Thursday 31 December 2020

Twenty-four Things -Thing Twenty-four

After William Blake.

Now, I do see how that this might look a bit bleak for a New Year’s post. But I don’t know. The new feller looks a bit friendlier. Or, at least, maybe a bit more tameable? Might take a while, but... by the spring, maybe? Let’s hope so. Happy New Year!

Friday 25 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Twenty-three


Merry Christmas! And if it wasn't... well, here's to next time.

Thursday 24 December 2020

Twenty-four Things -Thing Twenty-two


Wednesday 23 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Twenty-one

 A placeholder? Really? How very 2017.

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Twenty

I think I’ve said before that the more tight, tortured and over-worked the marginal doodle, the harder the writing. So, even without the helpful notes to self in the bottom right one, you can tell this is a record of a... tricky three days in May.

 (I normally redact more of my scrawl in photos like this if the project has not yet aired or- in this case- not yet been made. But I’ve just read through everything visible on this page, and if you can get any sense at all of what I’m working on from it, then good luck to you!)

Monday 21 December 2020

Twenty-four Things- Thing Nineteen


This one was not based on anyone, but yes, now it’s been pointed out to me elsewhere, I do see the Simon-Pegg-ness, and indeed the Marc-Warren-ness. To which I would add, the Joel-McHale-ness. Three of our finest intense-eyed, high-fore-headed, lean-faced actors. This drawing, as I say, is of none of them.

Sunday 20 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Eighteen

Friday 18 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Seventeen


Thursday 17 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Sixteen

This little scribble-sketch isn’t very good, and I wouldn’t have included it... except that it was drawn on the 12th February this year. Which makes it an accidental recording of the last days of casual, maskless, crowded indoor life. And also about the last time I got to work in one of my favourite ways: at a notebook in a quiet corner of a busy pub or cafe. 


Wednesday 16 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Fifteen


After- such a long way after- Carl Larsson. 

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Fourteen


I know, I know. Pictures of various middle-aged men and the occasional animal are all very well... but the Christmas season can’t truly begin without a rudimentary diagram of the bone and cartilage structure of the nose.

Well... ding dong merrily on high. 

Monday 14 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Thirteen


Sunday 13 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Twelve



Saturday 12 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Eleven


Friday 11 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Ten

Scribbles from the US election night coverage. It was freeing to know I only had two to five minutes to spend on each face. I now can’t remember which were Republican and which were Democrat. Though in the case of the lady bottom left, I’d be willing to take a wild guess.

Thursday 10 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Nine


Wednesday 9 December 2020

Twenty-four things - Thing Eight

This character design is entirely the result of my spilling coffee on my good paper, and not wanting to waste it, so trying to draw a face around the stain...


Tuesday 8 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Seven


Monday 7 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Six


This was a quick field sketch... preparation for this report, made to a (future) professor of natural history of my acquaintance, regarding a curious anomaly...

Sunday 6 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Five

 Couldn’t decide which colouring worked best for her, so here’s a selection box. That’s Christmassy, right?

Saturday 5 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Four

 Not very Christmassy.  But I never said they would be.

Friday 4 December 2020

Twenty-four Things - Thing Three

Thursday 3 December 2020

Twenty-Four Things - Thing Two

 Sorry about yesterday - I got distracted by something. So, this one is for the 2nd December: 

It’s a sonrise.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Twenty-Four Things - Thing One


Friday 13 November 2020

Unexpected second acts in the lives of pillow cases.

When this whole present embuggerance began, I bought some home-made face masks from a nice woman who was selling them for charity, back in the 'Blitz spirit' stage of March / April. I bought six or seven, and I've worn one or other of them almost every day since. 

Today, it occurred to me that I therefore now have a collection of half a dozen objects which, when I come across them again in ten or twenty years, will be enormously evocative of this specific year. Just facemarks in general will be that too, of course - a type of clothing most of us never wore before, then wore every day for a year or two... and then, let's hope, never wore again. But since six masks turns out to be about enough to wear in rotation, these six designs I randomly ended up with will be particularly 'nostalgic', if that's the right word for something I plan to look back on with no fondness whatsoever. 

But then I noticed that the designs all have quite a nineties look to them - and realised that of course the maker had just used whatever scraps old material she happened to have. And so these objects, which in the future will sharply bring back 2020/21 to me, would presumably right now remind some complete strangers of, say, their childhood bedroom, or visiting their Granny in 1997. 

I don't know what my point is. Possibly I don't have one. ...No, I don't believe I do. Anyway, here are some of my masks. Try imagining a Seinfeld slap bass sting as you look at them.  

Da-bababa-wow-wow wowww. Boink.

Monday 5 October 2020

I don't know any poems by Walt Whitman

Sadly, the only poems I know off by heart are very short. (I used to know 'Ozymandias', but I just checked, and... nope.)

Anyway, this morning I noticed that Edna St. Vincent Millay is probably unique in my head-space, in that I know precisely one poem off by heart by her, and one about her. 

The one by her is:
First Fig

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends —
It gives a lovely light!
It's not my favourite of hers, though. My favourite, mostly because of the final couplet, is this one.
Sonnet IV

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far, —
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
And the one I know about her - well, sort of - is I think by David Mamet. At least, he quotes it at the start of one of his plays, and Google doesn't turn up any other attribution for it.
The Reason I Like

The reason I like
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Is that her name.
Sounds like a basketball

The reason I like
Walt Whitman
Is that his name
Sounds like
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday 4 April 2020

News from Fitton

It occurs to me I really ought to have mentioned here that an old friend of mine has been borrowing my YouTube account recently to let his friends know how he's coping with self-isolation. (The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is 'pretty well').

Here's the first, of seven so far.

Friday 31 January 2020

My own trumpet

 A lovely thing happened to me this month. The Writer's Guild of Great Britain gave me their Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award.

I find I can't write much about it without dissolving into a puddle of tiresome self-deprecation - I've already had to delete six or seven variations on 'for reasons known only to themselves' from the sentence above. But I will try to hold that off for long enough to say how sincerely honoured and grateful I am to the Guild, and to my dear friend David Tyler; who presented the award, and from whose lovely speech about me I have still not quite recovered. 

Here we both are, looking chuffed. (Just after this photo was taken, David took off his jacket and tie, and instantly became a floating head.)

Photo by Dave Bennett @davebennett