#3 theoldmortuary ponders

Long before I started a blog, I had a normal job in London. One of the places I would seek refuge, after a nights work, was The Townhouse, Spitalfields. Home made cake and coffee embellished by the Townhouse itself always slowed the busy pace of London down to something more manageable. The link below describes the Townhouse far more comprehensively than I ever could.

Town House Spitalfields

There was serendipity at work when one of my favourite blog writers, The Gentle Author offered blog writing courses based at The Townhouse.

Returning this weekend for a second writing course with The Gentle Author was a treat, both visual and experiential. In between learning and enjoying wonderful food I hopped around like an overactive magpie gathering photographic trinkets for future blog use. It helped that bright autumnal sunshine barged its way into the corners and recesses of the early Georgian building, making everything a little more magical.

Taking magic to a different place was the bathroom we used this weekend.

And the kitchen where refreshments were served.

https://www.townhousespitalfields.com/

The link above takes you to the Townhouse website. I”m sure this will not be the last blog I write about this gorgeous building.

#2 theoldmortuary ponders

I could be in complete denial that autumn is in full glory this morning. The trees outside my room are uniformly green. Yesterday was bright and sunny and the street markets I explored were still selling whisps of dresses in bright sunshine. It is all a bit of trickery, the trees rustle with squirrels busy stockpiling seeds and acorns and market traders need to sell summer stock to empty their warehouses for heavier winter clothes.

Likewise, in denial, this beautiful assemblage of coloured- glass, domestic objects and a tea strainer, twinkle in bright sunlight against a robustly healthy Banana tree.

More trickery of course. The banana tree lives in a micro climate. Surrounded on all sides by tall, Georgian town houses that protect it from harsh easterly winds that whip the east of England and blow up the Thames estuary, burning delicate foliage at first touch.

Attending a writing course is a lot like trickery and microclimates. The conclave ( secret meeting) format relaxes absolute strangers into shared and deeper mental intimacy; providing a fertile literary microclimate to explore and evolve writing styles and to sort out the dry areas in our creativity.

The beauty of attending face to face meetings again is that we can be experimental and risky away from our domestic environment. The sights, sounds and smells around Spitalfields are so stimulating, the architecture spans centuries and the people are from every corner of the world. Every course member walks into the writing room with some new common layers of sensation sprinkled on to their existing diverse life experiences. Advanced blog writing was a blast this weekend, thanks to everyone who shared it. You know who you are.

#1 theoldmortuary ponders.

A weekend away on a blogging course and a little rebranding. Moving on from Pandemic Pondering as the world moves from Pandemic to Endemic @theoldmortuary will be pondering at large. My walk from Spitalfields to  Islington yesterday evening gave me the gift of this totally apporopriate sign.

There is an agreement within our blogging group that the course and its goings on are in the form of a conclave. While sticking very happily to those restictions I’m almost certain to natter on about the course in the future but not about the attendees or the contents. The venue is one of my favourite spaces in London and is always inspirational so talking about the course while not being explicit is easy.

There are 12 bottoms.

©Pádraig Macmiadháchain @Spitalfields Townhouse

Occupying 12 seats.

We talk about our blogs and how we would like to allow them to evolve and improve. Refreshment and blogging nattering occur over beautiful food.

Right now I’m on my way back for Day 2. Have a fabulous Sunday.

Pandemic Pondering #457

A balmy day with an awful lot of domestic admin is not the greatest inspiration for a blog but our evening dog walk was as refreshing as a glass of ice cold lemonade.

Another positive of the day was confirmation of my place on the Advanced Blog writing course and bloggers reunion in Spitalfields in October. A good chance to huddle with other writers.

Street/Public Art Spitalfields

Spitalfields was in my heart long before it became trendy, my student days were spent visiting friends in squats or squalid shared houses there. The bones of which are still standing but now they are million pound homes and offices.

The area retains a quirky irreverent attitude even with an influx of money and cleanliness.

Here is a younger Hugo finding his own version of a squat a few years ago.

Enough of Spitalfields and October. A Cornwall evening in June was the true topic of this blog.

At 9 am the dogs and I were in this exact spot but we were chased away by the assiduous attention of Horse Flies. By 9pm we could actually stand still and enjoy the view. We had a good old trudge around the nature reserve with doggy and human friends. A bug posed on Cow Parsley.

And I felt the need to turn a beautiful but non spectacular sundowner into a poster.

Have a great weekend when it arrives.

Something for the Weekend

This was a weekend of passions colliding. I had enrolled in a blog writing course run by The Gentle Author who is known for his books and blog about Spitalfields. I don’t know how or when I discovered his blog but it has been a pleasurable daily habit for a long while.

By the greatest of personal serendipity the course was held in one of my favourite London cafes The Town House, Fournier Street.

I can only recommend reading https://spitalfieldslife.com to explain quite why I wanted to learn how to craft my own blog in his style . Similarly I don’t have the words to explain the subtle beauty of https://www.townhousespitalfields.com/ Make the time to go. I went for the first time some years ago during a Hugenot History Festival. I’ve been an irregular visitor ever since.

The Gentle Author attracted the most interesting group of people to his course, There was a group decision to keep details of the course unspecific on social media. Specifically though this was the loveliest group of people I’ve ever done a course with. The Gentle Author encouraged and extracted beautiful words and moments from us all, seemingly effortlessly. If I was shattered after two days of writing, extracting the best, oh so kindly from 14 of us must have been exhausting. The Gentle Author just kept finding writing nuggets right until the end, and then he went home to write a blog. We all went home with his book Mr Pussy tucked under our arms. Our cohort was such a lovely group of people, we are all keeping in touch to support and encourage on our blogging journeys

Our writing and thinking was fuelled with fabulous food by https://thegentlewoman.co.uk/library/leila-mcalister and drinks by the cafe at TheTown House.

I’ve reproduced the details of the next course below. I am still fizzing, such a positive experience email spitalfieldslife@google.com

Spending time in Spitalfields is never just about one sensation. Obviously. There was a little time to take in the local vibe . Street Art is everywhere. My walk to and from the course takes me through some favourite streets.

https://theoldmortuary.design/2018/04/28/bill-stickers-is-not-only-innocent-he-is-a-genius-london-gives-good-palimpsest

London gives good Palimpsest is an earlier theoldmortuary blog and features some Spitalfields Street art. It takes so many forms, I found this sticker not far from Fournier Street on Sunday morning . The beauty of the street art here is the mix and overlaying of aesthetic and political art, obscured and damaged by flyers, stickers and random scrawls. She will be gone soon.

That, my friends, was a weekend very well spent.

Bill Stickers is not only innocent, he is a genius. ( London gives good Palimpsest)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/25/passages-from-the-bible-discovered-behind-quran-manuscript-christies?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

I’ve never really known the correct term for the incidental art created by street posters, graffiti and general wear and tear. Some years ago I settled on Palimpsest, this article in the Guardian has made me question my decision but I can’t really find a word that works any better.

Cultural and creative vibrancy can be measured by these serendipitous spaces.

Not all owners or administrators of walls are fans.

Palimpsest fascinates me , even the corporate version on traditional , paper and paste, advertising billboards are a rich source of serendipitous art if you can catch them on the day old posters are ripped off . The current trend to advertise gigs with notices, cable-tied to street furniture gets around the Bill Sticker haters but removes a layer of lovely colour and text that could be adding to palimpsest.

Occasionally I use the technique to create my own art.

Sometimes the most intriguing stuff can be found down alleyways. Hunting it out can require a strong stomach as these places also gather the excrescences, of a vivid and active night life.

London gives great palimpsest. The images below were collected on a walk from my hairdresser to a favourite coffee shop, half an hour max. My phone is full of palimpsest images from all over the world, some of it from teeny tiny places and sometimes in locations that are unexpected.

Hunt street palimpsest out; you will be rewarded.

” Dull places have immaculate walls”