A Magical Trip to St Ives

The first post-parent holiday I took was to St Ives – back in the 1960s – it fulfilled my expectations. Lying on the beach during the day and, after the dinner in the hotel, back into town for three barley wines at The Sloop pub.  What fun my friend and I had………….

My visit fifty years later. A different friend but, still with the sense of adventure, we booked a very cheap coach trip. This time my expectations were low – you get what you pay for – so they weren’t high.

But wherever we go my friend and I embrace the humour of the situations we find ourselves in.

Just a few photos – Jamaica Inn


I walked into the bedroom to be greeted by this view over Carbis Bay.


After dinner a walk down to the Bay – most of which was a building site.

The next day to the Tate – what a joy.


I had no idea what was on so to come across a talk about the current exhibition of Patrick Heron’s work was delight. At one time I would have been embarrassed because I’d not heard of him but now I welcome the knowledge of finding someone new to me.

Time for tea and scones whilst admiring the roof-scape of the town.


A walk back up the hill to the hotel for an indifferent meal and a dance to the 1950’s/60’s singer.

The next day we walked to the Bernard Leach pottery – no cafe there but a diy instant coffee but the exhibition and museum made up for the omission. The workshops look as if they’ve just been left – ready for Bernard  to return at any moment. There was a charming and informative 1950’s  film to watch.

Onto the Barbara Hepworth museum

I’m still unsure if I like her work – she came from a privileged, monied family  so was able to indulge herself in terms of her sculptures. But I enjoyed a tranquil hour sitting in her garden gazing at the installations.


Finally a walk round several of the galleries – seascapes, harbour scenes, beaches and boats!

Out to eat at The Rum and Crab Shack – ‘could do better’ as the saying goes – my crab still not thawed.

Back to the hotel where I was taught how to waltz by Bob.

The sun had shone for the two days we were there; lots of laughter; lots of art – a magical trip.


Pin Money

‘Good gracious! Lord Bless me! Only think! Dear Me! Mr Darcy!Who would have thought it? Is it really true? O my sweet Lizzy, how rich and how great you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages you will have!’

We all know what a pin is – they’ve been around forever.

Many have survived from neolithic times as they were made out of bone.


The Romans used metal.

Pins excavated in London dated 1150 -1350


But pins like these were for the rich – the poor used sharpened pieces of wood or thorns.

They were a valuable commodity – The Friar used them to curry favour as described by Chaucer (1343 – 1400). default

Pins were valuable enough to be considered worth painting.


Rogier de la Pasture – about 1450 Picture7.png

Each pin had to be hand made – most were produced in France and Germany.


Apparently pins were sufficiently expensive and in such short supply in the 14th century that Parliament passed a special law that restricted their sale to the first two days of January each year.


1483 – The importing of pins was banned!

Richard III decreed that all pins had to be made in England. Too much money was spent on imports.


Unknown artist c1520

1543 – Henry VIII stepped in with quality control. “No person shall put to sale any pynnes but only such as shall be double-headed and have all the heads soldered fast to the shanke of the pynnes, well smoothed, the shanke well sharpen, the point well and filed, canted and sharpened.”


Rumoured that Queen Elizabeth I’s dress was held together with over a thousand pins.

The Queen’s purchases over a 6 month period in 1565 Item to Roberts Careless our Pynner – 18,000 great verthingale pynnes 20,000 middle verthingale pynnes 25,000 great velvet pynnes 39,000 smale velvet pynnes 19,000 small head pins


Even lesser mortals used many pins in their dress. 18th Century Dress

Marriage Settlement 1691. Copy of settlement on marriage of Philip, Lord Stanhope, eldest son and heir of Phillip, Earl of Chesterfield, and Lady Elizabeth Savile, daughter of George, Lord Marquess of Halifax, in consideration of £20,000 paid by Halifax to Chesterfield and an Act of Parliament (3 & 4 William and Mary) enabling jointure to be made on marriage of Lord Stanhope. …………taking £300 per annum pin money, remainder to Elizabeth for life as jointure.

Pin Money – Money allowed to a wife without her having to account for it.Seemed to cause upset between couples.

“Mr Spectator – 1721 I am turned of my great climacteric, and naturally a man of meek temper. About a dozen years ago I was married , for my sins, to a woman of a good family, and of an high spirit but could not bring her to close with me before I had entered into a treaty with her longer than that of the great Alliance. Among other articles, it was therein stipulated, that she should have £400 a year for Pin Money, which I obliged myself to pay quarterly into the hands of one who has acted as her plenipotentiary in that affair.”


Earl of Pomfret 1768 – 1830. In1793 he married Mary Browne who brought her fortune of £112,000 with her. In the pre-marriage agreement she was given £2000 per year for pin-money. In Court she stated he threatened to kill her unless she relinquished her pin money.

A novel on the subject published in 1834 written by Mrs Gore (Catherine Grace Frances Woody)


Oliver Twist 1837 Chapter 51: Affording an Explanation of More Mysteries Than One, and Comprehending a Proposal of Marriage With No Word of Settlement of Pin-Money.

Punch 1849


A cartoon emphasising the difference between the rich and the poor.

Partly due to The Married Woman’s Property Act – 1870 the meaning took on a different connotation. Married women were more likely to be given an allowance for the running costs of the house. Any money gleaned from this was deemed pin money.


During the 20th century the phrase pin money remained in the domain of the married woman but moved into the vocabulary of the lower orders and became derogatory.

‘The men provide for their families and so their work is taken seriously and paid accordingly. Woman are perceived as working for pin money, for the extras of life, hence the lower working wage.’ Margaret Taylor 1934

The beginning of the demise of the term.

‘By the early 1970s, Marion was already a union shop steward at the factory and she led an approach by the women to their employers with a request for equal pay with their male counterparts.’

Processing tobacco leaves at J. R. Freeman Cigars, Cardiff


Now moving on a difference tack.

Let’s leave it there.




Ephemeral Coast

A cold wait for the bus to Swansea and a longish journey but worth it for a visit to the Glynn Vivian Gallery  to see ‘These Waters Have Stories To Tell.…The exhibition explores how oceans, their ecosystems and climates are affected by our actions.’

Julia Davis. Her video took me into another world. It was for a minute or so before I could understand what I was looking at, I was totally immersed by sight and sound. Julia’s work needs to be seen on a large screen but here is a taster.

Julia Davis

I spent much longer than I normally do watching the video. It’s not a format I am attracted to and often ask the question, ‘Why is this art and not a documentary (or other genre)?’ I appreciate that many documentaries etc. are artful but visa versa?

Alexander Duncan also provoked me to question what I was looking at.

Alex Duncan.JPG

This image taken from his website shows the enormity of his work.

Christian Sardet and the Macronauts  I’ve put a link to the 6 min TED talk as it enhances the stills taken by Christian.


Jaanika Peerna also took my breath away. Her video showed her performance held in the gallery space. This image from her website demonstrates the principle at a different location.


Plastic paper was suspended then using a water-soluble mark making pen Jaanika hit the paper with great energy. There was no cello playing, just the percussive sound of pen on the sheet. Members of the audience were invited to contribute then, by using a block of ice, the marks were transformed. It took me back to when I took my Foundation Diploma when I placed ground up charcoal into water, froze it then let it melt on rag paper. Jannika has taken her a work a stop further.

jaan 2

There were several hanging on the large wall space – the plastic paper had been cut into strips then draped into fluid shapes.

As with all the artists Shiraz Bayjoo‘s work is beautifully executed but the frames seemed to be at odds with their contents. I feel I’ve missed some fundamental reasoning.


A wonderful exhibition, a joy to see and I’m so glad I went.

Uzbekistan – Day 6 May 3rd

DAY 7 – 04/05/18

Breakfast at the hotel.


Morning transfer to Gijduvan city for visiting  visit a local pottery house known for its design and coloration.

There was a group of school children at the pottery – they wanted to practice their English but shushed by the master potter.


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We saw some of his ceramic work, his wife’s embroidery and was serenaded into the bargin


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Come back to Bukhara – known for silk weaving and golden embroidery.
We shall visit a Golden Embroidery Centre later see metal chasers, the wood carvers and local puppet makers.


Afternoon excursion to excursion to Sitori-i-Mokhi khosa, the summer residence of the last emir of Bukhara – see the last emirs collection of gifts, Chinese porcelain, the Russian cut Glass and Crystal vases.


The most interesting and rich collection is of local Suzzane Embroidery from the countryside



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Onto the puppet maker.


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A walk round the square,


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Onto dinner with a demonstration of the making of plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan.


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Today we shall have our dinner at an old Jewish merchant house now called Akbar’s.
House where the owner has collection of old Bukharan textiles and needle point embroidery.


Uzbekistan – Day 7 May 4th

DAY 6 – 03/05/18

Breakfast at the hotel

Bukhara is the centre for local artisans, and we will be able to watch many at work on a variety of handicrafts at the Bukhara Artisan Development Centre. We will spend the day visiting some colourful local markets, where the Karavan Saray (Trade Domes) and former madrassahs offer splendid, colourful handmade “Suzani” production and gold embroidery, as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, jewellery, carpets and costumes. Suzani means “needle work” in Tajik language. You will also have some time at leisure to explore the town and its rich, colourful shops on your own.
City tour in Bukhara includes: Ismael Samani Mausoleum (the tomb of representatives of Samanids’ dinasty at the end of IX – beginning of X),


 Chashma Ayub Mausoleum (Spring of Job – XIV),.


Bolo-Hauz Mosque (beginning of XX),.



Citadel Ark (IV) – city in a city, Poi Kalon Ensemble (Pedestal of the Great), religious heart of Sacred Bukhara, consists of Minaret Kalon (XII), Kalyan Mosque (XII), Miri Arab Madrassah (XVI),  Ulugbek’s Madrassah (1417).


A day of site seeing

Onto a market – half a kilo of green tea cost me about 70p.

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Lunch in the shade.

More site seeing then to a carpet factory. The women can work there until they are 40 – the very close work takes atoll on their eyes and back. The carpets were beautiful and I appreciate why they are so expensive.

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In the evening we were entertained with traditional dancing and a fashion show.

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Followed by people watching from the restaurant terrace.


Uzbekistan – Day 5 May 2nd

Before breakfast I returned to the walled city for a last look around – before all the tourist stalls had been set out. It was so peaceful watching as people came and went.

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In old days, route from Khiva to Bukhara lasted more than a month. Today it takes 6-7 hours by vehicle, through mysterious red desert “Kyzyl-Kum”, the territory of “Khorezm”, which was called in the past as a “State of Thousand and Hundred Cities”. What kind of secrets are buried in this desert, this is something what archeologists and historians will be trying to find in the future. Meanwhile, you are invited to view the exotic landscapes of desert with old Amudarya River (Oxus). Photo stop at Amudarya river.


After breakfast we stopped off at a supermarket for water and snacks  for the long journey ahead, Vodka about a pound sterling a litre.

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Out through the town and into the countryside – there were very few loos on the way but at one stop  I spotted a yurt on the other side of the road so went to investigate.

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We stopped off at the viewing point – nobody dared venture down to the WC!


This was the only place I saw evidence of USSR presence – an abandoned site but a good place to stop for tea.

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Arrival to Bukhara, check-in to the hotel Asia Bukhara
Holy Bukhara, homeland of Ibn Sino (Avicenna), loved city of all saints and worldwide known philosopher – cheery Hodja Nasriddin, lively, noisy and luxurious capital of Emirs, rich man of all nationals and patrons. When you hear “Splendor of East” – it is Bukhara!



Uzbekistan – Day 4 May 1st

DAY 4 – 01/05/18

Breakfast at the hotel.
05.00 – Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Urgench.  The flight time is 1 hr 40 mins.


And transfer to Khiva, hotel accommodation.

The plane was slightly better than the one we flew from London in, a journey over the desert and salt lakes.

Then we were taken to Khiva: Hotel “Asia Khiva” 4*. A bit of a building site at the back but our room overlooked the walled city of Khiva. We were soon out having a walking tour within the high walls.



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I learnt that this young lady had recently got engaged – hence her white dress.

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Into the museum.

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And a walk up to the top of a minaret.

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A beer before dinner.

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And the evening’s entertainment.

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