Who’s lost their marbles?

Well it’s the Greeks if you must know and they did n’t lose them, we nicked them. High time we gave them back.

That aside and it’s a big aside and much more important than my ” What I did on my holidays” essay that follows, the Greeks were in my experience, the friendliest people I’ve met for a long time.

We’d gone to Spetses, and make no mistake about it it’s a long way from here in the UK. At least it is for us British who don’t travel well.(Don’t mention Brexit. Don’t you think that it sounds like a brand name for constipation? Just a thought ). Anyhow, back to the trip.

First of all I’d recommend Aegaen airways, not for the food which was like almost all airline food is not unlike school dinner at it’s worst ( or if you’re German wurst, and please don’t mention the Germans in Greece ) No the staff are the things that are notable. Now I know that airline hostesses are made up to the nines, blokes as well, but this lot looked like they’d strayed of the pages of Vogue. Except that they smiled genuine smiles, none of that fake smile hidden by the permafrost, the speciality of almost any advertising agency receptionist.

Greeted at Spetses by my old college chum Ros ( fine printmaker and watercolourist:
See her work here ) she had an idea where we awere staying. No road names on Spetses, so quite a puzzle finding anywhere. There are no cars on Spetses apart from a few taxis, they get around in the season by bus ( not many when we were there ) and loads of little scooters. Not all were as in fine condition as this model.


These scooters can carry a family of four in close proximity and sometimes the dog, as well as a week’s shopping.


The dog also is trained to look after the bike when you are in the shops, and can possibly drive away if there’s a problem. I did see one scooter with an addition padded stool welded to the front platform for an additional person. There appear to be no crash helmets in existence on the island, speeds are generally quite modest and roads outside the main ones can be pretty rough and dusty. There are numerous bycycle repairman probably making a good living.


This is a relatively light load, two kids and a little bit of shopping.


So we’d arrived and now it was time for landscapes, in February!


and boats


They seem to use an orange paint on their boats to repair them, bright!


These tubs apparently bring in extra water for the island


Grape hyacynths in February


and nothing would be complete without a decent shed.


The British and a fondness for two wheeled travel in leather.


I’m working, if you can call this sort of thing ‘working’ on a set of drawings based on an idea by an almost unheard of cartoonist called Pont, who’s real name was Graham Laidlaw. So that makes two of us ‘almost unheard of’.

Pont specialised on drawings about the British and I’m trying my best to resurrect the idea with updated drawings of my own. I’ve booked some gallery space for August to show the final artwork, which is a bit of a dilemma as final artwork no longer really exists on paper these days. So I may well do a few prints for it too.

I’ve exhibited at exhibitions in the past with really very little success, is one supposed to say that these days with the penchant for ‘bigging oneself up’?  No matter. I’m going to give it another try though frankly is they don’t sell it won’t be anything new to me.

I’ll feature a few of the roughs and perhaps the finals on here as we get closer to the event, and then if any of you are near Cheltenham, then come and see me. I’ll be the chap in the corner of the gallery giving you the ‘evil eye’ and hoping for the odd chuckle.

The last time I exhibited the following drawing was in the show, and midway through the week a couple came in who looked exactly like the drawing below.


He even said so: ” Ere Clare, this looks juslikeyoo! ” he said with his back to me. Then looked at me and said: ” I hope that’s not to supposed to be me”. “No, I’ve never met either of you before” I replied in my friendliest manner. He smiled a toothless smile and muttered: ” Well I ent buyin it”, and they left.




Signs of trouble or mirth?

I’m keen on signs that don’t quite seem right and here are some I’ve caught up with recently. Hairdressers have a habit of giving their businesses comic signs and this one caught my eye in Victoria, London. For anyone outside the UK, Ryan Air is a local budget airline with a reputation for charging for blowing your nose, so this link does not seem such a good idea.


I’ve been walking past this shop for the last couple of years and perhaps just as well, I’d rather not run into Kim until I know exactly what she nails.

Kim nails

I’ve also got a thing about the overuse of exclamation marks and this sample really does take the biscuit, or the raw fish. This is the local Sushi bar – it’s only food, uncooked.


Then there’s this. For those cyclists amongst you , you can be sure you’ll be safe in Cheltenham. We have designated cycle lanes. This one is about 15 metres long and by the time you’ve got on your bike at one end, it will be the bitter end at the other, so best get off. Stay safe.