Cabins and shacks…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s smell is that of pungent marijuana smoke drifting down from a nearby open attic window.

‘Call me Ishmael…’
‘Oh, alright, er, Ishmael… So what’s this, here?’
‘This is the captain’s cabin.’
‘It’s very nice, isn’t it?’
‘Yes, it is.’
‘Is this where he writes his captain’s log?’
‘No, he has a special place for doing that.’
‘Oh? What’s it called?’
‘It’s called, the room where the captain writes his log.’
‘Oh, are you sure that’s what it’s called, Ishmael?’
‘Oh yes, that’s what Captain…’
‘Eh? No, no, Captain Smeggs – that’s what Captain Smeggs calls it.’
‘Hm, not the ‘log cabin’ then?’
‘The log cabin? No…’
‘Where is ‘it?’
‘Just over there on the quarterdeck, behind the wheel and binnacle.’
‘The wheel and binnacle, that sounds like a pub name Ishmael.’
‘No, it doesn’t.’
‘So, why not just call it the ‘log cabin’?’
‘It would be unlucky, you know how superstitious we sailors are.’
‘I see…’
‘Anyway, there it is, all of us salty jolly Jack tar seafaring chaps call it, “the room where the captain writes his log”…’
‘What do you mean “Hm…”?’
‘Well, you don’t usually get “rooms” on ships.’
‘Yes you do, boiler room, engine room, stateroom…’
‘Oh, alright… So what is the room made of?’
‘Well, wood of course!’
‘Look, those pieces have still got bark on them, they’re just pieces of a tree. Me, I’d call them logs…’
‘I don’t think so.’
‘No, not logs at all’
‘Tell me Ishmael, is this an American registered ship?’
‘Oh yes, we’re out from Nantucket.’
‘Where’s that?’
‘Right ho, now being an American ship, maybe you might call the room where the captain writes his log, a ‘shack’?’
‘But I do know that in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy the place we might call the “radio room”, you Americans would call the “radio shack”.’
‘I don’t know where you’ve got that from!’
‘Oh, alright then, shack it is.’
‘Do I observe a shotgun leaning against the door Ishmael?’
‘Yes, I do! Could this be a “shotgun shack”?’
‘I don’t know what a “shotgun shack” is.’
‘No, I don’t, but I have heard them mentioned.’
‘Where? In a song?’
‘I’ve not heard that song.’
‘I see… So, your Captain, how does he refer to the actual thing that he writes?’
‘His log of course.’
‘Does he call it his “daily slog“?’
‘Well, it is daily of course, but why “slog”?’
‘Well Ishmael, “slog” might be short for “ship log”.
‘Or maybe in the way the words “web log” eventually became “blog”, he might call it his “plog”, “ship log”, you see?’
‘Oh no, Captain Ahab…’
‘Hang on, you said his name was Smeggs!’
‘Ah, yes, that’s right, it is, a slip of the tongue – you see, Captain Smeggs isn’t one for making up trendy sounding silly names for things…’
‘No? What about that bad-ass whale Moby…’
‘Stop, you mustn’t say that name whilst on the deck of the good ship…’
‘No… No… This ship is called the…’
‘Called the what?…’
‘The er… Cheeky Parrot…’


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I think it’s time for a lino print…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s existential angst is centred around the sound of the word entablature.

Lino print in oil based ink on nice thin Kizuki paper about A4 in size.

Is it ‘contrasty’ enough for you dear reader? Gosh, it certainly jumps about doesn’t it? Is there enough three-d-ness in it? Or too much? What do you think it is saying? Me, I don’t think it is saying anything – it’s visual art. Is there ‘meaning’ in it though? Hm, I don’t think so. Ah, but you see, the dots in the ‘sky’ might be bright white stars and planets, or are they perhaps snow flakes? This could almost be a cheery, but deliberately weird Christmas card. Look there’s a little stable on the horizon, I wonder who might have taken temporary residence in there? That’s probably a crisp winter moon grinning away just above the hills to the right. Perhaps those geometric shapes, desperately trying to be three-dimensional, are very special gifts full of symbolism from three fairly wise men who just happened to be passing? And what the hell those silly chevrons are doing zipping across the picture is anyone’s guess! Perhaps they are just a diversion – in both definitions of the word…

In a post a few weeks ago I showed you a photograph of my scruffy sofa-bound preparations for this piece, (click here). As you can see the design has changed a bit – I got rid of the rough and fiddly zigzag border that I had put round it – it didn’t need it – this is an example of that sensible and wise acronym ‘KISS’ in operation – ‘Keep It Simple Stupid!…’

Posted in abstract, architecture, art, brain, composition, creation, existentialism, fine art prints, humour, information, learning, lino cut printing, lino printing, prints, religion, seeing, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A satisfying conclusion…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
“The original hound was material enough to tug a man’s throat out, yet he was diabolical as well.”
“I see that you have quite gone over to the supernaturalists. But now Dr. Mortimer, tell me this. If you hold these views, why have you come to consult me at all? You tell me in the same breath that it is useless to investigate Sir Charles’s death, and that you desire me to do it.”

And speaking of crime solving…
Yes, I do seem to watch a few (probably far too many) of these factual re-enacted forensic science getting-the-perp-under-lock-and-key shows on the TV. Of course some people must watch them to get a sort of perverse stimulation out of learning the messy details of how horrible human beings can be to each other, and it is all pretty unpleasant, and it must be a filthy job for the plucky careworn cops and their stolid scientists, I certainly wouldn’t fancy the job – but of course somebody has to do it.
Me, I don’t relish the blood and the gore, but I’m quite impressed by the science; it is quite satisfying to see some awful self-centred cold eyed thug peering glumly out from behind thick bars all because one of his hair follicles packed with his DNA was retrieved from a  grubby doorknob.
I like the language and tone that the voice-over person adopts too…

The substance on the shoe was oil – entered into the national database – it was just his quirky way – he harbored a grudge – numerous text messages – it raised a big red flag with us – then he spits out his gum – we pulled him into the station – he morphed into a ruthless killer – everything was going to plan – a calculation monster – his guilt was overwhelming – just recognising a voice on the tape – he was a man used to getting his own way – on the porch – she lent him $10,000 – industrial strength garbage bags – a psychic – wearing women’s clothes – inconclusive results – to unravel the mystery – when justice seemed just out of reach – just a bizarre coincidence – his demeanour was calm – prime suspect – twenty-five to life…

Posted in books, brain, conversation, drama, humour, information, jobs, learning, physics, poetry, puzzle, religion, science, style, surrealism, TV, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A few short, but pithy items…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected colours are: optical orange, sucking sienna, bamboo blue, groaning green, ridiculous red, and the odd colour of the curtains at number twenty-three down the road.

Excuses for being late. No. 391.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I was WD40-ing all my zips.

A single overheard remark:
‘The biggest no is this, Geoff…’

‘I hear that you do a lot of pencil drawing.’
‘Yes, I do…’
‘So would you call yourself a line manager?’
‘Oh, I suppose so, but I don’t manage them quite as well as I might… What are line managers anyway?’
‘I don’t know, I imagine that they manage some sort of line. That job title always sounds pretty impressive though, doesn’t it?’
‘S’pose so…’
‘I don’t think I’d like to be one though…’
‘No, me neither…’

A misheard announcement on the train:
‘When leaving the train please make sure that you take all of your personal problems with you…’

‘Darling, what’s the weather forecast for Christmas?’

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting writing and pondering on life in my favourite cafe. A couple of chaps came and sat at a large rectangular table nearby and were soon joined by several more, both young and old, bearing trays of hot beverages. They started talking in what sounded to me like Chinese. They were doing plenty of ejaculating and laughing and they quickly began having a great time – but they were really really loud. I suppose conversational public loudness is a cultural thing, China is probably a very loud place. I decided that I was being a bit unreasonable being upset by their intrusive cheery banter, so I put my pen and notebook away, leaned back, closed my eyes, and imagined I was a minor character in a Jackie Chan film. (Click here)

I’m in the mood for spam! Let’s see what gem has recently flopped wriggling into my comments box. Aha! Here’s a nicely written item from someone called Jimmy:
I am sure this article has touched all the internet users, its really fastidious paragraph on building up new webpage. I have been surfing on-line for three
as of late, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article
like yours. It’s beautiful worth enough for me. In my opinion,
if all site owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did,
the web will be a lot more helpful than ever before. It is very effortless to find out any matter on net as compared to books as I found this piece of writing.

Well, thank you very much Jimmy, I find myself basking in your lavish praise. Do not hesitate to get in touch again.

Yes, I think I’ll be changing my name to Nivea Lotion.

A single overheard remark:
‘Well it looks like a tapir Karl!…’ (click here)

Posted in adjectives, brain, colours, conversation, Dulltown, existentialism, Film, Hull.UK., humour, observations, overheard, serendipity, style, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two very nice colours…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual china teapot is the one shaped like the sound of a country trying to leave the European Union without causing too much upset…
This teapot is a very messy pourer.

Now, dear reader, this is a photograph that you might think that you have seen before, but no, it isn’t. Several months ago this great turquoise paint road spillage occurred, and as I strolled past it I took a couple of pictures to ‘document’ its flashy magnificence – and, the following day I managed to squeeze a reasonably interesting blog post out of the event. (click here if you’d like to revisit it)
Anyway, the paint is still there on the road – it must be very good quality stuff, lasting so well with all the traffic going over it. As I walked past recently I couldn’t help but notice this bright red Citroën parked adjacent to the work.
Oh, just look at those two dominating colours! Are they complimenting each other, or are they squabbling? I don’t know. And what about those very different textures? The directional spatter of the turque against the shiny clean brightness of the red! Perhaps just a quick photograph? I’d better get the proportions of each just right though, not too much red – I think it could easily overpower the turque.  How’s this for a balance? It would be nice to get the chrome Citroën badge in the shot too… Click!…

Posted in art, colours, composition, humour, photography, seeing, serendipity, style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Some snatches of overheard and misheard cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s really nice fish names are: the Canary Rockfish, the Cherubfish, the Flabby Whale Fish, the Luminous Hake, and the Barbeled Houndshark.

‘Wendy, it’s just like a mound-full.’
‘Just check the diameter Paul, the old one was really-really bad!’
‘Well, you know how full my house is…’
‘That’s only if the cat’s out all day walking.’
‘Just scale it by the hour and then pass me the gate.’
‘The room to grow was fully upended, or so someone said.’
‘Coupler doors down had dusty underparts Gary…’
‘The fellacums newly vested…’
‘Happy bedlam, a thick meme, and the time comes to dig me out.’
‘2003 was a chorus side, a mad door, a council tune!’
‘Them pinky three miles, but it keeps stopping curious.’
‘But, on a plus note…’
‘The greys are anxious and the elements sit back.’
‘Then she tied up the ashen thing…’
‘And Bill, it’s not gupping at all well…’
‘It is bound to place Londoners, it’s a flying thing…’
‘His pulsing assets – on a leaflet?…’
‘Lawrence she didn’t like!’
‘Napoleon pockets, that’s just what it was Alana…’
‘Just one of the gills?’

For some information on how these lines are compiled, you could click here.

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The alphabet boys…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s elephant in the room is the one introducing all the guests to the world of phillumeny and forcing them to look at his bulging albums of matchbox labels.

‘I’m thinking of changing my name.’
‘Oh yes?’
‘What to?’
‘Abe is a nice first name, what about…’
‘My new surname?’
‘Well, before we go there…’
‘Go there?’
‘Yes, before we go there, I was was thinking about an initial or two in the gap.’
‘Oh yes? That’s always impressive, it sounds a bit transatlantic.’
‘Oh, so it does…’
‘Would they stand for anything or would they be just initials?’
‘Just initials I think.’
‘What will they be?’
‘E and C…’
‘I see… Not standing for Eric Clapton, Eddie Cochran, or Ethel Comble?’
‘Who is Ethel Comble?’
‘I don’t know, maybe an acquaintance of yours?’
‘No, not standing for Eric, Eddie, or Ethel.’
‘You’ll need a jolly good surname to go with “Abe” and those two initials. What will it be?’
‘Dee? That doesn’t sound very…’
‘Ah, but don’t you get it?… Don’t you get it?’
‘Er, get what?… Oh yes… I think I do!… It’s like the start of the alphabet?’
‘Exactly! Abe E. C. Dee! Clever, don’t you think?’
‘Well, reasonably clever I suppose.’
‘Only reasonably?’
‘Well, it only works properly when it’s spoken, but it falls down somewhat when seen in print…’
‘Oh yes, that’s a good point – it’s great when spoken though isn’t it?’
‘Yes, of course you could have had “Abe E. Seedy”…’
‘But that’s what I have!’
‘No, let me write it down for you on this beer mat.’
‘Oh, goodness me! Yes indeed!… But I’m torn between the two versions now, of course neither of them work well written down do they?’
‘No they don’t… I was, at one time, thinking of changing my name in a similar manner, but using letters from the middle of the alphabet, rather than those at the start.’
‘Really!… Oh do tell!’
‘I never used it, but if you like, you could have it, free of charge, if you wish.’
‘Come on, don’t tease… What is it?’
‘It starts with “Jake”…’
‘Jake A. Rowling?’
‘No no, Jake A. Ellemen.’
‘Good god! That’s five letters! It’s wonderful, can I really have it?’
‘Of course. It will of course extend further…’
‘Yes!… Jake A. Ellemenno.’
‘That’s six letters! It’s a masterpiece!’
‘But like the others, it still only works properly when spoken.’
‘I don’t care, I think it’s lovely! Thank you!’
‘You’re welcome Jake…’


Posted in brain, conversation, drama, humour, philuminy, puzzle, smiling, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments