Thursday 31 May 2012

Another councillor in the in the homophobia frame.

Councillor John Worrow says on his facebook wall that:

“The police have informed me that the homophobic voice mail left on my answer phone was made by North Thanet Conservative councillor Ken Gregory. I will be making a full public statement soon.”

With Councillor accusation against Mike Harrison that makes two in a week. I will have athink about this and write some more later. In the meantime please try to keep any comment fairly restrained, it’s my day off and I am using my phone, which I can hardly see to publish with and read comments. 

Video from Thanet Watch.

I have finally reached the point were I have a reasonable sized keyboard and a screen I can see, so I will try and write something that makes some sense here.

I watched the BBC South East News.

Councillor Ken Gregory left a voicemail for Councillor John Worrow that said. “With a bit of luck you’ll get aids.” Homophobic, maybe, vicious and totally unacceptable definitely.

I can’t really understand why after the police traced it to him and he was cautioned he didn’t immediately resign as a councillor.

I think almost as bad as this was the half baked response from the leader of the opposition Councillor Bob Bayford, the nonsense he said about not hearing it properly, followed by the suspend and review position, one wonders what there is to review.

I guess what annoys me is that these people who appear to be just plain stupid are governing Thanet. 

The BBC then went on to imply that Councillor Mike Harrison of “frustrated, dried up bint” fame was another Conservative councillor.

I guess the first question that the Conservative group have to ask themselves is, in resigning from the Conservative group did John Worrow do the only possible thing he could do in the circumstances? 

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Margate Meltdown Mouse and Ramsgate Bucket and Spade Thanet’s Gasoline Jubilee Weekend and a ramble.

Last years meltdown pictures including the antics of the Meltdown Mouse above to be found at the links below.

the meltdown videos are embedded in this blog post

don’t ask me why but  Instead of arriving Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday the ride out to Margate will take place this coming Monday 4th June 2012.

Ramsgate’s Bucket and Spade run is due to take place this Sunday 3rd June 2012 and I will add to this post as I get time today.

Pictures of previous bucket and spade runners at the links below

Sorry about the lack of blogging on my part recently, it seems the Thanet Conservative group have now performed a U-turn and are accusing a Labour councillor of homophobia, see not exactly sure what constitutes homophobia.

In this instance I also have to be careful not to be ageist but there is something strange about local pensioners talking about keeping backs to the wall and shirt lifters that I am not entirely sure qualifies.
The screenshot of Simon’s post about this needed a bit of a rethink, if you enlarge the picture by compulsive clicking you can see at a glance he seems to be calling Laura Sandys a communist. And thanks to the reader who sent it, well I thought it was funny too. 

One thing is certain and that is as Labour have gone down the diversity blog warden route then any of their remaining members that have the nerve to use internet social media should abide by these rules.

Whether it is sensible for the Conservative group to get involved in enforcing this is another matter.

Perhaps a directive to all councillors never to commit anything to writing, especially on the internet, in case the put their feet in their mouths would be best.  

The other side of the coin is that, we the voters, would like to hear a bit from our councillors, in terms of online comment, even if it is just to say the have been for a swim.

Apart from Simon Moores, there is very little web input from councillors at the moment, and virtually none on the blogs which is where most local people would look for it.

Mike Harrison has posted to say it wasn’t me wot done it see frankly in the context and way it was done, it look quite likely it wos him wot done it.

I have been looking at the world of cached pages and other bits of IT and can’t see how his facebook could easily have been compromised in quite the way he says it has.

I guess time and some sort of investigation would tell, though whether diverting police resources to who exactly called who a shirt lifter would either be sensible use of public money or result in anything at all remains to be seen.  

I guess a big problem here is that councillors, all councillors are supposed to represent us and a situation has developed where most councillors are not using the internet to communicate with us, the people they represent.

In one sense the internet could extend to the point of making councillors unnecessary as from a technological point of view it would be possible for all of us to vote on all issues before the council.

It is a bit like the situation I face in the book world, theoretically technology makes the book printed on paper redundant, if like me you read a lot, in practice doing this using the technology rather than the paper, eventually results in a series of stinking headaches. 

Sunday 27 May 2012

Tracey Emin exhibition at The Turner Contemporary Margate, first impressions and pictures from my sketchpad today.

The picture above is the last one I drew today, I sketched it and watercoloured it sitting on a towel, on Ramsgate Sands, I wouldn’t have thought this possible and the reason I even tried at all is to do with Turner’s sketchbooks.

I know the camera never lies and all that, but the colour of the sky in the painting is much closer, blue getting more ochreish (browny yellow) towards the horizon in the painting than the photo. The irony is that I used the same camera to photograph the painting as I did to photograph the sky. 

I took a couple of photos showing the place and equipment, because if anyone had said to me that they had managed a watercolour, sitting on a towel on sand while their children played in the sea, I don’t think I would have believed them. 

The pictures in this post will probably enlarge if you click on them compulsively, the one above, the first one I did when I got to Margate at about 9 this morning was done sitting on the steps of the Droit House, I was sleepy, so you can either describe it as not very good or dreamy.

You will have to give me time here as I am trying to find the right words to describe the exhibition in the gallery and at 9 this morning it hadn’t opened.  

I then went to the café in the shed like structure in the old town and got a cup of tea, half pint mug 60p and sat outside sketching the picture above, while I waited for the gallery to open.

There are two pictures in the exhibition that could be described as erotic, both by Turner, one is already on another blog of mine and I will add the other one later.  

Turners sketchbooks are available to view on The Tate Gallery website, this link takes you to one of them  you can turn the pages if you fiddle about there.

The link should open on one of the erotic sketches that is displayed in The Turner Contemporary, his sketch book is open in a case on this page, the main thing that strikes one about Turners sketchbooks is how small some of them are.

I use a sketchbook which is 270x195mm, they are £2.99 from The Works in Ramsgate Garden Centre, the one with the elastic band built in 150gsm  paper, the other ones they sell have paper too thin for watercolour, or are bumpy and especially made for watercolour and unsuitable for carrying around.   

Some of the Rodin sketches are very good one reminded me of Matisse, apart from one wall which has the Rodins’ and the Turners’ on it the rest of the upstairs galleries are all Tracey Emin’s work. 

Drawing and painting is very difficult as soon as one takes it out of the private sketchbook and either does it in public or displays it in public, immediately the question that inevitably arrives, like the square root on minus one in the back on ones mind, is, is it any good? 

Personally I would have left most of Emin’s sketches in the sketchbook and for me there is a sense of tentatively displaying something not intended for display about her work. This aspect of the exhibition works for me from the point of view of my own art.  

   Immediately after viewing the exhibition I walked down the harbour arm to The Puffin Café, £1.20 for a large and very civilised pot of tea, and drew the sketch above.  

Next come some of Tracey's exhibits on display at this exhibition:
Tracey Emin, She Lay down Deep Beneath The Sea 2012, Neon © the artist courtesy White Cube photo Ben Westoby

Tracey Emin, Sex 1 25-11-07 Sydney ©Tracey Emin / Tracey Emin studio

Tracey Emin Last in Love 2011Gouache on paper © the artist courtesy of White Cube photo Ben Westoby

Tracey Emin, Laying on Blue 2011 Gouache on paper © the artist courtesy of White Cube photo Ben Westoby

Tracey Emin Furniture 2011 Gouache on paper © the artist courtesy of White Cube photo Ben Westoby

I haven’t entirely made up my mind about the exhibition, I wasn’t that impressed by Tracey Emin’s pictures, but the acid test of any exhibition for me is do I need to paint and draw after seeing it.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it is certainly a great deal more unforgiving than the pencil and everything I drew today after seeing the exhibition was with India Ink, which doesn’t rub out at all. Of course you can cheat and draw in ink over pencil and then rub out the pencil, but I didn’t do this as I suppose you can see from this sketch done while the children were eating their lunch ant the cake on Ramsgate Sands.

Obviously I don’t usually publish everything in my sketch book from that day so far when I write a blog, I think I would bore everyone rigid, but it seemed to help me put this post together.  

I think the main problem with the exhibition is it just isn’t dense enough, there isn’t enough there that is different to engage your attention for long enough.

Spreading mostly small and tentative works through such a large space, with some very large areas of blank wall I don’t think is going to be enough of a draw for the next few months.

I guess it could do with some installation art, films or something, like the youth exhibition had. Many of the pictures are similar, there is a whole series in blue gouache that I think are supposed to be onanistic, possibly erotic although not to me, they could just as well be about difficulties inserting tampons or diaphragms.

And no I am not slating Emin’s work here, it is tentative and indistinct probably deliberately, I think this is about the way the exhibition is presented, it has an air of the artist having had far to much say in the hanging and selection of what is in the whole of the upstairs part of the gallery.

Perhaps there are some artists who should hang their own works, I don’t really know, but think in most cases the hanging of exhibitions requires expertise that most artists don’t possess.

The thing is the like her work or hate her work Emin is Emin and so up to a point you know what to expect, but there is a sense here of too much dilution of the dilation.  

I guess I came away feeling disappointed with the overall exhibition and although I am not very keen on Tracey Emin’s work I also know that a lot of stress goes into a public art exhibition so I partly didn’t want to blame this disappointment on her.  Having given it some thought I am coming to the conclusion that the disappointment is not entirely her fault, but of course I will visit the exhibition several more times and my thoughts may change.

But allthatsaid it did pass my personal acid test, I did come out of the exhibition wanting to pint and draw.   

If you haven’t already click on the link and work your way through all 109 pages of Turner’s sketchbook, there are a few blank pages to pass through and not all of the pictures are good pictures  

Oh nearly forgot, for those of you who can’t get around Thanet for one reason or another, the unedited contents of my camera card

And I think these were mostly Friday playing with the camera in the dark.

Friday 25 May 2012

A quick sketch from outside The Queen’s Head in Ramsgate

With the new art exhibition opening at The Turner Contemporary tomorrow, I thought I had better do a Ramsgate sketch this evening, there you go.

I did take some photos as well, so here is one of the harbour at night

Turner and Margate High Street

After yesterdays watercolour of Margate from Westbrook I had a bit of delve to see what other paintings of Margate would be of interest and stumbled upon this one by Joseph Mallord William Turner of Margate High Street. It is undated but my guess is that turner did id it when he was a school in Margate, he was born in 1775 and went to school in Margate when he was twelve, and my guess is he was around twelve when he painted it.

The picture above “A View of the Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth” was Turner's first to be accepted for the Royal Academy's annual exhibition in April 1790, the month he turned fifteen and you can see the similarity of style.
Some of Turner’s pictures of Margate are difficult to identify, the one above is Titled “Margate” and I am pretty certain it’s the right way up, perhaps the word I am looking for is, demanding. 

The picture was drawn by G Varlo and engraved for the guide by J Shury, then I am afraid it was coloured by a colour-blind idiot but that is beside the point, which is for some time it was a picture in the main tourist guide to Margate and I guess people would have noticed if The High Street looked completely wrong.  
This is an old photo of the other side of the low buildings on the seaward side of The High Street in about 1860 I think.

You may need to click on it and then click on it again to make it big enough to see the detail.
I will add to this post as I get time

Thursday 24 May 2012

Day orf ramble

Went to Sandwich today, the new road is open out of Ramsgate which is interesting, I wondered what the tunnel is for.

Sketched the boats by the river, I seem to be particularly bad at sketching boats, perhaps it was the rather critical looking duck.

Couldn’t quite face supermarket shopping so stopped at the boating pool for a cuppa, very quick sketch.

Westbrook again this evening as the children wanted to go in the sea again, had a bit of a go at a watercolour not really sure if it was good or bad.

All in all not a bad day.

I tried to sort the pictures here out but the computer doesn’t seem to want to play ball, so apologies.

I haven decided I like this watercolour of Westbrook and set it as background on my laptop for a bit. For those of you who don’t paint with watercolour there are several different ways of using it, one I often use, used in the picture at the top of the previous post, is to add colour to a sketch. There are lesser and greater ways of doing this with a pencil sketch as once the paint is dry it is possible to rub our some or all of the pencil, depending on the type of pencil and how thick the pencil lines were. Another way of using, the one I used in the picture above, is to get the paper fairly wet and mix up some likely colours, then you spread them about on the wet paper trying to control the amount the colours run into each other as the paper dries. You can also lift paint off again using a dry brush, it’s a bit like trying to control an inkblot and what you get in the end is only partially the result of what you intended to do. For me there is something distinct about this sort of picture, done outside from what the painter can see at the time that just doesn’t seem to happen with a more controllable medium, indoors working from sketches or a photograph.     

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Westbrook Beach near Margate pictures

Three people on Westbrook Beach  
 Picnic on the beach after work today, I got a certain amount of the sketch above done and a sudden cold breeze put pay to anymore.
 I took a photo of the view and we left.
 I did a warm-up sketch of the new lifeguard hut above first, so I wasn’t that bothered, getting a hour to sketch outside is something of a luxury for me.
 No chance of having a go at painting the sunset as it was suddenly too cold on the beach for my children, the sunset didn’t look like the photo above.
I did manage to get a photo of it from Asda’s car park, and it did look a bit like that.   

Click on the pictures obsessively to enlarge them.   

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Art Gallery, Nail Shop and ramble

I have to admit the nails going in to town centre shops are mainly to be found on the internet, I guess a shop called nails will be about decorating nails and not so much about selling goods. That said I am glad to see another shop in the street has been let, this is the up part of the year when people sink their savings into opening some sort of business.

There is also an art gallery opening in York Street, is it possible to make a living out of an art gallery in Ramsgate I wonder.

There was a boat being launched from No1 slipway when I went out at lunchtime,

things looked a bit tight in terms of how far they had managed to get the cradle down the slipway ns how far the tide was likely to rise, so I hope she got off OK.

Looking at the other blogs and bloggers, Simon Moores seems to be a bit obsessed with, Thanet Independent Group, or TIG at the moment, the thing about Tiggers as I am sure you all know is that they bounce.

Anyway Thanet Watch have put up a video of Tigger John Worrow having a bit of a bounce at The North Thanet Conservative Group.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I took them with my phone, well to be more realistic, I peered through reading glasses at the reflection on the screen on the back of my phone, couldn’t see much and repeatedly pressed various invisible virtual buttons, mumbled a few expletives and what you see is what I got.

I will ramble on about RaspBerry phones next, I guess a lot of blog readers now have some sort of internet phone I certainly do as do my children, well one of their phones broke this week and I had to replace it.

We use the T-Mobile pay as you £20 for six months unlimited internet add on method, and have all moved to The Android operating system, £30 for a new “T-MOBILE PULSE MINI” phone from Ebay this was from Argos outlet on Ebay, which means you get and Argos guarantee. Going into the Argos shop, or for that matter any other shop I guess would have cost about £100 for a comparable phone, hence the death of the shop.   

What this means in terms of a mobile phone is a bit difficult to explain, if you haven’t got one, you can for instance download the free Skype app and telephone your friend in Australia for nothing. Or you can watch the Hornblower movie on your phone while sitting in bed.

If you haven’t got an internet phone then think in terms of trying to explain the advantages of a computer connected to the internet to someone who hasn’t got one.  

Don’t get me wrong here, you won’t replace a full sized computer screen, keyboard, decent digital camera, hi fi system and TV with a RaspBerry Phone but it is a very useful item to have in your pocket and produces a reasonable compromise for the above.   

I have just remembered the Mayor Making ceremony for Margate was this evening, so congratulations to Will, I do hope the novelty of Margate having a young mayor will help with Thanet’s rejuvenation.

There is no doubt at all that this area needs to get some more young people involved in politics.

On to wild rumour and Manston Airport, apart from a Middle Eastern operator, word is that Balfour Beatty are interested and that Infratil have come down from £80m to something in the region of £35m. 

I think they paid £14m for Blackpool Airport and put up £31m of the £60m RCA paid for Exeter Airport, so I guess this information added to the rumour makes some sense. 

Sunday 20 May 2012

Broadstairs Queens and Dragons, a few pictures

I went to Broadstairs today mainly to film the dancing queen record attempt, I didn’t manage to pull this off this year, although fortunately I did last year, see for pictures and videos.

The problem being that the event was arranged in inward looking circles, a circular fence with the dancers inside looking inwards and the spectators outside looking at the backs of the dancers.
There was one chap there who had the right camera attachment pictured above, so there may be some decent pictures of dancing somewhere, I gave up and went for a cuppa. 

Fortunately The Thanet Dragons were there doing some parkour, so did manage a few pictures of that, if any of them came out ok I will publish them, here here and here

The Thanet blogging scene is a bit of a pain at the moment, apart from the increasingly boring political wrangle there is nothing much happening, much as one party catching a member of the other with their pants down may amuse party members, it’s a bit dull for the rest of us.

Simon Moores seems t have me and possibly the whole of Ramsgate down as Labour, but as always this really begs the question, what are the local Conservative group? They are certainly nothing like any Conservatives I have come across before.

Friday 18 May 2012

Mostly in the dark, pictures and thoughts

First off congratulations to Dave Green on his elevation to the cabinet.

Some changes at the council and some disapproval from a surprisingly few Conservative commentators looking at the other blogs

We were in The Belgian Café this evening, I did manage the picture above although it was really too dark to see what colour paint I was using.

I guess the difficulty with the lack of comment is that I don’t really think anyone much cares about the council committees and whether some Conservative councillor or some TIG councillor gets the allowance, someone will get it and 0.3p or whatever from our council tax will pay for it.

I asked a rather bohemian aunt of mine who was once a Hampstead councillor what “The Joint Transformation Board” would be and she replied “they are probably something to do with drugs darling”.

Of course the thing that most of us ordinary people want from councillors is accessibility, communication and action. Here in Ramsgate the prominent council owned properties Pleasurama and the pavilion come to mind. 
 I did take some pictures on my stroll round Ramsgate this evening, but is was fairly dark so they are a bit blurry, here they are