April 26, 2005


Tomorrow is my blogday, two years old, and Natalie has given me a rather nice present. She says she was inspired by the abecedariums (?) posted by Abdul-Walid on April 12 and by Dave on April 13 (both brilliant on the gloomy side of the street) which she wanted to try and outshine. But her poetic skill was insufficient so she went for an abstract-expressionistic-gesture-type thing which could be considered quite Zen, if you are Zennish. It's an ABC for me, intended to cheer us all up in this vale of tears and dry bones.

Please leave loads of comments because we are always hungry for intelligent praise(silly will do as well) and want to find it all here when we return to blog on May Day night.


April 24, 2005


You can see it here but don't blame me if it takes ages to load. If God wants more space, I can't say no. I had to move most of the recent posts (mainly about shopkeeping) to the archive. Does God care whether I sell t-shirts? I didn't ask because we were busy with the following.


April 19, 2005


I've been interviewing God again and the result is coming up next. If you want something to look at while you're waiting, here are two images I've just uploaded to Salon Nathalie. "Conversation" also went to the Augustine Shop at CafePress and you could even carry your shopping in it (click on tote bag).

 Harmonious communication. Bag this conversation.
© copyright N.d'Arbeloff

Imagination at work.
© copyright N.d'Arbeloff. Click on pic.


April 14, 2005


My cup runneth over. These days when the rule is: "The Customer Is Usually Wrong And In Any Case Is To Be Taken For A Ride And In All Cases Must Be Kept Waiting" it's essential to highlight and celebrate the exceptions. So I'm drinking a toast to photobox in the lovely cup which arrived this morning together with the t-shirt I ordered only a few days ago. The shirt is beautifully soft and cuddly but, as you can see, much too big for me. I rang photobox to ask if I could change it for a smaller size and to my open-mouthed astonishment, a polite, friendly and live person answered that another tee in my size would be dispatched at once at no extra charge. And I could keep the big one. Pretty damned impressive, no? They may cost a bit more than some of their rivals but you can't beat such human-centered service. Plus the quality of the products is high. Plus they answer emails promptly. And are helpful if you need instructions. What more can I say? Go and order something from Salon Nathalie which is hosted by photobox .



Tee for me.Speaking of praise, a standing ovation goes to Vitriolica/Madge whose blogday is today. To celebrate, she invited some of her regulars (incl. moi) to send their interpretation of what she, in her various alter egos, looks like. The result is a delightful visual smorgasbord. Her own brilliantly executed sweet and sour illustrations have become indispensable viewing to so many net surfers that I would be envious if I wasn't so fond of her. Grrrrrrr.

And praise to Melanie of chandra sutra who is conducting a series of online interviews under the heading: "The Bloggers Bloggers". They are replies to 6 questions she asked of various bloggers (incl. moi) by email: Why do you blog? Where do you find your inspiration? What blogs do you read and why do you like those blogs? Many Big Media journalists have attempted to discredit bloggers by calling us "diarists" and questioning our credibility etc. What do you have to say to them? Beyond blogging vs journalism, bloggers need to get rid of Big Media frames and frame blogs in our own terms. To that end, what are the frames we can use to define blogging/participatory media according to our own terms? What are your "Desert Island" 3 favourite posts of all time? (I answered that last one very egocentrically. Heh heh).



April 12, 2005


I was going to regale you with the photos I took in the New Forest where I spent a wonderful weekend but I've lost them. Kaputt. All of them. I inadvertently (obviously I wouldn't have done it advertently) wiped them off the digital memory card where they were stored. Don't ask. It would be too tedious to go into the details of my unpardonable stupidity.

Animated horses. Anyway, the New Forest was terrific - all those wild ponies wandering around unsupervised, chewing their way right up to the door of our cottage. And trees of course, acres and acres of them in every possible permutation of leaf, branch, trunk and chiaroscuro. And ducks and geese and swans and those little beach birds with long curved pointy beaks (don't know names but love all winged creatures). And memorably patterned stones on pebble beach and thatched cottages redolent of Old Englishness and superb food and fruity local wines and the excellent company of family and friends. Missed the Royal Performance but did not miss it at all.



That's it. I've had it with the useless bunch calling themselves T-Shirt Zoo. I have deleted all references and links to them. Suffice to say that their claims to reliability and efficiency were nothing but blasts of hot air and as far as I can tell, they are not even in business anymore.

Come visit my store on CafePress! The Augustine Shop
I have now registered with this reputable site which will turn me into t-shirts etc. without hassle and at reasonable cost. But, outside the USA, their shipping charges are quite high so those of you who are in the UK may prefer to order from
Salon Nathalie where the excellent and fast photobox service will produce not only beautiful prints or cards from our images, but also mugs and t-shirts, sent at normal UK postage rates.

- -


April 7, 2005

(this image has now been added to Salon Nathalie and is also at the Augustine Shop)

The enthusiast.From the Greek: "entheos", en=in + theos=god. Inspiration, exaltation, admiration.

It's my preferred state. It's like love but better because enthusiasm has all it wants and doesn't need reciprocity.
Enthusiasm doesn't necessarily last forever but it might. Some enthusiasms last longer than many loves.

Cynics and realists generally do not trust enthusiasts. They suspect them of being obsessed, brainwashed or plain silly. When I am being cynical, I'm suspicious too. But when I am enthusiastic I am myself. Tell me your enthusiasms and I'll tell you who you are said the oracle; tell me your troubles and we'll be here for the next 50 minutes for the next ten years said the shrink.

Recently I was grazing in a bookshop, head down grazing munching chomping chewing titles, spines, shiny multi-messaged covers, words, paragraphs, when suddenly my overstuffed eyes landed on a small, plain white booklet with a handwritten title and a childlike drawing on the cover. Entheos swept me up and away from the crowded shelves and groaning tables as I held on to my small treasure, a four-leaf clover in a vast field of threeleafs. It was The Pig of Happiness by Edward Monkton ("Poet, Artist, Philosopher, Interesting Fellow") I thought it was my own private discovery which I was meant to reveal to others but then I realised that I live like a hermit because I was unaware that there are many Monkton books and greeting cards and mugs and wrapping paper and a website and that, for once, my enthusiasm is shared by millions all over the world. So he doesn't need my promotion but I need to be publicly enthusiastic about this Wonderful Man (the title of another book of his). With utmost simplicity of means, with playful inventiveness and without syrupy sentimentality, he aims for the heart and hits the target every time. Edward Monkton is an alter ego of Purple Ronnie (I didn't know that either) who is an alter ego of Giles Andreae. Enthusiasm awaits you.

( image and text below is© Edward Monkton)


April 5, 2005

T-SHIRTS and MUGS etc.

These two images are from my Inertia comic strip but they could stand (or sit) on their own.

From "Inertia" Augutine Adventures


April 3, 2005


I must sort out this shop-window business. The luscious Fine Art prints by Natalie (including Tango) are on sale at Salon Nathalie.

T-shirts, mugs etc. will be available elsewhere as soon as I find the right website providing this service.(Update:see Augustine Shop above)

Am visualising Augustine-t-shirted armies marching all over the planet for peace, love, and all other good causes.

I'm not going to say anything about the Pope's passing. The blogosphere has been buzzing about it busily enough as it is. RIP Karol Wojtyla.


April 1, 2005


Tango in La BocaThis has nothing to do with April Fool apart from the year-round fool you've come to visit. I've chosen the tango as my April mood and invite you to join Mood of the Month club. You decide what music fits the mood you're in, or intend to be, for the current month and then you dance to it, sing to it, cook to it, blog to it for at least, oh, an hour a day? Half an hour? Ten minutes? The music you choose determines the way you're going to feel and behave for the whole month, no matter what. Those are the rules. Okay, let's dance.

Thanks to Pica for her comment to my post of March 21 in which she wondered what I'd do with tango in La Boca (rough and colourful neighbourhood of Buenos Aires). This image is my answer to that inspiration and I'm adding it to my shop-gallery. There are some other new pictures there. Take a look.