Create an Account

Shopping cart


No products in the cart.

May 24, 2022
View: 459


Belize offers a good choice of yacht charter and this includes bareboat, luxury crewed, skippered yacht charter, monohull and catamaran charter and both sail and motor yacht charter. Belize is the only official English-speaking country in Central America.

Belize was a British colony for more than a century and was known as British Honduras until 1973. It became an independent nation in 1981. The Maya civilization spread over Belize between 1500 BC and AD 300 and flourished until about AD 900. European settlement began with British Jews, privateers and shipwrecked English seamen as early as 1638. The early settlement of Belize in the Bay of Honduras grew from Belize Town and St George’s Caye into a colony of the United Kingdom during the late eighteenth century. In the early nineteenth century the settlement was called British Honduras, and in 1871 it became a Crown Colony. British Honduras became a self-governing colony in January 1964 and was renamed Belize on June 1, 1973. Full independence came on 21st September 1981 after delays caused by territorial disputes with neighbouring Guatemala, which did not formally recognize the country.

A yacht charter in Belize enables you discover some of the most unspoiled islands of the Caribbean. The luminous turquoise waters of the Belize archipelago are made up of over 200 deserted tropical islands and coral atolls and boast some of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean. Belize has become a popular spot for yacht charters and diving vacations. Most yacht charter companies have catamaran fleets because the shallow draft will assure easy navigation.

The coast of Belize encompasses has an unlimited abundance of wildlife and sea life waiting to be discovered. Schools of tropical fish, Manatees, and coral gardens abound here making snorkelling and diving expeditions an exciting adventure. There are many archaeological and national parks along with marine reserves in Belize. Check with your yacht charter company for help in making plans for land expeditions to the Mayan ruins or the rainforest.

Belize International is the main airport and is only little more than two hours from 3 gateways in the United States. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye or Placencia are reachable by a 15 minute commuter plane with several connections a day. English is the official language and is widely spoken, as is Spanish. Other languages include Creole, German, Mayan and Garifuna. US Dollars are used and major credit cards may be accepted in hotels, restaurants and some shops.

The yacht charter season in Belize is restricted by the hurricane season to the months of November through to May. From mid-December to May the trade winds blow. Temperatures are always around 25º – 30º C.

Most people are very comfortable sailing the waters of Belize but it does come with some challenges. Navigation is relatively easy and by line of site. The most difficult part is learning how to read the shallow waters and recognize coral. It is imperative to keep a proper watch at all times. Bare boating outside the reef is prohibited. The outer reefs are not well charted or marked making for the danger of running aground. Once inside the atolls the shoal waters are full of coral rock formations that lie in so many areas and in such numbers that the charts simply do not give clear insight to their locations. Communication on VHF is also non-existent, with mobile phones the most reliable means of communication, search and rescue is not very reliable and all this combined makes bare boating outside the reef untenable. However with so much to see within the barrier reef venturing beyond is not necessary.

Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and the most commercially developed. Ambergris Caye has been the hub of maritime trade in Belize for hundreds of years. In the last twenty to thirty years the incredible surroundings of Ambergris Caye has led to a large growth in both the Belize dive and scuba trade, yacht charters and ecotourism.

The main town of San Pedro still maintains itself as a quaint fishing village although here one will find a lively nightlife. San Pedro only has a few streets with interesting shops, a few homes, and several restaurants and bars. The airstrip is also located here, so getting to your charter yacht is literally a stone’s throw away. The island is home to tropical savannahs, sparkling white beaches and mangrove forests. It has become the most popular tourist destination in Belize.

The amazing coral reef system lies half a mile east of the shoreline and runs the entire length of the island. It is the second largest barrier reef in the world and has made the town of San Pedro the dive and water sports capital of Belize and Central America. It is easy for snorkellers to discover hundreds of species of fish right off the beach. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the transparent waters of Ambergris Caye are a paradise for divers, snorkellers, bird watchers and fisherman alike.

Begin your yacht charter in Placencia and you can explore the southern half of Belize. Placencia is known for its lovely white sandy beaches and beautiful mangroves. The main street is a three-mile stretch of sidewalk in which there are a few local services, including a laundry service and small grocery. However if you are planning to leave on your yacht charter from Placencia, it is a wise idea to have provisions planned in advance with your yacht charter company. The grocery store is not equipped to handle the needs of a charter boat. In most cases the provisions that you order are flown in from Belize City. This is not an active spot for nightlife and restaurant dinners. This is paradise on earth, very tranquil and serene. Many sailing connoisseurs have compared their experience of Placencia to memories reminiscent of the BVI 30 years ago before it was developed. Placencia is also the gateway for a land-based tour of the many cascading waterfalls and the archaeological ruins of the Mayan culture.

If sailing south from San Pedro or north from Placencia there are numerous beaches that provide great yacht anchorages. There are hundreds of cayes to explore with clear waters and white sandy beaches. Some are deserted while others have amenities for tourists. Those places that are undeveloped will offer complete solitude to those looking to get away from civilization on their yacht charter. Whilst there are too many to mention them all individually here are a few highlights to give you an idea of what awaits you on your yacht charter in Belize.

Caye Caulker is a four mile long island is divided in two and lies just about a mile east of Belize’s Barrier Reef. This is a quiet town with friendly people and some nice restaurants. The most popular dive destination is Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. A boat must be hired to visit and it is approximately 30 minutes north of Caye Caulker. With so much to see at various depths, all levels of snorkellers and divers can be accommodated here.

Caye Chapel is the island that is home to the rich and famous and boasts a new state of the art marina and championship golf course. It was developed for those searching seclusion. This is the most exclusive island in Belize where every amenity is available. The marina welcomes yachts up to 45 metres in length. Once here there are many picturesque beaches and exotic wildlife to discover as well as the natural beauty the island views has to offer.

St George’s Caye is located south of Caye Caulker, this island is one half mile from the barrier reef. St. George’s Caye is quiet and serene and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Very few services are offered here with just a restaurant, hotel and a bar. The diving is incredible with visitors sighting many dolphins just before descending down the caye’s wall.

Goff’s Caye is a tiny island on the reef just north of the main channel, English Channel. It has good snorkelling and a beautiful beach.

English Caye has a lighthouse that marks the south side of English Channel. This island offers superb snorkelling 1000 feet south on a huge coral patch.

Rendezvous Caye is a jewel of an island also located right on the reef. Another beautiful beach with excellent snorkelling all around, this is also a good location for scuba diving on the 60 foot outside wall. It is not however a safe overnight yacht anchorage with its coral all around but a ‘must see’ day stop.

Bluefield Range provides a safe yacht anchorage and the two fish camps usually offer a choice of fresh seafood for dinner.

Colson Cayes is another safe anchorage with several fish camps. The Cayes offer a shallow lagoon to explore by dinghy with plenty of coral nearby for snorkelling.

Tobacco Caye is a fine overnight anchorage, unless in a northerly wind. There are several choices for basic meals and a few bars on the island. There’s a dive shop for those who enjoy scuba diving and plenty of good snorkelling.

Laughing Bird Caye is just 11 miles from the coast of Placencia; the caye is located within a “faro”, an atoll on a continental shelf. It is steep sided and encloses a central lagoon. The attraction is the diverse variety of coral reefs. Because of the large amount of visitors steps have been taken to ensure the reefs and lagoon will be protected. There are mooring buoys and channel markers in place to protect the fragile ecosystem.

South Water Caye is about 25 miles from Placencia. South Water Caye is a reserve protected by the World Heritage Organization. Like the other marine reserves in Belize it has an amazing array of underwater life and palm trees that line the waters edge. The clear blue waters of South Water Caye give way to white sandy beaches.

Sapodilla Cayes is another marine reserve that sits in the most southern portion of Belize’s barrier reef. It is comprised of 14 mangrove and coral islands with unspoiled white sandy beaches. The waters are very shallow with some areas being less then 5 metres. On Huntington Caye you will discover the lighthouse and a Belize Guard Station. The beaches here are the nesting grounds for turtles. Lime Caye is often the most crowded with tourist boats arriving from Punta Gorda. The best place to anchor the yacht and spend the night is either Nicholas or Frank’s Caye. The incredible reef system with an abundance of colourful fish species will provide for a great snorkelling experience, even for beginners. Because Sapodilla is off the beaten path it is not over run by tourists and remains a magnificent and pristine group of islands that have very little in the way of amenities.

Just 25 short miles south of the Sapodilla Cayes lies the port of Livingston on the Rio Dulce of Guatemala where you are required to check in and out of Guatemala. A local restaurant provides a great stop along the way where they’ll pull your choice of fresh fish out of the live trap at the dock.

Outside the Barrier Reef there are some well-known dive sites that are popular. Since bareboat yacht charters are not permitted to venture outside the reef, it is in your best interest to hire a local dive company if you wish to go there. If your yacht charter is crewed, then have the skipper contact the local dive company to make arrangements for a meeting place in order to explore with an experienced dive master.

Glover’s Reef Marine is located 36 miles off the shore of Belize. It is a group of islands encircled within a turquoise lagoon and surrounded by a coral reef that has one of the richest tropical marine environments called Glover’s Reef Atoll. All six sand cayes within the atoll are privately owned. The diving is legendary and cannot compare with any other place in the world. There are over 80 square miles for snorkellers and divers to explore with an incredible variety of fish. The southern part of the atoll is a conservation area that is used for research and recreational activities. Visitors are forbidden from taking anything from the area. Dive boats require a license to be there and divers must register with the reserve manager. There is a resort located here as well but amenities for boaters are limited.

Lighthouse Reef Atoll is the farthest atoll from the coast of Belize. There is one charming colonial style beachfront resort located on the island and the primary focus of activities is diving and relaxing on the beach. The famous “Blue Hole” is actually located in the centre of the Lighthouse reef lagoon. The 400 foot deep hole is perhaps one of the most amazing underwater experiences in the western hemisphere. Some of the best wall diving exists here and many consider it the greatest dive site in Belize. Coral surrounds the entire 75 square miles of Blue Hole. Visibility is an amazing 100 feet in clear turquoise waters that are calm with no currents running. If considering a dive here hire a local dive master to meet your boat and take you there. He will have the expertise necessary for a safe diving experience.


Source by Ken Jones

May 6, 2022
View: 422


“No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance,” So said Sir Ian McKellen earlier in 2016, querying the political inclusiveness of the Academy Awards. “My speech has been in two jackets… ‘I’m proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar.’ I’ve had to put it back in my pocket twice.” Both of these performances, the first in ‘Gods and Monsters’ (1998) and ‘The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring’ (2002) were certainly Oscar worthy, and both proved to be finer performances than either of the winners of the respective years. Though McKellen may have been bereft of an Oscar, his filmography would be enough to please any actor.

Though he has amassed an impressive amount of credits, he had made few film appearances prior to his turn as John Profumo in 1989, which he made aged fifty. Previously, his attention was held in the theatre, for services of which he was knighted for in 1991. Selected credits included Salieri in ‘Amadeus’, the titular doctor in ‘ Dr.Faustus’ and his extraordinary Max in ‘Bent’. Years spent working for the Royal Shakespeare Company during the seventies would serve him well as an actor, working well in his stead later in his life as a film actor.

With a beautiful baritone voice and verbosity few Oxford professors possess, McKellen has proven to be to a worthy character actor, the apple of directors Peter Jackson and Bryan Singer’s eyes. It was, however, his work with Bill Condon that would prove his worthiest collaborator film, the two films they made two of the strongest performances McKellen has given in any medium, his first McKellen’s breakthrough role in Hollywood, the second one of the finest performances any performer has given in their late seventies. Other film parts McKellen has played are magical savants, clerical bigots, tormented convicts and persecuted addicts.

10: Six Degrees Of Separation (1993,Fred Schepisi): “I’m going to buy a copy of ‘Catcher In The Rhye’, at the airport, and read it” echoes Geoffrey Miller in his light South African accent. Talking to Will Smith’s Paul, McKellen throws the line away, both flippant and assured, hints of racial insecurity and pride there in his voice. Pirouetting the room as Smith delivers a monologue echoing the voice of Holden Caulfield, Miller acts vaguely suspiciously of the guest both Ouisa Kittredge (Stockard Channing) and Flan Kittredge (Donald Sutherland) welcome with open arms.

As befitting a White stereotype from South Africa in the mid-nineties (Nelson Mandela’s release had only been three years prior), Miller paints himself as a liberal, though is privy to mild racist remarks. Asked why he stays in South Africa, Miller responds” One has to stay there. To educate the black workers. And we’ll know we’ve been successful when they kill us. ” McKellen leaves it up to the audience to decide whether this remark is meant seriously or with tongue firmly placed in cheek. Perennially smirking as Paul Poitier (the self-proclaimed son of Sidney Poitier) attempts to con his hosts. Whether knowing or not, McKellen plays Miller as a parvenu, uncomfortable around the sound of blood, more concerned with wine than a person’s ailments.

McKellen cleverly allows Sutherland and Channing take most of the thunder, adding small gestures to the side of their performances, allowing audiences to interpret as they choose the thoughts and motivations of his character. A strong supporting role.

9: X-Men (2000, Bryan Singer): There was a time when comic book movies weren´t the hot property they are now. Nowadays golden treasures Martin Sheen, Jeremy Irons, Helen Hunt, Amy Adams and Glenn Close pop in and out of the comic book world and nobody blinks an eye-lid. And Ian McKellen is largely to thank for that. Even more so than Patrick Stewart (Stewart already had a foot in the mainstream, thanks to Star Trek), a Shakespearian actor of his calibre brought credence to the world of comic book movies, a mere three years after George Clooney visibly embarrassed himself with his Bat credit-card.

“I’ve always felt that ‘X-Men’ was about something serious. It wasn’t just fantasy.” he told reporters. Director Bryan Singer, promoting his third film ´X-Men: Days of Future Past´ told The Los Angeles Times Mckellen responded well to “the allegory of the mutants as outsiders, disenfranchised and alone and coming to all of that at puberty when their difference manifests. Ian is an activist and he really responded to the potential of that allegory.” Both director and star were openly gay men and related to the persecution of said mutants in their personal lives, as well as the obvious recognition that Magneto (nee Erik Lehnsherr) survived an ordeal at a concentration camp. True, Michael Fassbender and Matthew Vaughn went further with this psychological probing a decade later, but the ground steps were laid by McKellen and Singer, without whom the comic book world would not be the property it is today.

Capable to manipulate and control metallic objects, Magneto proved a strong character to play. “Why do none of you understand what I’m trying to do? Those people down there- they control our fate and the fate of every other mutant! Well, soon our fate will be theirs. “He screams at Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). It´s diabolical, but his point is justified. Unlike other Marvel villains, greed isn´t what motivates Magneto, injustice and retribution are. McKellen´s first entry into the public consciousness of pop culture, he would play Magneto in four successive films, his successor Michael Fassbender modelling his accent on a tutorial McKellen gave on ´Macbeth ‘in 1979.

8: Jack and Sarah (Tim Sullivan, 1995): Playing a recovering alcoholic is a must for any actor worth their salt. Nicholas Cage and James Coburn took home statuettes for their alcoholic turns, Peter O ‘Toole was rarely better than his inebriated turn in ‘My Favourite Year’, Daniel Craig has spent more time battling vodka than villains as James Bond! McKellen’s William is an altruistic helper, crippled by a former life of excessive drinking, but once sober, proves more capable of paternal instinct than Richard E.Grant’s Jack.

McKellen plays for broad laughs as he carries the newly born child high in the air, much to the shock of the baby’s grandmothers (played by Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins). But his sincerity is there, and once brought to attention, he gains the family’s trust.

McKellen brings s touch of tragedy to the proceedings, woken on the staircase, whiskey perennially laced into his drinks. Unnaturally thin, McKellen’s boney appearance makes him an undesirable babysitter. But his courtship with the equally flawed Jack allows audiences to placate their differences and warm to a generous hearted man, fuller with love than booze.

Under seen and underrated (Grant was perhaps too atypical looking to take off as a romantic heart throb in the manner of Hugh Grant), it has a warm heart attached to the film. McKellen recounted in 2000″ Jack and Sarah hasn’t enjoyed the same success as other English middle-class comedies shot in Notting Hill, but it was fun to be living at home in London and on a local location with so many talented old friends.”

7: Cold Comfort Farm (1995, John Schlesinger): There are few men as ferocious as Ian Paisley, but McKellen’s Amos Starkadder could bring the fury of God down on any man worthy of sin. ‘There’s no butter in hell’ he screams at a congregation of rural workers, evoking an afterlife so terrible, a life so miserable. “Amos Starkadder, the hell-fire preacher to his congregation of “Quiverers”, is a parody of the non-conformist preachers I remember from my childhood.”McKellen later reflected. “One of his attention-grabbing tricks was suddenly to stop the flow of his sermon and, gesturing to the back wall of the church, gasp: “I can see the children of Israel!” The congregation’s heads would turn round to follow his pointing finger. Amos would have admired that. “

Eccentric to the extreme, Starkadder bellows with provincial syllables, the fear of God by his side. One of McKellen’s more obviously comic performances, Starkadder is complete with putrid yellow teeth. Hair shaken, voice over his parishioners, McKellen’s parody is pitch perfect. “The quivering worshippers were played by local extras and Schlesinger wanted to shoot on their upturned faces early in the day, before boredom might set in.” McKellen remembered. ” Before I had finished, the extras were released and the sermon was preached to the few loyal professionals who stayed behind to give me the eyelines. Fortunately my voice took on a new strength and the resulting scene even makes me laugh.”

He’s not the only one. Arguably the funniest scene in the film (and the starry cast includes raconteurs Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margoyles and Stephen Fry), McKellen’s sermon wickedly comic. Laughter has rarely been this sinful!

6: Apt Pupil (1998, Bryan Singer): Bryan Singer, talking to The Hollywood Reporter spoke of his interest in McKellen “With Ian McKellen, we were actually introduced by a mutual friend early on. I had a list of a number of the sort of obvious older, European actors… I wanted, like with Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects, to have this character played by someone who wasn’t as familiar to mainstream audiences, which Kevin wasn’t at the time.” McKellen’s nationality was another contributing factor: “I also thought that Ian brought a degree of British charm and flamboyance to this otherwise stoic German character. ” The two collaborated well and made three X-Men films together following their Stephen King adaptation.

Situated as a Nazi War criminal, McKellen’s Kurt Dussander is both vindictive and repentive. One senses that he feels the crimes he has committed, but know he has a darker side to him waiting to burn out from the edges. McKellen plays well off Brad Renfro’s Todd Rowden, a child with a harrowing obsession with Dussander’s past. McKellen wrote a tribute to Renfro on his website following Renfro’s untimely death in 2008.

Dussander is tenacious and retaliatory; a Nazi uniform is merely a uniform, Dussander is a menace in his own right. Threatening the child with exclamation “To the whole world, I am a monster. And you have known about me all this time. If I’m caught, when those reporters stick their microphones in my face it will be your name that I will repeat over and over again. Todd Bowden, Todd Bowden… “one senses Dussander is only a foot away from enacting a vengeance far nastier than any bullet could paint.

McKellen succeeds as the ageing terror, both frightful and plaintive. Merely fifty seven at the time of filming, McKellen is markedly convincing as a man encompassed by his seventies.

5: Scandal (1989): By McKellen’s own admission, he was never the first choice for a romantic lead. Too effete to be a sex symbol, too verbose to evoke mystery, simply too plain looking to radiate a sex appeal fellow thesp Anthony Hopkins radiated. Therefore, it is a great surprise to watch him play the part of lover as John Profumo, the balding middle-aged subject of Christine Keeler’s (Joanne Whaley) affection. The film proved a scapegoat for McKellen: admitting to The Hollywood Reporter, the part of a heterosexual lover seemed appealing: “The assumption is when you’ve come out that you’ll never be able to play anything but gay characters again. So, I thought that was a nice message to the world that a gay actor could play a straight man.”

True, much of the film is open to speculation (the real life Profumo Affair is shrouded by hushes and whispers, as befitting a member of the Conservative Party), though the consequences may have been the trigger behind his resignation in 1963. McKellen is perfectly cast as Profumo, much as the Secretary of the State of War would be the last person to suspect eliciting an affair with a nineteen year old model, so McKellen plays the ordinarity and mundanity devoid of suspicion.

“I have nothing to hide” he insists to Stephen Ward (John Hurt), an affectation that makes it hard to disagree with his feity. McKellen’s eyebrows leers over Keeler’s like a child longing for a sweet, an insatiable, carnal desire of inner indulgence. McKellen’s regal aristocratic nature works for the film’s benefit, the sixties in his grasp, his party on his back. The Pet Shop Boys (real life nineteen eighties friends of McKellen’s) wrote the film’s title track ‘Nothing Has Been Proved’, perhaps a returning gesture after McKellen guest appeared in their 1987 video ‘Heart’.

4: The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (2001, Peter Jackson): Arguably McKellen´s most fondly remembered character, McKellen´s performance won him the applause of every critic in town, both as Gandalf The Grey and Gandalf The White. While Tolkien is universally adored these days, it, frankly, wasn´t always thus. Unless you were Robert Plant, admiring Tolkien simply wasn´t cool before 2001 and few fantasy films of recent decades had shown any worth, both ´The Never-ending Story ‘and ´Highlander´ suffering from appalling sequels and overindulgent exercises. Hence, McKellen, with his lack of Hollywood pizazz, was not New Line Cinema´s first choice for the role and pushed Peter Jackson away from McKellen to Sean Connery. Connery declined, as did Christopher Plummer, and Jackson reinstated his original choice in the film. And the result could not be any better.

As sweet as it would have been to hear Connery´s Scottish soliloquies, McKellen masters the role, the pose, the stance, the joviality, the intrigue, the esoteric nature of the series. As wretched as The Hobbit prequels were, nobody complained while McKellen was onscreen.

Although he played Gandalf six times, his debut remains his most memorable, a fiery speech opening the audience´s ears to the perils of Mordor, a fiery fall by the hands of the Balrog. He plays it serene and stoic, but battle heavy and world weary also. It´s his best performance as Gandalf. Don´t believe me? Then believe the Academy; they nominated him for supporting actor.

Best known for one perennially iconic line, McKellen re-used it a decade later visiting students at Oxford University in 2014. “‘If you don’t work hard, if you don’t do your revision, you know what will happen,” he asked, before holding himself with an imaginary staff. “You shall not pass´. Reading Fantasy provides long supporting advice.

3: Mr. Holmes (2015, Bill Condon): Sherlock’s indubitably very much in vogue at present. Robert Downey Jr took time away from his Iron Man paraphernalia to chase vagabonds throughout an opera house, Benedict Cumberbatch (literally) brought the old detective into the twenty first century, Johnny Lee Miller brought a heroin lock into Sherlock, Hugh Laurie’s House tipped his hat at the detective, David Mitchell wore an overtly large hat as the sleuth: all in their own way sharing a debt to Basil Rathbone.. Even with McKellen’s worthy credentials, originality would prove difficult Perfect then that Bill Condon allows McKellen to portray an ageing, reflective Holmes, harrowed by time, incarcerated by his memories. McKellen allows his younger contemporaries away with their showier portrayals, yet by doing so, he comes up with the most original and interesting Holmes since Rathbone pipe smoked his way through mysteries.

“I’ve decided to write the story down; as it was, not as John made it. Get it right, before I die.” he dictates to his younger companion Roger, irate his endeavours were altered by John Watson from fact to fiction. Fully aware that the life of a sleuth is not the subject of Hollywood films, he jokes “When you’re a detective, and a man comes to see you, it’s usually about his wife.”

McKellen, although nearly two decades younger than his character, brings a world weary sadness only age provides. One senses this is a man who has seen it all, lived it all, gave it all and felt it all. It’s there in McKellen’s desolate eyes, it’s there in the shake of his voice. McKellen and Condon prove a fine pair, the second of three collaborations the two would embark on (their third will be Disney’s live version of ‘Beauty and The Beast’ starring Emma Watson’). An excellent second collaboration, it had a similar quality to it as their first film, one which will be discussed dutifully

2: Richard III (1995, Richard Loncraine): Ian McKellen cut his teeth with the Royal Shakespeare Company, finessing his Macbeth’s, salivating his Juliet. His Richard III is magnificent, a superb re-imaging of Shakespeare’s great play, replacing the regal castles with Reichian symbols and nineteen thirties Nazi gear. Lauded when staged for the Royal National Theatre, McKellen and director Richard Loncraine re-adapted it for the big screen (both received writing credits for their work alongside the bard).

McKellen’s presence is steelier than the bullets that fire throughout the film’s finale, steamier than the fires that burn throughout. Eschewing the traditional image of Richard as physically immobilised, McKellen’s Richard stands above all his men, each an ant he can stamp on at any point, each a little person in his grand plan. Utilising the trick Kevin Spacey would later adopt for Frank Underwood, McKellen speaks to the camera, each aware of his nefarious plans. “Now is the winter of my discontent” he tells to a jovial audience as the film opens, a side glance to the camera with “That dogs bark at me as I halt by them” suggests all is not well in the state of his mind. Prone to nervous laughter, prone to violent tirades, no one is ever sure what Richard will do next.

McKellen is excellent, his involvement behind the scenes as both co-writer and uncredited producer works to make this the finest Shakespearian film adaptation of the last twenty five years. Talking to the BFI Southbank London in 2016, McKellen reflected ” “Neither of us [[Loncraine and McKellen]] made a penny from it, we gave all our salaries to make it and I’m very proud of it.” Dispute not with that: that would be lunacy!

1: Gods and Monsters (1998, Bill Condon): Talking in a correspondence, McKellen claimed that “Gods and Monsters was one of the most enjoyable films I have been involved with — partly because of the crew and cast whom Bill Condon (director and Oscar-winning screenplay writer) gathered together but also because of the subject matter. I knew nothing about James Whale until I started reading about him for the film and meeting some of his old friends. I admire his talent and his achievements as a film director and his honesty in being openly gay in the Hollywood of the 1950s when honesty of that sort was not thought to be the best policy.”

Bringing the role forth from a very personal place in his heart, McKellen gives every ounce of his soul into the performance as James Whale. Whether he’s himself or Whale or a combination of both is irrelevant, it is his honesty that matters most and what translates best onto the screen. Few actors have given such an honest performance in their lives; McKellen does.

An ageing man, ever infatuated with his youthful gardener (Brendan Fraser), McKellen brings a certain impassive dignity into the proceedings. Witty to the outside world (he recounts that his gardener has “never met a princess before, only queens” to Princess Margaret), but tortured within his confiding’s (“Hatred was the only thing that kept my soul alive. And amongst the men I hated… was my dear old dumb father, who put me in that hell in the first place.”), Whale is a chameleon, much as McKellen is. Perhaps McKellen’s most personal film role, McKellen brings Whale alive in a way that even the infamous director never brought Frankenstein’s Monster alive. Yes, that’s as Meta as it gets!

McKellen was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal, losing to Roberto Benigni, a greater disservice than McKellen’s loss to Jim Broadbent in 2002. But where statuettes come and go, celluloid remains implanted. James Whale will be forever eulogised and commemorated for McKellen’s work, as Whale’s life inspired McKellen to play him effectively. For once, art and life met centre of the proceedings; surely that’s better than any Oscar could ever be?


Source by Eoghan M Lyng

April 18, 2022
View: 448


The Hope/Clark Fork area stretches along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille from the Pack River to the mouth of the Clark Fork River, the major waterways that feed mighty Pend Oreille. Lake Pend Oreille is one of the West’s largest freshwater bodies of water with several islands near the Clark Fork estuary, including the islands off Hope and the Hope Peninsula, Warren, Cottage, Pearl, Eagle, and Memaloose Islands, as well as the Islands at the end of the Clark Fork River, called the Clark Fork Flats, which includes Derr Island. There are three major peninsulas that thrust into the lake: Sunnyside, the Hope Peninsula, and Sagle. Sagle is actually more like an area the lake wraps around, but nonetheless is a major abutting feature of Lake Pend Oreille.

It is important to note that the histories of the two communities are closely tied to one and other. They have a shared past of railroads, mining, and logging, and sportsman activities. More recently, both Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River have been a draw for tourists seeking the mountain/lake lifestyle. In recent years the area has attracted national public attention, being featured on several broadcasts, in articles, and by developers. The most famous golf course in this part of North Idaho, Hidden Lakes, was purchased by Jack Nicklaus, and is slated to open in 2009 as the Idaho Club. However, with the federal and state owning over 70% of the land, growth has been measured.

Glacial Floods and Lake Pend Oreille

The most prominent feature of Hope and Clark Fork, Idaho is Lake Pend Oreille. With 111 mile of coastline and 148 square miles, it is one of North America’s prominent lakes, and the nation’s fifth deepest. Formed by cataclysmic floods when the mile high Ice Age ice dam broke time after time, the features of the land and lakes of Bonner County and Western Montana all the way to the coast in Oregon were formed by these monumental floods. Just one of these deluges was ten times the combined volume of all the rivers on earth, with walls of water moving at super highway speeds. To learn more about the Ice Age Floods visit Ice Age Floods Institute.org

Centuries before white man discovered the region, the Kalispell and other Indian tribes, such as the Flatheads, inhabited North Idaho. Visit North Idaho History The first white men to trade in North Idaho were the intrepid adventurers “Big Finan” McDonald and explorer and “land geographer” David Thompson, who established the first permanent wooden structure in 1809 on the Hope Peninsula, taking advantage of Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River. This trading post, Kullyspell House, is still standing as a stone building on the shores of the lake. Kullyspell House still stands on the Peninsula, Idaho’s most historic home. It sits at the end of Kullyspell Road. As you turn right on David Thompson Road, you will pass several white houses on the left. This grouping of summer homes is the family retreat of the Kienholz family. Ed Kienholz is easily one of our nation’s most famous artists.

The first true transportation the region enjoyed were the steamboats of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, which brought its first engine and hardware from Portland, building the 108-foot Mary Moody in 1866.

As the railroads came into the area, Northern Pacific Railroad built the 150-foot Henry Villard in 1883 to supply the men laying the rails. Steamboats continued to be an integral part of transportation around Lake Pend Oreille until the 1930s. Later in the era, steamboats became popular excursions, much as Pend Oreille Cruises is today, and dignitaries staying at Hotel Hope and other resorts would spend days on the water.

In 1864 Congress granted the Northern Pacific Railroad a charter to build a line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound on a route north of the 45 parallel. In 1872, the Clark Fork Pend Oreille route was chosen. With the railroad came the people who established the towns of Clark Fork and Hope.

Railroads came to prominence in the 1880s, as local construction began on the northern transcontinental line in 1881. Trestle Creek, at more than a mile long, became the line’s longest structure. It was at this time that Hope became the center of railroad activities and the largest city in the county. Along with Chinese Coolies, over 4,000 rough and ready railroad workers lived in a tent city along the Clark Fork River. Railroads brought people, and the lumber industry, which began to service the rails and trains, became the stalwart of the North Idaho economy for the next 100 years.

History of Hope, Idaho

At first Hope was just a stopping point along the railroad, but in 1890, the Northern Pacific moved its division point west from Montana to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Hope was incorporated on July 17, 1891. East Hope was incorporated on June 28th 1902. Hope was a busy port in its early days. Steamboats crossed the lake carrying supplies and mail to mining sites around the shore before roads were built. The boats were used to carry supplies up the Clark Fork River to Cabinet Gorge while the railroad was being constructed. The lake had long supported a fishing fleet, bringing in tons of fish every day. The populations were decimated by the introduction of tiny krill. The Federal government added these small shrimp in an attempt to increase fish populations; the experiment had the opposite effect. Recent years have seen a small recovery in fish populations, and now Hope is the center of some fine sports fishing.

Hope began to grow in 1882 when the Northern Pacific came through and in 1900 set its Rock Mountain division point in the hillside village. Incorporated in 1903, the village was named in honor of the veterinarian who tended the construction horses. A wise and kindly man, Dr. Hope was widely respected. Hope was the largest town in the area during the 1880s, achieving prominence as the Rocky Mountain division point on the Northern Pacific line. Engines turned around in the large roundhouse, and the railroad built shops, offices, and a “beanery” there.

The Hotel Jeannot, now known as Hotel Hope, was able to capitalize on this business with its location right above the depot, and with its tunnels providing easy access for passengers to the hotel. Many say that the tunnels were used to entertain the Chinese “coolees,” working on the railroads, who were normally not allowed in the establishments that served the locals and travelers.

In contrast to Hope’s early boom, Sandpoint grew slowly following completion of the railroad. An 1883 visitor found only 300 people in town, and nine years later another traveler reported that “Sandpoint is made up of between three and four dozen rude shacks and perhaps a dozen tents.” The town experienced tremendous growth, however, following the turn of the century.

When the division point moved to Sandpoint, Hope began to decline. Hotel Hope continued to draw people until the 1960s, partly because the picturesque setting of the town beside Lake Pend Oreille attracted many tourists. Some of them prominent: J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Gary Cooper, and Bing Crosby.

The original Hotel Jeannot (Hotel Hope) was a wooden structure which burned down in about 1886. It was then that Joseph M. Jeannot started on his fireproof commercial building, which he shared with his brother Louis. He constructed one section at a time, and added on over the years, finally completing the three-bay, two story hotel in 1898. The rectangular building has two full stories above two separate basement sections. The facade is divided into three approximately equal bays which vary in design and building materials indicating that the hotel was built in sections over a period of years. This theory collaborated by the analysis of the structure during restoration as well as through oral accounts. The first section to be built was the first story of the east bay with its walls of rock-faced random-coursed granite ashlar with beaded joints. Next came the first story of the center bay with its lower facade walls of poured concrete. Following this, or possibly built at the same time, was the red brick second story over the center and east bays. The west bay was the last to be built, either all at once or in two stages. The first floor is of poured concrete with the second floor of red brick.

Various businesses have occupied the building over the years including a saloon, a restaurant, a general store, a meat market, and even a post office. The vaulted meat cooler adjoining the west basement was probably built when Louis ran his general store and meat market in the period from 1895 to 1897. Hotel Hope still stands as a testament to the times.

J. M. Jeannot’s hotel and saloon were not his only business interests. He was also involved in mining and had several claims across Lake Pend Oreille in the area of Green Monarch Mountain. Hope had a large Chinese population which had arrived with the railroad, and Jeannot supposedly took advantage of this source of cheap labor for his mines. According to one of Jeannot’s friends, he allowed these men to use the meat cooler under the hotel as a clubhouse. They gained access to this room through the small tunnel which connected it to the railroad depot, thus bypassing the more obvious entrances. This vault in the hotel is one of the few sites left in Hope which may be connected with the large number of Chinese who used to live in the town.

Jeannot’s mining operations as well as his losses at gambling led to his unstable financial condition which may have been one reason the hotel took ten to twelve years to complete. According to one source, the construction was held up for more than a year when Jeannot lost all of his money in a bet on William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Uncertain finances continued to plague Jeannot and he mortgaged and remortgaged the hotel over the years between 1907 and 1918, eventually losing the building in 1918. A friend paid off the debt in 1920, and ran the hotel until her death in 1968.

Today the era of lumber and trains has been supplanted by tourism and manufacturing in Bonner County, and Hope and Clark Fork have become known as an artist colony. This is in great part due to Ed Kienholz.

Born in 1927 at Fairfield, Washington. He studied at schools and colleges in the Inland Northwest. He first earned his living as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, as the manager of a dance band, as a dealer in secondary cars, a caterer, decorator and vacuum cleaner salesman. In 1953 he moved to Los Angeles.

In 1954 he made his first reliefs in wood. In 1956 he founded the NOW Gallery, and in 1957 the Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps. In 1961 he completed his first environment Roxy’s, which caused a stir at the documenta “4” exhibition in 1968. His retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1966 provoked the County Board of Supervision to attempt to close the exhibition. The theme of his environments is the vulnerability of the private life of the individual to intervention by the environment and social convention.

In 1972 he met Nancy Reddin in Los Angeles. In 1973 he was guest artist of the German Academmic Exchange Service in Berlin. He moved to Hope with his wife Nancy, and around this time also established himself in Berlin . His most important works during this period were the Volksempfänger (radio receiving apparatus from the National Socialist period in Germany). In 1975 he received a Guggenheim Award.

He died in 1994, but his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz continues as a world-renown artist, frequently visiting Hope.

Because of their notoriety, and the astonishing beauty of the area, we now have over 600 artists in our enclave.

The Kienholz couple befriended many wealthy patrons in Berlin, and over the years, two families have also created their own family retreats on the Hope Peninsula. As you turn from David Thompson Road on to Kullyspell Road, the Max Factor group of homes is on your right. These go down to the beginning of the property line for Kullyspell House. The other family is the Groenke family. Klaus Groenke is the managing director and part owner of Trigon Holding GmbH, a Berlin based international real estate company. He is also reported to be a leading share holder in Coca Cola Company, and a regional board member of the Deutsche Bank Berlin/Brandenberg. They built the Groenke Estate, a 150 acre compound at the end of David Thompson Road that becomes Kienholz Road. It is here that a full section of the Berlin Wall stands, encased in lexiglas, graffiti and all intact as it was before its fall. Recently the family sold half the estate, where many multi-million dollar homes have been built or are planned.

Today Hope, Idaho is a tourist and summer lake destination, with numerous artists and eclectic folk. It is a bedroom community to Sandpoint, and is considered by many, with its spectacular lake and mountain views, to be among the most picturesque areas of North Idaho. In fact, many travel magazincalled the journey along the cliffsides from Sandpoint to Hope one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

History of Clark Fork, Idaho

While totally distinct towns, many in North Idaho think of Clark Fork and Hope as one community. In fact, the two share the same Chamber of Commerce website: [http://www.poby.org/]

The City of Clark Fork also became a viable town in the early 1880’s as the construction by the Northern Pacific Railroad continued through the nearby Bitterroot and Cabinet Mountains. This small community has been geared towards mining, logging, sawmills, farming, Forest Service activity, fish hatcheries, dam construction, fur trapping activity, collegiate studies and homes for teens. Also, for most of its history the railroad maintained a station and section crew in Clark Fork. Clark Fork was incorporated 1912. Today the University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus is located there.

In the 19th century the Clark Fork Valley, like the shores of Lake Pend Oreille around Hope, was inhabited by the Flathead tribe of Native Americans. It was explored by Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the 1806 return trip from the Pacific. The river is named for William Clark. A middle segment of the river in Montana was formerly known as the Missoula River.

Much of Clark Fork’s story over the following years had to do with crossing the river. The bridge fording the Clark Fork River provided one of the only passes to the north, and with the steamboats bringing miners making the arduous journey to the Kootenai gold rush, this was one of the only ways to travel. Before a bridge was built, Clark Fork had a ferry to make the crossing. Early ferries were nothing more than logs lashed together. Later, some records indicate a ferry was operating in 1893, but this was a decade after the Northern Pacific line was put in place, so it is safe to assume there was a brisk business with ferry crossings during construction.

It is important to be reminded that the Cabinet Gorge Dam was not in place then, and reporters at the time wrote in 1916 that “The Clarksfork river handles a volume of water much larger than the Snake river. At times during high water, the flow amounts to as much as 94,000 cubic feet per second. The average width of the river is about 1300 feet. The velocity of the river at certain times is very large, about eight miles an hour. Due to this it is necessarily very hazardous to operate a ferry at Clarksfork at any time and very dangerous and at some times impossible to operate a ferry at all.”

Certainly this ferry crossing created a need and a place for travelers, not only to cross, but at times to rest, restock supplies, and take advantage of the occasional saloon.

Until WWI there was a lot of sawmill activity, then to a lesser degree through the 1950s. Early sawmills include McGillis and Gibbs, Lane and Potter. From the start until the late 1950s, mining operations played an important role in the community’s economy. The Whitedelph mine and mill located near the Spring Creek fish hatchery began operation in 1926 until it closed in 1958. It yielded galena ore assaying principally in silver, lead and zinc. The Lawrence mine was located on Antelope Mountain near Mosquito Creek and near the University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus. Area hills and mountains had numerous small mining holes tended by small operations and prospectors.


Source by Gary Lirette

March 31, 2022
View: 505


Couples all over the world walk down the aisle each year looking ahead not only to their future but a couple weeks spent on a romantic honeymoon. There a couple can begin their life together with a peaceful and romantic vacation together and one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world is Italy. Seems like any direction you turn you find yourself in some scenic locale, an ancient city, or turquoise beach. You spend years here and still feel like you really haven’t seen everything that Italy has to offer. Rolling vineyards with their world renowned wines, cities so old that they are still discovering the ruins and food so good it will change your life all await you in Italy. So if you and your special someone is looking to celebrate your new life in one of the most romantic countries in Europe then check out some of these fantastic spots.


In the heart of the Tuscan wine country is the renowned city of Florence, known in Italy as Firenze, is an ancient city with a very long history of art, innovation, poetry, and so much more. In the enlightened days of the Renaissance Florence was the center of the world. What stemmed from that amazing time were masterpieces in art, sculpting, and poetry most of which can still be found there in the city. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the best art galleries in the world where you can stroll along hand in hand and you view some of the greatest works of art of all time. See Michelangelo’s David statue in the nearby Accademia Gallery or gaze at the jaw-dropping Duomo that dominates the city skyline. Climb to the hills surrounding the city for a one of a kind, panoramic view of the city. Tuscan food and wine is certainly unrivaled and you will find no shortage of candlelight cafes and hotels to suit any budget. There are many wine tasting tours you can join that take you out into the countryside or sample cuisine right in the city at restaurants like Enoteca Pinchiorri, one of the best in Florence.

Cinque Terre

A few hours train ride from Florence, on the northeastern coast is one of the most beautiful stretches of shores in Italy. Once off the radar, people have re-discovered the five villages that make up the cliff hugging towns of Cinque Terre. Here you and your loved one will sip you wine as you watch the sun go down over the ocean. The colorful and ancient villages cling to the terraced, stone cliffs that plunge down into the clear waters below. There are many sandy beaches and chances for water sports, scuba diving, or boat excursions. Here you will find quiet and intimate hotels and restaurants that provide superb service with a mouth-watering menu as well. Walk along the coastal paths in the summer or take a train from one village to the next. It is by far one of the most unique and romantic spots in Italy.


There could not be a more perfect place for a honeymoon than the city that inspired one of the most haunting love stories of all time, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The city itself is much older though than the story of the star-crossed lovers and offers a fantastic glimpse into the ancient Roman Empire. Here you can see the places and streets that inspired the setting of the story including Juliet’s balcony and house where there is a long tradition of people scrawling love notes on the wall. See the nearly two thousand year old Roman amphitheatre, where in the summer months there is live opera performances held, or the 14th century Castelvecchio castle which now has the city’s museum. Explore the Verona Cathedral or the Renaissance gardens of Giardino Guisti. Get a panoramic view of the city atop the Lamberti tower or out to the Saint Maria di Lourdes Sanctuary.


Last on our list, but by no means least, is the greatest city in Italy. Once the very center of the civilized world, Rome is unlike any other city and incredibly romantic. Though it is a major city, the old center, with its narrow winding roads still give the feeling that you have stepped by in time. From the Coloseum and Vatican City to Pantheon and countless other incredibly historic sites, Rome has it all. Down the Spanish Steps to incredible, high-end shops or toss a coin in Trevi fountain to ensure you return to the Eternal City. Perhaps walk along the Bridge of Angles to the great Castel Sant’Angelo or snuggle with your new spouse as you tour the spooky catacombs beneath the city.

Here in the biggest city in Italy you will be able to find a huge range of hotels from expensive luxury accommodations to budget hotels. The Il Pellicano Hotel offers superb views of the coastline outside the city while the St. Regis Grand Rome luxury hotel is near the heart of the historic area are just couple of the fine choices for a honeymoon in the Eternal City.


Source by Christopher Walters

March 13, 2022
View: 465


Whether your advertising budget is big or small, here are 10 tips you can use to increase the selling power of your next ad campaign!

#1- Stick To Your Marketing Plan

Do you have a marketing plan? If not, you’re shooting at the moon. Without a well thought out plan, you will create advertising that is “ad hoc”. With it, you have a compass, map and direction that will help  you avoid costly advertising mistakes. A good marketing plan will guide you through every area of advertising; your image, share of the market, budget, your position in the marketplace. At Austin Marketing, the marketing plan is essential.

#2-  Promise Benefits

This is the first rule in BIG profit advertising. The only reason people will buy from you is if it BENEFITS them. Your product or service must solve some problem. (Customers don’t buy just for the heck of it.) And they don’t care much for a laundry list of “features” either . The features- weight, size, color, options, etc. are not inherently desirable. You must communicate clearly what these features mean. Is it longer life? More money? Easier? Quicker? Greater pleasure? A better night’s sleep? These “benefits” are what turns customers on. Design your ad, brochure, commercial, or newsletter so that it is BENEFIT oriented, not FEATURE oriented. You’ll generate greater response and make more sales.

#3- Use Headlines That Make Sense

Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It follows that if you don’t sell the product in your headline you have wasted 80% of your money. Headlines that promise, sell more than those that don’t. Your headline should telegraph what you want to say in simple language. Readers do not stop to decipher the meaning of obscure headlines. Research shows that headlines of ten words or longer sell more goods that short headlines. Headlines between eight and ten words have more recall.  In mail-order, headlines between six and twelve words get the most coupon returns.  These factors go into every Austin Marketing headline.

#4- Be Courageously Honest

Buyers are smarter these days. Don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes. If you are selling half-rotten apples- say so. No one will fault you. There is sure-to-be someone out there who wants to make a big batch of vinegar. If your product or service is not state-of-the-art, fine. At least sell it with enthusiasm. An enthusiastic HONEST sales message will out-sell ads with all hype and no substance. Example: “This product is not for everyone, but if you want to save time and money…”

#5-  Sell To One Person

The problem with most TV, radio, print ads, direct mail and brochures are whoever created them is trying to speak to thousands of people at once. At Austin Marketing we feel that consumers are all individuals. A “YOU TO ME” approach would be better. If your tone is one-on-one, your audience will be more receptive.

#6-  Use Testimonials

If you can use them, testimonials are one of the strongest elements in any advertising campaign. As buyers, we all want to make sure that someone else has already purchased the product or service and was SATISFIED. A satisfied customer is often a better “salesman” than a hired spokesperson.

#7-  Give Demonstrations

 Demonstrations are one of the most powerful “persuaders” available to an advertiser. Although most suited to television, you can give demonstrations for some products in print and on radio. “Before” and “after” pictures are a form of demonstrations. They add to the believability of your message.

#8-  Take The Risk Out Of Buying

This is a vital aspect of advertising. The  customer’s biggest fear is that of making a mistake. If you are selling sight unseen (mail order), there are questions, objections and hesitations to overcome. The same is true  for  big ticket items. “MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE” “BILL ME LATER” “COME IN FOR A FREE TEST-DRIVE”. All of these will help in overcoming the buyers fear. If you have a guarantee, don’t hide it in small print. Boast about it.

#9-  Use Photographs That Tell A Story

Yes, it’s true. Research shows photographs sell better in advertising than illustrations.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a photo with a story is priceless. Photographs attract more readers, generate more appetite appeal, are more believable , are better remembered, pull more coupons, and almost always sell more merchandise. Caption your photos. On the average, twice as many people read the captions under the photographs as read the body copy. Each caption should contain brand name and promise.

#10-  Never Leave Your Prospect Hanging

Now that you have gone to all the trouble to capture his/her attention, call them to action. If you don’t ask for a response, chances are you won’t get one. If you convince them but leave them hanging, your competition may come along and reap the harvest of your hard work. Sell “NOW” as the time. Sell your “exclusive” and “only” features. Reward them for responding now. Offer a booklet. A discount. A sample. 

As an advertising man, I incorporate these positive advertising factors to increase the selling power of my clients’ campaigns.

You can hire me if you want… my contact information is below.

If you can go here to access over 200 online training videos regarding every aspect of internet marketing you’d ever want to see.

There are videos on affiliate marketing, copywriting, pay-per-clicks, SEO, eBay marketing, and more.

Go here: [http://www.MaverickMoneyMakerShortCuts.com]

Linwood Austin


[email protected]


Source by Linwood Austin

February 23, 2022
View: 462


In the early 1970s, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, relied to a substantial extent on foreign professors and lecturers. As a result of past colonial links and Ghana’s continuing membership of the Commonwealth, the majority of the fifty or so expatriate academics came from the United Kingdom. Some of these were on short-term contracts, sent out to avert an emergency caused in 1970 by a mass resignation in the Faculty of Engineering, but others were on long-term contracts and wedded to their posts for as long as the university wished to retain their services. One of these was Bernard Bull, a painter and sculptor of some repute, presenting the bearded and casual image of the archetypal artist.

Bernard was employed in the fine arts department of the College of Art, a formerly independent college incorporated into the university at its formation in the nineteen fifties. Much of the College of Art was composed of applied arts departments, such as ceramics, textiles and metalworking, which fitted easily into a university of science and technology, but a fine arts section was a less comfortable bedfellow. Bernard and his colleagues seemed to find this dislocation an ideal scenario for expressing their naturally anti-establishment and non-conformist nature.

It is natural for artists to regard scientists and engineers as lacking in cultural refinement, and Bernard’s people did their best to establish a broader and more rounded intellectual environment in the university. Immersed in a sea of rationality, the artists strove to remind the majority that the human imagination can be used to create beauty as well as material progress. By participating in the universally compulsory African Studies programme, they promoted due respect for Ghana’s traditional artistic crafts and did much to ensure that all graduates were grounded in the cultural milieu of their ancestors.

Bernard Bull was popular with his students and also with the large community of labourers, security men, traders and hawkers which supported life on the campus. His popularity among humble folk was enhanced by his mastery of the local Twi language. Arriving on his moped in the car park at the Senior Staff Club, Bernard would often greet a fellow Briton in Twi and on the rare occasion when a longer conversation ensued, the itinerant orange and groundnut sellers would gather round with wide open eyes and gaping mouths, expressing wonder at this strange phenomenon. ‘I never heard white men speak Twi long before,’ said one of their number.

On one occasion Bernard arrived at the Staff Club already having imbibed too enthusiastically. His old moped raced recklessly across the car park, narrowly missing the parked cars and halting only when it encountered the low stone wall at the end of the compound. Bernard retained his seat but was visibly shaken. The orange and groundnut sellers gathered round with anxious expressions on every face. One attractive young lady with her round tray of oranges still balanced on her head, stared at the casualty with wide eyes expressing deep concern. Slowly regaining awareness of the situation, Bernard gazed back and muttered, ‘Bra menkyen,’ come to my side.

Like all British academics in Ghana in the 1970s, Bernard’s salary was supplemented by the British Government’s BESS programme. When this ended in 1983 Bernard was one of the few who opted to stay at KNUST on local terms. Few professors could survive on a local salary in those days and most Ghanaian academics had a supplementary income from trading or consultancy. Bernard had the advantage of being a single man, free of the burden of an extended family, and as opportunity arose, he could sell the products of his artistry.

Bernard Bull developed a keen interest in traditional Ashanti wood carving, pointing out that due to the impermanence of wood, standard designs of stools and other artefacts needed to be re-carved at intervals of about one hundred years. By keeping the designs constant the past was preserved, but innovation was not encouraged. Students tended to follow this trend in both painting and sculpture by reproducing traditional patterns with little variation.

It was Bernard’s aim to encourage respect for the traditional culture but combined with a drive for individual self-expression through wide experimentation. Thus he pioneered a unique artistic tradition that grew up and thrived in Kumasi, and the best of his students went on to develop individual styles of painting and sculpture that attracted a wide following and international renown.


Source by John Powell

February 5, 2022
View: 435


The silhouette was a picture of a person showing the outline only, filled usually with solid shadow, and most often, in profile. Its name comes from “Etienne de Silhouette,” a French controller general of finance who lived from 1709 to 1767. He was a notorious cheapskate, so that his name became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply, such as silhouettes, in addition to which he decorated a new house entirely (to save money) by cutting out little silhouettes from black paper.

The popularity of the silhouette was indeed in part because it was inexpensive (much less so than having a portrait painted, for example), and could be quickly produced, but also because it was a delightful form of art in its own right.

There are several types of silhouettes but the most common were cut from black paper with scissors. They could also be called “paper cuttings,” “shadows”, or, as in England, “shades.” Once the black shape was finished, the paper would then be glued to a white (or at least, lighter) background card and there was your finished likeness. The silhouette was also popular in America, where you could have one made on the street, such as in Philadelphia, for a penny, and within minutes. In size they resembled a small photograph, and once the daguerreotype was invented, the silhouette quickly decreased in popularity.

During the last decades of the eighteenth century (Georgian England) and into the early nineteenth, (the Regency) however, silhouettes were still the rage. In the courts of France and Germany they even replaced the miniature portrait. The miniatures, as I explain in a different article, were popular among dignitaries as diplomatic tools, and among all who could afford them, as personal tokens. The silhouette , by contrast, made portable likenesses of loved ones affordable for nearly anyone, and could even be used as wall decorations . All you needed was a person capable of creating them (a “profile portraitist”) and a few pence. In time, their popularity swung right back towards the rich, who, “commissioned silhouettes to be painted and encrusted with precious stones in jewelry and snuff boxes. Royalty commissioned porcelain dinner services with silhouettes. Common folk filled albums with silhouettes of family and friends. “

In addition, making silhouettes was a popular parlour game (called Shades), where anyone could try their hand at the art. The finished pieces may not have been works of art, but the making of them was surely a merry way to pass the time. (The game called “Shadows,” by contrast, was when one made shadow-images on the walls using mostly the hands; nothing was drawn or taken away from the exercise except a few laughs.)

The Concise Brittanica states that silhouettes were done “by drawing the outline cast by candlelight or lamplight,” which is surely how the average person did it. However, “once photography rendered silhouettes nearly obsolete, they became (merely) a type of folk art practiced by itinerant artists and caricaturists.”

Auguste Edouart, a Frenchman, cut full-length silhouettes. Another itinerant was the American boy silhouettist Master Hubard, who cut profiles in 20 seconds.

A beautiful example of a silhouette is one we have of Cassandra Austen, Jane’s beloved sister. (Use the link at the bottom to download my April ezine, which includes illustrations with this article.) Notice the lighter detailing? This was done by virtue of the fact that one’s “shade” could be reduced (“using a reducing instrument known as a pantograph”) then painted using “soot, or lamp black, on plaster or glass. After painting the face dead black, the hair, hats, ribbons, frills, and other essential accessories of the day, would have been ‘dragged’ out, using a fine brush, with progressively more and more diluted pigment.”

Another style of silhouette (with yellow background, see example in download) is Jane Austen”s self-portrait. Though more simply executed than the first, it is an excellent example of the art. According to one antiques’ website, the silhouette of the past would likely have been done in any of the following four formats:

  • Painted on paper, card, vellum, ivory, silk, or porcelain;
  • Painted in reverse on glass;
  • Hollow cut with the aid of a machine or, very rarely, by hand. In this process the figure is cut away from the paper thereby leaving a negative image. The paper outline is then backed with a contrasting color of paper or fabric; Or,

    Cut freehand with scissors or a sharp edge and then pasted to a contrasting (usually light-colored) background. “

    In England, from the late 18th into the early 19th century, (the stylistic Regency, in other words) a famous silhouette artist was John Miers (1756-1821). Preceding him was John Field. JC Lavater, a German who dabbled in science, used a machine to make what he called “scientific” silhouettes. (I suppose that “scientific” in this case, means “accurate”.)

    If you click the link below to download the ezine, you’ll see, as the final illustration to this article, a silhouette called, “Swinging Corpse,” which is an image from Bill Nye’s History of England, published in 1900; (Called, “A Reluctant Tax Payer”!) The image has been doctored (the background cut away) to make it a silhouette, but as I have also been doing a series on “Murder and Mayhem During the Regency”) I thought this particular silhouette was an appropriate closing image. (smile)

  • [ad_2]

    Source by Linore Rose Burkard

    January 18, 2022
    View: 461


    How many times have you heard that.. “It’s all about the team”?

    Or, how about, “You can have a so-so product, and with the right team it can be the best there is”.

    Have you really stopped to make sure you understand what that fully means? In order to answer that, there are several more questions that must be considered first.

    1. “Team Building” and “Team Dynamics”, are yours really the right mix?

    2. Is anyone in your company looking at hiring and team building “whole-istically”?

    3. Does everyone flow like clockwork or a well oiled machine together?

    4. Is the “leader” of your team(s) really a leader, manager or dictator?

    5. Does your recruiter or hiring manager, hire people or build “team dynamics”?

    6. Does your recruiter, HR person or hiring manager “really” know about every job they are hiring for as well as the dynamic of manager and team the person will be working with?

    There are many more, though will stop there for the moment not to overwhelm you with questions.

    Bottom line. Products and services, simply do not sell themselves, nor do they manufacture themselves, as much as some like to believe. People do.

    Without the “right” people, team dynamics and leaders it is simply a daily struggle to make things happen.

    Recruiting and hiring is a fine art. It is defiantly not for the faint of heart without backbone. Hiring is also not for the inexperienced manager to do and true “leadership” is not browbeating dictatorship.

    If any of the above are doing your hiring, recruiting or leading, guaranteed your “HR issues” will be horrendous and day to day “make it happen” dynamic simply does not naturally flow.

    Have you ever been on a team that absolutely and simply just clicked? Everything happened like magic, easily flowed, and the dynamic of the people involved was simply brilliant. Things almost seemed to move forward and be accomplished at what felt like mach speed.

    Then one person left the team to take a promotion, or was pulled to another department to put out a fire, or left the company for another job. Someone else was then “imposed” on the team and it never worked the same again.

    This “Team Dynamic” can happen by accident or it can happen on purpose. For companies and senior management sake, on purpose is much better.

    Unfortunately, for far too many companies, it happens by accident or by individuals independently internally seeking out others they know work together well as a team, typically, sometime way down the road. Many times, they make a move to another department when an opening comes up because they know the “team dynamic” is much better there.

    So what do you do to make this happen “on purpose”?

    In my book there is 1 very simple starting point answer:

    1. Make sure your Senior Management Strategic Planning team knows what the “real” end goal is. Are we looking for people to maintain status quo with minimal growth or are we looking for people to help drive the company forward quickly with rapid growth? These are two very different types of people you would hire to handle these situations.

    If your company is in start up and/or continual rapid growth you also need to stop and take a breath on occasion no matter how brilliant your quick, rapid growth teams are.

    Just like race horses, they need a gentle walk around the track for a bit, rest for a bit, then go back at it again. The best leaders know how to keep business rapidly growing as well as giving their leaders and teams short breaks and rest. And please do not confuse this with holidays or days off work.

    The leader who knows and understands this clearly and closely works with both Senior Management Strategic Planning team and very closely works with Recruiting, HR and hiring managers, are the leaders with the top performing, very best, dynamic companies, top down and bottom up.

    Having had the pleasure and very grateful to say I’ve worked very closely with a few “True Leaders” and hired a few “True Leaders” as well as having put together and lead highly successful and very dynamic teams over the years. Have also been in situations of “wrong people” for the team imposed on me to deal with and sort out. Much prefer the first.

    “Dynamic, Whole-istic Team Building” is one of the most beautiful things you can build for your company (at every level), so the right people can properly get on with their jobs of manufacturing and selling your amazing (or so-so) product(s) and/or services.

    Off to another “Dynamic” adventure to help a manufacturing start up company build and develop the right team.

    Perhaps next time we should talk about how to accomplish this in 1% unemployment situations?

    Until next time…Smart & Happy Team building to you!



    Source by Lorrie A. MacGilvray

    January 18, 2022
    View: 459


    Stained Glass is one of many dying arts. However it is making a come back. Designs can be traditional, modern, abstract or realistic. Learn how to create your own designs for stained glass. The Do’s and Don’ts, and what needs to be considered when drawing up a pattern. Leaded or copper foil panels can be fitted directly into a wooden frame or enclosed within a double glazing unit, in effect triple glazing a window. Free Hanging pieces can also be made, such as Sun-catchers, mirrors, wall decorations, clocks, candle holders, and many more.

    Before you start a pattern it is a good idea to be aware of some of the restrictions that are specific to working with glass in either the leaded or copper foil methods. When your pattern is complete, and ready to be made feel free to contact me via my website details of which can be found at the end of the article

    1. Try to avoid a cross roads (X) or lines that go straight across from one side to another in your pattern especially for copper foil as this would be a weak point in the finished piece. (this is not so important for lead work, and many traditional patterns do include these shapes, but it is still better to be avoided if possible).
    2. Try to avoid internal right angels (or sharper as in the letter V). as the glass would most likely crack spreading from the point of the right angle. Therefore there needs to be line running from any points (similar to the letter Y).
    3. Try not to do a pattern with too much detail. This is especially important for leaded work as if the pieces of glass are too small, they will not be seen because of the lead. Think will the right glass add the detail for me.
    4. The more detail there is, the larger the piece will need to be. This will not necessarily make the piece harder to make, unless it is very large, then handling the large sheets of glass can just make it plain awkward.
    5. Some of the pattern will be lost due to it being covered by the lead or copper foil (a larger amount will be lost when using lead than when using copper foil). the amount lost will depend on the thickness’ used. For a piece A4 size, 8 or 10 mm lead is sufficient but thicker lead my be required for larger pieces, or for round the edge. Rather than detracting from the pattern, it can be a feature in a well planned pattern.

    Things that you will need for pattern making include: Paper (lining paper is useful as if it gets wet when the piece is being made it will not disintegrate), tracing paper/acetate, pencil, marker pen, ruler, eraser, ruler and or tape measure depending on size. A true stained glass designer is able to create a pieces using a variety of methods. These include:

    • Creating a pattern to match existing panels or windows.
    • Creating a pattern from photo’s.
    • Adapting existing patterns.
    • Working from an idea.

    Before starting the pattern for a fitted piece the size needs to be determined, the best way to do this is to use 2 methods.

    1. Measure the opening to tight fit (the are a behind the beading that the glass will fit into) across several points, height and width.
    2. Place paper over the area and draw round the area of tight fit.

    Using both of these methods ensures that the pattern will be the right size and shape (the opening may not be truly rectangular or square) Next it is a good idea to draw a line 5mm in from 2 sides (this allows for ease of fitting and a little bit of room for error when the piece is being made). straighten up the remaining 2 sides.The pattern can the be drawn within the interior lines.

    Creating a pattern to match existing panels or windows

    Is the place where the new stained glass piece going to go the same size as any existing ones? If so the easiest way to created a pattern would be with tracing paper, or to do a rubbing (as when you were a child doing leaf rubbings) If not:

    • Take photo’s of the existing panels so that you know what you are working to.
    • Draw a grid to scale over both the photo and on the paper the pattern will be drawn on, (this could be simply 2 lines to divide into quarters, or a grid with more lines depending on the detail) this will help keep the pattern to scale and details of the pattern in place.
    • Keep in mind the new piece may not be the same shape and pattern details may need to be stretched or squashed
    • Start to draw the details of the pattern in, using the gridded photo for reference.

    Creating a pattern from photos

    Artistic licence may need to be used for colours, shapes and backgrounds.

    • Print out the photo as near to the size wanted as possible. If the photo can not be printed to the exact size. Draw a grid to scale over both the photo and on the paper the pattern will be drawn on, (this could be simply 2 lines to divide into quarters, or a grid with more lines depending on the detail) this will help keep the pattern to scale and details of the pattern in place.
    • look at the photo with a critical eye. What detail can be missed out (whether textured or patterned glass can add it, i.e. as for fur in an animal).
    • Trace over the lines that will be kept with a marker pen.
    • if the highlighted sections conform with the restrictions of working with glass, if not then add any extra lines that are needed, or alter shapes slightly.
    • When happy with the pattern trace over the altered image and the pattern is finished.

    Adapting existing patterns

    Pattern books can be very useful but there may be certain aspects of a pattern that you don’t like, or may just want to alter. This may be especially true for free hanging pieces as the shape can be altered by missing out sections from the edges, or interest added by missing bits out from the middle (try not to weaken the piece make sure that each bit has at least 2 points of contact). Alternatively extra pieces can be added for greater detail or interest.

    • Photo copy or trace the pattern
    • Place tracing paper over the pattern and draw over the aspects that are wanted, and changing any details that are required.

    Working from an idea (this needs the greatest amount of drawing skill)

    It may be a very detailed and specific idea (I like the view from my garden which includes a view of Criffel, with the trees and the fields) or vague (i.e. I like hills and sunsets). In the first instance it would be advisable to take a photo to work from. Whereas in the second instance a little more questioning may be required (do you live close to a specific hill that might have inspired you, if so then it could be advisable to include the shape of the hill, if not just a general hill shape may be fine to use.

    • If the piece is a fitted piece follow the guideline lines mentioned earlier. For free hanging decide on the size.
    • Roughly sketch out the design, until you are happy with the way it looks
    • View the design with a critical eye to see if the design fits in with the restrictions. Asking a 2nd person to view the design (telling them what is needed) can be a good idea, as aspects can often be missed.
    • Alter anything that needs to be altered.


    Source by Sarah L Jackson

    January 17, 2022
    View: 415


    So here I am, 9.00am Monday morning at Studiographic Park Row Bristol. I climb the stairs to the first floor reception area and I am greeted by my new boss Paul Smith. Paul has a good reputation as a portrait and wedding photographer and the display pictures on the wall are impressive. I am excited, what will be my first assignment? an outdoor shoot or maybe a studio shoot. I have not seen the studio yet and I can’t wait.

    Paul shows me into another room, quite large and well lit, with windows at one end overlooking Park Street. There are work benches, a large print dryer, I had never seen one that big before, and a print washer. “This is where you will be working John, I will show you the darkrooms”. Well I suppose a ‘Trainee Photographer’ has got to start somewhere, But I am sure my first assignment will be soon. There were two darkrooms, one for printing, with two enlargers and a large rectangular sink for the processing dishes, and one for film processing that had three ‘deep tanks’, for developer, wash and fixer. They held about five gallons each and you could process up to twelve films at a time loaded onto spirals on racks. It suddenly became clear that this was ‘Commercial Photography’ a lot different to my one film at a time in my little Paterson tank.

    I was shown a large cupboard where the Kodak Bromide Paper was kept, my eyes nearly popped out! I had always bought my paper in a pack of 25 sheets and I made do with one surface type and one contrast grade, normal grade 2. Here every box was 100 sheets in Glossy and Silk surface, double weight and single weight, three different sizes and contrast grades 1 to 4, soft, normal, hard and very hard. I had never seen so much photographic paper in one place.

    Paul knew I had experience of printing, albeit as an amateur, so it was in at the deep end. “Start on these orders John and see how you get on”. I picked the top order from the tray, it was for wedding re-prints, the negatives were attached (120 6x6cm), black and white of course as color photography for weddings at this time was prohibitively expensive for most people. I glanced down the list, all neatly written out with the negative numbers, the quantity of prints from each negative and the sizes. I looked at the first negative on the list, there were usually 24 for each wedding, 2 rolls of 120 film. ’12 8×6, 1 10×8 and 7 half plate’. Twenty prints, and this was just the first negative! The most I had ever printed from one negative was two. “Oh John, just use small pieces for test strips, I don,t want to see any paper wastage” Paul said as he left the room.

    So this is how it started, and continued for almost a year. I hardly ever came out of the dark. Friends were asking if I was OK because I looked so pale, “Are you anemic John?” I needed sunglasses even on a dull day!

    I was so slow at first, I was used to processing one print at a time, which was no good in a ‘Commercial’ business. Paul taught me how to interleave prints and process them back to back. First expose all the prints and put them in a box. Then the first two prints back to back into the developer, then another two, then another two. Six prints at a time were developing and when the first two came out, another two went in, it was like working on a production line.

    The only high point of the week was cleaning the sink. It had to be cleaned weekly because of chemical stains. Vim, Ajax, Brillo Pad? “No John, there is a bottle of Hydrochloric Acid on the shelf, the green bottle with the skull and crossbones, just spread that around” Wow! that used to work, Health & Safety, not on your life!

    If there was one thing this job was teaching me, it was how to print and this would prove to be a definite bonus for my future career in photography, even if it would not make me rich, my current wage was ten shillings (50 pence) a week.

    My initial excitement about my first assignment appeared just to be a pipe dream until one day Paul said “In a couple of weeks time you can come along with me to a wedding John, bring your own camera and you can take some candid shots”.

    This indeed was an honor, it would be the nearest I had come to a camera in many months. I only caught an occasional glimpse of a camera if the studio door was open when I was passing.
    The studio was out of bounds to me, I was not allowed to enter this hallowed ground!

    At last! a chance to show off my camera skills, but wait…..I can’t turn up on a professional job with my Lubitel. Paul used a Rollieflex 2.8f, a camera I drooled over, when he would let me get close enough to have a look, yes look, not touch! At the time the ‘Rollei’ was the camera of choice for all professionals, only to fall out of favour when Hasselblads were launched, not that the results were better, but it was a single lens reflex with interchangeable lenses, more versatile.

    I certainly could not afford anything in the Rollei range even it’s cheaper brother the Rolleicord , but at the time there was a much cheaper alternative, not a Rollei, but a camera that could produce comparable results for a lot less money.

    I managed to scrape enough money together to buy a Yashica-Mat, a Japanese copy of the Rollei, and a jolly good camera, a camera that served me well for quite a few years.

    I can’t remember much about my first assignment, probably because the results were unmemorable. At least I can remember that Paul never used any of them in the bride & grooms album!

    I had only been working at Studiographic for just over a year, but it seemed like ten! The pressure of the work was affecting my health and it wasn’t helped when things went badly wrong.

    I can recall one incident. I had finished processing a batch of wedding films and found one film had become detached from it’s processing spiral and had dropped to the bottom of the tank. The film when retrieved was quite badly damaged, Paul was livid and said I would have to retouch all the resulting prints from this film. The damage was such, that when prints were made there were black marks and scratches, which on a brides white dress were very obvious!

    The only tools available for retouching prints then were a very fine brush and retouching dye for white marks and a very sharp scalpel for black marks. The technique for black marks was to gently scrape away at the surface of the print until the marks disappeared. A very time consuming and laborious task, which took me over a fortnight. Probably about ten minutes in Photoshop now – how times change!

    It was certainly a time for me to change, I had only been a ‘Trainee Photographer’ for just over a year and although I did not want to abandon my photographic career, I was more than a little bit disillusioned. I wanted to do something connected with photography, but preferably in daylight!

    Then it hit me. What about retail, a camera shop, a salesman maybe, or with my experience, even assistant manager… slow down… slow down! The wages were bound to be better, I would see the sun during the day, I might even get my color back – now there’s a thought!


    Source by John E King

    Back to Top
    WhatsApp chat
    Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
    Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.