Fossil Hunter connection at Bouncing Off The Wall

Last weekend after running my Hand Book of hopes and dreams workshop at Bouncing Off The Wall Graphics Fair, I watched a Pollocks Toy Theatre performance which surprisingly featured a flying saucer landing on the stage, and special sound effects supplied by D, who I noticed was wearing an eye-catching and enviable skirt.

Afterwards we got into conversation – I wanted to know where she got the skirt from! We chatted and later I offered her a choice of one of my new business cards, each featuring a character from The Hand Book, which I’d had made by Moo cards.

D chose a card at random (without seeing it) and by chance picked the young fossil hunter image, inspired by early 19th century fossil hunter extraordinaire Mary AnningI wrote about her again recently.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that D’s mother was a descendant of the Dorset Anning family …

Posted in Books, Drawings, Events, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Workshop at Bouncing Off The Wall Graphics Fair, Greenside School.


Last weekend I joined super talented designers, publishers and printmakers etc at a delightful Bouncing Off The Wall event organised by Starch Green, held in Greenside Primary School.  I ran a workshop there to  promote my leporello The Hand Book of hopes and dreams, published later this year by Design For Today.

The workshop took place in a room with a Pollocks Toy Theatre performance – not at the same time – featuring a flying saucer.  Participants of all ages customised and cut out folding hands with intriguing results, including a card designed by a scientist, and some valiant colouring in by a very small person.

Continue reading

Posted in Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hastings visit

A brief visit to Hastings, where I breathed sea air and called in at the Jerwood, and enjoyed walking briskly (I didn’t have a horse) past Mark Wallinger’s reference to Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge.


Posted in Travels | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dentist visit

Posted in Drawings, Events, Travels | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lyme Regis visit

Lyme Regis was home to fossil hunter Mary Anning, and on my visit last weekend I spotted a copy of her fragile Commonplace Book in the local museum.  Lyme Regis Museum is built by the sea on the site of where Mary lived with her family in poverty in the early nineteenth century.  Her book includes this page about astronomy.

 Mary also made copies of published poems and thoughts about love and loneliness, an insight into the mind of this extraordinary woman who, driven by curiosity about the world, made ground-breaking paleontological discoveries.   I’ve included a homage to the young Mary in The Hand Book of hopes and dreams, to be published by Design For Today in November this year.  My photograph is an early morning view from Lyme Regis taken from near the cliffs Mary loved to explore, with a view of Golden Cap in the distance.



Posted in Books, Drawings, Handwriting, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nottingham visit

Caught the train to Nottingham from St Pancras last week, happy to see my photograph of railwayman Roland Hoggard in the station. From Nottingham station en route to find the bus to a friend’s house, heading up to the Castle I passed this plaque by the canal.  The river Leen joins the canal here.  Some years ago there was a canal museum in one of the converted warehouses, where you could view water running underneath the building.

Walking up towards the Castle, presently closed for a refurb, I called in at the Trip to Jerusalem pub built into the sandstone of the castle rock.  I was told as child that this was where soldiers called in for their last pint before setting out to the Crusades.I stayed a couple of nights with my friend J.  In the morning I found one of her childhood toys outside my bedroom door.

We travelled to Leicestershire to see an Arts and Crafts cottage at Stonewall.  A very helpful guide called Tony Curtis showed us round the gardens.

We went on to explore a bit of Charnwood Forest, mysterious and very Grimm like.

 My niece and her family live in Nottingham. I spent a happy time with the children watching butterflies being born – Painted Ladies, delivered by post in caterpillar form. I sat with the children, watching the butterflies’ trembling emergence and gentle fluttering as they tried out their new wings before being released into the wild the following day.  The butterflies that is. What delight!

Have you been to Nottingham? What are your favourite things there?

Posted in Sketchbooks, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating 150 years of St Pancras station – my photo on display

In 2010 I interviewed railwayman Roland Hoggard.  When workmen dropped the huge clock inside St Pancras, Roland H collected the pieces, put them into cardboard boxes and over time tool them back to his Nottinghamshire home, where he reconstructed the clock face on his barn wall. The clock you see today inside the station is a copy of the original. One of the photographs I took of Roland H at that time is now on a display board at St Pancras, celebrating 150 years of the station and the people connected to it.  So pleased, as he was a charming man.

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hand Book of hopes and dreams – preparations

Preparations last week for the publication by Design For Today of my leporello Hand Book of hopes and dreams.  You’ll be able to meet all sorts of characters, and draw your own hopes and dreams at my workshop on 23rd September at the Bouncing Off The Wall  event.

Posted in Books, Drawings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penzance and St Ives visit

It was 32 degrees in London recently, pollution levels were high and  I began to croak and wheeze.  I just had to get away and breathe some sea air.  That’s my excuse anyway.  I checked the weather forecast, packed a small suitcase with wet weather gear just in case – British holiday habits die hard – and set off for the south west.  My Penzance B&B room was tiny, more like a ship’s cabin, but that suited me because I could lie on my narrow bed and immerse myself in the blue dazzle of sea and sky.

It just happened to be Unicorn Derby Day at the nearby Art Deco Jubilee  Pool (of seawater).  I counted at least 31 unicorns racing to the sound of the Ride of the Valkyries blasting out on the PA system.

Continue reading

Posted in Drawings, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More about the The Hand Book

Just finished the last pages for The Hand Book of hopes and dreams, published by Design For Today, coming soon!  Unfold the pages of this leporello book and meet a sailor, an Arctic explorer, a conjuror, a fossil hunter, a detective and many more … What are your hopes and dreams?

Some of the small images included in The Hand Book …Due to be published in September 2018.

Posted in Books, Drawings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment