According to the sundial we can go in now…

A copy of Waiting for Chicken Smith has arrived. This one is shown in Italy where it is hot and sunny as in the book itself. Unlike the story, this copy is a long way from the seaside (120kms). The nearest body of water here is only a few metres away, however diving is forbidden and you must wait at least an hour after you've eaten before you can get in. It's far too hot for that.

waiting for chicken smith by david mackintosh
 No running, diving, splashing, loud behaviour and definitely no eating in the pool.

No running, diving, splashing, loud behaviour and definitely no eating in the pool.

Plants of the apes…

These plants surround a swimming pool in Piedmont and are beautiful. Bees use them and if you are having a swim, they will attack you. We have to dive under the water to avoid these Italian bees. They live here and we are visitors so have to respect their space. There is a particularly scary looking black bumble-type bee (a carpenter bee) that appears like the Darth Vader of beeland. We talk about how it would be bad enough to be stung by the ordinary European bees, but if that big one got you you'd be dead. The lavender is what the big ones prefer so I walk back to the house to avoid the lavender at all costs. 

Is this your hat?…

In Italy, the house we stayed in was bristling with trophies. Ibex, I thought. Plus deer, goats, and other things. I remember being told antlers fall off, and horns don't. I lay in fear of antlers dropping off the wall and onto my head, but none did. They just hung there like memorials of anonymous dead animals, making terrifying shadows across the ceiling.

"I love to go to the zoo. But not on Sunday. I don't like to see the people making fun of the animals, when it should be the other way around." Ernest Hemingway

Let me stop you there…

In the airport, a man near me was talking to someone with him about typesetting. The person being spoken to was listening very carefully (I think). He made it sound like alchemy or parsi embroidery. The person listening would interject "No way!?" and "Really? Molten lead?". He continued with every ounce of knowledge he had and I eventually tuned out.

I began staring across the airport lounge, thinking about casting type and getting the bromide back from the phototypesetting machine and carefully checking it to see if I had cast it properly. There was always something out of kilter. Then taking the bromide into the camera room and making multiple copies on film or positive paper so that I could cut it up and play about with it. Then I started thinking about the smell of the camera chemicals and the drying cabinet, and how I would often buy a cold drink and sit in the sun waiting for the paper and film to dry. While I waited,  I would have to make complicated bargains with other people wanting to use the darkroom just for enough time to get my stuff dried properly. There was a lot of pressure in the old days of working with type.

All this thinking made me thirsty and I went and bought a cold drink and when I returned to my seat in the lounge, someone had taken it and so I had to sit out of earshot of the guy waxing on about typesetting. When I looked over again, it seemed like the couple had disagreed about something because she was sitting with her shoulder slightly towards him and he had his arms folded. It's a tricky subject to captivate people with, typesetting. Believe me.

 Typesetting wax.

Typesetting wax.

I remember seeing that…

This drawing means more to me than the 400 photos I took on my phone when one day I visited the Empire State Building. By the looks of it, I didn't spend much time doing the drawing but I remember how I enjoyed recording the view in my own way with the emergency tourist pen I had with me. I wouldn't call it a great drawing of the wonderful view, but when I see it I recall the sunshine, the breeze and the chattering crowd around me. I remember thinking how strange it is to put all these buildings in such a small area and imagining how the plumbing works and how complicated all the electrical wiring must be. When I was drawing this, a man near me said to his companion, "They don't sell food up here." 

i remember seeing that david mackintosh

Really, really great and terrific…

Only days after the North Korean summit and a Korean edition of Archie and The Bear has arrived in the post. What results! Actually this was published by a South Korean house, but maybe some will make it above the DMZ sometime sooner than expected. It's a story for anyone who thought they were something they're not.

 The Asian black bear ( Ursus thibetanus)  has a triangular patch of white fur on its chest. In the pictures this is hidden by a red woollen jumper.

The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) has a triangular patch of white fur on its chest. In the pictures this is hidden by a red woollen jumper.

I wanna be me…

Alexander von Zimlinsky was born in Austria, studied piano at the Vienna Conservatory, gave music lessons to Schoenberg, moved to the US, and died in New York in 1942. Johnny Thunders was born in New York ten years later, played rock and roll music and is known for his distinctive guitar playing with The Heartbreakers and New York Dolls. Both musicians, that is where the similarities end.

 NB: I don't own the copyright for the above photos.

NB: I don't own the copyright for the above photos.