Flashes from the archives of oblivion

Yes I know that this is the name of a Roy Harper album – and a very good one at that, but so many of the great titles have gone already, that being so it is only fair to indulge in a bit of reference and homage.

Have been inspired by reading Mr LB’s blog worldgonemad to dig out what I wrote when we were on the road, as he has visited many of the places we did.

This is all that I have transcribed so far, and none of the of my sketchbooks yet either, but some of it makes for an interesting read.

Incidentally the original version of this website, which held it all was the first PHP database thingy I wrote. Not the most elegant, but it did the job, and at the time I was seriously chuffed.

A list of metaphors

The following is a list of metaphors created by GCSE English students. At first you think they are appalling but you will soon be dazzled by their brilliance.

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a tumble dryer.

McMurphy fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a paper bag filled with vegetable soup.

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the centre.

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the full stop after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of Family Fortunes.

Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

The plan was simple, like my brother Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a student on 31p-a-pint night.

He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”

She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.

The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a lamppost.

The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.

She was as easy as the Daily Star crossword.

She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature British beef.

She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

The 12 days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas

my true love gave to me an 80 GB drive for my laptop.

On the second day of Christmas

I got my router out of the bag, scrounged a computer and setup a network to move
all the files from my current drive.

On the third day of Christmas

I swapped my drives.

On the fourth day of Christmas

I sat around for the day whilst reinstalling Windows XP.

On the fifth day of Christmas

I applied SP2 and about a zillion updates.

On the sixth day of Christmas

I… it just goes on and on and on…

I have to admit I haven’t tried really hard to get it all up and running again – I have a life, and it is Christmas after all but it is crazy just how long it takes to get everything up and running again. I am fortunate eneough to be able to borrow a machine to dump files on etc. but it makes you think about all the millions of photographs and wills and job applications and emails that just get lost simply because people can’t move them when they upgrade their computer.

Sure pretty much everybody has access to CD writer these days, but who wants to copy 20, 30, 40 gigs of stuff on a stack of disks… Is it sad or is it liberating to loose all the electronic gumph that clutters up our lives. I’m not sure, do we collect too much stuff ? I for one would be both saddened and lost.

26 Things

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A couple of snaps from a new piece of work imagineatively entitled 26 things it is an alpahabet of things.

Have also just finnished a portrait which is currently sitting on the piano, and which I am in love with.

It is funny how the process of making art is about pushing things over the edge. What I mean is that you are working on a piece and its not going so well – its ok but its not gorgeous, its not ravishing, trancending, sublime. You don’t just have the overpowering urge to just stand back, hand on hip, cup of coffee (cigarette if you still smoke) and think, fuck – this is a sexy bit of work, am I good or what? (a bit like that Chuck Close self portrait…)

Obviously you get wrapped up in anything you make and its easy to loose your perspective, but there is a very particular state that I think almost any artist will be able to recognise. A piece of work is hanging on the edge – its ok but you will never get that buzz, and it will never make the leap. You have to push the piece and in doing so you will either make it jump or destroy it. It’s often a very hard decision to make – by this stage you have (chances are) put a lot of work into it and you are often unwilling to take that chance.

When you to take the chance, and it doesn’t end in disaster, you know it was worth it.