Thursday, 8 March 2012

Adventures of a creative person

Days off.

Don't you just love them?

We have been getting very carried away with them recently though. Last week we went to three music gigs, two museums, a West End show, London twice, Leicester three times, Norfolk once, ate out three times, got takeaway once and had lots of coffee and did many sudoku and crosswords.

Don't get me wrong I also did a lot of work but I feel like a bit of a slacker now. An inspired slacker who wants to pour all the creativity they absorbed into their business.

Gren Bartley and Julia Disney played at the Musician in Leicester on 1st March. Gren was promoting his new album and brought along fellow musician Julia. He also had support from two other musicians on keyboard and harmonica.  Julia sang a song about not being like her mum, not liking 'Radio 2 or 3 or 4 because that's a bore!' (I'm paraphrasing a bit there). It made me laugh. Gren's songs made me feel nostalgic and I got thinking about being at University and about old friends. I might revisit some old memories/ideas/sketchbooks.

The second gig was the reason for London trip number one. Free Swim at the Spice of Life in London on Friday 2nd March. It was nice to catch up with friends and hear some music then be able to catch the last train home at 12.15am. Yolanda the bass player was a big hit and there was excitement at the end of the gig which lead to Paul having to play the keyboard on the floor and a slightly bent guitar. I had met Paul from Free Swim before and it strikes me that he loves to play and has a great passion for it. He has several projects on the go, very inspiring.

Fairport Convention at Cromer Pier on 4th March. A very good gig, we recognised lots of the songs Fairport played at Cropredy last year. The weather was terrible! We had thought we would go for a walk during the day but the weather forecast the night before showed high winds and lots of rain so we decided just to go for the gig and dinner. The photo isn't mine but it gives you an idea of the weather! We could hear the elements over the music at some points! The pavilion was great, properly old-fashioned with red seats and ushers. It looked beautiful all lit up in the night sky.

London trip number two was a proper day on Tuesday 6th March. We drove to Stanmore and got the Jubilee line to Baker Street where, after a coffee, we went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

 It was full of curios, books and so on, a little treasure trove. I really enjoyed the museum and found all the 'memorabilia' quite beautiful. There were some lovely old books too. I always enjoy looking at old books, even just the covers. They are so beautiful and ornate, the type is lovely and they just feel nice.
After lunch we walked into town and had a quick burl around Forbidden Planet. Then we went to The British Museum where we saw the Lewis Chessmen, the Rosetta Stone and the Portland Vase which we learnt about during a talk about some Roman artefacts. The Great Court in the British Museum is beautiful, the roof is just stunning. I love repeat patterns.

The Portland Vase is a Roman Cameo glass vase currently dated to between AD 5 and AD 25. It was made by blowing a very dark blue vase then dipping this in white glass, blowing it again then allowing it to dry. A skilled gem cutter then cut away at the white glass to produce the scenes depicted. It is thought to have taken about two years to complete. In 1845 the vase was smashed by a drunk man and was then painstakingly pieced back together.

'William Lloyd was arrested and charged with the crime of Wilful Damage. When his lawyer pointed out an error in the wording of the act which seemed to limit its application to cases of the destruction of objects worth no more than five pounds, he was convicted instead of the destruction of the glass case in which the vase had sat. He was ordered to pay a fine of three pounds or spend two months in prison. He remained in prison until an anonymous benefactor paid the fine by mail' - From Wikipedia.

It is an exquisite object and the I have complete admiration for the skilled craftsmen and women who made objects like this. It was nice not just to hear about the history of the object and it's restoration but also how it was made. The volunteer who gave us the talk on Ancient Greece and Rome was very passionate and I learnt a lot of interesting information.

The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs. (text from Wikipedia)

The stone was beautifully inscribed and it's always quite special to see an artefact that is so old and so important to world culture.

The Lewis Chessmen are so quirky. We had seen the other half of the set at the National Museum of Scotland so we were keen to see the men in the British Museum. The Chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis in 1831 where they were buried, perhaps by a merchant travelling from Norway to Ireland. They are thought to have been made from walrus ivory and whales' teeth in about AD 1150-1200 in Norway. A board large enough to hold all the pieces arranged for a game  would have measured 82 cm across. Records state that when found, some of the Lewis chessmen were stained red so the chessboard may have been red and white, as opposed to the modern black and white.

Dinner was a Thai pre theatre special of green curry, pad thai, cashew chicken and Chang beer. I always enjoy Thai restaurants not just for the food but the decor and even the cutlery and tableware. We ate with beautiful hand crafted cutlery with a hammered texture on the handles and a twist in the metal at the neck.

We went to the Gielgud Theatre to see the Ladykillers which was excellent! Peter Capaldi, James Fleet and Ben Miller starred with Graeme Linehan's witty writing. The set was amazing, a huge revolving house, slanty floors and the chase scene was cleverly done with toy cars. Really clever.


As I mentioned previously I am bursting with creative energy from all these activities and I need to put it to good use so you will see many more posts on here in the near future showing off all this energy put into practice.

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