Science and Art (with a couple of beasties too) Part the Second…


DoMe a favour… beasties on the Meridian

All that science! After the Science Museum, it was a quick hop on the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich and the NOW Gallery, where I had seen that there was an interesting new piece of art to do with time. Well, I am a sucker for time-related things so it was ironic that when I arrived at half past one, the gallery was closed for lunch. If only I had remembered my time machine…

I had lunch in The Greenwich Kitchen which I recommend for its genuine friendliness and fantastic scotch eggs.


Timey-wimey art

This particular installation is comprised of numbers, cut out of paper, suspended from the ceiling and was created by the artist Emmanuelle Moureaux who does this sort of thing all the, er, time. Here is how the gallery describes it on their website:

“Inspired by the gallery’s location on the Greenwich Peninsula, near to the Meridian, marking time and composed of layers of numbers in 100 shades of colours and white, the installation expresses the flow of time. Each layer of numbers reflects the now, the past and the future, the exhibition will be a round representation of the earth floating in the gallery space.  A moment, a slice of time.” 


The low light level and multitude of individual objects meant my phone camera wasn’t very happy hence the blurriness of the pictures, but, hey, I claim that time is fuzzy anyway so the pictures make the art more realistic.

There was a certain peacefulness about those numbers hanging there, gently swaying, not touchable (really, don’t touch), marking out years and dates in no particular order. Perhaps this is a view of the passage of time that makes more sense…

The Beasties and I headed back to Reading, our heads filled with colourful artistic representations of time, which was just as well because our train was delayed.



Categories: Artwork, Universe | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Science and Art (with a couple of Beasties too) Part the First…



Beasties ensuring I don’t get up to too much mischief

As one or two of you* may be aware, I have been working away from home during the week for the last 18 months, back in my old home-from-home Reading. I have friends down here so, whilst it is hard being away from the Snail and the pups, my homesickness is softened by good company (and maybe a shandy or two** from time-to-time).

My contract in the real world concluded at the end of 2019 leaving me with 6 months rental on a flat. I decided to take this opportunity to use it as a base to finish novel number 3 and start on novel number 4 and possibly even number 5. Possibly.

The thing is, I can walk to Reading railway station and be no more than about 10 minutes or so from a train to London, so it seems rude not to avail oneself of that every now and again (back in Wales, I live 20 miles from the nearest station that only has trains that go north).

To London, then, with a nifty backpack filled with a reusable mug, JonBeastie and JanBeastie (see here for more beastie details). Our first port of call was the Science Museum, home at the moment to an exhibition of objects relating to Britain’s code-breaking expertise over the last century.


Not my old typewriter, honest, but an SG41, a very rare German cipher machine that was, unlike the more famous Enigma device, unbreakable by the geniuses at Bletchley Park.  


A 5 UCO: a British cipher machine so secret, they were all destroyed after WW2. Somewhere, an old civil servant is being shown this picture and told “You had one job to do…”

There are, of course, millions of items in the museum but I did notice these two on my way out. This is a theorbo, somewhat reminiscent of a guitar I have:


and this item, that made me feel so old, I felt I should have been in the case with it holding a sign saying “Example of typical owner”:


Ancient technology, apparently

I saved up and bought my one in 1980 and it still works today, using the same Casio battery that came with it. It has a liquid crystal display with sufficient digits to show how old I am and, when I get home to Wales, I am going to check that it is still on my desk.

I needed something new and artistic to stop me going and taking up residence in the case with the prototype of the Clock of the Long Now, so I and beasties headed to…



* I reckon two.

** I reckon more than two.


Categories: Artwork, computers, Travel, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Simply the Beastie




I don’t really do birthdays. I mean, I am happy to celebrate other people’s but when it comes to my own, I do tend to keep quiet about the whole thing, in the hope that if I say nothing then I won’t have actually gotten a year older.*

The Snail is brilliant at presents for me and this year was no exception. She commissioned CrawcraftsBeasties to create two Beasties, one of the Snail and one of me, kitted out with accessories that typify us.


The result was a series of exquisite works of art, that the word “amazing” is really not good enough to describe. To have your novel Beastie-fied is better than any award.


CrawcraftsBeasties has wonderful posts about JonBeastie and JanBeastie, so have a read here and here.

Their first trip was with me to London. They made friends with a traffic cone. I love these Beasties!



* SPOILER ALERT! This method doesn’t actually work.



Categories: Artist, Artwork, General silliness | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Thank You, your NIBness


I may have been to school with some of these people – I went to a badly drawn school. The one on the right is Einstein by Picasso on a very off day. Why he has a spider on his nose, I have no idea.

I have just had the splendid experience of reading a blog post, following a link on it and ending up doing something I thought I couldn’t do at all! So a huge THANK YOU to Nerd in the Brain for her link to a TEDx talk on drawing (and thanks to Graham Shaw for his lecture too)!

Now the cartoons I have drawn are in no way masterpieces except that for me, who once struggled to draw the curtains, the fact that they are recognizable is a minor miracle. Honestly, I do not have an artistic drawing bone in my body and it isn’t for lack of trying. Until now. Now I have an artistic little finger. Well a bit of one, anyway.

Banksy, watch out, here I come! OK, not really.


I have no idea why they look so smug.



Categories: Artist, Artwork, General silliness | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Kirkenes Blue – It’s Out!!

The whole cover in all its glory

The whole cover in all its glory

Well, I wanted to publish Kirkenes Blue in October, and I made it with 3 days to spare. The cover art caused the biggest headache, with the Firefox browser refusing to run the CreateSpace cover sorter-outer and the text on the spine refusing to line up with, you know, the spine. Still, after many hours on Wednesday, I managed to push the files over to CreateSpace and open a bottle of Champers in time for tea.

Probably should've drunk this before writing the book - next time...

Probably should’ve drunk this before writing the book – next time…

Actually, the whole process of publishing was remarkably quick. By about lunchtime on Thursday, the paperback was on Amazon with the Kindle version following later on in the afternoon. I had had my first sales by Thursday tea time (and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank those lovely souls who did buy a copy).

Now, I guess I better start promoting it – but I also have NaNoWriMo to get stuck into and my third novel to write (I’ve started). Hmm… perhaps I should have bought another bottle of Baron De Marck!



Categories: Artwork, Kirkenes Blue, Writing | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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