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Harvest Festival at Abbey Gardens

The Friends of Abbey Gardens are hosting a Harvest Festival on Saturday the 11th of September to celebrate this years produce - anyone who came last year can tell you what a great day out it was! Free and all welcome ... more details and directions all here.

11am Bring your competition entries:
* Bake a garden-themed cake or traybake (to be served at 3pm, after judgingPlease mark your container with your name, name of cake and ingredients
* Build a plant portrait: a head or face made from fruit and vegetables. Label your plant portrait with your name and age
* Make a flower arrangement on the theme of 'What will the harvest be?' in own container (not exceeding 75cm h x 50cm w x 50cm d)

12 noon Harvest Festival opens
Garden tours, tea and cake throughout the afternoon

12-3pm Activities

1.30pm Cookery and tastings

2pm Live flower arranging (entries can be submitted to the competition)

3pm Competition judging

4pm Harvest Festival closes

Towering Heights

In contrast to the succeeding few days, the Outdoor Film Screening at Jaywick Martello Tower went without a technical hitch. Unless you count a very slow sunset as a hitch. We counted about 90 in the audience, despite the blustery weather - all enjoying a drink and nibble before we screened the East Anglia Film Archive material followed by some snippets of new footage. Some of the local stars were there, including young Mac, who was touchingly pleased to see himself blown up to such an epic scale!

May thanks to all who worked at the event and all who attended in support of what is surely one of the Tower's most successful enterprises - bring on a regular drive-in cinema at the Tower I say....

The next few days were spent filming around Jaywick, with Nina and I taking up our self-shooting roles rather than working with our regular crew. This baptism by fire included some very trying lens and sound level issues, but it was thrilling nevertheless.

Al Fresco Films & Food in Jaywick

Join us for a free event in our beloved Jaywick!
Wednesday 18th August 7.00pm - 10.00pm @ Jaywick Martello Tower
The Promenade, Belsize Avenue, Jaywick, Essex CO15 2LF 01255 822783

Working with East Anglia Film Archive (again!) we've put together some lovely short archive films to project onto the outside of the Tower, and we'e even showing some brand new footage shot for our current Jaywick doc.

Free, no booking neccessary.


Eli the Oriental kitten - Photo Marc Henrie

Everything you need to know about genetics you can learn from your cat ...

So says Dr Leslie Lyons (School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California) and a few months ago we were chatting about how you might try and show this visually. One idea we both really liked was to show a series of cats all with the gene for Blue colouring (ie. the same gene in all the cats) but with wildly different body types. So this Saturday with the expert help of Marc and Fiona Henrie (who are known to most of the 'cat world' as THE leading animal photographers) this is what we tried to do!

Many thanks to Audrey Newsome and Chris Wood for allowing us to set up and do this (in the judges room!) at the Eastern Counties Cat show - to get this many Blue cats together outside of a show would have been really tricky. I didn't know exactly which Blue cats to expect - I felt pretty sure we would get British and Russian Blues of course but on the day the range exceeded my expectations. I was very surprised to find a Blue Sphynx (hairless cat for the non feline-o-philes) who made a wonderful comparison to a pale Blue persian and the dark Orientals.

In the end we photographed the following lovely cats, I'm really grateful to all their patient owners for working with us:

Tricia Palmer lent us 'Alfie' (Tishkabar Avalon) her British Blue,
Janet Hirst lent us 'Eli' (Toghar Once in A Blue Moon) a very cute Oriental kitten,
Fran Armitage lent us her wonerful adult Oriental 'Spockie' (GR CH Chapelrose Ohmeohmy),
June Davey lent us 'Polly' (Palchinno Pineapple Poll) her pretty Persian,
Claire Bandy lent us Phoebe (CH Troika La Bayadere) the Russian Blue,
and Yvette & Steven Wilson lent us their amazing Blue Sphynx 'Kuzma' (Kuzma Katzakiora Grand Sphynx IMP)! 

Of course we photographed each cat separately - now the job is to join them all together ... the image is going to be shown in the window of the Wellcome Trust later in the year as part of an ongoing exhibition called What If curated by Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby. Fiona came along to help on Saturday - it was her first cat show so she was in at the deep end! It was also part of our on-going research for a new documentary focussing on the world of cat breeding.