Monday, June 08, 2009

Birminghan, Yorkshire,

Just at this moment I have arrived at the home of Maggie and Bob of African Fabric Shop fame and am quietly amusing myself whilst they finish off this mornings orders...this is the first time I have visited their home so am sitting politely not poking my nose into things but I am also waiting internally impatiently for a promised guide tour through their amazing house which I can see is brimful of African things!!
We have been putting our heads together for a joint effort Safari to Ghana, as I was almost passing it was a prime opportunity to meet up and hang out some more.
In between reminising over my recent Safari I have been very busy in the UK, exploring and polishing details for future Safaris as well as teaching. Last week it was off to Birmingham to check on hotel locations, restaurants and other attractions for my forthcoming tour Textile Taster- Europe and UK . A rather wise old Bull near the Bullring, perhaps he is so perky because he has exscaped the ring? Birmingham is an interesting mix of fine old buildings and cutting edge modern- startling different and yet that seems to bring the best out in both styles, all of one style and it could be dreary.Birmingham is also home to a large Indian population and home to some fabulous restaurants, yum...

Found some of the signage amusing..

Bought an interesting book at Shared Earth- the autobiography of its founder, Jeremy Piercy.
He tells his story and a lot of the development of the Fair Trade movement, for me it just reinforces how powerful we are as consumers to change the world simply by choosing the sourse of the supplies we use. Good on you FAIR to all TRADE!!
An a Birmingham Landmark- The Flousie in the Jacuzzi. There is usually a fountain gurgling around this luscious lady and some enterprizing youth in the past added bubble bath so the city awoke one morning to fing her in a bubble bath!!
Work has taken me to my favourite end of England - the north, I feellike I can breath when I get further north, the country flattens out and big skies start to take over. I have been in Thirsk, just up the road from where James Herriot's Vet surgury was [Do you remember "All creatures great and small"?], and the lovely Sheila Smith who was looking after me treated me to a drive up through the country side, the greens of new leaf are gloriuos,
and old stone fences snaking across the land
and an abandoned Cistercine Monestary, Rievaulx
I am so exhilaratred vising places like this, only hints left to imagine the story of the place, built in 1132 it is still persmerising and gigantic!

a few hints f the original floor tiles, I want to work some pieces inspired by the colour and texture, look forward to getting back to my studio in Pushkar...
can you see the small white dot lower right near the big wall half way up the picture- that is a man...these arches soared overhead...imagine coming into there, dark from the outside light and the sense of magesty the structure would have commanded in one's heart.[and I guess the aim, by association God]

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