A Grand Day out with my chum Alan


I don’t often post pictures of myself on this sort of thing but this is me and my chum Alan on a great day out in Ross on Wye. I’ve been retouched, but the less said about that the better, and it’s not why I’m laughing. You can see why I’d share it, we make each other laugh almost all the time. We used to share an office together and never a cross word was spoken in ten years or so, or since!

Here’s what it looked like from the other way:


Alan was, and is indeed, one of the most talented graphic designers I know. He’s an artist in every respect and you can see his work here, together with a group of other artists who well deserve recognition: Looks good on the wall.


Blue Man Church and Mrs Thatcher.


This is Painswick Church grounds and it is said to have 99 yew trees. They have tried in the past to plant another but it is said it always dies. Taken the other day, I was taken with the chap in the blue shirt and his bright red jacket, discarded in the bright September sunshine.

There’s something about September sunshine that brings everything into sharp focus. Shadows are longer and deeper and the sun seems to pick out every detail. today has been exceptional, so I took a few pictures to pass it on. The ones that follow are all Cheltenham and stem from a quick stroll after breakfast with chums, and a wish to stay out in the air for a while.


I used to have an office in these buildings, on the top floor. In the afternoons I got the benefit of all the sunshine. The front is opposite the Town Hall in Cheltenham and I remember when Mrs Thatcher was due to visit the town, the place was like an armed camp.The office was ‘burgled’ and nothing taken, the whisper at the time was that it might have been the Security Services checking us out. We were in direct line of fire to the front of the building. I might have thrown a sharpened pencil at her, or a cheap jibe! Large drain sections were put in the roads around to prevent cars getting close. I just chose not to go to the office that day.


This is a regency terrace on my walk back. It looks very much like it must have looked when it was built. Superb buildings, especially on a sunny day like today, but I’ve edited out the cars. Shame we can’t do that a little more: edit out the cars.


R Tyler, who art near heaven.

I have a bit of a thing about names as evidenced in my series of drawings that you can see here: Apt names

R tyler

But in reality there are loads of people with the real thing. Like Mr Tyler who is just that, a tiler.

I also came across this bit of religious vandalism near to Gloucester Cathedral the other day. Saint Opath must be the Patron Saint of Back Pain.

st opath

The image of the grapes were taken locally in my friends garden earlier this month. A sign of a sunny summer that is having a last blast this week after two days of rain.

Vals grapes

As for the house, I came across this place just the other day, quite close to where I live but down a street I’ve not been down. Some of those lovely metal signs. Whever lives there has to be a collector.


And last but not least, here’s one of my favourite “chippies”, it’s in Gloucester and is a genuine medieval building, where you can buy ye fish and chips and other deep fried delights. Ye Takeaway! Ye Gods! Brilliant.


Put that on your sandwich!

I’m a big follower of this blog:


I’m slightly addicted to Betty’s take on all the stuff she buys from Trader Joe’s which is a large supermarket chain in California ( and may be elswhere ). Looking at what our American cousins eat might give an insight into how they behave. They certainly are n’t short on creativity. In the case above they obvoiusly dropped a cake in the baking department and shovelled it into jars. No need to worry, I’m sure it was all in a controlled environment, though nuts might have been present. In fact that exactly describes the people who think up these ideas: nuts!

Apropo of nothing, it occurs to me that almost every image I’ve posted on here has had blue skies in the background and gives the impression that we live in a country like California. So to balance it out here’s what it was like yesterday, and it continues into today.

It’s the sort of day where you need to get cake in your sandwich.


I’d rather be…


Off I go for a haircut. One of those days where you think things might go well, but the signs are that all is not well. Subdued barber, lady barber that is, she obviously thought she’d rather be doing something else than mowing my head. Very pleasant, but not a lot of “connection”. The usual opener ” Got a lot on today?” I suppose it’s better than the dentist in that their questions and what I call “dental gibbering” can rarely be answered when they have all thier metalwork and suction pumps in the answer box.

Then a thought occured, I’ll pop in to that stationers place after being mowed. It’s a little shop, a bit of an offshoot for a local print firm. They can sell me some more card for my drawings and it will be tremedous. “Misery Guts” at the desk did not look that pleased to see me, and when I asked if he had such a thing as an elastic band to wrap my purchase, threw one at me. I guess he’d rather be behind a glass of beer grumbling about the state of the nation. Not a glimmer of a smile or a good morning from him.

I’d rather have been an art director working for a massive advertising agency in the early Seventies than a cartoonist. I’d rather be on my allotment than here. So I’m off!


Later that same day…

Meantime another place I’d rather be. This is near Chedworth in the Cotswolds and memories of a brilliant day walking and talking with my friend Robin. The drawing at the top is the first brushwork for my rendition of this to come. More of these will follow.

Robin would always rather be singing, and I’d always rather be drawing than almost anything else.

#Folksinging #Cotswolds #Drawing #Printmaking #Haircuts #Miserablepeople



Westward Ho! At a cinema near you soon.

line westwardhofinal

It’s the only place I know in the UK with an exclamation mark in the name. As part of my series of ‘proper drawings’ this is just one of a big series drawings. This is the original and is from this photograph taken some years ago. It would lend itself to one of those Cohen brother films as a poster. I only ever did one poster for cinema and that was when the props ( a house ) were more important to the director than the then leading actor who was Tom Hanks! A very long time ago. The job was fraught with problems, mainly mine as I sought to do justice to a job that I thought I was ill-suited to. I don’t do likenesses and particularly not of women. The other star was Shelley Long, who would not have liked my rendition of her

It would lend itself to one of those Cohen brother films as a poster. I only ever did one poster for cinema and that was when the props ( a house ) were more important to the director than the then leading actor who was Tom Hanks! A very long time ago. The job was fraught with problems, mainly mine as I sought to do justice to a job that I thought I was ill-suited to. I don’t do likenesses and particularly not of women. The other star was Shelley Long, who would not have liked my rendition of her face, if I had attempted it. Skipping to the end of the saga, they did eventually use my drawing but it was one I’m not particularly proud of. I still have the rough visual somewhere, but keep it well hidden. Typography, of sorts, eventually came to my rescue obliterating most of my efforts.

Here’s the original photo taken on the coast at Westward Ho! which inspired the line drawing above. I’ll be adding colour in due course and will repost it then. It’s probably a fine residence by now, but then it was just a rather sad coast house.

Westward Ho 09 098

#tomhanks #themoneypit #westwardho #filmposters #coastline #wreckedbuilding #shelleylong


Yorkshire Tea, it’s tea but it’s not from Yorkshire.


Barnsley Tcollection177
The Tea Collectors of Barnsley

Everyone knows that the tea fields of Yorkshire are just outside Barnsley in a secret location. Here you will find repurposed mine workers earning an honest living picking the tea at night ably assisted by cloth headed women with a leg in each corner. Flavour is enhanced by night picking.

It’s as likely as coffee from Italy, there is none.

So when they call it Yorkshire Tea it’s bending the truth. Makes a good brew though.
#yorkshire #tea #barsnley #teabags #brew #marketingbollocks



Power ranger…och aye.

scottish Power884

There are far too many first world problems that get me generating heat, but a recent bill from the bailiffs for Scottish Power really did take the shortbread.

I owe Scottish Power nothing. Despite that, they continued to send letters from their bailiff company insisting that I do. I made my feeling known to them and they advised that they would get the bailiffs to desist and that they would pay me what they had demanded as some sort of recompense.

I’ve since had two more letters from the bailiffs.

In Scottish Poer’s cheery ‘customer service focussed’ response they recently suggested :

Need more help? There are a number of quicker and easier ways to get in touch – online, chat or phone. Visit https://www.scottishpower.co.uk/getintouch or download our energy app, search ‘ScottishPower – your energy’ via the iOS App or Android Google Play Store.

I’ve responded as follows:


Having passed on my earlier complaint I have now had yet another letter from bailiffs: Mxxxxxxt Debt Recovery for my nonexistent account.
I was advised on my first contact with you that this would be stopped. It has not been done, or they have ignored any instructions from you.
I suggest an escalating rate of recompense for these letters which in effect are demanding money with menaces.
Let’s start with the original complaint for which you should be paying me
£78-00, this was the fictitious amount that was outstanding on the bill that never came to me and was the agreed sum discussed on the phone with Mr XXXX.
Then add on £25-00 for sending me another letter, menacing me and obliging me to get in touch again, then add on £30-00 for the letter just sent to me on the 3rd September.
I’d suggest that if you add £5-00 on a base charge of £25-00 for harassment and incompetence, and get Mxxxxxxt to pay you for their incompetence, they might then desist.
That’s a total of £133-00, please.
This will rise by a factor of £5-00 each time you bother me.
So next time it will be £35-00.
Pass this on to the complaint handler, please.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you, or someone else in due course.
Need more help? There are quicker ways to solve a problem.
Send me an email confirming the above, pay the outstanding amount you owe me, and let’s hope we don’t ever hear from each other again.

The names have been blanked above to spare the innocent, the innocent being the poor people who have to deal with complaints at Scottish Power.
I’m awaiting a reply.