Sheffield Night Strider 2015

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For those of you that know me, I’m not much of a hiker nor do I like to be far from my bed beyond 10pm.   I’m quite happy to do a 6 or 7 miles stroll in the Peak District before I’m ready to put my feet up, have a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Anything more and I tend to grumble.

Well, despite my love of sleep and fear of long walks, I signed up for a sponsored nigh walk for St Luke’s Hospice (13 miles) – which, being in Sheffield, involved numerous hills.   1000 people signed up, many whom had lost loved ones and benefited from the support and care of the charity.  It was a great night and I’m glad to have helped raise money.  Today however, I’m nursing an aching body and have ventured no further than the sofa except to make tea and watch some fantastic Rugby (Australia Vs Scotland).

I don’t like asking for money, but if you would like to donate to St. Luke’s, you still can by visiting my Just Giving page.

Night Strider

Portaloos

Having recently been to a music festival, this situation is fresh in my mind.   Using a portaloo is one of my biggest fears and one of the reasons I rarely do weekend festivals. The dark, dingy box which is too small to manoeuvre without touching edges that shouldn’t be touched.  Too dark to be sure whether the liquid substance you brushed against was ‘water’ – undoubtedly not but I try not to think about it.

They are inevitably lack toilet paper so the person before you who didn’t think about taking in a handful of ’emergency loo roll’ has had to use a paper towel instead (if they have one) and that is now stuck in the bowl.  And the smell….oh the smell…

well anyway… it made me draw this picture.

Portaloo

And so 2015 begins!

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A quick sketch to start the new year. I hope 2015 will have more cartoons and also a few photos as I’ve just embarked on a 365 project. I’ll be taking a photo a day for the whole of 2015. If you’d like to keep track, then follow me on Flickr.

Best wishes for a fabulous New Year everyone!

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Lens Envy

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been to France and back (twice), visited a seal colony on the East coast, watched the famous Lipizzaner Stallions perform, completed two commissions for a colleague’s fashion blog and a friend’s Christmas card, I’ve been to three theatre shows and much more beyond my powers of recall. Is it any wonder that I’ve been rather lax with my cartoons?

While in France, I met with family to visit the annual natural history photographic exhibition in Montier-en-Der. The five day event brings well over 30,000 visitors to – as a French man put it to us – the ‘butt end of nowhere’.  Thousands of awe inspiring photographs are displayed at exhibitions in and around Montier-en-Der – it was impossible to see everything in a single day.  But we tried. We spent eight hours driving from village to village, ducking in and out of tiny town halls, schools and church yards, oohing and aaahing over the images.  For the most part, I was green with envy and had a persistent nagging feeling that I should give up my job, travel the world and track musk ox, or penguins, or polar bears, or field mice, or macaques, or whales, or lynx…the list goes on.

It was, of course, compulsory to saunter around the optics, camera and accessories tent – a place for those who had a bit of spare cash and were hoping to pick up a lens or two for the cheap, cheap price of £15,000 each! The poorer photographers, myself included, were simply left drool over the 1200mm lens which would give you enough zoom to photograph the nose hairs of a red squirrel high in a tree. If you were feeling particularly masochistic, you could test the equipment on your own camera.  Rows and rows of predominately male photographers could be seen with lenses as long as your arm, testing their ‘zoominess’ on the banks of the lake where one of the exhibitions was taking place. Over their shoulders peered green-eyed paupers feeling inadequate with their shorter, less zoomy lenses. I couldn’t help noting the similarities between this, and other male displays of virility… Lens Envy