Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Captain Kirk, Wombling Free and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I'm shamelessly pilfering Lulu's recent blog post title (read it here: Wombling & tidying (longmizzle.blogspot.com) having struggled to come up with a title for this record of the last week or so of random encounters and events.  But it sort of fits, as you will see.

First up Captain Kirk as I've christened him.  My visit to local artist Kirk Andrews' studio went hand in hand with an outing to the Red House Glass Cone, less than half an hour's walk from my house.  I've blogged before about our proud glass making heritage (Winter Peach Photography: Pet Cemetery and the Great Glass Mood Elevator), but my last visit coincided with a rare day off for Kirk, so I could only window shop.

This time he was around and we were able to chat about his creative endeavours, share stories about local musicians and gigs attended and look at leisure at the art for sale; familiar faces from the music world immortalised in Kirk's signature style.  Kirk works predominantly with charcoal and for his recent works, he's used subject specific stamps to create portraits of famous musicians.  Think Black Sabbath in tiny gothic crosses, Keith Flint in tiny ants and, as captured here by yours truly, David Bowie in black stars hanging proudly next to the artist himself.  Wonderful!  You can also see Kirk's drum kit in this photo and if you happen to be passing the cone as the sun goes down and listen carefully, you may just get to hear some percussive practise!

Did I make a purchase?  Naturally.  I opted for 4 coasters for £12.00, choosing Keith Flint, Debbie Harry, Jimi Hendrix and the aforementioned Bowie.

Elsewhere on site, another artist was at work next to the Red House Glass Cone, a Wordsley landmark, built between 1788 and 1794.

As per usual, rarely a week passes without a little charity shopping, or "wombling" as it's referred to by fellow blogger Lulu.  It also conveniently fits my somewhat tenuous 80s childhood title theme.

In this hastily taken photo, half of my outfit is second hand (the Free People khaki trousers and punk inspired mohair jumper).  The camel coat is old, it's buttons removed and replaced with vintage ones and the tough girl tractor sole Clarks boots were a sale purchase, replacing my now cracked and aging DMs.  (The DMs are still good for a few more years, but will be reserved for bimbling around and muddy walks).  You may also see me admiring the new elephant door mat - another charity shop find.

Failing to live up to my promise to get better outfit photos (I just don't have the gift and always feel awkward that side of the lens), here's an attempt to capture my new hat on the windiest of days.  I had coveted and decided to order a slouch beret, but this peaked affair arrived instead.  I was offered and accepted a refund, so it was free to me!  I've grown to like it. Here I'm wearing it with a vintage jumper and army jacket.

I also scored a trio of vintage square scarves at a very purse-friendly 50p each....

...and became ridiculously excited by this vintage magenta honeycomb blanket and it's mid century companion.  This is a sure sign of getting old.

This vintage Irish linen Brooke Bond OXO tea towel will never be used, but brings hippy cheer to the kitchen.

I love mirrors, but rarely see one I like for the right price.  This 50s/60s mirror immediately called out to me and I know just the place - not on the floor!

This pretty sage green cotton top from Topshop also came home with me, although with temperatures plummeting yet again, it will be a while before it sees the light of day.

At the weekend we headed out to find a very special place hidden deep within the Wyre Forest with an unlikely connection to the Cadbury family.  A confession, it's not really a chocolate factory, but a hunting lodge erected by and still in the ownership of the renowned chocolate making family.  If you're wondering, the Charlie was me, who, in spite of having very specific directions, still almost managed to take a wrong turn and completely miss this hauntingly beautiful building.

As we arrived, we could hear laughter and chatter.  Whilst the lodge is securely locked up, walkers can easily access the veranda and an extended family was making good use of it.  I caught a glimpse of some floor tiles just visible beneath the door (an enhanced iphone photo).  Sadly there were no other peep holes to be found.  

Feeling as though we were intruding, we decided to continue on our wander through the forest as it was such a beautiful day... 

....looking back longingly and hoping that soon we could claim the lodge for ourselves for a little while.

After an energetic walk down into the valley and back up the hill, our wish was finally granted.  The snowdrops were out.  The sun was shining - dipping slightly in the sky at this point and sprinkling gold light onto the tree canopy.  We sat on the veranda, taking in the incredible views offered up by the largest woodland National Nature Reserve in the country, feeling a little warmth from the sun on our faces and enjoying the bird song.  Bliss.

Take a tour with me.  Isn't it beautiful?  Pure cabincore.


  1. Wow, "Captain" Kirk's art is stunning! Sort of like pointillism only with stamps - stampillism? I very much like your outfit (the Clarks and the jumper, hooray) and your new peaked cap is awesome. Your pics are wonderful, and I watched your video, thank you!

    1. Stampillism is a good description. Apparently it was a lockdown project. His family thought he'd gone insane when he suggested it. It's incredible!
      Thanks Sheila. The cap is very comfortable and as you know, I'm partial to a little orange (or cayenne as it was described).
      Glad you enjoyed the forest photos and video! x

  2. its a pleasure to come with you on your wanderings!
    captain kirks art is gorgeous - thanx for showing. is´t it wonderful to look artists over the shoulder in their ateliers?!
    love all you comfy and cosy clothes and the new hat - and you found pretty stuff while wombling.... and i think your outfit shots are fab - the camera loves you.
    cute cabin in the woods!
    here the snowdrops are out too in sunny places despite night temps of -10°C since days.....
    stay cosy! xxxx

    1. Yes, it's always a privilege to talk to artists about their work.
      Thank you. It's definitely been a week for cosy and comfy. We've lurched from double figures back to just above zero.
      I'm always amazed at the fact that snowdrops and spring bulbs are able to push up through all that iron hard earth, but it's lovely to see them. xxx

  3. l like Captain Kirk's style of art, pop art? very nice. I would be trying to peep at those tiles too! if there's a crack to peek through I will find it :) Your chazza finds are very nice, the camel coat looks like a real classic that will go with loads and the top shop blouse will look very pretty when we get some sunshine.

    1. Hi Betty! Thank you...and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'm hoping that one day my visit will coincide with that of a member of the Cadbury family and that they will invite me inside for a closer look. ;-D

  4. I loved the vid, what a beautiful walk!
    The coasters are fabulous and what a great price, too.
    Loving the outfit photos, the more you do them the easier it gets, honest! I've fondled those boots in Clarks, I love them (and a lot easier on the feet than Docs!) Was that the Bilstonia jumper? An inspired choice to wear it with the camel coat. The tea towel, blankets and mirror are super groovy and that Toppers blouse is so pretty.
    How lucky about the peaked cap? It's a fantastic colour and the style really suits you. xxx

    1. Thanks Vix.
      I'm loving the Clarks boots. They felt a little snug at first, but the leather is butter soft and the breaking in period will be nowhere near as long as Docs. They look great with dresses too. Is it wrong to feel a bit short changed after spotting splits in my DMs after 10 years? :-D I swear they used to last even longer. Solovair boots are purportedly much better but eye wateringly expensive.
      Oh and yes, it's the Bilstonia jumper. It's having plenty of wear! xxx

  5. That's definitely my kind of walk, although I've never come across such a hauntingly beautiful hunting lodge on my rambles.
    I'm loving those coasters, and oh my didn't you do well "wombling". The elephant door mat, vintage tea towel (which of course is too gorgeous to use) and sage green cotton top are particular favourites.
    Your outfit photos aren't bad at all (loving the striped jumper!) and as Vix says it does get easier with practice. Loving the peaked cap which I'm glad to hear is a keeper after all. xxx

    1. Thanks Ann. The Cadbury family certainly chose a perfect spot!
      I'm hoping I don't have to wait too long to wear that top! xxx

  6. Eh up Claire, I've delving back into the mists of blogging time & finding all these fab posts I have missed. Thank you so much for the shout out. Your womblings have returned fab finds. I especially like the facial hair with beret look ;) That tea towel is the cutest tea towel I have ever seen!!! Far too cute to spill tea and gravy on.

    Absolutely beautiful picture of the haunting hunting lodge. Pretty please could I use that one (along with an old levitation picture) for my folk horror EP that will probably never be? Loved the video too and the eerie soundtrack. Super stuff xXx

    1. Hello Lulu! You're welcome. Wombling is a great word!
      I'd be honoured for my photos to adorn the over of your EP. In fact I wrote a poem the other day which I think has the potential to be worked into a song for such an EP. Let's do this! :-D xxx


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