"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Big Money

This may well go down in the history of our small family as the summer of car boot sales. The weather has been lovely so it’s well worth being outdoors. Also Mrs Kitsch has been quite industrious and sold a number of things online, so we’ve been out there looking for lovely kitsch and vintage items to re-stock her online shop. The trouble is of course that we also end up buying stuff for ourselves and all the good work we did de-cluttering when we moved house a few years ago is being undone. Still, what ya gona do? Well, actually, we could go to a car boot sale and sell stuff rather than buy it, but who wants to get up that early? Exactly.

Being the eagle eyed scout that I am I completely failed to spot these two fantastic items, fortunately my other half was on the ball and got them for me.
I’ve had a brief look online but haven’t found anything out about them yet. They’re metal, quite heavy, about the size of a digestive biscuit and obviously souvenirs, possibly paper weights, rather than proper coinage. I’ve put a £2 coin next to them for comparison but maybe I should have used a digestive biscuit after all. I was thinking of including coins in my art work so these things are just right to help me with that.
Unfortunately, the Americans still deem it necessary to put the phrase “in god we trust” on their money; well it is the official motto of the United States so it’s not much of a surprise really. As I’ve mentioned before, I refuse to paint anything religious in case I’m mistakenly seen as endorsing religion, so I won’t be using that phrase in my work, however, the Latin phrase “e pluribus unum” meaning “out of many, one” seems to sum up America far better to me and I’ll be happy to include that in any future work. I’ll probably make up a coin design rather than try and reproduce an actual one anyway.

We’ve also been hitting the charity shops hard recently too where I spotted a couple more books. Blimey, not more books Gary? Yes, more books. This one about The Flaming Lips was only 50p so how could I not get it?
I’ve been a fan of The Flaming Lips since I saw them at Glastonbury several years ago. If you ever have the opportunity of seeing them play live then grab it with both hands, they have to be one of the best live bands of all time. I don’t know that much about them though so this book is a welcome addition to the library. Did I mention it was just 50p? Anyway, then there’s this little book.
Now I picked this up intending for Mrs Kitsch to make badges out of as it’s full of cute little pictures of squirrels and other woodland creatures. But then we sat a read it the other the day and it’s quite delightful. It tells you all about a year in the life of a squirrel in a very factual way and frankly if I had kids I'd get the whole series and read it with them. I learnt things from it, for instance, when the female squirrel is about to have her young she evicts the male squirrel from the drey (nest) and he and some of the other evictees move in together for the duration. It’s full of stuff like that, brilliant. Anyway, it’s really sweet and I got rather attached to it, so I’m keeping it. What can I say, I love squirrels. They’re the British equivalent of monkey’s so what’s not to like.

I rather like the grey squirrels, unfortunately, not everyone shares my opinion and there are plans to cull them in Cornwall so that the less attractive (I’m not keen on those silly tufts on their ears) but native red squirrel can get a foot hold again. This seems mad, not to mention racist, to me but what do I know about it? If we’re going to get rid of, or at least reduce, so called “non-native” species where do we draw the line? Rabbits aren’t native to this country, probably being introduced here by the Normans. And how far back do we go before we regard something as British? If you go back far enough there were once lions and elephants and all kinds of plains animals roaming around what is now Britain but I don’t see anyone suggesting re-introducing lions back into the country.

I suppose you could draw comparisons with the American grey squirrel taking over the land from the native British red squirrel with the white settlers in the United States taking over the land from the Native American Indians. Bury my nut at Wounded Knee. Still, I like the greys so I say move over Tufty, there’s a new squirrel in town and this town ain’t big enough for the both of yous. Anyway, it’s called evolution and obviously the reds simply aren’t up to the job.

Suggested listening: “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” by The Flaming Lips


  1. Might have identified the coins, you can't retire yet, possible called a proof, which the US sold in sets every year.

  2. But now there are black squirrels threatening the greys. Maybe the reds and the greys should form an alliance to repel the invaders.

  3. Why can't all the squirrels live together peacefully?