Monday, 22 April 2013

(Tacky) Fridge Magnets

Along with lovely olde worlde postcards I also collect fridge magnets or tacky fridge magnets to give them their full and correct title. It's been argued that fridge magnets by definition are tacky and I would agree but some are much more tacky and nasty than others. I have hundreds of them - literally. I did count them once and it was about 320 but that was a while ago and we've had quite a few new ones since then. I'm not very good at counting either but one day I shall count them again and feel incredulous (and possibly slightly depressed) that I have managed to amass so many.

We have one of those fridge freezers that is a fridge on the top and a freezer on the bottom, and two sides of it are completely covered in fridge magnets. The third side is against the wall otherwise it'd be covered in fridge magnets too. All my friends know that one of the best things they can give me is a fridge magnet and the tackier and nastier it is the happier I am. They make me smile and laugh and flinch all at the same time and this can only be a good thing. I think it was William Morris who said you should only have things in your house that are beautiful and useful and I agree and in this case their beauty lies in their ugliness and their usefulness lies in the fact that they make me happy.

This picture was taken 5 years ago and the fridge is much fuller than this now - I am feeling a bit below parr today otherwise I would go downstairs and take another one to show you but trust me it looks like this but with lots more on it :-)

I have ones which claim to have a piece of the genuine Berlin Wall attached to them (which we got on honeymoon whilst in Berlin) ones of hybrid unicorns and my little pony types which are just this side of copyright infringement with FILEY written on them in black felt tip - I also have one of a buddha figure with FILEY written on his tummy though quite what the connection is between Filey and the buddha is I'm not sure, ones of little plastic jars filled with rice and pasta and covered in little gingham fabric hats with names of greek villages on,  I also have one of Big Ben with a bottle opener on - but alas the bottle opener on it is too heavy and so Big Ben remains upside down unless it is propped against another fridge magnet, and ones which have sentimental meaning because of where they are from and what we were doing there or because of who gave it to me and how much they mean to me.

Filey is the mecca for tacky fridge magnets - trust me, there you will find the nastiest and tackiest ever and all for the princely sum of just 150 of your earth pennies - this was the one I bought when we went there the other week - I think it is quite possibly the most hideous fridge magnet ever made - it is pictured next to the bear badge I won on the two penny falls.

It is beyond nasty and I love it. What's the nastiest fridge magnet you've ever seen?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Being Remiss,Plugs, Proper Lovely Old Seasides :-)

I set myself a target of updating this blog at least once a week (ideally on a Monday) at the start of the year and up until a couple of weeks ago I was meeting this self imposed target and then I'm not quite sure why but my blog mojo upped and left, I've made myself sit down and write this in the hope I can make my blogging mojo return and ideally stick around.

Plus even if I can't think of anything to write about I could just talk about the exhibition some of my photographic work is in - a while ago Exposure Leeds asked its members to take pictures of a place that means something to them. I took black and white ones of one of my favourite places - namely Meanwood Woods and the Bridlepath round what used to be Meanwood Park Hospital. The exhibition is called This Is My Place and it is on at the White Cloth Gallery in Leeds until 25 April  and after that online  - full details can be found here  . The sad history of Meanwood Park Hospital itself can be read here, as far as I can tell the old Mansion House is still standing in the middle of the new housing estate but none of the old hospital buildings remain. Anyways go see the exhibition if you can - there are also some aces pictures of Elvington Air Museum, Whitby, Roundhay Park and Louisville in Kentucky too.

So plugging aside what else? well seeing as I haven't been writing my blog what have I been doing? bit of gardening, lots of WI stuff - am undertaking a couple of new roles and so a lot busier WI-wise than I used to be, lots of knitting - have almost finished the dinosaur I'm knitting for my eldest nephew's birthday present and I am also going to knit myself a new shrug though whether it will be ready in time for me to wear in Whitby in a couple of weeks is doubtful....and of course going to the seaside as often as I can...

I love going to the seaside - trips when I was little were mostly to Southport or Blackpool and along with fish and chips and 99's they would also include candyfloss. Lovely, crunchy, melty, sickly sweet, unnaturally coloured candyfloss which you either got readymade in a bag or watched some bored teenage girl (ideally in an orange polyester tabard) magic up onto a wooden stick from the inside of a rotating metal bowl. In turn the candyfloss would then stick round my mouth and my Nana would scrub my face with a hankerchief in a vain attempt to get rid of it. A hankerchief she would either get me to spit on or dip in a water feature if we were passing one. I'm not sure if it's worse being covered in candyfloss remains or candyfloss remains,spit and minging water feature water - you know the kind that is full of bits of rubbish but hey ho I can look back and say 'well it never did me any harm'. At least I don't think it did......

Anyways bits of seaside I've been to since xmas include Whitby, Saltburn, Hornsea, and Filey. I love the cobbled gothic streets of Whitby, the graveyard , the Abbey and the Museum in Pannett Park which includes such gems as Dr Merryweather's Tempest Prognosticator (a kind of weather forecasting machine involving slugs,bells and a big bell jar)  - it looks a bit like this:

 and best of all The Dead Man's Hand - a totem used by burglars made from the hand of a man hung - ideally for murder as that made the most powerful totem, which when the thumb was lit would ensure the occupants of the house being burgled would stay asleep. It looks like this  
I have it on a fridge magnet and on a keyring - it's one of my very favourite things. There is also a very lovely tea room and some quite badly stuffed animals who look sad - both in the modern and traditional sense of the word. If you go - keep an eye out for the bozzy eyed seal. I think I'd like to retire to Whitby, it is one of my very favourite places :-)

I've only been to Saltburn once but I really liked it - got some good knitting patterns in one of the charity shops, had lovely fish and chips and enjoyed the guerilla knitting on the front, the day I was there the North Sea was attempting to make its way inland and it was BLOODY FREEZING but I look forward to going back in better weather though if I'm being honest I do prefer my seaside slightly closed.

Hornsea had a water features with bits of rubbish floating in it and I almost had a pavlovian response and wanted to stick my hanky in it and start scrubbing my face but it is many, many years since I've had any candyfloss so I managed to resist. I couldn't resist fish and chips though or hot chocolate as again it was BLOODY FREEZING and these were necessary in order to stave off hypothermia.

Filey along with Cleethorpes are my favourite seasides after Whitby. Filey surprisingly wasn't BLOODY FREEZING when I went last week - in fact the sun came out and it was beyond lovely mooching along the sea front eating freshly made doughnuts made by a bored teenager in a tabard (result!!), instead of fish and chips though we had local crab in a baked potato in the lovely oldey worldy tea room surroundings of Bramwells, I scored some aces knitting patterns in the charity shops and a late afternoon stroll along the top of the Brigg in the spring sunshine followed by a mooch round St Oswald's Churchyard was gorgeous and just the thing to lift the spirits after a long and miserable winter. Next time we go back I want to go to the Museum again as it is a treasure trove of local history and general seaside wonderfulness.

What are your favourite seaside places to go and why?