Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the Artograffi team
We hope everyone has had a great year, and that next year will be even better. (If there is a next year after climate change)
How did a Columbian street dog end up in Amble?
Recently at Artograffi, we met with Maya the dog, Luz Helena Nariño, a Colombian vet, and Eileen Regan who eventually adopted her.
Maya is a mix of a poodle “and something else”, and very lively and excitable (she wandered round with great curiosity during the whole interview).
Luz Helena is from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, high up in the Andes where she owns her own veterinary practice specialising in small animals.
In Bogotá, Maya was at a foundation for stray animals, (not as technical as British shelters) where she had been taken in after being thrown out of someone’s house. She had no tail and suffered from skin problems, but Eileen and her husband (who were living in Bogotá for a couple of years) decided to take her home temporarily, and sought Luz Helena’s help to nurse her back to health. Luz Helena was more than happy to help this dog.
In 2014, when Maya was happy and healthy again, Eileen came back to Northumberland and brought Maya with her. At the time, she was around seven months old, but she is soon going to be nine.
Eileen first took her to the beach to show Maya the sea: “She didn’t know what to make of it… she stood and stared” said Eileen.
Maya is still yet to go in the sea, but greatly enjoys her walks along the coast. Luz Helena visited Eileen and Maya here in Amble in 2016 and again this year, but there was no worries of Maya forgetting her.
Luz Helena told us that as soon as Maya saw her she was jumped on and licked for a long time. Eileen said: “Maya speaks both English and Spanish but she disobeys us in both!”
Some things to know about our newest Prime Minister
– Rishi Sunak is our new Prime Minister. He was born on May 12 1980 (so he is 42 years old)
– He has written 3 books: A Portrait of Modern Britain, The Free Ports Opportunity and A New ERA for Retail Bonds.
– He went to Stanford Graduate School of Business in the USA, Lincoln College Oxford, and Winchester College.
– Rishi has a wife (Akshata Murthy) they married in 2009.
-They have two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka Sunak (age 11 and 9).
– He’s got a Labrador called Nova
– Rishi’s religion is Hindu. He’s the UK’s first Hindu Prime Minister
– He says he’s addicted to Coca Cola
Ed: Rumor has it Rishi is also a Star Wars geek!
Investigating the new art
Around Amble, artists have been putting up sculptures related to birds. The gang and I went on a walk around Amble to see the ones up so far.
This is located next to the Marina. It is a huge metal frame with a song inside of it – this is depicted by the sound wave of a Roseate Tern. It was created by two artists called Aether and Hemera. It is nice, however it is one of my least favourites because not a lot of people would understand it.
This is located next to the Shorebase Trust on the Braid. It is by Rob Mulholland. I think this one is very clever because it is more interactive as you can go inside and see the world from a different perspective. It is a sphere made of metal birds, which you can go inside.
This is located just next to the Flock Sphere. This one is my second favourite because of the amount of detail the creator (Jon Voss) has put into it. The outside of the wings is made the same colour as a seagulls and the inside of it is extremely detailed with patterns.
This one is located next to the Paddler’s park. It is by Ben Greenwood. It is my favourite by far because of how cute it is. I feel that it could have been put in a better place because it is right next to the park. I feel like small children will climb on it.
This is located opposite Amble Links school near the cemetery. This is by Frances Anderson. I think this one has a really intelligent design because it is a metal or copper wave and has a flock of birds on it and when the sun shines at the right spot it casts a shadow against the ground making it look like the there’s a flock of birds flying above it.
You gotta fight for the right
Recently, protests have been at the forefront of the public’s minds. Whether it’s a train you couldn’t get, a package that showed up a few days late or a Van Gogh painting you were so personally attached to, we have all been affected in some way.
And often the headlines are negative, but in my opinion, protests are powerful. What better way to display your democratic rights than removing your necessary labour from the system and showing that you are a vital piece of society, so should be paid as such?
Strikes happen constantly, but more have been happening in the current economic climate, and they are being noticed. It’s difficult to keep up with who is on strike and when, but the consensus is that many unions and workers want higher wages in line with inflation, or fewer job cuts.
Strikes are an incredible way of demonstrating worker’s strength as it shows how important they are and that they should be respected.
Other forms of protest are my favourites: any sort of disruption and chaos with an important social message. Just Stop Oil campaigners throwing soup at a famous painting was ridiculed and criticised, but I loved it! They were just young people who were passionate about the climate, and why shouldn’t they be?
Dramatic action was necessary as less direct action is all too often swept under the rug and ignored by those in power. Protests bring these issues to the people’s attention in a way asking politely won’t.
The wonders of protest have lately been under fire by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, which gives the police more power to decide the conditions of protests and put more measures in place to stop them.
There are elements of the bill I agree with, such as protection of those the protests affect, but I also think this is quite an easy cover up for wanting to reduce the scale of demonstrations and create fear around them.
Protests that are deemed ‘too noisy’ can have conditions imposed by the police, aka telling them to leave. But is the point of a protest not to create noise? Nobody at a protest is whispering, they want their message to be seen and heard. There are many negative implications of this bill and obstructions of our freedom to protest.
It is the younger generations who have the world in our hands, so it is so important we have freedom to express our opinions and the courage to do so.
If you disagree with a protest, or protests in general, ask yourself why. Put yourself in the worker’s shoes, or the environmentalist’s shoes, or the women’s shoes, question why they care about these issues, and interrogate why you don’t. Chances are, they aren’t the problem.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet were released on November 18 so I wanted to talk about that and some of the new characters.
So I want to start this off with how cute I think the starter Pokémon are, especially Sprigatito – the grass type starter. The other starters, Quaxly (the water one) and Fuecoco (the fire one) are both cute, but since I love cats it makes Sprigatito better than the other two! I also really like its evolution: Meowscarada, which is a magician cat that is a grass and dark type. Quaxly’s final evolution is Quaquaval which is a dancer (I think) which has the water and fighting type. Finally we have Fuecoco’s evolution – Skeledirge, which I think is a singer since its signature move is called Torch Song.
And there are a few other Pokémon that I want talk about. First, let’s talk about Greavard, which is basically Litwick, but instead of a candle, it is a hairy dog. I think it’s too similar to Litwick, and its evolution has a very big jaw which I think is a bit weird. Speaking of evolutions, Girafarig finally has an evolution – Farigiraf! I love it because it looks like it’s wearing a hoodie. Another Pokémon I’m really happy about is called Tinkaton, which is this pink thing that has a massive hammer.
Next up, Gimmighoul, a Pokémon that started following players around in Pokémon Go after Dratini community day. I don’t have much to say about it and I personally think it’s kind of ugly. It also has a really ugly evolution in my opinion. It literally looks like a golden surfing cheese string. I’m disappointed.
Now let’s get onto Pokémon that are in the game that I’m really excited about. So, if you didn’t know, the Paldea region (the place Scarlet and Violet is set in) is based on Spain, and the Kalos region in Pokémon X and Y is based on France, so a lot of Pokémon from Pokémon X and Y are in the Paldea region. Some of my favourites include: the Flabébé line (Flabébé, Floette and Florges), the Skiddo line (Skiddo and Gogoat) which is great because I LOVE GOATS!! And the Scatterbug line (Scatterbug, Spewpa and Vivillon, which is one of my favourite bug types!)
In Scarlet and Violet there are 3 main storylines – Path of Legends, Starfall Street and of course the classic Victory Road, where you battle the gym leaders to become the champion.
In the Path of Legends, you need to find something called ‘Herba Mystica’ and visit the lairs of titan Pokémon (Pokémon which are bigger than normal, and which I think you use to upgrade the legendary Koraidon and Miraidon, so they can swim and fly. In addition you use can them to travel.
Next up, is Starfall Street, which is where you fight rebellious students, who are an evil team like Team Rocket.