May 2014 6

You can see the finished piece, here.

17th May

David Abbott, creator of one of the most memorable adverts of my youth, died today. I am not making it up when I say that I cried every single time that darn advert came on television. The advert in question was for Yellow Pages, in which an old man crawled up and down the bookshops of Charing Cross Road looking for a book called ‘Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley’. He had no luck, until his daughter gave him a copy of the Yellow Pages. I won’t spoil the ending. You can see it, here. I’ve just watched it, it doesn’t make me cry now.

The advert was made in 1983, when I was sixteen. I didn’t recognise the street at the time. I had never been to London before. A few years later, as a student, Charing Cross Road and the roads leading off it, became my favourite area of London. It still is. I had the great pleasure of working in Foyles, in the late Eighties, a law unto itself. I could tell you stories, but you wouldn’t believe them. Unless, of course, you also worked at Foyles before the Reformation, and then you know. At the time there were still a few old London cafes in the area, alas all gone now. St. Giles’ is almost unrecognisable these days.

May 2014 5


You can see the finished piece, here.

I heard this little phrase on the eleventh of May, a day which marked the tenth anniversary of the Stockline Blast Disaster.

There was a massive propane explosion in a factory in the Maryhill district of Glasgow, killing ten employees.

On the news they showed a garden of remembrance.

Marie Murray was interviewed, her husband Kenny had been killed in the explosion. He was forty-five years old. She said it was “a nice wee corner”, and that the garden gave her solace. She suffers from the loss of her husband every day.

The company, ICL Plastics, admitted to failing to maintain the fractured pipes, which caused the explosion. They paid a fine.

This little corner of my napkin is a tribute to Kenny and his colleagues.


May 2014 4


You can see the finished piece, here.

The letters mainly come from the unwanted leaflets which land on our doormat.

Godzilla   9th May

Everywhere I went today I saw adverts for this film. What was Walter White thinking?

Beans on Toast   16th May

I had this for breakfast today, except mine had cheese on top. The picture came from a 1975 copy of  ‘Weight Watchers – A Way Of Life’. Published by Hamlyn. All of the photos are very gaudy. Fanny Craddock style. Brilliant. It does not credit the photographer.

Thrive   28th May

Maya Angelou died today, and I use this word as a tribute to her. “The excitement is not just to survive,” she said, ” but to thrive, and to thrive with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.”

May 2014 3

You can see the finished piece, here.

Brewhaha  8th May

Great word. Steve Coogan said it to Rob Brydon, in an episode of The Trip we were watching this evening.

Do-Da   10th May

Haven’t heard this in ages. My mam used to say it to replace ‘thingy’. I know it should probably have a ‘h’ on the end, but I asked Mam to write it down for me and this is what she wrote.

Anyway, whilst watching an episode of The Good Wife (another failed attempt to replace Breaking Bad, although enjoying) tonight, an English character used the term correctly. I’m going out on a limb here, but I bet this has never been said on an American programme before (Series 4, Episode 6).

May 2014 2


You can see the whole piece, here.

Mute  4th May

Powerful word isn’t it? I was reading a leftover Evening Standard, during my lunch hour at work. Julian Schnabel was being interviewed by Tom Teodorczuk.  Schnabel said, he liked The Happy Mondays, “and with Bez they took him into the band (though) he doesn’t sing. He’s mute. Paintings are mute”.

I pondered this thought for days. I’m still pondering.

Schnabel is having his first London show for fifteen years. I haven’t seen it yet, but will, I love his work.

Strike  5th May

We were expecting a tube strike today, but it was called off.

May 2014 1


You can see the finished piece, here.

Bald 1st May

A little nod to the lovely Bob Hoskins who died last month. Read his obituary today. He said, “I’m a short, fat, middle-aged man with a broken nose and a bald head”.

Beg 2nd May

Jeremy Clarkson said this in order to gain our forgiveness. No Jeremy, you have not got mine. He said the N word, but it’s okay, because he just muttered it. Despicable.

Class 3rd May

In memory of John Westergaard, author of Class In A Capitalist Society, who died today.