30 October 2009

Family Wreath: Tommy Jr.

For years a small chocolate box sat in my Nana's side board. The box was filled with dozens of photographs taken by Thomas Jefferson Rolland Jr. (1915-62), my father's uncle, during WWII. When I was last home I scanned in some of my favourites before giving the lot to my father for safe keeping. Here are a few of them with Tommy Jr.'s own captions. The last two always get my imagination a'racin' with thoughts of who he met along the way and how the places might look now. They leave me wishing I could hear the stories behind each and every click of the shutter.
'Visley - look at the crease in my pants' 'Berne' 'Bremen' 'Castle Denmark' 'Church Visley' 'Copenhagen' 'From hotel in Stockholm' 'Railroad station Denmark' 'Renne'

20 October 2009

'Wherever your eyes should fall they should fall on objects of beauty.'

who doesn't like getting paid to play hookie? for our staff away day we jumped the coach to Charleston Farmhouse and Berwick Church in Sussex. visiting the Bloomsbury group's former playground was inspiring to say the least. and a countryside tease always makes me smile.
as soon as we walked into the house i was ready to move in! every little detail, each brushstroke, each one of Vanessa Bell's circles, the Omega fabrics, every snippet of gossip, set my heart a'flutterin'.
you're not allowed to take photographs in the house, which at first made me a bit mad (!). everything is so beautiful and i wanted to capture it all. not just look at it in a book through someone else's photographs. but the next day, still holdin' onto my Charleston buzz, i decided it's a good thing! i'll definitely be going back there one Sunday, and until then, i can hold everything in my memory. i did find a couple of great examples over on type happy.
i don't want to gush too much about this place, but! i'll just say if you can make it one day, don't pass it up. our tour guide Patsy gave us some great quotes which i'm including down below here . . . . 'If it stood still in the house, they painted it. If it moved in this house, they made love to it.'
Bloomsbury group lived by three rules: love of beauty, love of truth, and most importantly, love of friendship. Dorothy Parker said of Bloomsbury in the 1920s: 'They painted in circles, lived in squares and loved in triangles.' 'Wherever your eyes should fall they should fall on objects of beauty.' - Vanessa Bell

12 October 2009

tobacco country.

growing up in Rougemont, North Carolina, summer sights from the porch swing included a magically-different-every-night sun setting over a pond with rows of tobacco waiting to be harvested. to think i couldn't wait to get out of there. nowadays i would give just about anything to see one of those sunsets again.
[these promotional 'needle books' are from my Grandma Fannie's sewing stash.]

11 October 2009

Scrap exchange no. 11: Mingering Mike.

'Mingering Mike: A One-Man Band' from DAM Magazine, Jan/Feb 2009
click on each image to enlarge, and afterwards, ger yer groove on.

07 October 2009

Falling for London: Mystery shop.

my daily bus route makes its way past an abandoned shop in Springdale Road N16, and i often smile and have a lil' think about what might be inside. with a name like 'NOSTALGIA' the shop could be filled with any number of delights. upon closer inspection the rusting grated windows reveal nothing and the painted-over-type above the door reads 'UPHOLSTERY & POLISHING', only adding to the mystery!

04 October 2009

good deeds.

the best spot for a gloomy afternoon (or any afternoon for that matter) is tucked between office buildings in the City by St Paul's Cathedral and is the most pleasant surprise: it's Postman's Park and it's a real heartbreaker.
there you will find a memorial to 54 people who died saving the lives of others. you can read a bit about the heroes and hear the story of how everything happened in just a few lines beautifully painted on ceramic tile tablets by George Frederic Watts. he's the angel behind the 'Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice' which was unveiled in 1900.
i first found out about this hidden gem while watching the film Closer. you may remember Natalie Portman taking her 'identity' from one of the tablets, that of Alice Ayres. ever since seeing the film late one nite i've been wanting to go to Postman's Park, and now that i've been i'm definitely going back! i can't decide whether to take everyone i know or just keep it for myself. i really shouldn't be selfish tho as it's not to be missed. bring your tissues and a pack lunch.

in 2010 i'll definitely be making a trip to the Watts Gallery in Surrey when it re-opens.

02 October 2009

heaven sent.

the cherry on top of this perfect week was seeing Julie Doiron not just once, but twice! the new LP 'Daniel, Fred & Julie' sets my heart-a-racin' - just one listen and you might feel the same.

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