Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Life on the line

Posted in Miscellaneous, Odd rants on August 29, 2011 by Richard Savage

What is it with the mobile phone?  I feel a rant coming on… 

Before I start, I am not a Luddite; I do see the benefits of mobile phones.  I see the benefits of being in contact, I think the new Hi-Tec phones are fantastic, handheld internet access, the apps and all the bells and whistles.

That having been said, are we so important that we have to be on call 24/7?  I speak from a rather old fashioned point of view…  I have a rather old mobile phone that people look down on me for when I use it.   It only makes calls, it has no camera, no internet, it is just a phone and I use it to make calls.  Some folk seem to have it permanently stuck to their hand and I find it a little odd and it seems to be getting worse.  There was a man prosecuted for making a phone call while driving, nothing unusual in that, but in his other hand he was texting somebody else.  Absolutely crazy.  A lady who does some cleaning for us, I regularly see texting or making a call while on her bicycle.  In the pub I see people unable to turn the bloody things off, they sit at the bar staring at the little screen, people pass jokes and obscene video clips barely talking.  I have seen people break of a meal to take calls, or text while eating.  I dare say there is a section of people that while sat on the toilet have replaced the traditional paperback book or newspaper with their mobile phone.   Is this just me or is this close to insanity?  Are we so important that we can’t be separated from the rest of the world for an instance?  I would like to propose the motion that we all unplug……  just for a little while…  when down the pub, enjoy a meal and a glass of wine or as radical as this sounds… start a conversation?

Happy times? Or rose tinted spectacles?

Posted in Miscellaneous on August 5, 2011 by Richard Savage

A recent blog comment sparked this line of thought.   The thought was about my time on hospital and pirate radio.  The guy making the comment was Neil, an old friend from hospital radio.  I remember Neil’s shows well, it was along the same lines of Jack Jackson and Adrian Juste.  Comparing Neil with these two in no way takes anything away anything from him, I loved his shows, I would say he is one of the most talented guys I ever worked with.  You can see pictures of some of my old mates here  and the home page is here.  And this is where you can hear the new Radio Fairfield content on line.   I had about five or six years playing with radio in various forms and I have to say I loved it.   In a less restricted form I was invited to join a pirate radio station and that was a lot of fun.  From time to time the lads threaten to fire up the transmitter and do another show…  but sadly it hasn’t happened..  or at least they didn’t tell me about it…..  my time with New Town Radio was a lot of fun too.  I did look to see if there was an on line presence for NTR  but sadly nothing there.  A great bunch of guys, Richard, Chris, Steve and Rat-nose, were the core of our happy band.  So happy times…..  ohhhhh  yes, such happy memories.

I really wanted to go into full time broadcasting but sadly the BBC seemed to think they could get along just nicely without my help..  but still it is an itch I haven’t fully scratched.

The Tower of London

Posted in Miscellaneous on August 4, 2011 by Richard Savage

I think it is true to say that most people don’t take a lot of notice if things of interest that are on your door step and at the age of 49 I thought it was about time to go and see the Tower of London.  A chunk of wanting to go was brought about by seeing the clips below on YouTube, but the rest came from my love of history.   Learning about history had nothing to do with school.  I still have nightmares about some of our teachers.  The English teachers were without doubt the worst… and as a dyslectic many of my driving forces come from the misery inflicted upon me.  It would not take a lot to get me going on this subject so I will leave my bygone abysmal English teachers alone for the moment and address the state of history taught at my school.  I had three years on the Romans.  “What did the Romans ever do for us??”  I am sure it is a very interesting period of time, yet the Romans alone made for a very dull three years.  On the up side I reckon I could still build a fair Roman road, or if not build it I could sure as heck draw it!  After school I discovered joy of history, the Peninsular War of the 1800’s, post Roman, Saxon England, the Plantagenetsthe Tudors, not to mention two world wars and the space race. 

So it was with a keen sense of history, we went to William the Conqueror’s castle, the White Tower.   The Tower of London is….   impressive,  it covers a fair sized area,  must do a seperate blog about it,  so much of our history is tied up there, royal executions, an impressive head count quite literally!  The royal armoury was impressive too,  a statistic that struck me…  the purchase of a suit of armour then is the equivalent of buying a Learjet today… 

Do feel free to read more about the Tower of London  or you could click on the links below they amused the heck out of me!  I put some of this out in a previous newsletter.  I hope you find it entertaining.  The tour is in parts:  one, two, three and four.

The Faustian Pact

Posted in Miscellaneous on July 25, 2011 by Richard Savage

If you could make a deal with the devil…would you??

The Faustian Pact by Richard Savage

This is a question I have asked myself and it is a concept I have used for artistic inspiration for a lot of years now.  In a nutshell, Faust sells his soul to the devil, in return the devil gives Faust back his youth, unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.  There have been many stories, artistic works and operas, that elaborate on and reinvent this basic theme but as I see it the basic concept is there The “Faustian Pact”, an arrangement in which any ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success.  I think it would be fair to say I am a driven sort of person and I have considered what I would do to succeed in my various enterprises.  Would I make that deal with the devil? 

Success is a difficult thing to measure, is it the cash you amass? Is it the trinkets with which you feather your nest?  Is it the accolades and trophies we collect?  The adoration of fans?  Praise from your contemporaries? All or none of the above? Is it really that important?

Ultimately I think you have to be happy within yourself, ultimately Faust became dissatisfied with all he had, he yearned for “more than earthly meat and drink”.  I would be interested in your take on this and it will also be this month’s newsletter question. What would you do to succeed? Would you make a deal with the devil?  If you’d like to receive my monthly newsletter, you can sign up here.

As for me..  it was a done deal many years ago……

Dedicated follower of fashion

Posted in Miscellaneous, Odd rants on July 10, 2011 by Richard Savage

Evelyn's Temptation by Richard Savage

Anyone who knows me, will know the last thing I would ever be is a dedicated follower of fashion.  I think I scrub up ok.  I look ok in a suit and not too bad in a tux, but the thing is you put a monkey in a suit or a tux and he looks ok too!  My usual day to day studio clothes are jeans and a polo shirt sporting some logo or another.  I am a bit heavy duty on jeans as I am never more than a slip of paint away from my jean becoming,  “The Studio Pair”,  but as I tend to forget to put the scruffiest ones on I end up with rather a large number of studio pairs!

The reason for my chuntering on about jeans is that this morning, looking down at my bleach splashed, torn, raggy at the bottom, paint splattered jeans,  I thought what ever happened to the whole concept of buying a brand new pair of jeans and slowly and methodically wearing them out?  When I was buying jeans the other week it struck me that you can buy worn out jeans saving you the hassle of doing it for yourself.  Genius move!  And who are the jeans intended for? Poor down and outs who need a cheap pair of jeans?  Nope!  They are for the middle to high end of the market…  well, I have to say it amused the hell out of me.  If I had come home as a kid with torn jeans my mum would have either patched them or thrown them out.  In fact, Emma and Ken, a couple I was having a drink with the other night told me just that, a friend had her designer slashed jeans sewn up by her grandmother.  It is probably my age but I don’t get the whole idea of buying old distressed clothing. 

While I am on the subject of things I don’t understand and jeans, here’s another…  I realise I do sound like an old fart but what is it with young men not pulling their jeans up to display their pants?   I know Calvin Klein make underpants, but why show them off??  As a kid showing your pants was either a shaming way of making you not forget your games kit, under the threat of having to play in your pants, or it was a an accidental thing that invited someone to give you a “wedgie”  so again I just don’t get it.  I do however invite comments and enlightenment.

Blogs are like buses, you don’t get one for ages then a stack come along together…

Posted in Miscellaneous, News on June 23, 2011 by Richard Savage

 

I know I don’t blog as often as I should.  But is it a bad thing?  I do wonder if I witter on, or should it be twitter on, a bit too much.  I have never been much of a diary writer, I much prefer doing things than retrospectively writing about things that I have done.  I guess the main thing is I don’t find myself that interesting.  It has always struck me that I am a bit boring, being rather obsessed by both art and writing.  I do other things of course, I love fiddling with my Bonsai trees, of which I have about thirty mainly deciduous English oak, ash, chestnut and sycamore.  I also love to cook, but nothing quite grips me like art and writing.  So is being obsessed a bad thing?  I don’t know….  It is, at least, who I am….

Teeth

Posted in Miscellaneous, Odd rants on May 18, 2011 by Richard Savage

Work-a-holic that I am, before continuing with the current novel, as I sat in the dentist’s waiting room this morning, a few thoughts popped into my head on the subject of dentists.

Teeth are an emotive subject.  Mention the subject of teeth and you will get people either sucking in breath or telling you their horror stories of dentists past and present.  I have had my fair share of dental stories.  People reminisce over the days of free dental service as it was in the UK up until a few years ago.  It is now heavily subsidised but the idea of cheap dentistry puts a shiver down my spine.  My dental hassles came from that time.  A dentist was paid for the number of holes drilled, relying on professional integrity that holes were not drilled unnecessarily.   Hmmmmm,  just not convinced that faced with the dilemma “shall I make more money or shall I do the right thing” they would actually DO the right thing, certainly my teeth are testimony to that.  From the early 80’s I have been going privately and I have had a succession of top notch dentists, although I feel I should mention the price…  there was a time when it seemed fair value, over the last two years I have started to suspect my dentist has put a down payment on a Ferrari and I am picking up the tab!

I am always keen to hear your thoughts on any subject…  although do feel free to keep any dental horror stories to yourself….  at least until I have had my tooth crowned!  🙂

The Paranormal and Me

Posted in Art, Miscellaneous, Writing on April 11, 2011 by Richard Savage

Over on the Black Velvet Seductions blog this Thursday and Friday I will be blogging about my paranormal experiences and the effect they have had on my work, both art and writing.  This is part of my blog on the subject:

The Paranormal and Me

by artist and author Richard Savage

I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and the occult.  To quote William Shakespeare from Hamlet, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  I am not sure about that, I bet there is a lot of weird stuff that is dreamt up, some of which has fueled my art and writing. 

There have been quite a few things that I have experienced that I have not been able to explain, first of all, spiritualists.  I have seen four spiritualists – mediums, call them what you will.  Let me say first I went into this with a skeptical outlook.  I expected confidence tricksters and charlatans.  The first was a one on one session and it was uncanny, he was an elderly guy, who put me at my ease, it was a conversation in which he told me of things he could not possibly have known.  He mentioned a friend, whom I had lost in a vehicle accident, by name.  He mentioned things that seemed to make a lot of what I felt about my life make sense.  I have always had an affinity with the air and he made the claim that I had a previous incarnation as a First World War flyer.   As I say, it made a kind of sense to me but even so it still had a half-baked quality to it, if you said it out loud.  On the strength of seeing this first guy, a couple of years later I wanted to repeat the experience.  The next two spiritualists were, how can I put this, real con merchants.  It was like a fishing expedition on both occasions.  “I feel a presence in the room…  does anyone here know a John that may or may not have passed to the other side?”  Give me a break…. On both occasions the spiritualists had a go at looking for the gullible and vulnerable in the audience.  Nothing good came from either of those two experiences and furthermore it made me doubt the validity of the first one.  There was a gap between these events and the next one.  In the mean time I changed career paths from an entertainer to that of a pub-restaurant owner.  Events happened there that made me reconsider the nature of spirits and the like…….

To read the rest of the piece visit the BVS blog on Thursday

A time to chill

Posted in Miscellaneous on March 12, 2011 by Richard Savage

Just had a few days away, I took work with me obviously but my work load was nowhere near its usual levels and there is something to be said for it.  It is only when you relax a bit you discover how wound up you were.  Three days of being waited on, working out in a well fitted gym, swimming, hot tub and walking in the grounds of  an Olde Worlde English country house has given me a bit of a boost.  I feel sure that back in the real world it’s claws will dig in again and I know I have a stack of things waiting for me.  But, for now, I feel very chilled.  A little tongue in cheek and in case you think I have slipped too far from my usual work-o-holism, in my rather relaxed mode, I have reviewed chapter one of my current novel, reviewed and axed a good chunk of chapter two and then re-written it, I have written a little, rather coarse, poetry, written a chunk towards a film project a client asked me to have a look at and written, up to this point, three blog posts.  So, all in all, I feel it has been a great chill out and I look forward to get back into the swing of my normal work tomorrow……

Four things a man will never admit to…

Posted in Miscellaneous on February 8, 2011 by Richard Savage

I am not sure if I mentioned that I had a wood burning stove installed in the main room of the house, around October last year.  It has been a real learning curve; lots of new things to consider like  how much wood do you need to buy, collect, acquire.  And the same applies with the quantity of coal.  I have really enjoyed the lumber jacking side of things; it is quite fun working with a chainsaw.  Though safety is a big thing, I never fancied being a one handed artist!  There is a real great outdoor feeling, cutting large pieces of lumber then splitting them with the big axe.  A friend told me that real fires heat you three times.  Firstly, cutting and splitting the logs, secondly, carrying the the logs in and then again when you light the fire.  And it is on the subject of lighting the fire that is the real topic of this blog post, four things a man will never admit to… 

I heard an interview with the racing driver, Stirling Moss, he said “there are two things a man will never admit to, being a bad driver or being bad in bed.”   I believe I can add two more to that, the first is barbecue, gentlemen, a charred sausage is not a good thing!  The other is keeping a wood burning stove going.  The thing with a wood burning stoves is, it is not about flames, it is all about getting it hot and keeping the heat in by closing the vents.  When a chap looks at the stove, you get a “Mmmm,  nice glow but no flames.”  They then open the doors and throw timber on the fire.  All well and good, but very inefficient.  I think both barbecue and burner are kind of linked  back to some kind of macho “Caveman TV”, an “I am man.. Me make fire” attitude.  I realise that is a sweeping generalisation, however, I have been to a lot of barbecues and the vast majority of men who think they can cook are not very good on flames and I have observed the same with the wood burner.  But you tell a bloke that.  You might as well question his manhood…..  I invite comments either for or against. ..  🙂