Monthly Archives: April 2016

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Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Mosaic!

Fusterlandia Is  Fabulously Fantastical!, Rocking Dog

Fusterlandia Is Fabulously Fantastical!

Just before heading out to Cuba I chanced upon a blog “Everybody Hates A Tourist“. It featured Fusterlandia, and I knew that as a lover of mosaic I just simply had to visit.

A day after our arrival in Havana, Andyman and I found ourselves in a taxi travelling along the coast to the seaside town of Jaimanitas. Here the artist Jose Fuster has spent the last 30 years creating an enclave Casa de Fuster. Not content with the embellishment of his own abode, his art has continued onto the walls and facades of another eighty properties in this sunny little town. Fuster has somewhat appropriately been nicknamed Picasso of the Caribbean.

I loved being in this bonkers place and not since Barcelona had I seen such a run of mosaic. It was certainly a real highlight of our Cuban trip. Returning to our taxi we asked two taxi drivers whether it was correct that Fidel Castro lived in the town. We were met with dismissiveness, when I said that the information appeared in our guidebook they grudgingly whispered that it was indeed true but not to point a camera in a certain direction! All very secretive.

My first brush with mosaic, or rather, broken china was as a child. The village shop in Frenchay had a wall containing shards of china and Edwardian tiles, and my siblings and I loved it. I remember we all selected the pieces of china we each liked best. Though the shop is no more, having been turned into a private residence some years ago, the china wall reassuringly remains.

Mosaic of an altogether different quality can be found at the Duomo in Orvieto. Its gilded mosaic embellishments, positively glinted in the November sunshine and looked spectacular against the cloudless blue sky. Meanwhile still in Italy we spent a glorious morning discovering the ancient harbour city of ancient Rome- Ostia Antica. As a result of silting, the site now lies 3km inland and is incredibly well preserved. I loved some of the mosaic floors which would have graced public baths and private villas.

In past posts I have mentioned my admiration of Cleo Mussi and Julie Arkell. Both are skilled in their use of broken pot. I love my Julie Arkell heart shaped brooch which features the quote “Looking at the sea drinking tea”, somewhat ironic because I hate tea!

My shed harbours a large box of china ready for a new phase of garden mosaic. Last year I got as far as buying the swimming pool grout… so this year maybe, just maybe, will be the year I create Fusterlandia!

Fantastical Fusterlandia!, Rocking Dog

Fantastical Fusterlandia!

More...., Rocking Dog

More….

...& There's More!, Rocking Dog

…& There’s More!

Orvieto Duomo, Rocking Dog

Orvieto Duomo

Roman Port  Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Roman Port Mosaic

Village Shop, Rocking Dog

Village Shop

Mussi Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Mussi Mosaic

Arkell Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Arkell Mosaic

Rocking Dog Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Mosaic

Rocking Dog’s Little Bit Of This & That!

The Hambrook Rhubarb Triangle!, Rocking Dog

The Hambrook Rhubarb Triangle!

Rocking Dog has been doing a little bit of this and that…and going nowhere fast! I hate germy long haul flights, and have been laid low with some mild airborne affliction. Multi-tasking has been difficult and I have found myself ineffectively pootling from one project to another like an ant having been sprayed with DDT!

Sunday lunch was a case in point. I couldn’t really decide what to do for friends and family so we ended up with a Lebanese/ British mix up! Lamb Shawarma (whole leg of lamb with an amazing spice rub), chopped salad, roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad together with tahini dressing and bread came from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem”. The English elements were Delia’s roasties and some sausages. Pudding saw the first of the the Hambrook triangle’s rhubarb. I poached the tender pink strips together with a vanilla pod, water and golden caster sugar in a gentle oven. To accompany it I whizzed up a batch of praline ice cream – sorted! It sort of all worked and I was very proud of myself when I didn’t capitulate to Alex’s hint/request for homemade ice cream for 120 wedding guests! Go Girl!!!

Staying on the subject of weddings, the boys is now getting ever closer. So in between feeding people and nursing my aircraft lurgy I have tried to step right on up to Planet Wedding!

When the happy couple came over on Sunday, they bought with them a list (both mothers I gather had been angling for one!) This list was not dissimilar to one of those manuscripts that ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ unrolls, taking you through from present day folk to those walking about wearing furs and carrying clubs! I fear that the brides mums’ weekend of relaxation in a spa will be a very distant memory when the said list is unravelled this week! Maybe all those to do’s were best left on a smart phone after all Kylie!

So menu planning, sourcing, ordering (yelp!), making ten staff aprons, reviewing a colossal crockery order etc…all clutter my work bench together with all the components for THAT wedding coat ….. GET IT DONE! On a more positive note I have finally finished the Roman Blind which had been festering in my To Do Basket. My Beloved Bernina repair and a holiday interrupted its completion. Today will see me get the blind up, I suspect that it may be more than a little wonky!

I sincerely hope you are being productive and more focused than poor old Rocking Dog! Enjoy your day.

PS. Big thanks to my gorgeous sis’ for sorting out more space with SiteGround so that I can keep on blagging oops, blogging!

To The Oven You Go!, Rocking Dog

To The Oven You Go!

Chopped Salad, Rocking Dog

Chopped Salad

Cauli' & Hazelnut Salad, Rocking Dog

Cauli’ & Hazelnut Salad

Blooming Blind!, Rocking Dog

Blooming Blind!

Marital Menu Planning, Rocking Dog

Marital Menu Planning

GET IT DONE!, Rocking Dog

GET IT DONE!