Taps, is this progress?

A proper tap has at least three prongs and one spout for hot, and the other on the other side is for cold. It’s easy to grip with soapy hands and is a classic of its time. It has washers in the right places and it served the nation well, you can still get them but like almost all taps they are probably made in China.

The modern tap can have all sorts of fancy ways to switch it on and can includes a bit that operates the metal plug for the basin. It’s not a proper tap. It has many bits that can go wrong, and if they do go wrong, you are more than likely going to have to replace the whole thing. If you do then think about having two normal taps, you are unlikely ever to need to change theme. Don’t be seduced by so called German engineering, and brands with the word “Von” in them.

Take a lesson from the humble garden tap, they don’t have any truck with fancy items. They put straightfoward utilitarian taps on any allotment site, and so they should.

Then there are the mixer taps. Nothing new there, you can get mixer taps with proper turning handles but beware the modern version with its lift this here and turn that there configuration, especially in the modern shower where you are more than likely to get a downpour of icy water before you’ve worked out exactly how it works. Never a problem with the old ones with the H and the C suitably emblazoned on the top of each tap.

And plugs? Get a rubber one with a chain fitted so you don’t lose it. Nothing else is acceptable.

Share this, it’s really important.

Here’s a picture taken in Derbyshire to cheer you up.

By way of a change…

I’m in Derbyshire and this is a typical Derbyshire dry stone wall. Unusually it’s been very dry here and across the U.K. in the last few weeks. We didn’t get a green and pleasant land by having blue skies and sunshine. We are having a bit of a break before the weather starts to change and winter is upon us, and walls like these return to their normally damp state.

A big thanks to all those lovely people who donated to Longfield in exchange for one or both of my recently published books for children. So far I have sold over 60 books for them, so that’s 300 quid donated to them, for the valuable work they do. To find out more take a look at my website. The books are also available in the Longfield shops in the Bath Road in Cheltenham, and in their shop in King Street, Stroud.

I intend to bang on about the books for the foreseeable future until they all get sold! That may take a while, although there are only 100 of each in existence, so if you have one, you have a limited first edition. This is what they look like.

Who is this monster, is it you?

The final page, perhaps the punchline page is more to the point. The idea is to have read this to your children or grandchildren, and to persuade them that they should stay in bed at night.

I hope you enjoyed this book and my other one. If you would like a copy all the proceeds are going to Longfield. Read all about them here.

You can buy copies of these little tomes either in their shops in Cheltenham and Stroud, where I’m hoping you will part with at least a fiver per copy for them, or you can buy them from here, where the price is £6.50 as long as you can use PayPal. This is to cover postage and packing to you, and for me having to faff about! I’ll send the money for the books to Longfield.

There are only 100 copies of each book available, so they are something of a limited edition.

I hope you have enjoyed my lockdown project, and that you will help me raise funds for this worthy charity.

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

Thanks for dropping into my blog and sticking with the two stories to the end. If you have bought a book, then thank you very much indeed. I undertook the project as a way to entertain my grandchildren and both books are dedicated Sidney, Wilfred, Elliot and my brother’s grandson: Laurie. We missed seeing them over the lockdown and hope we will soon be able to see them all again soon.

Is this the real monster?

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

The fact that this little monster is wearing a cherry and white shirt is no coincidence. I was brought up in Wigan where the local rugby league club sported cherry and white shirts, and to a young lad these players looked like monsters. Later I supported my local grown up team at Gloucester and they too wear cherry and white. Coincidence or a plot?

Now we know what we’re looking for…

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

Longfield will benefit from every book you buy from me, either here where I will send on your donation, or directly from their shops in Bath Road, Cheltenham, and King Street, Stroud.

Feel free to give a gnat’s more if you can.

Spot that Monster.

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

Don’t forget to go to the Longfield site to see what they do.Their shops are in Cheltenham’s Bath Road and in King Street, Stroud. The books come packed in cd sleeves, so no need to risk thumbing through them and each shop has a poster illustrating the spreads, if you have n’t seen them here or here

If you want a signed copy, then please just get in touch, via the in touch page when you order, and feel free to add a quid to your donation for my joined up writing.

Monster like a good speech, this was not a great one…

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

It’s rare for allotment plotters to stop for tea. I rarely do myself. Public speaking is something else that’s mercifully rare in my life. The two big events where I had to were my very first one, which was after an exhibition of the Association of Illustrators in the 70s when I was chairman and had to thank everyone for all their hard work. I had no work in the exhibition myself, which is a bit rich in the circumstances. I was not selected! The event was also at the Ritz in London’s West End so at least my first public speaking engagement was somewhere where you could get a good tea. I remember being stone cold sober with nerves but I was at least well prepared. I’d hardly call my speech memorable. Someone did remark on my ‘dull flat Derbyshire delivery’ afterwards, I was pretty miffed at that as I come from Lancashire. The other event was daughter’s wedding in a pub in London. I was well prepared for this too, having had to submit my draft to daughter first, seemed a bit extreme. Here again I was absolutely stone cold sober, and absolutely no-one else was. I could really have said just about anything and they would barely have noticed.

Monster pigeon, flying low…

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

This spread inspired by the huge pigeons that are barely able to take off after feasting on the allotments where I have my plot. I’m sure one of them follows me home. It walks with a rather old man’s limp looking like it landed without the full landing gear intact. It does n’t walk back with me, that would be weird.

Hope you are enjoying all these spreads from my books. You’ll be relieved to know that there are only the two books.

If you want any more there’s a surfeit of information on my website.

Monsters in the dark, or are they?

The Monsters on the Plot

An allotment based tale of bugs and monsters on the plot to be read to young children. Fully illustrated throughout in full colour this small book is 28 pages including the cover. All proceeds will be going to Longfield a charity that looks after people at the other end of life to the target audience. Available in their shops for £5-00 and from here for £6-50 to cover postage and packing. Feel free to pay more knowing you'll be supporting a very worthy cause.

£6.50

This drawing was inspired in art by Gloucester Park. We used to live very close by the park and it was full of wildlife, not just the normal wildlife that feeds on nuts and scraps, but also the wildlife that wandered down from Eastgate Street on a Saturday night and fed mostly on kebabs and chips. The council, in their infinite wisdom, decided that lighting would be a good idea, to perhaps deter some of the more extreme wild life. When they had finished it looked more like the landing area of an international airport and night did indeed become day. I had the impression that the local owls got very cheesed off, hence this drawing and page. Did it make a difference? Possibly. With the lighting the wildlife could at least see what it was getting up to, that alone might have put them off.