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Anthony Nichols
who bought the first La Perm into the UK

Anthony, Siouxsie & the 'La Perms'

As some of you might know (!) cats are close to the 'Somewhere' shared heart and for some months we have been trying to work on a new film looking into cat breeders and their in depth knowledge of feline genetics. We have done some shooting at different cat shows but this week it's crunch time with the deadline for the terrifyingly titled Sheffield 'Meet Market' looming.

So I will be forever grateful to Anthony Nichols (and his La Perm cats) for spending his Sunday letting me grill him on film about all the ins and outs of cat breeding and busting some commonly held cat genetics myths ...

All ginger cats are toms - not, it turns out, true
All white cats are deaf - not, it turns out, true

Only white cats can have blue eyes ... almost true.

Rather conveniently one of Anthony's cats has different coloured eyes, a good find when you're trying to show something about genetics in a visual way!

It's a little known fact that Elvis enjoyed floristry

Flower arranging is the new rock 'n roll

Somewhere hosts a free flower-arranging workshop
at Abbey Gardens, Sat. 22nd Aug 12-4

Join us for a fascinating workshop with Margot Cooper, an experienced floral lecturer and demonstrator from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS). Margot sits on the board of Flower Arranger Magazine and is now Treasurer of the NAFAS Woodford branch in East London.

She will help workshop participants select and pick flowers and foliage from the gardens, going on to guide you through making your own take-home arrangement.
This event is free, no booking neccessary!
Meet at Abbey Gardens, Baker's Row, London E15 at 12.00 - workshop ends at 4.00.
Feel free to make a day of it and also join us for the morning Garden Club Session too.
See the What Will the Harvest Be website for more info.

Maurice the cat
Founder member of the Ginger Zoo

Compliments of the Compliment Sandwich

Thrillingly, the first few minutes of a recent podcast were dedicated to me and my longstanding but unrealised 'Ginger Zoo' concept. I think this might be my first and only ever radio 'shout out'.
If you don't yet subscribe to Juneau Projects 'Compliment Sandwich' I recommend you do.
It's a bit like enjoying the second half of a long car journey with Phil and Ben, a duo of amusing hitch-hikers you found on an M6 slip road near Birmingham.

See their blog here and you can subscribe.

What happened at a US film screening
This time I won't be in costume

Living with the Tudors screening, Kendal, 20th August

You're invited to a special Cumbria Filmmakers Network screening (courtesy of Soda Pictures) of Living with the Tudors.
It will be in the Warehouse Cafe at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, Thursday August 20th at 7.30pm, entrance a mere £3.
I'll be doing a director's Q & A session right afterwards too.

Team Jaywick Escapes
Photo: Tim Olden

Black Bunting

Here's the Jaywick Escapes stall at the Summer Fayre - I was very pleased with our black bunting, we even matched the award-winning majorettes.

Silver Supremes Majorettes
Photo: Nina Pope

Clacton-on-Sea's mesmerising carpet bedding

Jaywick Escapes our working title for our consultancy / lead artist-ry with Essex County Council in and around the shabby but very interesting Essex town of Jaywick, where we have been asked to develop new proposals for improving the town's green spaces.
Earlier this week I spent a night in neighbouring Clacton-on-Sea where the seafront has a fairly recently revived Edwardian garden full of traditional carpet bedding, which is so lurid that - as our project colleague Crispin said - "it does funny things to your eyes".
As a girl brought up in a Scottish seaside town, I have an abiding affection for this most unfashionable horticultural habit, unsustainable and frankly crass as it may be to buy thousands of tender, freakish plants from Holland, nurse them along in the reluctant British summer only to compost them just a few months later. I also think bedding now has a historic legitimacy, just as the more decorous revived knot gardens have a place within certain restoration projects.
Of course Jeff Koons has used bedding to great effect in works like his giant 'Puppy' but I don't know what if any place Victorian / Edwardian era bedding has in the American cultural or social past, what it speaks of there.
We haven't found any stretches of bedding in Jaywick though there are some very colourful planters here and there, and some very charming private gardens. There is something about the lavishness of the Clacton bedding, its sheer bling, in comparison, that speaks volumes about the status of these neighbouring towns...

Jeff Koons 'Puppy'