Category Archives: Illustration Friday

Warning – Illustration Friday

Based on Jenny Joseph's poem - Warning

The topic for this week’s Illustration Friday is ‘Warning’. I didn’t even stop to look for other poems – there could only be one; beloved of women of a ‘certain age’.  Warning by Jenny Joseph, encourages misbehaviour and I will always say we have no money for butter. Sadly there is no Red Hat Chapter in Suffolk – perhaps we should start one……


Last Night I dreamed of Chickens, but ate duck…


C'est n'est pas un poulet traversé la rue



A lot to pack into one post: Illustration Friday, Janathon and Suffolk 365 including a mini restaurant review, iPhone app review and a local music link; but I’ll be swift.

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is ‘chicken’.  I found a poem by Jack Prelutsky called Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens, follow the link the poem is quite cutesy.

As for Janathon – today I went and did session 7 of my plan.  I had managed to miss it unintentionally so for the Stats: 1,000m done as 5×40 warm up 15×40 (every third set with pull buoy) at speed and 5×40 cool down.  I was the only person in the pool for most of my session so no need to negotiate swimming sides rather than loops in the lanes.



Last night I was lucky enough to get a visa to travel over the border to Norfolk.  There is a great town called Diss, one town – so many puns.  There is a little secret in Diss called the Singtong, it is only open in the evenings and Fri and Sat lunch.  As a welcome change from standard Hong Kong Chinese food the Thai style menu is a bit different.  Not sure if it still acts as a coffee-house during the day, it used to.  It is on the first floor and has the air of going to your aunties for supper, small friendly and family run.

Today’s Suffolk 365 picture is a bit of a cheat really.  I found myself listening to twitter on the radio.  Well specifically started with Radio 4 listening to @hen4 who was on Open Country, talking about her yurt and tree growing on Exmoor. Then via Twitter I discovered that @theprofithunter was on Radio Suffolk.  I tried to find it on iPlayer on the iPhone and it appears that Suffolk doesn’t exist – so that will be my Suffolk 365 picture for today.

Never mind  in the end my trusty Tunein Radio App (it has like a gaddzillion channels)  picked up Radio Suffolk, but I only caught Scott’s newspaper reviews.  Then I made a quick trip via the same app to the World Service where Ed Sheeran was being interviewed.  This lad is currently doing amazingly well, having self promoted his tracks and being top of the downloads.  He is from Framlingham and his MySpace is worth a visit if you’ve not heard him before.

Day Nine – Handbags, gladrags, bread and walking

This post is in two sections the first is the Ninth Day of Christmas, the second is my Janathon update.  Actually as you are all in the kitchen together at the moment feel free to introduce yourselves to each other.

Janathoners, the 12 Days of Christmas party is now on its ninth day, but you are very welcome and if you feel like taking part please do join in, either just today, from here to the end or if you are very adventurous go back over he previous days and join in from Christmas day.  All entries count.

12DCPers the Janathoners are a brave crowd who are exercising every day in January, logging and blogging as they go. Please pass them some carbohydrate based snacks they probably need them about now.

And so… on with the 12DCP bit of the post.

Today is the 9th day of Christmas.  I wonder how well you looked at your original invitation.  The 9th day is represented by handbags; typical when women are on the dance floor.  My true love has sent me ladies dancing but one of them needs a new bag (there are only 8 bags in the picture).

Short pause to watch some Pizzica Dancing – I love this stuff having watched it for real in the Food Festival in Puglia in the summer….

Your challenge today is to design a ninth bag.  You can do this in words or pictures and link to the comments box in this post.  I admit to trying to create drawings for illustration Friday, without that challenge I would never put paint, crayon or ink to paper.  I find it deeply frustrating that I can not execute my ideas on the page but I will keep trying, otherwise how will I ever improve.  I’ll come back and post my design later.

The Russian Roulette Question of the Day is:  Where was Ernest found and why is it important?

Today’s playlist is here

Your game of the day is here

If you are new to this, a brief explanation.  The #12DCP is a virtual Christmas party.  A post a day will appear on the Grethica.  You respond by way of comments.  Each comment creates an entry into my prize draw, for a money can’t buy prize (because it’s mostly stuff that’s been given away by others).  The Russian Roulette questions are quiz style questions, the comments you leave to those will be posted at the end of the 12 DCP.  However the danger with a Russian roulette quiz is that if you answer a question wrong – all of your answers become null and void.  The good news is though you have time to go back and post answers to previous days, right up to the end of the 12th day.

Enjoy – thanks to those that have taken part so far… keep up the good work

My Handbag

And here it is…

You will see it is made from fresh green moss woven into a microgravity thread that means it and its contents weigh almost nothing at all.  The bag is deceptively simple on the outside, but inside it is lined with shot silk; there are many sections most of which can perform subtle magic tricks. It has:

A pocket for an iPhone which recharges without delay, provides lightening wireless broadband and if required spits the phone out as an iPad, there are speakers too so you can share episodes of the Archers with your friends.

A loop for keys which arrive in your hand with the right one ready for use.

A place to store treasures as rewards for children and adults who have been good or to leave in geocaches.

A money sorter which provides the right change on each and every occasion.

A bag of bags for life; so you are never caught out in the supermarket again.

Treats, water, poo bags and a lead for the dog.

Spares of everything for cycling.

A swim suit and towel and a flask of coffee so you are always ready for an outdoor dip.

Water, pencils, paper and brushes so you can doodle.

A complete camera kit.

A rabbit hole to fall down when I need to get away and have an adventure.

And now for the Janathon bit…….

Today has been a bit of a social day for me.  I walked the dog this morning and then scuttled off to Pump Street Bakery at Orford.  I had arranged to meet @donna_de and @goodshoeday for coffee.  I then went on to a lunch party, which took all afternoon and then walked the dog again.  You’ll have spotted the flaw in the exercise plan.

To be honest, today was never going to be a proper exercise day but I met some enthusiastic exercisers, including my Janathoning neighbour @quasisally who was running, we stopped and chatted and both congratulated ourselves on being out seeing the sun rise and the rainbow or as it was sleeting  icebow.

The Stats

Machine – Shanks’ Pony plus dog

Distance – 2.12 miles

Time – 40 mins or there abouts

Average speed – 3 mph slower if tweeting whilst walking or when the dog goes down a rabbit hole.

#12DCP – 12 Days of Christmas Party – You are Invited!

I thought it was about time to send out the invitations to the 12 Days of Christmas Party.  Like last year, everyone is invited to my virtual party; starting on Christmas day and carrying on for 12 days.  There will be a post a day with different ‘things’ going on – I promise no legs this time (honest!)  The tag for the posts will be #12DCP.  Above is your invitation; which fits nicely with this weeks Illustration Friday topic of ‘Mail’.  So pop back, see what’s going on, join in and for every entry you make that is published your name will go into the hat for a money can’t buy prize.

For now I think it is time to start putting up the trimmings and choosing some music – so what tracks would you like added to the playlist, what will be guaranteed to have you up on the dance floor bopping your heart out?  You can find the playlist here

Phenomenon – Illustration Friday – The reach of my arms…

The topic  for Illustration Friday is Phenomenon, there is a wonderful poem by Maya Angelou called Phenomenal Woman, take a look and you will see why my woman has long arms and wide hips. I also learned from Lynne Clark aka @josordoni that there is a pattern of Loetz glass, called Phänomen, hence the design for her dress.

Prehistoric – Grime’s or Day Graves – Illustration Friday

Prehistoric was the theme for Illustration Friday this week.  I started looking for poems with prehistoric themes and came across a poet and author who is both local and new to me; called Victor Tapner.  I found his collection, called Flatlands and in particular one poem called Day Graves, which conjures up the images of prehistoric flint miners in places such as Grime’s Graves.  On these foggy, snowy East Anglian days we have had, you can find yourself out of touch with the modern world.  However, I’m glad not to be my little Stig of the Dump character napping flints in the flatlands.

Savour – Illustration Friday – Caught with sticky fingers?

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is ‘savour’.  As many regular readers of this blog will know I have a penchant for a certain savoury spread called Marmite.  I was sure that there was too much savouring of the spread going on when I learned this week of the theft from a warehouse of £60,000 of Marmite and Marmite Christmas products including their Peculiar Milk Chocolate.  I haven’t time to turn this into a proper picture, so just my rough sketch for now of someone sneaking a jar of Marmite out from a hole in the fence.

I know that a lot of people come to these pages via Illustration Friday from all over the world where Marmite is not found.  It is difficult stuff to explain; a brown yeast extract goo.  Notoriously people either love it or hate it.

Sneaky – Illustration Friday – A Smuggler’s Song

Illustration Friday - Sneaky

Illustration Friday this week is ‘sneaky’. I have spent some time in Orford and the weather is thick and foggy at the moment. As I was taking pictures down at the quay the sounds of voices were carried across the water clearly. “Yew gotta go Kareful ther’ buoy, thas a lot of bewt yew gort there.” Reading ‘Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay’ by George Ewart Evans there is a fantastic section about smuggling. One Liney Riches referred to in the book kept sheep, he would run them over the tracks where the smugglers had taken their haul and prevent the excise men from tracking the route of the wagon. So my thoughts have been with sneaky smugglers, ancient or modern and I have cobbled together my impressions from the images and sounds around the quay. The light from the window might be someone shining a warning lamp or ill-advisedly looking out when they should know better. If you like poetry you might like Rudyard Kipling’s ‘A Smuggler’s Song‘.

Illustration Friday ‘Burning’ – Aspire Cross Channel Swim – Finished!

Illustration Friday - Burning - illustration of I saw a peacock

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is ‘Burning’, I could not make up my mind what to illustrate, perhaps ‘burning a candle at both ends’, Tyger, Tyger burning bright, Matilda, Ladybird, ladybird or London’s Burning.

In the end I thought of the works of the great poet Anon.  I like to think of him sitting staring at the fire, watching the sparks make pictures on the chimney breast, as he sups ale or cider and creates his poems.  I decided to Illustrate this one:

I saw a Peacock, with a fiery tail,
I saw a Blazing Comet, drop down hail,
I saw a Cloud, with Ivy circled round,
I saw a sturdy Oak, creep on the ground,
I saw a Pismire, swallow up a Whale,
I saw a raging Sea, brim full of Ale,
I saw a Venice Glass, Sixteen foot deep,
I saw a well, full of mens tears that weep,
I saw their eyes, all in a flame of fire,
I saw a House, as big as the Moon and higher,
I saw the Sun, even in the midst of night,
I saw the man, that saw this wondrous sight.

In the meantime, for some reason the soundtrack to my drawing is this:

It’s been an interesting week.  Yesterday I finished the Aspire challenge of swimming the distance of the English Channel between the 13th September and 5th December.  Taking part in the challenge has certainly kept me going to the pool, on days when I might otherwise have backed out.  I am pleased to report that the swim was done in crawl!  If you were following me back in January when I first started this swimming malarkey you will remember at that stage I could not swim crawl at all and could not put my face in the water for breast-stroke.  When it came to doing the Alton Water, Great East Swim I had to complete it in breast stroke as I couldn’t manage it in crawl.  We’ll see if I can manage open water crawl next year.  If you are interested the Channel 4 programme on the Great East Swim is available for the next 28 days HERE.  You can sign up for next year’s Great East Swim on their site they now offer half mile, one mile and two mile swims.

Earlier in the week, on a thoroughly wet and miserable morning, I had a flat tyre outside the pool and wasted  my swim time trying to sort it, giving up and then waiting for Green Flag.  But every cloud has a silver lining.  Green Flag were great, turned up promptly and sorted things out.  Whilst I was waiting I was tweeting my minor trauma and ended with ‘send coffee’.  A sachet of Paddy and Scott’s arrived the next day.  By the time I was home from work I also had an offer of a half day at Ufford Park Spa; so by now I was feeling really spoilt.  So in my personal bubble, even the bad things were turning out well.

Out in the real world we have had the annual act of Remembrance, the release of  Aung San Suu Kyi and Paul & Rachel Chandler, and student riots to remind us of the values and risks associated with freedom, rights and what people believe in.

It’s a crazy world eh Arthur Brown.

Afterwards – Lady Denman Cup – What next?

Adapted from the WI short story competition

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is ‘Afterwards’. This is also the week I will be reading to our WI the story I wrote for the Lady Denman Cup. Actually, it won’t quite be the story I sent in, because I didn’t win. However, I was shortlisted to the level where I received feedback from the judge, which was very helpful and so I have made a few changes, based on the judges comments.

For Illustration Friday I have cheated wholeheartedly, I have taken the photograph that was the basis for the Lady Denman Cup story. It was selected by the WI nationally, along with the title ‘Every Picture Tells A Story’. I have recoloured it with pastels, I actually like the image and my story is to a certain extent about what happened afterwards…

If you would like to read the story it is only 500 words long. Below is the opening paragraph. If you donate to my Aspire fundraising page HERE and leave me an e-mail address I will e-mail you the story in pdf format. If you read the story you will see there is a connection.

“What makes a man? Clemmy expected the Welsh dragon to appear any minute, hoist high on the mast, proclaiming that Huw had reached the checkpoint. Whilst it was pleasant sitting in the shade, she was acutely aware that her heart was fluttering; two grown men fighting for her affections. When they stood at the start, touching the silver birch, scowling at each other, she had known they were serious and actually going to go through with their harebrained idea.”….


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