Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Meme: Fantastic Four

Fiona, The Cottage Smallholder, tagged me (again!) this time for my 'Fantastic Four' - five (shouldn't it be four?) areas of my life, four points for each. I've recently discovered that a meme (pronounced like theme) was a term coined by Richard Dawkins in his book 'The Selfish Gene' he says "Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leading from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation." So now you know.

I've come across some excellent blogs via the links in memes, so I'll swiftly whizz through the 20 fab facts and try to tag four bloggers (who can ignore my request or join in - it's a free world).

4 jobs I’ve had in my life (Having been freelance for most of my life I haven't really "changed" jobs for many years, but here goes)

1 Cambridge Examination Syndicate exam mark checker - the traditional holiday job for Cambridge students - improved my mental arithmatic no end and some of the exam papers were a good read!!!

2 Designer and Art Buyer for a major educational publisher - working on a joint project with the Australian branch of the company - endless meetings; long lunches with authors and editors; and reams of faxes mainly about the size of Fred Pig's bottom and changing speech bubble text from "Let me have a turn, please" (UK version) to "Give us a go, mate!" (Aus version). And sadly I didn't get a trip to Aus.

3 There is life after redundancy (I saw it coming and had always wanted to work freelance eventually). I shared a studio first in Harlow, Essex then in Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire. Work ranged from GCSE French text books to producing maps for a book about Malt Whisky. And sadly we didn't get a bottle to sample.

4 I now work in a studio joined to our house in a tiny village in the south-west corner of Suffolk, where I create digital illustrations for books and also work on my own linocut designs. I am also the editor (and page designer) for the monthly village magazine.

4 places I have lived

1 Willingham on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens. Most of my family have lived here for generatiions.

2 Brighton. I lived here as an art student, for the first year in a hall of residence right on the seafront, and then in the basement of a Georgian crescent shaped terrace - my room had been a chapel, and I used a lectern as a bed-side table!

3 Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire where I rented a room when I got my first job, then bought my first flat and then a little terraced cottage with a garden measuring 4 metres by 150 metres!

4 Enfield, North London. When we got engaged, the OH and I put our houses up for sale and planned to buy our dream house (hopefully with a walled garden). My cottage sold in two weeks. I lived in his house for 2 years! Five houses later we got the walled garden.

4 places I have been on holiday

1 Haviroz, Czechoslovakia (before it became the Czech Republic) - I was part of a "twin town" exchange trip and had to help back stage for a dance group - the highlight was a tour of the local coal mine on a working shift, we had to wear miner's clothes (even underwear) and were allowed to crawl right up to the coal face with the workers!

2 New Zealand - highlight was tramping in the Abel Tasman National Park and the stars at Haast.

3 Churchill on Hudson Bay, Canada - close encounters with polar bears!

4 Western Australia - we drove along the coast from Perth to Broome – highlight was watching a turtle lay her eggs on a beach near Exmouth.

4 of my favourite foods

1 Greengages - fresh from the tree, or in pies and crumbles, or jam in sponge cakes - just lots and lots!!!!

2 Asparagus - English asparagus when in season is the vegie highlight of the year.

3 Maple Syrup - I used to say I didn't like maple syrup, then I went to New England! Now winter mornings aren't the same without porridge and maple syrup!

4 Suffolk Black Cure bacon - this is bacon cured using the local beer and black treacle. Just One rasher chopped up transforms a pasta sauce or risotto into a gourmet dish!

4 places I would rather be right now

1 Gardening and listening to Radio 4 on my little pocket radio. I only use one earphone so I can hear the birds in the garden as well. I have been known to cut the earphone wire with the secateurs!

2 Walking on a North Norfolk beach and then having Cromer crab for lunch.

3 Sitting in front of a real fire with a cup of tea and a piece of fruit cake.

4 Working in my studio (and that's exactly what I will be doing when I finish typing this).

I have chosen these four great blogs to tag, in no order of preference,
A Wee Bit of Cooking
adekun's japan blog
Woodblock Dreams
Articles and Texticles


  1. Thanks! Will do this very soon. Tonight, in fact. :)

  2. Good post! I feel I know you a little better now! I look forward to seeing what your tagged blogger have to say!

  3. Thanks for doing this Celia.

    You have visited some amazing places.

    But the food answers did it for me. GREENGAGES. I love them too. They have to be English and are best plucked straight from a nearby tree.

    I don't have a tree but I know where to find them!

  4. Now I know what greengages are!No I used to come across the word in reading novels and always wondered what they were. Went off and looked for them on google. Ah, a sort of plum that seems to have originated in Suffolk!

    I'm with you on maple syrup! My favourite treat is Belgian waffles.

    You have led an interesting life, Celia. I loved hearing about your work and the places you've lived. I think you live in the most idyllic place now ... especially with the walled garden and hens and your own studio and your amazing talent.

  5. Wendy - thanks for taking part - and visiting my blog.

    Holler - I always feel embarrassed hastling bloggers for memes - but whether they take part or not their blogs are well worth visiting, full of interesting stuff.

    CS - Cliff's got a reputation for holidaying in strange places! When we met we wrote separate lists of places in the world we wanted to see - we've had some good adventures!

    Kate - greengages IMO the best tasting fruit in the world! But you have to get a good one - more to follow shortly on the blog!
    I came back from Vermont with a can of maple syrup - it said '17 servings' on the side! (lasted me all winter) tasted so good!
    One day I'll probably have to move from this place - not just yet.

  6. Hello,
    I got tagged by Adekum and I'm still trying to figure out how to do this. Your post helps!

    Do I just do a blog post about this on my site?


  7. Hi again.

    What are greenpages?

    Where did you visit in New England? I noticed you made mention of that and that you like maple syrup...me too...I live in New England...in Maine.

  8. Hi Meg
    I've emailed you about Memes
    More about greengages on the blog Aug 22nd

    We went to New England on the way home from Churchill. Drove from Boston intending to visit Maine - torrential rain at Rockport, radio said flooded roads ahead of us!! So headed west - Columbus Day weekend - all accommodation full except for the older motels! But in Vermont the sun came out and we found a lovely B&B to stay in for a night before we had to get back to Boston to go home. Maybe one day we really will get to see Maine.


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