new header Blaugustine

21 July 2014


Can you guess what this is for?

Puzzling thing

Never mind, I'll tell you.

Wood expands in hot weather and certain doors refuse to close quietly as usual. They have to be grasped by the hair, if they have hair, pulled hard and slammed hard.This doesn't always work on first attempt and so must be repeated, causing considerable ruckus on the premises. I live on the top floor of a house with three flats and do not like giving or receiving ruckus. Fortunately I have good neighbours and alleluia! quiet as well. So I can no longer sit back and wait for cold weather to restore my door's good manners.

The problem is that there is nothing to grasp. There's no handle on the inside of my front door and that's why I make so much noise when trying to close it. In hot weather.

Simple, you say, buy a handle and screw it on. Ah, yes, precisely. But I only decided an hour ago that the problem must be solved immediately and it's too hot to walk to the hardware shop which will be closed at this hour anyway. I had a cursory look through my extensive collection of bricolage materials and couldn't find a single handle. The only thing which looked remotely handle-ish was the round hole brass thingy (what are they called?) you see above. And the only thing which fitted tightly inside the thingy's hole was the handle of one of my oil painting brushes.

So, improvisation being the mother of invention, I screwed the thingy to the door at a convenient height for my hand, sawed off the thin end of the brush, pushed the fat part into the hole and presto! A graspable handle which is also, you must admit, original. And it works. I can now close the door quietly. Well, less noisily.

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17 July 2014


Is it possible to stay silent about the current déja-vu events in Israel and Palestine? A wave of emotion rises up in my throat when I see the news. Some of this emotion is raging indignation but mostly it is despair at this apparently unending cyle of revenge/retaliation. All I can imagine as a solution is a totally unrealistic, impossible scenario in which both sides, en masse, fall to their knees and beg forgiveness of each other, embrace and weep together, then work out their differences and find a peaceful solution, person-to-person. And then the wall would fall.

Like I said, totally unrealistic.

Meanwhile in today's  I (the Independent's daily briefing newspaper) there is a note by Mira Bar-Hillel, an outspoken Israeli-born British journalist (reviled by those who see anti-semitism in anyone who doesn't agree with Israeli policy and actions) which I'm copying below in its entirety since she knows the Situation much better than I do and can express herself better.

Beth in cassandra also addressed this subject on 11th July in a moving and articulate post. If you haven't already read it, go there now.

article by Mira Bar-Hillel

UPDATE: And check out these 3 excellent links which Lucy posted at Box Elder:

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask

11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis

Israel's Gaza invasion is all about tunnels

11 July 2014


All blocks cut and proofed. Now the highly skilled work of fine letterpress printing can begin at the Old Stile Press and later, the collating and binding of the limited edition. To celebrate the completion of my part of this collaborative oeuvre I arranged an impromptu showing a few days ago at The Pineapple, a local pub, whose manager was kind enough to let me use an upstairs room to put all my proofs on the walls (whitetak, not blutak) and invite some friends over to have a drink and see the work.

The Pineapple pub

Upstairs room at The Pineapple

Some of my prints around the walls before guests arrived.

A few bottles to start with

The paste-up on atble at the Pineapple

The complete dummy of the book with all proofs and text.

And here are proofs of the last blocks I cut:

Page 34

page 35

pages 36-37

page 38

page 39

page 40

page 41

pages 42-43

Now for a little rest then to start on new work.

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14 June 2014


Too busy to write so I'll post a bumper selection of images for the book. I've been working non-stop and only have about nine more blocks to cut and proof.....then it will be celebration time.

page 24, trans Siberian

page 25, Trans-Siberian

page 26, Trans-Siberian

page 27, Trans-Siberian

pages 28-29, Trans-Siberian

page30, Trans-Siberian

page 31, Trans-Siberian


page 32, Trans-Siberian

page 33, Trans-Siberian

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