Wednesday, November 30, 2005 – 5:11 PM
Thanks so much for your letter, sorry it has taken me a while to reply, I've been rather involved in some non-teaching bits and bobs for college (seems although the students have moved North the administration hasn't!) plus there's been a lot on with the local WVS here.
By the way, speaking of the WVS I must write to your sister and thank her for the cardigan she sent down for me, could you let me have her address? Goodness knows where she managed to find that wool but it's just about the perfect burgundy for the job. It seems even in Suffolk the ladies are having a job making their coupons stretch to enough fabric to make their dresses, lots of the WVS ladies were admiring our uniforms, sometimes working in the East End and 'knowing' a few folk can be useful.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005 – 5:11 PM
With the college being closed this end I've had a devil of a job finding a darkroom that's still in operation in order to print up the rest of our films. Sadly it's not great news - as I fear the camera bellows may have a light 'leakage' - as you suggested from the roll you took up to Cumbria with you.
I'm enclosing some rough prints so you can see what I mean ... the one that has come out (rather marvellously) is of Mrs Starkie-Bence and I know I took this indoors, in low light conditions. Sadly I took most of the others on the house forecourt and there's a definite pattern visible where light has leaked in each time.
It's such a shame as the one of Jenn and Dickie would have been wonderful ... and possibly quite useful for poster production ideas. The one of us either side of the Hall's owner is quite odd but again would have, I think, made a nice image. Anyway see what you think.
I'm looking forward to your trip down to London next week, although I have to confess I've lined up rather a hectic schedule for us. Still I expect you don't get to see many interesting folk stranded up there, so the chance to go out and socialise will probably be welcome.
It looks as though I may well be seeing some of our new friends from Kentwell on Saturday at a little get together, did you have any messages to pass on? I'll make sure to take some prints of our better photographs we took with me, and some of that remaining paperwork we weren't able to finish on our last visit.
Do let me know your sister's address when you can, I'd best get this into the post if it's to reach you by the weekend.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 – 2:11 PM
... the collection or the re-enactment habit?
This fantastic image is of our friend Claire's 1940's shoe collection, which she revealed when she made our, much admired, WVS uniforms a few months back.
As an aside here I feel bound to point out that we did make our own Tudor costumes from scratch but this did nearly cause divorce in our respective households and was probably the most challenging thing I have ever made ... so with only a few short weeks before our first WW II event and a fragile original dress to copy Claire (who's a tailor) stepped in to make our matching replicas.
Anyway she also loaned us our shoes, which caused quite a stir amongst the 1940's ladies as anything above a size 3 now seems impossible to source.
Chatting to Amy and Will this weekend (A WVS/Home Guard couple) I wondered which of the two habits or hobbies comes first - obsessive collecting (of which Karen and I were already guilty) or obsessive re-enactment. Amy mentioned Will's many collections but she has a pretty fine array of authentic kitchen ware herself ...
Claire obviously has quite a collection habit and is now showing an uncanny interest in visiting Kentwell too ...
Saturday, November 12, 2005 – 5:11 PM
Talk about life following art.
I made some cakes the other day, and decided to give one to Lisa at the Grizedale office. Without thinking how, I packaged it all up for transport and then looked down upon it.
Greasproof paper and string?! What's wrong with clingfilm?!
I think this may be something they actually have a name for in the method-acting, when you've crossed over a bridge of consciousness into BEING your character (in this case, Ann Guthrie, born 1907).
Or it could just be all the alumnium in those shop-bought cakes kicking in.
Thursday, November 3, 2005 – 5:11 PM
We've been back a couple of days from WW II and I'm yet to get on top of posting about the event (or the huge pile of muddy washing and film/drawing kit etc.) but before I forget just wanted to mention an amazing film I saw last night as part of the London Film Festival 'treasures from the archive'.
'Overlord' (apparently the code-name for the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944) was made in 1975 by Stuart Cooper and didn't enjoy a huge amount of success at the time. Recently the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado picked it up and it seems to now be enjoying something of a second coming. Many of the cast and the producer were in the audience last night but what I found really sad was that the editor had died last year ... because this was what was amazing about the project. Somehow the editor and director have achieved an amazing synthesis between original archive footage (of the most diverse range and quality) and the fictional narrative of the film - the new (70s) footage is shot in a sympathetic way to the archive material (which they apparently spent 3 years researching) and at times there's long non-linear sequences of originally silent footage over music which are just great.
Coupled with my new found obsession with Humphrey Jennings and the purchase of 'Films and the Second World War' from Oxfam I could become an unlikely war-time footage bore.
To my huge surprise I actually recognised one of the archive shots in 'Overlord' from some of the amateur footage that EAFA screened on our behalf at Kentwell this weekend. It's a distinctive shot where the camera moves through a broken London shop window during a huge fire. Very odd to see such a rare piece of footage twice in one week!
Tuesday, November 1, 2005 – 12:11 PM
Mrs. SB must have been glad of a sit down by the afternoon, when she became the sitter for our drawing class ... evidently not as glad as one of the other household guests who you can just see asleep on the other sofa - an oddly authentic touch!