Just a Wee Note

Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in Jimbob's Eclectic Mix | 0 comments

Just to let you know that this blog has been updated (as anyone who has visited before can see). I’ve moved my whole site to a new server so that’s why all my posts have the same entry day. Thanks to Rob at Merseyserve for sorting out my new server with spanking new up-to-date MySQL (hence the new...

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John W. Waterhouse at The Lady Lever

Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in Jimbob's Eclectic Mix | 0 comments

Some blog, huh? Well, I suppose I must write one before you all get bored of me and go throw yourselves in the front of fast moving objects because life has lost it’s meaning. The problem is, is that I’m pretty much a private kind of person. I find it awkward putting stuff on this site but I kinda like some of it as well. Weird. Anyway, I went to see some John Waterhouse paintings this week at The Lady Lever Art Gallery here in Birkenhead. I’ve seen them before but I’ve re-discovered my love of his paintings recently (not that I ever really lost it). I went to the Walker in Liverpool the other week as well to see Echo and Narcissus. Seeing these paintings is a joy for me and it’s great to see them when you’ve only ever seen them in books. They are beautiful things and not a little haunting as well. Looking closely at Echo and Narcissus you could see each brush stroke clearly. It gave me a connection to John Waterhouse, picturing him as I did at his easel in some dim Victorian room making these finishing touches to his latest labour. Did he ever envisage then that people from all over the world would stand and inspect these works of his? I wonder. Unfortunately, the two paintings at The Lady Lever are high up, well beyond eye level; and to make matters worse the light from above reflects on them if you stand beneath so you can hardly see anything. You just have to stand back. The two paintings (The Decameron and The Enchanted Garden) were two of the last he ever did before he died in 1917, the latter of which went unfinished. The Decameron The Decameron is Italian classical prose written by Giovanni Boccaccio in the mid 14th century. It tells the story 7 women and 3 men who together flee a plague-stricken Florence to the countryside. They each, amongst other things, tell stories amounting to 100 in all. One of the stories told is illustrated in Waterhouse’s other painting at The Lady Lever, The Enchanted Garden. The Enchanted Garden In The Enchanted Garden Dianora, the main figure at the left of the painting, is being pursued by Ansaldo at the right. She agrees to become his mistress if he can produce in January a garden with all the flowers and fruits of summer. He succeeds with the help of a magician and here shows the distraught Dianora the garden. I only noticed when viewing the painting the snow on the steps on the left. It’s a shame it was never finished. I always wonder what other great works Waterhouse would have done had he lived longer. We will never know. My next pilgrimage is to Manchester City Art Gallery to see Hylas and the Nymps, one of my faves (I’ve started a copy of my own which you can see on this page). Then there is an exhibition in London next year, the largest collection of Waterhouse paintings ever assembled, I believe. Can’t...

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For John

Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in Jimbob's Eclectic Mix | 0 comments

Blog time again and not the happiest one I’ll ever write (which may seem strange after my last entry), but it’s something that’s been on my mind lately for what will become obvious reasons. The place where I grew up was pretty much a cul-de-sac but with common access to the adjoining road. Our road was really bumpy and full of potholes and, because it was a private road the local council refused to pay for it to be tarmacced; it has got the better of a few car suspensions in it’s time. At the bottom of the road there was what we called the ’roundabout’. This was just basically a circular area with houses splayed out around it’s circumference. Within the circle were the parked cars of the owners of the houses, not to mention the kids of these families that would use it as their very own sports arena; cricket, football, tennis, netball and probably others I can’t recall were played there (much to the car owners dismay!). All the kids and their families had their own unique characters. Some came and went but the character that stood tallest and strongest and has seen us all come and go is the huge Horse Chestnut (Conker) tree whose mighty base spanned the border between the roundabout and the rest of the road. Although there are other trees in the gardens of the houses close by, this Conker tree was by far the biggest and most imposing of what was left from when the whole area was an orchard. I remember we had two apple trees in our garden with a pear tree next door (best pears I’ve ever tasted – yes, and whisper this, I did sneak over occasionally). As I’ve said, this Conker tree has overlooked many things, from divorces, births, fights to loves, deaths and childhoods. One childhood it overlooked was that of one John Copple. I don’t know a great deal about John. I remember only scatty details some of which are probably wrong. I do remember him living in our road with his aunty, just two doors away. I don’t know what circumstances brought him there but I don’t think they were the happiest of reasons for John. I remember John being a punk in the late 70’s when The Sex Pistols and The Damned took off. The image I have of him is with his blue/black mohair jumper and leather jacket, black canvas pants and black boots. His hair was always short as I remember and he always seemed larger than life to me, he being 3/4 years older than me. 3/4 years when you’re a kid seems quite an age gap. John had a real cheeky smile (I think he had a dimple in his chin) and I liked him very much. I didn’t see much of him again after he left our road, maybe in the mid-eighties? So, it was with much sadness that I heard last year that he had been murdered in his flat above a pub in Birkenhead. I couldn’t believe it. I knew very little at the time about what had happened as very little information was available. I got the impression he was beaten to death. His body wasn’t found for another week. I went to his funeral and I have to say I thought it was one of the best I’d been to. I don’t think John considered himself a Christian and this was reflected in the service. It was a very personal thing and more, I presumed, tailored to what John was about instead...

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First Post

Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in Jimbob's Eclectic Mix | 0 comments

Okey, dokey. I’m new to all this blog thing and I’ve been putting off my first entry ‘cos I’ve no idea what to say. So, errrrr………..I know. I’ve had the idea over the last few days to put some sort of Headlines page on this site, but headlines about nice things. I read alot of stuff about things that are going on in the world, particularly concerning the ‘Big Brother’ state that we seem to be allowing to happen before our eyes. It’s something we could all do with knowing more about and I usually read articles by David Icke, Nexus Magazine and InfoWars and wherever I surf that cybernet wave. If you don’t know much about what these sites offer then I think they are good places to start if you’re interested in that kind of thing. Lately, I’ve come round to the idea that, to a large extent, what we focus upon in our lives becomes our experience. I think focusing upon all the bad things going on in the world kind of helps create more of the same. I honestly think this is why the news is geared towards those things which instill fear in the populace because people focus on those events and create those things which in turn allows the powers-that-be to bring in laws that seek to extend their control over us. It’s common knowledge among the elite of the world that if you have a society in fear then it’s people will turn to what they perceive as a greater power (eg. a government) for protection. Anyway, I just think focusing on things that are more positive could help make the world a better place. I’m not Christian and no big fan of the bible but there are some great sayings/stories in it that particularly spring to mind here. In Philippians 4:8 it says: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Another is the story (which may come from The Apocrypha) where Jesus is walking with his disciples and they come across a dead and decaying dog. The disciples comment on the stench from the dog but Jesus says, ‘How white are its teeth!’. I see this story simply as an admonishment for us all to seek in things that which are good, no matter how small. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s something worth practicing. So, as much as I read all those articles that I mentioned in the first paragraph, I kind of get fed up with it all at times. I’d love there to be more happy stories or positive news around instead of all the doom and gloom. Maybe it’s because the first warm days of Spring have arrived, but it’s nice to have a little light and sunshine in the things I read and see. Keep yer’ eyes peeled folks! So, did I do ok for my first blog? Huh, huh? Go on, say something nice. I know its hard, but I’m sure you can dig something out. Until next time,...

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