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Grow : Wellbeing in Nature…

21/11/2017

SSGrow7BestofSG&SP0917

For eight weeks – from August to October – I had the incredible privilege of participating on a course of consecutive Thursdays spent in beautiful South Downs countryside.  It was the twentieth ‘season’ of the Grow Project’s wellbeing in Nature courses, known affectionately by all as Grow20.  This highly-effective immersion in ‘the green’ was hugely beneficial for my mental health; as a person with Asperger Syndrome, being out in the expansive space made relating with others much easier.

These courses have been funded and supported by several partner organisations: the National Trust, University of Brighton,  South Downs National Park Authority, the City’s Council – and Big Lottery Fund.  They are based at National Trust-owned Saddlescombe Farm and facilitated by Grow’s staff and volunteers, by NT rangers and the tenant sheep farmers, Camilla & Roly: on the farm, garden and orchard; out and about on the Downs; in community gardens in Brighton & Hove, including at Stanmer Park Organics – and by all in sharing ‘potluck’ food together!

I hope that the fotomosaic images in the slideshow below, and the writings – that formed a part of my eight weeks’ journalling – will give a flavour of this special ‘season’ and the en-joy-ment that it brought to all…

Henrietta begat Coriander:
Pet Lambs Acrostic
 
SddlscmbSheepinPen0917Hay bales
Egg-laying
Nettles sting
Russet/carrot salad
Intention cards
Ewe’s udder
Testing teats…
Tractors: great & small
“Away!” sheepdog call

Barn owl pellet
English mutton/lamb
Garden picnic
Apples-to-go
Trolley stops-in-van

Cocoa ‘n’ date treat
Orange nasturtiums
Roly’s & Freddie’s farm
Intelligent creatures
Ant on to-do card
New ‘clan’ buddies
Dew pond photo
Edible flowers
Roof chorus grouse
[No! they were guinea fowl…]

(and, if I remember rightly, Henrietta was grandmother sheep to lamb, Coriander)

After an afternoon of ‘hurricane season’ cloud-watching on the Downs, I spent a week writing a haiku per day – based on that afternoon and the weather outside my east Brighton windows…

Weather Consciousness Haikus
 

DungmobileCrpd2Prnt

not-so-Andy-Goldsworthy wild art ‘Dungmobile’ – it moves with the wind!

Cloudscape bonanza:
Sun hat off and rain hood up;
Beech trees umbrella.

Blue-shirted school boys’
Astro-turf footie tempered
By the cloudless sky…

Breeze whips cumulous
Away and lends the laundry
Wrinkles with sun scents

Dull platinum sky
Spits and ripples the rust-like
Algae’d stone bird bath

Grey, mild, but drizzling:
Weather brings down my spirit
Along with the leaves.

Autumn in the air:
Bring out the long socks, long sleeves;
Relish wardrobe shift!

Oh, cheer! Sun seeps through:
Blanket grey’s blue-broken;
Bird bath water’s warmed.

(more haikus – one per day over a month for NaPoWriMo 2014 – can be seen on my ‘sibling’ blog site: OTTP Haiku City)

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Sadly, due to funding cuts, Grow21 season, due this winter, had to be cancelled.  I will now be volunteering assistance to fundraise for this very worthwhile project;  the Grow Project invites donations from any source – and it’s possible to watch their beautifully hand-painted, research evaluation animation – “nature-based intervention for mental health” – to understand the benefits of such courses and group days spent in the ‘great outdoors’.  To donate, visit Grow’s Facebook page

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On The Trolley Swapovers x2…

15/10/2017

BlueTrolleyBrollyFSCafLooIn my absence from blogging over the past two plus years, my household/wardrobe has seen two changes of the invaluable trolley: my companions of 35+ years!  Last witnessed on OTTP: PINARW was the skyblue(ish) Hoppa – as seen here outside the now-closed public convenience which has given way entirely to the Frank-in-Steine Cafe in Brighton’s Old Steine Gardens…

 

Next to arrive on the scene was the outlandishly brightly-hued Red & WhiteCircleSpotted model – a mere Hoppa lookalikey that was riddled with built-in obsolescence: it’s bag had to be remounted on the skyblue(ish) Hoppa’s frame&wheels with extra bunjies support, whilst its top flap became discoloured with unseemly black streaks when I attempted to reinforce its flimsy textile underside with felt and a well-known latex glue…

 

SSRedTrolleyShrhmSeaFlora0719However, the Red trolley has served me well and enjoyed varied adventures and daytrip ‘jollies’.  Here seen in sunny July amongst the pebble beach flora and vegetables of Shoreham-by-the-Sea – following a perambulate alongside the houseboats moored on the mudflats of said West Sussex-bordering harbour town.

Come September (with sturdy brolley-walkingstick-alternative onboard) it positively shone, yet again, under the hurricane season skies of Eastbourne – following a lightening dash to the Towner Gallery of said East Sussex resort and centre of the arts.

 

(The same Red wheeled companion will feature in a future post regarding invisible disability creativity…)

RedTrolleyBrolleyE:bourne0917

 

Sadly, Hoppa have met so much competition in the now-fashionable world of the humble trolley, that it is reduced to only producing an all-black model in the compact (back-of-the-bus travel friendly) size…  This was too sombre for my taste, having relished the classic Tartan patterned models of yesteryear.

 

I had to search long and hard to find the Red model’s replacement… It remains to be seen how long it will be until the latest Herringbone Brown patterned not-Hoppa-but-copy model will remain on its own two wheels…

 

On a positive and factual note, the current Herringbone Brown has already stood proud against the dynamic and lawful brickwork of the Old Courthouse in Brighton, but then witnessed lawlessness (a vandalised bus shelter on the University of Sussex campus: shock horreur!)

 

H'boneTrolleyCrtHse1017

 

H'bneTrolleyBusStopBreakage1017So subtle – yet stunning – is the combination of my herringbone weave Autumn coat and my herringbone features trolley that I was simply unable (in spite of 3 attempts) to upload the image of the two together onto this blog post…

And so, onward and upward with the Off the Trolley Productions – and with those in the trolley cushion(s)/emergency rations/spare bunjy (cf vaccuum cleaner adventure of earlier blog post circa 2013)/etc…

 

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The 28months Catch Up Post…

19/09/2017

Hooray for Steroids!  No wonder the sports officials have to test the athletes of the World…

In April & May of 2015 I moved home.  I developed tennis elbow from packing multiple smallish boxes that I could manage to lift myself…  I already suffered with referred nerve pain in my hands.  With fibromyalgia I was exhausted and in pain for months; blogging seemed out of the question.  The absence from creative online activity continued until 28 months had elapsed since my last post…

But hope arrived – finally – a few weeks ago: in the form of a steroid injection to my carpal tunnel syndrome’d right wrist – making extra computer mousework† more possible and less painfully agitating.  Hooray again!  († see Glossary category” Part 2)

So here is a selection of fotomosaics in a slideshow to illustrate the journal of my life over the past two and a quarter years… they’ll show home making, beach combing, dog walking, banner wielding, herb&bulb gardening, decorations hangings, out&about adventuring – and much mobile phone photographing.

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Brighton Festival Artist Exposure…

25/04/2015
image magpie : text magnet

image magpie : text magnet

Beyond ‘Queer in Brighton’ (mobile photography) and ‘Brighton Trans*formed’ (bunting stitchery), creative recycling artist (collage & montage), Luc Raesmith ‘hits’ the Phoenix and the Open Art House trail during the 2105 Brighton Festival. (Plus, ‘fits’ all that into their hectic home move schedule…)

Read all about it on the Mind LiVE blog post: exhibiting-with-artists-who-are-marginalised-or-in-recovery

GrandmotherBoard (detail)

Grandmother Board (detail)

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Close Up and Personal No.1…

16/03/2015

Taking a departure from moving fotovideos and grid-locked fotomosaics, my latest foto venture is an Albelli fotobook ‘close up and personal no.1’ : a slim volume of 30-something pages [as oppose to the 250+ images tome of the earlier Blurb fotobook ‘Utilitarian: A Pavement Level Perspective’ on all-things-manhole ]

How close up?  The images are mostly in macro mode…

and personal? Well…

I made the potato salad

I grew the marigolds

I’ve owned a blue-haired troll since 1999

I watch detective forensic dvds

As an ex-Nissan owner, I find Tarmac Terrorist a nice phrase but a noisy concept

I don’t like getting raindrops on my specs

I do like Boogaloo Stu’s shoes!

So here’s a taster image:

TinyCrimeScene235734

 

but do click here for the fotobook…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bikesexual in East Sussex…

31/01/2015

 

 

UniOfBrighonExhiBikes

 

Who said there’s no such thing as bikesexuality?  I can attest to its alive-and-kickingness (and so does this Canadian website).  But, how well I remember those mocking last-century-Eighties: hell hath no fury like the separatist homo sapiens…

HavantTrikesexual

I have to face-and-confess it: I’m an ex-closet A-sexual with an Extra-Gel saddle still hanging on the back of my front door.  Yes, these days I’m a mere voyeur – or just another wannabe trikesexual…

 

TravelScoot

(But the way my lower half feels some days, I’m more likely to be seen in the company of a Germanic trikescooter…)

 

 

Confused? Don’t be.  Enjoy (hopefully) this introductory fotovideo capturing ‘the B word’ gloriously, proudly, out-and-about in Brighton and Hove (with an upbeat jazz-funk soundtrack too…)

 

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9 Ways to Lose & Find 4 Months…

14/01/2015

 

1.  Have transgender reconstructive chest surgery at a Brighton hospital: Nuffield-swaddled and self-nestled atop the South Downs valley overlooking the Channel and changeable cloudscapes…

 

2. Hotel-recuperate in western Hove on the best late-Summer weekend of October: ice-cream inviting and skyscape foto-inducing…

 

3. Indulge in cafe stops between 2&4-hour-long anaesthetically-dopey siestas; add a little creativity, literary and 2nd-hand retail therapy…

 

4. Escape the whine of tree surgeons’ chainsaw pruning elms on home street; savour the autumnal flora in a local city oasis…

 

5. Be snap-happy at the Brighton PhotoBiennial: find new vistas from tucked-away venues…

 

6. Seek normalcy in scaffolding: from behind home blinds with house painters; from below Community Base with focus groupers; from beyond the station with city commuters…

 

7.  Be bemused by across-Atlantic Halloween excesses on trips to Picture House and Rottingdean Museum, plus North Laine retro emporium…

 

8.  Continue collaging self-identity self-portraits: Fridays for Mindful Art amongst friends…

 

9. Find the Festive Season all around and upon us: more of Life’s decorations and delicacies savoured and survived…

 

And so to 2015…