“Stuck in a rut now I’m in a Groove”

Positive, energetic bluesy rock and Roll – Hamilton Loomis.  Mentored by Bo Diddley.

Hamilton Loomis plays at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival this year, Tuesday 18th July, 8.30 pm at the George Square Spiegeltent.

Music to set your ears fizzing.  Interesting to have as your wakeup call on your phone in the morning…. difficult to imagine anyone sleeping through this.

Poet as job

So – you like writing poetry – but how can you make it into more like a paying job?

Here’s a short article by Anthony Anaxagorou.  It describes how he gradually moved from a shy 27 year old writer who printed his poems and made Youtube clips of himself reading his poems….. gradual interest led to poetry teaching work in 3 London schools….

Here’s an example of him at work on video:


and here’s the article he wrote, if you’d like to read more (his hot tip is to create various streams of income, because you can’t rely on book sales alone)



Scandinavian home craft

Lotta Jansdotter has a worldwide reputation for handprinting patterns which are used on textiles, notebooks and household interiors.

“Can’t find what you want?  Make it!  Don’t know how?  Learn it!” is how her website describes her pragmatic approach, much of her printing based on simple potato cut prints, in repeating patterns.

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Her fabrics are stocked by Windham Fabrics but you can learn the techniques of handprinting fabrics in workshops – this year, she ran several in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn.

She is planning a source trip to Japan in 2018, and if you’d like join up with her in Tokyo for a workshop, her website are taking names and email addresses for contacting.


On the other hand, if she’s still off your beaten track, any library or good bookshop is likely to be able to quickly source one of her books, where she shows you how to print fabric, make it into a cushion cover or apron, with simple sewing skills.

If you like this Scandinavian style, you might also enjoy the graphic drawings of “children’s” book characters the Moomins.  There’s a immersive exhibition of the Moomins just opened today in the South Bank Centre, London.  The exhibition is obviously geared towards families with kids – but the Moomins (written by Tove Jansson) have an appeal and iconic status for adults also.

Exhibition details at:



Another Way of Looking

Tatsuya Tanaka has been shaping everyday things into landscapes with miniature people figures…. this video is silent (why not have fun trying different background music to it).

See http://www.miniature-calendar.com for more, many more, and there is a fresh picture daily.  The maker has been publishing a new one daily, so far for 4 years and counting.  It has become a regular project, running in public.

I wonder if there is some little fun creative thing you do which people like – could it become a daily challenge?  Repetition forces you to think outside the box, and look for new ways of doing something similar.

Think small. It may be beautiful.



How to get a glowing book review BEFORE writing the book….

Yes, you can achieve a strongly positive book review before you have written a word of it…  IF you reply to an unimaginative scammer who has used the old ruse of pretending to be a friend who has lost his money overseas.

 James Veitch shows us how, in a video of under 3 minutes.

If you’d like to see more scammers getting their come-uppance, you’ll find “Scamalot” has plenty more humorous stories on Youtube.  He has responded to many different kinds of scams, and driven the scammers wild with HIS emails to them.  In one case, they even asked him not to contact them again!

How to get your own back on scammers

Most of us probably see a scam dropping into our email, don’t respond, delete the email or change our passwords and find it deeply annoying.  On the other hand, James Veitch shows how to get value from them: take them at face value, and then draw them into an absurd series of emails, with fantastic scenarios and unrelenting queries and questions until they weary of the chase. Then make the whole tale into a standup comedy routine.  The scammers haven’t gained access to your money – you have made money out of them, by retaining your sense of humour.

Wise poetry

Written thousands of years ago by Solomon, an exceptionally wise man:

Everything Has Its Time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

In the whole panorama of life, there is space for different seasons – and it is comforting that these changes themselves will change.  So sometimes we may be sad or grieve for a while, but there will again be reasons to be happy.  This brings hope.

Museum of ice cream

LA has got a Museum of Ice Cream …. which also pops up in various locations, offering colour, smell and taste sensations.  Like these:

For an actual report on visiting the museum – well, I first heard about it from a blog “Posh, classy mom”


Although LA based originally, it did pop up in New York.  Why not?  A place with a giant statue of a woman holding what looks like a magnificent ice cream aloft?  A place with Coney Island?  Had to be!

Dangerous Music

Man plays piano and lives to tell the tale…. this is simply the weirdest thing I’ve seen today.

It became a life or death duel between the man and the piano, inadvertently – as the player afterwards explained.

Is it performance art?  It’s certainly an attention grabbing visual image.  The music played was – of course – jazz.

Health and safety bonus points for playing it beside the sea, on sand.  Apart from that, it probably scored fairly highly on any risk assessment sheets.

Although another high risk musical performance might be the one called  “Dante or Die”, whose risk assessment sheet looks like this:

Children jumping across chairs/ Injury to falling over chairs

Likelihood: medium (could occur)

severity: moderate (could be off 3 days)

Make sure chairs are as sturdy as possible lying flat on the floor so they don not tilt. Advice parents the chairs are for sitting, for them to be responsible for their child. Explain to the child not to jump from chair to chair. Be vigilant. Inform event staff if they see any children jumping from chair to chair to ask them to stop.


The one which got me was “Use of Scissors” and the “Stage Manager”:

Use blunt scissors for less risk of cutting“….. the risk assessment form was then signed by… the Stage Manager.

Below is the link to the risk assessment in full and – here’s the performance trailer – which looks delightful and very unthreatening: