April 27, 2007 BLOGDAY


This blog began four years ago today. Time for me to take back control. Less words, more cartoon action, more often. My ego will go on telling her life story, on her own page but this is my space.

4 am: by the most wonderful serendipity, Real Live Preacher has posted The God Interviews slide-show in his microgallery and I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be to celebrate my fourth blogday. Gordon Atkinson, aka RLP, is truly a holy man in the best possible sense of that word, although I'm sure he would deny it. I have never met him in real life but through his writing and his outlook it's clear that he lives his faith and that many people are touched by his extraordinary honesty and openness. One day I'll go to Austin to meet him.

HOW TO DE-CLUTTER (the Mlutter Monster) is now here .

April 25, 2007


Only two days to go until my fourth blogiversary and you can expect a new look over here. Every so often I get an irresistible urge to change my surroundings which sometimes takes the form of moving heavy furniture or painting walls a different colour or even relocating to another country. But a blog is not unlike a physical environment and re-inventing it is a bit less drastic than any of the above. Let's just say I've been thinking.

Meanwhile, this is what London looks like as soon as the sun comes out.

Regents Park, April 07

And here's one of the few existing records of that launch you heard so much about at the Cartoon Museum. (Camera-phone photo courtesy of Ernesto Priego).

God Interviews launch, Cartoon Museum April 12

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting people I've known for some time only in cyberspace: the wonderful Bee from Brazil (she has so many different sites I never know which is the latest) - we had a great evening, she and I and her friend Rudolph Amman. I also had coffee in Camden Town with none other than Andre Jordan who, in real life, is a lot less melancholy than he appears in a Beautiful Revolution - but maybe I caught him on a good day?

Since no one has guessed the mystery letters STGN, though there have been some interesting suggestions, I will now reveal the secret:  STRIVING TO GET NOTICED


April 19, 2007


A voice keeps nagging in my head: get back to the blog, blog the launch, blog the blog, tote that barge, lift that pail, lalalalala or you'll land in jail. No, that's ridiculous, but if I stay away from the blog too long I will, in fact, lose all of you, my blogging buddies. If bloggers I often visit stop posting for long enough, I stop visiting them. So why should others not do unto me as I undo unto them?

The problem occurs when the sense of duty takes over from the sense of fun.
Have to blog = bad.
Want to blog = good.

To tell the truth, I just haven't felt the urge to blog, or the urge to do anything at all lately . The build-up to the book launch took so much effort then there was the excitment of the day itself and then I had my sister staying for a few days and hence a lot of Going Out but now it's back to normal: ie more STGN. You don't know what those letters stand for? I'll let you guess. Whoever gets it right gets a free book.

(It's not STAGNATION. It's four separate words)

You're asking : how did it go? It went splendidly. The Cartoon Museum is a treasure hidden in Little Russell Street out of the limelight reserved for its stately neighbour, the British Museum. Formerly a dairy, the ambiance is light, airy, original, and the walls are alive with the sound of laughter: cartoons from classics like Gillray to contemporaries like Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman, Steve Bell, Martin Rowson and all, plus a current exhibition of Bryan Talbot's amazing graphic novel Alice in Sunderland.

And then there was Augustine and the invisible goddish personage in the designer label T-shirt - you can't get more intelligent design than that. If the amount of good will generated by a crowd of people who have come to launch a book of cartoons titled The God Interviews is an indication of divine presence then it was certainly present. But even if it indicates no such thing, it was still a divine evening. Good wine and good conversation flowed, the pile of books on the table diminished at an agreeable rate, I performed the signing ritual but was too distracted to write anything other than "best wishes" before my signature and I'm not absolutely sure I got that right either.

Ernesto got up on the wooden bench in the centre of the room and gave a wonderful introduction which I want a copy of, if it was written down but if not, then I want it repeated word for word into a tape recorder. Then John Papworth made a brief impromptu speech in which changing the world somehow managed to be woven into praising, er, Natalie. Then I was urged to say a few words but couldn't think of anything so I just said a very few words. I had brought my camera but forgot to use it and so far haven't seen photos of the event by anyone else. Some of us went to Pizza Express around the corner afterwards and used up most of the tables. It took over two hours to get any food but the conversation offered plenty of food for thought.

The Camden Journal did a feature which is below. I was interviewed over the phone and just talked off the cuff but now I wish I had prepared notes because I would have said something different. There will also be an article in the Hampstead & Highgate Express, probably this week. Okay, so it's only the local papers but a lot of people read them, you know.  My insatiable ego has been well and truly stroked. In a timely gesture, the famously articulate and generous Beth/Cassandra has posted an insightful review. The launch was also heralded by the famous Debi and the famous Zoe and the famous Lucy and the famous Old Stile Press and all of this famous attention gave a big boost to my spirit as well as my stats. What more do I need? Well, a publishing contract would do nicely.

Camden New Journal article


April 10, 2007


Tuesday doodle


April 7, 2007


The days are longer now and about seven last night when I was coming back home on the bus, a wide cadmium orange sunset stripe was splashed behind dark purple houses and above it the sky was a light, intensely bright cobalt blue. I was staring at fragments of this fauve painting as it appeared and disappeared between buildings when suddenly I did a double take: against the blue sky, several hundred feet tall and perfectly symmetrical, a cross was drawn, as if with a ruler, in thin glowing orange lines - not fuzzy cloudy lines but pencil-sharp and not sideways but upright, full frontally facing us.

Before thinking mystically I thought the obvious: it must be cloud traces left by aircraft. But the lines seemed too precise and the point at which they crossed was exactly in the middle. I didn't have my camera and the bus kept moving and I was too gobsmacked to think of getting off to have a better look. By the time I got home the sky had darkened and there was only a faint orange glow on the horizon.

But about four or five this morning, just before going to bed, I looked out the window at the dawn sky and rushed to get my camera. This time the cross was not upright but lying on its side and much fuzzier.  I swear I haven't doctored the photos. Mystical, miraculous, natural, accidental, aesthetic - take your pick. It humbled me.

Happy Easter, Passover, Spring sunset and sunrise mysteries to you all.

Good Friday sunrise cross

Good Friday sunrise


The God Interviews page slideshow has been improved. Don't forget, if you're in London next Thursday:

You are invited to the launch of

The God Interviews

at the Cartoon Museum
35 Little Russell Street, London WC1

on Thursday April 12

The book will be introduced by
Ernesto Priego,
comics historian, critic and poet

April 4, 2007


It happens, doesn't it? Not a desire to give up blogging. Not at all. Just a temporary lull, when writing even the shortest post is too much effort and merely clicking on the links to favourite blogs, or to anything at all, is too much. Maybe it's just that I'm tired of effort in general at the moment, especially the kind of teeth-grinding effort required for self-promotion. When does it stop, the necessity to get attention? Not attention for one's self - that's irrelevant, unless you're a performer or a politician - but for the work, the offspring of one's mind.

The lull will pass and I'll bounce back. Yes I will. I've got lots more to add to the autobiography and other things too. To clear some space here I've moved recent posts to the archive but that's left such a huge blank space at the bottom that I have to fill it with an image. Maybe something improvised with one of these gadgety graphicky softwarish things on my computer that I haven't played with yet. But not tonight.

If you want to see and hear something beautiful click on this - it's Nicolas McDowall's experiment with moving pictures, Mozart and the Stone.



The autobiography now begin here and you can follow the links from page to page.




No, don't do it. Don't go to Infinity.

Go to my Archive to see all posts, beginning on April 27, 2003 when this blog began.

Entire contents© copyright Natalie d'Arbeloff 2003. All rights reserved.