Tuesday 9 October 2018

The Elephant in the Summer House

Over the last six months I have been labouring under the conviction that what magazines REALLY want to publish are cartoons on the theme of “the elephant in the room”.
It turns out that I have been entirely mistaken in this belief.
But here’s another one to show that I’m not scared of mentioning it:

Of course, no-one’s mentioning the suitcase in the summer house either, but here’s a (rather belated) picture of it anyway, full of my books and cards at Crafts Alive: The Gloucestershire Guild at Rodmarton Manor at the beginning of September:

And if you came to Crafts Alive but didn’t get to the end of the Puzzle Trail here’s what was waiting for you. (Um, the answers and a free postcard.) Thank you to Deborah Roberts for the two lovely photos. 

And here’s the Summer House itself (thanks to Bob Fry for the photo). You see, you couldn’t fit an elephant in there, could you?

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Rodmarton Manor and Sketchbook Cartoon

Crafts Alive: The Gloucestershire Guild at Rodmarton Manor starts tomorrow and runs till Sunday. Here is a glimpse of what the Puzzle Trail might hold:
Photo by Liz Lippiatt

On Saturday and Sunday I will be in the Summer House at Rodmarton
between 10 and 5 o’clock, ready to answer questions about the Trail. I will also have books and cards for sale, including these:

There is also a free postcard to pick up at the end of the Trail. Hopefully see you there!

In the meantime, here is a quick cartoon from my sketchbook:


(For Stroud shoppers, The Weight on My Mind is now available again in Made In Stroud. It’s a new edition, with one change to the contents.)

Saturday 25 August 2018

Upcoming Fun at Rodmarton Manor and Cartoons in Private Eye

I have spent the last few weeks writing and illustrating a Puzzle Trail around Rodmarton Manor, an extraordinary Arts and Crafts house near Cirencester. The Puzzle Trail will be part of an event called Crafts Alive: The Gloucestershire Guild at Rodmarton Manor which takes place between Wednesday 5th and Sunday 9th September, and includes exhibitions by makers from the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen and others, workshops, talks and a puppet show. There is also a Jousting Tent (but I’m not sure how much jousting will be going on it). Tickets are £8 and available here and on the door. There's more information here .

Rodmarton Manor is an amazing house, built between 1909 and 1929, and one of the last country houses in Britain to be built and furnished entirely by hand by local craftsmen using local stone and timber. As part of my research, I was lucky to be taken around the house and gardens by historian Mary Greensted and have my attention brought to many unusual details and interesting stories connected to the house.
The Puzzle trail is a leaflet that you can pick up by the door for free and is full of little drawings and rhyming clues like this:

Many thanks to Liz Lippiatt and The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen for inviting me to do this. Do come along to the exhibition if you're in the area (and try your wits on the Puzzle Trail!)
Here’s my page in the brochure, including one of my gardening cartoons:

I’ve recently had some more cartoons in Private Eye (numbers 1474, 1475, 1476). Here's one of them, set 250 million years ago:

Friday 18 May 2018

Shared Shed Space and Private Eye

This week I got another cartoon in Private Eye!

Hurrah! And chin-chin! I feel like it might be time for some levity myself!
(Both the cartoons I have had accepted have been set in the seventeenth century. Now that I know what they are looking for, nothing can hold me back ...)
*    *    *    *
Over the last two weekends, I have had a very pleasant time sitting in a shed with my good friend Uta Baldauf recording a podcast called “Shared Shed Space”.

We invited passers-by to come in and answer our questions about sharing and space.  I found the enormous variety of answers to our six simple repeated questions utterly fascinating.  
The results have been edited into the three podcasts here:
Session 1 (20 minutes)
Session 2 (20 minutes) 
Session 3 (32 minutes)

This project was organised with Atelier Craft Club and Workshops in Stroud, whose shed we were sharing. Many thanks, Kath!

Thursday 19 April 2018

The Plight of the Polite

And midway through our lives
we found ourselves in a desolate wasteland,
our clothes ragged,
our tongues parched,
a small crowd of us at our hope’s end
and guided by guards
with malice in their hearts.

“This is nice,” we said.

A Little News of Miserable Malcolm
Miserable Malcolm will be headlining the “Poetry Blast” at Kempley Village Hall in Gloucestershire this Friday (20th April), providing a damp squib after the stellar line-up of Brenda Read-Brown, Chloe Jacquet, Samantha Pearse, Peter Wyton and Melanie Branton. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £10. More details here.

Then on Tuesday 24th April, Malcolm will be running a workshop at Cheltenham Poetry Festival called “Write More Depressing Poetry with Miserable Malcolm”. Incredibly (and a sad sign of the times we live in) this workshop has been over-subscribed and so has been moved onto the main stage of the Cheltenham Playhouse. So there are now more tickets available. It starts at 2pm and there are more details here.

Lastly, on Saturday 28th of April, Malcolm will be showing his sorry face once again at Mr Fluffypunk’sPennygaff at the SVA, John Street, Stroud, alongside Uta Baldauf, Liz Bentley and Project Adorno. Tickets are £10 for an unmissable night (if you can manage to miss Malcolm’s bit, that is).

Wednesday 28 February 2018

A Poet! At last!

In other news, Miserable Malcolm has returned from his pleasant trip to the Blue Walnut Cafe in Torquay for Big Poetry and will be performing in Stroud this Saturday at Mr Fluffypunk’s Pennygaff. 
He’ll be supporting the incredible Rob Auton who will be performing the whole of “The Hair Show” – hair being a topic very close to Miserable Malcolm’s head – and the wonderful Tina Sederholm. (Tickets £10, £8.50 advance. More details here.)
Then on Thursday 8th March he’ll be over in Cheltenham at the Bottle of Sauce in a preview night Uncorked for the CheltenhamPoetry Festival (and which is free).