Monday, 5 July 2021

Memories are Made of These

 

              It seems amazing to my grandchildren that I grew up without TV, Wifi ,the internet and mobile phones. How did we face the summer break from school , what did we do in the 1940s and 50s?A simple holiday on the east coast of England was something we really looked forward to. My Dad would also add to my book collection with a story  like this  parent free adventure by Enid Blyton .                                                          


    

 No burgers or pizzas were  on the menu. A big treat was a bar of chocolate like Cadburys Dairy Milk. There were almost no sweets or candy at all until about 1947.My Dad was in the army , the soldiers had generous sweet rations and  Dad would save his share until he came home on leave to give it to us . A Mars bar would be sliced into slivers and made to last a couple of days .                         



Loose leaf tea like this was the drink of choice for most people. It would be made with boiling water in a well warmed teapot and served in cups with saucers after being left to brew for a few minutes to draw out the flavour . I hated the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup. All sorts of signs were read into the formation of the tea leaves. A large floating leaf meant a significant letter was coming. My grandmother would spend hours ruminating over the possibilities. Mugs were unheard of in our house except enamel ones sometimes taken or picnics.





Food was pretty tasteless, the English had a love for boiling everything to a pulp It was not until I went to France at the age of 12 that I realised what food could really be like. Marmite which I like, was good on toast, crumpets or in sandwiches. It is enjoying a revival as it is suitable for vegetarians. There is a new version out with peanut butter added, I am not enthused by this.

                                                                 


            Bisto was another great food improver added to gravy. Once the war was over we always had a large beef joint for Sunday lunch.  These days a joint of sirloin that size would cost about £30 .The smell of it cooking was delicious .Cooked until very well done the Bisto gravy added moisture. Left overs were served cold on Monday as my Mum would be busy with washing day.                                                              

Every thing was cooked on a stove that looked like this

                                                                  




In 1952 Dad bought a TV. Black and white of course and 11 inches wide. Our entire family  watched the the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd on it. My grandfather stood up every time the National Anthem was played which was frequently.




       A new invention in 1964 was the introduction of Pyrosil cookware. Said to have been invented to use in connection with rocket ships this oven to table ware was popular. I still have some.   I was shocked to see some on display in a museum.                                                             

                                                                      


Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Remember These?

 Do you recognize  these from your childhood?

Then you probably grew up in the U.K before 1960




























Sunday, 13 June 2021

Summer Staycation Art

 Summer in England is going to be controlled by the pandemic.

 Boris has messed up again by failing to close the borders allowing a dangerous Indian  covid mutation to enter the UK and spread. 

 This year we have arranged to go on vacation in England. A couple of hours in the car to a nice hotel in Aldeburgh in Suffolk

 No manic airport, no testing , no worries about that group coughing in the swimming pool or putting their unwashed hands into the dinner buffet.

A room with a sea view, six delicious dinners and breakfasts, nice little shops and cafes and a trip to one of the other nearby villages.


The Way We Were

  Here are some of my favourite paintings of summertime in England with reminders of how holidays used to be.

                                              


                                         

Two Women in a Garden by Eric Ravilious


This reminds of the days before frozen peas when sitting in the garden shelling home grown peas was a job usually given to me. I hated finding maggoty ones.

                                              


                                             


Sea Shore by Mary Fedden

 Family holidays spent on the east coast included my Dad buying us shrimping nets like these along with buckets and spades. Catching little crabs in the rocks was a great excitement.






                                                   

                             
Dandelions by William Nicholson


Picnics in the Cotswolds were popular with my family ,cheaper than cafes which were few and far between. Sandwiches, boiled eggs, home made cake and flasks of tea would be eaten sitting on a rug in a field like this. Blowing dandelion clocks were part of the fun.



                                                





Cambridge, St John's Bridge by Gwen Raverat, an LNER poster design
                               This is very close to where I live now.
Many people travelled by train to holiday destinations in the U.K. encouraged by posters of attractive places


                                             

 

I do not know who this painting is by  but it reminds me of my grandmother preparing to cook fish.



                                                                      

           


                                     Roses by Diana Armfield.


This artist is 100 years old this year. Her paintings of flowers and the country side are exquisite examples of a loose style of of art work. Reminders of the jugs of flowers from the garden my mother would have around the house in the summer.




Swimming by Janet Cockerill
Warmer days would offer opportunities to swim either in the sea or at a local lido.

       


                           

Green Fields by Joan Eardley



A Scottish painters work. Cliff top walks were a bracing afternoon activity by the sea.






                                                                       
Heat Wave, Janet Cockerill


Where ever you are going let us hope for a heat wave so we can all get our feet into the sea. 



Monday, 10 May 2021

Springtime in England

   There is nothing like springtime in England One of the first signs of spring are the lovely flowers that burst into bloom with the longer days and warmer weather.

Primroses, violets and daffodils all grow in the wild as well as cultivated varieties in gardens. There is blossom on the trees and lambs appear in the fields.



An illustration from the Flower Fairy series by Cicely Mary Barker


                                         

Spring has inspired artists and writers and musicians.


In this Victorian painting a hireling shepherd has been brought in to help with the spring lambing season, the shepherdess is clearly smitten.

                                 

                                        

                                       

                                     

The Hireling Shepherd


Bluebells and Birch Trees

 One of the best illustrators of the countryside in spring is Edith Holden, A Victorian artist who kept a diary of her findings. Visiting bluebell woods is a popular springtime occupation , for a few brief weeks the woods are carpeted by these lovely blue flowers. They are a protected species, it is illegal to remove or pick them.


                                         



         

Another illustrator of the English country side was Rowland Hilder who with his wife Edith illustrated the Shell Guide to

 Flowers of The Countryside May by Rowland and Edith Hilder

                                                            


To hear this music you must look at the web version,It does not appear on the mobile version

                                   The Rustle of Spring by  played by Peter Ogden



Thursday, 10 December 2020

Travelling Home for Christmas


 


Most of us will not travelling anywhere this Christmas while the Covid 19 pandemic is still with us. Some sentimental illustrations for you dear readers to remind you of the way we were.


Home for the Holidays, Norman Rockwell

                         

                     

Murder on The Orient Express,Book Cover


                          


                                                 

Cambridge Market, Janet Cockerill



                                            

                                                    
                                                
The Toy Shop by Timoleon Marie Lobrichon

                                            
                                            
                     
Coach Ride, Anton Pieck

                                  
                                        
 

Westminster Bridge,London




Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London


                          
                           


                                         
Evening Sleigh Ride, Beinke Fritz

                          

                         
The Spirit of Christmas, Regent Street, William Heath Robinson


                   
                   
Going to School, Janet Cockerill
                                      
                           

                        
Piccadilly Snow
                         
  



                                                       
A Good Cause, Janet Cockerill
                 
After a Hard Day, Janet Cockerill

Frozen, Janet Cockerill

Blizzard in New York, Janet Cockerill



Wherever you are and however you are getting there I wish you all  Happy Holidays with your loved ones. This piece of music is an old favourite ,Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson.This must be viewed on the web version if you looking at this blog on your phone.



                                                               

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Destitution and Poverty?After Covid 19

 This morning a commentator suggested that a result of the loss of incomes and closure of work places  will result in destitution and poverty for many people.

In case you have never seen these scourges this is how some artists have drawn them



                                                     




                                                                        


                                            The Stone Breakers ,Courbet


                                                     

                                        

                                     Beggars At The Door, Rembrandt




                                                                          


                                          Brot, Kathe Kollwitz     




                                             


                                         The Absinthe Drinker, Degas



                                          


                                  Tenement Children, Joan Eardley

                                                                                         



                                                                

                                                                        

                                          


                                        Slum Children Joan Eardley