New Blog – CuriosityShopp

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

.

Just thought I’d let you all know that I have a new blog -> CuriostyShopp.  Some of you will probably remember I used to have another blog called ‘Picture This Art‘ where I posted mainly photography and art.  I got tired of that blog after a while, it felt a little restrictive, and I lost interest in posting.  I’ve now set that blog to private so I can use it as a reference for any art or images I may want to link to again.  If any of you are still officially following that blog in the reader, best to delete the follow from your list as I won’t be posting on there again.

I’ve had an idea for a new blog for a while, the kind of blog where I could share a variety of subjects that I find on my internet travels, music, movies, books, humour, art, photography, places of interest, short films and interesting websites – very different to this one!

I’m aware this new blog might not be of interest to all of you, so please don’t feel obliged to follow, but if you take a look and think it might interest you, I’ll be thrilled to have you on board! 

The blog is a grid style theme (Pictorico) so I decided to publish a collection of posts all together as a couple of posts would have looked foolish on their own!  If you do decide to follow, don’t feel you have to visit every post, just take a lucky dip and see if something interests you.  I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting on there, probably more often than I post on here, mainly to help it progress in the right direction, and then I shall slow down a bit, maybe post every four weeks.  I’m looking forward to adding to this blog, I think it’s going to be great fun! :)

.

Power cuts of the 1970’s – Out Of The Ashes

 child by candlelight

.

.

Out Of The Ashes by Arlene Hassan

.

I was about ten years old when the three-day week started in the early 1970’s.  There were endless power cuts and the electricity to homes, street lighting and non-essential business was often simply cut off.

.

At our house in Motherwell, in the shadow of the Ravenscraig steelworks, we had a coal fire, as did most of our neighbours.  Like them we could rarely afford to buy enough fuel to last all week, so everything in the house that could be burnt and was not essential would end up on the fire.

.

Much to my grief, during the worst weeks of the cuts the oil paintings by my stepfather, Joe, who worked at the steelworks, found their way onto the fire.  Joe was always the one to select the painting to be sacrificed and he would be the one who, without emotion, would snap it over his knee and place it on top of the bundles of rolled up paper and splinters of wood.

.

With no radio or television, and without sufficient light to read by, the entire family would usually go to bed in the early evening – our beds had been moved into the living-room as it was the only room with a fireplace.  To begin with, these evenings were a bit of an adventure for us children.  The two oldest would tell ghost stories while I, the youngest, would cling to my mother in fear.  But my parents, exhausted by the struggles of everyday life, just wanted to get to sleep; chatting was discouraged.

.

It was on one such evening that Joe put the last of his paintings on the fire.  I had hoped that things would improve and this painting would not have to be burnt.  It was my favourite. In my childish self-absorption it never occurred to me to think how it must have effected Joe.  The painting was of his oldest son as a toddler and he had no photographs of him at that age.  I was determined to watch every inch of that painting succumb to the flames.  As the rest of the family slept, I watched the yellow and red of the boy’s checked trousers mingle and melt into the rough side of the cheap hardboard which Joe had used as a canvas.

.

As I looked up from the flames I saw the dark outline of a man.  I caught sight of him picking up the clock and the ornaments from our mantelpiece and putting them into his coat.  I let out a cry and my parents awoke to see a close neighbour of ours standing among us, stealing from us.  Joe calmly told the old man to put the things back and get out.

.

The next day, the incident was not mentioned.  When the man passed my parents in the street, they exchanged a salutary nod as they always had.  My parents despised dishonesty but this man had been made redundant from the steelworks several years earlier and was struggling to bring up two small sons alone.  They had decided that he had been desperate and to take action against him (legal or otherwise) would only hurt the sons he loved.

.

Eventually electricity supplies, and life in general, returned to normal but Joe never picked up a paintbrush again.  Although in earlier times some paintings had been given to friends and neighbours who had admired them, to my knowledge none has survived.

.

From > In Your Own Words – Anna Murphy/The Sunday Telegraph

Picture > Candlelight by RainbowGrumpy – Deviantart

.

.

article-1062089-02CC773200000578-185_468x286-001

Picture > Daily Mail Online

.

My friend very kindly loaned me a book called In Your Own Words, an interesting collection of stories told by readers of the Sunday Telegraph Magazine, I thought I’d share a couple of those stories with you this year.  Some of are very amusing, but this story of childhood in 1970’s Britain during the power cuts was a little sad.  I was a child at the time of the power cuts, blissfully unaware of how much some people were suffering during that time, so this was a bit of an education to me as to how other people were affected.  I’ve heard of furniture being thrown on the fire in desperate times, but never heard of art being used for fuel.  I wouldn’t have thought much heat came from one small skinny painting!  What a sad way to lose years of hard work?

I remember those days in the early 70’s when the electricity would just turn off, sometimes without any warning.  Candles were always near by, ready to be lit, as the power cuts would often occur in the evening.  One of those cuts really stands out in my mind, as the lights suddenly went out, hysterically I over reacted and screamed the place down!  There was something about the sudden blackness that really freaked me out.  In an effort to calm my panic my Dad caught hold of me in the dark telling me everything was okay, pulled me towards the front door, opened it wide and pointed up at the moon.  It was a really clear sky, large bright moon, lots of stars, and most reassuring of all I could see my Dad standing next to me illuminated by moonlight.  *sigh of relief!*  Candles were lit, and I calmed down once I realised I hadn’t plunged into some kind of weird Twilight Zone where everything I knew had vanished into a dark hole!

On those occasions we could no longer watch television or play records and could only listen to a small radio powered by batteries.  As soon as candles were safely in place, playing cards and boardgames would be brought out, and to make it more fun my Mum would disappear into the kitchen to make pancakes.  My unpleasant shock was easily erased by yummy pancakes dripping with lemon curd or blackberry jam!  I realised by reading this story that my experience of those electricity cuts was idyllic, and turned out to be enjoyable and memorable evenings, very different from those who’s lives and jobs in one way or another were threatened by the power and coal strikes.  If you want to read a little more on what those electricity cuts were about there’s a very good Wikipedia page about it.

Does anyone else remember these 70’s blackouts in Britain, or possibly another kind of blackout anywhere else in the world?

Other articles about the 1970’s power cuts.
Memories of the 1970’s shortages and power cuts.

Forty years ago the lights went out over Britain.
DS Forums discussing memories of the 1970’s power cuts.

.

.

Tiger Feet – Mud
(click picture for video)

xmas_mudTiger Feet was a big hit in 1974, and I know my brother will be smiling watching this!  I remember him trying to teach me the dance they’re doing during that performance on Top Of The Pop’s.  But I was more of a ballet girl, I struggled with some of those moves!gfxlovers.com/smilies
It’s one of those songs where you need to be at a party, music loud, fairly drunk and preferably teenage memories of strutting that dance at the school disco – old time 70’s rockers!! gfxlovers.com/smilies

.

.

Old Maid Card Game

Old Maid Card Game


I was so pleased to find an image of the Old Maid card game on Pinterest, it was one of my favourite games at the time of those powers cuts, I haven’t see it for years!!  Do any of you remember this card game?

.

.

.

.

.


 

duskinwinter_karengadient1Dusk In Winter
stygianspirits_karengadient1Stygian Spirits

Art by Karen Gadient @ Fine Art America
karengadient.com

.

Ministry Of Peace

sci_fi_girl_astronaut_picture_digital_art

.

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”
George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four

.

I have been shown
words that are good
what thoughts are bad
I repeat them
until I feel…
safe

I am filled with thoughts
that are not my own
I focus on them
until I see
what I should see

No questions asked
everything is answered
what is said
is fact
is truth

And if they say
two and two make five
then it must

I am a number
a fighter
for justice
I can never find

I am a tool
for a work of art
that is not mine

Love
does not know me
has never breathed
life into me
has never…
held me
taught me…
of what it is
compelled me to know
the depth of desire
or simply feel
anything

Mother and Father
I have none
For why would I have need
to be nurtured?
When words and pictures
guide my mind
make me
what I am intended
to be

I follow orders
question nothing
my ministry of peace
loves me
nurtures me
keeps me in a place
where I do not stray

But if lies
create truth
torture
invites love
starvation
serves plenty
and war
brings peace
Why is there pain?

Why do rivers
flood my eyes
blur my vision
when my lips
try to agree?

Why does
my ministry of peace
fail me?

.

Picture: Anton Zeif

 

Just in case you were wondering – that was my voice!  I thought a sci fi theme would require some audio effects, I hope it wasn’t too chilling. ;)

The idea for the poem was inspired by the video I’ve shared today – Blown Minded, combined with a hint of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.  I even borrowed some of the phrases from Nineteen Eighty-Four – I hope George won’t mind!

There was something about the Blown Minded song that sent my thoughts down a path I probably haven’t visited since I was a teenager.  I was a very depressed future thinking teen, who would have loved to have written a poem with a theme like this, but to have achieved that I really needed to read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, which I refused to read in 1984, on the bases that it was too depressing.  It’s odd how my mind was easily depressed in those days, but refused to have anything to do with things I considered to be depressing.  I was only sixteen – what did I know!

In fact, when I finally got round to reading Nineteen Eighty-Four last year, I didn’t find it depressing at all, I found it very interesting.  There are a lot of aspects mentioned in the book that I strongly feel to some extent are in our lives today, but they are subtle and well hidden.  I’m very grateful though, the grey world described in that book never arrived – at least not yet. :neutral:

But – here’s a parting thought for you.  Do you think my character in the poem is a human of the future, or just an electronic device filled with thoughts, with a sprinkling of human emotion?  I’ll let you decide! ;)

.

Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell (Audiobook)
Brave New Word – Aldous Huxley (Audiobook)

.


.
.

9781908853158There Are No Such Things As Seagulls – poetry by David Agnew
Available from Valley Press

.

Blown Minded – Young Galaxy

I instantly loved this song by Young Galaxy.  Refreshingly different, and the art in the video makes it even more intriguing!  The song has an element of 80’s electro pop which is probably also why it appeals to me, awakening my teenage 80’s music memories!  Talking of 80’s music memories – using art in a video reminds me a little of A-ha’s Take On MeI originally found this video featured on a website called Collossal, a very interesting and inspiring website to find music and art.

Trees and Seagulls

SuzyHazelwood:

This really quite wonderful – so inspiring – so much life!! :D

Originally posted on Belfastdavid's Weblog:

This poem owes everything in terms of inspiration to Mary Oliver’s poem ‘Wild Geese’
It also borrows heavily from the structure and format of that poem.
I make no apology for any of that.
And I trust that Mary Oliver would approve.

David

Trees and Seagulls

You do not have to regret.
You do not have to lose yourself
in a frenzy of self-recrimination.
You do not have to surround yourself
with a phalanx of if-onlys, maybes,
what-ifs and shoulds or oughts.

For if you are here at all
you are a survivor.
For if you are here at all
you are where you are meant to be.

You are a person crafted from
your own experiences;
you do not have to pretend otherwise.
Rather celebrate the person
you have become.

Tell me about dark days, yours,
and I will tell you about mine.

Meanwhile the trees outside your window

View original 111 more words

One For Old Snaggle-Tooth

Charles Bukowski - Quotes - Goodness can be found sometimes in hell -001

.

I know a woman
who keeps buying puzzles
chinese
puzzles
blocks
wires
pieces that finally fit
into some order.
she works it out
mathematically
she solves all her
puzzles
lives down by the sea
puts sugar out for the ants
and believes
ultimately
in a better world.
her hair is white
she seldom combs it
her teeth are snaggled
and she wears loose shapeless
coveralls over a body most
women would wish they had.
for many years she irritated me
with what I considered her
eccentricities-
like soaking eggshells in water
(to feed the plants so that
they’d get calcium).
but finally when I think of her
life
and compare it to other lives
more dazzling, original
and beautiful
I realize that she has hurt fewer
people than anybody I know
(and by hurt I simply mean hurt).
and she has had some terrible times,
times when maybe I should have
helped her more
for she is the mother of my only
child
and we were once great lovers,
but she has come through
like I said
she has hurt fewer people than
anybody I know,
and if you look at it like that,
well,
she has created a better world.
she has won.

.

Francis, this poem is for you.

.

.

From: Love Is A Dog From Hell
by Charles Bukowski
.

charles-bukowski-poetry-smoking

.

.

Read more of his poetry

.

.
This post was inspired through my recent readings of a couple of Charles Bukowski’s books.  When my brother asked me what I might like for Christmas I did my usual shoulder shrug of (don’t ask me, I don’t know).  Then I suddenly said “Oh, if you can find some Charles Bukowski poetry books or any of his novels somewhere nice and cheap, that would be interesting!”  So that’s exactly what I got, a poetry book and a novel – very organised my brother!
.

I thought Love Is A Dog From Hell sounded like poetry that would agree with how I’ve felt about my own experience of love, or I should say, the lack of it?!  But I found it to be nothing like my own experience.  I don’t think me and Charles Bukowski have much in common at all.  I was a child in the 70′s, but I’m fairly sure if I had met him as a woman in those days, I would have found him to be the kind of man I really wouldn’t like!gfxlovers.com/smilies
.

But I have a more open mind these days.  I accept that one type of thinking is not necessarily the only way someone should be, and that some people have been through so much, they just can’t be any other way.  Charles is known to have met a lot women, many extremely brief encounters amounting to nothing more than sex, and a lot of short lived turbulent relationships.  So I was surprised to find this thoughtful poem about a woman he’d had a relationship with when he was younger and they had a daughter.
.

In a book full of poems, where some are laugh out loud funny, others about the rough side of life, and many amusing, but so coarse in a typical Charles Bukowski sexy way I would feel uncomfortable sharing them on this blog, I found it heart warming to read the warmer side of the messed up man – even if he did call her snaggle tooth in the title!  I guess he was a lot older when he wrote this one, and sounded as if he regretted some of the ways he had behaved and was looking at life and women a little differently.  I’m sure in one way or another those kind of reflections will happen to us all.  I hope you will find as I did in this poem a little insight on the thoughtful side of Charles Bukowski!gfxlovers.com/smilies

.


 

dath-and-life-front

Death and Life – poetry by B. G. Bowers
Print copy available on CREATESPACE or AMAZON
Kindle version available on AMAZON

.

This Womans Work – Maxwell

I’ve shared a song in a post once before by Kate Bush last year in June, but this time it’s a cover of her original enchanting 80’s song This Woman’s Work by Maxwell.  I would never have thought this song would work with a man singing those lyrics, but it really does, I’m glad I found it!  If you want to see Kate Bush singing her original version you can find it here.

.