Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Early this year Valerie commissioned me to paint a portrait of her late mother Ellen and sent me some photos to work from. Among these was one of Ellen as a young mother with baby Val. I finished the portrait recently and today the baby - now a beautiful and brilliant young lawyer in Vancouver - came over and saw the painting for the first time.
Ellen and baby Valerie. NdA 2019. Oil on canvas 14 x 18 inches.
Valerie and portrait of herself as baby with her young mother Ellen. Photo taken by Natalie  30th July 2019
 A significant thing is that Valerie and I are sort of related. Not blood-related, more a circumstantial kind of relationship: her late father Reg was married to me before his marriage to her Mum Ellen. It was and is all fine and what's interesting is that it feels as if Val and I are literally related, we get on so well. I also wish I looked more like her than like me but that's beside the point. 

I'm so happy that this portrait will soon be hanging in her home, next to the portrait of Reg I painted in Mexico long before she was born.

Portrait of Reg Dixon by NdA. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 1956. Duco on board.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


I'm going to gradually post photos of some of my small works from various periods which you might like to own. If so please private message me. I need to clear the decks.

These two are picturepoems.

WHO AM I? NdA 1971 Gouache on paper.
Image size: 17 x 24 cms unframed.
Framed (with mount, under glass) 35.5 x 27cms

AMAZING   NdA 1971 Gouache on paper.
Image size: 17 x 24 cms unframed.
Framed (with mount, under glass: 35.5 x 27cms

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Am supposed to go to the gym class right now and spend an hour riding various machines designed to oblige (as in force) parts of the anatomy to move in unaccustomed - or currently unaccustomed - ways. The object of this regime is to improve my hip ostheoarthriticktick situation.

I put on my gym gear: trainers, t-shirt (long sleeves) and leggings. Am I going to the gym? Probably not. Definitely maybe not. I don't know. Have to take a bus then walk a short distance to get there. It's insupportably hot today, as you know. Anyone going to a non-aircon gym in this heat must be crazy. I am a little bit crazy but also rational. 

Why would I wear a long-sleeved t-shirt in tropical heat? If that question didn't cross your mind I'm sorry but I'll answer it anyway.

Some of you will have noticed, perhaps even on your own persona, one of the many un-beautiful things which happen to the human body as it ages. Skin becomess thinner and looser. When I dry my hands on those machines in public loos the skin on the back of my hands and arms flaps around like sails in a hurricane. It's funny but it ain't beautiful. No it's not.

If you're one of those people who say it's all beautiful and whoopee, let it all hang out! I will bow to you and praise you, if you wish, but I won't join you. I will wear la ong sleeved t-shirt to the gym.
I've missed the class now.


The brilliant Irish journalist Fintan O'Toole saying it exactly as it is on Channel 4 News yesterday.

Why can't there be people like this as leaders of countries instead of that weird species known as politicians?

Here is the link to that interview.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


I've cooked up/mashed up this image, inspired by this poem,  to mark this day.


I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley  1818

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Every four months or so I have lowlights done (opposite of highlights) so as to regain or retain some semblance of youthful-ish appearance. One must keep up appearances, especially with a big, gigantic, Methuselah-size birthday looming over the horizon.

Pleased with the result at a local salon I asked the woman who dresses my hair to guess how old I am.
She thought for a while then said this word:


She wasn't being polite or sarcastic or joking.
She really meant fifty. 50

Before leaving I embraced her.

Is there an Oscar for compliments that are intended as facts?
I want to give her that Oscar.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Now for something completely different.

Do toasters have emotions?
Of course not.

My elderly toaster, about 30 years old, recently stopped functioning. The plunger thing wouldn't stay down. Being a DIY person I looked up the tech info. It said that a thorough crumb-cleaning might solve the problem. I did that. Problem not solved. I accepted that old toaster has reached retirement age.

I surfed the web for a new toaster, inexpensive but above £3.99. Found one for about £20 which seemed fine. Took it home, undid the massive wrappings, put in on the counter in place of the old one. It was fat, shiny, with a snazzy red front, self-confident.

I started packing the old toaster to put outside for some passer-by to befriend. Then I thought I'd try it one more time, just in case. I put in two slices of my bakery-bought-sliced-by-me bread. The plunger stayed down. The bread toasted perfectly.

I took the new toaster back to the shop and got a refund. The oldie is behaving beautifully.

What's the moral of this story?
Well, obviously, oldie was upset and jealous that it was about to be replaced and when it saw the actual replacement it went haywire, repaired its own wires or whatever and came back to life.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


It doesn't take rocket science or extra-sensory perception to work out what's going on here. The farcical, chaotic shenanigans taking place in the Tory party are surely causing frenzied nail-biting and tooth-grinding in the corridors of power, wherever these corridors may be and whoever is pacing the floor therein. The merest soupçon of possibility that Jeremy Corbyn could enter No.10 because people MIGHT lose faith in Tory shenanigans must be prevented at all costs and by all means, foul or fair. but foul always works better. 

So prime the media, spread the smears, use evil-looking photoshopped photos, sinister music, make sure the message is repeated: Labour Party+ Jeremy Corbyn= Anti-Semitiic. And if that isn't enough, he's also too old and frail to be Prime Minister (headline in the Times recently).

If you watched Panorama tonight "Is the Labour Party Anti-Semitic?" (loaded question like "when did you stop beating your wife?") did it remind you of a propaganda film, all the tricks that they use?

Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Sunday evening at the Horse Hospital (not a hospital, no horses) in Bloomsbury, Chiara Ambrosio and Mikey Kirkpatrick celebrated the first birthday of their daughter with a light-the-night party graced with music, poetry, animation, cake, friends and, of course, one year-old Alma Luz Esperanza herself. I sang Malagueña Salerosa for her, since her names are in Spanish and she is indeed linda y hechicera (beautiful and bewitching).

Chiara Ambrosio singing her song.

Alma Luz Esperanza and her Dad Mikey Kirkpatrick

Mikey Kirkpatrick and his daughter Alma Luz Esperanza.