Tuesday, 28 October 2008
First things first - young Johnny Medway is doing great - 15 weeks and nearly a stone. Loads of smiling and giggling (very childish). Best baby ever.
Second on the agenda, autocycle serendipity. Having spent 3 weeks (and luckily no money) hovering around autocycles, cyclemotors, Whizzers and Winged Wheels on eBay, Katy's brother turns up and fits his little Spanish engine on the back of my Pashley Tuberider.
I'd bought the bike a few years back, having fallen in love with the shape but without realising I feel silly riding it, and it goes downhill but not up. The addition of the 29cc engine has transformed the bike from ridiculous to eccentric, and whilst it won't propel me up a hill on it's own, it certainly goes a fair way to assisting my pedalling. All you do is fill it up with two-stroke mix, pedal off then using the lever under the saddle, lower the thing onto the back wheel.
Yesterday I got a fair speed up along the trail, and also mastered stopping. Out of respect (for other trail users AND the law of the land), the engine will stop by lifting it off the wheel, transforming it back into a regular pushbike without even pausing. Seems it was designed for rural teenage farmers to get from field to field, and it's roadworthiness and legality is a questionable grey area, so I'm not going to take it on the A6 or anything. Towpath use is probably OK as long as I turn the engine off when other humans are in sight - who can complain? They're only jealous anyway.
Wish it was Summer.
anyway in the meantime, I'm starting an autocycle gang The Goyt Valley ChugChugs, so if you get a bike you can join (I've not designed the tattoo yet).
Now in the shops - Teach Your Granny to Text & Other Ways to Change the World, in which I've illustrated the doublespread Action no. 23 - Don't Start a War. It's produced by We Are What We Do, who are the people behind the 'I'm not a plastic bag' bags, and would make a nice present for a nine year old human. WHSmiths seem to be doing them at half price.
Fourthly, I've completed my Crab Lane Crew Christmas 4-pager for The DFC, which also means I've completed Season One and I've got a couple of months off from it. While I've really enjoyed getting stuck into regular weekly deadlines, I've been cutting it fine and other jobs have been piling up.
So, for the next 8 weeks or so, I'm going to be-
Finishing the loft insulation.
Sealing round the sink.
Uncollapsing the sofa.
Getting Garden Funnies 2 paginated and off to print.
Running a few school workshops across Manchester.
Sorting out boat jobs, including fitting the back windows, replacing the fuel filters, disposing of the toxic bilgewater responsibly, planning out the lettering and maybe even getting round to painting it.
Making some 'proper' art - I've got boards waiting for paint, woodcutting tools still in the box, and printing inks gathering dust.
Completing a couple of submissions - one for Steve Tillotson's Banal Pig Landscape Anthology, the other for Oliver East's forthcoming Berlin and That.
Setting up an online shop so that you can all buy my T-shirts, tat and minicomics (if I ever get round to making some more).
Posting more blog entries on my workshop sessions and the exercises and games I use.
Review a few books and comics that I reckon y'all should know about.
Working out what I can make for xmas presents this year.
And I also want to start roughing out some ideas I have for a proper full size comic, working title - Playing Out.