I went for an impromptu meal after work this evening…I may have overdone it. Now I feel like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
My hair doesn’t like it when it’s too rainy, or too hot, or too cold, or least of all when it’s subjected to products that are designed for heads that are not blessed/cursed with thick, wiry, unwieldy hair like mine. It’s big at the best of times, but add a touch of volumising shampoo and watch the disco fro grow!
More sketches of the people I pass on my daily commute. If you’re interested, find out more about the Big Issue.
What is it about cats? Aloof, independent, marathon sleepers, expert hunters, master climbers and your friend, but only on their terms. They are fascinating and well-loved pets to some, yet despised and put into dustbins by others. They rival dogs as our favourite pets and were once considered sacred deities by the ancient Egyptians. They are featured in calendars, novels, their own diaries, films, cartoons, haiku and of course, on YouTube!
I have to admit I’ve spent many an hour browsing through endless compilations of cats doing crazy things. It’s pure entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I spend equal amounts of time browsing ‘dogs to the craziest things’ videos, but today, it’s all about the cats. Take for instance, Maru who enjoys trying to insert himself into boxes that were clearly never intended for cat habitation. Or perhaps a strange Japanese show where cats climb into bowls…?!
Quite recently, a friend of mine announced that she was opening a luxury 5 star cat hotel. I was fascinated to learn that the franchise offers four poster beds with silk sheets, music piped into the rooms, trout breakfasts, cat massage, a dedicated cat entertainer and the option to have your cat send you a postcard whilst you are away. Wow, what more is there to say? Perhaps I should leave you with the cartoon…it brings cats down a peg or two.
Did you know that the plural of octopus is octopuses or octopodes? Me neither. According to the dictionary, octopi is definitely wrong.
I’ve recently come to learn that octopuses are AWESOME! During our holiday in Greece we bumped into an octopus on three separate occasions. The waters around Kefalonia are crystal clear and bursting with interesting marine life; perfect for snorkeling. So, on one bright, warm day we headed out on an excursion with Jamie, a marine biologist, whose main area of study was octopuses, hence my sudden interest in them.
Our transportation for the day was a traditional Greek working boat or Kaiki which sailed us around the coast, stopping along the way to drop anchor so we could learn about urchins, starfish, eels, sea cucumbers and octopuses. Jamie, kept us rapt with tales of Greek mythology, mafia and marine life in between our snorkeling adventures when were left to explore the bays and mingle with the fish.
Within moments of taking our first dip into the water I stumbled upon an octopus gliding across the seabed – what luck! I squealed with excitement through my snorkel and called for Jamie who swiftly caught it, but not before it squirted us with ink and wowed us with its ability to change a variety of colours in a matter of seconds.
Back on board the boat, we stood over the little guy who eyeballed intently before trying to climb out of the temporary aquarium using its suckers. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity, I couldn’t help touching it. It probably goes without saying that feeling an octopus’s tentacles wrap around your hand is weird and slightly alarming – for a moment I thought it might never let go. After a few interesting octopus anecdotes we put him back in the water and watched him swim away.
Here are some things I learnt:
Below: A photo I took from the end of the pier near our apartment in Fiscardo – this chap was happily minding his own business.
Below: our transportation for the day.
A combination of lack of inspiration, a new job, holidays and general laziness have been conspiring against me over the past few months. I’ve hardly put pen to paper except to doodle in the margins of my notepad during exceptionally boring meetings.
I envy those comic artists and illustrators who manage to pour their creativity onto paper week in and week out; keeping the masses entertained with unwavering dedication.
I recently took time out to holiday in Greece. Kefalonia to be precise. Despite my love of crisp autumnal mornings and streets scattered with crunchy brown and yellow leaves (if we’re lucky – usually it’s soggy, wet, mouldy leaf litter and unpredictable weather), I think a short stint in warmer climes is good for the soul.
Every day for a week, I tentatively opened the curtains (as I would do in the UK) wondering whether the skies would be dark and foreboding, and every day I was delighted by clear blue skies and golden sunrise.
During the first couple of days, two things stood out. The first, which I’ve drawn in this post, was the extraordinary number of ferrel cats. Unbeknownst to me, Kefalonia is often referred to as the Island of Cats. They are everywhere, lurking in alleyways, behind walls, under cars, in supermarkets, beneath bushes and in restaurants. Always watching. If you feel something brush against your leg or catch some movement out of the corner of your eye, it’s likely to be a cat slinking past you. Not one meal was consumed without a handful of cats watching us put every forkful of food to our mouths. This was the first thing that made me put pen to paper in weeks.
A little excerpt from my sketch pad! My second observation (amongst others) will be covered in my next post or posts (depending on my mood) so stay tuned!
The last few days I’ve had a stonking headache and terrible pains in my shoulder. I may as well have been walking around with someone driving nails into my muscles and bashing the side of my head with a hammer. Thankfully it has subsided as the bank holiday weekend approaches. Although, I’m not sure camping is the best remedy for already aching shoulders.
I’m off to a wedding tomorrow and have been trying to draw some caricatures of the happy couple. There’s a real art in capturing someone’s personality and features with a simple few strokes. It is not my forte and because things haven’t been going well, I decided to take a break to draw something easier – like dogs!