April 27 going on 28, 2004


Quick quick, I must get this in before the clock strikes midnight. Below is a picture story of my day without details. If you want details, here are details:

After Waterloo I went to the natural food store in Camden Town to buy some natural food and on the way it started to drizzle so I opened my umbrella and the sleeve, what do you call that condom thing which protects the umbrella and which always gets lost? Anyway it fell and a kind man picked it up and when I turned round to take it I slipped on the wet pavement and went crashing down and had to be pulled upright and then I went limping onwards to the natural store and took my time buying expensive organic shampoo and some food as well but as I was leaving the shop the drizzle became a serious downpour with thunder and I had to wait inside for the sky to calm down but it didn't so I braved the storm cradling my bag in which my beloved camera was cowering in fear and the rain was pelting down mercilessly so I had to take shelter again in a noisy pub where I spent a while studying the names of cocktails like sex on the beach blow job Ferrari etcetera but the rain didn't let up so once again I made a limp for it and got to my bus stop in front of Marks and Spencer where wet people crowded the entrance and when finally my bus arrived I had to cross a river of dirty water and rain was dripping off my jeans but I kept the little camera safe and dry and when I got home the rain stopped and pink blossoms carpeted the ground and I went in and put on dry clothes and made a grog with Calvados and hot water and lumps of sugar held in the mouth to drink thorough and then I sat down here to write this blog for you all who have so sweetly wished me a happy blogday. Thank you.

Waterloo etcetera



It's her blog's birthday Do you? And you? And you?


April 26, 2004


Decided to participate in the growing net-wide display of what's on bloggers' bookshelves, started (I think) at A Life in Wales . But since I can't choose what's really "me" because a lot of it is Natalie and there's so much of it, I am including more than one selection - just the tip of the iceberg. We have a lot of books about a lot of things. The eagle-eyed will note that one picture shows four books by our very selves. The paper and wood construction in this first photo is by my late-blossoming artist mother Blanche, and the odd thing in front of it is a bone (probably sheep) I found in the ground at the temple of Zeus on the island of Aegina two years ago. A talisman.

Artwork and books
Big art books
Toy dog likes books


April 25, 2004


Via Ming I've just learned about a London meeting of bloggers on May 12 and I signed up at Joi Ito's wiki to be included. The list of participants is huge and growing so if any of you are or will be in London, come along. The venue hasn't been decided yet but various restaurants, pubs and park benches are being suggested.

Last night I upgraded my IE browser to 5.1.7 (for Mac OS9.2) and now I can't read my comments. When I click on them, the computer crashes. I wonder if this is another case of if it ain't broke don't fix it? Excuse me while I count to ten.


April 23, 2004


In this case, stealing means posting on their site something that you have created, without mentioning that you are the author and without giving a link to your post. This is theft, especially when a copyright notice is shown at the site they're ripping off. As my loyal readers know, I'm only too happy when I see something of mine on your blogs and so far, due credits and links have always been included. But checking my recent stats I discovered two people who, apparently, find such simple courtesy and honesty beyond their grasp.

HighgateOne blog is in Italian: Vampyronika (I'm deliberately not linking). The header shows a bare butt and, as she hasn't replied to my letter, I must assume this is her usual response to anyone she steals from. If you try and leave a comment at her site you get a message saying you don't have permission. The cartoon she took from me was the one I posted in Sept.2003 after visiting Highgate Cemetery. She's used it alongside an old joke about Karl Marx (13 April 2004).

The other offender's blog is in Portuguese, apart from its title which is Black Dock. His name is Miguel and he put my "Rational" cartoon (also posted by me in Sept.2003) at the head of his very long post about the stupidity of human beings (March 28 2004).

All I ask of both these people is to include proper credits but neither of them have replied to my e-mail. Some people have the view that stealing a writer or an artist's work is not like 'normal' theft because such work is not real work - like plumbing, for instance. They would never go to a plumber and say "I'm not going to pay you for installing my boiler and I'm going to tell everyone I did it because your work belongs to the world and you should be happy that I allowed you to work in my house". Yeah right. Well I'm a plumber, a drawing/thinking plumber, and I'm not charging admission to this blog. But if you use me you'd better not abuse me. And telling others what a good service I provide is the least you can do. Capisce Vampyronika? Voce comprende Black Dock?

Update: Following links given by Coup de Vent I found this article by Cynthia L. Webb in the Washington Post, about plagiarism in the blogosphere : The Great Blogging Ethics Debate. Well worth reading.

" Just because blogs are a 'free medium' doesn't mean that rules of playing fair need not apply."


April 22, 2004


Has everybody seen this? Is it real or conspiracy theory? If it's true then the hoax perpetrated is beyond belief. And if it's fiction then the hoax perpetrated is somewhat less beyond belief. What makes me doubtful is that this site has on its list of two alternative presidential candidates the deeply dubious Lyndon Larouche. What's the connection?

"A Short Word to the World from the Creators of
It can be proven that missiles were used against the World Trade Center. It can further be proven that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled demolitions, purposely, with 3000 innocent, helpless souls inside. With this being the case, it changes everything for the world, for Afghanistan, for Iraq, for George Bush, and lastly but not least, insurance companies involved."

Digging trenchesMeanwhile, on the domestic front, they're digging up the street in front of our house. It's not newsworthy but I thought people interested in earth-moving might like to see it. The most fascinating thing about it is that huge chunks of smooth, malleable yellow ochre clay are being dug out of the trenches and will be carted away by the truckload. I'm wondering whether I should stuff some in plastic bags and save it for eventual sculpting. Anyone short of clay?





April 20, 2004


London is beautiful at this time of year. Nature splashes the drab greys and browns with its palette of inimitable colours, transforming everything. The tree in front of the house next door almost sings its loveliness. Yet I'm feeling sad for all those who cannot glory in the beauty of Spring because they are mourning their dead and weeping for the injured or because their hearts are filled with despair, hatred and revenge. We know the names of the countries, we hear the names of the leaders every day in the news, we discuss the politics, the horrors and the terrors. But the saddest realisation of all is that it goes on and on, over and over again. Humankind crucifies the innocent, always finding reasons to do so, always justifying the unjustifiable. The Passion is played and replayed on the world stage or in small, intimate venues, non-stop. The longest running show on earth.


April 18, 2004


Something up a treeThere is an inflated green creature trapped high up in a tree across the street. It is not a mere plastic bag. It has bright orange feet, a yellow belt around its inflated belly and a pointy hood on its shrunken head. This tree is the only one on my street which is not in full glorious pink, white or yellow bloom. Is there some connection between these facts? The strange green creature reminds me of the film "Don't Look Now" when the green-hooded (*) raincoated child Donald Sutherland is following in order to rescue it suddenly turns round, revealing its ancient wizened witch's face. Even if I could, I'm not going to rescue that thing. Whoever let it out can come and get it themselves. You can just about catch a glimpse of it in this photo. That's me pointing to it.

(*) Googled for links about the film "Don't Look Now" and found a clip of the scary petite killer/witch: she was wearing a red, not green, hooded coat. And looked nothing like the thing in the tree. So that's one suspect eliminated.



April 15. 2004


Why do I take so long to post these things? Because:

A) The words and pictures come very slowly. B) When I've got them on paper I keep changing them, even after inking and painting. C) I use a lot of whitener etc. and the page looks a mess. D) Inking the drawing and words takes a long time. E) When I've scanned the finished work into Photoshop it looks a worse mess and much of the writing is illegible. F) I then clean it all up digitally, going over all the words with the mouse and black line. G) Then I collapse. And so goodnight.

April 13, 2004


Who's winning?The technical problem is solved so there's no point going into the boring details. But I've noticed that the computer will misbehave when I'm tired and it thinks I will give up, smash it to smithereens and never blog again. That, of course, is its intention. But when it realizes I will stay up all night, if necessary, to locate the spanner it has hidden deep within its evil innards, then it goes all meek and obedient and admits that I am and shall remain its Master.

Part Six of the Interview will be posted later today tomorrow.



April 11, 2004


Will all my regular visitors, whoever you are, kindly tell me in the comments whether this page's dimensions appear as they normally do, or are you suddenly seeing huge gaps above the heading and/or above the text? I've had one report that this is the case but everything looks the same as usual in my (Internet Explorer) browser. So please, just a quick report so I can try and solve this problem, if it is a problem. And if you happen to be a wise techie, any ideas on what may be wrong?


April 10, 2004


ResurrectedBegan to do a bit of Spring blog-cleaning and the 26 photos, which I was tired of, are gone. They are replaced by a new section: Digital Art which includes four images that jac is making poetry for. A new episode of the God Interview is brewing but meanwhile, to wish everyone a happy Easter, Passover, or whatever reason you choose to celebrate life and renascence, here is a quote I found under the title Lightness of Being, an article on April 4 by Barefoot Doctor in his regular column for the Observer Magazine:

"Resurrected " Digital image. © NdA 2001

"...This continuity of presence, sensitivity and rhythmic pacing of energy is what the Taoists call 'four ounces', meaning that whatever you do, you do as if trying to settle a fractious infant down for the night - always with a light touch, never heavy-handed. So that no matter whether at work, rest or play, you meet all those who cross your path during the course of a day with the same even tempo (of intention, word, body- language and deed), focused softness, patience, compassion, respect and sensitivity as you would when dealing with a defenceless infant."


April 6, 2004


James A.Collins of Love During Wartime - a gentle, unhurried stroll into poetry, politics, religion, justice and such - recently wrote asking if we (me and N) would like to collaborate with him on an experiment: our images, his words. After a fussy start which felt too much like hard work, we decided to simply send him a few digital images to elicit his poetic responses. We (N and me) had created in 2001 a set called Daily Images, entirely mouse-drawn and coloured in Photoshop. They really were one-a-day but, as usual with our resolutions, not daily enough. We sent James four of them and he has now posted the first one: "Apparition" next to his poem-reply, as part of his engaging series of postcard-poems. Check it out and don't miss the next three. I'll be adding a new section here soon for digital graphics and other improvisational/recreational stuff. Can't be talking to God all the time, can I? Or maybe everything is a dialogue.



April 4, 2004, 5:36 AM


Allright! I only finished it now and I've been up all night. Do any newspaper or TV reporters ever stay up this long with their interviewees? If you have a slow connection I'm afraid you'll just have to be patient while this special bonus double installment loads. And if you're a new visitor, all previous episodes are here.