Another wasted afternoon…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s featured fruit is the forgotten golden pear slowly wrinkling to brown behind the box of Weetabix – look at that knowing smile on his face as he basks in the oblique evening sunlight…

‘So, Mr Whatt – oh, and by the way, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed…’
‘You’re welcome.’
‘You just said that.’
‘I know… So, you usually write the items for your very popular blog, sitting in cafes, like this one?’
‘Is that a question?’
‘Then yes…’
‘People tell me that you don’t use a laptop, tablet, or any other electronic device?’
‘Do they?’
‘Tell me, what method do you use?’
‘I use a little notebook.’
‘And an actual pen?’
‘An actual pen? Yes.’
‘One that perhaps handily slots down into the wire spiral of the binding?’
‘The notebook does have a wire binding, but it is not a spinal spiral…’
‘Not a spinal spiral, what is it then?’
‘Mathematically speaking the wire is in the form of a helix rather than a spiral, the binding is helical.’
‘Now, Mr Whatt, these notebooks are generally called ‘spiral bound’ notebooks.’
‘Well, the people that call them that, are wrong…’
‘Right then, I’m glad we have that cleared up… Oh, are you alright?’
‘Yes, yes, just suppressing a tickle.’
‘A tickle?’
‘Mm, in the throat, just a small fragment, a crumb, of that very nice Belgian chocolate brownie you just bought me, I’m fine…’
‘Good… So, back to your writing.’
‘Alright, carry on.’
‘Okay, is perhaps the notebook you use a Silvine A6 Notebook Twin Wire Bound one by any chance?’

DSCN4480‘Why yes, as a matter of fact it is…’
‘With Made with care in the UK  printed on the front?’
‘Er, yes… that’s right, what a very good guess on your part!’
‘Oh, not guesswork David, we do like to do plenty of research when we interview a celeb such as yourself.’
‘I notice that you pronounce the word ‘research’ as re-search…’
‘Do I? What of it?’
‘Oh, nothing… nothing…’
‘Back to your notebook, what colour of outer plastic cover do you prefer? Perhaps orange?’
‘Well, the one I’m using at the moment is orange as a matter of fact – another lucky guess?’
‘No, I must confess that my assistant Tamsin here has been talking to some of your friends in preparation for this interview.’
‘Has she indeed? You must give me their names so I can unfriend them.’
‘They all said that you were quite whimsical…’
‘Whimsical? Did they?’
‘So, what sort of pen do you use, and did you deliberately choose one that would slide into the spiral, er, helical, binding for storage purposes?’
‘It’s an old Parker ballpoint, and it was just by chance that it slides in so readily.’
‘Mm, “so readily”, nice…’
‘The Parker refills are a bit expensive, but I find that the W H Smith cheaper copies do the job just as well.’
‘Is it?’
‘Oh, yes, our audience loves this kind of intimate detail. Now let’s probe a little deeper into your creative process.’
‘If you must… Can I have another brownie?’
‘Tamsin will go and get you one, won’t you Tamsin? So, when you take your little notebook back home to your PC and transcribe the…’
‘No, after writing my piece I rip out the pages from the helix, fold them up small, and put them into my trouser pocket with my shopping list and my small change.’
‘Oh, I like that! Lovely detail David… Oh, here’s Tamsin with your brownie.’
‘Thank you Tamsin. Then when I get home I throw the still folded pages into a cardboard box, an old shoe box, next to my computer.’
‘Fabulous! What kind of shoes did it once hold?’
‘Er… a pair of er, black and white Converse boots, size 11, is that important?’
‘Oh vital!’
‘…and then in the weeks to come, I dip into the box and select one to publish.’
‘At random?’
‘Not really… Where are you off to? Aren’t you going to ask me about my art, my ideas, my photography and stuff?…’
‘No, no, we have more than enough here. Thank you so much Mr Whatt… Come on Tamsin, we’ve only got ten minutes to catch the London train, and get out of this hell hole…’

Posted in art, brain, conversation, Dulltown, Grumpiness, Hull.UK., humour, information, surrealism, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spatter Painting No. 31…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s featured letter of the alphabet is the capital ‘L’. A strong upstanding sort of letter is the capital ‘L’, but he can be vulnerable to gusts of wind from the right; a wind from the left he is fine with, but when the wind is from the right he always gets one or two of the other letters to sit on his horizontal element to prevent him tipping over.

Oh, it seems ages since I showed you one of my ‘spatter’ paintings. Here’s a nice one, it’s on thick Bockingford watercolour paper and is about 29″ x 21″ in size.

Spatter 31 (29 x 21)It is done in acrylic paint and the outlines are in black ink (Rotring Tikki Graphic pen).
Do you think anyone would have this on their living room wall, or is it a bit too aggressive and too full of movement? Would it constantly draw the eye as you were trying to watch the TV? Perhaps you’d have to put a cloth over it, as you would over the cage of an annoyingly loquacious parrot or budgerigar… I’m sure someone would find it attractive…
‘Well Mr Whatt, or my we call you David? We’d love to have one of these, er… paintings, but you don’t seem to have any that will go with the shade of our wallpaper, or the upholstery on our furniture, perhaps you could just knock one off for us in a nice shade of beige or tan?…’

Posted in art, colours, cool, creation, humour, information, painting, serendipity, style, surrealism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mayonnaise and the Americano…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s weather will feature clouds like the snowy heads of old gentlemen, suspended aerial droplets the size of duck eggs, circular gusts of bright blue wind, and thick cut marmalade available in the sky towards evening.

On Tuesday I was ambling across the square towards the cafe, it was that time of day. As I approached I peered through the front windows to see how busy the place was. Suddenly I found myself staring through the glass into a pair of bulging bloodshot eyes; they belonged to Tony Mayonnaise, poet from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League. He beckoned me to go in – it was by then too late for me to run off and hide.
Once inside, I gave him a quick cheery wave and headed for the counter, but with a very loud ‘Hoy!…’, which echoed around the high room, he stopped me in my tracks and then shouted across that I should buy him a grande Americano with hazelnuts – they were ‘special’ that day, which, rather than cause a fuss, I did…
As I handed the beverage over I noticed on the table in front of him a very thick book; it had what looked like a tarry substance streaked across its brown linen cover, it was also flecked with what looked like the dried remains of part of a meal which had included baked beans; I could see that it was an old dictionary.
Mayo said that he had found it in a skip (dumpster) by the side of the road a few days earlier, and as he noisily gulped his coffee he informed me that, ‘Dictionaries are great,’ and that, ‘they had some brilliant words in them.’
I said that I knew that, and was about to mention how physical dictionaries work very differently from online ones, but he interrupted me and said that he still preferred to make up his own words, and that his were far better than all those in the book, and then, to my embarrassment, he started reciting, in a booming voice, his latest ‘spoem’ (spoof poem)…

Spinnel tash whamdo ack towm,
Gadge gudge rume tossiger tanque,
Tossiger tash foon geff palamper,
Gadge rume fastobleek teek.

Spimax wemno tikkipen ack towm,
Scodge scadge rume allala zettle,
Allala wemno tobs wallinab fuffy,
Scodge rume jollongalow bufftag.

Spinnol dolm whambo chippik obz,
Phidge phadge rume flontoid musp,
Flontoid dolm ambag ohmaloid nat,
Phidge rume tellemollon ogbow.

Spilliph nylants tikkipen udd syde,
Pudge padge rume cockichop dellamo,
Cockichop nylants mogamog timbo,
Pudge rume hohohod hohohod bim!

Tony Mayonnaise 21016.

Posted in art, books, brain, cafe, Dulltown, existentialism, poetry, style, surrealism, weather, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A few titchy items…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s joke is the one about the prime minister’s hat, the donkey, the half-eaten pizza, and the white-faced clown. Oh, how we chuckled and guffawed in the back of the limousine!…

Excuses for being late. No. 293.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I was gripped by an image of Putin pouting.

A single overheard remark:
‘…and I was like, whoa, don’t like it!…’

An observation:
A big Dulltown man shouting down his phone on the crowded bus:
‘Hello! Hello!… Hello!… Hello!
No, buddy, no… No… Was it about the noise, last night?
No… No… Right, I’d had a few beers and…
…yeah buddy, and I had the music up a bit loud and…
No… No…
Sorry buddy… No… Sorry…’

An observation:
All the people in town yesterday had noticeably deep frown lines on their foreheads, including the small children…

‘It’s the secret of enjoying life…’
‘Eh?… What is?’
‘It’s a two-way thing you know.’
‘Is it?…’
‘Yes, things inwards, and things outwards.’
‘Is this about religion?’
‘No… People think that consuming makes them happier.’
‘Yes, when you are young, you enjoy eating, smoking, drinking, getting stoned, and buying new stuff, but you can’t do that forever, they all eventually make you ill and dissatisfied, and when you finally have to stop enjoying eating, smoking, drinking, and getting stoned, and buying stuff, you really don’t have anything else.’
‘S’pose not… So?…’
‘So, instead of consuming, you learn to give stuff out…’
‘What’s that mean?’
‘Well, you get pleasure and satisfaction from being a bit creative, be an artist, a photographer, play the ukulele, write stuff, make things out of wood, be a gardener, learn to juggle…’
‘Well, maybe not juggle… But the thing is, you gradually get better at all these things, it’s all positive, you amuse other people, and it gives your life a bit of purpose… Giving stuff out, rather than taking it in… Get it?’
‘Fancy another pint?’

I thought I was suffering from noia, but the doctor reassured me that it wasn’t the full thing, but only paranoia.

I’m thinking of changing my name to Clay Mound.

A single overheard remark:
‘Well the birthday card was a little bit rude-ish…’

Posted in art, brain, conversation, creation, existentialism, food, Hull.UK., humour, information, joke, learning, music, observations, overheard, photography, smoking, surrealism, thinking, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Decalcomania mania again…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle quotation is from The Man With the Twisted Lip:
Dr Watson: Upper Swandam Lane is a vile alley lurking behind the high wharves which line the north side of the river to the east of London Bridge. Between a slop-shop and a gin-shop, approached by a steep flight of steps leading down to a black gap like the mouth of a cave, I found the den of which I was in search. Ordering my cab to wait, I passed down the steps, worn hollow by the ceaseless tread of drunken feet; and by the light of a flickering oil lamp above the door, I found the latch and made my way into a long low room, thick and heavy with the brown opium smoke…

WP F DSCN2476Gosh! Who are these people?…
Ah, this is just another of my decalcomania monoprints from about five years ago – it is just black acrylic paint applied in a sneaky way to nice white drawing paper (probably about 16″ x 12″).  If you are wondering what the hell ‘decalcomania’ might be, you could have a look at an earlier post of mine which may explain a little about it; it also shows you how you might do some of this interesting printing technique yourself – it really is great fun! Just click here.
These folk do look like they are standing chatting don’t they? Number One seems to be facing the other three; perhaps this pompous ass is holding forth on some ‘interesting’ topic, perhaps some political nonsense he has just been reading in the Daily Express, as the four of them stand on the pavement waiting patiently for the post office to open – look, it’s two minutes past already!…
Numbers Three and Four seem to be taking offence at what Number One is saying and trying to shout him down; look at their snooty heads raised in contempt. Number Two can’t bear all the noise and upset and has put her elbows up around her ears to blot it out. Good for her I say… That’s what I’d do…

Posted in art, brain, cool, decalcomania, design, drama, humour, information, instruction, reading, seeing, style, surrealism, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Oh God, what’s that strum strum strum noise?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s featured fruit is the inscrutable pomegranate; pale skinned and blotchy, sulking there on the kitchen window sill, keeping its clever ruby-like interior, and its bitter pith to itself for the time being…

No, I don’t like buskers, street entertainers. They are a bit like graffiti ‘artists’ – these people force their art into the environment with no regard to us poor saps who have to walk past and be annoyed by it… Hm…
‘You don’t like all buskers, and all graffiti artists Dave?’ I hear you ask.
That’s right…
‘What about street theatre then?’
Oh god! Don’t get me started on that atrocity! Mime performers handing you invisible bunches of flowers – Good god! I could so easily punch their stupid, head tilted, staring, open-mouthed, white faces!… But no, of course I don’t like it…
No, back to buskers: It’s the music I suppose. I’m not one of those people who think ‘all music is wonderful‘ – some music is wonderful and stimulating, and can give one goosebumps – I’m getting goosebumps now just writing about it. But of course it’s all a matter of taste, and my taste is probably not very ‘mainstream’. People can like whatever they want to, but I don’t think much of them forcing it on complete strangers in the street.
I love music that has passion, that says something about the state of being human, that has clever and interesting elements secreted in it. You don’t get buskers playing stuff like that. They go for ‘nice’ inoffensive, ‘popular’ pleasant music – tunes that ‘everyone will like’, and generally they play it completely without passion or feeling… Strum strum strum…
Yes, the ones I dislike the most are those guitar strumming singers with their whining voices, and their horribly loud battery-powered PA systems – I feel my hands twitch and clench into fists in my pockets as one of them launches into a limp version of ‘Wonderwall’, or some other Britpop tat… No, no, I wouldn’t actually resort to violence – except in my head of course, but one day I might tip over the edge and shout out, ‘Shut up, you bland anodyne bugger!… You need an aesthetic kick up the arse!…’
Then of course, you get posh kids who bring out their cellos and violins and folding chairs, and churn out great dollops of ‘lovely’ Mozart – god, they are relentless, and loud!
Oh, hang on, I do remember one busker here in Dulltown; he was young, scruffy, a punk, and definitely not a very nice person; he was quite keen on alcohol and a good variety of drugs; he thrashed away on a horrible cheap guitar, and sang his own songs which were full of anger, humour, and aggression… and yes, passion… I don’t think he was trying to ‘entertain’ or be ‘nice’ at all. I haven’t seen him for a while, he has probably succumbed to the excesses of his ‘colourful’ lifestyle. He was alright, I always chucked some loose change in his tin…

Posted in art, Dulltown, existentialism, expletives, music, observations, theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Some snatches of overheard and misheard cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s honoured guests are the Richard Branson lookalike twins Steven and Maud Snatch. Come on in! Oh, what a swanky walk you both have! Here, sit on the sofa, talk to us, and grin for all you are worth… (RB)

The first part of today’s snatches of overheard conversation is unfortunately dominated by a trio of ‘writers’ who happened to be sitting closest to me in the cafe:

‘Its’ prose! It’s prose!’
‘Paragraphs! Paragraphs!’
‘Do you particularly like?’
‘In the very first poem I wrote, I…’
‘On the level of being published…’
‘Well respected… Carol Ann Duffy?’
‘I like what he’s saying there John.’
‘It’s prose, innit?’
‘No, poetry is not a diary!’
‘And then I asked the question!’
‘Of course it completely outstrips that.’
‘A short story I never really finished was…’
‘Half-baked, but okay?’
‘What? Over seven days?’
‘In our workshop…’
‘It was just on bits of paper…’
‘Simon, in our workshop it worked very well.’
‘Something has to be triggered… something unexpected!…’
‘I’m going to Tescos now.’
‘Something in between our times…’
‘In the library there was some semblance of…’
‘Much less differential?’
‘More details! More details!…’
‘Yes, our publication was…’
‘I’ll just pop it in my bag.’
‘A pull issue?’
‘Vicious boom girlfriend Tom.’
‘I said it was a size… Oh, vegetables?’
‘Lamin wagglin… sorry, what?’
‘Anger! So if he was mushy mushy about it…’
‘A book pick weed?’
‘It was nose ring nostril Peter.’
‘A wooden thrall? I was just wondering…’
‘Tebby damn!…’

Posted in art, brain, cafe, conversation, creation, Dulltown, existentialism, Hull.UK., humour, information, misheard, observations, overheard, serendipity, smiling, surrealism, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments