Wednesday 3 December 2008


These images are taken from a German book on animation. The book is translated into five languages and doesn't say where each film is made, so I have given each the English title.







"THE DRAWING ON THE WALL" - Stefan, a bright twelve-year-old, arrives late at the dentist, because he had lingered on the way to join other children drawing on the wall. He is angry because the dentist tells him to come again tomorrow at a time when he wanted to be playing. In 'revenge' he draws a caricature of the dentist, armed with a corkscrew, on the wall at the entrance. In the night Stefan dreams of his caricature, and is very frightened. Next day, when the dentist is treating him, he realises what a mistake he has made, and wipes his picture off the wall.




"THAT'S HOW I SEE IT" - A painter leaves it up to luck what subject he will choose for his picture. At a building site he begins to make a sketch of a worker in abstract style. The worker protests that that is not how he looks. The painter replies: "That's how I see it". Then the worker draws the artist. The painter protests that he has drawn a donkey, and not him. "That's how I see it" replies the worker.




Wednesday 22 October 2008

Random Asst I

Quatermass and the Pit - BBC TV


Quatermass and the Pit

Hob Nob

The Fall 'Slates' back cover

HP Lovecraft paperback

Quatermass and the Pit

The Fall 'City Hobgoblins' 7"

Friday 10 October 2008

A nice wee present from.... Ivor Cutler

In 1998 I sent one of my books to Ivor Cutler, c/o the BBC, and was thrilled to receive a package a few weeks later containing several of his famous 'stickies' and the above note.

A collection of Ivor Cutler's stickers was produced by the small press 'PICKPOCKETS'. entitled 'befriend a bacterium'. It's probably out of print by now, but is well worth tracking down.

Most of his albums have been getting re-releases over the past few years. One omission is PRINCE IVOR, which is a wonderful collection of plays for Radios 3 and 4. Although separate pieces, they flow so well together they form a kind of modern equivalent of Alice in Wonderland, in which Ivor encounters, among others, a mole, a miner, a mermaid, and King Neptune. There is such a lot of space in the recordings; you listen to a lot of silence - sometimes punctuated by footsteps - but it is totally entrancing. There are extracts of eastern European folk music, and a piece from Burundi - the latter in the form of Ivor's new disc which he plays for his dad.
Highly recommened, and which hopefully will at some point get a release on CD thanks to this site:

From my scrapbook - part 1

This photograph was clipped from the International Herald Tribune, probably late 1990s, early 2000s. It accompanied a motor racing report. The only reference to the eagle in the whole piece was in the strapline of the picture, which said that the winner was attacked by the bird as he stood celebrating on the podium. I found it bizarre for nothing else to have been written on the matter.

Friday 23 May 2008

Pictures on my wall

Here's some smartly dressed British illustrators at work on various murals.

Eric Fraser (standing) with assistants

Edward Bawden (standing) and Eric Ravilious

Eric Ravilious

Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden

Tuesday 8 April 2008

They're Coming to Take Me Away!

'Robin Redbreast'
An unnerving 1970 Play For Today title in the village conspiracy vein.

Excellent article about this to be found here;

Friday 14 March 2008


Murrain by Nigel Kneale aired 1975 as part of ATV's 'Against the Crowd' season of plays.

This is a superb example of Kneale's art. To the casual observer, Kneale writes about the supernatural, but in actual fact the writer held such mystical beliefs in contempt. Kneale uses the tricks of supernatural fiction but what he actually is writing about is all perfectly plausible and can be explained in scientific terms. The fact that so many of his stories are set in every day surroundings adds to their power. In this play, everything which happens could, feasibly, be explained by both the villagers' view of events, or the more rational reasoning of the vet. Even at the end, the viewer is left in doubt.

SPOILER ALERT: This, as well as the following post 'Baby' are now available on the Beasts DVD collection.

The scene is a gnarly northern hamlet, where a vet (David Simeon) arrives to tell farmer Mably that he still doesn't know the cause of an illness affecting his pigs. As he approaches the farm, several of the hands are sweeping the road.
The farmer is hostile to the vet, and following the short consultation over the animals, takes him to the local stores, where the onwers' child has been sick in bed for the past five weeks - illness also unexplained.
Mably goes on to tell Simeon that an old woman, Mrs Clemson, is the cause of both illnesses - a present of a jar of jam has also resulted in the crippling of one of his farm hands, while the storekeeper's child was caught playing in Mrs Clemson's garden. He wants Simeon to take his bag, filled with the dust brushed from the road (which all in the hamlet have passed over) and tip it over the 'witch's' head.
Simeon is indignant, but concedes to do do before tipping the bag on the floor and running up to Mrs Clemon's cottage. Here he finds a lonely old woman, who is without water, and being denied food from the village store, 'They're trying to starve me, they want me to die', she says, and our sympathies. along with Simon's are instantly transferred to her.
He promises her a visit from the social services and attempts to buy her some groceries from the local stores, under the guise that he is buying himself some provisions on his way home, but is rumbled by the angry locals. The shopkeeper's wife shrieks in horror after realising she has handled Mrs Clemson's money.
The following day Simeon returns with a box of groceries he bought in town. As he is unpacking the goods, he gets his first feeling of unease about the woman's cottage when he discovers a hand-made doll on a shelf (one of the farm hands has already alluded to the 'witch' using her magic on her hand-crafted dolls).
As he leaves the cottage, the farmer and his mob take him to the stores where the storekeeper's wife is now shown to have developed an illness similar to her sons as well as having swollen, reddened, hands. He remonstrates against the gathering who insist that her predicament is a result of handling Clemson's money, which leads to the enraged group heading towards the old woman's cottage intent on their revenge.
Simeon follows, but only to see Mrs Clemson meet them on the path and utter a curse to the advancing Mably who drops down dead.
As Simeon assess the situation he concludes that the farmer died of a heart attact - natural causes - due to the excitement. The farm hands are unconvinced and tentatively collect the body.
As a shaken Simeon turns once more to look at Mrs Clemson, she exclaims "YES!"

A wonderful collection of Kneale's early fiction can be found in the early collection 'Tomato Cain', which, although out of print, can be found on Abebooks, Amazon and occasionally eBay. After this short spell as a writer he went on to devote himself to screenwriting, most notably as the creator of Quatermass.

Rapt in a blanket

Baby written by Nigel Kneale 1976

This was part of the series BEASTS made by ATV in the mid-seventies.
Vet (Simon MaCorkindale) is desperate for some real experience, as opposed to treating pets in the city, and his wife, who is desperate to conceive, move to an old cottage in the country.
Whilst renovations to their house are taking place, they discover a strange mummified creature in an alcove between one of the walls. Part pig-like, part lamb, neither the vet, or his boss, can identify the creature. His wife just wants the thing removed from the house, especially after one of the workmen, with knowledge of the 'old ways', says it was put there by someone wanting to put a curse on the place, adding that nothing grows on the surrounging land - and in a chilling foretaste of what is to come says; 'That was suckled by a human'.
MaCorkindale's wife wants the creature removed, but unbeknown to her, he stashes it in a cupboard in what is planned to be the nursery. As his wife grows more disturbed by a strange atmosphere in the cottage, she is awakened one night to noises downstairs, and as she descends the staircase we hear sucking noises. As she stares in horror at the rocking chair we see a horrific figure feeding the creature, now alive in her arms.

Wednesday 5 March 2008

The Village Green Preservation Society

The Britannia Coco-nut Dancers

The Thaxted Fool

Gloucestershire Mummers enact the 800-years-old play, whose characters include Old Father Christmas, Beelzebub, and the Doctor who heals the wounded man with 'medicine'.

Abbots Bromley

Hobby horse at Minehead May Day celebrations

Dancing round the May Pole in Minehead

Oak Apple Day, Wishford, near Salisbury

Oak Apple Day

Hobby horse at Abbots Bromley