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Jasper Johns must have been a gardener.

Or at least a man with a shed.

For those not of an artistic persuasion, you should know that Jasper Johns was, and perhaps is, a great American artist.He’s still with us! I recall in my late school days loving his work. As I understand it he went out of favour later on in his career, though I claim no special knowledge. He has an exhibition on in London at present at the Royal Academy, so I presume that those in the flow of these things, consider it’s time to resurrect his reputation.

Jasper Johns Exhibition at the RA

I am going to go along for old times sake, and to take a look at the people looking at the work. Great place for people watching.

There’s something slightly ‘up cycling’ about his stuff to me. He makes common objects into things of beauty, but then I think many common objects are. Perhaps it’s just that he makes us look, or at least helps us look. The RA says this about his stuff: “His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects, symbols and words makes the familiar unfamiliar, achieving this through the distinctive, complex textures of his works.” Anyone know what that means in plain English?

I was reminded of his work as I strolled back from my allotment. There I was “appropriating objects”. Perhaps he was a gardener too?


Jasper Johns: Ventriloquist, 1983.


Paul Davies: Sheddist 2017

Can you clean the yoghurt off the ceiling, please?



When I wasn’t doing that I took a look around Hackney and it looked absolutely lovely in the sunshine. A last gasp of Summer in the City. The yoghurt came off the ceiling without a problem, it was put there by my twin grandchildren but neither of them is owning up.

Waiting for BT Openreach…


September sun and the secret dahlia…


I’m very proud of my home-grown sunflowers which are still flowering and look spectacular in the September sun, don’t try saying that without your teeth in. I was less pleased with the dahlia ( singular ) bulb that I had bought early in the season, at some expense. But then yesterday, there it was in all its glory. Not a mark on it. It obviously likes to bloom in private. Hope you like it too and that it cheers your Monday like it cheered my Sunday.







Newspapers or beetroot?

I’m a big fan of both and a keen Guardian reader, especially the Saturday version. Off to the Supermarket to get my copy and don’t quite know where to look. So I ask a helpful young man. I thought I said “Can you tell me where to find the newspapers please” and he just responds with the word: “Beetroot?”

Now I know I’ve had a cold, a stinker, and my wife tells me I mumble, but how did I make newspaper sound like beetroot? Perhaps if I eat more beetroot I’ll see off the cold and my speech will improve.

I asked the aforesaid young man how he could mistake “newspaper” for “beetroot”. He looked at me with a puzzled expression and simply shrugged.

I’m off to blowdenose now, and then it’s a large whisky courtesy of my dear son and new D.I.L ( Daughter in law ) What to take to a Belgian Wedding… They have jetted off to somewhere exotic, probably called Avocado.





What to take to a Belgian Wedding…

The kids

Joe and Jolien with Eleanor, after the ceremony and before the napkin waving!


Massive enthusiasm to party and a big appetite is a good start. That’s my handsome boy on the left looking ultra cool in his wedding suit. His beautiful bride and his sister complete the picture.

So there we were in Leuven for the big event and discovering the Belgium is crammed full of cars and bikes. Some of these bikes can carry a small load, some a very large one. The cars are generally looking for somewhere to park when not filling the massive road going across the country.

There was a brilliant ceremony followed by a massive party. Not quite like the stiff upper lip events we seem to go for over here with speeches by the best man and father of the bride, the ceremony had people saying how wonderful the couple are, and after at the party, it’s all food and songs. An amazing film by the bride’s father Luc, and some napkin waving from the assembled masses. Over here the napkins stay on the knee, over there they are waved enthusiastically over the head to a range of music including, oddly Neil Diamond! By 1 pm I was flagging, no pun intended. The Belgians lasted till 4-00 in the morning.

Belgian napkin waving at Joe and Jolien’s Wedding Party


So that’s both kids married and hopefully settled. My son in law muttered about a re-run of his wedding with something a bit more “pepped up” like the Belgians, bit late for that now.

We had an absolutely brilliant time. I’m looking forward to my next event where napkin waving might be necessary. Frankly, I should not have been surprised about it really, they are a nation that spreads biscuit paste onto toast, for your information, it’s called Spekuloos

Biscuit spread, really!



Rain again…

Schools are soon to be back and my memory of September is mainly of bright sunny days. Here’s a rough drawing done ages ago of a schoolboy in the rain. With links to other rain pictures. Stay dry!

Drawing rain…

The view from the victoria sponge

Who chucks the rain down?


First of a new series…

I’m going to be doing a series of these for Cotswold Life magazine, which will be fun. This is the first. I’m sure you will know similar breeds in your area, but this particular one is very prevalent around the Kingsholm area of Gloucester and will soon be arriving in large numbers after their summer break.


Cotswold Wild no1

For those of an interested nature here’s the rough version: