Sunday 17 September 2017

Lazing on a sunny afternoon (just) in the summertime...

I've had someone complain me typeface (it int a font - "font" is the variants of a given typeface, such as emboldening, italicising, underlining, strikingthrough and changing size - the "typeface" sensu stricto is the actual design of each letter, thus the named thing, like "Times New Roman" or "Dingbats" or whatever) doesn't register right on their machine - it's just bog-standard typewriter typeface "Courier", which may be switched to "Courier New" on some systems - nowt fancy. I've never had anyone flag this before and if you've issues, do let me know. It should display as a basic typewriter font. I picked "Courier" as it's a default-install on most operating systems and it looks fine for me on Windows (Chrome), MacOS Sierra (Chrome and Safari), iOS (Chrome) and on Ubuntu Xenial Xerus (Chrome) - so if you've issues, let me know in the comments which Operating System (e.g. Mac OS) and version (e.g. Sierra) and which browser (e.g. Chrome) you're using and I'll try and figure out what's wrong - if anything - at my end.

Saturday was a wash-out for me - it pissed it down all the livelong day and I got so wet going to and from the supermarket (I had to do something whilst me gesso dried!) that I had to change me nethergarments! I spent the rest of the day crafting, arting and eating too much lasagne and chips whilst watching "Casualty" and struggling to find any decent films to watch.

Today (Sunday) was a glorious sunny day. It didn't yet have that cold sting you get on a sunny, clear autumn day, but it did look like one of those days. I'm looking forward to journalling the start of autumn in my new seasonal art journal - but not the one I see out of my window - the glorious New England autumn or fall - I want to see gourds, pumpkins, Indian corn and maple leaves. When I was a little boy, I loved doing jigsaw puzzles (simpler times!) and my favourites were a trio of 500-piece puzzles of the cheap kind where every 500-piece by that company has identical cuts so the pieces are the same shape between sets. I had one of a lake somewhere I guess in Canada or maybe northern Vermont - beautiful buildings and pine trees and a mountain ridge behind them. One was of a farm in Vermont with a falu-red barn and fall foliage and the third was a river I guess in New England with a BLAZE of colour from maple trees along the far bank each a different shade of red, orange, brown, crimson and so on - it was magnificent. So magnificent and wanting to journal that kind of scene was what gave me the idea for said journal, which is going to be titled "Just Seasons Out Of Time" - a lyric from Rod McKuen's English version ("Seasons in the Sun") of Jacques Brel's "Le Moribund" ("the dying man") - although most people know the later lyrics by Terry Jacks, which were a bit more cheerful! The original French version was very sardonic and really about a man dying telling all his friends/family that he knew what bad things they'd done behind his back and that he ultimately wished them well - Brel's original chorus translates into English as:

I want you to laugh, I want you to dance; I want you to have fun like a fool; I want you to laugh, I want you to dance; When they put me in that hole. 

So, in my new seasonal art journal (a Dylusions Creative Journal brackets Large - I did want a Large Flip but they're a bugger to get hold of even in the USA), I'm devoting a signature to each month of the year, and once it's full, I'll start another - so hopefully I'll have a few years worth of journalling. I'm not doing each signature in date order - so if I want to do First Day of Autumn (Friday 22nd September 2017) before International Day of Peace (Thursday 21st September 2017) and Hallowe'en (Tuesday 31st October 2017) before Diwali (Thursday 19th October), I jolly well will. I may even do a Hallowe'en page in December if I want to, I just need to put it into the right signature of the journal. Some of you will have noted I've included Diwali (the Hindu festival of light) - now, before you start yelling "cultural appropriation" - not quite - note as follows:

  1. I'm an Atheist slash Humanist nowadays, but respectful of religions and people's choice to believe whatever they want, as long as it doesn't physically or emotionally inflict harm on others. I was raised in a very multicultural community - though we would have never called it that - on a council estate full of 'overspill' from big-city slum clearances and other people the government just didn't have room for anywhere else. At my infant school* we learned all about Easter and Christmas and Diwali and Holi and Ramadan and Eade and Yom Kipur and Hanukkah and so on and so forth - we learned about them all in equal-measure (it was a non-denominational school) and none were more important than the others - including Christmas - and we celebrated them all each year, enjoying making oil lamps for Diwali and eating the foods for each culture. I can remember Sikh and Hindu kids and a few with Rastafarian parents, but I don't remember any Jewish or Muslim children, but we still learned about their culture - this has caused a lot of surprise now to my Iraqi graduate student when walking into my office mid-Ramadan, I put my coffee and lunch behind my computer so as not to make her fasting any harder: she was amazed not only that I would do that out of respect but that I even knew what Ramadan was, let alone knowing the stories behind it.

  2. I don't celebrate Christmas and haven't this century. It's a normal non-work day for me. People do give me gifts if they want to, and that's nice and I don't refuse them, but I don't give Christmas presents. I give Yuletide gifts (the pagan/Norse midwinter festival - this year Thursday 21st December 2017) each year to a very small number of belovèd friends. I basically chose this festival as it makes more sense to me than most of the others and I do very much believe in following the seasons, eating seasonal food and listening to Jörð or Gaia or whatever you want to call the natural rhythms of Earth and the signs that she/it gives us and that we live our lives by (or perhaps should). Given I don't do Christmas, including it my art journal is just a celebration of other peoples' views on the month of December and they're welcome to them - similarly, I will celebrate those of numerous cultures - not every single one of course but a good selection and park of this particular art journal is not just about art, but about learning a few things myself about each religion.
[* in the UK "in my day" you attended Nursery School (optional, ages 3-4), Infant School (compulsory, ages 4-7), Junior School (compulsory, ages 7-11) and Senior School (compulsory ages 11-16) and then often a college (which could be a Sixth Form within a Senior School) from 16-18 to do either A-levels or vocational qualifications but you could leave school at 16 without any qualifications if you wanted to]


  1. FYI - The 'changed size' of the 'typeface' (pedant much?!) is easier to read.

    Again, sorry that you took my comment about having a hard time seeing the 'typeface' well enough to read it easily as a complaint. I've an incurable chronic illness and my wonky brain is no longer as effective as it once was.

    1. So've I and I do understand the brain-fog - it happens to me most days. I've not changed anything from my end so if it's improved owt it must've just been a gremlin.

    2. I meant that when you increased the size of the writing to illustrate what 'changed size' looks like, the increase in size made it easier to read :) It's not a technical issue, it's just that the writing is a bit too small and a bit too pale/low contrast for me to read comfortably. Gosh I miss the days when I could explain things clearly and easily! Takes me flippin' ages to type anything recently...hurrah for auto correct (bet that doesn't get written often)

      Thanks for the background info on I just did my second order from them. My first was for the 'Dyary' because, as you mentioned, it's often v difficult to find things here in the UK. 'That's crafty' sometimes have stuff in stock that afth don't. Likewise the place I mentioned previously, Craftelier, have hard to find things at often lower prices. Of course when all else fails I'm very glad for Amazon's marketplace...though my bank balance disagrees.


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