sexta-feira, 25 de abril de 2008

absolutely beautiful things: Happy Weekend!!

absolutely beautiful things: Happy Weekend!!

Chic and Beauty

Here are a few photos from a couple of blogs, for me they show the real beauty and good access to information that the internet offers. If any one is wanting some trully inspirational ideas for their house these three sites will direct you and give you another list of contacts a mile long. Happy hunting.

The Automata / Automaton Blog: Huge Automaton Clock Sculpture @ London Zoo

The Automata / Automaton Blog: Huge Automaton Clock Sculpture @ London Zoo

Kinetic works and Gunpwder Tea

Campbell I have resolved the name , Tim Hunkin, he is someone I have almost met but not found time. Andrew Saunders was Jocelyn Herbert's assistant on the film of Ned Kelly with Mick Jagger, I worked with him in the theatre and the Pink Floyd job, he was a good friend of Tim Hunkin and often said that Tim and I should meet up for a chat as we clearly had a lot in common but time never worked in my favour. Stuart

Tim Hunkin (born 1950) is an English engineer, cartoonist, writer, and artist living in Suffolk, England. He is best known for creating the Channel Four television series The Secret Life of Machines, in which he explains the workings and history of various household devices. He has also created museum exhibits for institutions across the UK, and designed numerous public engineering works, chiefly for entertainment.

He graduated in engineering from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Hunkin's works are distinctive, often recognisable by his unique style of papier-mâché sculpture (made from unpainted newsprint), his pen and ink cartoons, and his offbeat sense of humour.

I have no photos of this time in London, one crazy time from the work point of view with myself and Jacky vertually not meeting or meeting for breakfast, I coming into the house when she was leaving for work at Tower Bridge. Andrew, I remember being the only friend for whom I actually 'yoghurt sat', he was a vegetarian with a passion for the one yoghurt culture that he had, it made life difficult for him when he was away from home so he would get someone to stay there and look after the culture. A simple routine but necessary for Andrew to go away stress free. Andrew was a lovely person and so considerate, he must have been a good assitant to Jocelyn.
I remember us three sitting in a bar and chatting about the exploits of the two of them in Australia whilst filming 'Ned Kelly' with Mick Jagger ( I tried to get a friend, Peter Price,who worked on the Stones tours to get me a job with them for fit ups but Peter in truth was a complete lunatic and never did try, he often stood in the workshop with hands above his head and swayed to the music of Slade) Jocelyn always had her hair cut short and had almost no breasts, Andrew had very long hair and was a pretty man, the result was that when they where travelling around looking for set locations in Australia the locals assumed he was female and she was male, thus Jocelyn could go into the pub for a drink and Andrew at to stay outside, totally male dominated country. The other story was about the houses in the out back there, they were built of wood and the small towns were just like the American Westerns but unlike the films the inside walls of the houses were covered with old newspapers as wallpaper and to stop the wind and sand entering through the gaps.
Another friend of mine who I first met in Exeter at the Northcott Theatre, was the choreographer David Toguri he had worked with the dance group, Pan's People', I think thats correct, when they produced dance for the TV show 'Top of the Pops' during the 1960's and had a drop in role(literaly) in Mick Jaggers 1970 (made in 1968) film 'Performance'. David introduced me to gun power tea and the Japanese style of furniture.

TEA and the worlds healthiest drink.
One of the most popular beverages worldwide, Chinese teas is generally divided into basically two tea groups namely the basic tea groups and the reprocessed tea groups. The ingredients in the basic tea type are only the fresh tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Depending on the type of processing method, there exists six different tea types namely white tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, and dark tea. Teas of the reprocessed tea group are made from any of the basic teas and then other materials are added. Such teas can be classified as fruit teas, health tea, extracted tea, and compressed tea, spiced tea, and scented tea. Some of the most popular Chinese teas include Peony Tea, Silver Tip White Tea, Gun power Green Tea, Sencha Green Tea, Ti Kuan Yin Tea Yellow, Lapsang Souchang Black Tea, Jasmine Pearl Tea, Ginseng Oolong Tea, and many more teas.

Gunpowder tea (; pinyin: zhū chá) is a form of green Chinese tea produced in Zhejiang Province of China in which each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. It is believed to take its English name from the fact that the tea resembles gunpowder pellets used for cannons (see Etymology). This rolling method of shaping tea is most often applied either to dried green tea (the most commonly encountered variety outside China) or Oolong tea.

Gunpowder tea production dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907) but it was first introduced to Taiwan in the 1800s. Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, today most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines (though the highest grades are still rolled by hand). Rolling tea leaves into gunpowder tea renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. In addition, it allows certain types of oolong teas to be aged for decades if they are cared for by being occasionally roasted.

When buying gunpowder tea it is important to look for shiny pellets, which indicate that the tea is relatively fresh.

When sold as a variety of tea, Gunpowder tea has several varieties:

  • Pingshui Gunpowder (平水珠茶) : The original and most common variety of Gunpowder tea with larger pearls, better color, and a more aromatic infusion, which is commonly sold as Temple of Heaven Gunpowder or Pinhead Gunpowder, the former, a common brand of this tea variety[1].
  • Formosa Gunpowder : A Gunpowder style tea grown in Taiwan near Keelung, it is claimed to have its own characteristic aroma, different from that of Zhejiang Province Gunpowder grown in mainland China. Formosa gunpowder teas are typically fresh or roasted oolongs.
  • Ceylon Gunpowder : A Gunpowder variant grown in Sri Lanka, usually at altitudes exceeding 6,000 feet, see Green Ceylon teas.
Several types of green teas are commonly rolled into "gunpowder" form, including Chunmee, Tieguanyin, Huang Guanyin, and Dong Ding, as well as many other oolong and higher-end jasmine teas.

In Chinese, gunpowder tea is called zhū chá (; literally "pearl tea" or "bead tea"; not to be confused with boba tea).

The origin of the English term may come from the Mandarin Chinese term gāng paò dè (), simply meaning "freshly brewed," which sounds like the English word "gunpowder." More likely, however, the English name derives from the tea's similarity in appearance to actual gunpowder: greyish, dark pellets of irregular shape used as explosive propellant for early guns. The name may also have arisen from the fact that the grey-green leaf is tightly rolled into a tiny pellet and "explodes" into a long leaf upon being steeped in hot water. Another explanation is that the tea also can have a smoky flavor

quinta-feira, 24 de abril de 2008

Monkton House, Edinburgh

Michael & Zoe Bennett-Levy have now put Monkton House up for sale and my time there is shortly coming to an end, they have I am sure only good memories of their stay and will be passing on their history as well as the history of the haouse. The history of the origional owners and builders and the following few hundred years of inhabitants at monkton have somehow left nothing more than the marks on the walls and their styles of building. This new age of technology will leave folks more of an idea of the transformation that as taken place there and the character of those that have lived and enjoyed their stay or even those that have just visited for 10 minutes. It always pleases Michael when he looks at the faces of visitors and sees their disbelief at what their eyes are telling them. This is not just the house but the style of the owners, somewhat relaxed and yet bazaar. It is possibly the previous owner that really set the style and then Michael and Zoe have lightened it and put an art factor into the mixture. The house is a snip at the price and I hope that it will get the advertising that it deserves. For my part here is the estate agents site

Here are some photos of the restorstion work that I have done for Michael and also two of the bathrooms that I have completed there, the before and after shots remind me how the children complained that we were destroying memories of their chilchood but when you look at the before I am sure it is better looking at the after.

Edinburgh to Mimmi's and back.

Here are some photos that are really to go with the previous article. I travelled from edinburgh to Rome, spent a few days there and caught the train to Terentola, met Campbell and Muriel at the station and we then travelled in their car, they having driven from Edinburgh the previous week and well acquainted with some places for us to eat. The photos show that whilst in Assisi it poured with rain and proves that I do not always have sunny holidays. The region is awash with culture and good food restaurants so even if it rains it is possible to be entertained. I guess that the whole of Britain as now visited the whole of Tuscany but this bit further probably as its secrets. The Mona is my unfinished copy and the painting of Campbell is also unfinished, this is quite normal for me I am constantly trying to discover a style and therefore paintings sit here and get repainted, by the way I hope that you like my photos because I feel I have an eye for landscapes but probably need to learn more about the technical side to get them more moody.

Campbell & Muriel Mars and Mimmi's

B.C. 217, the Romans made great preparations to oppose their formidable enemy. Two new armies were levied. One was posted at Arretium, under the command of the consul Flaminius, and the other at Ariminum, under the consul Servilius. Hannibal determined to attack Flaminius first. In his march southward through the swamps of the basin of the Arnus, his army suffered greatly, and he himself lost the sight of one eye. After resting his troops for a short time in the neighbourhood of Faesulae, he marched past Arretium, ravaging the country as he went, with the view of drawing on Flaminius to a battle. Flaminius, who appears to have been a rash, headstrong man, hastily followed Hannibal; and, being attacked in the basin of Lake Trasimenus, was completely defeated by the Carthaginians, who were posted on the mountains which encircle the valley. Three or four days afterwards, Hannibal cut off a detachment of Roman cavalry, amounting to 4000 men, which had been sent by Servilius to assist his colleague. Hannible appears to have entertained hopes of overthrowing the Roman dominion, and to have expected that the other States of Italy would take up arms against Rome, in order to recover their independence.
Sanguineto is one town whose name speaks of the battles that where fought, over 16,000 lost their lives. This is near Lago trasimeno, the fourth largest lake in Italy and very much like an inland sea. I arranged to meet Campbell and Muriel near the lake in 1998 since I was going to Rome and it seemed simple enough to get a train to Terentola. Campbell remarked that I was like the gunslinger as I left the train at Terentola, I was in the last carriage and all that he first saw was the silhouette of a person standing at the very end of the line, he walked towards me and said I was 10 minutes late.
Here is Campbels notes from his diary.............Hi Stuart

I've checked my diary for 1998. We picked you up from Roma trip at the station in Terontola on Sat 12th September and drove up to Cortona for lunch. Bought beautiful little holly wooden bowl 70000 lira. On Sunday 13th we went to Perugia for lunch. Had pizzas in cellar restaurant then we went Assisi very heavy rain. Asssi was covered in scaffolding following the eartquakes we still managed to get into the Duomo but not into main building. On Monday we went to Bagni Vignoli bathed feet in sulphur water (thats your painting of me) Then we went to Pietra had a good lunch of bruschetta and pasta in a local trattoria. In the afternoon we went to Montepulciano. At night we had booked into Mimmi's and when we sat down we were advised by Americans sitting next to us that pasta goes very quickly. The meal started at 8.00pm 1st course Pasta (bon ties)

2nd course Canneloni (wonderful)

3rd course Lasagne (wow!)

4th course Veal, pork, turkey and green beans and french beans.

5th course Mixed salad

6th course 4th course repeated!!

7th course Timaslu

8th course Dolci - trifle

followed by coffee

1.5litres wine 1litre water

cost each 30000 lira (£10.50!!)

We all ended up in the kitchen after to thank Mimmi and her staff.

Tuesday 15th We went to Arezzo spent a lovely day admiring the frescos in Basilica San Francesco and the Duomo. A very good lunch of bruschetta, pasta and dolci and wine. 33000 lira each.

Stuart left on the 5.35 back to Roma

see attatched painting of our holiday house, Bagno Vignoli and Castello Pierli