It’s a sort of revolution.

turnthebook135.jpgI’m re-blogging this from some time ago as we are in the season of celebrity books and here in Nam ( Cheltenham ) we’ve just had the what people call the ‘lit fest’. It’s a great boost to the town bringing in loads of worthy media folk and writers looking for an extra sale of a recent tome.


Here’s something that I am wont to do now and again.

I’m sure that many people like me, take against certain celebrities. One of my own dislikes is that chap who swears a lot whilst cooking. I do a bit of that myself when cooking but not at other people, and if I did would expect more than a mouthful back. There are others but for the time being we’ll limit it to the one. In general I don’t dislike people but it’s what they do that at times finds my disapproval.

So what to do about it? I suppose I should take direct action and write to this chap and ask him to moderate his language whilst  in the kitchen, but it’s hardy likely to succeed. After all his success is based upon his base language and the reaction to it.

Celebs such as he generally write books. It funds their lifestyle and they do need to make a living.

So here’s a plan learnt from my father, who apparently did this on a regular basis with anyone who wrote a book and who he thought did not deserve to sell it. When next in the bookshop the book of the celeb will be prominently displayed with aforementioned celeb photographed in action on the cover.

Turn the books. Put them back on the shelf but back to front.

That’s it! Not earth shattering but a gesture of disapproval that hurts no one. The back of the celebrity book is likely to be deeply uninteresting but if it has the celebrity on the back too, then turn it upside down too. They look quite ridiculous upside down. Come to think of it, it’s only people who are quite ridiculous that deserve this sort of revolution.

Turn the books!

I’ll be looking in my local bookstore to see if this catches on.

Pancake tosser…

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It’s not often you get a pancake tosser on the front of a magazine, but this one made it. I quite like the art director’s note  in the top right not to lose the pancakes at the top when placing. I’m assuming I did this for pancake day.

I was always inspired by the wonderful invention and drawing of William Heath Robinson, where he imagined machines that could do all sorts of wonderful tasks. I think this drawing would benefit from some simple animation.Flying pancakes, lovely.

Heath Robinson


I’m having a week of postings to see what sort of response they get rather than the once a week, as per normal. If you have dropped into my site then thanks for visiting.

 

There’s no such things an original, is there?

They say that there are only six jokes in the world, and that those are just recycled and remade. I have no idea what the original six were.

It would seem to me that in what I do there are now no such things as originals, or perhaps I’m wrong. All my drawings these days start with a line drawing that is essentially unfinished. The drawing is then scanned and put into photoshop and digitally worked up to get the final. Which is the original? Possibly the initial line drawing can be described as the original, but it is not what I’d call finished. In the time before digital work I’d finish and faff with it until I was relatively happy and then that final flat piece of paper can rightly be described as the original. So perhaps that discounts this first drawing. May be those pixels in the mac are the original.

Anyhow here’s a first line drawing without any messing, apart from the scanning. It’s for a series I’m working on the British, although the boat could be a metaphor for the country ready to set off on its round the world trip, apres Brexit.

Please note the adventurer’s website address on the banner above his leaking boat. I wonder if that domain is taken?old-boat-finalsf

If it’s green…

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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.

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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.

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£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.

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The Tea Collectors of Barnsley

Barnsley Tcollection177Herewith an illustrated version of the Tea Collectors of Barnsley. Working only at night and collecting only the most delicate leaves from the bush, these dedicated people are responsible for some of the finest brews in the UK. It’s a tough job as the local climate predicates that the rare bushes can only be harvested at night. The bushes can  be mistaken for overgrown garden leylandi. Collectors can be easily recognised in their flat hats and gaberdine macintoshes. Certain of them also have been known to use old miner’s head torches, which has been an ideal way to recycle items that no longer have any practical use in this country.

Don’t believe me? Then you’ve obviously never been to Barnsley and where else do you think Yorkshire Tea comes from?

 

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 )