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Posts Tagged ‘horses’

chevaline-1990

Horsemeat butcher, Aix-en-Provence, 1990…

It’s only a picture. In this blog I usually aim to be non-controversial and I am very rarely topical. However, this old photograph has been sitting in my “miscellaneous” pile for decades and at last I see an opportunity to share it.

I took the photograph while on holiday in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France in the summer of 1990, using my old Ricoh SLR camera. Horsemeat is something we know it’s acceptable to eat in France, so I considered this image to be a snapshot of a different culture.

To those of you NOT in the UK, you may wonder (more…)

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It’s that time to draw a line under 2011 and announce my top posts for the past year (figures kindly crunched for me by WordPress) – and three out of five were posts I had published in 2010…

I seem to have the BBC’s Frozen Planet to thank for my top two posts this last year, as again penguins seem to have been the big attraction for search engines.

Penguin-Arabia

Penguin of Arabia by Ursula Vernon

1. Designer birds: Penguin

From paperback books to chocolate biscuits and much more besides, penguins are iconic birds. Here are some others I have chosen in 2011:

Designer birds: Peacock

Designer birds: Owl

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2. English words from Celtic roots…

celtic

English words from Celtic roots were top post in 2010...

This year’s runner-up was last year’s winner – and again it’s all because I used a picture of penguins. The word penguin comes from either the Welsh or Breton
Pen-Gwyn (meaning “head-white”).

I have also posted several other items on the origins of the English language:

The ungothroughsomeness of stuff…

Latin for today

English words from Scandinavian roots

English words from Indian roots

English words from Spanish roots…

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white-tiger

White tiger at Singapore Zoo by David George

3. The sadness of white tigers

This one was new for 2011 and is a memory of the white tigers of Bristol Zoo and some information on other threatened big cats of the world.

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4. Carousel horses – an illusion of freedom

carousel-horse

Horse head from the Riverfront Carousel in Salem, Oregon, by Crossmark

This was a wonderful excuse to collect together some beautiful images of carousel horses, unicorns and even zebras and this post was fourth in my top five for the second year in a row.

Another collection of art went with my post
Fairytale bedding: the Princess and the Pea…

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letraset

Some 1970s 'sci-fi' fonts from the 1970s

5. Design icons: Letraset

Design and nostalgia combined to make this a popular post. The same elements appeared in
Every poster tells a story

There’s more art and design here
and more nostalgia here

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It’s that time to draw a line under 2010 and announce my top posts for the past year (figures kindly crunched for me by WordPress).

Although Twitter set me off blogging, it’s search engines that have made the following posts my biggest hits in 2010…

penguins-200

Penguins...

1. English words from Celtic roots…

An interesting winner, this one – and it’s all because I used a picture of penguins. The word penguin comes from either the Welsh or Breton Pen-Gwyn (meaning “head-white”). Penguins seem to be very popular in Google searches – maybe I should do a post about them…

Meanwhile I posted several other items on the language:

Latin for today
English words from Scandinavian roots
English words from Indian roots

hare-200

A hare from Masquerade by Kit Williams

2. From mad March hare to golden hare…

This one combines nature and a little bit of the story of Kit Williams’ famous treasure hunt book, Masquerade.

There’s more treasure here
Remembering The Treasures of Tutankhamun

and a lot more nature here

- including my Wildlife Through the Year nature diaries

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letraset-200

Fancy fonts from Letraset

3. Design icons: Letraset

Design and nostalgia combined to make this a popular post. The same elements appeared in
Every poster tells a story

There’s more art and design here
and more nostalgia here
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carousel-200

Carousel horse by Judy Watt

4. Carousel horses – an illusion of freedom

This was a wonderful excuse to collect together some beautiful images of carousel horses, unicorns and even zebras…

Another collection of art went with my post
Looking on the bright side of umbrellas

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frazetta-200

Atlantis by Frank Frazetta

5. Great SFF illustrators: Frank Frazetta

This was my tribute to Frank Frazetta, who died on May 10, 2010.

Other Science Fiction/Fantasy illustrators I featured in 2010 are:

Frank Kelly Freas

Patrick Woodroffe

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walk-29

Who would have thought I could get lost in the woods in the middle of Cardiff? This is a beautiful sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) canopy...

This is a short teaser for a picture gallery called A city walk on the wild side, so please go there to see lots more pictures…

I once had a creative writing book called “I took my mind a walk” and often wondered where that came from. I find it is from the Scottish poet Norman MacCaig’s poem called “An Ordinary Day”. That’s about a walk by the sea, but the (more…)

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carouselhorse-08

Carousel horse by Ric Druet - freedom at last...

A horse’s head was probably the second thing I learned how to draw. I don’t mean at the stage of crayoning matchstick people and houses, but later, around the age of eight or nine, when my talented sister-in-law Vicky started to instruct me (don’t get too excited – I never did become an artist!)

chessknight

The iconic shape of a horse's head, simply drawn, is a chess knight...

The first thing I learned to draw with a pencil was a human head – a woman with her hair up, Victorian-style, although I never did quite get it right where the head joins on to a body. Then the second image was the profile of a horse. It’s so easy, so stylised, that wonderful curve of jaw and arc of mane. At its simplest it’s a chess knight – but let’s hold our horses, as that iconic form may lead to a whole other blog post.

Here I am looking at that other beautifully seductive form – the carousel horse. I always wanted to ride on one but I very rarely had the chance. Instead I was always persuaded to spend fairground time shying at coconuts and throwing ping-bong balls into goldfish bowls.

What’s the (more…)

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King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid

King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid by Edward Burne-Jones


A recent BBC TV programme, “Art On Your Wall”, examined seven pieces of mass-market art: Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Green Lady, the classic poster photographs Tennis Girl and Man and Baby, Jack Vettriano’s Singing Butler, Ullswater, (a photograph of a jetty extending into a lake, available from Ikea), Sam Toft’s Doris Earwigging (two fat-bottomed ladies and a fat-bottomed dog) and Steven Pearson’s Wings of Love.
I possess none of these, but if you want to see what they look like, a Google image search should do the trick.
The programme explored how household “art” has gone from showing off your good taste to choosing something which has colours to match the decor.
Miranda Sawyer wrote a good piece in The Guardian (read it here) that prompts me to remember my generation’s love affair with the great poster company Athena during the 1970s and 1980s.
When I was a teenager at the beginning of the 1970s, the glossy Athena catalogue was (more…)

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