Thursday, 23 December 2010

The traveller returns!

After a lovely little holiday in a VERY cold Germany, I am pleased to report that I am back! Only one hiccup on the way out - as there was so much mist in Lubeck, we were unable to land and were diverted to Bremen, which then meant a 3 and a half hour drive...but we got there in the end, in plenty of time to spend the rest of the day and evening in the wonderful Christmas market...and Bierkeller! :)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

My next festive offering....

...probably only understood by a select few! :)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Not a movie review - I'll leave that to the students! :)

But just to say, that was hilarious, sitting between Shahbs and Matt... don't worry you two, I don't think you were the only ones hiding under the desks! :)
And here is something to remind you of those furry little critters...

Hope you all remember to check your slippers tonight!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Going like hotcakes!

I am pleased to say that my first batch of Christmas puddings have sold like...well, hotcakes! :) I am busy making another lot at the moment, so get your orders in quick - if you have only ever had shop-bought xmas pud, you will be amazed at the ones are lovely and moist, steeped in brandy, and steamed for around 10 hours. (Oh my, I sound like Nigella!)
Anyway, at the moment I am making 1/2 litre ones that serve about 6 people and smaller ones steamed in a large teacup, which would do 3 people - both are £10, and come festively wrapped and with a handsewn bag containing a 'lucky' sixpence. If you would like a different size, just ask, and I'll see what I can do!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Roll up! Roll up! Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat....

...time to order that Christmas pudding!
I am now taking orders for luxury Christmas puddings, made to my own secret recipe, tweaked to perfection over the last 20 years.
The pictures show a 1/2 litre pudding, steamed for 10 hours, which will serve about 6, and a pudding steamed in a large teacup for 8 hours, which will serve approx 3. The puddings are very generously steeped in brandy, and contain a wide range of dried fruits and nuts. They come festively wrapped, with a little handsewn bag containing a (hopefully) lucky sixpence. How about ordering one as a present for that hard-to-buy-for auntie?! Larger or smaller puddings on request - just ask!
The sooner you order, the better - the longer they mature, the better they taste!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Online enrolment for continuing students

Not sure if you have had emails or post directing you to this, but here is the link for the online enrolment which starts on 23rd August. In my experience, it best to get this out of the way ASAP, otherwise your loan etc won't clear in time for the new year!

Hope you are all having good summers! :)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Might want to have a look at this...


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Jewellery at The Deaf Cat !

Just to let you all know that some of my recycled paper jewellery is now available for sale at the marvelous Deaf Cat Coffee Bar in Rochester High Street (right opposite the cathedral). And students get a discount on the coffee too!

Pictures to follow...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Class of 2010 Graduation

Well done to everyone that graduated yesterday !

Monday, 12 July 2010

One for you romantics!

I have just watched a film again, that I haven't seen for years - Don Juan Demarco, starring the beautiful Johnny Depp - oh, and Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway! It's a really sweet sort of love story that gets you thinking... anyway, here's a brilliant track from the film to get you into the mood! The lyrics are great, as is the Spanish guitar - I LOVE the Spanish guitar! :)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


To everyone that was in the pub on Friday, the good news is, it wasn't Bob's BBQ going up in flames - it was Mid-Kent College!!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

In the pub!

Complete with glowing fruiting bodies onthe window sill!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Phil - re DVD....

....does it have to be an actual DVD with menu etc? Or is a CD ok? I know a few people have asked this already...
Thank you!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

This time last year...

...I was a frantic third year, trying desperately to get my major project finished!

I made a quilt, (or 'comforter' as they are sometimes known) based on my research for the dissertation which looked at 'Nostalgia and Place'. (Actually, the dissertation was on nostalgia and heritage, but my research led me to question whether nostalgic sentiment is a comfort or if it holds you back.) So anyway, I made this enormous quilt, which was machine stitched with colours of the Scottish landscape, before being hand-quilted into neuron shapes to symbolise memory, finally having maps hand-stitched into the centre panel. Hmmmm...!
Then in the final week, Debra (the tutor) decided that maybe I should make some cushions too... Luckily, I like a challenge!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Sex Life of a Mushroom...?

Quick question... which of you is it doing the 50s style sex education video with little Timmy the inquisitive mushroom, as I don't seem to be following their blog!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

...And well done Group B! :)

Another great set of pitches today - I am really looking forward to seeing the final results now!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Very impressive pitches! :)

That was a really good morning - generally some really good, slick presentations out there from Group A!

Bring it on, Group B!!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Cheer me up, someone!

A stressful day off trying to organise flowers,etc for my Dad's funeral tomorrow...the vicar has only just come back to me with the details for tomorrow, so now I am desperately trying to make 'order of service' cards, while listening to my Mum's selection of!

So now I need cheering up - a prize to the person who makes me laugh the most! (Probably chocolate...!)
See you all next week...

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Scientific experiment with cellular slime slugs

Description and diagram of cellular slime slugs - very wordy and scientific, but all the same, you might get something from it.

Creeping Oobleck...may be useful to someone when looking at slime movement!

My life is getting stranger by the minute - I can't believe I could spend the best part of a day looking at and discussing the movement of a slime slug!
Anyway, here's a video I found which may be of use to someone looking at the motion of a viscous liquid... It's just a mixture of cornflour and water that stays liquid until you apply force to it, such as hitting it - then it goes temporarily solid!

And just for fun...

Monday, 19 April 2010

Thank you for hugs and cups of tea!

As a few of you know already, my Dad passed away don't panic if I suddenly burst into tears. Also last night was the first night I had slept for about a week (and that was wine-induced, so not ideal), so if you see me dropping off in the next few days, do me a favour and give me a kick!
Anyway, plenty going on this week to keep me busy. Good luck everyone with the 'final push'!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Clash of the Titans - is it worth seeing??

Well, I'm back from my little break at the seaside - not a complete wash-out, so that was OK.

But I have been thrown straight back into domestic drudgery interspersed with twice-daily visits to the hospital to see my poor old dad...and I'm in need of some escapism! Who recommends Clash of the Titans? I have read some varying reviews, but I would like to hear what you lot, with your critical abilities honed by a year of analysising what at times has been some strange stuff, think!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Off to rainy Rye for a couple of days!

Hope you all have a good easter, and don't overdo it on the chocolate eggs!
I'm off for some R&R in what is promising to be a very wet and miserable Winchelsea Beach - in a caravan, no less! Never mind, I have a good book to finish... also a waterproof coat for the short trek to the pub !

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Sunday, 28 March 2010

A sunny Sunday morning and Elbow....

Lovely lovely lovely!!

Don't forget...

...that the clocks went forward an hour last night!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Theo Travis on Sunday...

The Eagle Tavern is playing host to the Theo Travis (Sax and Flute) Quartet, on Sunday. Doors from 12, band start at about one and finish about 3.30 (with a break at about 2). Free entry, but please support the raffle, which pays for the band! Real ale and a great atmosphere!
I shall be there from about half past one...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Thank you!

Thank you everyone, for your impeccable behaviour yesterday!
And thank you Ben (I'm sure it was you!!) for the karaoke rendition of the No Nose Blues....! :)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Today's films...

Just to let everyone know that I will be starting the films at 2 o'clock sharp today - I have checked them out and they are each over an hour long, so if we don't start promptly, there won't be any time for a breather before life drawing!
We will be watching The Tune by Bill Plymton and Fantastic Planet by Rene Laloux... I thought you might want to check them out beforehand, since you won't have the benefit of Phil's insights today !! :)
Pass it on!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Seven Ages of Britain - Age of Ambition (Modernity...)

Don't know if anyone saw this last night, but it might be useful if anyone needs info on Modernity and Art...

It's an hour long, and unfortunately spends far to much of that time on the repugnant Tracey Emin for my liking, but there you go...! Personal taste and all that...
There are some interesting snippets that might lead to further research.
Enjoy! :-}

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Fish and Chips in Whitstable!

Well... we had a great day out today in (almost) sunny Whitstable -
lovely fish n chips followed up by Phil's exhibition! As a very amateur photographer myself, I have to say that I found Tutor Phil and Jan's photographs the most interesting...Phil's in particular. Although saying that, Photoshop Phill's plaster heads were also well made - were they cast or carved?

I hope that the accompanying students had a good time, and saw that there is life outside Rochester! :0)
Phil - one comment - the 'common' name would have been good alongside the Latin... I think the pink one was an onion of some sort (that was my fav) and the white multi-headed one a cowslip or something like fennel maybe?

Alex and Jolanta studying Photoshop Phill's busts!

Tracey by Phil's photos

Phil giving Alex some directions...

Jack and jolanta by Jan's work...

Not a storyboard in sight...!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

And the Oscar for quickest morph goes to...

ME!! Haha! - it actually sort of works... if there was anything I would do differently, it would be to add a few more frames in the first half- I think the transitions between the Jazz sax and art stuff are a bit too rapid. My favourite bit is the knitting to ice cream to earth sequence. And of course, in the tradition of the Oscars there are some people I need to thank - Jack, for showing me the workings of the scanner, and Ethan, for actually bringing it to life.... chips for you tomorrow Ethan! :)

Phil's private showing... Oo-er Missus ! ;-)

Just in case any of you are still not following the group UCA blog, or somehow missed this post - Phil is showing some of his photography alongside Photoshop Phill's work, in Whitstable on Saturday
Here is the link to the post -

Sounds like it will be an interesting experience! (And I have been led to believe that there will be wine and nibbles too...)

Whitstable's easy to get to on the train from Chatham, just about 40 minutes with trains running every half hour straight through, and costing about £10 return. It is well known for it's art galleries and has lots of little arty shops to nose around - read more here!

Your chance to get your own back - don't miss this opportunity to give Phil the crit he deserves!! :)

Hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Tonight's lifedrawing...

Once again, a very interesting lot of positions - I found the first quick sketches quite challenging, but I am pleased with the seated back view! I had a bit of time spare, so I had a go at the tattoos as well today...

Monday, 15 March 2010


...Shabir looks like he's about to read the news, Ethan looks like he is about to make for the door, and Alex is definitely asleep at the back! We won't even talk about Bob and Godwin....!

Please vote for your favourite!!:)

Hmmm, difficult choice - please vote for the image to go on Emily's card!

Also, if you didn't get a chance to sign it, I will bring it along to life drawing tomorrow...

Picture 1

Picture 2

Sorry you guys at the back are a bit blurry... :(

Sunday, 14 March 2010

My favourite time...

I love Spring Sunday mornings...

I was up just after six this morning, sitting in my garden, all wrapped up like an old tramp, with dressing gown, coat, woolly socks and gloves, hugging a mug of steaming tea, and watching the clouds push by, all tinged with red and promise. The rest of the world is still asleep, and it's just me and the birds. Anything could happen today...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Art of Lotte Reiniger

This is shows Lotte at work actually animating her cut-out figures.

The Art of Lotte Reiniger (1953-1971)
Uploaded by baraqueafritz. - Watch feature films and entire TV shows.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rob Ryan...

I enjoyed the Lotte Reiniger animation yesterday very much, as they reminded me of fairystory books my grandmother used to have in Germany, when I was growing up...Aschenputtel (Cinderella) was always one of my favourites.

As I have mentioned before, European versions of the fairystories seem to be a bit more on the gruesome side - as we saw yesterday, the one stepsister cuts off her toes to get her foot in the slipper, and the second one chops a bit off her heel...I dread to think what that slipper looked like after those two had tried it on! Also at the end, the sisters get their eyes pecked out- just for good measure! Here is an English translation, if anyone wants to read it...

Anyway, this animation reminded me of a contemporary artist called Rob Ryan, who uses cut-out paper to make silhouette designs - his are not animated, but still very beautiful, and have that European fairytale quality about them...

I don't know if you can read the poem in the second piece, but I rather like it...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

What a great day!!

This has been a really great afternoon - hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did! :)
Firstly, all those excellent animations....and the music! Was that Oscar Peterson on the piano? BRILLIANT!
And then to top it off, life drawing! I have never done this before, so was a bit nervous really, and just did it in my sketchbook so could hide it if necessery - but actually I am pretty pleased with the results!
Here we are...(in the wrong order, but never mind)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Sunday, 7 March 2010


...once again, it looks like it's just me and the old man for the jazz today then!
I don't know, you stamina! :)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Spring... by Tolstoy

I am really enjoying Anna Karenin, and found this lovely descriptive passage about the arrival of spring - I am hoping that tomorrow there might be some signs that it is nearly here...

'In the morning the sun rose brilliant and quickly melted the thin ice on the water, and the warm air all around vibrated with the vapour given off by the awakening earth...the young grass thrust up its tiny blades; the buds swelled on the guelder-rose and the currant bushes, and on the sticky, resinous birch trees, and the honey-bee hummed among the golden catkins of the willow. Invisible larks broke into song above the velvety green fields and the ice-covered stubble-land...Spring had really come.'


Jazz at the Eagle

Hope you all slept well...!

Tomorrow's jazz band at the Eagle Tavern in Rochester, is the Gary Wilcox Quartet...does anyone want to go and have a listen? I haven't heard them before, so can't say if they are any good - but all the times I've been, the band has always been ok...
Band starts at about one.

Let me know by tomorrow morning if you fancy it!

Friday, 5 March 2010

That's another one down...

...well done chaps!

I really enjoyed seeing the results of your labours today! Some very imaginative and moving stuff out there...
Hope you can all chill out this weekend, and get some much-needed sleep!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tolstoy part 2

It's ok guys - you can stop hunting through your piles of classic novels now! ;)

My friend Carole from the AA has come to the rescue with a much more readable translation of Anna Karenin ...(that's AA as in 'Applied Arts' - not Alcoholics Anonymous! Things aren't quite that bad yet!)

So far so good, although I think it will all end in tears...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Can anyone tell me if I have missed the film 'The Last Station', with Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer ? I really wanted to see it...
Anyway, I have a request - in preparation for the film, I have been trying to read Anna Karenina, to give me an insight into Tolstoy's writing; however, I think I must have a rubbish translation, as it seems to be pretty badly written- I keep getting glimpses of how it should possibly be, but it is obscured by garbled grammar!
Mine is translated by Constance Garnett, and published by Pan. Does anyone have another translation I could borrow?
Here's the trailer anyway - hope I haven't missed it!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Has spring sprung??

What a glorious day ! Fingers crossed that that is the end of the nasty winter weather...
Hope all you students are progressing well - looking forward to seeing the results on Friday!
Keep up the good work! :)

Sunday, 28 February 2010

What a fantastic afternoon!

What a great band today - the group were fantastic...with some stand-in singers etc...
Right, next week, no excuses... end of project...!

It's Sunday - have a break! :)

Go can spare an hour or so!
Instead of sitting in your room, all alone with a coffee, come to the Eagle Tavern this afternoon, and have a coffee there! You never know, the excellent live jazz might just inspire you some more...

I will be in there from abour half past one, and it finishes at about half three...but of course you don't need to stay for the whole set. Remember, it's free to get in! (But there is a raffle - £1 a strip - which goes towards paying the band.)

Today's band is the Quentin Collins (trumpet) and Brandon Allen (sax) Quartet. Haven't seen this lot before, but looking at the biogs, they have played with some pretty big names, so they should be able to hold a tune! :)

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, 27 February 2010


For some reason, I woke up this morning with the need to write Haiku!
I have never tried it before, and am not quite sure that this qualifies properly, but it was there in my head already formed, so I wrote it down quick!

A moment together
the air fills with song
my heart sings

I think maybe it's quite a useful exercise in brevity. I found a good website, if anybody else wants to give it a try -

- but be warned, it could be addictive!
The overall aim, it seems, is to say something meaningful 'using an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without "telling all".'

Please send me your efforts !

Friday, 26 February 2010

One of my favourites...

This is one of my favourite pieces of music, played here by the scrummy Johnny Depp... originally by Duke Ellington. I like this version better !

Caravan, from the film Chocolat.

I thought I would add this for good measure - come to think of it, the whole soundtrack is pretty good!

Read the book, if you get the chance... much better than the film, although the film is brilliant!

Yesterday's lecture...

...don't forget, you can hear it all again on the podcast on myUCA!
If you go to the lecture material, there is an extra bit that Chris did not get round to discussing, which is interesting as it relates to Norman Bates in Psycho...

After a spot of self-psychoanalysis, I have decided that my tripartite identity is out of balance, and my Superego needs a kick up the backside!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

A fairytale cottage...

...taken in January in Bremen.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

PS - Phil...

...yes, I did know that she was Jamie Lee Curtis's mother! Meant to say that in the original post...Tony Curtis for dad and Janet Leigh for mum - with such an acting pedigree, Jamie Lee was destined for greatness !

And you must be a nutter, feeling sorry for Norman Bates! :)


It's been years since I last watched this brilliant film, and even though I obviously knew the twist at the end, it didn't take away from the tension at all; in fact it almost made it worse, as you knew what was coming!
Norman Bates has to be the creepiest motel owner in the world - I haven't seen the remake, but can't imagine anyone else playing the part with such detached madness...that look he gives the audience at the end....*shudder*!

Looking forward to tomorrow's talk...

Saturday, 20 February 2010

BBC Audience info...

Here is the link for getting your hands on BBC show tickets...

Friday, 19 February 2010

Video tutorials as per Alan's class today...

Here's the address in case anyone didn't catch it! - Free tutorials..

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Well done everyone!

I bet you are all glad that today is over and done with!
I'm sure a few lessons have been learned, and not just about Romanticism either... take today's experience forward, and remember it for next time!
On a lighter note - Final Cut Pro was hilarious, what with all the odd sound effects flying around...and the 'extra' entertainment provided by those sitting between me and know who you are! :)

Anyway, sleep well tonight - back to the grindstone tomorrow!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Good luck, all groups!

Hope you are all just about done now... looking forward to seeing the results tomorrow! By the looks of it, you have been working hard!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Jazz, anyone?

Just another quick reminder that on Sunday lunchtimes in the Eagle Tavern, Rochester High Street, you can hear some brilliant jazz musicians - band start around 1pm until about 3.30. Tomorrow it is Henry Lowther (trumpet/flugelhorn) with the Jim Mullen Quartet.
It a really good atmosphere, free to get in, lots of different ages of customer, and if you're lucky, free roast potatoes!

Maybe see some of you there!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Today's Lecture

I wish I had had that lecture when I was writing my dissertation - it would have come in really handy!
Don't forget, you can listen to it again on myUCA as many times as you like, until it all becomes clear! :)
I am currently trying to get my head around the idea of Empiricism and Rationalism... I believe what I am trying to do is think dialectically. I may need some help!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

To infinity...and beyond! WARNING !!


Hi Guys!

Have just watched a really interesting documentary on the idea of 'infinty' - Horizon BBC1,

Great if you have a head for maths (which I don't!) but all the same, it makes you think...

Also, has anyone read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... very similar theories discusssed in that, but obviously on a much more lighthearted level... (the book's much better than the film)
The idea that we are so small and insignificant in an infinite universe, is sometimes what we need to remind ourselves to keep things in proportion.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Podcast up and running!

Hi Guys!

Just to report that the recording of today's lecture is up and running on myUCA.
Very helpful!

Friday, 22 January 2010

A very interesting crit!

Well done, everyone - that was interesting today! Looking forward to seeing what the next project will bring....
Right, I am off to Germany for 2 snowy days! See you all in a week or so (with cookies...I promise! :)

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A lack of butter...

...has led to a lack of cookies! :(
Sorry chaps, but it will be meagre rations tomorrow ! Just a little Melting Moment mouthful each...

Good luck everyone- from what I've seen on the blogs so far, things are looking good! :)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A Plea...

...I am after old envelopes, (the sort that bills come in, with the patterned interiors) for my latest 'project' - if anyone should get a bill in the next few days, please save me the envelope!

Here's what I am making....
This one is made from the ones with blue patterns - any other colours would also be greatfully accepted!

Friday, 15 January 2010

More Blue Velvet musings...

...Just a couple of other thoughts - the apartment block where Dorothy lived appeared to have only 3 floors, and when Jeffery looked at the list of names to find her address, all the other apartments were numbered in the 200s and 300s, apart from Dorothy's, who it seemed lived on the 7th floor.... has anyone any thoughts as to the significance of this?
And slightly less did Jefferey manage to get his trousers off so easily when kneeling at knife-point in front of Dorothy? ;)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Well, I haven't done a review for a while now, but yesterday's film has prompted me to get going again!

Out of all the films we have seen so far this year, this is the first one that I haven't actually seen before, so I was coming at it with fresh eyes for a change...

(whoops - one and a half hours later... - I got caught up watching bits of Twin Peaks!)

...ok, I'm back! As I was saying, this film was new to me, although I had seen other stuff by Lynch including the TV series Twin Peaks, which also stars Kyle MacLachlin.(In this series, he has actually graduated from amateur sleuth to FBI Agent!)

Blue Velvet made for an uncomfortable couple of hours viewing, although to me the comparisons between this film and The Cook et al were interesting. I must say, I am surprised that Jolanta found this film easier to watch than the Cook...maybe the 'look' of this film was a bit too close to home for me- after all, I was an 80's teenager! I think that because the setting of The Cook was so theatrical, it made it easier to distance yourself from what was actually happening, whereas in Blue Velvet, I could identify with the teenagers, how they looked (big hair, 'interesting' skirts) and how they behaved ( lots of smooching about at parties! [snogging - is that still a word these days?!])

What I found interesting was the similarity between the women in Blue Velvet, The Cook, and also Poltergeist - all strong women willing to do whatever it takes to get through and survive, and protect their own. The difference between Dorothy and Georgina was down to what was at stake - in Blue Velvet, Dorothy had to do what she did to protect her family, whereas Georgina was looking after herself. Both women use the mens weakness (ie need for sex) to to protect themselves and their families, but where Georgina recognises the sexual advances of Albert as wrong, Dorothy is confused by the feelings that have been unearthed in her, and seems to relish the beatings in a sadomasochistic way.

I thought the'Baddies' (ie the men!) were completely different - Albert Spica comes across as a playground bully, compared to the sociopath that is Frank, in Blue Velvet. Frank is so completely loopy, that you could not reason with him whatsoever. Also, his use of drugs (Nitrous oxide...laughing gas - I don't think so!) sets him apart from the scene and lifts the tension to another level.

The conclusion of the film, with everything 'back to normal' is the scariest bit of all I think, as it is hinting that whatever you think is safe and normal at home, is harbouring something sinister, and there is nothing you can do about it......!

And on that cheery note, thanks Phil,for reintroducing and introducing me to some screen classics! If you had told me a year ago, I would be sitting in a 'cinema' with about 30 young men watching Blue Velvet, I would never have believed you!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

Hope everyone had a good night - here's wishing you all a very healthy and happy New Year!