Monday, 31 December 2012

An Ending

I watched Hugo last night.  It's an absolutely stunning film, the sort that makes me feel inspired to create something after watching it.  Quite often I then can't think of any good ideas, and I thought that might happen last night, but was pleased then to find myself writing this poem.

Feel free to just listen to the recording, or just read it without the audio, or read along with me.

Also, HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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An Ending

Pam looked down at the doll in her hand.
She could feel the sand on her skin.
Sand she could not put back in.
Couldn't begin to know where to start
Cos deep in her heart…

The doll was split, the sand was gone,
All of it on the soggy ground
As the rain came down
And washed it all away.

And before you say…

Very Short Mondays: Being Held Here To Change Drivers

"This bus is being held here to change drivers."

Paul froze in his seat.  His skin tightened, the chill ran down his entire body.

This would make him late.

He knew there was another 176 directly behind, but changing buses now would create a whole new set of problems.

They'd see him.  They'd wonder at his sense of urgency.

And so he let events take their course.

He'd wait until the driver was changed.  Watch them leading him away.

He could only sit, could only count the number of points he would accrue as the result of his delay.


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Link of the Day: Animated Shorts

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Slightly Less Short Fridays: Some Other Day

Dan.

Dan was in a bar.

He was with friends.

Now, Dan was single.

Dan wasn't very good at being single.  He wasn't much good at anything to do with being single.

Dan was looking at a girl.  He wasn't looking at her, of course.  He wasn't a pervert.  Cos for all he knew, she wasn't single, or perhaps she was but maybe she was as uncomfortable as he was with all of this stuff, so he didn't stare.  Didn't want to make things more awkward than they had to be.

So he didn't stare.

He was aware of her presence.

She looked nice.

She looked like good company.  She hadn't tried to hard to look good.  Not that she didn't look good.  She looked lovely.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Slightly Less Short Fridays: "The Man With Gloves Coming Out Of His Ears", or: "Cloth Ears"

George sat on the hard red plastic chair in the doctors' surgery. Every so often he tried to shuffle his seat, more out of boredom than anything else. Each time, he had forgotten that it was bolted to the wall, and found himself tugging awkwardly against an immovable object. He looked around, embarrassed, but no one seemed to mind or notice.

He was here to see the nurse rather than the doctor. His ears had become blocked and he had made an appointment to have them syringed. He'd never had his ears syringed before, but he didn't feel too nervous. A friend of his had told him to pour warm olive oil into his ears regularly to soften the wax before his appointment, and he had done so each morning for the past week.

Eventually his name was called. The nurse apologised for running late, and shone a light into George's ears so he could have a good look at the blockage.

"There's a bit of fluff in here," said the nurse.

"Yes," said George. "I noticed that too."

The nurse looked at George.

George looked away. The nurse's stare made him feel uncomfortable.

"I'll get my tweezers," said the nurse, eventually.

"Hold still," he said when he came back.

Bracing George's head with his other hand, he reached into the ear and started pulling at the threads.

George could feel the pressure build in his ear until eventually, something started to move. It felt like the wax was coming out in one large lump.

And then, it was gone. Out of one ear, George could hear perfectly again.

He turned to face the nurse, who was looking at his tweezers and, clutched between, a sticky rag.

"It's a glove," said the nurse eventually.

George stared at the nurse.

"I - I must have swallowed it as a child," he said.

"I guess I'd better do the other ear, then," said the nurse.

"Yes," said George. "You better had."


***

The (long version of the) title for this story came out of me tucking my friend and coursemate Anjali's gloves under the edge of my hat while I held them for her.  Oh the hijinks we acting students get up to!

Link of the Day: The Beauty of Google Street View

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Monday, 17 December 2012

Very Short Mondays: I Don't Understand String Theory & My Alarm Didn't Go Off Again

It was lighter than I expected.

I reached across for my phone, pressed the home button.  The start-up screen appeared, requesting my PIN.

Shit.

The bastard thing had restarted itself in the night again.  The time in the top corner of the screen read 09:48.  I still had 12 minutes.  That would be enough.  An hour later I would be congratulating myself in front of trusted colleagues, for making it against all the odds.

I wish I understood how everything works.



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Link of the Day: Hair of the Dog

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Very Short Mondays: You Can't Sell Carpets On The Street Corner

The room was already beginning to smell.

Soraya plugged in the hairdryer.  She'd made no money all afternoon, and now she'd have to spend the whole evening trying to salvage the merchandise.

She turned on the radio.  Then turned it off again.  She wouldn't be able to hear it properly anyway.



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Link of the Day: Fake Planning Notices

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Monday, 3 December 2012

Very Short Mondays: And The Rain Ran Down The Inside Of The Window

Terence sat there so he could lean his head on the window and have a snooze if he felt like it.

His right buttock felt cold.

Was it cold?  Or was the seat damp?

He hadn't realised at first, but other people had boarded now and there were no other seats left.

He decided to stand.

He still had three stops to go.



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Link of the Day: Jean-Pierre Roy's Dystopian Paintings

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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A passive-aggressive cartoon from my fridge.

A passive aggressive cartoon from my fridge.

It's a sad indictment of modern times when I am reduced to posting passive aggressive cartoons on my own fridge over banana theft. Someone keeps taking my bananas and leaving manky weird bananas in their place. This has been going on for months.

Please help by buying this as a greetings card.  Or shower curtain.

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Link of the Day: 60-second adventures in thought

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Friday, 28 September 2012

Maths T-Shirt: 'Trisect: The Impossible Dream'

Here's another woofing dog t-shirt that I haven't uploaded on here before. Remember bisecting angles using Euclidean geometry at school? (That's when you had to use a pair of compasses and a ruler to divide the angle exactly into two.) Well, it's impossible to TRISECT an angle using the same techniques.

And so I thought I'd design a t-shirt in homage to this fact.

Obviously.

I've very nice.  I own one myself.  I wear it frequently.  Sometimes I sleep in it.



'Trisect: The Impossible Dream' t-shirts and accessories at the Woofing Dog Shop!

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Link of the Day: It is, however, possible to trisect an angle using origami.


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Monday, 24 September 2012

Very Short Stories, 24 September 2012

The Man With Two Apple Cores

"I wouldn't eat that if I were you," said Christian.

"What?"  Sandeep brought the apple to a halt halfway to his mouth.  Inspected it.  "What's wrong with it?"

"Look at it.  Do you see?"

Sandeep had already seen.  The skin of the puckered to a point on one side.  A mild mutation.  He had planned to eat around it at first, then make a judgment about how palatable it would be.

"That apple has two cores," said Christian.  He hadn't taken his eye off the apple the whole time.  "Bad omen."


While You Were Out

Alison looked down at the familiar red and white card on her doorstep, her name scribbled in the box.

"We attempted to deliver your item," it said.

"However, we could not do so because:
  [  ] you were not at home
  [x] we couldn't be bothered to ring your doorbell

"Your item is waiting for you at Your Local Delivery Office."

Alison sighed, and trudged back upstairs to fetch the shorter of her two swords.  She pulled on her leather cap and, after a moment's hesitation, picked up her buckler shield.

She wasn't going to make that mistake again...


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In other news, I'm trying out some new stand up comedy material tonight.  Wish me luck!

Link of the Day: A Beard A Day

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Friday, 21 September 2012

Maths T-Shirt: 'Hyperbolic!'

There are a few t-shirts on my t-shirt site that have been up for a while but haven't been posted on here yet.  Consider this the first step to correcting this.  First up, 'Hyperbolic!', complete with sketches of the hyperbolic sine, cosine and tangent curves.



Click for 'Hyperbolic!' t-shirts and accessories!

test test test


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Thursday, 20 September 2012

OPTIMIST PRIME / NICK CLEGG


This one's mainly for my old school mate Gareth, whose colleague mispronounces lots of things.  And this was one of her creations.

Actually, a quick Google search brought up this rather good image for Optimist Prime, so it wasn't the first time someone made this connection.  But I couldn't resist making this all the same, and I reckon it's different enough in tone.  And if I use the same idea again, I'll keep linking to the other Optimist Prime image.

Link of the Day: The Nick Clegg apology parodies, of course.

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Friday, 31 August 2012

Dinosaurs With Jetpacks!

A poem! I've done a illustration and recording and EVERYTHING!

Dinosaurs With Jetpacks!



Dinosaurs With Jetpacks

Friends! Welcome to our circus!
We're so pleased that you could join us
for the show that we've
put on for your delight.

So please do not be alarmed.
We're quite sure you won't be harmed
by the monsters that
we're setting loose tonight!

Soon you'll be witnessing a blizzard
of remarkably large lizards,
the like of which
you've never seen before.

Their new style of acrobatics
is so modern and dynamic,
that it's sure to leave
your jaws upon the floor.

We've a Stegosaurus troupe
who perform the loop-da-loop,
and the most skilful
spinning Triceratops around.

And you can't say that you're alive
Til you've seen Tyrannosaurus dive,
and then stop an inch
before he hits the ground.

There's never been a sight
quite like Diplodocus in flight.
It's enough to make
a Pterodactyl blush.

So come! See Velociraptors glide
and take a Pachycephalosaurus ride.
Once your airborne
it's really quite a rush!

So, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Please be upstanding
For your viewing pleasure…

DINOSAURS WITH JETPACKS!


Oh! Look! T-Shirts too! (and a mug)

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Very Short Stories

I've been taking a leaf out of Laura's book, and writing some very short stories.  Mine are mostly a little bit weirder than hers though.


Into The Daylight

Victor heaved himself up over the edge. He squinted as his eyes adjusted to the daylight.

'This is what it must have felt like when I was born,' he thought to himself.

Of course, he couldn't possibly have remembered what that was like. Not least because he was never *born* in the first place.


The Girl Who Grows Goats In Her Garden

"The difficult thing about goat seed," said The Girl Who Grows Goats In Her Garden, "is that it needs to be kept completely dry in order to germinate. That's why I had this umbrella installed."

She pointed up to the giant umbrella overshadowing the three adjacent gardens.

"Caused a lot of trouble with the neighbours, I can tell you. The other thing you should never do, is prune your goat."

She fixed her visitors, a hen party whose members mostly looked extremely bored, with a steely glare.

"That's how you get sheep."


Sally Sold A Silver Spoon

She could have got more.  She knew that if she held out someone would have given her a higher price. It was one of a kind.  Ancient.  Traceable back to more than one Royal household.  At auction it would have gone for a song.  And she needed the money.

Oh, how she needed the money.

She put the twenty pound note in her back pocket and left the car boot sale.  She felt sorry for the poor bloke who'd bought it from her, but at least this way it couldn't possibly find its way back to her.  Again.



Perhaps I will turn at least one of them into a longer story one day...


Link of the Day: When I was young...

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Monday, 20 August 2012

Birthday Face

It was my birthday on Friday and I spent it working with a load of teenagers on The Challenge, having lost my voice, and with, shall we say, "questionable intestinal conduct".  Almost as good as that birthday when I spent the night in hospital with suspected malaria.

A highlight of the day, therefore, was when my lovely friend Jo posted on my Facebook wall, the simple birthday message: "BIRTHDAY FACE".  How could I even
consider not using that as the title to a birthday poem?

And since my lovely Challenge colleague Holly's birthday was next in line (today actually), she's the lucky recipient of this original drawing on her card and poem within.  It's only brief but it's the first poem I've written and been this excited about in I-don't-know-how-long.


So this is how I spent my evening in at home alone on my birthday. Rock on.

Birthday Face

Birthday Face

Please hear this tale devoid of joy
About a sad and lonely boy.
Now, I'm sure his mum loves him to bits,
But he's got candles sprouting from his zits.
It's enough to make a grown man weep,
And also a fire hazard when he's asleep.
He never smiles, he's got no mirth,
There's butter icing through his girth.
He don't fit in in any place
And people call him 'Birthday Face'.



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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pink and Green and Owls

Pink and Green and Owls


I'm back on the Internets in my new place!  You'll see a lot more of me from now on.   First up, a painting...

I painted this picture a while ago for my niece's second birthday, based on the brief of "pink and green and owls".  The approach I ended up taking was thinking about it being made of layers of coloured (tissue) paper.  And animated à la King Rollo.  If that makes any sense at all.

I was so pleased with it I wanted to keep it for myself.

Who do you prefer: Juggling Owl or Deeply-Unimpressed Owl?


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Prime Minister's Remaining Political Strategy


No, not over here!  Don't look over here!  Over THERE!


This is *all* David Cameron seems to say at the moment. It's almost as if he wants us to look the other way.

In other news, I will be back properly soon. A combination of no Internet and being extremely busy has kept me from you.

There are in the meantime a couple of new exciting maths-based t-shirt designs up on Woofing Dog T-Shirts that I hope you'll enjoy.  I'll post about them properly when I've created more products with them on.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

New! The Boris Johnson Text Adventure Game!

I may have had a lot of fun making this all of yesterday...

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You are Boris Johnson…

MAYOR OF LONDON!

It's hard work being Mayor. Especially when the general public demand pesky elections, and you have to defeat Red Ken. Again.

You must navigate all the travails and fripperies of daily political campaigning to avoid electoral doom. This text-based adventure game uses almost all of the letters in the alphabet and has in excess of one ending!

Godspeed, you handsome beast. Godspeed.




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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sketchbook 5: Clicky Link

Clicky Link

I don't draw other people's characters very often, and here you can probably see why.  Mind you, I did this on the tube using a phone Google Image search as reference.

Link of the Day: Borderline Genius

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Monday, 5 March 2012

New Monster T-Shirts! "FRANKENSTRONG"


I actually drew this ages ago, but I had loads of little glitches converting the hand drawn and scanned image into a vector image.  I had one last crack at it yesterday which involved Photoshop crashing before I remembered to save everything, and then accidentally messing up the layers on Inkscape.  It took all afternoon and evening.

Done now though.  Quite pleased with the result.  BEHOLD! etc.  And then buy.  I need the money.  Please and thank you. :-)


Click to go to the shop and buy your Frankenstein/Frankenstrong t-shirt or accessory.

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Link of the Day: Cat Fight

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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Tracks

"So let me get this straight.  You want a tattoo of a piece of train track tied to your arm."

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"It's symbolic."

"Symbolic?  Of what?"

"It's ... you know."

"No.  I don't know.  That's why I'm asking.  Why do you want a tattoo of a piece of train track tied to your arm?"

"I dunno.  It's a declaration, innit.  I'm saying, maybe I'm not the one who needs rescuing.  Maybe it's the sad fuckers who spend all their lives stuck to the rails and never fucking leave it to go on, you know, adventures at that."

"You're full of shit.  You know that, don't you?"

"It's gonna look fucking cool though, eh?"

"Yeah."



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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Storytime! "Never Let Me Grow"

Another story that came about from going to my writing group, The Ink Tank.  This time we were taking programme titles from a TV guide and making something else out of them.  In my usual style, I picked a film title and added a couple of letters...

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Never Let Me Grow


My name is Sam.  I am four.  I can't remember not being four.  Mummy says that is because of my injections.  I have insulin injections every day because I am a diabetic.  Mummy says the injections make time seem to go slower.  Mummy says other boys my age are still my age.  I don't see other boys now because it's the school holidays.  It's always the school holidays.  Mummy says when I am five I can have a bicycle for my birthday.  She says I can have stabilisers.  Stabilisers will stop my knees from getting bumped.  On my birthday I want a new Daddy.  But Mummy says Daddy is the best Daddy in the whole wide world.  I like Daddy.  But I think he is broken.  Sometimes he goes on and off when I look at him.  When Daddy smiles, it looks wrong.  Like he is pulling silly faces.  I think Daddies cost a lot of money.  I think they cost the same as ten bicycles.

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Link of the Day: Burst My Bubble

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

"What's In The Box?": A Valentine's Day Story

At our writing group, The Ink Tank, on Sunday, we did a writing exercise where we had a few minutes to write a short piece based on the question, "What's in the box?"  This was my effort, which was about a couple, so I can sort of pretend it's a special Valentine's Day Story:

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What's In The Box?

"What's in the box?"

"Nothing," said Jerry.

"Oh," said Lucy.  "Okay.  Shall I put the kettle on?"

"Yeah," said Jerry.  "Go on then."  But inside he was wracked with guilt.  He'd lied.  And she'd believed him.  Maybe she knew.  Maybe she'd thought he'd lied because it was a present.  Oh God, should he go out and buy a present for her now?  He couldn't bear the thought of hurting her feelings.  It'd have to be the same size as the box.  Slightly smaller than the box.  But what if she'd believed him?  Oh God, that would be worse.  What if she trusted him so much, and then he bought her a present, out of the blue?  Wouldn't she get suspicious?  No.  Because she trusted him.  Maybe.

Best to buy her something.

To be on the safe side.

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Link of the Day: Serious Nonsense: Bruce McCall's TED Talk

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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Sketchbook 5: Security Protected

Security Protected

I drew this after buying something in the supermarket with a yellow anti-theft "Security Protected" sticker on it.  I can't remember what it was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the sort of thing you'd expect to see one of those stickers on.

Link of the Day: 50 Photos To Blow You Away

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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sketchbook 5: Wake Me At ...

Wake Me At Barking

I drew these on the District Line when I saw a little girl who was in stitches because she just discovered that there was a place called Barking.  Cue lots of barking.  And then her mum joined in.

Wake Me At Temple

Link of the Day: Shit Cyclists Say

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Saturday, 28 January 2012

New T-Shirts! 'Sabre Tooth Vampire'




Click to go to the shop.

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I had fun making this grumpy little fellow.  As usual, I hand drew it, scanned it, cleaned it up with Photoshop, then traced the vector outline using Inkscape before colouring in and adjusting some of the details.  Though the gap between drawing (about 3 weeks ago) and scanning (this morning) was a considerable one.  Busy busy busy.

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Link of the Day: Thought of You

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