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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

Thanks for dropping by. I've met really nice people who have pointed me in all directions, made me laugh, given me music, kept me company, sent emails and generally made my year more pleasant. All the best to you in 2010 and keep in touch.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Or This?

Looks completely different.

Up in Arms

I mean like where did this come from? It always happens when I'm playing with fractals. I was also going through the paintbrush library and found these arms. Then, quite suddenly, the whole image fell together and looks like some sort of anti war poster. Takes a lot longer without the tablet but I would have probably put fifty squiddley million more...oh good, the pile driver just started up.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Three o' clock and the pile driver at the other side of the garden starts. Dukka, dukka, dukka, dukka and so on for the next four hours or until it gets dark. I'm starting to crack. Headphones on and Sting turned up FULL.

The above is actually a fractal made in Ultrafractal 4.0. The arrows in Adobe Illustrator 2. It's driving me nuts because if I understood it all I would be able to virtually channel in images from other universes. As it is, someone stole my new Wacom tablet while winging its way from Amazon. I hope Mr Slippery fingers knows what he stole and isn't using it as a coffee mug mat.

Oh, and googlebot in Mountainview...stop crawling around my blog.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Puppet Master

You're either a puppet person or you are not. I thought I was going to go insane when I once went to a mother's playgroup and we all had to sit in a circle with our teeny children. The woman next to me wore a glove puppet on one hand and I never heard her normal voice once in the long, long hour my daughter and I were stuck there. I'm sure her poor child went quite mad growing up with that.

My daughter and I got trapped in a church service in England once. The minister/vicar started on about worms rising out of the soil. We didn't like that either. I had only taken her in to show her what a British church looked like inside. Honestly, it was like being in an episode of Midsomers.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hark the Herald

I find it so satisfying to draw these creatures. More fun than making pirogies which I will be doing tomorrow.

My dance card is full to bursting...erm...not.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Party, party.

Forced back to watercolour and ink while the tablet is on the blink. Actually, it feels very nice.

Last guitar class of the year today. Arthur unfortunately has been asleep on top of Marc Lamberg's "Chant d'Amour" so there is a slightly dishevelled set of small pawprints crossing the three pages.

Alice who used to be Frank is waiting to see if her daughter and son- in- law make it to Barcelona airport today. Britain has stopped again.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Snow, snow, snow, snow

Actually, it's raining grey lumps of ice here. Gordon Brown is rambling on and pretending he can't hear the questions.
The town is absolutely deserted. Everyone has gone to their pueblos. I sort of wish I wasn't here.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Fly By

Countdown to putting up the tree. Henry and his invisible wife show no signs of leaving. Some really shabby decorations have appeared in the streets. It's getting colder and colder. Above done in pen and ink.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Waxing Lyrical

An ancient cartoon but I'm only posting so you can see this beautiful animation.

Oh joy, they are building a swimming pool in the garden of the little house next to the monstrsity of a villa behind where I live. This is wonderful. I can feel the floor buzzing under my feet.
Sometimes I feel like I live in a building site. I preferred the center of Spain. Untouched landscapes, forests, wheatfields, open space, wild boar, Roman remains, medieval buttons in the fields, playing hide and seek in castles.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Turkey Dance

Freeeeezing. The sky is spitting ice.

I challenge you to remain seated during this...are those fingers snapping? Feet tapping?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Help Ma Boab

I thoroughly recommend you leap over to and buy a copy of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's only £3.85 and free postage in Britain. It's written in the form of letters (as in paper, ink and envelopes). I just started it a couple of days ago and like it so much, that today, I have sent it to three elderly ladies that I know.

I grew up with the Broons. I still love them and Oor Wullie.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Are you dropping by?

No wacom tablet so back to pen and ink. It is grey, raining, damp, cold, deserted and frankly, somewhat boring here today. Feel free to drop by. I think a car drove by earlier. I put on my long, 1960's coat this morning and Arthur and I walked through the spitting rain. Not a person in sight. So, these creatures slithered out the end of the pen to put on this show for an hour.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Guitar Amor

Macbeth was back to a trio yesterday. Dying to try out the new piece but nobody had looked at it from the week before.
Made a very big mess out of cheesy dough and a batch of rather dry, bit burnt, cheesy biscuits which were supposed to be straws, but they kept falling to bits when I tried to roll them into "pencils".
Ironed Mrs Isherwood's embroidered Christmas tablecloth (one of the roughly four items I iron per year). Cleaned the windows in the sitting room (about the same amount I iron). Made three cups of tea, all of which I forgot about.
And, here's a link to a blog that always makes me laugh...especially this yummy, tempting dish which I will have to try next. Click on the link after where it says..."Forgot the recipe? No problem"
Have a festive weekend. I'm exhausted already.

Friday, 11 December 2009

I wouldn't advise this if moving patterns make you feel wonky but if you actually like optical illusions this one is good.
Yes, you've guessed it. It's Macbeth day and I am not practicing what I am supposed to.

As soon as I saw the word "papingo" in Timbobig's blog, I had to look it up. There's a story in here somewhere. I always thought it would be fun to do a comic strip set in medieval Carcassonne. I would dig out a drawing I did of two soldiers in chain mail but that's in the really old computer and my Wacom tablet seems to be giving up the ghost after years of great fun together. I've tried downloading the latest drivers, the earlier drivers but it doesn't like Vista.
I wonder if my great etc grandfather was an ayrshire archer, ha, ha. That's where the Crawfords hung out generally. Or a comic strip in Medieval Scotland? Now, there's an idea...

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I don't want to fly.

Adobe Illustrator 2...old but fabulous. I have achieved absolutely nothing today.

This little guy sums up all the poor little children who got roped into a school play they didn't want to be in.

Monday, 7 December 2009

I'm a Dog

So...Jazz Angels do exist. I didn't know until today. If you feel like singing along go here...I did.

My heart goes out to all the children that are taking part in the school nativity. Presumably they are all dressed as gherkins or crab apples this year. No photos allowed. That's number two of things to think about this month.

I am in a very silly drawing mood and have cleared the boxes out of this room. Space at last...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Bebby Jesus.

Oh, I just love this season. So many demons and angels around to draw. This is actually a real ink drawing which means I now have ink all over my medio finger. You can't win with ink. It makes great lines...and always gets everywhere. Digitally coloured in which is why is t sort of blurs over the pure, black lines.

Walked over to see Alice who used to be Frank. The exciting news being that her daughter is pregnant. The other news being what does that make Alice? Granny or Grandpa?

Henry and the invisible wife are fighting next door. The town strangely deserted as it is a big holiday. Closer to the truth is, Spain is pretty much closed until January 7th.

The only fixture left behind from the workmen is a 1970's plastic, imitation, Tiffany lampshade hanging in the hall...and I can't reach it even on a step ladder. Drat, and here's me trying to make the place look light, airy, Swedishy.

I watched a disgruntled artist, on television, being told his artwork (made out of a pile of chipathi's ((his pronounciation, not mine))...was lame. The artist was really cross. "Wellth, I thinkth ith lame for a little boy to give a girl a litthle flower. Thath lame... but my chipatiith? Thatth not lame."

I would have just asked where the mango chutney was.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Sings like an Angel

I apologise to the spirit of the Wild Boar. I am not bad at Steak and Kidney Pie and pretty good at pierogies but bad at boar.

The Macbeth Trio was a cuatro again yesterday and I am saddled as guitar number one. They shouldn't have given me that part because I have to come in contratiempo (in one piece) which means starting my bit when tapping foot is in the air. I can consistently not do this which means my brain is perfectly capable of doing it, because it always never does it right...

But hey, check out the latest music we have been given to peruse over the Christmas season.

Our version is for two guitars. My bit has a weird tremelo part. pim, pim, except I am more of a pmi, person. Pulgar, medio, indice.

Peculiar learning music in a foreign language.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is why do people assume angels are friendly? And...are there like, Jazz Angels? Got to think about things like this in December.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Holy Smoke

Since we are entering the festive season I have uploaded this small, smoking guitarist.

It is a bizarre week. Yesterday, I glanced out the door to find the painter and two collegues examining the merits of a hunting rifle on the porch. This morning the painter brought a bag of frozen wild boar which he had shot a while back. I googled recipes for wild boar but wasn't impressed by the thought of Korean wild boar meatballs so will make a casserole.

The guitarclass went fine for once. I am starting to see music scores in a completely new light. This is great. Sort of like decoding the Voynich Mauscript.

Reader from Toronto...who are you?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Running from...

Oh, oh, pen pressure sensitivity in Photoshop has vanished. It says the pen driver is not running. Downloaded the latest driver from Wacom. Still, not working.

Here's a funny animation.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Messages from Outer Space

I am a great believer in messages...from Outer Space, footprints in the sand, wherever I least expect.
By strange coincidence...or not...I got on my bike again today. The first real ride since my spectacular panic attack on the beach wall in April. A sapphire sea and Mr Parkinson (as I call him) shaking and trembling towards me. Allow me to translate roughly.
"Crikey, it's you."
"Yes, " I reply. "Beautiful day." (Please don't mention the panic attack).
"I thought you'd died."
"Em, no."
"You looked dead. Layed out like that on the wall."
"No, no...just a drop in blood pressure."
"Well, I thought maybe you had died or been taken back to your own country?"
"No, I'm fine, honestly."

At which point an equally elderly collegue shuffles up to stare.
"This is the one I thought had died," Mr Parkinson says.
"What? She's dead?"
"No, I thought she was but she isn't."
"That's right, she's not."

"Well, it's lovely to see you." I say. "I'll be off now."

"You're still very guapa, " says Mr Parkinson. "And my hands are still very shaky. It's a buggar. Have a good ride."

"Thank you," I say but smirking with delight that he thinks I'm guapa. Got to take any compliment going these days.

Anyway, the reason I had gone down to the beach was to finish writing a song about Captain MacKenzie which I didn't because I was too busy repeating brain cloud mantras to prevent panic attack possibilities, and then when I open up the Spottydog blog today I find a message...

about shoes...and songs.

And here's a small person who is going to be very big.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Peace Train

Which led me onto this...

Tea Lady reduced to no furniture at all in the sitting room. I'm more or less wedged into a corner here amongst a pile of cardboard boxes. I have tried many times to paint the walls. I am not a natural at this so after thirty years of painting walls on and off, someone else is doing it. A professional painter...a perfectionist. Unfortunately the father of his sister-in-law just departed this world so today he is at his funeral.

Jordi, the guitar teacher, is mad at me for not practicing enough recently. It is the trio tomorrow and I haven't been able to even take my guitar out of its case. I cannot hear when I am not in time with the metronome. I seem to have slid to a halt.

Well, here's what I would rather be doing...

Saturday, 21 November 2009

New Bird on the Block

All is well with the world again. I have ignored Mr Bach today. Henry gaped at me like a fish this morning.. His mouth opening and closing until he gasped "Muy bien." I don't know what keeps him going.

The grandfather clock has left. Very sad. It ticked its way all through my life...and many other people's lives.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

I'm Cracking

I am seriously fed up with everything being in cardboard boxes. I don't know where anything is and it seems we are down to two knives and three forks. A great big lump of agate from the hills of Scotland is missing. The computer is wonky. There are too many cables and plugs everywhere. Actually, I think I may be a bit cross. I am practising a piece by Bach and it sounds like a lawnmower , tac a tac a tac tac a but not at all pleasant to listen to, Arrg, arrrg, double argg.

The invisible wife next door should be waking up soon.

Here's a drawing from the external hard drive. It's me in a good mood.

Monday, 16 November 2009


I'm sort of trying to make a pin here. How do I get a shadow on this?

A brilliant blazing sky. The albanils singing as they continue to build the monstrosity of a villa by the back garden wall. The smell of incense drifting in from Heidi's massage room next door. A giant box of cookbooks and CD's which collapsed last night on the floor beside me. Not me...I didn't collapse.

Brain cloud meeting later. I've missed a couple while in Toronto. We are an odd bunch. The lady in charge wears patent leather, mustard yellow, imitation crocodile, shoes. Who is the oddest of the bunch, I ask?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Yoo Hoo

You have to listen to this...really. Why doesn't the whole world know about her?

Visited Alice who used to be Frank and gave her a very smart handbag from Sears for looking after Arty while I was away.

Henry arrived back in the middle of the night. His car is parked roughly a meter away from the pavement. At least he remembered where he had left it this time. I caught a glimpse of the invisible wife the other day. A smear of a pale housecoat and a soft thud of a flip-flop as she dissolved in the morning light.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Title Goes Here

My extra special moment of the day being placing my hands into a cardboard box and discovering the screwtop salad dressing bottle had unscrewed itself...I don't even like salad dressings that come in bottles. I prefer to splash around with olive oil, garlic, all sorts of vinegars and lemons. The only reason I had a bottle is because there were no cupboards for three months.
Not only that, but the food colouring bottles had unscrewed themselves. Not that I have used food colouring since the days of homemade play doh. Anyway, the yellow sort of washes off but not the red and blue. A condiment poltergeist?

Henry and his invisible wife are still in residence. What do they do all day¿ Why does everybody on this street have agoraphobia? Am I living on a Lay Line? Hello? Hello¿

Close your eyes and drift away with this...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

It wasn't me

Ah yes, the "moleskine"...The Jimmy Choo of the drawing brigade. I struggled against the temptation of following the pack for quite a while before actually making the mistake of looking at them on Amazon and then instantly ordering four moleskine sketchbooks from an Amazon seller. This one is actually for noting down animation ideas but I just like not having to draw a frame.

Anyway, the reason I noticed the blogger "He's Spartacus", (On right hand side) was because the title really makes me laugh...because that would be closer to the truth than everyone politely shouting "I'm Spartacus." I mean can you imagine ? No, it would be more like everyone running away really fast and pointing....."He's Spartacus."

Sort of what they are doing to Gordon Brown but without robes and wood.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Here's a conversation that took place in the seat behind me on the bus.
Her: "So...did he snitchon her?"
Him: "Yeah, he snitchedon her."
Her: "Holy Sh$$"
Him: "Yer, Holy Sh$$, eh. He went n' snitchedon her."
Her: "What dya feel about that, like?"
Him: "I don't give a sh$$. You know what I'm like."
Her: . "So, he went and snitchedon her."
Him: Yer, she got well and truely snitched,eh"
Bus Driver: "Snitched eh? EGLINGTON and DANFORTH."

Oh, and by the way. I almost collided into Camilla. You know, the one that married the one with the ears. She was crossing the road just outside the Toronto Music Conservatory and surrounded by men dressed in black. I felt quite sorry for her. The rest of the world was busy heading down Bloor Street oblivious of her presence.

I bought this music from the shop up the road.

I'm not saying I can play it, mind...

And here's the shop...

Saturday, 31 October 2009


I am presently living a live version of a Starsky and Hutch episode. Somewhere in the vast suburbia of Toronto I lie in wait on the eighteenth floor. I have yet to hear spoken english in this part of the world although I did venture to the Royal Ontario Museum which was supposedly recently updated and revamped.'s got a brand new glass front...but I went to see the Roman stuff and it's not open!! Then I went to a great music shop on Bloor Street but everything shuts at five!!!
I'll just head back to the land of sirens...It's quite surreal.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Gremlins in the computer. It is impossible to find out the time here because there is only one clock in the house apart from ones that are part of a digital screen...which means they rarely tell the right time because of all the power cuts. The grandfather clock leaning against the sofa is sadly waiting to leave. It does not like being here. I have my father's watch somewhere. The computer says it is four in the afternoon but it keeps switching itself to GMT.

Oh well, Henry and his invisible wife arrived next door last night. It turns out this morning that Henry cannot remember where he left his car last night. Nor is he sure of what make it is. He usually finds it somewhere near the local brothel (His words, not mine).

Que hora es?

Saturday, 24 October 2009


I'm supposed to be doing a logo for a luthier but he's also into heavy metal and jazz as well as I found this witch which I did in Artrage hiding in an external hard drive and am diverting myself for a few minutes here. How am I going to get three different types of guitar in one logo? The challenge is on.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


It is bucketing. So, I nipped into the Chinese shop and bought brand new brolly for he magnificent sum of two euros fifty. An elegant, black collapsible number which when opened a little way down the road, sliced my left hand thumb with the precision of a surgical razor...and it only opens inside out so the rain actually collects in the inverted dome.'s thundering now so off goes the computer...

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A little Bird told Me

Back on the bike...hooray. Wind in my hair, etc etc, great.
Doorbell ringing.....Phew, kitchen sink almost connected. Possibility of a real meal tonight?????

Above done in Adobe illustrator demo which runs out in three weeks. I would even vote for Gordon Brown if he gave me the non-demo version. It is a wonderful illustration programme.

Anyway, I'm off to the other side of the world next's been a long time.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The State of my Brain

Well, there we go...I must have saved it in the wrong format because the colours are all wrong.
Went to the braincloud meeting. It's sort of akin to vacuuming one's brain. Quite an odd sensation and beginning to dawn on me that there is a possibility of beating panic attacks after all. One of the people in the class can actually completely paralyse themselves. It makes me wonder what fantastic things brains are capable of that we don't know about yet.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Good to let your hair down isn't it? Except mine which usually resembles optic fibres, unlike those "because you're worth it " ladies. But at least I don't have other people's hair woven onto my scalp. How do they do that? Wouldn't it feel like glueing other people's fingernails on?

This is a screenshot because I cannot figure out today how to open a drawing I saved as PDF without it going to Adobe reader.

The boob lady across the road has left for France. Most of the holidaymakers have gone. Braincloud meeting tomorrow. Hmmm...

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Come on,come on, come down to the sea.

There have been no doors here for over a month. I cannot find anywhere to play the guitar. I absolutely hashed my way through "Macbeth" yesterday. This is the name I have given to the ladies guitar trio I am in. Jordi, the teacher wanted us to play the latin american tune but the ladies wanted to play "The rice pudding song". Personally, I want to play "el ultimo cancion" as in a la David Russell but that's going to take another ten years...or twenty. It's probably the last thing I'll do before I die. "Ladies and Gentlemen..." BANG.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Take my Word for it.

Oooeer...downloaded a 30 day trial of Adobe illustrator. This is like too much chocolate...wonderful.

It does absolutely everything. I haven't a clue how it all works.

Like I said the other day... never do up your home. Still, no cooker or sink. Now reverted to a borrowed, camping, butane, two- ring thingy.

Big police raid on the bars and cafes at six the other day. It's the best time of day in Spain to do that kind of stuff. Nobody is ever doing anything at six. They have wheeled off a large group of folk from Albania who were in charge of the poor ladies of the night (or in this case day and night) .

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I know I posted this before but I just came across it on a CD and see it is time to redraw it...which I will do when I can.

By the way, click on the drawing to enlarge...if you're interested. It's an old idea for a character called Maureen Chlorine who is very...what's the word? Backwards in coming forward. She should be a regular comic strip by now. She was for six months but I need booting now and then. More now than, then.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


I really would not like to meet this guy. They should put him on television dance programmes. Here's a link to the real one.

What a great costume that would be for Halloween...

And here's harp guitar...

Friday, 9 October 2009

High as a Kite

The head Mafioso builder of the town is constructing three houses close to the back of my modest abode. I wasn't too worried because silly me actually believed him when he said they would not be overlooking anybody's property. One of my foibles being that I always believe people are nice when in fact they are pathological imbeciles.

Between yesterday and today they have built two soaring towers so my garden is no longer a secret garden but a private theatre for the French people that are going to live there. I won't even be able to sit inside the miniature willow tree anymore...or maybe I just will. I mean fer Gud's sake it's the biggest building in town. People are staring at it and going "coño..." (no translation needed).

Erik, the German, my neighbour has four windows looking into his temple. He is selling up. He hopes a builder will tear his place down and build fifty apartments.

If anyone has the right qualifications out there please come and rescue me.

Meanwhile, here's Frederic Mesnier making it all sound so easy.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Unthanks

Big thank you to for introducing me to this incredible group.


Are you blogged up? Are there people with leopardskin capes living in your loo? Are you on a blogroll? I am...well, since yesterday. Thank you . But be careful.The site maybe catching.

And here is a spectacular piece of fire and water made by a friend over at Renderosity. I bet he did the music too.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wild Restaurant

You know these makeover shows on the telly where they do up houses and everybody is smiling and going "Oooh" and "Wow" and "I didn't think it was possible?"

Well, it's not. It is ghastly. You eat off plastic plates. There are only sandwiches. I have lost absolutely everything...including a small box of pen nibs from the antique market. I have broken three carefully honed fingernails but....

There is a new fridge in the empty kitchen. I have never owned a NEW fridge. It is amazing. I think I'll move in...

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The New Loo

You need to click the picture to enlarge...and you need to do this to see the instructions for the new loo.

I honestly had no idea that tap dancing on the loo seat is not allowed...and why can't you put nitric acid in it? But what really has me is the feather for? Suggestions anybody?

Chaos still reigning. They have delivered the wrong floor tiles. I am washing in a bucket and eating bacon sandwiches. Just like being back in the brownies but without the smirking "Look, I've got my new sewing badge" buddies.

I was never destined to be in a group but tomorrow I am going to a braincloud meeting. If I don't implode I should at least get some comic strip material for Maureen.

Saturday, 12 September 2009


Ha, ha...Having almost fingerpicked myself into a pleasant coma and worn grooves into my fingertips...I return to this game which makes me laugh aloud. It is just so...mad...and I can't solve it...
Can you?

Friday, 11 September 2009


The other side of the street is the French Quarter. They are taking it in turns to host five hour lunch parties on their porches, which means they will soon be heading back to Normandy and Paris.

The screaming heebie-jeebie baby family have finally left next door and the fellow that cleans the place has quickly moved back in. You know...the one that plays "Ayee, ayee, the canary's gone and died on us."

Medieval market in the next town this weekend. Will Melodeon Man show up? He didn't last year. Here's what he sounds like...Sorry about the shake but he makes me wobble at the knees...