Make your own punchline or…

…perhaps it does n’t need it.

A very quick idea here where you can add your own punchline, but it may not even need it.

Perhaps Santa could be saying  “You can have it but the box is empty”

Feel free to suggest something better.

For all those who have followed me over the year, thanks. I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.fifasanta432


The Happy Hiker

I’m working on a load of stuff in my old drawers, no panto sniggers please.A series of drawings that I did some years ago that I always meant to finish up. At last I’m doing it and this one just about summed up the latter part of the year for me.This is not quite finished and is at present just the line work, but is really all there.

I’m keen on hiking and walking and this year was a gem for that, with walking in the Orkneys and in the Rockies as the highlights, plus some gems in the Mendips with my chum Richard.If you really want to know more then go and have a look where I bore for England about them.

I’ve never actually seen anyone do this but it is the way you can feel on a half decent walk in the English countryside.I suspect that the two women in that background are muttering: ” There’s always one”. A fine English expression to sum up anyone who insists on showing off.


Supermarket stare, it’s that time of year again. Are you going to let it happen again? Probably.


Worth re-blogging this from the last build-up to the X word. You’ll be seeing a few of these around from about this weekend on. Have pity.

It only take one trip to a Supermarket for the viewer to notice: ‘Man who’s been let loose in a supermarket with a list’.

‘Don’t come home without those items on the list that we never buy at any other time of the year’ is the order ringing around the head. Sending them on days like these is a cruelty beyond reason. They are not used to supermarkets at the best of times rarely getting involved in the shopping during the rest of the year and getting it wrong on the odd occasions mid year when they are asked to get something, so sending them out at this vital time is just wicked.

Look out for the look. It’s eyes wide open, a gait that is a little stumbling then a determination to reach for anything that closely resembles the list. Same words but not necessarily in the right order. In various moments of madness they will go completely ‘off-piste’ buying stuff in funny shaped bottles containing liquids that will never be tasted and will be thrown away in early December next year when found at the back of a kitchen cupboard. Or they will buy ordinary items that have had ‘the Christmas treatment’, butter with brandy added, cream with booze added, marmalade that has whisky in it ( or so the label says ), all which taste quite disgusting or of nothing at all, in particular the marmalade.

They will spend like a person possessed racking up charges on the credit card like never at any other time of year, which also explains the panic stricken look…they know they will have to pay for this madness in January.

Garage bloke and a stopped cheque.

A mix of photos and drawing today. I came across this drawing in the recent cull and it originally would have had a punchline on it somewhere, but that’s disappeared.


…and the photos are taken from a couple of years ago at a garage on the A38, so that’s not too specific as it runs down the entire country. The garage bloke was one of those ‘men who mends cars’, rather than a techie computer whizz, the photographs behind him are all his family photos that he has pinned to his wall for the past 30 years or so. He pointed out a couple of small babies who he said were now married and had kids of their own.


The corner detritus is typical of these small operations where there is an unorder of things but he knows where everything is. It makes my drawing look tidy.


…as for the cheque pinned to the wall. Looks like someone has done the dirty on him and this his unique way of getting his own back. I’ve photoshopped out the guilty person for everyone’s sake, least of all mine.



Rugby fun…

No it’s not, necessarily.

I played at school but was never any good at it.This sort of sums up my skills, I was run over on frequent occasions.rugbyfun385

This drawing was done a few years ago now and is part of a series I thought of doing on sports nuts.I’ll post the finished thing…sometime.

Transpotting before Irving Welsh


It’s a first rough again, found lingering in the bottom drawer. When I was around 10 years old I took up transpotting, with my elder brother. It helped that we lived at the intersection of many railway lines just outside Wigan where the Royal Scot steamed past at incredible speed every lunchtime dead on 12-00 midday. We used to run down to the bridge to watch it coming and no doubt covered in smoke and soot after it passed, going.

I suspect this drawing was another of the rejects for Some Missing Persons, probably because trainspotters do still exist.

For those not in the know here, the hobby consisted of hanging around a railway line, probably at a main station, where you could get a platform ticket, to watch the trains come and go and of course: note down the number. There were books by Ian Allen, full of the numbers.

Crewe, being one of the largest junctions in the country, would have been a very good place to spot the trainspotter, with obligatory anorak with many pockets for the Ian Allen reference books and a sagging rucksack for the thermos that mum had provided and probably some egg sandwiches to keep you going. Pen and notebook to complete the kit with possibly a Brownie 127 camera to record the event on celluloid.

I gave up the hobby when I came to realise that I’d never complete the numbers as they were making new trains every day.

Drawing for life


Here’s another rough from my book Some Missing Persons and, like the last posting, on reviewing this there are many things about this  that I prefer to the final drawing that I used. The drawing was to accompany golden text written by my good friend Gordon Thorburn and was entitled ” Artist”.

Read all about him by clicking the link above. He’s a fine fellow despite being fromYorkshire, but then not everyone’s perfect.

You may be able to find some of the drawings from the book on my other site

The drawing itself takes me back to art school days, which is what we called them in those days. The Beatles, or some of them, went to art school, not to Uni. The school was in the former public baths in Openshaw, a rough area of Manchester.

I well remember my first life drawing class. You could have cut the atmosphere with a pallet knife. Here we were a group of young men and women about to witness what some of us had never seen before in our innocent days, a completely naked woman that we were supposed to draw. The boys were expecting a Playboy centrefold, and the girls? We had no idea of what they were expecting and frankly few of us boys cared.

As the class was about to start there was no sign of the naked stranger, then what seemed like a well built cleaning woman walked in who seems to be wearing a gaberdine mac. It was Manchester so perhaps she’s just stepped out of the rain.

She then stepped out of the gaberdine with not a stitch on and bestrode herself on the pink sofa.She was hardly centrefold stuff, being well endowed with her own collection of centre folds.

My young colleague just could not help himself and gasped in a very long whisper audible to all ” Bloody hell”. Our tutor then laid into us about how absolute rubbish we were at drawing and that we’d better get our proverbial fingers out and get as much life drawing in as possible. We did get stuck in and life was never quite the same for us again. Our centrefold friend liked to wander about and check out the drawings in her break, in some ways we were more afraid of her than the tutor, especially if she did not bother to put her mac back on in break time.

I’m sure one of the girls just drew the window behind the model.




Barber shop rough

I came across this rough in my recent clear out of stuff and in many ways think it’s better than the finished drawing that I eventually used for the book. The book in question was called, is called, Some Missing Persons and is a lament for all those types who have now gone.

For this particular drawing I called to memory my own early experiences of visiting barber’s shops in Wigan. For those of you outside the UK, then the place might not be familiar but it is for me. I’ve not been back there for years but in the time when I did live there, there existed barber’s shops like this. Generally very smoky dens with the smell of damp and ‘certain lotions’ that the barber kept for wiping over faces and heads. It did not seem to matter which. In those days there were also miners working in the area, and on a damp day they might go and get a short back and sides. On a less than damp day they might go fishing in one of the local ‘flashes’. Lakes made from tip waste. Lakes they’d made themselves really. It was a lovely community, I hope it still is.

Barbers were also the purveyors of birth control and it was only a few years later that I understood why when one callow youth came into the barber, whispered in his ear, and the barber said: ” Sorry son we don’t sell them in ones”, exactly why the callow youth fled red faced.

Moving on some number of years I managed to find an outpost of old “barbery” in Stroud of all places. There used to be a chap there called Tim who had a similar shop to the ones that I recalled in Wigan. On the wall he had photographs of some of the stars of the ‘sixties’ like the Beatles and Elvis. Biroed onto the photos were the legends, “Great haircut Tim, signed Elvis” and “Cool Cut Tim xxx John Paul George and Ringo”. They all had an uncanny similarity of writing style.




Good excuse?

tied up374

Another of those roughs found in the bottom of a drawer, and corny it is indeed, some days you just have to be in the mood for this sort of thing. Other days you might think , perhaps not.

Someone might be in the mood for it?