thirteenfridays: Portuguese Portents

Friday 13th October 2017 is the centenary of ‘The Miracle of the Sun‘ in Fatima, Portugal.  We took this as a sign to create a Portuguese style thirteenfridays meal with an added sun theme.

Sardines
13 Spooky Sardines – Simple and tasty with 13 lemon slices.

Sides
We served both starter and main course with a 13 ingredient salad of rocket, spinach, watercress, celery, fennel, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, sprouts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, capers, red pepper, and olives along with a side dish of 13 cornichons and more green olives.

Stewandpotato
Paranormal Punahou – A 13 ingredient Portuguese Bean stew (modified to be vegetarian) – red kidney beans, white kidney beans, stock, onion, carrots, potatoes, chopped tomatoes, macaroni, pasata, savoy cabbage, garlic, water and seasoning.   Served with 13 Batatas a Portuguesa (Portuguese fried potato).

Tarts

13 Petrifying Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts) – A must have Portuguese dessert!

Sweets
Evil Espresso Thirtinis & Scary Sunflower Seed Brittle – a little extra dessert to celebrate the sun theme!

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January 13th – Happy Birthday Bernard

Bernard

The Perceptor was invented by my Grandfather Bernard Jones.  My mother, Liz Whittaker, recollects –
“Bernard was an engineer, worked for Renold Chains as a Precision Chain Inspector until 1963 when he left to go into business opening the electrical shop VAX in Claremont Road. He had always invented things – horlicks mixer, hanging scales, designograph (the prototype idea that led to the spirograph), and once he had the shop he invented the Invertest, the electrical safety testing device that won him an award in the early 1970’s from the Inventor’s Society (Manchester ?) who had a regular stand annually at the Ideal Home exhibition where he showed his inventions every year.

Bernard Jones

His interest in arcane subjects grew in his later years. He’d always enjoyed number, maths problems stuff like that, and he noticed there were mathematical patterns in astrology, cartomancy and numerology (his own pet subject) that seemed to be consistent throughout and could be ‘pooled’ to give some kind of predictive possibility. The Perceptor was produced in small numbers and advertised in Exchange and Mart, that would probably have been around 1970/72 I imagine. There were a few newspaper articles about him back then and there was a particular journalist called Peter Everett who interviewed him more than once and was impressed by what he called ‘his giant brain’. That was around the time when Lily got into spiritualism and more or less persuaded him to go along with her. He was never really a spiritualist and if ever asked his religion he said he was a ‘Pythagorean’.”

Watch a documentary about ‘Bernard and the Phone.’ made for the first Absent but not Forgotten exhibition in 2010.

(from ABNF 2010)
Aspects of the exhibition are loosely based on some of my Grandfather’s research into EVP. As an electrical engineer and inventor he was convinced he could make a telephone that would communicate with ‘the other side’. Oddly enough, he, like me, had a barn full of semi-working and broken Hifi and TV – interesting that we both share a fascination with what might be found in the broken, silent or noisy portions of recorded media. Jacob Whittaker.

The interview was processed and edited to include the audio waveform and a sequence of images derived from frequency analyses of the silences within the audio.

“I remember as a kid, whenever we visited my grandparents, he (Bernard) would take great interest in whatever electronic game or gadget us kids were playing with that week… once taking apart a light up Yo-Yo, much to my annoyance, in order to see and explain how the motion was switching the light on…
…Im sure the technologies available now would have interested and excited his ‘Giant Brain’ “.

Fields

Screenshot 2015-11-29 12.58.51During the two weeks between Halloween and Friday 13 November 2015, Absent but not Forgotten explored making new work; experimenting with various ideas, current theories, locations and techniques.

We began a new series of video works, Fields; combining landscape images with digital ‘glitching’ techniques, on our English odyssey through the Oxfordshire countryside.

CCQ Magazine article

mantelpiece“…the paranormal can act as a test bed and a language of questioning and dissent…”

We are really pleased that CCQ Magazine have published an article about the Absent but not Forgotten project on their website. Written by Kirsten Hinks, who has seen the project develop from its first iteration at The Last Gallery in 2010, the article takes a really interesting view on the underlying themes of ABNF.

 

The Essay – The Further Realm

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We really enjoyed Radio 3’s The Essay in the week leading up to Halloween. Novelist, Andrew Martin shared his thoughts about ghosts and ghost stories in five 15 minute episodes called The Further Realm – his introduction was particularly pertinent for Absent but not Forgotten:

“Anyone who has the dubious pleasure of getting to know me is likely to be asked at some point ‘Have you ever seen a ghost?’. It is not something to be asked of doctrinaire empiricists and sometimes I miscalculate. I once pitched an idea for an article about an apparent haunting to an editor I thought I saw eye-to-eye with, ‘Sorry’ he replied, ‘we are a ghost free zone’. I should have guessed, because he’s also a humour free zone. I’ve never heard from him since. I suppose he assumes I believe in ghosts, which to his mind is like believing in fairies.

Do I believe in ghosts? I certainly believe in, that is to say I appreciate ghost stories whether avowedly fictional or purporting to be factual.

The ghost story writer M.R. James once said: ‘I am prepared to consider the evidence and accept it if it satisfies me’ and that goes for me too; and I enjoy considering the evidence.”

Andrew Martin – The Further Realm: Episode 1 – Radio 3 The Essay first broadcast Monday 26 October 2015