On top of a hill in Yorkshire. Some time in the late 1990s.
Recently on here I’ve been writing about being self-employed and the kinds of work I do. About how much I like variety in the work I take on and the stress it caused me recently when I found myself doing too much of one thing.
So when I read this article by Owen Jones in The Guardian, suggesting that a four day working week could be good for our economy, our society and our health, I remembered.
I remembered that ever since I began leaving my day job in the mid-1990s and becoming self-employed one of my objectives in doing so has been to work less. Not that I don’t enjoy the work I do. I do, and one of the big things I’ve always gone on about is finding and doing the work you love. And I have, mostly. But a core part of living the life I’ve had over this last 22 years has been to have more time than I used to have for me.
Before we left Cornwall last weekend there was one last person and place we wanted to visit, Barbara Hepworth in her studio.
She lived the second half of her life here in Cornwall.
And to give you a sense of her and her place, this will matter later, here is how it describes itself:
“The Cornwall studio where Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) found space to work, and explored bronze for the first time.
Barbara Hepworth married Ben Nicholson in 1938, and when the war came they evacuated with their young family to Cornwall. The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is based in the studio Hepworth established in 1949, in search of more space to work on her sculptures. After the war, and her divorce from Nicholson in 1951, Hepworth became an active figure in the developing St Ives modernist art community, and she was awarded the Freedom of St Ives in 1968 to acknowledge her contribution to the town. Trewyn Studio remained her studio until her death in 1975. Here she explored the potential of bronze for the first time, as well as continuing her work with stone and wood carving. ‘Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic,’ Hepworth wrote, ‘Here was a studio, a yard and a garden where I could work in open air and space.’
The studio was established as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden the year after Hepworth’s death in 1975, and has been managed by Tate since 1980. Today, visitors to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden can see some of Hepworth’s most monumental sculptures in the environment for which they were created.”
It doesn’t look like that early on this March afternoon as I arrive in Blackpool.
It’s raining from a grey sky on a grey sea.
In a decidedly out of season place.
But it’s still so very Blackpool though. Even on a damp Tuesday afternoon. Full of the memories of coming here all my life. Early days on the X61 Ribble Bus, before the 1965 blue Cortina arrived to bring us all here in style. Later still all of us from the Corpy Housing Department coming to ‘see the lights’ on a fleet of Corpy buses. Messing about in the Fun House then getting ourselves tucked into a very large pub and taking no notice of the illuminations at all. Golden days! Continue reading →
Thought I’d be working today but, to my own surprise I got something finished a day earlier than expected, so? It’s Friday, the sky is blue, let’s go!
Not a particularly long Friday Walk in terms of miles this one, but it covers nearly 40 years of my life.
The terraced house in Wavertree where I’ve lived for 24 years now, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. On this walk we’ll be seeing where I first lived when I moved to the south of the city in the 1970s.
Down on Smithdown Antwakki’s are very proud of their chairs.
I’ve done this before on here, walking round the North and the South of the city taking photographs to roughly see how it’s doing on an ‘ordinary’ day. Meaning not some great holiday or special events day, but one where the streets and the people are just going about their business much like they always do. My favourite kind of day.
In fact I’ve been doing this ‘inspecting’ for years, since long before this blog. Reasoning partly that someone’s got to and it might as well be me, and also simply out of love for the place where I live. This particular week I’d been mostly working in London and so felt a particular urge to see how Liverpool was doing once I returned.
As you can see, our irrepressible Tommy Calderbank did eventually bring the sun out with the sheer force of his optimistic personality, but for the first couple of hours of today’s Africa Oye in Sefton Park it was a different and wetter story.
I needed Africa Oyé today. For various reasons to do with this being a blog and not a diary I needed the healing joy that this free festival has been bringing to my life for well over 20 years now. These have been tough weeks and it was time for some time for me.
Joe Farrag from Granby by Othello De Souza Hartley.
If I were to count up all of the photographs on this blog, and I’m not about to, I suspect that not far short of half of them would be of Liverpool 8. The last week alone has seen three posts about the work we’re all doing in Granby, and I’m forever writing about the walking and working I’ve been doing in and around L8 these last forty years.
Which is why I so wanted to see this exhibition. A friend had told me about it during the 4 Streets Market on Saturday, and as it happened my ‘aimless walk’ the day after led me to the Pier Head to see the Dazzle Ship and then into the Museum of Liverpool to see ‘L8 Unseen.’The exhibition is a mix of historic photos by L8 residents and new work by Othello De Souza Hartley. So nothing you’re seeing here – apart from the obvious ones of the museum – is a photo by me. Continue reading →