Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Crazy Cats

This week has been pretty cat-heavy.

Still in mourning for our dear departed Mowzer, I’ve been attempting to form a relationship with his look-a-like mate, who appeared like a ghostly apparition at our back door within days of Mowzer’s passing.

He’s pretty timid.  Even after 3 months of hard work, Michelin Star quality cat food and my own special human-to-cat eye blinking communication method, I’m lucky if he’ll touch my fingers with the tip of his nose.  However, a new cat on the block seems to be empowering him.  A voluptuous ginger queen is his new food rival.  I caught this snap of the two of them on our patio a couple of days ago and it’s clear that our little friend is going to have to man up if he stands any chance of competing for the daily Voodoo Street catch. 

The very fact that I took the time to photograph two neighbourhood cats is also giving Gaz concern that I am morphing into The Simpsons' Crazy Cat Lady!

Meanwhile, Gaz has been on a voyage of discovery locally.  We often head over the border into Shropshire in our free time, avoiding the West Midlands connurbation...and yet, our locality just got a whole lot more interesting after he discovered a new Tea Rooms fusing Vintage and Steampunk themes and the Black Country's answer to the Old Curiosity Shop - an endless rabbit warren of rooms housing everything from G-Plan furniture to vintage record players.  

Feeling inspired, we realised we’ve been neglecting our steam punk influences of late and so yesterday, we decided to re-visit some old ideas, languishing in cyber space. 

The results of our efforts are 2 new Steampunk inspired stickers, one bearing a Steampunk version of our logo...

...and the other a cathartic release of my cat obsession. 

 Note his Steampunk monocle and glassy eyes.  It’s worth noting that the cat’s eyes were inspired by a batch of prosthetic eyes acquired by our friend Yvette of Creative Curiosities, which she has since mounted in the clutches of crow claws. 

 This has haunted my dreams for some time now!

Yvette knows that we're big fans of her work (Dr Jones, our illustrated mannequin, is testament to that and she and I have a shared appreciation of taxidermy), so she won’t mind me saying that.  But clearly, I owe her a thank you.  They obviously penetrated my psyche!  Now it’s your turn.

Sleep well!

Blinded by the Light

A weekend in the country, albeit working our arses off at Derbyshire Dubs, was just what I needed to take my mind off some worrying eyesight issues.  I had literally been seeing stars and periodic flashes and shadows in my peripheral vision and the sudden onset of summer; its sunlight, reflections and leaves dancing in the breeze, were playing havoc with my imagination so that I could no longer distinguish reality from tricks of the light.  For the record, I'm now fine and wear and tear is to blame for this thankfully temporary issue (the human body amazingly often heals itself), so nothing to do with too much partying, or anything so rock n' roll!

The drive to the site was one of the most scenic I can recall for some time.  Climbing up and over the Roaches (a prominent rocky ridge situated above Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir in the Peak District) with a pale blue, cloudless sky stretching ahead, was stunning.

Derbyshire Dubs, virgin territory in every sense, took place on a hillside, with panoramic views of breathtaking countryside, near to the village of Wardlow in Derbyshire.  As there are usually issues with first time shows, lighting seemed to have been overlooked, so other than the odd campfire, catering trucks and entertainment marquee, the light faded from bright sunshine to pitch darkness in a few short hours.

I loved this uber cool Airstream Wine Bar - Vin Van Voom!

After a misty start, Saturday unfolded into a blistering hot day and the main mobile Bar (Beerbuz), made an awesome decision to bring along one of our favourite local ales - Enville Ginger.  My enthusiasm for this beer never wanes and most of the punters were obviously also feeling the love, as by Saturday lunchtime, owner Gaz, had to borrow our daily runaround, a Mk 4 VW Golf (230,000 miles on the clock and still on its original engine and clutch) to drive into Wardlow to restock on beer!

We were also stoked discover this beautiful Californian import decorated with our stickers.

It's only been in the country for 3 weeks, has a gleaming Porsche engine and is now on UK soil and in the hands of its second ever owner!

Right up our street was the New Orleans Jazz band which appeared without warning on Saturday and marched right past our stand. Shame they didn't look like extras from Live and Let Die!

This cool customer made a purchase from us, gave me some tips on head scarves (a knack I've never managed to perfect) and the best rum on the market (Kraken Black Spiced).  We also randomly discussed cars, her partner's numerous inkings and randomly, the artist known as "Shag".  If you haven't heard of him, Google the name and you'll be sure to recognise his work.

Leaving a little earlier due to other commitments, my drive home on Saturday evening was a fraught affair, punctuated by flashes of blinding lightning and marred by torrential rain.  I got home, drank 3 little bottles of French lager straight off, checked Gaz hadn't been struck by lightning up on the hill in Derbyshire and went to bed!

Gaz returned home on Sunday night with a less-than-perfect gazebo.  The wind had picked up on Sunday and tossed it into the air and over a stone wall.

Here's the scene of tranquility shortly before our stand was windswept!

But still, with no time to fix it and in true Voodoo Street style, Gaz (aka lastminute.com) committed to another show at the 11th hour last Friday night and made an appearance at All Types at Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales.

Voodoo show stickers were also produced for the occasion!

So Gaz spent Saturday evening with this as his backdrop.  Mine was a little less salubrious but no less enjoyable as I stayed behind and caught up with friends over a curry and beer.