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© Channel 4

© Channel 4

I meant to write this post two or three weeks ago but I forgot all about it. You have two days only (tonight and tomorrow) to catch up on Channel 4 [the UK only] with a programme that ‘stars’ my family’s railway carriage and the writer of this blog!

Episode 2 shows the incredible work done by talented volunteers on restoring our Oldbury carriage which dates from 1864. It is part of a series called Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow. Channel 4 bankrolled the series enabling four carriages around the country to be restored to their former glory. I am interviewed first by Henry Cole and then by Peter Snow.

I don’t think it will spoil the watching of it if I give you a little of the backstory, most of which is not included in the programme.

After the Second World War and with my maternal grandfather having been killed in 1940, my grandmother bought a house in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight which had a large garden and an overgrown orchard. At the bottom of this orchard was a dilapidated railway carriage. She later sold the house and garden leaving the path that led to the orchard and carriage. In the 1960s and early ’70s, this shabby beauty became the setting for all our childhood holidays. It was glorious. It felt and still does when I look back on those years like we were part of an exciting Enid Blyton adventure, not that I was ever very fond of Blyton. I was more of a ‘Chalet’ girl myself!

© Pete Jardine 1980s

© Pete Jardine 1980s – one of the passionate volunteers at Havenstreet

My brother and I were both grown and my grandmother in her grave when my parents decided in the mid-1980s to donate the carriage to the organisation that is now The Isle of Wight Steam Railway and replace it with a Scandinavian log house. The land and log house were sold by my brother in 2001; it saddens me greatly that this part of my history is no longer in the family.

It is my love of the Isle of Wight and the memories of those times that have brought me down here to live.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Valentine Blush © First Night Design/Sarah Vernon

I can’t bear it when I have nothing of my own to post because while I love finding other work on art, books, writing or photography to introduce you to, there’s always those niggling thoughts that run: “But you need to be promoting your own work to earn money!” or “Why aren’t you going back to writing your memoirs?” But it’s got to stop, as I’m sure you’ll tell me. Living is more important when push comes to ultimate shove and you’re not the twenty-eight-year-old you feel.

Quentin Crisp NYC 1992 Ross Bennett Lewis

Valentine Blush is new and I had every intention of uploading it to the galleries in time to catch the Valentine market. It didn’t happen and so it’s still not available to buy. I don’t care because I’ve become more embedded in the local community by making some new friends including writer Barbara Jane Mackie whose screenwriter father, Philip Mackie, adapted short stories by Saki in 1962 with a cast that just happened to include my father, Richard Vernon. Some of you might remember Mackie’s later work as he was responsible for the incomparable adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant [1975] with a never-to-be-forgotten performance by the late John Hurt as Quentin Crisp.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


It was such an iconic programme that I can’t resist re-blogging this post on First Night Design. (My mother was at RADA with Patrick McGoohan!)

Rogues & Vagabonds

Images from the cult television show The Prisoner mark the 50th anniversary of filming in Portmeirion, north Wales.

Source: In pictures: The Prisoner at 50 – BBC News

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I’ve made no secret about my vintage Doctor Who fandom on this blog. Recent comments by comedian John Cleese reminded me when he made an art-related appearance on the legendary television series in 1979.

For his brief dialogue, story editor Douglas Adams served up a piece of art babble worthy of Vogon poetry status. Cleese and actress Eleanor Bron give the Doctor’s time machine, the Tardis, a critique that could straight out of  Saatchi gallery press release. (See the John Cleese clip from “The City of Death” at this link. )

Cleese: “For me, one of the most curious things about this piece is its wonderful… afunctionalism.”
Bron: “Yes. I see what you mean. Divorced from…

Source: VIDEO: When Worlds Collide-A Python Talks Conceptual Art on Doctor Who | THE REMODERN REVIEW


bighatexhaustion

I wanted to let you know, kind friends and followers, that I am pulling back on my furious pace. There is always a problem with bandwidth and a decent connection in this part of Crete and I’ve now discovered that the worst offender when it comes to eating up gigabytes is not the uploading of my art to the various galleries or downloading free images to work on, as I’d thought, but the visiting of so many blogs to like and comment!

This is very frustrating as it’s important to me to give as much as I can in the support of others. I always knew I would have to cut the amount of time I was spending on myriad blogs at some point because it leaves me no time or energy to commit to my art which rather makes a nonsense of doing it in the first place! I’ve always tried to keep up with followers who post four or more times a day but oh my, it’s tough and I just can’t do it. Ordinary (and often extraordinary) life has to play a part, including sitting on the sofa eating chocolates and watching Casablanca, Day for Night or the Sharpe series with Sean Bean for the umpteenth time. Very heaven.

If you’re on Twitter, then you will probably know that @RoundTeam retweets my followers’ tweets. but there will be far less of me tweeting direct from blog posts. I will give priority to those who actively support me here and to those history or theatre-related posts that I plan to re-blog on First Night History or Rogues & Vagabonds.

As for future blog posts, these may not be every day. And during the next week, I will be spending time updating my Zazzle Design and Zazzle Vintage stores as too many pieces from the last few months are limited to cards, postcards, stamps and posters. I don’t sell every product that Zazzle produces but it takes a lot of time to do even the reduced number.

And so, I bid you adieux until we meet again. Have a splendid Halloween!

#BLOGSHARELEARN LINKY PARTY OCTOBER 30/15

#MidLifeLuv Linky

My work can be bought at the following galleries and on various products:
Redbubble
Crated
First Night Design Zazzle US
First Night Design Zazzle UK
First Night Vintage US
First Night Vintage UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


My other blog is all about the performing arts, darlings! Thus I introduce you to its own special page on First Night Design.

Rogues & Vagabonds

“The profession should be and is a kind of relay race – about information, opinions and passions being passed on.”  Alan Rickman, Theatregoer Magazine, November 2001

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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© Sarah Vernon and First Night Design 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Vernon and First Night Design with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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