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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Test Flight

Click to enlarge if you have nothing to do. Sort of up and running again after computer and general chaos in the universe. Probably two inches to the left of where my brain usually sits but at least it is breathing.
Cobalt blue skies, the pumpkins are too big to lift up, guitar starts on Friday...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Errgggg, having been Googlebotted to bits I am now completely lost as to where exactly is the blog....or what it is called..........???

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Erm....splutter etc.....

Busy chasing swallows and vultures, dodging Roman ghosts and exploding guitars (yes, honestly, the dry mountain air dissolves wood glue).  Heading downhill in a couple of weeks, new blog forming "Shut-Eye Town". I'll catch you there...I hope....signing off before internet connection fizzles out.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Knight Sleeping

There's a button in the filter gallery (Photoshop) which says "displace" and like the bottle in Alice through the looking glass (do not drink me) I click on displace from time to time just to see what it the above background is a fractal I displaced twice, ha, ha, with a drawing on top. The knight is sleeping...and, being a nitpicker...I think...what kind of knight would go to sleep with his helmet on? So, in this drawing this is a knight that drank some tea made out of some Datura Stramonium leaves because he thought it was a particularly lovely lily...but it wasn' he immediately fell into a coma...which is why he has still has his headgear on.

It's only taken me six years to figure out (from reading guitar forums) that the reason  for wonky hip is probably due to using a I have ordered a guitar support from this useful place where I also got the guitalele.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


The lottery seller, the coffeemaker, the checkout ladies are in warrior mode. The sickeningly high temperatures for the last six weeks have turned normally peace loving people into purple faced (except for tourists and the French who are polished chestnut), dripping, heartpounding, close to exhaustion, monsters (myself included).
However, after an hour listening to the guitarist below I have reduced heartbeat to around the pulse of a small race horse and discovered some nifty effects in Photoshop.

Two (chestnut polished) Russians outside invisible wife's gate yesterday as I was shlepping back from the rubbish run. The rubbish bins have turned into some giant biological process due to excessive temperatures. If there's a big bang and a new world comes into being don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Swimming lesson

The invisible wife has a new fellow. A lean, mean fighting- machine with a bullet-like head, and a handlebar moustache. For some extraordinary reason he has recently rebuilt her garden wall to dizzying heights and adorned the gatepost with a large plaster lion (white). I like to think I am vaguely observant but to my astonishment I suddenly see that there are four more plaster lions guarding two of the houses on the other side of the street. I have never noticed them before. Why not? These lions would be knee height if they descended from their columns.
But it still leaves me with the problem of what has happened to Henry, husband of invisible wife? He was here a few weeks ago.
The heatwave continues.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Ola de calor

Shuffle, plod, splash, shuffle, plod , too hot now to venture outside until eight this evening. Tried a bit of cycling, drawing, playing, but am losing the battle and listening to the afternoon play which is infuriatingly like an Agatha Christie story. "If I were capable of killing her I would have done it there and then."
The above coloured in with Corel Painter 4. 
I just noticed this morning that the local Halal butcher shop is called "La Paz".

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Juggler with small dog in disguise.

Pictures still duplicating themselves in the artwork folder....aaaarrrgggggg...32 degrees...figs splitting, fruit flies. Breaking down and heading for a gin and tonic in about two hours.
Computer has gone mental. Gie us a break, Jimmy.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Pacific Orcas

Farewell, by Sergio Assad

The man in the piano

When I was small I had an old Victorian piano and there was a face inlayed in the wood like this one here. I never forgot the face or the fact that the sneaky parents sold the piano when I wasn't looking. I still wonder where it is...
Here is a clip to remind one it is better to see the funny side of things sometimes. Click the film about the man in the bath...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bedtime Stories

Drawing of many-armed fellow done by the one and only many years ago. I've coloured it in and added bits. I wonder how much genetics play a part in what people choose as subject matter in drawings?

Black, white and red all over.

Help! I keep my artwork in folders according to the year I did them. 2011 is replicating everything by the second. It's making four or five copies of each drawing.....and I have thousands of drawings in each folder. Does anyone know how to fix this?  ....Please!
Sleepwalking at a new time high. I'm still turning into a lizard but now armed with tubes of chemicals to fight the demons.
The town is breathing a sigh of relief that the end of summer madness is within sight.

The above done in Manga studio. There's probably fourteen copies of it by now....

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Or in colour...

Fish chowder beckons...

Ratbag Sunday

Click image to enlarge if you're not in a hurry
I am well aware that I start many things and never finish them so I am trying to alter my brain patterns before I run out of time. Severe lunar activity is prompting me to actually try and put together a book of cartoons and self-publish like the rest of the world on Lulu or wherever.
I urge you to listen to the music below. I cannot understand why the whole world doesn't know of this composer. Managed to buy two tracks from iTunes...and a remarkable app...that names all the stars in the sky, plus drawings of constellations, plus satellites...and, and, and...but I love any kind of gadgets. In September I will be plodding through starlit fields and
Oh, and does anybody know of any computer software that can record guitar playing and turn it into sheet music?...I guess not yet.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Smoking dancers

New musical act in town on the beach. Three guitarists, two chattering dancers who avidly rolled their own cigarettes next to me as they waited their turn. Giant moon over a silver sea. Very excited small people in the audience who couldn't help but fling armfuls of sand onto the portable dance floor. So much so that one of the dancers stomped off and returned with a broom, thus ensuring clouds of sand floated up into the air and back down onto the heads of excited small people.
Very, very small, sleep-deprived child gently removed from falling onto portable spotlight. Many more small children playing tug-of -war with the cables round the back of portable dance floor.
Sleep-deprived mother found somewhere over by the bar.
And, as it happens, one of the dancers has a cousin in the province of Soria not a million miles away from the magic it happens, both dancers are renting a house in this very street...which makes the street a lot more interesting than it was yesterday.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The custard is setting.

I don't see dead people...I see these guys...mostly harmless...but you never know. I would like to let them loose on the streets of London to encourage them to chase the hooded, stickfigures. How can those not yet grown assles cause such damage?
The Scots remain hidden in the glens.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Thirty three and rising.

It is far too hot to do anything at all outside so here I am immersed in Photoshop and Manga studio. I am turning into a lizard so next week go to the big city to see a dermatologist. I don't even sunbathe, what a swizz.
Tomatoes, figs, grapes, raspberries ripening. Small birds lining up for free breakfasts.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ratbag sis and bro

The pumpkins have gone insane. They are huge already. By halloween they will be the size of Shetland ponies.
The street is unearthly quiet. Not a squeak from Henry next door since he came back. The invisible wife now has a very smart racing bike. Apart  from that, I know nothing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Having spent three weeks in central Spain and not once having read a newspaper, watched a television, been near a computer, listened to the radio or generally having any access to everyday was a real eye-opener to re-connect with stones and plants...and whirling vultures.
And to find a new waiter in the village. The only gay in the village at that...of which he is very proud.
The villagers are all serious millionaires now having won "El Gordo" in the not distant past. They are modest. An old pal had bought himself a brand new Safari jacket and he and his wife still live in the same tiny house when she worked as a sheperdess. But his son now has a brand new, impressive restaurant.
But the secret paths down the hillside to the Roman fountains still exist.
This village has been at the centre of all major events in my life.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hamelin plays Hamelin - Little Nocturne

I see silly people

Basil plant planted...and I fell for a giant Agapanthus which between you and me is a bluebell-coloured pom-pom of a flower on the end of a long stem. It is so incredible that instead of planting it outside it is sitting right here next to the guitar. Yesterday, I got right through "Paseo" without looking at the music. Hooray. Here it is played by Anne-Mari. I would blush to put my version alongside her,

Flamenco Metronome: Solea

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Vals Flamenco - Flavio Sala

The dreaming figurehead.

Off to the garden centre with Beanie. Basil plant high on the list. The heat outside is already like a furnace. It is days like this that I wish I lived in a forest full of beech trees and waterfalls. ..or Gairloch...or...
The above is done in Ultrafractal 4.0 and Photoshop.
And if you need to cool down this will probably help.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Stochelo Rosenberg -Improvisation N°1


Erm....really, serious, towering, ominous, puffed-up, rapidly-spiralling clouds outside...sort of like the ones thirty seconds into a disaster film...I'll just un-plug everything...excuse me...

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Lightning strike

People pasting each other in the supermarkets, crashing at the traffic lights, yelling out of car windows, the heat is getting to the tourists. The locals are genuinely shocked, especially the cashiers. I remain in my ivory tower oblivious to the outside world. A bit unhealthy I suspect, but vital when it feels like 40 degrees outside. A new set of screamers out back, yesterday being change- over day in holidayville.
Thunder and lightning all night, and me dreaming of walking through Culross, barefoot in the snow, in the middle of the night looking for my house. I have read that houses symbolise the state of one's mind. I dream about houses a lot. They are always  1). Without a roof. 2). Are empty 3). I can't find one. Oh dear...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Ratbag Sister

The air is as thick as split pea soup. The ladies in bikinis are spilling out onto the streets although I have not personally seen this yet. I listened to the TED talk on the sidebar about doing something you have always wanted to do for thirty days in a row...I can't think of anything except maybe writing a best seller...maybe I'll dig out one of my unfinished the one about the protester under Dunvegan beach who stumbles across a dormant spacecraft underground...and the Nimbus News TV crew...and Rupert Croke who runs the "Vegan Falls Inn"...and Carmen from Peru who has magic powers...and Joy who collects antiquities...real ones...the false ones are in the museums...and the asshopper used for quick trips to Edinburgh from the West coast of Scotland. Actually, maybe I really will dig out that folder ...I think I started it about fifteen years ago...

"Canto bajo la luna" , composed & interpreted by Jean Marie RAYMOND

Thursday, 30 June 2011


You see if you send in ideas I may actually draw them because sometimes my mind is blank and it's always interesting to hear other people's stories.

El Camino del Rey [High Quality]

What about Maureen...

Sometimes people ask me where Maureen gets her jackets from? I always ponder this. Do they mean it in a philosophical way? Maureen sometimes arrives in my mind completely uninvited, but if anyone out there has some toe-curling embarrassing situation they would like to see her in, just let me know. Perhaps you can recall some of your own dating/social disasters? I promise not to mention names, ha, ha. Go on, I need some ideas...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It's red all over! It's red all over!

The most astonishing event of the morning being that Henry next door arrived to return the money he had borrowed for his plane ticket last October. So far, his shouting has remained way below his normal scale. Did he get a hearing aid?
There is much, much housework that needs doing but I remain in much, much not doing anything mode...BUT! I have ONE fingernail on the right hand that I have honed to perfect form and smoothness. The thumb is finally growing. I haven't had a decent set of nails in ages. No, it's not a Barbie thing.

William Shatner - Mr Tambourine Man

Monday, 27 June 2011

Liz Cavendish

Headphones on, listening to Radio Four's afternoon play...quite spooky really.
The above done in Manga Studio. I didn't know you could change the colour of the pattern pen.
Even Henry has shut his shutters against the searing heat. Same here.

The history of Guitars (experience music project, Seattle)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Witches

More hats

An eerie silence outside as the temperature in the shade on the porch reaches thirty again. The pumpkin leaves are drooping, not even a bird singing. 40 degrees in Castilla y Leon yesterday. The cold water tap is running hot and, since cycling and swimming are off limits at the moment, I have severe cabin fever. A pox on old lady legs and a curse on an allergy to chlorine for God's sake. How does one develop an allergy to chlorine out of the blue? Well, out of the last four years. I should have never given up smoking. I think about cigarettes constantly at the moment.
Big batch of vichysoisse in the fridge.

Michele Della Giustina - the cut of the spruce

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Or even this?

A veiled approach

Woooooooooooooo, I knew I shouldn't have downloaded the latest Corel Painter Demo. I am trying to make my own spray hose nozzle (does that sound faintly medical?) and I even wrote out the tutorial by hand to get the instructions to stick in my brain...but they didn't...and I landed up with this. These veiled ladies are multiplying with the thirty degree heat outside.
Anyway, who was it that mentioned "Cesare Vecellio's Habiti Antichi et Moderni...The clothing of the renaissance world" on their blog? Was it someone from
because I have to say a BIG thank you. I bought this book and love it to bits. It is stuffed full of clothing detail and I only have to glance at a page for a character to fall out the wacom tablet.

Friday, 24 June 2011

San Juan

Having not been down to the village for some days I discover there is a new restaurant on the main drag. The new owners are English. They have placed their newly photocopied menus outside the courtyard. Thirty nine fifty euros for a sea bream...golly...have they not done any research?
There is a new hamburger and ice cream shop opening on the other side of the main drag. Air conditioning, glass terrace overlooking the sea. They will make a fortune.
New Chinese shop over by the health centre. How many Chinese shops can there be in one small town?
It is San Juan. It is birthday of my one and only offspring. The sky is full of fireworks. It is daytime. It is a Catalan thing.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


The amazing return of Henry...

Aha! The daily tedium of life on the Med is broken this morning by the arrival of a taxi next door, the contents of which...turns out to be long-lost Henry. He is not, as I suspected, buried under the gravel in the driveway but alive and well. Alive and a curious shade of white. Fido is barking and barking, jumping up and down on the frightened taxi driver. The invisible wife does not come outdoors. Is she expecting him? Is she stuffing bin liners with evidence? Where is her usual morning visitor and his bike?
I reckon the shouting will start around six this evening. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


1). Click to enlarge.
2).Phone psychoanalyst.

Pokey LaFarge: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Dig those cats...they're solid.

These are a few of the people who live on my street. Actually, that is so totally not true. What is it anyway? Is it full moon or something? Did the above in Photoshop yesterday with a new brush I invented.....excuse me while I open the front door...I'm completely spooked this morning...feels like there is a poltergeist in the house...or it did, until I realised the headphones had fallen on the floor and that's where the tinny drumbeat was coming from.....
Slinks off stage left.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Quiz time

It's all happening here....erm...I'm really, really, really, really bored and I've been really really bored since seven this morning but not bored while I was drawing this so I may have to do another one...oh and it's only one o' clock so not even time to have a bowl of fish chowder that I made when I was really bored about an hour ago.