Bridport Community Orchard revisited

Last Sunday (29 March 2009) there was another volunteer day on the Bridport Community Orchard.

On the list of things to do was to move a section of the hedging, dig a pond (not easy) and build a beetle bank.

It’s going to be a very valuable resource for everyone. Think of that, pop into town for your bits and bobs and go and have a sit in the orchard and watch the clouds go by. And relax.

I have the job (not much of a job when there’s people around you digging a pond it has to be said) of documenting its progress and with that in mind, here’s some photographs from the day: click me.

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The Sea

I’ve read before that being near the sea will influence your work whether you like it or not. That could be cobblers of course but I think this photograph shows something (and I don’t mean the back view of someone – pedants take note).

Also, talking of the sea (?), Polly Harvey (PJ Harvey) played a gig last night at our local Arts centre with John Parish. The director of the Arts centre offered me a free ticket but I, for some reason, honored my rehearsal that was already scheduled instead. Shame I missed it but the rehearsal was a good gig too. Shame you missed it.

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Forgetting It All

Wrote a new song last night and it’s the best one I’ve written as far as I’m concerned. Two things to note: 1. My friend and neighbour Kim has written the words (that makes it already better than most of my others) and 2. I haven’t finished it yet.

That said, download it here.

Symondsbury ‘joiner’

Took a few pictures and joined them together to show the village where I live from up on our allotment. Really effective way of squashing it all in. It’s such a beautiful place to be that I think I’ve been ‘snow-blind’ to it since we moved here. I’m only just managing to ‘see’ it.

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8 March 2009

Delivered the prints on Friday to the NPG.

I met up with my friend Vicki (who, by an astonishing coincidence, edited my book ‘Home Entertainment’) which really made my day. After signing the back of these huge bromide prints in pencil whilst trying not to spill coffee over them in Pret a Manger we went to drop them off. I’d timed it perfectly as both the curator of photography and his main assistant were having lunch and so, as predicted, I handed the artwork over to another assistant. To make sure I remembered that I am an unknown photographer and not (yet) a celebrated artist, the assistant, just as we were getting up to leave asked, ‘sorry, your name is?’.

Here are the portraits:

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Ray Davies

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Sanjeev Bhaskar

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Michael Nyman

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Keith Allen

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Bert Jansch

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Billy Childish

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Me about to go in – photo kindly taken by Vicki.

No matter, Vicki, as soon as we got out the door into the sunshine, said that it was time for a celebration (in the form of a pint) and we headed off to an old Soho watering hole. These soho pubs look quite ordinary at first glance. The people inside them do too. But if you look and listen closely, as I can’t help myself doing, you find that these aren’t normal people having normal conversations. I heard about which authors penguin are planning to sign up (and the woman to sign them up was drinking lime juice and something) and how shoddy a certain terrestrial television company are when it comes to acquiring new talent. One of the ‘TV’ crowd then answered a call and appeared to be about to hire someone ‘great’.

Vicki and I had a chat about how we met on a plane to New York, in an effort to keep up.

What else? Umm… yes, went to stay over at my Mum’s which was lovely. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you still end up being fed, watered and cuddled without a thought to the fact you’re not 6 anymore. I love it. My two boys had a lovely time, they always do.

Also popped over to friends of ours where we used to live in London and helped clearing their allotment by having a bonfire and throwing everything on it.

This week back in Dorset I have a rehearsal with the band, a meeting about some work and some shelves to sort out.

You can keep your soho lifestyle, plodding about in a daze suits me fine.

Hello

Haven’t written much for a while. Hello again.

I’ve been busy with lots of things, the main one of course being my job as Dad! That takes up precisely 100% of my time and I fit everything else into the gaps.

This week I take six of my portraits to the NPG. I’ve had some beautiful 16×12 inch prints made and it seems a shame to hand them over really! I’m going up to London to hand them over myself. There’s no real need for me to do this; I could get a courier to deliver them for me but it seems too important (to me) to not go there myself. The scenario could still be that I’m met by an office assistant that takes them out of my hands and just says “cheers” but there we are.

On Sunday we turned our front room into a gallery and invited people to come and see some of my LETS work in progress as well as lots of my other portraits from over the years. It was a bit of a trial just to see how it would work in practice and we’re quite excited about telling more people about it next time. There’s an ‘open studios’ week coming up soon here in Bridport, art capital of Bridport, and we’re aiming to be part of that.

And the daybefore found me doing my 10-minute slot as part of a Music-A-Thon for a local music charity. I had duly rehearsed and honed my 3 singer-songwriter classics and was put on the back foot a little when I got there to find I was on soon after the local bell-ringers had finished their slot. I hope my introspective nonsense went down alright. Everyone clapped I suppose! It was lots of fun singing unamplified in a great church hall.

Rachel’s just shouted up the stairs that supper’s ready so that’s it for this post!