Mr Price and Mr Price: the Engineers

One morning at the office, when I went into my office at the printers I worked for as a salesman, I had a call from a Mr Price who was an engineer. He ran a small engineering firm with his dad, the family lived on the site of the engineering business and he said they needed some ‘compliments slips’ to put in with their invoices and ‘the like’. He advised that the design needed some updating as they still had a Gloucester number as a telephone contact. They had not even got as far as the area codes, which indicated … Continue reading Mr Price and Mr Price: the Engineers


Some years ago this was taken on this beautiful Mediterranean island. It’s a shephers’s hut, but a shed to me. Very solid lower stone construction and no doubt all materials from the local area, then the parched wood atop. I assume with those very thick walls it would have made a cool place to drop into, that is cool as in temperature, rather than cool in its now borrowed meaning of being “The shed to be seen in” type of cool. Whatever, it’s cool in both meanings of the word. Continue reading Shed:Crete

Fisherwoman : Nairn, Scotland.

Some years ago we took a holiday in Scotland and were heading for the walking places. The day before the organised walking we had the time to visit Nairn, where we came across this really brilliant statue. You can read more about it here. Statues have been much in the news of late either because they are unbelievably awful or they have links to the grimmer parts of our history. Some of the awful ones are footballers or former footballers, outside stadia, and frankly they do nothing for either the subject or the Stadia. Then one comes across one that … Continue reading Fisherwoman : Nairn, Scotland.

Springtime Shed in Slad

Caught this a few years ago on a drive towards Stroud, one of my favourite towns in Gloucestershire. The Slad Valley is one of the five valleys around Stroud, made famous by writer and poet Laurie Lee and his book “Cider with Rosie”. This shed is on the main road through Slad and was still there just a few weeks ago when I did the same route. “Cider with Rosie” is a very good read, sometimes described as a love story about a time when things were simpler, with no modern gadgets and very little traffic through the village, but … Continue reading Springtime Shed in Slad

Before the Shopping 2007

A somewhat grainy image of a former factory from 2007 in the midst of its demolition to be replaced by a Shopping Centre in the docks area of Gloucester. As my memory serves me this was taken at Christmas time when there was little going on in the site and it was one of those bright winter days, a little in short supply as I write. This was the Fielding and Platt building, manufacturing all sorts of hydraulic heavy lifting gear and if you want to know more they have a brilliant website right here The only heavy lifting around … Continue reading Before the Shopping 2007

Puccini: Lucca

I didn’t think I was an opera fan though I did take to “Nessum Dorma” as an introduction to a football competition some years ago. It used to make the hairs on my neck stand up and if it comes on the radio now and I’m alone in the car I’ll sing along at full volume. I was written by this chap: Puccini. This is in his home town of Lucca where we visited some years ago. I think it’s a fine sculpture and he looks very relaxed and successful, which he was. I wonder if the non smokers out … Continue reading Puccini: Lucca

The loudest sound would be singing.

Here s a spot that we visited earlier in the year on a lovely summer day, I hope it cheers you on a very grey winter day here in the UK. This is near to the small village of Snowshill in the Cotswolds. Well worth a visit when you are in this area. On this walk it occurred to me that this view has probably not changed in centuries. There’s no evidence of modern living in this image, no wires, no telephone masts, and even no houses. That aside there may well have been fewer trees in the old days, … Continue reading The loudest sound would be singing.

I plan to paint this…one day

I thought that this might cheer on a grey Monday here in the UK. Memories of a brilliant day just a few months ago. I’ll only need 3 colours so that won’t be expensive. Taken in last year this stunning buttercup field is on a walk near the River Severn. There are many stiles like this in the Cotswolds, one of the things they all seem to have in common is that they are almost all at least 6 inches higher than one should really feel comfortable with. Some are built for giants, and negotiating them can be tricky, these … Continue reading I plan to paint this…one day

Back down to earth…

Back in the UK after our trip to California. What am I missing apart from the family? The light: almost constant blue skies seemed unreal out there. Warm days and sunshine for days on end and in November. I believe it has rained since we left but we saw not a drop. My next job, once we’d been through the “glamour of flying” is to get back on the allotment and sort out a delivery of super delicious soil conditioner ordered for quite a few plotters, me amongst them. This black gold makes for easy growing when the time comes … Continue reading Back down to earth…

Umbali, what sort of dish is that?

I’m told that poke is a dish of some sort but I misheard daughter the other day and thought she was describing yet another strange sounding American food dish as “umbali” The strange look she gave me when I repeated the dish back to her spoke of misunderstanding. I was eating a pot of soup ( yes, soup in California ) on one of our last outings of the trip. It was chicken and barley. She said “What’s umbali?” After I’d asked the same question. She spelt it out for me v e r y s l o w l … Continue reading Umbali, what sort of dish is that?

Venice has canals, why am I surprised?

I’ve been to Venice Beach a couple of times before, many years ago I stayed with a fellow illustrator/ cartoonist and our agent ( yes , I had a spell being represented by an agent ) when we all went on a business trip to L.A. He hired an apartment for us all on Venice Beach. He was that type of guy who felt the need to be cool. He rented a Ford Thunderbird convertible for himself and Phil and I made do with a small Toyota Claris which was the sort of car that one’s Aunty Clarice might have … Continue reading Venice has canals, why am I surprised?