Sunday 29 March 2015


'UK' Acrylic on canvas
What I know about Stockport can be written on the back of an envelope. Actually, make that a postage stamp. However, I do know that, in the 1970s, 10cc used to work out of Strawberry Studios in Stockport and, in 1974, they recorded the mighty Wall Street Shuffle there. As an impressionable thirteen year old I remember being taken with the line 'Are you waiting for the hour when you can screw me, 'cos you're big enough?'

10cc came along at the right time for me: they straddled the boundary between 'bubblegum' and 'heavy rock' in such a way that kept both Tony Blackburn and Alan Freeman happy at the same time. Not 'arf.

10cc - The Wall Street Shuffle

Monday 23 March 2015


'Beanz' Acrylic on canvas
My friend Darren, I think it's safe to say, wouldn't know Roger Daltrey if he fell over him. He does, however, have something in common with The Who's front man - a shared love of Heinz Baked Beans; whether or not he fills his bath tub with them is for him to know and me to find out. But he did recently commission this personalised version of his fast food favourite.

Roger who?

Saturday 21 March 2015

Upside down you turn me

Today's canvas is an ambigram. It was inspired by the splendid Brass Castle brewery just up the road. Someone pointed out to me that their logo reads the same even if you turn it on its head; I could have stared at it for ten years and still not seen it. The Number One Son was taken with it too, so this is for him.

Friday 20 March 2015


I was lucky enough to get a couple of snaps of the solar eclipse earlier today.

Although 1999 was probably better - I remember the birds stopped singing fifteen years ago - it was still a pretty magical morning. This may or may not be the Corona; I like the word so that's what I'm calling it.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Some mothers do 'ave 'em

Never one to mince her words, I was under strict instructions not to buy my mother flowers for tomorrow. 'Interflora always send crap flowers' was about the gist of it. So, just this once, I listened to what she was saying. Instead, I painted some flowers, wrote her a letter and a card, and chucked it all in the postbox. These flowers, too, maybe crap, but it's the thought that counts.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Single of the Year (and it's still only March)

That's right. If a better single is released between now and New Year's Eve then you'd better point me in the direction of the nearest Burton's.

And here's the thing about The Charlatans (well, two things actually): it transpires that they don't come from anywhere near Manchester. And, they've never split up: God knows what they've been up to in the last twenty years - I don't think I've heard a peep out of them since the heady days of Britp*p and TFI Friday.

Anyway, their latest 45 may sound suspiciously like Good Enough by Dodgy (and none the worse for that), but as The Number One Son said to me last week, you don't get many Rhodes dominated tunes sounding half as infectious as this.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Yellow Penguins

Penguin paperbacks don't come in all shapes and sizes. But they do come in all sorts of colours. The nice man in the short film below will tell you all about them. Suffice it to say that orange denotes fiction, red - drama, green - crime fiction, dark blue - autobiography, purple - essays, cerise - travel and adventure and grey - world affairs. And don't forget the Pelican and Puffin imprints. Penguin devotees looking to find websites dedicated to Penguins in all their guises won't be disappointed. Hardly surprising really - go and take a look at your own book shelf and see how many you've got.

One colour I haven't mentioned and that's yellow. Yellow was used as a safety net by Penguin for anything that didn't fit any of the regular perameters. Life's Too Short by Jenny Medd, for example. An oft repeated mantra here at at Medd Towers, along with 'there are no pockets in shrouds' and 'you're a long time dead', 'life's too short' is a stock response when defending your corner.

Anyway, here's that nice man I was telling you about.