Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Lichfield Pit Stop !

Well , what have I been up to lately ? I'm afraid the time gremlin has been spinning the hands of all the clocks again - feels like after I get up it's time to go to bed again !! I've managed to meet 2 quite crunchy deadlines , and I now have another at the end of this week; a 2.5" bear will be joining "friends" at Teddy Bears of Witney ..... sshhhhhh ....

Mind you , I think I work much better with clear deadlines . I spent a long time producing bears without direction before I decided to get on with it properly ; it really wasn't as much of a spur to the creative juices as knowing why and when to make something . I feel very lucky that I now consider my little bearies a lot more than a hobby - if not a fully flourishing business (as yet) it's certainly a Hobb-ness ..., or maybe a Bus-by if you see what I mean .

What else ? Ah yes , it seems getting mentioned in bear magazines is like British buses ! You wait ; nothing on the horizon , then 3 come along at once ! I'm not sure if they'll all be out at the same time but Teddy Bear Times is doing an article on The Teddy Bear Artist Event (Stratford) for which I've put in an ad' , Australian Bear Creations has a piece coming up on dogs - including my micros - and I have taken out a 1/4 page ad' (woohoo !) at a great rate thanks to TBACA's Sandi Smith , and then Teddy Bear Review will be featuring British Bear Artists . I was encouraged to apply for their advertising rates , but I'm afraid it's a stretch too far for me . I gulped a bit when I got the details and no doubt resembled a guppy at that precise moment . But hey-ho , 2 out of 3 ain't bad , right ?!

Anyway , I managed to make a flying visit to Lichfield which is really a very interesting place and deserves a "proper" visit when the gremlin moves on !
Firstly , it has a wonderful cathedral - which I don't have a photo of - and there are numerous wibbly , quaint old buildings peppered through the streets of shops , and less worthy architecture.
Lichfield's main claim to fame is that Dr. Samuel Johnson , the Georgian essayist / biographer who produced our most famous Dictionary of the English Language (1755) , was born here in 1709. There is a huge statue of him in the town square - which I also don't have a picture of !
Next time I shall definitely go to Johnson's elegant home overlooking the market square , where he lived for his first 27 years ; now his birthplace museum . Also , you can visit Erasmus Darwin's house - he was Charles Darwin's grandfather .

Ashley did take a pic of this sweet little house though , right in amongst shops and cafes . One door seems not to be in use judging by the weedy growths in front . In the 2nd photo Brett wanted to illustrate just how tiny the door ways are !

When we walked round the corner and saw the plaque it was amazing to think that such an important , and often quoted , historical figure ; renowned for his great learning and literary genius began his writing in those tiddly little rooms . If only the walls could talk !

Here are a couple of Johnson quotes :

" I lately took my friend Boswell and showed him genuine civilised life in an English provincial town - I turned him loose at Lichfield"

"In order that all men may be taught to speak truth it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it."

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless , and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure."

And a few of his dictionary definitions :-

DULL - Not exhilarating , not delightful ; as to make dictionaries is dull work .

OATS - A grain , which in England is generally given to horses , but in Scotland appears to support the people.

PATRON - One who countenances , supports or protects . Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence , and is paid with flattery.

If you're interested you can visit www.samueljohnsonbirthplace.org.uk for further details . The museum has free entry .

Ta Ta For Now ,

Ruth x

1 comment:

All Bear said...

I blanched when I saw the TBF advertising rates too Ruth! LOL! Unfortunately they are a stretch too far at the moment. Congratulations on the editorial coverage and Teddy Bears of Witney ... you should be feeling extremely businesslike now!