An engagement: at the Museum

An engagement

An engagement: at the Museum

The museum is relatively new, but the building historic and highly thought of in terms of grading by the authorities. It’s gold faced clocks hands speak out to the city as a symbol of ancestral culture. They glisten as a focal point from the hills which surround the port city as the low midday sun melts the last of the frosts. She gingerly negotiates her way up the front steps, she has carefully combined kitten heals with tight fit smarter denim’s. Through the red brick arches, she enters the museum. The café stands bright, larger, but higher placed stained glass windows bring colour to the eatery.

Attending many events here previously: drinks receptions, open lectures, exhibitions and varied tours of the Great Victorian structure. Today was busier than expected, it was the first day of the annual literature festival. It had only been running in its current format for several years, perhaps it had started picking up, becoming a noteworthy literary event. Mental note: check website to see what readings and book signings were on later in the week.

These events were not normally as busy, there was a long queue for one of the books to be purchased. The authors must be particularly popular, she will take a closer look, it may be a nice gift for her mother to add to her Christmas presents. Alternatively, a purchase for herself to read over the holiday season as she indulges of the planned solitude of the festivities. Having been on her own for several years now and not liking going to her Mothers to avoid the rest of the family she had spent the last few Christmases isolated in her own pleasure. No obligation to be joyful, simply indulging in the enjoyment of downtime and the pleasure of her own company. Things had been worse before this, the traditional Christmas ‘Barney’ followed by his continual lack of appreciation of her culinary efforts left her with little desire to cook or celebrate on Christmas day.

‘Good’, he wasn’t here yet, she thought to herself. After ordering a coffee she moved to the quieter side of the café. She fixes her hair and checks her make-up on the subtle reflection of the menu holder. The collar of her blouse needed smoothing out slightly, she had gone for a botanic style print. Combined with a snug fit leather jacket, she was officially smart-casual, off work but nicely attired. They had arranged to meet here as they shared similar interests in the museum. Through the week they both worked in varies building scattered around the vicinity of the red-bricked foundation. She sipped her latte, they could perhaps they could share a bottle of wine over lunch, she thought to herself. Mental note: not to drink too much or to indulge in an extra glass of wine or three.

As he enters she waves subtly, his is flush-faced and freshly showered, looking like he had been out jogging that morning. He is carrying several bags from the toy empire and a sports shop. Slipping the bags down, he pecks her on the cheek and smiles as he compliments her appearance.

 

An Engagement: at the Museum is a flash fiction works from Alison Little. She may develop the prose into a short story or potentially the opening of a novel in 2020.

Love of the Second Hand

Arabian Night

The book was beautifully bound, in impeccable condition and filled with the love of being read and enjoyed. Modern publishing of the classic ‘Arabian Nights’ I had the audio version, or what you used to call tapes when I had been a child. My brother and I had been passed them on from our cousin and we had played them repeatedly from our flat one speaker cassette player common of the period.

My favourite story had been ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ because my name was Ali and I thought the story was fantastic. Now there are numerous companies who produce personalised storybook for children, but in the eighties, it was something special. Arabian Nights have been reproduced by many different publishers but this copy was really something special.

My fingertips run over the arches of the front cover I can hear the low volume singing of a tune I had never heard before. I was in one of the larger charity shops at the top of Liverpool famed Smithdown Road. All the books are displayed in the window and I can’t seem to walk on by and not have a look inside. I turn to see where the singing was coming from, before me I can see a man, the vision of cool but in personality much more than appearance. However, not bad looking in saying that, ginger hair and a very contemporary matching ‘Tash’. He was shorter than me but very broad in contrast.

As I had turned around he had stopped singing:

‘No don’t stop!’

I insist,

‘Sorry, I didn’t realise I was singing out loud, I was working through the lyrics for the band’s new track.’

‘So you sing in a band then?’

I try not to sound so very impressed.

‘Yes, lead vocals, among other things, engineering work and single parent of two teenagers.’

Pausing for a second, I look at the copy of Steven Gerrard’s biography in his hand:

‘Is that for you?’

‘No its for my son, I am picking up some books for them for now, then I will start getting in some real Christmas presents later in the week.’

He continues to explain that he is trying to encourage his son to read, but always ensures he gets his daughter a book as well as she actually reads more of his books than he does in addition to her own.

I look around to suggest something good for a teenage girl, I spot a hardback called ‘Feminist don’t wear pink’,

‘This is good for teenage girls, it’s actually new out and fresh in Waterstone at to moment, I am surprised it’s second hand already.’

He picks up the book with an accomplished look on his face. As he flicks through he stops and reads aloud;

‘The first time I looked at my Vulva in the mirror………………………………………..I am not sure I am ready for this as a parent yet.’

I take the book off him and take a look inside, after reading a few headings;

‘Yes, it’s a bit too much isn’t it, is this what teenage girls are reading now?’

‘I think I’ll go for this one.’

He answers in haste with a copy of ‘I am Malala’ in his hand.

‘Good, that’s a much better choice, I’ve read that myself and it’s really good, her life in Pakistan and the build-up to her getting shot by the Taliban.’

Again, he looks enthused and smiles back at me:

‘I might read it after her myself.’

I smile back wistfully.

‘I think I best get the pink feminist book and keep in touch with the younger generation are thinking. I might only read it in small section though.’

We pay separately but leave together, stopping by the exit we smile at each other, as he leaves he utters:

‘See you again some time.’

‘Yes..’

As I walk toward Allerton, passing the Sali Army playing Christmas carols, my smile brims ear to ear and I chuckly silently to myself.

A-Z of Remarkable Men

rem men 011

A-Z of Remarkable Men is the latest print from Alison Little, she talks us through the men that made the Grade to feature on the delightful artwork.

Adam, the original Man. Created by God and the start of Mankind, we owe an awful lot to him.

Banksy the graffiti artist who has taken street art to new levels.

Charles Dickens, the legendary author of the Victoria era who gave us the likes of Scrooge, Oliver and Nancy.

My Dad, the men who bring us into the World, fed us, clothes us and never stop caring how we getting along.

Albert Einstein, the German born physicist who developed the theory of relativity.

Frank Bruno, Boxer and all round champion who brought the Nation together throughout the Eighties and Nineties.

George Best, Northern Ireland and Manchester United professional footballer.

Damien Hirst, original YBA (Young British Artist) and Turner Prize winner who projected London to the Capital of the Art world.

Isaac Newton, one of the most influential scientists of all time who developed the theory of gravity.

John Lennon, Founding member of the Beatles and the legend that followed.

Keats, leading figure in the second wave of Romantic poets.

Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Artist have gave us many great works including the Mona Lisa.

Matt Damon, Hollywood actor who shot into the limelight after the success of Good Will Hunting.

Nelson, Naval Commander who insured Britain ruled the waves during the Napoleonic wars, finally being killer by a sniper at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Oasis, the Gallagher lead band that was the Nineties, reminding us ‘Don’t look back in anger.’

Paul McCartney, founding member of the Beatles and the legend which still is Sir Paul.

Quentin Blake, Illustrator who brought Roald Dahl’s books to life with his colourful characters.

Wayne Rooney, Everton, Manchester United and England International professional footballer.

Scott of the Antarctic, Royal Navy Officer who lead the fateful expedition to the South Pole.

Tom Daley, double World Champion diver.

Usher, American Singer, Songwriter and Dancer.

Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who brought the South of France to life with renditions such as Starry Night.

Winston Churchill, the Wartime leader who lead us to victory in the Second World War.

OXlade Chamberlain, Arsenal, Liverpool and England International Professional footballer.

Yves Klein, French artist considered to be one of the most important figures in Post War European Art, most notable for his monotone works.

The mask of Zorro, Johnston McCulley’ character who escapes from prison to find his long lost daughter and avenge to death of his wife.

The prints are A4 in size, available framed or unframed from Arts Hub in Lark Lane, Liverpool.

Arts Hub

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pet Portrait Presents

golden for print

Delightfully hand embroidered pet portrait delivered in time for Christmas. An exciting new service offering hand embroideries renditions of your loving pet. Above we see the latest completed, a glorious long haired golden retriever, coating a joy to replicate, natural threads in golden glory.

Canines, felines, of the feathered and scaled varieties and equestrian for those of us who are better off……….stables and manor houses can be included in the background of the image. Christmas scenes can be incorporated, white fluffy things shrouded in snow, fish in tinsel lined tanks.

A unique service, from your own photographs, either provided digitally of using the snail-paced services of Royal Mail. The images are enhanced using the latest graphics software and cropped to the desired size, then printed directly onto canvas. The designs are then embroidered by hand, painstaking attention to detail is given, care in the application a primal concern.

Alison Little is one of the North-West’ most progressive textiles artists, exhibiting at leading arts venues in Liverpool and across the UK. She has her embroideries on sale directly to the public from Arts Hub on Lark Lane. Embroidery from photographs printed directly the canvas is a pioneering technique which she has evolved, unique to her practice. A is a Director and teaches embroidery for the newly formed Liverpool Independent Art School.

A £50 deal is on offer, a framed image of your prized pet:

Frame size 26x31cm

Embroidery size 14x9cm

(Approximately, some variation may be necessary)

Delivered directly to your door. Get in touch for inquiries in regards to larger sizes or specific requests.

For more detail:

little re-makes website