korsakov - Scheherazade (Moscow Symphony - Arthur Arnold, conductor - Elena Semenova - violin - Live from The Hague.)

I hope you've enjoyed it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's been a while and I thought I ought to share a couple of songs with you. They are both sung by Billy Holiday.

First up, a lullaby which I adore: 
Summertime - Billy Holiday

Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good lookin'
So hush little baby, don't you cry

One of these mornings, you're goin' to rise up singin'
Then you spread your wings and you'll take the sky
But 'til that mornin', there's nothin' can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin' by

One of these mornings, you're goin' to rise up singin'
Then you spread your wings and you'll take the sky
But 'til that mornin', there's nothin' can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin' by

Next is a far sadder song: 
Strange Fruit - Billy Holiday

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

May the people's of the world learn from their mistakes, and intolerance become a thing of the past.