I Thought I Was Cold, But My Boss Confirmed That I Was Wrong

alisonsye407.

It can get pretty draughty if you are positioned at one of the entrances to the gallery, where I work. Despite this, in six years, I have never once complained, until today.

Recently, the seat at the shop door has been moved to its ‘summer position’, four steps lower than the ‘winter position’,  the latter protecting the sitter from the winter winds.

We have had some beautiful sunny days here in London lately, but the mornings have been particularly chilly.

I was positioned in the new ‘summer position’, when the gallery opened this morning. It was like being in a wind tunnel. I radio-ed my boss to ask if it was okay to move the seat back to the ‘winter position’.

I thought that I was absolutely frozen to the bone. Luckily, my boss came to the shop door and confirmed that, in fact, I wasn’t cold after all, so no need to move the seat.

When I went for lunch, the person who took over from me thought she was cold, too. Fortunately, she wasn’t.

Sue Townsend, Adrian Mole and Me

alisonsye

This is not what I intended to be writing about today, but you’ve got to roll with the punches.

I was either going to write about the fact that my uniforms piece is ready to collect from the framer’s, or about a couple of postcards I recently made from a 1965 record sleeve.

However, all that changed when I heard about the death of Sue Townsend.

My sister and I have always loved her.

My cousin, David, who is a year older than me, was always giving me books to read when we were at school. He introduced me to many great characters, one of which was Adrian Mole. We went to a rough-as-you-like comprehensive, in one of the most deprived areas of the country. There was a lot of glue- sniffing in my school. There were also a lot of extremely bright, overlooked kids. Our David was one of them. He is the son of a factory worker (my dad’s younger brother, who escaped the pit), and now works in a betting shop in our home town.

Over the years, meeting students, teachers, professors, professional people, I have often had the same thought. They are not nearly so bright as the kids I went to school with.

I came to London at nineteen to go to art college. It was the Eighties. It was Goldmiths’. I didn’t know about snobbery. Hard to believe, but I didn’t.

On the first day, we sat in a circle and discussed our favourite books. Mine, Adrian Mole. There were sniggers. I was crushed, and didn’t really talk again for the rest of the course. I became almost reclusive. It seemed everyone else knew what to say, and how to say it.

I knew I was different as I watched my fellow students arrive in their parents’ cars, loaded up with useful stuff, like pans and towels. I arrived on my own, on the National Express coach from Durham  to Victoria, with one bag on my back. I got the 36  from Victoria, when I actually said the words “You can have my seat missus”. Also,  I shouted a ‘thank you’ to the driver as I got off the bus. At home you would have never got off a bus without shouting ‘Thank you Driver”. To this day, I have always thanked the driver, sometimes a wave, too.

This morning I sent a quick email to my sister and  our David,  just saying ‘Sue Townsend has died’, below is the reply from our David. I’ve no idea why the font changes.

Thanks for the laughs, Sue.

Alison x

I’ve just heard on Radio 5………..so sad………….I can’t believe poor Adrian is destined to be eternally unhappy and not fulfilled in his life!! The last couple of books had me both near to tears and laughing on the same page more often than not. I knew she was struggling with her health recently, with diabetes and blindness.
The side-story of his son with Sharon Bott, who he tried to guide along the right path despite being little more than dragged up, but because of poor education ended up in the Army in Iraq (or Afghanistan, I forget which!), and what happens with that is truly heart-wrenching……….it makes you not want to turn the page sometimes………yet finding yourself hurrying to do so!!!
 A true literary great of our lifetime………RIP Sue.
 Hope you are all well,
David
xxx

1. Ordnance Survey Sheet 99, Pembroke and Tenby, 1940

001alisonsyep

I am working on a collage, using an old Ordnance Survey map as a base.

The map is seventy-four years old, and is falling to bits. Initially, my only aim was to sew it back together. I patched a little hole with a picture, liked how it looked, so continued patching.

I am enjoying myself. It is such a manageable size for bus and train sewing.

Anyway, I want to record what I’ve used so far, so I don’t forget. Mostly, they are bits of old books, too small to use for anything else, but too precious to throw away.

1. The Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams. Picture Lions, 1973. I love little daisies. Someone has decided that they are weeds. Some flowers are more equal than others.

2. Lindy and Bill, and a rabbit/hare from High On A Hill by Mabel O’Donnell and Rona Munro. Illustrations by Florence and Margaret Hoopes, and Christopher Sanders. Published by James Nisbet and Co., this edition 1966.

3. Some bloke in the crowd, from that wonderful Penguin golfing book, the inspiration for my nuts giveaway.

4. A Joyce Badrocke illustration. I harped on about Joyce endlessly, on my Facebook Page a few weeks back. Reminds me of my mam, back in the day. Everyone’s mam wore a scarf like that, or they did where I lived, anyway.

5. A scrap from that Albuquerque postcard book I bought on Ebay during my Breaking Bad obsession, still ongoing, by the way. Incidentally, the red square above the daisy is also a little nod to Breaking Bad.

To do the rest I need to hunt through sketchbooks for notes. A job for the weekend.

Have a good one,

Alison x

Mad March Sale – Final Day

alisonsyeup327

3a Things We Like by W. Murray. Illustrated by John Berry. Published by Ladybird in the Sixties.

Well, I have added a new card to my shop every day in March, as I intended, although I didn’t manage to post every day. So today is the last day of March, and that is that. I will, however, keep the ‘Mad March Sale’ section of my shop open during the first two weeks of April. I will not be adding anything new, though.

Above, is today’s addition. It is Peter and Jane. The illustration is by John Berry.

If you have been following my March Sale stuff, you will know the rest…

This month I am making a determined attempt to get some of the ‘old stock’ from under my bed, and into the sale section of my shop. These are cards I made years ago, onto which my former contact details have been written. I will put a new card into my shop each day, for the whole month. Each will cost £2.50, less than half the price of my current cards. They are totally unique and come with a sewn upcycled envelope.

Although it will only scratch the surface, I aim to try and post (however briefly) every day for whole month.

As usual, the above card is made from a cereal box and is super eco-friendly, as everything used was rescued from the bin.

Have a great week,

Alison x

Some Things That Happened This Week

1.

1.

1. I have been sewing my map collage on the bus. Very pleased so far. Nobody asked me about it.

alisonsye5

2. Finally took my ‘Uniforms’ piece to the framers. I am very excited about this. It is going to cost £200. I have paid £100 so far. The framer referred to me as ‘the young lady’. I am very excited about this.

3.

3.

3. I ditched my old phone and bought a new one. A smart one, apparently.

4.

4.

alisonsye1

4. I finished ‘The Glass Castle’ by Jeanette Walls. A good friend gave it to me ages ago. Would thoroughly recommend it. If you think you would enjoy it, give me a shout and I will post it to you. Don’t be shy.

5. I have continued to add a new card to my shop, every day, for my ‘Mad March Sale’

Hope you have had a good week,

Alison x

Mad March Sale – Marcel Marlier, Chicks

alisonsyeup181

Martine a la Ferme by Gilbert Delahaye. Illustrated by Marcel Marlier. Published by Casterman, 1954.

Marcel Marlier was born in 1930 and died in 2011.

He started children’s book illustration when he won a competition organised by La Procure a Namur, the Belgian publisher. He stayed with the publishing house for over twenty-five years.

Following this, he worked for Casterman, where he illustrated the ‘Martine’ series which spans over fifty issues.

This was the first of the series, published in 1954. It was posted to me, anonymously, in a very bad state. It is a first edition.

The ‘chicks’ card was listed in my shop yesterday, and the card below was listed about an hour ago.

If you have been following my March Sale stuff, you will know the rest…

This month I am making a determined attempt to get some of the ‘old stock’ from under my bed, and into the sale section of my shop. These are cards I made years ago, onto which my former contact details have been written. I will put a new card into my shop each day, for the whole month. Each will cost £2.50, less than half the price of my current cards. They are totally unique and come with a sewn upcycled envelope.

Although it will only scratch the surface, I aim to try and post (however briefly) every day for whole month.

As usual, the above card is made from a cereal box and is super eco-friendly, as everything used was rescued from the bin.

See you tomorrow,

Alison x

alisonsyeup179

Mad March Sale – Martin Aitchison, Shopping List

alisonsyeup383

3a Things We Like by W. Murray. Illustrated by Martin Aitchison. Published by Ladybird in the Seventies.

Hope you’ve all had a good weekend.

Sunday evening’s addition to my Mad March Sale is another illustration by Martin Aitchison. Mum is giving a shopping list to Peter and Jane.

The Sixties version of the same scene is below, this time by John Berry.

If you have been following my March Sale stuff, you will know the rest…

This month I am making a determined attempt to get some of the ‘old stock’ from under my bed, and into the sale section of my shop. These are cards I made years ago, onto which my former contact details have been written. I will put a new card into my shop each day, for the whole month. Each will cost £2.50, less than half the price of my current cards. They are totally unique and come with a sewn upcycled envelope.

Although it will only scratch the surface, I aim to try and post (however briefly) every day for whole month.

As usual, the above card is made from a clean pizza box and is super eco-friendly, as everything used was rescued from the bin.

See you tomorrow,

Alison x

Upcyclist 321