Log in

No account? Create an account
box of pencils
20 most recent entries

Date:2006-01-02 13:44
Subject:Happy New Year
Mood: groggy

A bottle of cava later... oh dear.

guess the fancy dressCollapse )

(Note classy storage of club ticket.)

17 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-12-24 11:58
Subject:burn baby burn
Mood: excited

For my mum's 58th birthday, we made her a cake to celebrate the fact that she is taking a welding course next year.

Before she got the cake, we made her dress up thus:Collapse )

post a comment

Date:2005-12-24 10:55
Subject:xmas cake
Mood: artistic

This year's christmas cake has been inspired by the film 'The March of The Penguins'. Not that I've seen it yet. Sounds a bit saccharine. I would like to quote the New Scientist in their response to the fact that the film has been hijacked by the Christian right-wing as an example of family values.

"Penguins seem an odd choice given that they exhibit the highest levels of homosexuality amongst birds. Apart from flamingos."

So for your christmas entertainment:

spot the gay penguinCollapse )

post a comment

Date:2005-12-13 12:34
Mood: accomplished

eep! My first bus ad... in the flesh.

see hereCollapse )

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-11-18 11:29
Mood: bouncy

bouncy balls

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-11-12 12:45
Subject:footloose and fancy freelance

I've been working on the latest in a series of colouring books for the National Museums of Ireland. The one for the decorative arts museum was okay, if a little fiddly with all those celtic knots. The natural history museum was horrible - glass-eyed stuffed birds whose legs were falling off. But the country life book is just, well, dull. I feel so guilty for the children who'll be presented with this thing.

lookie hereCollapse )

Poll #610794 Least likely to be coloured in

So, votes please, on which of these images is most likely to be left uncoloured:

1. Bucket. (Okay, strictly, this isn't now going in the book, but the curators did send me the image to trace)
2. Shoes (Stylish.)
3. Spinning (According to the text, there is meant to be an oar in this picture. Well can you see it? No, because I couldn't either.)
4. Boats (Ooh, look at the lovely reflections. Illustrator scribble filter, no expense spared...)
5. Peat Cutting (Will require several brown pencils)
6. Dresser objects (Rather than send me objects to copy, in their wisdom, the curators sent me photocopies of rough pencil sketches on lined paper. Which is my excuse for why these look so shit)
7. Churn (You can tell I was getting bored, huh?)
8. Kids on donkey (Ah, I quite like this one, even if the donkey has an evil eye)
9. Cross and corn (The cross thing is some kind of badge, and the corn thing, is er, made of corn)
10. Butterpats (Look, you can draw one of your own!)
11. The green knight. (A doll with no face. That won't scare kids at all, noo.)

I would, of course, be delighted if anyone cared to send me one of these that they had coloured in.

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2005-10-27 10:08
Subject:Attention to detail - I can't be bothered wtih it
Mood: naughty

The roof terrace at the Museum of Scotland is now adorned with brightly coloured panels explaining the planting scheme. Unfortunately, it has taken so long to get the damn things made, that all the plants are now brown and shriveled. We had a devil of a time trying to figure out where to put the tags - holly was the only thing I could identify. So much for Mrs Tucker's nature lessons.

If it ever stops raining, do pay a visit and enjoy the vistas, carefully obscured by my panoramic artworks. Also see if you can spot the designer's quite undeliberate mistake, but please keep it to yourself. I may be leaving next week, but I still want to get paid and the cost of these panels was several times over my annual salary. I already got in enough trouble today because I climbed into the planters to put the tags into the soil. Visitor Service guard type person went ape-shit because I wasn't wearing a harness. Probably just as well I didn't try to explain my theory that my high heeled boots would sink and therefore anchor me to the ground...

post a comment

Date:2005-10-19 00:17
Subject:lightpictures two

There was a do at the stills gallery on cockburn street last night. Geoff Dyer was talking about his new book. I've only read 'Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered' and hadn't thought much of it apart from the title. In it, he came across as a macho druggie smartarse. The latest book was about photography, but from the point of view of a committed non-photographer. As someone who also never travels with a camera, I can identify with that, so I decided to go along for the free wine. The event was a pleasant surprise. In person, the author was charming. He looked like a physics teacher, unpreposessing and just sort of dad-like. He spoke about the way different photographers imitate and influence one another. The slide show mainly featured blind people playing accordions. Niche, but strangely captivating.

Now, I can go one of two ways when faced with a display of great creativity. Either I am inspired and start concocting grand artistic schemes and buying notebooks, or I'm intimidated, decide I will never be any good and should burn all my notebooks when I get home. ( I have a LOT of blank notebooks...)

The evening was definitely heading in the latter direction. This man knows some big words. Not only that but he can put them in sentences. Quite a few of which I didn't understand. Ideas were shooting all over the place and I was beginning to feel rather dense. However, I was extremely gratified to discover, once the Q & A session started, that Mr Dyer was as hopeless at finding the right words as anyone else, and that the speech was good because it came straight out of a book which he had spent over a year writing. In fact he was so tongue-tied, he gave up on quite a few sentences half way through. I've really come round to this guy.

I left feeling very chuffed, because I was able to tell him that it was particularly interesting that the blind people had accordions, on account of the fact that once you're strapped into one, you can't see the keys at all - you have to feel them, so you might as well be blind. Geoff said 'I didn't realise that at all. How fascinating', and sounded genuinely interested. Hurrah - even a photographic ignoramus can make a contribution.

Didn't buy the book though (£20). I'm saving for a new accordion.

Turns out that his style of writing is not neccessarily non-fiction, which may account for the annoying persona in the last book.

Interviewer: "Booksellers don't know where to shelve your book. Do you have any advice for them? Will they have to start a new category?"

Dyer "The most satisfying experience of this I’ve had was in London when I saw my jazz book in the best-sellers section. I knew the manager of the store a little and asked him if it was true. ‘No, of course not,’ he said. ‘But we didn’t know where else to put it."

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-10-18 01:13
Subject:lightpictures one

Seven years ago, on a drunken class trip to Prague, I staggered through an exhibition of early czech photography. One portrait really struck me. A black and white shot of a man with a light bulb in his mouth. He's half smiling, half choking. I'd kind of forgotten about it until yesterday, when I was browsing in beyond words for my sister's birthday present, and it suddenly came back to me. I wanted to find a copy of the image, but didn't think I stood a chance. But lo and behold, half an hour pootling round some czech websites, and I've found out the gallery, a review of the exhibition, the name of the artist and where to buy the catalogue.

Result!Collapse )

The web really is rather fantastic.

post a comment

Date:2005-10-09 19:03
Mood: excited

Latest bit of work to keep me hunched over my laptop.

Coming to a bus near you. Let me know if you spot it.Collapse )

7 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-10-09 18:48
Subject:In the conservatory with...

Anyone remember the 'Cluedo' tv programme? I was randomly contemplating what it would feel like to be hit with a lead pipe, and it came back to me. The show was an adaption of the board game, with actors playing the parts of Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard etc. Celebrity contestants had to watch video clips and question the characters. It was all rather silly but I loved it. I was 13, so I must have been going through my Agatha Christie phase.

Thinking about it, the murder weapons from the original game need updating, as I don't reckon any of them can be found in the average home these days.
Lead piping has been banned, as far as I know. We've got plenty of orange plastic pipes left over from our sprinkler system install. They may be ugly but they're not very threatening.
The only candlestick I've got is a cheapy habitat perspex one - not brass, and thus no good for clocking someone with - it would bounce harmlessly off their head.
Rope - who keeps rope in the house? Best I can do is a dressing gown cord.
Spanner - again, cheapo version from B&Q, good for fixing bikes, rather inadequate as a murder weapon.
Dagger - closest I've got is the bread knife (all the others are blunt)
Revolver. I don't even own a water pistol. Mind you, from what I've heard, if you locked someone in a room with the Guy Ritchie film of the same name on repeat, they'd more than likely kill themselves.

Any suggestions for contemporary implements? The nearest weapon I have to hand right now is a pillow. And an ethernet cable.

post a comment

Date:2005-10-08 10:40
Subject:bad metaphor - heart
Mood: accomplished

What’s the collective noun for poets? A lament? A twitter?

Today’s bad metaphor came to me in an imagined conversation early this morning.

Last time my heart got broken I didn’t bother fixing it with super-glue. I just used wax. It may be more fragile, but at least I’ll have a good idea of how the pieces fit back together.

Actually, I suppose a broken heart is an exisiting metaphor. So I've just extended it a bit

post a comment

Date:2005-10-03 05:06
Subject:hmm - full stops inside brackets or outside?

Sunday evening. Stepped out for a breath of fresh air, to steel myself for yet another dinner party. (My flatmates had outdone themselves: two recently married couples) There seemed to be an argument going on between two film crews at the bottom of Arthur's Seat. (Title of production: 'secret of the stars'. I decided this must be astrally rather than celebrity related, as 'secret' was singular - if celebs only had the one, Heat would go bust overnight. ) A group of walkers stopped to ask me 'how do we get upstairs?' and I couldn't figure out if they wanted to know how to get up on top of the ridge, or were just taking the piss.

I wandered along the crest of Salisbury Craggs, idly contemplating where would be the best place to fling oneself from if you were that way inclined. Ideally, you'd want a straight drop (avoiding an unseemly Homer Simpsonesque bounce down the cliff), but I couldn't quite make my mind up as to whether it would be better to have a shorter drop onto flat ground (and end up merely concussed) or a longer drop onto sloping ground (the danger being the slope would somehow break your fall and you'd merely career down the hill only to have to come to a rest embarrassed and unharmed at the feet of some jogger).

At the highest point, I encountered a group of blokes who asked me to take their picture against the darkening skyline. I did my best with their digital camera (I always forget that you don't need to use the viewfinder anymore) while they struck what I can only assume were meant to be amusing poses. 'Don't worry!' one wag said as I handed it back, 'We're not mad!'. And I was sorely tempted to smile winsomely and stride directly over the cliff. But I'm not quite ready for death for the sake of a punchline yet.

post a comment

Date:2005-09-30 23:19

Quote from this afternoon's meeting about a new exhibition, which involves herding a group of 50 punters round the room for a series of performances. We are discussing the most efficient way of getting people in and out every half hour, looking at a plan which starts them in a holding area and leads them out through the back door.

German colleague (with amusingly strong german accent)
“yah, it’s a bit like a gas chamber.”

Scottish colleague (with equally strong highland accent)
“oh, well I was thinking it was more like a sheep dip”.

post a comment

Date:2005-09-27 19:17
Subject:bad metaphor - banana
Mood: refreshed

I would be the second* to agree that I am not much cop at writing. My frequent use of qualifiers would suggest that I have an pathological fear of stating anything plainly. George Orwell would have a few things to say about the number of words that I deem necessary to cram into sentences.

However, I do believe I have a gift for similes and metaphors. Sort of like a gift from a good friend, one that you have no idea what you'll do with, and which kind of makes you question just how well you thought your friend liked you.

My problem is that I often come up with an delightfully inelegant metaphor only to find I have no way of using it. I don't much care for writing poetry, but any long piece of writing made only from figures of speech is almost as tedious as one made entirely from puns (for an example of this, read some Kathy Lette - in fact, no, keep well away, her stuff is just awful). Ill-conceived metaphors and similes aren't the things one can just slot into speech nonchalantly. (Not that I let that stop me). So I thought I'd store 'em here, out of harms way, so that at least some of my conversational gambits aren't met with the glassy stare of the linguistically lost.

So today's bad metaphor is...
The blackened banana that has been in my handbag all day feels peculiar when I prod it, like it's skin is a badly fitting shoe.

I should warn you that they get much worse, especially when I try and extend them.

* first would be whoever marked my English A-level prose paper.

post a comment

Date:2005-09-24 00:05
Subject:my very own infomercial
Mood: impressed

warning: icky gynaelogical details - don't read if you're a bloke. no really, you don't want to know.Collapse )

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-09-22 02:13
Subject:blinda dayta
Mood: indifferent

Weelll. I bought him dinner. Made small talk for four hours. (So you can't say I didn't give him a chance.) But didn't fancy him. He wasn't unattractive, but he just wasn't very, er, dynamic. If I was being nice I'd describe him as gentle. But I'm not nice so I'll just say insipid.
I don't know, maybe he was just shy - I doubt if he'd play pirates with me...
I was actually tempted to grab him across the table and snog him just to put an end to the conversation - I was running out of travellers anecdotes.
Not really sure why my friend thought I'd like him. He's a definite geek (programmer, reading scifi while I was at the bar and, rather sweetly, was clearly wearing glasses when I first came into the room but they disappeared by the time I got to the table...) which is all fine and dandy but, dammit, he has no apparent interest in art or theatre or film and an entirely different sense of humour to me. (He must do - he didn't laugh at my jokes :)
God knows what he made of me. He probably thought I talked too fast and swore too much.
There was a palpable sense of relief when we said goodnight... I'll be very surprised if he calls me.

God I hate being single.

7 comments | post a comment

Date:2005-09-17 16:10
Subject:diseased imaginings no3.
Mood: cranky

My reaction to a text this morning probably explains a lot about my mental state.

At 7.40am I was wrenched untimely from my slumber by the shrill tones of my mobile delivering the following message:

"Hooray and up she rises!" I did not recognise the number.

I'd only gone to sleep at 3.30, so I was pretty dozy. First blurry thought was:
Soufflé. Someone is commenting on the souffle I made last week. Hmm. No that makes no sense...
Thought two:
Guilt! I was supposed to be meeting someone/doing something. What! What have I forgotten? Followed by a lot of panicky brain racking until at last I concluded that no, i was definitely still meant to be fast asleep.
Thought three:
Guilt. Is my snoring so loud that my new flatmates have had to wake me up, but can't be arsed to get out of bed themselves in the process? Er, unlikely.
Thought four:
Suspicion. Is this actually one of those con messages that will cost me £1.50 a second if I try and phone them back? Are they following the recent style of emails that use nonsensical, bizarrely leading subject lines in the hopes that you will click out of curiosity? Or is it just a crank call from someone randomly texting people on a saturday morning with the hope of spoiling a few lie-ins?
Thought five:
Recognition. Hang on. This is the chorus from 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor'. That was the alarm call on my ex's phone. I have memories of hearing this horrid, jarring piece of electronic hornpipery in a darkened room, signifying I must get up to catch the 6am train from Kings Cross. But it's not his phone number. And it's from the UK. Hmm. He said he was setting off for the airport yesterday. Brain cogs slowly moving round to compute: 2 hours to airport, 4 hours check in time, 5 hours flight, 1/2 hour disembarking time. Equals... now. He's just arrived at Heathrow.
Thought six:
Bastard! Bastard Bastard Dickwad Git! Waking me up at this time of the morning when I always let him sleep in. GRRRrrrr.
Thought seven:
Vengeance. Right. I'll wait until the jetlag kicks in and phone him. No. Better still i'll get my mum to call him about picking his stuff up from my house. And he'll have to be polite. He he he.

post a comment

Date:2005-09-15 00:00
Subject:lo - he has risen
Mood: chuffed

Rhetoric requires that I state that I am a fairly lousy cook. My attention wanders in the kitchen. I frequently stretch multi-tasking to breaking point by leaving the room whilst several things are on the stove to go and say, finish the ironing and read the newspaper. Cover to cover. Which means that invariably, my food contains a far higher proportion of carbon than is healthy.

So when I attempted to make a souffle last week, I was expecting that it would be a resounding flop - literally. But dammit, there were a lot of eggs to be used up - and we'd already had omelette on tuesday.

May I present the following for your delectation?

voila!Collapse )

Almost makes me want to have another stab at meringues...

post a comment

Date:2005-09-14 23:39
Subject:As long as he wears a blindfold
Mood: apprehensive

Oh my - has it come to this already? I'm going on a blind date. A proper one, mind. I only know his name and that my friend Anne reckons I'd like him. I'm curious to know exactly what kind of man she thinks I like. Or she thinks would like me. Hmm.

I'm afraid I gave in to temptation. Reader, I googled him. Only links that came up were to the edinburgh climbing society, a site called 'free2pee' and another one entitled 'Bishop of St Albans'.

Anyway, I have a week to ponder the significance of such things. For now I just have to think of somewhere we can go. Blind Poet perhaps?

post a comment

my journal