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Fluffy ! Shiny !

Out and about again on Saturday, this time to Stoke. The cat show was held in Fenton, just outside of Stoke itself. Steve and Helen bought themselves a sat nav for Xmas, so they've been experimenting with it. The voice is currently Daniel, and the poor fellow had rather a hard time. After picking me up, we turned left onto Northumberland Road, and from then on, Steve ignored Daniel's advice all the way to the M1. Poor Daniel kept repeating 'recalculating' whenever Steve took his own route, and the machine came quite close to sounding annoyed at times. He was suggesting we double back on ourselves at one point, and suggested an illegal right turn once. Once on the motorway, we gave him a break and followed his advice to reach the sports centre in Fenton.

Once there, Helen and I looked around the stall and admired some cats. We generally avoid the Persians, as neither of us like the flat faces of the modern Persian. We do look at the fluffies - Norwegians, Maine Coons, Somalis and Birmans. There were some very lovely cats there - some splendid semi-long haired silver tabbies, and a beautiful red-silver tabby.

When the show hall was cleared for judging, we went into Stoke proper, using both Daniel and a map I'd printed out the night before. We went to the Potteries Museum and Galleries, and started with breakfast. I was pleased to see Staffordshire Oatcakes on the menu, and had one with bacon and cheese. The first exhibition we went to see was the Spitfire, currently being restored. It was great to see one up close - they really are very elegant little planes.

From there, we went through to the Staffordshire Hoard That's the enormous find of Saxon gold and artifacts uncovered in 2009. There's not much on display here yet, thought they're planning to build a special exhibition space for it. Much of the gold still needs proper cleaning and conservation work. All the same, what it there, is spectacular. The detail of the work is breathtaking - it's very finely made and so, so beautiful. The artifacts are in glass cases, with magnifying glasses available so you can take a closer look.Over 5 kg of gold artifacts was uncovered - an unbelievable amount.  It's awesome and I@m looking forward to seeing more of it displayed.

After this, we went upstairs to see the ceramics. Unsurprisingly, Stoke has a lot of ceramics. There were some truly lovely objects there:

There were also some absolute stinkers. There seemed to be a craze at some point for pots shaped like vegetables. The cauliflower teapot is merely nasty.

The mutant cauliflower coffee pot is, frankly, rather scary.

There was also some splendidly hideous outdoor cermaics, clearly intended to deter criminals from entering your garden.

I think the cherubs have lost their knitting.

After this, we stopped back at the cat show to pick up Steve and headed for home. Well, we went by Daniel's route, which turned out to be on the scenic side (or would have been if not for the rain). We ended up circulating through the backways of Derbyshire, wondering where the hell he was sending us now. Once back in Sheffield, Helen continued to wind up Daniel by taking her own route back to mine, and forcing him to mutter 'recalculating' at regular intervals. Who knew that baiting the sat nav could be so much fun ?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
7th Feb, 2011 22:18 (UTC)
We got a satnav a couple of months ago and it recalculates immediately without saying so which is nice. It only got annoyed when I deliberately went down a one-way street to show Greg where the university wind-tunnel was. That was when we had a rather snippy Englishwoman. We now have a laid-back Aussie guy. None of them can say Maori street names though.
8th Feb, 2011 01:21 (UTC)
I've borrowed my mothers GPS for a few long trips, and my friend and I decided our favorite voice was Lee from Australia. At one point another friend was playing around with having it give us directions in Chinese, German, etc., which was amusing.

I think it would be entertaining to have a GPS voiced by John Cleese. When you ignored it, it could insult you, and act annoyed when you made it reacalculate. "Recalculating...*again*....".
8th Feb, 2011 06:52 (UTC)
Lee is the one we have! He sounds so much friendlier. I've considered setting it up with other languages I know just for practice but I suppose the vocab is pretty limited.

Ahahaha, yes! Apparently there's a move to have Brian Blessed do a shouty commentary, which is funny but would drive me (literally?) round the twist.
8th Feb, 2011 01:24 (UTC)
I actually have a teapot done to look like a turnip, which I find rather hideous, but which my father gave me because it was his mother's. It's hiding in my basement at the moment. Before I get rid of it, I suppose I should make sure it's not worth anything (though as frugal as my grandparents were, I'd be very surprised) and that none of my cousins want it.

Edited at 2011-02-08 01:26 (UTC)
8th Feb, 2011 08:18 (UTC)
I'm sure I've seen the first cauliflower teapot before somewhere, or one very much like it. Yet I've never been to Stoke.
8th Feb, 2011 11:34 (UTC)
There's bound to be other museums that have the things. Stoke alone had several.
8th Feb, 2011 10:19 (UTC)
The mutant plant china looks better if it hasn't been painted. I have a salad bowl in cream ware that is cabbage leaves shaped into a bowl. It has been handed down for a couple of generations at least and doesn't look too bad when filled with salad.
8th Feb, 2011 11:38 (UTC)
Bowls sculpted as leaves (or leaves sculpted as bowls) aren't so bad, and yes, I think would be nicer as creamware.

There were also teapots etc as some kind of yellow and green plant. I thought at first they were maize, and was a bit puzzled about whether maize was known in this country in that period. Then I found out they were meant to be pineapples, which were a fashionable luxury of the period.

Edited at 2011-02-08 11:38 (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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