Friday, 29 April 2011

Flying The Flag

Hurray- today marks the wedding of our future King, Prince William to Kate Middleton. Another reason why it is great to be British.

(Just be thankful I didn't use this image LOL)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Take a listen to this: it's amazing just how easily Lady GaGa's "Born This Way" could morph into Madonna's "Express Yourself." I believe the Young People call it a 'mash up,' which frankly was something I thought you did to root vegetables using a little butter, milk and seasoning but there you go LOL.

This is an acoustic recording by Doll & The Kicks. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sarah Jane

I've just read that another great British TV icon has died; Elizabeth Sladen, forever known to fans as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and also in her own (spin-off) the Sarah Jane Adventures.

Sladen originally appeared opposite (3rd Dr) Jon Pertwee and (4th Dr) Tom Baker. She then returned in a guest starring role in the relaunched series opposite David Tennant before starring in her own programme. Tennant later guested as the Doctor in the SJA before Matt Smith followed in 2010. A fifth series had been planned for broadcast by the BBC this Autumn.

Sladen with the "K9" prop filming the BBC Doctor Who episode "School Reunion."

Cause of death has yet to be confirmed although it has been said she had been battling against cancer. Read more about Elizabeth Sladen here.

You'll be missed, Sarah Jane but I know somewhere in the Universe you will keep on having adventures.

Monday, 18 April 2011


Just a brief update from the weekend:

Dad and SM came up Friday to stay for the weekend, so I had a mad moment or two beforehand tidying and putting away. Not that the place was really a mess but Dad in particular is a bit fixed in his ways and expects everything to be "just so" if you follow. SM has also recently had an operation on one of her feet, so mobility is something of an issue for her and it was helpful not to have too many obstacles about the place. You get the picture.

Saturday LL and I arranged to meet Dad at Lockey Farm in nearby Arborfield where they were holding their first open weekend. The sun shone and the sky was blue, everything was fine with the world. The farmer and his staff were running tours of the farm for a small fee, which we all enjoyed. The farm has over 6000 (Columbian Blacktail) free range chickens who get the run of some 40+ acres. In addition the farm has wonderful pigs and a large flock of sheep who were lambing.

Later I paid a brief visit to the area of outer Reading previously known as Worton Grange, to look at this lovely house.

This grade 2 heritage listed (protected) building is a former farm house and is now known as Little Lea Cottage. It is now surrounded by modern development and is in effect on a little island all of it's own. I never knew it was there. The reason I went to check it out is that apparently there is a family link back in the 1850's. Fairly recent for us although I know some overseas readers may feel that far back is the dim and distant past, given the relative short history of their own countries LOL. Oddly Dad remembers delivering newspapers as a lad to this house (after WWII) without realising the family link.

The Royals have also chalked up another couple of good results, moving them nicely up the table:

12 Apr Scunthorpe 0 - 2 Reading
16 Apr Reading 3 - 1 Leicester

Oh yeah and this entry marks 600 posts. Well done, me!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Does My Hair Clash With My Shirt?*

*Or what happens when children are allowed to pick their own clothes LOL.

What a lovely day, with temperatures at 20 degrees Celsius in the shade in my garden. Not bad for early April. In fact an excellent day for playing in the park and then back home for toasted cheese sandwiches. Mmm.

Oh and I should mention I got another pot back from college this past week. It's Marbled Blue, my Stoneware glaze of choice at present. It will be uploaded to Webshots shortly but in the mean time, take a look at this:

Nottingham Forest 3 - 4 Reading

The Royals move to 5th on 66 points.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Specs Appeal

Isn't it strange how the oddest things make us happy? A couple of weeks ago, I ordered some new glasses from one of those web-only retailers where you supply your prescription details and other information, then off your order goes into the depths of the Wibbly Wobbly Web. Or something like that. Over here glasses cost from around £70 (about $112) for the most basic specs on the high street, so when it's suggested you could pay less that half that, there's got to be a catch, right?

With light weight scratch resistant lens, supplied all the way from Hong Kong for only £23.50 (around US $37), how could I go wrong LOL?

Recent footie results have gone rather well for The Royals:

19 March Barnsley 0 - 1 Reading
2 April Reading 2 - 0 Portsmouth
5 April Reading 2 - 1 Preston

Reading are back in the play-off zone, right at the crucial period of the season. They just need to hold on for a few more weeks and then win their play-off matches. No pressure then LOL.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Can I take a moment to recommend a film, currently showing at Cinemas..?

"Oranges and Sunshine" is the story of Margaret Humphreys and the formation of the Child Migration Trust. This truly moving account, set in the 1980's, tells how Margaret a Social Worker from Nottingham, discovered vulnerable children- who had been placed into the care of the State- had been shipped to far flung Commonwealth countries to start new lives. This was done without the knowledge or consent of the parents and in some cases the children were told their parents had died and that they had no choice. They were promised better lives but in many instances they ended up being split from siblings, living in hardship and for some in abusive situations.

Migrant children arriving in Australia.

The film focusses on the displaced children sent to Australia but in reality many were also sent to Canada, New Zealand and (the former) Rhodesia, with the knowledge and approval of the respective governments.

Britain had also sent vagrant children from London to Virginia, the first British outpost in America, back in the 17th century in order to boost the population. Forced migration would continue for some 350 years, with over 100,000 children being affected. The Home Children scheme as it was known ended with the last arrivals in Australia in 1970 but it was not until 2009/2010 that the Prime Ministers of those countries (Gordon Brown and Kevin Rudd) formally recognised and apologised on behalf of both nations.

Margaret's book "Empty Cradles" has been re-released (to coincide with the film) and sales have helped fund the work of the Trust.

Friday, 1 April 2011


I've just uploaded here, 5 images from 2 of my most recent pots. As always the latests pictures are at the far end of the folder.

Stoneware glazes used are Light Oatmeal and Fiord Blue with Blue/Grey. Unfortunately the Oatmeal seems to have run a little too thin and has pretty much burnt away. I'm intending to see if I might be able to re-glaze it in the coming weeks but since the clay has now vitrified, a second glaze may not take and instead simply run off in firing. We'll see and as always I'll publish the outcome.