Wednesday, November 24, 2021


I went upstairs to my studio with no idea of what I was looking for. I didn't want a plan for building my robot, it had to emerge of its own accord.

A stained old rubber glove caught my eye and said: start with me. So I picked it up and the next steps immediately followed. I realised that the robot doesn't have to look like a robot. It's robotic, yes, but lives inside my mind so it can look like whatever its playback activity looks like.

I stuffed the glove with cotton wool and fitted it over a plastic pot. Then I saw that the fingers were saying something so I cut circles out of card, wrote the words on them and attached the circles to the fingers with bits of wire. Finally, the hand said that it needed an image and I knew right away what it wanted: the crying baby, one of the drawings for my graphic novel-in-progress. I cut out and pasted a small scan of it onto the rubber glove hand. Robot finished, I took photos of it from different angles and here they are for your amusement.

You may not believe this but I kid you not. This absurd concotion which is not, repeat NOT a work of art but a utility, has fulfilled its purpose. It has lost its robot power and is merely a thing which I will smile at now and then. Try the experiment yourself and see what happens.

Monday, November 22, 2021


Do you do this? Play back in your head a conversation you've just had with someone - could be family or friend or professional or whoever - which has upset you because you were not believed, or not listened to, or dismissed, regarding a matter in which you have the facts and speak the truth. So you playback the conversation in your head over and over, adding more fuel to it with every repetition, scratching at that wound of injustice until it metaphorically bleeds and the upsetness dominates your day. Do you do this? Let's call it the Playback Syndrome or PS.

I do it. But in recent years I've become aware that I do it, whereas in the past it was automatic, robotic. The robot is still there but I now see it and, if I'm paying attention, I know how to shut it down. I have found a cure for it. I expect to hear from the Nobel Prize people. If you are afflicted with Playback Syndrome (PS) here is the cure I have found:

You build your robot out of cardboard or any junk you have on hand. It has to be like the robot in your head, as accurate as you can make it. When it's finished, put it someplace where you'll see it every day. That's it. When I've built mine I'll post a photo of it.

Sunday, November 14, 2021


Another irrelevant update on an irrelevant subject so if you ever see me grumble in this space about all the irrelevant rubbish littering the internet in even greater quantity than the actual physical litter with which we humans drown this poor little planet, please remind me of my own frequent, if not total, irrelevance.

So the last three blind mice-teeth in my upper jaw are gone forever and the four delinquents remaining on the lower level are not happy but so what. Because I have this soap box from which to unload and upload my grievances and enthusiasms, I can make fun of it all and that's helpful. We all need a soap box, don't we? Even the deeply shy, quiet ones have their inner soapboxes. What images can I post to enliven this? I'll look for something.

Monday, November 08, 2021


Totally useless and uninteresting information but I'm posting it because it makes me feel a little bit heroic and a little bit rebellious so why not? You're not supposed to talk in polite society about teeth, missing teeth. Shameful stuff, more intimate than sex innit? Fact is I'd rather be seen dead than without know...those things.

Anyway this morning I had three more or less rotten gnashers extracted from lower jaw which leaves only three still standing in that location. Later this week the only three survivors in the upper jaw will hit the floor (not really, I'm saving them in a little souvenir box). All the empty space will be filled by new temporary dentures, not a new experience for me but more radical this time.

My local NHS dentist is gentle, competent and caring. She asked if I wanted music. I said yes, Bach. So a Brandenburg concerto played while she did the deeds, three of them. In the intervals, to give me a break, she and I and the nurse chatted about countries we came from or had lived in and about age and attitudes to it. They're both young and I'm old, if you want to be literal about it, but in cosmic terms which are much more true, well, what can I say? I go back to Ancient Egypt, XVIII Dynasty.

Monday, November 01, 2021


Since I'm blowing my trumpet at the moment might as well add another toot or two.

Here's a partial list (haven't updated it for quite a while) of public collections where some of my bookworks have been acquired since I began making them in 1974. If you happen to be in any of those places you can go to their Special Collections department, ask to see any bookworks they have by me. They will be brought out and you'll be given gloves - I know, but that's how it is - and you can peruse to your heart's content.