Tim Bird

Well there are people with unusual names but it is odd how they seem to get work which suits them. I was reminded of this when this morning I had an email from my phone suppliers signed by someone in sales called Samantha Honey. What a great name for someone in sales. It could have been better, Beatrice would have suited her well.

There are times when ideas come a little thin and enthusiasm for an idea gets above its worth.I’ve generally no idea whether this is the case with any ideas. I go off them and then later find them unreasonably amusing and carry on with them again. This is the case with Names. I did a series of drawings on this subject some time ago and then an email reminds me that it might not have been as bad an idea as I originally thought when I abandoned them. Digging them out yesterday, the drawings need finishing but I’m re-envigorated to do so.

I have an exhibition coming next year in August and with a bit of luck I’ll get them into that, together with other random ideas that will hopefully seem worth it. Unless I go off the idea altogether again and do something else.

Here’s a sample of one of them. This is Pastor Al Dente, of course!pastor-aldente2


Tim Bird used to be the tree officer in our local town.

 

Just seen this in the Park and thought it well worth adding, what a wonderful name. I bet he was a lovely gent, and he probably deserved to live till 90.fullalove

 

If it’s green…

greenfinal

Here’s a black and white green cartoon done quite a few years ago for the English Tourist Board. I think vegetarian food has come along a bit since I did this, but I do remember that any cooked food then that had ‘vegetarian’ in front of it , generally looked brown.

Speaking of green, take a look at this wonderful oak tree that I came across the other day on a walk just close to Paradise, which is a village in Gloucestershire. There’s something brilliant about September days when the light is clear and sharp.

SONY DSC
The Paradise Oak

 

Bodge it yourself…

I once did a book jacket for a book of this title, the day after putting a floorboard through a ceiling.

Well recently there’s been a lot of bodging going on and this time not by me. I love technology and I like being on line, which is obvious or I’d not be doing this sort of thing. I like it to work and recently it has not, so in a fit of “lets get this sorted out” I decided to change my internet service provider to Origin Broadband  #originbroadband . I did not want to go with the big boys as their feedback on line was less than encouraging. There, near the top of the small providers, with loads of great comments about customer service was Origin, company that looked like they could do it for me. I rang them and they talked sense, that is once I was past the voice activated phone messages. You know the sort of thing, press 1 for sales, press 2 if you are an existing customer, press 3 for technical support, press 57918775127659175917591751297###65 for complaints.

I’m joking about the last one.

However, they do use someone remarkably like Brian Blessed for their phone voice so be warned, it’s a bit loud. Anyone not familiar with the name should look him up, he’s a fine British actor who has a voice so loud it could probably clear an entire field full of feasting pigeons in a corn field with a simple “Hello!”

I asked Origin if the change over from one supplier to themselves would be painless and instant. The word they used was seamless. Well, in the event it was seamless, they really dropped their trousers there were so few seams in it. The sad thing is it wasn’t their fault.

If you change suppliers here in the UK, in this instance from a standard phone internet line to a fibre broadband, some geezer has to come out in a van and go to a green box on the side of the road near your house. This geezer then just has to find the right wire and make sure that it is connected to the right line. High tech it is not. The geezers that do this are BT Openreach. The company that own the infrastructure: all the lines. They won’t let anyone else touch them. in this instance the geezer did not join the wires and left us high and dry for 5 days.No landline, no internet. Another much more proficient bt geezer came today and fixed it, saying something like ” Unlike some engineers I can count”.

I thought it wise to take the matter up with the Origin, which I did, once I’d got past Brian. I commended them on their fine customer service, which it is so far, but lamented the fact that they have to entrust such a vital task as joining wires to BT Openreach.

It’s like trusting the circus clown to catch you on the high wire when he’s never been up there. I bet Brian Blessed wouldn’t do that.

btcircusfinal

 

 

 

 

 

£3-50 for a loaf of bread?

I’m always going on about prices with my kids, and my present visit to London is no exception. I’m staying in an area that was years ago, known as the haunt of gangsters and criminals and these days the only thing that I’ve seen that is remotely criminal is the price of a loaf of bread. With it comes the sort of look from the hipster server that says to you: ” We weren’t expecting your type in here, if you walk a few miles in that direction you’ll find a Gregg’s”

Genuine Sourdough bread made from the original recipe that’s from San Francisco is just one of the delicacies on offer. I choose a smaller loaf that is described as Granary and is about the size of a London brick, so not massive. “That will be £3-50 please Sir” comes the response. I grit my teeth and mutter and give them the gimlet eye that says: ” I hope it’s worth it”

It is.

I went back today for another one happy to pay the going rate for what I thought was one of the best breads I’ve tasted for years.It was coming to the end of their day and they had just a few left. ” You can have two for the price of one now Sir” says hipsterman in black behind the counter. “Result!” I say to myself and head to the door with my prizes in the bag. Two loaves for just £1.75 each, I mutter to myself and then muse that I’d have probably baulked at that price just a few days ago for just one loaf. For heaven’s sake I’d better get a grip while there’s time left.

New improved recipe? What’s that all about? One sees it on many food items and it brings to mind the following. If you’ve been buying the product for years then the recipe is fine, it cannot be improved. So leave it alone.

cropped-jblgrecipecolgrn.jpg

Heckmondwike, the consequences…

A gathering of tea cups or mugs, unwashed. Left in a place of work, the collective noun is as we all know by now a ‘heckmondwike’. But the consequences of such a thing when dishwashers are present is even more aggravating and confirms my dislike of these infernal machines.

I’ve already gone on about how unsociable they are, but with the possibility of a ‘heck’ ( one is allowed to shorten the noun when in common parlance ) there comes the likelihood of a ‘oswaldtwistle‘, or more commonly the shortened version a ‘twistle’. As anyone with any knowledge of English will know this is the word used for retrieving a dirty mug from a dishwasher when there are none left in the vast store cupboard that normally holds at least twenty to try and minimise the risk. It also means ‘ a very bad turn of mood’ like when a spotty oik assistant in a shop ignores you when looking at mobile phone and heads for the chap next to you who’s just walked in. The wheeling of a mobile shopping bag guarantees that this  spotty oik will deem you completely invisible. Hence the phrase on the return of a shopping trip with aforementioned mobile shopping bag: “I dropped into Carphone Warehouse to see if they would give me an upgrade on my iPhone 6 for something even more expensive and the oik ignored me completely and talked to some young bloke about how cool the iPhone 4 was. I got into a right twistle, and stomped out.


I’ve a liking ,which is obvious from the last couple of posts, to making up new meanings from place names. The inspiration is a book called the Meaning of Liff which was written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, the former the writer of Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the latter a humorist who does lots of stuff on Radio 4. The book was published years ago and to me is their finest work. Seek it out and enjoy. I’ve done my own version recently which is based on Gloucestershire place names only and is called “Glossary”. I’ll be posting extracts and drawings from it over the coming months. The drawing has been posted before but it bears repeating, if you’ve seen it before then calm down, no need to get into a twistle, there will be a brand new drawing in the next postinginvisible

Hammer to crack a nut.

My last posting on dishwashers and washing up seems to have generated more traffic than I would have expected, so I make no apologies for keeping on the same theme. I’m fond of tea, and unlike coffee I’m not that particular about the brew type. As a Lancastrian  I am forced to admit that my present favourite claims to come from Yorkshire. I suspect that is where they put it in the box rather than there being fields of tea collectors taking the delicate leaves from a south facing slope in Barnsley.

I do insist that it is brewed in the pot,even if it’s just for me, but at the end of the day it is a cheap teabag blend. I also tend to stack a line of teacups in close proximity to myself nearby my desk. So there’s a gathering of empty mugs. Perhaps there’s a collective name for that, how about a “heckmondwhike” of mugs. So the phrase may be: “Oh there you go again, making a complete heckmondwike in your little office, there’s so many I can barely see out of the window. You’d better get them in the dishwasher before too long”.

Answer: “There would never be a heckmondwike before the invention of dishwashers, so it’s your fault for buying one of those infernal machines. In the good old days we just had a cuppa and then we washed up the mug, and we only had two of them until the kids came along.Now we’ve got enough to make the biggest heckmondwike south of Barnsley. If you ask me it’s all just a hammer to crack a nut”

( The last line being the excuse to put in this drawing that I found in a drawer just a few days ago, beyond the heckmondwike.)hammernut1sf )

Who came fourth?

runnersweatyblokeblog

I’m not a runner, never have been much. Even when I did take up sports I tried not to exert myself too much. I’m fond of the quote by the late Tony Benn, veteran politician, who I believe once said :” I sometime feel like taking exercise but a sit down in a comfy armchair usually makes it go away”.

Don’t get the wrong impression, I’m almost all for it. I think we should all be taking more exercise and I do a bit of swimming and walking myself.The Olympics is a media festival for our British commentators, trying to say something meaningful in under ten seconds.You can’t get a proper brew of tea in the time it takes some runners to run  a race, and if the race is longer than that then they’ll edit out the boring middle bits where no one is falling or doing anything but the running.

The ones I feel sorry for, but probably shouldn’t do, are those who come in fourth. The last in the race probably just got into the team and has a probably got  a healthy attitude to coming last and may even use it in dinner party chat for years to come as an amusing anecdote. But the one who came fourth is likely to keep quiet about it for years to come. The “fourthers”  as we might call them, are damaged goods. They were contenders, they could have got a medal but didn’t.

If you ever meet one, and it’s unlikely, they won’t tell you. Don’t ask them about it, get them to the nearest armchair.

 

Murder Weekend…

Murderweekend

Going through some old stuff, yet again, and came upon this. I used to do drawings every week or so for the English Tourist Board. They, or the people that I worked for in particular, were brilliant to work for. I think I can say that we had a lot of laughs. The English Tourist Board no longer exists by that name, they were amalgamated and mashed together with other places and in the end evaporated up their own corporate guidelines.

This was to highlight an article about Murder Weekends where people get together in large hotels, together with a group of actors and they all have to find out who was responsible for the so-called ‘murder’. It’s the sort of thing that would be absolute murder for me.