Some overheard and misheard snatches of cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s adjectives are: bumptious, meagre, fiducial, cervine, tonant, and shifty.

‘The three shadows of hell.’
‘Free sonics?…’
‘What I say is right!…’
‘The Pope – he made it!’
‘Once a month, twice…’
‘This meal beforehand…’
‘Gary just doesn’t get it!’
‘Sharon’s nose is there…’
‘Crying out for some…’
‘No, I won’t pull out!’
‘Spam-sport, a five guess, Adam’s whip.’
‘They’re all there, and colossal!’
‘A creepy thousand?’
‘Double-two years?’
‘I’ll do that rather than jump!…’
‘I’m not really holding on to worship…’
‘Weed-mo fungus, there are different types of prayers.’
‘Very awkward!…’
‘A small scared me…’
‘I’ll still play guitar though Bob.’
‘Sat on each other scratching.’
‘A dye cover and certain poppies.’
‘That’s if she’s okay with rolling…’
‘Some of it is out-stick!’
‘Oh, my personal Sunday…’
‘See God’s perspective instead of ours.’
‘A bleak Arab?…’

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“Nostrils barely show…”

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s very funny joke is the one about the Secretary of State’s arse – Oh, how we quickly ducked down behind the filing cabinets and sniggered into our cupped hands…

Perhaps it is time to revisit that strange book I mentioned a week or two ago – ‘Looking at Faces, and Remembering Them’ (1971) by facial recognition expert, and inventor of the ‘Photofit’ system, Jacques Penry.

DSCN3661Which page shall we look at today dear reader? We did noses last time. How about foreheads, chins, or maybe just lines and wrinkles?… Oh, to hell with it! Let’s have some more noses! I like noses! This time let’s see some front views. Wouldn’t it be great if it was a ‘pop-up’ book so that they sprang out at you as you opened the page?

DSCN3668Actually this really is quite disturbing… I think it’s partly that you get a little glimpse of the scary villainous eyes at the top of the photo too… Good job I’m a surrealist!…
I think my favourite is Fig. 117 - Medium-long ridge broadening into rounded ‘bulbous’ tip’, but then again, Fig. 110 is nice – definitely a hawk-like Sherlock Holmes one!…
Oh, isn’t this fun!…


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How about a career in pretentious blandness?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s expletive is ‘By nails and blood!’ – English, 13th century.

Yes.. Was it Friday night?… No, but what’s happened to pop music?… I mean… It used to be that old people would hear the young people’s music and say, ‘Oh, what a noise! This is horrible, course, and unmusical! Look at them swaggering about, oh, and all that aggression! This is terrible! What is the world coming to?…’ So, what has the world come to?
Anyway, Friday night… I was flicking around the channels on the TV trying to find something even slightly stimulating to watch. On BBC 2 there was ‘Later Live… with Jools Holland’. I have given up on this programme; it has been unrelentingly dull for a long long time, however, I decided, in my desperation, to once more give it a try – a few years back I did happen to see on it ‘Operator Please’ playing ‘Just a Song About Ping Pong’ – it was magnificent – so unlike the normal stuff Jools has on – so, there was just a chance that…
A song was just starting. It was by a band advertised as being ‘New York rockers'; they were called ‘Interpol’. Oh dear!… I actually laughed out loud – no, really, I did! Cool and serious, a boring tune, strumming guitars, layers of blandness, and the vocals consisted of a couple of uninteresting phrases repeated over and over again as if repetition would somehow improve them. They reminded me a bit of ‘The Smiths’ whom I used to laugh at too…
‘What’s the world coming to?’ I asked earlier – well, this is it! What has happened to young people? Where has all the life, enthusiasm, creativity, energy, rebelliousness, and style gone?
‘Interpol’ were followed by someone, or some people, called ‘Zola Jesus’. The song was wishy-washy, pretentious, po-faced, and dreary, but for me, comic… I laughed again! – But at the same time I sort of felt sorry for the poor young things.
It almost seems as if the current pop and rock performers have been to college and studied hard to learn how to be rock stars. As they received their degrees the head of the college shook their hands warmly and whispered to them, ‘Now don’t go surprising or upsetting anyone, will you?’ ‘No, of course not sir…’ they whispered back…
Really I think it’s all about ‘cool’… These kids are so desperately cool that they can’t express any emotion in their art, displaying any emotion is definitely not cool!… which is a pity really, because that’s what music is all about.
I wonder where Jools finds the audiences for his show. They all seem to be very easily pleased – perhaps they are all out-of-work actors who are paid to be there? They enthusiastically cheer and clap these anodyne rock band simulacra as if they’d just seen Jimi Hendrix sweating over his sexy dive-bombing screaming guitar, or the subversive uncompromising dark moody Velvet Underground doing a steaming monumental version of ‘Heroin’…
To be fair, I suppose these 21st century musicians, grew up listening to the sanitized, packaged, marketed blandness of the previous decade, so one can’t blame them for thinking that that was what music should be…
Isn’t it funny that now the old people are complaining that the young people’s music is too safe and nice?…

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Trafalgar Square – man with bird…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s colours are: grape green, grape red, grape green, grape red, avocado, and lightning-strike yellow.

EPSON scanner imageHere’s another photograph from my days of old-style film and darkroom photography. This one is probably from the late 1980s or early 1990s. Not that you can tell, but it was taken in Trafalgar Square, London – Yes, that is definitely a London pigeon – you can tell by the beak you know… (not really)
I was looking over a wall, it might have been the wall next to the steps up to the entrance of the National Gallery, and spotted this office worker (maybe not an office worker – see, no shirt and tie) below enjoying the sunshine on his lunch break. There were a few pigeons waddling around pecking at invisible snacks, but none was near enough to the chap to be in the picture – I stood leaning over the parapet for a few moments squinting down my eyepiece and waited – aha, there’s one! Click!…
I was really pleased with this picture, and I still am – serendipitous geometry! That sounds very arty doesn’t it, but this picture is all about angles… The chap’s right hand pointing horizontally out of the picture to the right, (look, he’s got his third finger down the slot in the seats, fingers always tend to seek out slots to go down…), the bird directly ‘above’ the hand, the bird angled to the left, the chap’s leg and newspaper angled to the right… the chap’s head at the same angle as the bird – the background of horizontal and vertical lines – at first glance you might think that the chap is lying down, with the bird clinging to a stone wall, but no… There is some nice stuff going on here! It’s a pity I didn’t quite get the back of his head in shot – that would have made it perfect – still, you can’t have everything, can you?…

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Some smallish items…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s honoured guests are the Brad Pitt lookalike triplets, Ted, Lance, and Bertie.

Excuses for being late. No. 227.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I had to clean my tape heads and pinch wheel.

A single overheard remark:
‘He’s grapefruit daft!…’

‘What’s that flappity-flappity sound?’
‘Where’s it coming from?’
‘Oh, it’s that goth lad over there – it’s just his ankle-length black leather coat flapping in the wind.’
‘Ah, right…’

The local Dulltown accent:
‘A dirt mind…’ – I don’t mind.

Someone once said that I was the second best blues guitarist in Hull – but they wouldn’t tell me who the best one was….

‘I’ve got a great idea for a really innovative scene in your film…’
‘Oh?… What’s that then?’
‘It’s the scene where the professor, or the head detective, or the spy boss, is addressing his colleagues in front of a screen where images are being projected…’
‘Oh yes? I’ve seen that in films quite often – it’s good… So, what’s your great idea?’
‘Well, this time we don’t have the person stand in front of the screen with the image appearing on his or her face, or shirt, or jacket… They stand to one side so the people can see the screen…’
‘No, no, that’s not very dramatic is it? We couldn’t have that!… People like the pictures moving about on the person’s face, and shirt, and jacket – it looks clever!…’
‘Oh, alright then… It was just a thought…’

Aha! An item of spam in my comments box. This one is from someone called smifaq:
‘You will should allot a large area when you’re
to obtain a recliner sofa. Generally sofas can be found in many sizes and shapes so it is possible to choose the one that best accommodates your room. The fact is, not only you might get a sectional sleeper or loveseats, but in addition some new ideas as an example sectionals creating a constructed-in chaise seat…
Keep in mind that they are easily damages by ordinary bleaches and fabric softeners…’
Well thank you smifaq, I will certainly bear in mind what you have said.

I’m thinking of changing my name to Timon Money.

A single overheard remark:
‘There was a really splendid spreadentation…’

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I wouldn’t have gone anyway…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s random dictionary words are: gurrah, gurl, gurnard, gurry, gunter, and montem.
Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. He may turn up wearing fake spectacles with a plastic nose attached; you must not draw attention to, or comment on this.

So, very early Sunday morning, a metallic clatter and a thwap on the door-mat – something had been pushed through the letter box. It turned out to be a badly printed menu card with grease stains on it. On the back was scrawled a note from my friend Stella, who you may know from her pithy criticisms of my drawings and pastels that I occasionally document on these pages.
It said, ‘Hi David – I really thought that I would have seen you at Simon and Tony’s surrealist banquet last night – I can’t believe that they didn’t invite you! (Simon Doom and Tony Mayonnaise, poets from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League) It was great!… I’m just walking back home from the hospital… You missed a real treat!..’


Bloody beetroot on well-thrashed pumpernickel.
Bamboo chunks in glow-in-the-dark custard (cupboard under the stairs).
Levitating sheep’s eyes in an ethereal white sugar mist.
Thick sweet slug trails on burnt black toast.
Jars of strawberry jam smashed against a pyramid of hot meaty cow bones.
Caraway seed and spider omelette – Mm!…
Stinking broth with floating wooden doorknobs.
Sugary plum stone and eggshell crunch.
Cornflake packet cardboard hexagons with steaming butter and honey dip.
Optimistic dark prunes and nervous pale apple slices.
Bottom-feeder macaroons ignoring snooty coconut rings.
Erupting gravy volcano in a sea of blazing bobbing chipolatas.
Live wasps in transparent sugar cubes – only one per guest.
Sardine trifle surprise. (use tongs!)
Yellow plastic duck and ping-pong ball stir-fry.
Whole roast crocodile on a spit – help with the basting! (in the outhouse)
Colourful guitar pick layer cake.
Pickled onions and winkles in brown ale.
Raw liver and blood sausage pillow fight – 9 pm in the attic.
Verb, adjective, and noun spicy mix.
Slices of boomerang in golden batter – you’ll come back for more!
Soft green moss discs balanced on erect steaming hotdogs.

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How to do searchlights, oh, and Art Deco…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s jellyfish is the one on the rostrum at the party conference.

Artists are supposed to have ‘sketch books’. At school the art teacher used to say, ‘…and I want to see your sketch books bulging with interesting work and ideas…’ They never were of course; it was always a struggle to get the first couple of pages filled…
I don’t have a sketch book, I don’t do any sketching. I do have a book with unruled pages though; someone once bought me it as a birthday present; it’s about an inch thick and about ten inches square. It is now about two-thirds full, but there are no sketches in it. There are some quick breakfast time drawings in lead pencil and colour pencil, and things stuck in it, such as the original plans for those small sculptures that I do; I also stick in, rather than throw away, the original drawings for my lino prints too.
Yesterday I was glueing one of these lino print drawings in when I chanced upon an interesting couple of pages that might make a nice blog post…

DSCN3699Let’s look at the left hand page first, even though those fluorescent oblongs are waving and shouting and trying to grab our attention. This is a simple drawing of a searchlight – nice isn’t it? Look at that beam of light – isn’t that clever? Someone showed me how to do this technique when I was about ten years old. It’s very simple. All you do is draw your searchlight, then take a scrap of paper that has a straight edge and scribble on it with your pencil. Then you place it, scribbled side up, the straight edge where you want your light beam to be, hold it down and rub the graphite off with your finger onto your drawing – then do the same on the other side. Hey!… A convincing looking beam of light!
But wait!… This is a bit more interesting than it appears to be. There is psychological stuff going on here. See how the paper in the light beam looks far whiter than the paper at the edges of the sheet, which it cannot be… it is the same unmarked paper. Clever isn’t it? It’s all about the high contrast at the edge of the beam which is very eye-catching, and the gradual fade off away from it, which isn’t eye-catching. The eye notices the contrast and exaggerates it, making the beam look whiter than all of the surroundings…
On the right you can see a couple of pieces of fluorescent card that I have experimented on using this technique. I used slips of paper with straight edges, and pieces with cut out circles of various sizes, and also some bits with ripped edges… A bit Art Deco, don’t you think?…
Why not have a go at this yourself dear reader? You could end up with the Turner Prize next year…

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