I’m all buckled and bent from painting all day. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination – I think pre-school was the last time anyone tried to show me how to draw. I’m determined to give this cover art my best shot though, no matter how doubtful I’m feeling right now. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as my dear old mother used to say. I’m doing a stand alone painting for African Me, but for Shadow People I had a bit of a brainwave. It could also be my unfortunate desire for instant gratification. Apparently people who desire instant gratification are actually lazy, and lack self-control. So…
Because it will be a series, it occurred to me that I could get more than one cover from one painting, linking one to the other, and creating a sense of continuity. Lovely idea you say? Well. Even though going from stick figures to the Sistine Chapel was obviously not what I was aiming for, it’s really not as easy as I thought it would be. Regardless, bent muscles notwithstanding, I’m still a bit hopeful that this might work in conjunction with the photo shopping thing.
So, right now I’ve got a humungous piece of hardboard with key scenes from the Shadow People series plopped around and about on a background that needs work – to put it mildly. I’m revamping the first book in the series for release at the same time as African Me. Being the secretive soul that I am, I’ll just share the very first really rough pencil doodle of my vision of what the Voxavi look like (just a tiny part of the total painting). Yes I know I haven’t even rubbed out lines that shouldn’t be there, and he does acquire some really cool spikes in the painting, but… As with the poem for African Me, I’m going to save the final for the actual book. My theory being that if you don’t find the doodle rotten and offensive, and curse me forever for offending your delicate eyeballs, you may not hate the final cover pictures. I’m praying here that ridicule and laughter aren’t lurking in my future.
I will say though, that regardless of whether my attempts are toolish or not, I don’t think that I’ve ever had so much fun. Scribbling is my favourite thing to do, but letting loose, and immersing yourself in art and poetry for a while is really an amazing thing to do. I totally recommend leaping wildly from your comfort zone now and then, and doing something you never imagined that you could. What have you got to lose?
Till next time friends. xxx
Thinking that I would just pop my next short story up today, I started the day off transferring more of my scribbles from memory sticks to my new computer. Then I got sidetracked and spent a couple of hours opening links that I’d emailed to myself to bookmark, and reading ALL of them. Then I got the placement for things for one of my covers lobbed into my frontal cortex by my painting muse (she’s a bit rough around the edges that one), so I had to zoom off and sketch it straight away (looks a bit like a deranged lizard gazing out over a field of mushrooms). Then I did a lot more unproductive things, had a mini panic attack because I hadn’t checked out all my emails yet, came up for air, heard a loud bang in the kitchen (feathered horde flinging a tea cup to the floor), jumped up too fast, and ran into a chair. So… All back to normal then.
My problem is that I want to do too much. And I want it all done immediately. So I have three books on the go, as well as five paintings that I want all finished at the same time to use for my covers. My personally inflicted deadline is looming now. It’s probably crazy to think this will all be done when I expect it to be, but then again, you never know. I remember once when I first started driving, I got my car into a spot that it couldn’t get out of without something being horribly scratched, as you do, so I asked four guys I spotted wandering down the road to just pick it up and straighten it out. They looked a bit startled, then each of them grabbed a corner, and did just that. Didn’t look overly hard either. I’ve since been told that this would be absolutely impossible to do, and that I must be stretching the truth by a very long way indeed. The look that accompanied this sentence definitely suggested that I was the biggest talker of crap on the planet also. I’m not though. Could be they were just really strong guys, or maybe the confidence of my expectation left no room for self-doubt. Who knows? I suppose that if you really believe you can do something, you can. That would work both ways too.
If you think that you can’t do something, even subconsciously, then you can rest assured that you won’t get it done. You might not realise that that’s the reason though. You’ll blame it on social networking, cooking for the demanding swine who live in your house and insist on eating all the time, or any number of time-consuming things that keep you from finishing your projects. I have the opposite problem to that. I think I can do anything at all. Then I end up running into walls and chairs, and realising that I actually can’t. Well. I still think I can. Now I just have to figure out a way to manipulate time itself. Probably doable too. I’ll have to see if I can squeeze finding out more about that in-between scribbling and flinging paint around.
Which reminds me – I bought a book on fantasy art techniques, and tried to copy a bit of one of the paintings in there for practice. I’m not using this for anything, calling it my own, or trying to sell it, so I’m hoping it’s not grand theft art! My covers will be 100% original – this is just to figure out how to paint in general. Anyway – it’s coming along so I’ll share it with you here. It’s a nude too! Then you can tell me to to stop buggering about and just buy stuff from Dreamstime instead.
Till next time friends. Xxx
Busy week, dodgy internet. The usual bits and pieces. A couple of swarms of bees have invaded the house over the last couple of days. The first lot caught me out in the dressing room with only a tin of air freshener for ammo. It worked though. I came out scathed with only one sting, and that was from standing on a floored bee. Not too bad considering my usual luck. I wonder at the wisdom of using cute bees on children’s cakes and so on. Certainly around here I wouldn’t want any child being under the impression that a bee is in any way cute and wandering over to say Hi to a swarm. I get chills just thinking about it. These little buggers are deadly.
My feathered horde is growing. Angus has been eyeballing a limping baby chicken around and about, and being the macho, uncaring guy that he is, made a point of finding its owner, buying it, and bringing it home. Of course I named him Naka. He’s a sweet little guy, but the rest of the horde bully him, so he hobbles around all on his own all day. They bully the dog too. They’re like a gang of chicken hoods. How to stop chicken bullying – anyone know?
Right now our anthology group is preparing to launch its first book. So that excitement won’t leave me any time to get African Me out there for a little while. I’m not in any hurry any more though. I’m planning brand new covers for existing books anyway, and a re-launch of everything with bells and whistles.
I’m finally figuring out that it’s not necessary to zoom as much as I always feel compelled to do. In fact, I’m learning that speed can be a bad thing as far as establishing yourself as an indie writer is concerned. With my very soul being zoomy, I’m finding slowing down a little hard, but I’m definitely a lot happier with what I’m producing, and learning. I’m loving combining writing with painting too. I’ve started four paintings – one for each cover, but even though that really is slow going, it’s brilliant seeing my own visions for my scribbles coming to life a little.
Till next time friends. xxx
Still busy sorting all my old blog posts into categories. Seeing the dates on these posts has made me realise how quickly I’ve zoomed along this indie writing road. I opened the WordPress site in March 2012 after joining Facebook in January. Before that the only IT knowledge I had was how to operate my cellphone – sort of.
As far as writing went, I’d only started that the year before when I wrote African Me & Satellite TV, scribbled in notebooks and on bits of paper shoved into an old manila folder. The story had been niggling at me for a while. To begin with I really just wished it would go away. I’d never written anything before. Never yearned to be an author, or ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be capable of writing so much as a paragraph of fiction that anyone would actually want to cast their eyeballs over.
It never went away though. It grew and grew, and became my obsession, until finally it was done, sitting in a tatty pile on my desk along with the two books that grew side by side with it. Two of the characters in African Me were so huge to me that they had to have books of their own. And so they did.
Not ever having been on line before, and not even knowing that Kindles existed, I tentatively tried to look for agents. I’ve never approached one though. A friend suggested that I join Facebook and look for writers there. I did, and found one brilliant little group of mainly aspiring authors and one or two stars. There, apart from gaining a couple of amazing friends, I learned about indie publishing. It was only towards the end of last year that I found myself swept away on the indie highway.
Along the learning way I’ve published two short stories, and a sci-fi/fantasy novel on Amazon, obviously expecting to be hugely famous mere hours after pushing the upload button. Shame about that. I’ve found out lots about finishing, formatting, and publishing e-books, as well as creating covers for them, not to mention marketing and SEO. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is that I have only one toe in the water. As far as indie publishing and marketing knowledge is concerned I still have miles to travel. I’m just really glad to be on the trip.
And that trip was all about getting African Me & Satellite TV published. There were just unexpected twists, trips, and bonuses along the way. I now have the first book in a series out there, with loads more to come. I’m painting away to create images of Lapillus and the characters in Shadow People, so that anyone who reads the books see them a little as I do. I’ve learned that writing and reading short, sharp stories is brilliant. For the first time in my life I’ve written poetry. This was really hard, but a bit of African Me just had to have it, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
African Me & Satellite TV will be published soon, and I am terrified and excited. My main point of this ramble is that no matter what trip you are on, you never know where it will take you.
To writers more newbie than myself I say – gosh – are there any? Seriously though, from what I’ve learned so far I have a couple of opinions.
• Don’t publish your beloved first. Publish another brilliant, but lesser love first and learn the ropes a little.
• Don’t believe that just because you have “Author” attached to your moniker, thousands will fawn at your feet.
• Learn about marketing on line, and follow through. I’ve been held back in this department by constant (daily – very often weekly) power outages, and the weakest internet signal on the planet, but that has never stopped me from trying.
• Research every thing that you do. Don’t fall for “editor” “publisher” tricks – there are a lot of nasties out there who will con you properly. Check credentials.
• Beware of spending the majority of your waking hours in the wrong areas of cyberspace. Do you really think that posting links to your books on a group of other indie writers will generate sales or get you real readers?
• Do join other indie writers for online events. You will build up a group of indie writer friends over time and this is good. You support each other. Boost each other. You need this. Just be careful who you team up with. Make sure your indie buddies are cool.
• Don’t ask people for fake reviews. If I see a book with hundreds of gushing five star reviews, I’m immediately wary. And if I then read the book, and it’s really bad, I’m not a happy girl at all. I do review for friends, but never if they ask me. If I like what I see, am a fan of the genre they have written in, I buy their book. I never leave bad reviews – ever. If I don’t like a book I leave it at that. There are loads of people willing to leave crap reviews – some that seem incapable of spelling “and”, I’m sorry to say.
• Have patience. What will be, will be.
Till next time friends. xxx
Today I have an amazingly talented lady as my guest. Author, artist, and inspiration to all those who know her and her works, I asked Elaine McKenna to take us on a journey through her life so far.
Elaine McKenna is a creative artist and writer from Northumberland, England. Having studied Science and fiction writing, she gained her Certificate in Natural sciences in July, 2007, passed her Start Writing Fiction course in 2009 and her NVQ in Arts & Crafts in 2010. Elaine has continued her passion for art and writing ever since, incorporating her love for the imagination in everything she does.
Elaine finds her inspiration for stories, poetry and art in the landscape and people that surround her. Learning about the wonders of nature, and how everything is connected, she is diverse in her way of thinking – enjoying the beauty of everything that makes up our unique world as it is. Following gratitude, attraction, vibration and spirituality in her everyday life, she finds it a great comfort through difficult times. Her work has been published in local newspapers, magazines and national poetry anthologies.
Ignite Your Inner Desire was her first poetry, proverb and quotations book. A culmination of two years work, the book draws together poetry and proverbs with the intention of bringing inner peace, connection and hope. In November 2011, Elaine participated in the worldwide NaNoWriMo challenge for the first time and succeeded in reaching the target goal of 50,000 words in a month. As a result of this she has been researching and planning her first children’s fantasy novel and hopes to finish this for publication by December 2013.
After leaving school, Elaine drew only as a personal hobby; small pictures of friend’s pets, children or landscape scenes, but decided to push her artwork further and introduce her talent to others and in 2012, Elaine created I.Y.I.D. Artwork; a collection of Spiritual and Intuitive artwork.
Elaine said this about her work:
‘I enjoy every part of being creative. It allows you to push the boundaries of your imaginative mind, sometimes taking reality into new areas of mystery and beyond. I love to take pictures of scenery from unusual angles and turn them into magical places that make people want to explore from within. My spiritual artwork collection takes the emotional concept of the human mind into the forefront, offering imagery which hopefully reflects an inner spiritual message to the viewer. These tend to be more personal and intimate from thought through to creation; meditation and reflection being key elements in their production. To sum it all up, regardless of whether it is my writing or my artwork, it’s that feeling when you step back from that ‘once’ blank piece of paper, and slowly, before your eyes, you see this wonderful structure starting to appear.’
In her spare time, Elaine likes to volunteer at Dilston Physic Garden near Corbridge, England, where she enjoys the tranquil atmosphere and fully appreciates the magic of nature. Her own reading interests are in both non-fiction and fiction, having a deep interest in ancient history and religion. Fascinated by the Old Testament, and with the stories told within the chapters, this led her to her interest in ancient aliens and the encounters of ‘so called’ angels. She describes it as her guilty pleasure. One book remains close to her heart; Sefer Raziel, The Book of the Angel Raziel. She says; ‘I still have no recollection of what it is all about as it is written in such a way that it would need intense study to decipher it, yet its fascination to me also lies in its myth and magic – the reason behind it all. One day I may come to understand a little more about it – until then, it will to me, remain one of life’s remarkable unsolved mysteries… don’t you just love the thirst to discover? I know I do!’
Here Elaine shares some of her inspirational and spiritual artworks as well as some thoughts on each of them.
Available on Elaine’s website only :-
The Silver Ghost – This one is very special, not just to me, but also to a few other people who now have the pleasure of his picture hanging on their wall. The Silver Ghost is an ex-racehorse who ended up at the same yard as my eldest daughter – my daughter eventually loaning him. They both grew an immense affinity to each other; one teaching the other valuable lessons. Never before have I seen a horse so graceful when he is being ridden. They became very close, and still are – think mysterious unicorns crossed with old fashioned rocking horses and children’s fairytales – well that’s the Silver Ghost! He was my first ever chalk portrait, and hopefully in the picture, I captured the beauty and grace of his being in a wonderfully magical way. The real life photo is of Swinton; born in 2002, who is the Silver Ghost. Unlike his sire, Grey Desire; who won many races, Swinton only ran a few races in his entire career; always to the back, and only ever racing at Rippon, Newcastle and York – nothing major. He was then sold as a three year old in the horse sales and retrained as a riding horse (bought for the purpose of event). His lack of confidence in the show jumping ring didn’t help him, so he was re-sold, to where he currently resides, as a lady’s hack. Standing at 15.3hh, my daughter had this to say about him…
‘Oh, he’s grumpy, yes, but once on his back he is totally different. He excels more to dressage than jumping and really benefits from hard work. I love his attitude to it all. He’s a real character!’
Available on Elaine’s website only :-
Enter the Unknown & Step Outside – These pictures were photographs I took at Lambley Viaduct in Northumberland, England. It’s a disused rail line that runs across the River South Tyne, (http://www.bridgesonthetyne.co.uk/lambrw.html) it’s a rather impressive sight, especially when you walk along the top – but be warned, a head for heights is a MUST! After I managed to ‘crawl’ to the other side I had to face another fear – some very steep, narrow steps leading back down to ground level. This brought me to a lovely woodland area. The Step Outside photograph was taken from here as I looked up at the viaduct from within the darkness of the trees. It made you feel that although you, yourself, were small against this huge structure that towered above, all you wanted to do was ‘Step Outside’, into the brightness of the day. Further around the corner is the footbridge that leads across the River Allen. To get to the other side you have to cross this bridge. Again, another of my fears was in need of conquering, so after many screams, laughs and eventually meeting the banks on the opposite side, the picture for Enter the Unknown was taken showing the beautiful covering of woodland that I had just Stepped Outside from. See, each piece I do holds something magical; I’d like to think I bring it alive again – whether it is showing courage or strength, a journey or maybe just a beautiful architecture that lies dormant, unused and sometimes – forgotten.
Available on Elaine’s website only :-
Fear Nothing – This beautiful creation is rather special. I’m not quite sure what it was trying to tell me other than to go with the gut instinct and trust in one’s judgement. It sort of makes a little sense to me, as if it’s trying to say – don’t worry, it will be alright – fear nothing. That’s the thing with the spiritual pictures, they come with confusing messages, or should I say a message that only those that understand them will read them. They may mean one thing to one person, but another to another, that’s what fascinates me about them – Beautiful aren’t they! My mum is the proud owner of this one but she has allowed seven limited editions to be printed as I’ve already had quite a few enquiries about it. (Thank you, Mum x)
Find Elaine’s inspirational, mystical, and magical proverbs in her Ignite Your Inner Desire at any of the links below :-
Ignite Your Inner Desire. .COM link: http://amzn.com/1471673790
Ignite Your Inner Desire. .CO.UK link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1471673790
Ignite Your Inner Desire. Lulu link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/e-mckenna/ignite-your-inner-desire/paperback/product-20071219.html
I asked Elaine to tell us about her upcoming exhibitions and art tours for friends who would like to view her work “in the flesh”. Here’s where she’ll be :-
The Art tour is in its 18th year. It involves artists from all over the North East showcasing their work in a number of different venues. Some artists participate from their own homes or studios, whilst others choose venues allocated across the area. This is my first year showcasing in an exhibition and where better to display my work than a beautiful Abbey that is steeped in so much history and spirituality.
Hexham Abbey, Hexham. Northumberland. England. NE46 3NB.
http://www.hexhamabbey.org.uk/ Dates for the exhibition are the 8th June, 2013 until 30th June, 2013. The artist is in residence each weekend offering demonstrations, answering questions and meeting members of the public. This year it also coincides with the Festival of the North, which makes it even more exciting.
- The Art Tour weekend dates (artist in residence) – 8/9, 15/16, 22/23, 29/30 of June, 2013. * Sunday opening – after morning worship.
Before I get nosy and ask some questions, here are the links that will take you to Elaine McKenna and her amazing work :-
Website link: www.elainemckenna.com
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/IYID_Artwork
Face book link: https://www.facebook.com/I.Y.I.D.Artwork
Network artist member’s link: http://www.networkartists.org.uk/members.php http://www.networkartists.org.uk/more_info.php?id=612
Allendale Forge studio link: http://www.allendaleforgestudios.co.uk/studios/studio-5/
Where do you find the inspiration for your spiritual art works?
As mentioned in my bio, I like to think that I am gaining an affectionate interest in nature and my surroundings: my place in this world and the Universe. I feel it, see it – how everything is a whole – connected. My spiritual work takes emotions such as fear, hurt, pain, strength and belief (to name a few) and through its creation, a message is hopefully drawn within the picture. The artwork may end up looking rather bizarre, or it may be natural and pleasing to the eye, but the aim is to make a connection, to reflect a message back to the person viewing. I’d like to think my writing did the same – revealing a message that people can relate to. It’s a bit like nature and the Universe – we are all connected whether we choose to see it or not.
Where do you like to do your work?
I work from both home and the studio. In fact I have just finished writing my part in a collaborated novel with six other great authors. It has been a fantastic journey and as a team, I think we worked rather well together. A lot of our correspondence has been by telephone or via the internet, but our main objective was to comply with the request of the project manager and produce a fictitious story from the use of old Victorian postcards and pictures. After a good six months of writing we have finally got our first manuscript together. It has us rather excited knowing how well each and every story has fallen into place – exciting times ahead, and if people wish to keep up to date and follow our progress, they can do so by visiting the Springbok Publications website (http://www.springbokpublications.com/isabella-captured-souls.html) where details of our publishing date will be given in the next few months. Alternatively, if anyone is interested in following the journey via my face book page, please feel free to like and be kept updated. This is where I share my art and writing journey with others.
What mediums do you use to create your art?
Chalk pastels and chalk pencils are my medium. I like to feel the connection of my hands against the chalk, the same as any artist and their medium, but somehow chalk and I seem to connect. With chalks I am learning something new every day and I like nothing better than a challenge!
When did you start painting and writing?
I started doing art at a very young age – I think I was about six and I was drawing on peoples paths with chalk! That was until I was told to wash it all off with a bucket of soapy water and a brush. Since then I did art only at school. I remember my final exam piece was an oil painting of an Osprey gracefully flying over mountain tops. I don’t think at that point in my life I appreciated what it was all about and left school, falling into the normal mainstream of society. I dabbled every now and again, picking up pencils or chalks when the passion took me, but it hasn’t been until lately that my inner desire has been reignited and I find my art work is a great way to unwind and de-stress. My writing is the same. I won a competition in a local newspaper when I was ten years old – a short story about a greedy friend – the top ten prizes; pac-man watches. I won… I was ecstatic and played that watch game every night I went to bed. I think it took me two years to complete the full game, and numerous amounts of batteries! It wasn’t until about three years ago that I took up my writing seriously.
Please give us a little history on your proverbs, and Precious – one of the poems in Ignite Your Inner Desire.
Precious is a poem that came to me one day. I had been feeling really down and low and feared that my depression was hitting me again. I had not long moved to where I live now and as I sat in the porch way I looked across the moors where the lambs were playing in the fields. Something just clicked and Precious was born. It reminds me of Life taking hold of your hand, listening to your worries and your fears, talking to you and reassuring you when you feel there is no hope to go on. Precious reflects how life really is ‘precious’ and what we make of it is how we learn to look at life itself. I still get a lump in my throat each time I read this poem out aloud – I dedicated it personally to all those who do or who have at some point suffered mental illness.
The proverbs are different. There is no history to them other than they just come into my thoughts; I write them down and the rest if self explanatory – well at least I hope they are! Sometime the words can come to you at the most awkward of moments and it really is good advice to carry around a note pad and pencil for situations like these, otherwise you might find yourself rummaging through your handbag, looking for the nearest implement to scribble down the words on a wall!
What do you like to read?
I love reading both non-fiction and fiction so I don’t really have any particular reading preference. If it’s a good read, I’m satisfied. I’ve read some utter trash in my time and sadly to say it was an unknown author, but unfortunately the imagery it gave me; that visualization you’re meant to achieve whilst reading the piece, somehow didn’t sit well within my head – hence to say I stopped reading it after the first four chapters. But some things I can pick up and can’t wait to turn the page to see what’s happening next. I love ancient alien history and the theories behind them – I’m all for a good bit of mystery and the unknown so I keep reading Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles which led me to my interest in Ancient aliens. My reading preferences range from Superbugs by Pete Moore, to The Other Side of the Dale by Gervase Phinn, which is a good humorous read and I found myself chuckling quietly on a night time in bed whilst perusing the pages.
What do you love?
My writing, my art and my family of course. I get to have the best of both worlds as my family are always involved in everything I do and my close friends are always riding the journey with me, so my world is pretty good at the moment.
What don’t you like?
At the moment, snow! But a serious answer – I’d have to say being judgemental. Everyone has the capability of being judgemental but things occur in life that sometimes we have no control over; you never know what another person’s life is like until you walk their shoes, so what right would I ever have to judge a situation I knew nothing about. Another is the greed that occurs in this world today. It saddens me to think that we, as a species, have the capability to destroy anything through an emotional persona – The thirst for power has a lot to answer for.
Tell us about your future writing plans?
I have a few things in the pipeline for this year; my own novel, which has been in the planning stage for the last two years, and has had me down that many rabbit holes researching and finding inspiration that I tend to refer to it as, ‘my good wine’ – some things just can’t be rushed! But I do aim to have my first edited draft complete by September this year. (2013). I’ve also just completed my part in the collaborated novel Isabella; Captured Souls, and I’ve just finished writing a short story and poem that are being included in an anthology which is for a very good cause. Details of this will follow at a later date but again, if people wish to follow the progress they can be kept up to date on either my own information pages or Springbok’s web page.
I would like to thank the lovely Elaine McKenna once again for sharing her time and amazing talent with us, and for the insights into her world. I am really looking forward to seeing all her new work.
I’m a bit like that big bunny in Alice In Wonderland I think, always zooming around, muttering, “Late, late, late!” I haven’t had a look at yesterday’s action on the great old world wide web yet. Epic monthly shops require epic monthly unpacks, and I didn’t do much of that when we got home last night. Button, the baby weaver bird (formerly known as Kewpie – weavers are a bit like Prince that way), had spent his first full day without his dear old mum (me), since he was blown or booted out of his nest when he was a tiny chick. When we got home, he refused to let me near him until I’d changed into shorts, scruffy T-shirt, and ruffled my hair a bit – not at all liking the look of my civilised town persona. Jelly (the not so baby weaver bird), was a tiny, yellow, quivering mass of rage at having to go without her favourite bouncy toy, perch, and supplier of chocolate and other various really healthy nibbles during the course of each day. So it took a while to stop her from trying to twist large chunks off my earlobes. The parrots had obviously had enough of weavers in general, so they headed off to the kitchen on their own to help with unpacking things, and helpfully chose to unpack, or should I say, chew holes in, a couple of bags of really hard to re-seal Almond flour and desiccated coconut. Obviously I gave up on the unpacking for the day at that point. My feathered guys have ways of getting what they want.
Yesterday went fairly well – apart from the roadblocks. Usually the return trip averages out at a minimum of eight roadblock stops. These are one of the very few things that actually really make me cross. Try as I might, and I really have tried, I can’t think of any justification for being so interfered with. Apart from the usual, “How are you? Where are you going? Have you got any cigarettes? You must give my three Aunties here a lift to Samora Machel Avenue. Give me that Coke?” questions, there are days when everyone’s on the same page, and you get harangued – and spot fined – for having a blue fire extinguisher instead of a red one, having apparently excessive amounts of mud on your wheel arches – regardless of the fact that you’ve just driven forty kilometres on four inches of slippery mud, or having more than three squished bugs on your windscreen. Having a “dirty” car here is punishable by a fine. Not cool.
It quickly became apparent that the topic of yesterday was Radio Licences. For once a legitimate request, but equally unusually, one that I found myself firmly in disagreement with. I’m with the wrong side of the law on this one. If they’d said, “Give me thirty bucks, just because… I want it.”, they’d have had a lot bigger chance of getting it. But I don’t see why I should buy a radio licence if I don’t listen to the radio. Ever. At all. I never, ever, do. Why would I listen to boring radio when I have all of Pink Floyd on CD anyway? I never installed the radio – it’s factory fitted, and came with the car – and I’ve never so much as attempted to figure out how to even switch it on. Normally we just hand over the fine so as to avoid around a total of two hours wasted at these stops, and I normally shut my beak to avoid the always real possibility of getting yourself into proper trouble. Yesterday I thought, “The hell with that!”, and was so adamant that both the radio and CD player were in fact vital parts of the GPS system, that I think we were let off because they really thought that I actually believed that, and felt a little sorry for me – being so obviously thick. On a couple of occasions, much nodding agreement ensued, and we were ushered forward with unusual vigour. This probably won’t be the end of this topic, but I think I’d rather pay hundreds to have the radio removed, and have a much less pretty console, than be forced to hand over any cash in this case, no matter how small the amount. The law is something I have the greatest respect for, but having dozens of people hanging around in the middle of the road, taking thirty bucks from every comer for something they don’t use is just wrong, and I won’t pay it willingly at all. Anyway. Other than joining the criminal community, the day was brilliant.
I descended on a most cool art shop, and relieved it of quite a lot of oil paint, water mixable oil paint, oil pastels, artists brushes, general arty stuff, and much more for my new cover and Lapillus painting project. Now to see if I can. I forgot to get anything to actually paint on though, so I’ve been wandering innocently around, and have eyeballed some nicely cut squares of hardboard, which I’ll appropriate later after an unsuspecting Angus has zoomed off on his bike. If you’re going to go to the dark side, you may as well go all the way. I’ve also semi-finished my first poem in my head, between radio licence altercations, which I might just be brave enough to share with my friends tomorrow. I imagine that all this extreme stretching of the truth – well OK – bald-faced lies then, and plans of grand theft hardboard, are probably worse for my general karma than eating a kilogram of onions – although I’m thinking that that might be offensive on more than the spiritual plane only, so I can see where the yogis of old were coming from, but right now I’m not caring a lot, and also thinking that sometimes trying to be good, turning the other cheek, and not nicking your husbands bits of lurking hardboard, is just downright boring. So, for today, I’ll just be bad. Why not?
Till next time friends. xxx