Cutting remarks…

If you thought this was going to be spiteful then think again. I’m talking about lino cutting and before you reach for the mouse to click off take a look at this. It’s result of lino cutting.


It’s a print by my chum Rosalind Forster who is not only a talented printmaker but a talented artist all round. It’s beyond me how she gets results like these from cutting out bits of lino. Illustrated here are the bare necessities before you even add ink and colour.


It’s the merging of the skills with the cutter and the printing and still getting it right that is so bloody clever. Added to that is composition and drawing.

Great stuff. See more here: Rosalind Forster

She’s having an exhibition in November in Derbyshire, go and get one of these wonderful prints. I’ll post details nearer the time.

Pancake tosser…


It’s not often you get a pancake tosser on the front of a magazine, but this one made it. I quite like the art director’s note  in the top right not to lose the pancakes at the top when placing. I’m assuming I did this for pancake day.

I was always inspired by the wonderful invention and drawing of William Heath Robinson, where he imagined machines that could do all sorts of wonderful tasks. I think this drawing would benefit from some simple animation.Flying pancakes, lovely.

Heath Robinson

I’m having a week of postings to see what sort of response they get rather than the once a week, as per normal. If you have dropped into my site then thanks for visiting.


The view from the Victoria sponge

This blog covers a multitude of recent popular subjects. Baking being one of them. The drawing (it’s not a sketch for crying out loud ) is a first idea put down on paper very quickly and I just hope that I can get the same feeling onto the final as happened in this. It’s part of a series on the British which was somewhat interrupted by the Brexit shenanigans, and has caused me to think a little more about the project. We are not quite what I thought we were before the vote. Anyhow, politics aside, and that’s where they are best left for the time being, this is a drawing of a typical Summer fete day somewhere in the British Isles.



The word fete is almost guaranteed a day of dark clouds and some teeming rain.Ladies of a certain age will have spent some time baking the obligatory Victoria Sponges for the teas which of course is the highlight of a local fete. The sweet peas will have been through the judging at the plant and produce table, and at least one of the gardeners entering the competition will grumble about the size of someone else’s onions.

Some of the ladies there will be wearing what we used to call pacamacs, which were basically plastic bags pretending to be coats, and will also have smaller plastic bags on their heads to prevent dampness getting to the ‘blue rinse’.

Dogs will be in evidence as will be the odd harrumphing retired colonel who, no doubt will be chewing on a pipe.Inevitably fetes happen only in villages, it’s rare to find them in towns ( they are then referred to as “street parties” and only happen when HRH reaches a significant milestone ). These days villages are mainly populated by incomers and people who can afford the massive prices for peasant cottages that are the norm these days.

So there you have it, Summer’s gone now and the village will be gathering large amounts of wood to burn an effigy on November the 5th to celebrate someone who tried to burn down the Houses of Parliament. Oh crikey! Back to politics.



Five star bread and a five star Sainsbury Store.Go and try them both.No one’s paying for this ad.

My new best friends in London are the bakers at the Pavilion bread shop in Hackney and the Sainsbury mini store on Mare Street. First of all the bread, here’s what it looks like. Now we are talking pricey bread here but it really is worth it.

£3-50 for a loaf of bread?



They do coffee too and if the bread’s anything to go by then that will be good too. There are also a range of eyewateringly priced cakes that make the bread seem cheap by comparison. I’ve yet to try them, I’ll need a win on the horses before I can afford them. You can find them on Broadway Market. Take a look at them ever though their website is still in the oven being baked…The cafe bit where they do the baking is here

Seek it out and try it for yourself.

I was there to help look after my twin grandchildren, and have persuaded my daughter to write about it on her own blog. Take a look sometime, it’s worth reading. She’s a witty one! daughterblog  She manages to keep her sense of humour despite spending many hours awake and very few asleep.

Take a look at this too, this is close to her place and is an area that many years ago was just falling to bits. The street was populated by artists and these days it’s coming up in the world, but it seems to have kept it’s character.That’s a busy overground railway on the bridge. The area buzzes with life and activity.

One place that really is never quiet is the little Sainsbury store on Mare Street. It stocks the usual stuff that Sainsbury’s do, but the difference is the staff. They make you feel like an old friend and nothing seems to dull their day. Always smiling and helpful. Give them a big star, they must be the friendliest mini store I’ve ever been into. I don’t often give a link to a corporate being but in this case the Mare Street Store deserve recognition, they show how a shop should run. #Sainsbury Find them here

Back to drawings for the next blog and please don’t call them sketches, it’s like talking to a Chinese athlete and calling table tennis ping pong. Just not done.

Thanks for listening.


“Sorry about the mess” said the pilot.

It’s not the words you want to hear when climbing into the rear of a two seater aircraft. The pilot, a large bloke with a big ‘wooly pully’ as he might call it was heaving his not inconsiderable frame into the front behind the array of instruments and the all important joy stick. I was hoping he’s be able to see it among all the litter in the plane which consisted of many sweet wrappers and discarded fag packets. For those readers in the US we call cigarettes fags, amongst other things.

” I’ll drive” he joked and then said “strap yourself in then”, and then muttered something about “health and safety” as if strapping yourself into an aeroplane was ever not an option.

I’d gone along to this local gliding centre to take photos of gliders and people learning to fly them, and here I was with Wing Commander Sidney ” Sweetie” Pie ( Not his real name ) about to take to the air in a small but noisy German aeroplane in the hunt for the photos in question. “I thought I was going to just be on the ground” I chatted to him nervously as the plane bowled down the field that they took for a runway in these parts. ” No bloody good getting pictures of the things on the ground, let’s go and find some up here”, he answered cheerfully. As we took off with a glider attached I squeaked a barely audible “OK”


What followed put considerable strain on my undercarriage as well as the plane’s. Once we’d got to what he called a decent height and I called near space, he pulled a large lever and let the glider we were towing off to find some thermals. By this time the camera I had taken with me was higher than my face in the cockpit as I sank down as close to the seat as I could crush myself.

For the next terrifying fifteen minuets that felt like an hour, he chased around the sky like a demented Spitfire pilot chasing after a Focke Wolfe, the first of these words was akin to something that I muttered each time he dipped his wing and zoomed into another target.

He landed perfectly after the excursion and helped my gingerly out of the back, offering me one of his collection of sweet assortments. I can’t say the photographs came out that well, though I did get a good close up of the closing mechanism of a plane’s cockpit hood. More by accident than design.

Chocs away!


British Camp?

Ok, this is the first time I’ve posted a film. This is called British Camp, it’s an outdoorsy type of epic starring Malvern Hills and has far reaching views. Production values are not up to much, it was done on a phone after all, so you’ll be pleased that it is very short.

An October walk on the Malvern Hills is the main story line. The story ends with Tiffin the hero of the outing which can be found at the end of the walk and is not to be missed. No saccharin here this is real chocolate with a chocolate topping, absolutely topping with a cup of tea.


This is one of the opening scenes


Way out West you can see for miles over to the Shropshire Hills and Wales beyond.


Back down on the home run there is the cafe, perched on the hillside. Ring both bells and you will be well served. Tiffin and tea, what better way to end the adventure.


Roll credits:

Tiffin was served by Ruffz Refreshment Kiosk
Midsummer Hill, Malvern and made by the proprietor

Miss Toni Leigh Hollings
who sounds like a star too!

Find them on Facebook:Ruffz
Then seek out after a healthy walk. Well worth it.

Summer exhibition…that was fun.

Here are some of the exhibits from the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition which I enjoyed and if you’ll excuse the pun, from my perspective.


I rather like the way people lean when looking at pictures as if to look around them, or perhaps  as in this case as he did not lean, the image was talking to him into those lovely big ears.



This is two pieces, a sculpture and a painting behind. Someone being clever here with the curating. Clever curator!

And then last of the series I took is this one, it must have been done pre Brexit and speaks volumes.



I suspect that this exhibition is over now, but yesterday I took in the Picasso Portraits one at the National Portrait Gallery, not allowed to photograph anything there which was a shame. For my money I enjoyed the Summer Exhibition much more and thought the National Portrait people had put on a poor show, dull rooms and home movies of the man himself did nothing for me. Not all the drawings were that good either. Picasso has so much outstanding work, some in here but not all.You should be told, it’s expensive to visit.


There’s no such things an original, is there?

They say that there are only six jokes in the world, and that those are just recycled and remade. I have no idea what the original six were.

It would seem to me that in what I do there are now no such things as originals, or perhaps I’m wrong. All my drawings these days start with a line drawing that is essentially unfinished. The drawing is then scanned and put into photoshop and digitally worked up to get the final. Which is the original? Possibly the initial line drawing can be described as the original, but it is not what I’d call finished. In the time before digital work I’d finish and faff with it until I was relatively happy and then that final flat piece of paper can rightly be described as the original. So perhaps that discounts this first drawing. May be those pixels in the mac are the original.

Anyhow here’s a first line drawing without any messing, apart from the scanning. It’s for a series I’m working on the British, although the boat could be a metaphor for the country ready to set off on its round the world trip, apres Brexit.

Please note the adventurer’s website address on the banner above his leaking boat. I wonder if that domain is taken?old-boat-finalsf

“Are you going to be wearing that?”

There’s a hint in the tone. Slightly incredulous, and it’s result is confidence sapping. I’m not one for high fashion, in fact I’d be better described as a follower of low fashion if there is such a thing. Ill fitting jeans, I’ve lost a bit of weight and they were cheap, are de rigeur for me. In contrast to my daughter and son in law, I have only enough shoes to be useful. I find that shoes get more comfortable with age so are worth hanging on to for as long as possible. They have more shoes than I think I’ve ever had in my life.

That aside the comment was about my plan to wear my rather natty hat. I bought it in Canada but it was made in China, so it has some mileage in it. The planned trip was to see “the boys”, that is my brand new hardly worn twin grandchildren up in London, involved taking the hat with me and wearing it. If you want to know more about being a mother of twins then take a look at Two boys one mum where my baby girl writes about her baby boys, with a certain amount of good humour.

In the end I took it and my hat never came out of my rucksack. So it got a few more miles under it’s belt but was of no use whatsoever.

I came back home and wore it yesterday at the plot: the allotment, to keep the bright sunny September sun out of my eyes. I sent a picture of myself to my other half and daughter.The reply was telling: “Hat best for the allotment”. So London and the boys will never have the pleasure of seeing it in real life.

Taken with Lumia Selfie
Looks o.k. to me and it’s a well known brand.Rhubarb in the background.

I’ve had a busy day on the blog today, and lots of visits after posting about food! Seems to be a much favoured subject. Well there’s food here too.

“What do you put on your rhubarb, horse manure?”

” Actually I prefer custard”

My daughter would no doubt describe that as a “Dad joke”.