Thursday, July 24, 2014

WHAT IF.....

I was just watching on TV the opening in Glasgow of the Commonwealth Games. Good will, fellowship, enthusiasm, energy and diversity made the air tingle and a sudden inspiration came to me. Like many of my sudden inspirations, reality hardly intrudes at all. It stays off-stage, talking incomprehensibly to itself.

Anyway I'll write down what this inspiration was, just in case somebody somewhere picks it up and runs with it. Maybe even one of the ten or fifteen people who read my blog. What do you think? Does it stand a chance?

WHAT IF..... 

there was

a hugely funded 

sporting event

held in a suitable or purpose-built location

in which Israeli and Palestinian children and teenagers

would peaceably compete and cooperate

and thousands of spectators attend and applaud.

The enormous funds needed, including paying qualified coaches to train the young people on both sides could come from two sources:

a) crowd-funding: donations by the world-wide public via a website.

b) wealthy individuals, companies and institutions invited to subscribe.

A rigorously selected impartial, independent, non-political group would be formed to administer, organise the event and allocate the funds, all aspects to be completely transparent and every penny accounted for.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Can you guess what this is for

Never mind, I'll tell you. 

Wood expands in hot weather and certain doors refuse to close quietly as usual. They have to be grasped by the hair, if they have hair, pulled hard and slammed hard.This doesn't always work on first attempt and so must be repeated, causing considerable ruckus on the premises. I live on the top floor of a house with three flats and do not like giving or receiving ruckus. Fortunately I have good neighbours and alleluia! quiet as well. So I can no longer sit back and wait for cold weather to restore my door's good manners. 

The problem is that there is nothing to grasp. There's no handle on the inside of my front door and that's why I make so much noise when trying to close it. In hot weather. 

Simple, you say, buy a handle and screw it on. Ah, yes, precisely. But I only decided an hour ago that the problem must be solved immediately and it's too hot to walk to the hardware shop which will be closed at this hour anyway. I had a cursory look through my extensive collection of bricolage materials and couldn't find a single handle. The only thing which looked remotely handle-ish was the round hole brass thingy (what are they called?) you see above. And the only thing which fitted tightly inside the thingy's hole was the handle of one of my oil painting brushes.

So, improvisation being the mother of invention, I screwed the thingy to the door at a convenient height for my hand, sawed off the thin end of the brush, pushed the fat part into the hole and presto! A graspable handle which is also, you must admit, original. And it works. I can now close the door quietly. Well, less noisily.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Is it possible to stay silent about the current déja-vu events in Israel and Palestine? A wave of emotion rises up in my throat when I see the news. Some of this emotion is raging indignation but mostly it is despair at this apparently unending cyle of revenge/retaliation. All I can imagine as a solution is a totally unrealistic, impossible scenario in which both sides, en masse, fall to their knees and beg forgiveness of each other, embrace and weep together, then work out their differences and find a peaceful solution, person-to-person. And then the wall would fall.

Like I said, totally unrealistic.

Meanwhile in today's  I (the Independent's daily briefing newspaper) there is a note by Mira Bar-Hillel, an outspoken Israeli-born British journalist (reviled by those who see anti-semitism in anyone who doesn't agree with Israeli policy and actions) which I'm copying below in its entirety since she knows the Situation much better than I do and can express herself better.

Beth in cassandra also addressed this subject on 11th July in a moving and articulate post. If you haven't already read it, go there now.

UPDATE: And check out these 3 excellent links which Lucy posted at Box Elder:

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask

11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis

Israel's Gaza invasion is all about tunnels

Friday, July 11, 2014


All blocks cut and proofed. Now the highly skilled work of fine letterpress printing can begin at the Old Stile Press and later, the collating and binding of the limited edition. To celebrate the completion of my part of this collaborative oeuvre I arranged an impromptu showing a few days ago at The Pineapple, a local pub, whose manager was kind enough to let me use an upstairs room to put all my proofs on the walls (whitetak, not blutak) and invite some friends over to have a drink and see the work.

 Upstairs room at The Pineapple before the guests arrived.

 A few bottles to start with.

The complete dummy of the book with all proofs and text.

And here are proofs of the last blocks I cut, the text roughly pasted in.

Now for a little rest then to start on new work.