Quick Art Update

I usually just post these things in Twitter and/or Tumblr posts but they’ve all cropped up in the last couple of days so I thought I may as well do a proper post… Ahem.

I got an email earlier that most of my Etsy shop’s listings are expiring really soon, so if you’ve ever fancied any of what’s there head on over ASAP. Plus I am going on holiday for ten days on Friday so any physical orders after the 11th July won’t be shipped until the 23rd at the earliest, by which time most of those items will have gone. So get on it!

Society6 is having one of its free-shipping-on-most-items days if you follow this link and this link only. It’s weird and they don’t tell you how long the offer lasts, presumably to whip you up into a frenzy. It’s until the 13th according to that very link.

I’m currently taking story commissions on DeviantART (all the info is on the right hand side below the advert). Once again, when I’m away I will technically be on holiday so if you request anything then you won’t get a response for a few days.

I hate doing what are effectively sales pitch blogs but at least this way it’s one lone social media post, as opposed to eighty over the course of a day… plus this trails on nicely to what I really want to talk about, which is HOLIDAY READING.

You know the drill. I take more books than I can carry, I read most of them, set up blogs talking about them and always include one novel that is totally depressing and/or gross. The first year I did it I took Trainspotting, which I haven’t read since; last year was We Need to Talk About Kevin which I then chose to study for my A Level and never want to read again… the further I explored it, the more effed up it became. I think this year will be Goodnight Mister Tom, which I have never previously read because I saw the TV adaptation about ten years ago, got so distressed I cried and have refused to open the book ever since.

But I’ll probably take this fortnight’s Private Eye and The Son of Neptune so it’s okay! There will be laughs all round! I will also take a book of codewords because since I stopped going to school my vocabulary has been on the downturn, which is bad for everybody. If I’m not careful I’ll only be able to speak in dog chatter… “Don Don, why are you barking? No one cares. Shhh. Hello Fred. You look very handsome. Go away that was my flapjack. Snuggles time.”

I love snuggles time. Speaking of which.

From goldenstories.tumblr.com
From goldenstories.tumblr.com

I Wrote This Lovely Post About My Dogs Then One of Them Refused to Acknowledge My Existence and Made Me Late

(It was all academic though, because I fucked up times and should have been there four-and-a-half hours earlier.)

I spent half an hour last week working on my CV, which is… interesting. I get that we have to sell ourselves and everything, but it’s hard to explain that my favourite hobby – sitting with Fred and Adonis and falling asleep – is a qualification worthy of employment.

Speaking of Adonis: the last I mentioned of him was that he was very ill and being given palliative care. Those of you well-versed in the art of counting may have noticed that his “six months to live” ended, er, a month ago. This is because he now has a ‘normal’ life expectancy for a dog of his size and upbringing: around three more years. He is on a special diet and has been on a cocktail of drugs since December, but as long as we give him his medication and never, ever feed him anything containing protein, he will be able to enjoy his nice little life…

…Which basically means that he sleeps a lot, chases and barks at everything that moves, gets Fred into trouble at least once a day and enjoys numerous cuddles with virtually every human who comes in the house. This is him the other day:


Fred is also well. He’s got arthritis in his hips and legs and he’s sore quite a bit, but he still leaps about playing catch, like a puppy, and exploring the far-flung parts of the field, like a puppy. He’s always been pretty laid back and he’s recently taken to asking – via paw-waving and grumbling – for his favourite blanket to be placed on his favourite spot on the sofa so he can hang out with whoever’s watching telly. He won’t sit unless the blanket’s been smoothed out and someone’s patted it (to check for blanket monsters perhaps… or maybe he’s actually asking permission?!) so he’s actually becoming a bit of an old-man dog. Quite refined in his tastes, apart from that day he ate Donnie’s tablets and had to get his stomach pumped, or this morning when he chewed a biro, or the other day when he herded me toward the stairs so I’d take them both out.


Whatever. They are my friends and I’m glad we found each other.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it does it make a sound?” I dunno, but it might crush some flowers.

It’s weird when you come home from school and find an upside-down tree in your back garden. Then you discover that the tree felling people who are massacring the neighbours’ hedges have extended their services to your neighbours’ garden, and somehow a conifer (flew? Teleported?) managed to get into your mum’s flower bed. What was more interesting, I thought, was that the six-foot man who came round to pick it up, shoulder it and march it back to its rightful place in the tree-shredder, was allergic to dogs. They make him come out in a rash, apparently.

Like this dude could make anyone come out in a rash:

He didn’t want to get off my bed, so I made it around him. I don’t think he was impressed, but he let me take his picture before buggering off to somewhere he wouldn’t be disturbed (downstairs).

I need help captioning that photo, so suggestions are welcome. The best one gets a nice Twitter mention, along with the caption when I post it. You have until tomorrow evening if you want to become (in)famous on my Twitter timeline.

Wait, Is That… Floor?!

  I’m blogging today to celebrate a momentous occasion. It has never happened before where I currently live – seriously, I’m talking rarer than a blue moon.

  My bedroom is neat. Tidy, almost. There are no more bits of junk on the floor, no piles of belongings that have been there so long I can no longer remember what lies at the bottom. Even my guitar picks are off the carpet. Amazing.

  Admittedly, we only cleared up because Pugsley’s coming over tomorrow and there would be no room for her to sit; Fred had trouble fitting on my bed when he came in earlier, no doubt investigating the source of  an unholy stench (which turned out to be my feet, as several people from today’s PE lesson can testify).

  My latest idea for the blog has been purple, but I doubt it’ll happen. Have a look-see here and comment with any colour ideas. I’m planning something interesting for Advent and – if GCSE modules and mocks don’t kill me – possibly another video. That’s if I can get my hands on a WMA version of that Americano song.

  If not… I’ll pay Maxim and Ross to dance again.

Who Let the Dog Out? Oh Yeah. We Did.

  You all remember Fred, don’t you? I do, I live with him.

  We took him out for walkies down the field yesterday, same as ever and he started to sneeze on the way back. I’m not kidding, they were proper sneezes complete with Fred bashing his paw over his nose, like, “What’s happening to me?!” When blood started to appear as well as snot we decided to walk him rather briskly down to the vets.

  Yes, I said snot. Dogs, in case you didn’t know, have mucussy stuff in their throats, same as humans. Trust me – I got some on my jeans when I tried to tickle him.

  So we sat in the vets for half an hour (apparently you need appointments…), finally being told that Fred had  inhaled something in the field that had lodged itself in his nose.

  Yeah, really?

  Being the kind, thoughtful people we are, my mum, Maxim and I abandoned Fred at the vets to get knocked out so they could tweeze out the incriminating object. He didn’t seem best pleased, but by that time the sneezing was starting to drive us crazy. There was Fred-snot all over the waiting room floor.

  When we picked him up a few hours later, Freddie could hardly stand. Or walk. Or remember where he was. If fact, he was so doped up on anesthetic he sat still long enough for me to take photos.


  And you have to admit, he’s cute. Especially when we had to move his back legs as he wasn’t sure what to do with them. The whatsit which had got stuck up his left nostril, by the way, was a spiky grass seed. We got it given to us in a plastic tube, complete with doggy blood, as a souvenir. I didn’t take photos.

  Fred is now fine and seems to forgotten his ordeal entirely, apart from the odd sniff at the shaved bit on his leg where they injected him with anesthetic. If he does remember anything, it’s probably the chihuahua in the vets which got carried in in a cat holder. If he’d have been well, he would’ve died laughing. I almost did.

I. Am. Not. A. Freaking. Genius.

  My mother embarked on holiday to Greece yesterday with my aunts and has left my dad, my brother and I to look after ourselves for a week. Can’t say I blame her.

  I was kind of dreading it because it’s a Duke of Edinburgh expedition on Saturday, and I have English coursework due in tomorrow that I really can’t do since my MP3 player is the most basic thing since unsliced bread and has less memory.

  Actually, it was all going okay until half an hour ago. I’ve sussed out the washing machine, I have a newfound appreciation of the dishwasher, I haven’t exploded anything and Maxim and I have both eaten. Then Dad decided I have to walk the dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fred, Fred is an amazing dude, but the way it goes is that I stop the washing from going mouldy, Maxim stops us from starving and Dad stops Fred from eating furniture by taking him on a walk.

  Oh no. Dad’s been at work all day (so have I) and it’s tough (so are high school French lessons and homework) and because Maxim has boxing, I get to walk Fred and clear his crap off the pavement . Regardless of the fact I cut open the back of my ankle on my shoes and need to work out how to get The Vote Now Show on my MP3 to transcript it in tomorrow’s English lesson.

  I don’t think Dad even knows I am taking GCSEs.

  I hope it’s raining in Zakynthos. Or that it’s too expensive to buy anything except fish heads.

  Happy belated Star Wars Day.

Define: Artistitis

This video was made by  Chantal Claret, who I mentioned before:

 Go to www.morningwoodrocks.com to see the making of the video, which is amusing because a) everything is  DIY and inspiring, and b) you can hear Jimmy chuckling in the background.

  Anyway, I was thinking about this blog at some point in the last week, and how so many ‘journalist’s blogs’ are really just spaces for whining posers who tell themselves that the reason they haven’t got a big break is because no one understands them, or they have so much talent it’s painful, which automatically means the world hates them. Same with a lot of ‘artists’ and ‘musicians’.

  I find this quite funny, and every time I think I’m heading toward ‘artistitis’, as it will henceforth be known, I resolve to never contract such a dreadful disease. If I do, I will embark on a medicine of Mindless Self Indulgence songs and write about stuff people want to read, or at least something that is vaguely interesting. Something like, I don’t know, my friends. They rock, even the wierd ones.

  I highly doubt this blog will ever reach BBC News or have a thousand hits a week, just like I highly doubt I will never earn a pot of cash from writing fiction stories or touring in a van with rock bands, smelling of petrol stations. I don’t think I really want to, though. The main way of inoculating yourself against artistitis is to not bother with the red carpet dream, or the fantasy that you’ll receive thousands of fan-made gifts every birthday. You don’t need them if you’ve got the things you care about around you, like your friends, your dog, or a new karate grade.

  I can’t find a picture of LiZzi or Ruby or my cousins and I at the grading we did a couple of weeks ago, so meet Fred.