Thursday, 23 August 2012


Ecce Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez

I love this true story that appeared in the news a few days ago!
Cecilia Gimenez, an 80 year old Spanish parishioner decided to give a deteriorating church fresco a little 'restoration' after convincing the priest and sacristan.

As a result Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) painted by Elias Garcia Martinez in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza more than 100 years ago was given a vigorous make-over.

The once classical Christ-like portrait is now said to resemble 'a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic' and has horrified and stunned Art historians throughout Spain.

After Restoration
What was she thinking?  Was she happy with the finished result?  Did she enjoy herself?  Her version is certainly Picasso-esque and would make a great submission for The Turner Prize.

I guess the moral of this story is: Don't over-estimate your abilities and secondly don't make-over things that you don't personally own.
To remedy the situation, the Sanctuary of Mercy Church have decided to cover the ruined pimped up fresco with a photographic reproduction of the original painting.

Saturday, 4 August 2012


This film looks visually spectacular!  Interesting premise too: A zoo keeper's son is shipwrecked with a Bengal tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan, adrift in the Pacific Ocean.  I haven't read the book that it is based on, so I can't tell you anything else.  The cinematography is stunning and caught my eye.  I'd like to see this when it is released. 

Life of Pi is due to be released in cinemas on the 21st December 2012.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


The Living Room was plastered last weekend and is now looking very sculptural and very much like a modern shrine to television viewing.   We modified the built-out recessed TV surround at the last minute to include two alcoves at either side for CD or DVD storage.  This makes better use of the dead space.  The inside edges of the recess were slightly bevelled as well, as this looked more visually pleasing.  Bookcases and cabinets will be built at either side of the chimney breast which should lessen the impact, and balance the overall effect.

It should look amazing once the plaster has dried and the paint starts going on.  The light colour (Dulux Natural Calico) should bring out the beauty of the angles.  The plasterers also did an excellent job on levelling out the ceiling.

In case you are wondering, the black thing wrapped in cling film at the centre is the bracket for the 42 inch TV.  It's going to be like have our own personal cinema!



While there is no medal to be won, July has been a month of Olympic effort to progress the house.   With the exception of the kitchen, every wall and ceiling has now been plastered.  Our plasterers, Dave and Rick were poached locally from a nearby construction site and have proved their weight in gold.  Over the course of a few evenings and a couple of weekends, they have left every surface that they’ve worked on flawless and levelled.   It really does make a difference with a 76 year old building giving it a total facelift.     

I’m immensely relieve this stage of the works are over. Plastering is extremely messy and I’m fed up with finding everything repeatedly coated in fine dust.  A big clean should hopefully take care of it.

Our next event will be running the roller ragged in an feat of painting everything. 

Living Room prep work

Staircase main wall: Plastered!


Bathroom Door - prep work

The bathroom door was converted into a sliding door to save space as it will no longer open out in the hallway.  Above the door will be a narrow window with glass blocks inset.


There is no escaping the Olympics at the moment.  Like the rest of the country we were graced by a token Olympic torch runner trotting past our street.  There wasn’t much chance of missing it, for at 8.45am on a Saturday 21st July morning the bells of St Barnabas Church started tolling at 08:00am and wouldn’t let up.   No chance of a lie in unless you were stone deaf.  In the end, curiosity got the better of us and we went along with the neighbours to lend some community cheer.