Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

November in pictures.

Here is the month of November in photos.  End of October the iGallery closed for the season. Its a mixed blessing, its great to no have to staff it a day a week, which can be quite a bind, i found i never got any work done while i was there, because it was fairly busy with tourists and locals coming in for a chat. I always came back with a bigger job list than i started out with. I also do the job of the weekly accounting and cashing up which eats into my weekends a bit. The down side of it closing up fr the winter is all my unsold art and crafts have to come back to the house for storage. I got quite depressed this year seeing them all stacked up unloved and unwanted – again- in the house. I have stacks of paintings piled in a spare room. Its very hard to motivate to paint some more when a few years worth sit there glowering at me. Its also frustrating because Galleries which will take my work always want to see new fresh pieces. Once these pictures have done the rounds a couple of times, they just have to gather dust. When i get sulky about it, i quite often burn works on paper, I’ll also eventually take paper work out of the frames & reuse them. But canvases? at what point does one give up & paint over them? see, it is depressing. However, that was at the beginning of November. ages ago. Life and moods move on.20141102_13533220141102_135138-EFFECTS
It has been a good long spell of decent weather, which is unusal for the West coast, weeks of solid rain is more the norm. We’re a bit too busy to get out into it much, but have snuck in short walks at least. I’ve changed the routine to work around the fact that by 3.30pm it is getting dark. It is all too easy to be huddled over some work until tea time then realise that I haven’t been out in the day light, and they i go a little stir crazy. The dark winters are challenging, so we’ve been grabbing daylight in the middle of the day while we can. It has been stunning.20141109_131819web 20141109_132312 20141109_132618 20141109_140906
I haven’t had much time for gardening, I try and run a fairly permaculture system anyway, so it’s all about not interferring so much and lettimng things get on with it. I do like to shift all the fallen leaves though, they make a great mulch for raised vegetable beds instead of a soggy rotten heap on the grass. I haven’t quite managed that job yet, there has to be 20 off wheelbarrows full! So between moving leaf piles around there has been tatties to dig up.  It turned out that we have been sharing the tattie towers i make out of tyres with many mice ! They’ve done a great job of mixing the compost into a nice soil and we’ve given them lots of juicy kitchen scraps and things like shredded paper to make nests out of. I have to dig very very carefully with a small trowel to get the potatoes out from around their nests. love their cuteness!20141113_143057 20141113_143107
The view from the garden is nay bad at all. Sometimes i’ll just spot scenes like this from my desk, shout Andrew at his desk and we
dash out to catch the fleeting light.20141114_154818
Sometimes there are happy photographic accidents.20141114_160945November is Bonfire & fireworks night, One of my friends and former Fire fighting colleagues, Olof has run the local display for something like 14 years. I joined in around 12 years ago. For a while there were three of us, then the rest of the fire station crew wanted to help out. Eventually with changes in personnel this interest dwindled, but Olof however managed to get some Fish farm colleagues interested instead, and the company have been very supportive in many ways, The last two years it has been great to have new young people getting involved and picking up the threads. It is a heck of a lot of work for just 30minutes fireworks! We feel that family community events are very important though, it is a chance for everyone to get together, socialise and connect.
This year i wasn’t involved so much in the preliminary organising, which was quite a relief!  I didn’t think i would be fit and well enough on the night to set off the fire works either, but once the fuses start getting lit, who can resist the gun powder!  Many thanks to Ollie, Claire and everyone who pitched in this year. Great stuff!

20141115_191331 20141115_192503 20141115_192508-EFFECTS 20141115_192539There were loads of events on throughout November, but one by one they got cancelled, my health just isn’t up to dashing about any more. My confidence has been really shaken too , so even a regular weekly work trip to town feels risky to me. I’d missed the last gig that we were supposed to go to, which was pretty rubbish, so i thought this one mid Nov’ i’d give it a go. I felt sick as a parrot the drive down, even once we got to the venue i had my doubts about being able to stay standing there. But once the bands start and that viscera shaking wall of noise kicks in, i felt much better. great in fact. I was stood on the very edge of the pit. Now i must explain that grindcore / black /thrash/ death metal mosh pits are not the gentle sway, squashed mass or mild pogoing that one encounters at a more mainstream gig. It is more like a bar room brawl in a popeye cartoon, sometimes the flailing arms and legs run around in a circle, mostly it looks like over excited fist wielding electrons bounding around. It was frustrating being so close and not feeling able to leap into the fray, but i though a middle aged woman with a liver full of holes being carried into an ambulance having to explain why she thought jumping into a pile of hairy men punching each other was a good idea. So i behaved. still got a pint of beer split on me and a shoulder smacked into my eye, so it wasn’t too dull.
Anyway, enough of the fun, the Band’s were Fallujah, ” Technical , progressive death metal band from San Francisco “,
Malevolence, “one of the UK’s fastest rising crossover bands”.
Goat Whore, ” Louisiana black metal”,
and Dying Fetus. “an American death metal band. known for their consistently hook-laden song structures, characterized by blast beats, complex riffing, slam riffs and heavy breakdowns. Additionally, their reality-based lyrics characterized by political/modern themes are notable in death metal. ”
No i won’t be wearing their t-shirts to any board meetings soon.

and then back to the simple silence of the north!20141122_142123
Very happy about the launch of the new Scottish newspaper ‘The National’ It has been on trial this week and is a breath of fresh air after most other news sources have become so distrustworthy and little more than vehicles for the Westminster agenda. This paper has been balanced and fair, not treading any party line, but providing balance to the 37 other Scottish newspapers which are ALL anti-Scottish independence. It doesn’t have screaming sensationalist scare stories, hatred inciting hysteria, not too much sport, doesn’t have celebrity gossip, isn’t full of glitzy aspirational lifestyle nonsense, and is just very readable, so
solid news and insightful articles. love it.20141124_114030

I can get really fed up with the 150 mile round trip to one of my jobs. It seems to take forever, and other road users are all conspiring to try and kill me, oh yes, and the suicidal deer add extra interest; But sometimes, when the drive home has views like this, ach you know, it’s maybe not so bad after all. I’m pretty blessed really.20141125_16091620141125_161008

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This entry was posted on November 29, 2014 by in Blog and tagged , , , , .

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