'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Doing things...

 we don't seem to have had time for recently - like mindless needlework [cardi for the VHC] and going to exhibitions. Oh, and watching cycle races.

It seems like years since we last went to an exhibition. so on Monday we visited two - although they were in the same place, one upstairs and one downstairs. And, surprisingly in this almost all sport-hating household, both had an Olympian connection. And even more surprisingly, we enjoyed both of them.

Upstairs at the Discovery Centre is 'Faster, Higher', a video installation by Susan Pui San Lok, which is as much about the politics of sport as it is about sport - probably why we liked it. I also liked the way she used the 5 screens, which gave me ideas of ways of using photographs - I'm not quite up to video installations yet...

Downstairs is 'Sporting Heroes' which is probably of most interest to locals. Highlights for me were 5 Greek vases with sporting scenes on them [courtesy of Winchester College] and the opportunity to see a time trial bike up close. [My tastes are nothing of not eclectic.]

Today the Olympic Torch came to Winchester. Bah, humbug.

So we went to Whitchurch - to the Silk Mill to see a small exhibition of Midsummer Night's Dream fairy costumes by Anna Nowicki. A fascinating variety of techniques - I was specially struck by Oberon's costume, which had a real Stuart feel to it, despite being made with very twenty-first century materials and techniques.

We didn't manage to avoid the torch, completely however - on the way home it passed us going the other way, heading for Andover. It was in stealth mode - they hadn't asked anyone to walk/run/stagger along the A34 - but the caravan of other vehicles and the escort of all the motor cycle cops in Hampshire were a bit of a give-away.

Much more exciting, as far as I'm concerned, was spotting this in the front garden when we got home. At first I thought it was one of those plastic balls with holes in we used to play with at school - but no, it's a fungus. No idea what, but I hope someone out there does.

The flies seemed to like it even more than I did.

Isn't that a wonderful form to inspire a 3D textile? Possibly even craft Vilene.

And speaking of photos [how's that for a bad segue?], today's iPad app is Blur FX. Nothing to do with a musical group whose lead singer's father Wensleydale used to work with. [Three degrees of separation to Damon Albarn, three to Sigmund Freud - my contacts are nothing if not eclectic.] [And only two to a fifties actress called Sabrina of whom none of you will have heard...] [But I digress.]

Blur FX does what it says on the tin. It makes your photos go blurry. Then you can wipe away the blur with your finger - an effect I like. With a bit of luck I can do it with the camera, but it's nice to have a retrospective option.

Blur FX also offers you a few filters, which you can apply to the blurred or clean areas. or to the whole thing...

including inverting the colour.

OK, it's another one trick wonder, but it is a very clever trick, and one I like [and use] a lot.

Tomorrow the gasman cometh, so I'm planning a bit of non-mindless needlework - oh, and possibly a bit of cycle race watching...

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