Making Lauren's books at the Royal Academy of Arts…

Lauren Child and I will be speaking about making Lauren’s books as part of the Royal Academy Of Arts’ Festival of Ideas (May 5th at 10.30am). Lauren is very interesting and you’ll probably be surprised to know how she makes her illustrations and her unusual writing process. And there’ll be the chance to ask questions if you need an answer. I hope you can come and join us in May. I’d take the number 9 bus to Aldwych and get off on Piccadilly outside Cordings, but that’s just me.

Radical thinking allows progressive building design for river city…

I was recently travelling through a busy city when I was approached in a cafe by a person claiming to be a town planner. After a short conversation, it was clear that a new high rise building was needed for a site overlooking the turpentine river that runs through the city’s heart. I didn’t want to be too forward because I was just a visitor to the city, but I suggested that I could design a suitable structure in a short space of time and under budget. The town planner finished her decaffeinated coffee and drew up a contract on the reverse of a flyer advertising hot yoga which I eagerly signed.

I returned to my modest hotel and began work.

I remembered that I had been promised 1300 ship’s portholes from a sailor I met on a plane, so I made a reverse charges call to Maine and arranged for the portholes to arrive the next day at my hotel. I also designed the building in two point perspective which allowed the construction to proceed quickly and under budget which pleased the town planner and, in turn, the city. The design included limited colour (the river is naturally the colour in the drawing) so only one or two coloured pencils were required for the construction. This pleased the city and the town planner immensely.

Before I knew it, the entire building was designed and ready for the green light.

Unfortunately, the building has been lost in the bureaucracy of a big city and is currently on hold. I heard that hundreds of cement trucks were sent away from the site on groundbreaking day which was hugely embarrassing for their drivers. I’m happy to say I was paid in full for my design and I anticipate construction proceeding within the next 5 years.

Parking at rear.

Parking at rear.

Does this tickle?...

This cockatoo feather fell from the sky. Cockatoos don’t have the most delightful voice, but they are my favourite bird and I especially like seeing them wild. I am lucky to see some black cockatoos flying by as I passed in a car a few weeks ago but that’s unusual for me.

Good for flying.

Good for flying.

Books being made by hand...

Walter Stahl is making books with children at his holiday workshop at the State Library of Queensland. The kids’ illustrations are good and look even better in the photocopied books he’s making. Go Walter. He’s full of clever ideas especially with crocodiles.

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Very imposing. 

Very imposing. 

Pony Poo live...

Pony Poo played to a captive crowd at The Green Owl. There’s no denying we were rusty - some said ‘seized up’ - but the songs are evergreens. I say that. Debbie featured on drums and was like a clock.

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Free drinks for card-carrying singles.

Free drinks for card-carrying singles.

UV vs PMS...

This copy of What’s Up MuMu? reveals the damaging effect of ultra violet rays on children’s picture books. The spot colour has shown the weaker redder colour in the mix just doesn’t cut it. That is why I’m a strong proponent of jacketed hardbacks. Especially in sunny climates.  

Or just don’t leave books on a shelf by a window. 

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