Thursday, September 29, 2016


What is the title for someone you're related to but not actually related to in terms of DNA and stuff of that kind?

For instance: this beautiful young woman whose birthday is today and who happens to be on a quick trip to London from her home in Vancouver and so of course she came to see me because not only are we sort of related but we also like each other very much and she could, sort of, be my daughter because she is the daughter of my ex-husband and his third wife - I was the second - and her step-brother and sister are also, sort of, my step-children. Well, whatever the title of our relationship, it's great and we had a wonderful lunch at a local pub and talked of almost everything under the sun, apart from the weather.

Although she looks like a teen-ager, Valerie is also a brilliant lawyer.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Can't let today go by without congratulating Jeremy Corbyn.

Bravo Jeremy! A non-triumphalist speech, generous to his opponents, no bitterness, no recriminations, no blaming, no waffle, only a positive, constructive, grateful message spoken from the heart. A new kind of politics? Almost makes one optimistic about the future.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Rulers: I hate them, Especially the measuring kind. I'm good at DIY in general, always have done my own putting up/taking down shelves, painting, plastering, caulking, basic electrical stuff, self-assembling furniture (even when instructions are in ancient Greek) and so on. However, my bĂȘte noire is/are rulers. All those fine little lines between actual proper numbers are beyond the pale. I more or less ignore them. A piece of cardboard marked wherever marks are needed is much handier.

So here we are, latest box construction in full flow, and I just happen to put the big ruler (centimetres) against the left side of the box and then again on the right side.

Well, as you can see in the two photos below, the height of the left side is 41 (minus two-ish little lines) whereas the height of the right side is 40 (plus four-ish little lines). Conclusion: the left is higher than the right by a certain number of little lines. Now I don't mind some roughness, I often prefer it. But if one side of the finished box when hung on a wall will be noticeably higher than the other, it will drive me nuts. Therefore it must be corrected.

Unfortunately I have been extremely conscientious and every bit of wood etc. is firmly glued to every other bit so lowering one side is out of the question. No worries! As usual, I'll bluff my way out of measurement by improvisation. I will...erm...simply build up the top of the shorter side with some clever packing. Or maybe lower the higher side by planing the hardboard down. Or maybe......

Friday, September 16, 2016


New pableau in the making. Sometimes I find ready-made boxes but I'm building this bigger one from scratch using what materials are on hand - an old stretcher for the frame, odds and ends of wood, hardboard and balsa for the sides. Lots of cutting, gluing and sanding. Solid but not fancy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Pableau box No.3 is finished, titled REFLECTION. I haven't managed to get a good photo showing its angles, depth and reflections. Would need special lighting skills, or something. Here's the best I could do so far.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


I finally altered the child' face to look more or less like I wanted it to. Not touching it anymore. Working on  new box now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016


That picosong link is so tempting, makes it too easy to indulge one's secret (not so secret) desire for performance.  Here's my own very abbreviated take on a timely favourite.
  September Song

But there's nothing like the original Walter Huston version, heard in the movie clip above, from 'September Affair' with Joan Fontaine and Joseph Cotten.

Monday, September 05, 2016


Sometimes, when you're grown up, especially if you've even passed the grown-up stage, playing in a metaphorical sand pen is the most fun you can have without actually regressing to childhood.

In my sand pen there are toys which didn't exist before digital technology. Being able to make 'experimental' videos, record one's self fooling around with words or music and other similarly useless activities then shamelessly putting them up on the internet, may indeed be proof of excessive vanity allied to lack of focus.  But the answer to such self-accusation, especially when you're post-grownup, is: SO WHAT? I'll fool around if I want to.

So here's another of those picosong links:

 Ne Me Quitte Pas cover by Natalie

Okay, in English the lyrics sound a bit maudlin but in French they don't. All comments welcome, pro or con.

Don't Leave me by Jacques Brel (translation by NdA)

Don't leave me (repeat)
Let's forget
Everything can be forgotten
It's already gone
Forget the time
Of misunderstanding
The time we wasted
Who knows how
Forget those hours
Which sometimes plunged
Knives of whys
Into the heart of bliss
Don't leave me (repeat)

I'll offer you
Pearls of rain
From lands where it never rains
I'll dig the earth 
Even after my death 
To cover your body 
With gold and light
I'll build a kingdom
Where love will be king
Where love will be law
Where you will be queen
Don't leave me (repeat)

I'll invent
Nonsense words
Which you'll understand
I'll tell you about
Those lovers
Who twice saw their love
Burst into flame
I'll tell you the story
Of that king
Who died
Of never having met you
Don't leave me (repeat)

It often happens
That a dormant volcano 
Believed too old
Suddenly erupts again
And they say there are
Scorched fields
Yielding more grain
Than the best of Aprils
And when evening falls
For the sky to blaze
Doesn't the red marry the black?
Don't leave me (repeat)

I won't cry anymore
I won't talk anymore
I'll just hide over here
To watch you dance and smile
To hear you sing and then laugh
Let me become
The shadow of your shadow
The shadow of your hand
The shadow of your dog
Don't leave me  (repeat)

Thursday, September 01, 2016


The posters are up at Uplift.

I mentioned a while ago that I'm one of the winning artists in a poster competition organised by Uplift, the company which is converting the former Pizza Express building on Kentish Town Road into a cinema. The brief was to design a poster for your favourite film and I chose Bicycle Thieves.

This morning Uplift invited the winners to gather at the site where the chosen posters (beautifully printed and mounted on wood panels) are displayed on the hoardings which conceal the construction-in-progress - the cinema itself won't be ready before next year. The artists were photographed with their posters and interviewed by the Camden New Journal (out next Thursday). 

One reason for my choice of this film was that my brilliant late brother-in-law Gerardo Guerrieri worked on the script so of course I mentioned this to Dan Carrier, the journalist for CNJ. Will post his article about all the posters when it comes out next week. I arrived late to the gathering so didn't meet the other artists, unfortunately, but I hope the CNJ article will show them all.
Meanwhile some photos I took this morning.