Saturday 28 July 2012

Not all Awards Belong in the Olympics

To my great surprise I find that Linda ( )has given me a Liebster Blog Award. I usually feel at a loss as what to say or do at such times as this, but luckily, Linda incorporates a lot of rules and things to keep me occupied.

Firstly, thank you, Linda. I'm not sure I have done anything to deserve an award (apart from being totally perfect in every respect!). I will have to work out how to display it though.

It seems that I have to nominate 5 people, with under 200 followers, whom, I think, are worthy of a Liebster Blog Award. This helps a lot, for in the world of Art Blogs, I'm a pygmy amongst giants therefore most of my B-buddies have more followers than I've had hot-dinners!  

Nevertheless, in nominating my 5, I seem to be sending a message to those not nominated - I'm not, honestly, I'd hate anyone to think that ... OK? ... here we go ... I'm not going to patronise them by saying how GOOD their artwork is ... that goes without saying

1  Kathryn over on Wherever I go, there she is supporting everyone. She's supported me since the beginning - thank you, Kathryn.

2 Sherry  She is multi-talented but needs constant reminding that she is .... harp playing, seamstress,  weaver, painter ... 'cos she's too modest!

3 Nicola   because her work is always as uniquely interesting as her narrative, and her care for the underdog.

4  John  we have so much in common and he is such a nice bloke (guy)

NOW YOU SEE THE PROBLEM ... who do I leave out ?

5 To those friends that I could never leave out ... you know who you are... you're on my sidebar.

Next I have to list 5 things you don't know about me!

1. I had a mobile (cell) phone, once - it rang, nobody answered, so I threw it away!

2. I never read newspapers.

3. I can't garden any more but I can still hobble.

4. I find foreign languages impossible to learn - I'm stupid!

5. I find cows more scary than horses. 

Thanks Linda :0))

Celeste asked for my views on the opening ceremony! 

Well ... it was a little complicated in its message. Given that 98% of the audience was not British, not even the most ardent Anglophile would get it. It didn't help that the ceremony had been kept secret and therefore the commentators were playing catchup all the time, and often getting it wrong.

Up to about 1800 most of the population lived in the Southern half of the UK as agricultural workers. That seemed to come across OK, but weird, because the camera cut from one thing to another too quickly. The kids dancing around the Maypole was a missed opportunity.

After 1800 the Agricultural revolution changed the way we  farmed, leading to unemployment. At the same time Industrial Revolution opened up the North of England where coal existed -  the invention of the blast furnaces for steel - etc etc lead to a massive demographic shift to the new northern towns - Grimethorpe and Greaseborough still exist today! (see 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens). That seemed to work spectacularly well, although the entrance of Sergeant Pepper and the silk clad band mystified me.

The National Health Service must have left the world scratching its head. It is almost a 'secular religion' here, and usually misunderstood. For example, it isn't free - National Insurance is taken from everyone's salary at source - only those not working get it free. Private Medical Insurance is big here as well. There's a lot of history in this .. but this was not the place to show it.

Then the plot seemed to get lost. We had our 7/7 (9/11) with bombs in the underground trains and a bus. The dance scene was almost over before I could work out what it was representing. 

The world of celebrity: Mr Bean, James Bond and JK Rowling  etc was played out to a global audience that generally liked it I guess.

A lot of the rest was down to personal taste - I liked most of the music, but many British Groups not mentioned (the Bee Gee's?)

Overall not too bad ... but leaving a slight feeling of embarrassment. Could have been so much better. 


  1. Dear John,I am so happy that Linda
    has given you the award ... Liebster blog! This chain of sympathy between bloggers continues through the blogosphere! We have more than one thing in common ... do not do gardening because of a physical problem, do not read newspapers ... I really like your art work and your sense of humor ! I always delight in all your artwork, your posts and your comments!

  2. Congratulations John! You so deserve this award!
    I love your artwork, and the stories you tell in your posts are so well written and full of humour! You and me must be the only persons on earth to not own a mobile phone! :)

  3. You're welcome John. Judy is right. Your posts are always so informative. And your drawings are spectacular. You come to visit often and are a welcome guest with opinions that get me thinking. I like that.

    I figured all the Brits were staying home, least I would be. I hate crowds and I do have a front row seat in front of the telly. We did miss the opening ceremony though, a bit too early for us. Your account made up for it.

    The shop keepers, restaurant owners, hoteliers are all happy I would suspect so that's a good thing--the more the merrier to buy more prints. So why are you home? Opportunity is knocking.

    I don't read newspapers either--but Ellis gives me a daily reports at the cocktail hour with his own twist on things. Very entertaining. He even includes the sports, so the next time I'm tongue-tied with someone (rarely) I can say,"So, what do you think about the Nicks?"

  4. John, thank you so much for my award - I'm delighted and will blog about it immediately!!
    As for your review of the opening ceremony - you nailed it! My husband and I have been pretty bah humbug about the whole thing from the get go and with the amount of coverage it's been getting it following that blasted torch (or all 8000 of them) around the country it seems likes it's been going on forever already before it even actually began! We watched last night sure we'd be right in our assumption that it would all be a massive waste of the £27million it cost to facilitate it. Well, initially we had to eat our words - the whole agriculture/industrial revolution thing was pretty spectacular showing how humans have managed to pretty much screw the planet - like you I thought the whole Sergeant Pepper thing seemed totally random coming where it did and to be honest after the rings went up in the sky (which was also pretty great) the only thing I liked was the beautiful sculpture that made up the torch and how clever it was - the rest was all pretty tacky and very random and we did wonder what the rest of the world would be making of it and as for Paul overrated McCartney missing his backing track lip sync thingy - cringe! Now I just have to find a channel showing something other than coverage for the next 16 days and then normal service can be resumed!

  5. First off, congrats on winning the award. Love your blog, you deserve it. Second off I have to confess I forgot to watch the opening ceremony last night. Of course I have forgotten to watch them all thru the years so why should this be any different.:) I loved reading what you in England thought about it. I did watch William and Kate's Wedding & some of the Queens Jubilee tho. Much more interesting to me.

  6. John, congratulations on the award...I agree with everyone--you deserve it! So, you don't have a cell phone? What if you have a flat tire (or is it tyre?)
    I did watch every bit of the Opening Ceremonies. I was interested to see Kenneth Branagh (who looked like Abraham Lincoln, though I know he was supposed to be someone else). I've been trying to put the Wallander ring tone on my phone..but I couldn't figure out how to do it. I, too, didn't understand the army of Sargent Peppers...I guess it is just safe to say that it was a visual extravaganza--my favorite part was the glowing rings that came together...that was just cool! Anyway...I thought of you while I watched and all your magnificent buildings. It must be said...England is ammmazzing!
    You should not be afraid of cows! haha Thanks so much for the mention. I'm tuned in to see your next project. :)

  7. Ah John, you've made me smile! Liebster award...that is a new one! I'll play...

    I haven't watched any of the Olympics coverage this year. I liked it ever so much better when it was all done in the same year. If I know what I'm talking about.

  8. Well I think the award is SO well deserved!
    I also NEVER read newspapers and am terrified of cows, lol! :0)
    You do make me chuckle :0)))

  9. Congratulations John! I think Judy has said it best, so I will repeat her message here:

    "You so deserve this award!
    I love your artwork, and the stories you tell in your posts are so well written and full of humour!"

    Have a wonderful summer John and I look forward to many more stories and a lot more artwork!

  10. Wow .... I've been awol from blogland for a few days and when I come back I find this. Thank you very much John, I can't believe you included me amongst such wonderful artists.

    As for the Opening Ceremony, I agree with everything you've written. During the early part, through to the Industrial Revolution, it was spectacular and I was feeling really happy that we'd done a good job, but then the Sergeant Pepper brigade strolled in and it went downhill from there on. The only outstanding and memorable event of the whole preceedings, in my opinion, was the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. A flame for each country, coming together to burn as one, was pure inspiration.

  11. CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN!!! You certainly deserve this award!!! Your work is unbelievable!!! I have to admit, # 1 made me laugh on your "five things you don't know about me". I look forward to seeing another masterpiece!!!

  12. Congratulation, you are a winner! (almost olimpics) :)

  13. Congrats on the well-deserved award! We on the other side of the pond seem to love all things UK, so all the Olympic hoo-ra suits me just fine.
    PS I find cows a bit scarier than horses, too ;)