Tag Archives: WORDS

19th and 20th century lithographs + angels, art and advertising

American Crescent Cycles par Winthrop Ramsdell 1899

La Tournée du Chat Noir par Thoéphile Steinlen. 1896. Tin plate.


Cats That Come Back. At a poster store in Montmartre you spent your final few euros on cards depicting the lithographic advertising styles of the late 19th and early 20th century. You took photos of the outside of the poster store, and had one taken of yourself and your youngest son, a part of you indulging in some late-afternoon fantasy that you were the proprietors of said store. What fun, surrounded by art originally intended to part one from one’s cash – and a hundred years later it’s still doing the same, only selling itself this time around. What a sale, what a fine boutique did those Parisian streets make for you. For it’s easy to get lost in the culture, art and spirit of expression when it surrounds you in all its breath-taking vibrancy. There is a deep yearning. A searching back through history to find a part of yourself you may recognise. Print advertising is consumerism’s cocky high art. A brassy exhibition of wonders. A sly yet alluring gallery that invites you inside. It’s everything you love and loathe in the same moment. You pitch these paper testimonials to commercialism with all the integrity and enthusiasm of a loving archivist. But you are also an artist. Those Paris streets and galleries and windows and walls whispered to your heart. Hell, sometimes they yelled at you, told you they remembered, recalled your angels & fey (born from the snippets and slivers of glossy ads in magazines in case you didn’t know), the exhibitions, the foreign shores, the hours spent holding brushes and conjuring colours. You sold it well, they said. You made an impression. You left a mark. People were happy. Sometimes that’s the least you have to do. From: The Artist and the Four Hats




Job par Alfons Mucha 1896

Job done?

For a bit

Too busy writing

To try and score another hit

It’s a circle you see

A merry go round

You jump on and off at certain points

feet touch the ground

Back up again

Always looking for those special connections


Palooka N° 5


Words, Angel & Fey artwork by the editor.
Colour Angels & Fey scans taken from Palooka issue 5.
Lithograph adverts scanned from commercial postcards and tin plates are shown for illustrative purposes only. No infringement of copyright is intended.
Cat count: we spotted at least 26 images of cats in this blog post. A new TVTA record!

Poem: The ever-growing, space-consuming giant Mish-mash tree

Words and illustrations by the Editor.

For Adam.

I grew from a seed in my garden one day
A giant Mish-mash tree with purple fruit and pink spray.
It began at fourteen inches and had such an appetite
That it ate all my tomatoes and grew four foot overnight.
The next day it rained on my giant Mish-mash tree
And the sun shone so brightly that by quarter-past three
It was bigger than my house and had scoffed my runner beans.
Oh how hungry you are, my giant Mish-mash tree!

The following morning as I tended to my flowers,
My shock and my horror, they had all been devoured.
The pansies and the bluebells and my pretty rose borders,
Chomped down to their stalks, this was so out of order!
At first I blamed the slugs then the dog then the cat,
Then I realised in my garden there was only one thing so fat…
Only one thing so portly, porky, podgy, plump to see…
My ever-growing space-consuming giant Mish-mash tree!

Its trunk I measured fifty feet, its height three thousand inches tall,
Each purple fruit weighed sixteen stone and looked like cannonballs.
“She’s a lively little grower,” my old neighbour remarked,
“You’ll need to sell your garden soon and buy a blimmin’ park!”
Pah and utter tish-tosh, how I scoffed at what he said,
But then three hours later the tree had eaten up my shed!
You greedy, gluttonous, gobbling, gulping giant Mish-mash tree,
Where am I to store my tools now my shed is in your tummy?

Enough was enough, there could be no truce or pardon,
At this rate by tomorrow I would no longer have a garden.
Angrily I shook my fist up at the Mish-mash tree,
But all it did was snigger and snort and grow another ten feet.
And then it rumbled and it grumbled and I had to act fast…
I could see it had intentions on my prize strawberry patch.
And worse, my greenhouse, full of little bonsai trees,
“You leave those tiny trees alone!” I warned my Mish-mash tree.

I rushed inside and quickly dialled
The emergency action garden line…
The botanical gardens and the local nursery…
The national parks and the forestry committee…
Gardens Weekly and Gardeners’ World…
What Garden, Which Garden and The Gardening Herald…
A tree surgeon, a lumberjack, a professor of trees…
But they all thought me mad and put the phone down on me!

And so I chanced upon a book at the local lending library,
‘How to Win Friends and Influence People With a Nice Cup of Tea’…
Well, if it can work for humans why not plants?
So I borrowed the book and took my chance!
And the very next day I approached the Mish-mash tree
With an honest invitation for a nice cup of tea.
Just him and me, in my conservatory,
And if he behaved I would chuck in a pack of custard creams!

The tree it shook with gladness and glee,
Said: “Oh I do so love a cup of tea! I’ll come, I’ll come, quite happily!”
“There’s just one problem,” I warned the tree,
“You’re far too big for my conservatory…
You’re far too big for Buckingham Palace,
And you won’t need a cup you’ll need a king-size chalice!
If only you could shrink to a reasonable size…
I’m certain you would have such a lovely time.”

The Mish-mash tree looked down at me and gave a gentle smile,
Said: “Earl Grey, Indian, Chinese, mint, green and camomile,
Are all my favourite types of brew, and I’m quite partial to a custard cream too,
So I’ll gladly shrink to a dinky thing and join you for a high tea for two!”
“Oh thank you!” I cheered. “Let me find you a pot,
And put you on my table in the sunniest spot.
Come join me indoors, we’ll drink gallons of tea,
My ever-shrinking, not space-consuming, tiny Mish-mash tree.
Drink tea, drink tea, drink gallons of tea,
Just you and me in my conservatory.”

The End

Predictive text – it’s no picnic

‘Why are you looking so perplexed?’ Wooof asked me this morning during my third cup of coffee.

‘It’s that predictive text thingy,’ I said.

‘Oh?’

‘Well, it never works. For example, I’ve been researching for a big writing piece I’m working on. I tried to enter into my search engine: “Public Inquiries of the Twentieth Century” … and do you know what it predicted?’

‘What?’

‘”Picnic Injuries of the Twentieth Century”, that’s what!’

‘Ha-ha,’ laughed the cat. ‘I suppose that might involve trapped fingers inside hampers, wasp stings, napkin cuts, champagne corks in the eye.’

‘It’s pretty serious stuff when you look into it. Perhaps we ought to warn our readers?’

‘We should,’ agreed the cat. ‘Summer’s only around the corner. Soon there’ll be chequered blankets and condiments everywhere! How are we to keep the good folk of Vintage-land safe?’

‘By launching our very own public service picnic ad campaign!’ I said.

‘Are you serious?’

‘Sometimes.’

‘Alright,’ said the cat. ‘Let’s do it!’


INTRODUCING 

TVTA’s Summertime Safe Picnic Initiative is proudly sponsored by Badgerworth’s Wasp-catcher Kettles and Foxes & Fangles Mind That Bear Exploding Monkeys.



Ask The Family! 

We asked 1960’s Tammy’s family for their top Dos and Don’ts when it comes to enjoying a safe picnic in style.


The right look, the safe look!

Tammy: “It’s important for me to look my best at all times. But when it comes to picnics… skiing, roller skates and archery are huge no-go areas. Don’t be tempted by the latest fads or what your friends might say. It’s just not worth the risk!”

 

Below: Good show Tammy, that’s the safe way to picnic and you still look stylish!


Don’t be a square, daddy-o!

Ted and Dad are taking big risks by wearing such formal and warm attire to the picnic. 27% of picnic fatalities are caused by heat exposure and the rapid onset of mindless delirium. In severe cases the over-heated picnicker may resort to heinous criminal activity. 

Below: That’s better lads!


Stay cool, but never be underdressed!

Blimey Mom, watch out for your skin! More than 32% of picnic fatalities are caused by deadly insects attracted to human flesh. In addition, serious sunburn injuries can occur within just minutes of exposing bare arms and legs on the picnic blanket. Don’t risk it. Cover up sensibly. Mom looks great for a woman her age, let’s keep her that way!


Keep an eye on children at all times!

More than 47% of picnic fatalities arise from children being taken offsite by wild bears, mountain lions, Komodo dragons and in rare cases sharks.

Be seen!

Tammy’s younger sister Pepper says: “When I was very young I had to stay at home during family picnics. Understandable. The risk was too great. Now I’m older I wear the latest, brightest and fashionable clothing so that my family can easily spot me. Bright colours can also act as a deterrent to killer animals. Don’t forget to accessorise with glitter and jewellery to make you really stand out! Visibility coupled with style is key. How else will your family be able to find you as wild creatures drag you screaming into the woods by your bleeding hair follicles and…  

… alright Pepper that’s enough, we get the idea. Stop freaking us out! 

Picnic on dudes!

So dear reader, this summer, be safe, be seen, be stylish, and most importantly enjoy your picnic adventures!

 


Editor’s note: If you would like to find out more about Tammy’s family then please take a look at our excellent Tammy catalogue pages here

And Wooof, please change the site logo back to how it was!

Two poems

1.

Among Us

You told us once about reptiles and amphibians

The symbolism, intent, double-meanings

Their hunger

A prince’s pursed lips, a fairytale wish

You said stay away from forests, castles and New York sewers

Warned us of bacterial bites from Komodo Dragons

To not keep snakes or entertain Bearded Dragons

Are you a witch? We asked

No, you said, but was once poisoned by hand cream and oranges

Contaminated beans on toast and energy drinks

Offered by men and women in alligator skins

Who had power to turn poetry into horror in a single day

You said it made you puke when you read in the news

Of that three-headed, six-legged frog found in a school swimming pool

Would make a great pet, someone said

No, said you, it is us who will make great pets for them

See, how they will try to improve us

Stare into our dark places where we hide our shame and guilty secrets

How they devour our sad stories, our dark fairytales

How they leech on our desires

Don’t. Ever. Trust. Them. Is what you say

Beware of them hiding under stones and rocks

Lurking in the grass or under damp logs

Camouflaged in trees or submerged in bogs

And as for the forests and castles and the New York sewers…

Some fairytales are best put to bed

You told us you used to think exploding frogs

Blown-up by straws was extremely cruel

Now you tell us it’s extremely cool.


2.

A Deadly Stream

Three days and nights of relentless rain

That came in sheets as hard as nails from four directions and a granite sky

Accompanied by that lunatic Mistral which owned the streets and ripped off tiles

Toppled fences and sent wheelie bins spinning like defective Daleks

Wisely, most trees bent the knee to the staggering onslaught

Those more republican were swiftly uprooted

Came crashing down like dissident ogres and defeated giants

Coudon offered up its slopes to the charging water

That rushed from the mountain in anticipation of the sea

A delegation bearing gifts of fag ends, soft drink cans

McDonald’s packaging, palm leaves and plastic bags

An armada of debris and detritus offered to the Med.

 

It was on the news

The campus resembled a lagoon

The stream that parted it no longer visible

She went under at around four O’clock, and he jumped in to save her

Witnesses said both were gone in seconds

Forced through a culvert no bigger than the door of an industrial washing machine

Propelled through the concrete tube built beneath the main road

By town planners who believed that this was the best way to control water

When you wanted cars to travel across it

 

A year passes

Remembrances for the two dead students

The mayor erects fences along both sides of the stream that cuts through the Uni

Commissions signs written in French and English that warn:

DANGER. FLOODPLAIN. RISQUE DE NOYADE

Town planners nod sagely in warm offices

Once again believing they have the measure of water.


Words and photos by the editor

TVTA means…

2017 in review. Bolt by bolt.

Wooof and I like to celebrate our small achievements here at TVTA. In 2017 we gained more than 2.5 million followers, 2 billion likes, received numerous nominations such as the Lobster Award, the Good Morning I’m Hungry Award, the Time Travelling Companions of Gannow Award, the Friendly Blogger Looking to Borrow A Few Bucks Award, the Sunshine And Scattered Showers Award, and we were also Freshly Parsed 42 times!

Why, that’s enough achievements to be able to view the Great Wall of China from space with a pair of 1980s dinosaur explorer toy binoculars, cold enough to freeze penguins to a lampost, and loud enough to distract excitable puppies when used in conjunction with a sonic dog whistle and My Little Kitty glove puppet!

So what does it all mean, this TVTA thing? And do we have adverts for it?

Well, a quick browse on the interweb reveals that TVTA actually means… Threat and Vulnerablity Testing and Assessment

TVTA also means… Thermal Vacuum Test Article

and TVTA also means … Technical and Vocational Training Act

and Triple Vaginal Triple Anal … WOAH! Stop right there Wooof!

Where the heck did that one come from?

This is a family-friendly blog showcasing vintage toys!

Suffice to say, there is no mention of our humble blog anywhere in acronym land, so Wooof has been frantically retro-adding TVTA to the tags of all our old posts like a cat out of hell!

Go Wooof, you fantastic cat you!

And now, the TVTA 2017 awards sponsored by Stephen Spookberg’s Speak and Spell Time Machine Soda-Stream Maker (includes FREE collectable ‘owls of the world’ and ‘dragon botherer’ cigarette cards while stocks last) …

Our best missing item from 2017: Has anyone seen our Elizabethan tape machine?

Has anyone seen our Elizabethan tape machine? We seem to have misplaced it the last time we time travelled to 1955. If you find it, please return it to our usual address at TVTA Towers, France, Earth. Thanks in advance!

The 2017 Conquering Our Ridiculous Fear Of Clowns Award

We thought we were doing great. The hypnotherapy sessions had been positive. The yoga was beneficial. We were no longer afraid to leave the office. And Wooof was off the meds. Then these two paperworks landed on our desk yesterday, and now we’re right back where we started. Gah!

The 2017 TVTA Best Fashion Statement Award: Cheese tee-shirts

The 2017 TVTA Best Unfortunately-Named Throat Pastel Award

The 2017 TVTA Best Hulk Recreation And Leisure Award

The TVTA Best Adverts Of 2017 Award

Thanks for coming to the awards! Sincere thanks to everyone who has read TVTA this past year. May 2018 be a happy and fruitful year for you and yours 🙂