Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter one and all! You know many artists strive to make their design resemble that of a child's drawing, the simplicity of Purple Ronnie, the constant reminder that you are looking at a 2D image not a 3D with Peppa Pig and so on. The reason for this? Well kids drawings are simple and graphically they work. Also they charm in a way that more mature drawings simply do not.

However i strive to make a cartoon look realistic someone comes along, namely my daughter with a design so simple, so effective it stuns me. Here then is her bunny, taking a clear influnce from Hello Kitty and at only 5 years old i love this drawing so i decided to digitally colour it. Our first collaberation; i hope you like it and can agree that she has a faboulouly relaxed line, or is it just me getting all mushy over my kids drawing? If it is i don't care, happy easter everyone!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


So on Monday I’m loading my van when the boss asks me to drop off an order at a local packaging factory, we are running late and the staff canteen are screaming for their delivery. I load it up and jump in my van. When I get to the gatehouse I know I have to sign in, I have done this drop before but it has been quite a while since I have. The old procedure was to sign in at the gatehouse whereby the security would hand me a high-viz vest, I drive to the door, put on the vest and get out the van, walk around the factory floor using a yellow-lined path. I drop into the canteen and leave the meat.

This time though the security guard was a different person, he signed me in, spelling my name as Warren, a mistake that is made so often I don’t bother anymore to argue the toss. He gives me a laminated vehicle pass and I put it on my dashboard. He raises the barrier and so I go in. I park up and get out of my van, open the side door to get the order. Suddenly out of nowhere appears two concerned men armed with high-viz vests and one with a clipboard. “Excuse me,” says the littler man, “where is your high-viz vest?”

“Oh, I wasn’t given one,” I reply, remembering only than about the vest thing.

“Did you sign to say you have read the rules?” he said.

“Ermm, I don’t think so but…..”

He interrupts me, pointing at the pass on the dashboard, “Did you sign to say you have read that?”

“No, I signed in at the gate, I thought it was just to confirm my van was on the site.”

“You signed to say you have read it and you have not, you need a high-viz vest,” he was becoming very adamant that this was an obvious notion, perhaps to him it was but no one had told me what I was signing. I thought it best to try and explain but when I did he rudely interrupted me again, “You cannot come here without your high-viz vest, where is it?”

“I don’t have one, they used t…..”

“This is a very busy warehouse with lots of traffic; you cannot deliver here without one. Have you been here before?”

“Well yes but it was a while ago, last time they gave me a vest which I gave back to the…..”

“We do not have to supply you with a high-viz vest, why do you not have one?”

“errr, because, errr, “ I was getting flustered now, I wasn’t given time to explain, “can they not just give me one until I go out again?”

“No, we do not have any!”

“Oh, ok, sorry but I don’t have one!”

“Then you will have to put that back on your van and return when you get one. Were you not told any of this?”

“Well, no, you see I do not normally do……”

“I suggest you tell your boss that he needs to supply you with a high-viz vest,” he then addresses the other man, “see,” he says. The other man shrugs his shoulders and grins at me like I am some kind of nasty criminal, “typical!” he sighs. Now they have patronised me, sneered at me and treated me like a naughty school child they stood there like marine officers, glaring at me until I got back in my van and drove to the gate. The security guard sneered at me and raised the barrier.

I took the order back and I was instructed to leave it, “they will have to wait for it now,” the boss told me and I went off to do my normal run. Minutes later they called the shop again screaming for their order!

Is it just me or has the world gone mental? Give a man a title like “health and safety manager,” a clipboard, a high-viz vest and the power of a thousand Hitlers goes to their head?  While I except that rules are rules, and the high-viz vest is needed in this working environment they could have just loaned me one for the duration of my visit which would have been about 1.5 minutes. Bureaucracy gone mad, I cry. The high-viz vest is fast becoming symbolic of class, of the importance of your position within your employment. It is a bit like I believe they have in the US, dubbed “the blue collar worker,” the high-viz vest is not about safety, if one of those forklift trucks rides head-on into me would it cushion the blow, would it save my life? The high-viz vest is a pest, it can get caught up in production machinery, I know as it has happened to me.  If you think your employer cares for your safety when he issues you with the health and safety regulations you are very much mistaken. Once you have signed to say you comprehended them they are then free from any lawsuit you may throw at them after your accident if you so much as deviate from the rule book just slightly. The high-viz vest does not protect you; it only protects them from you.

So now days it is seen as a working class symbol, the blokes on the shop floor that don’t count for much. Slap a high-viz vest on them and you can see where they are, oh skiving in the rest room again huh?

Everyone has them on unless you are in a position of power enough to warrant not entering a high risk area. Directors, they get away with it, it might clash with their pink ties. The high-viz vest, where would we be without it.  Indiana Jones would never have escaped that big boulder these days without his high=viz vest. Superman could never have lied across those railroad tracks when the train went over him without his vest could he?

I say, ok, the high-viz vest has its place but please, calm down, get a life you dumb ass health and safety officers for if you didn’t get your lunch until late because you sent away the delivery man I would only laugh at the rumbles in your tummy!

Mind you, it may not just be here in the UK, here are some Spanish hookers being safe and seen!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

One of the best thing about having kids.

One of the best things about having kids; having a great excuse to read the books you loved as a child yourself! I read to my daughter every night since she was born. We have covered lots of new stuff, from Peppa Pig to naff Barbie stories and others that I liked, Rosie’s Hat, We’re going on a Bear Hunt. However the best times for us both is when take her to a place I loved and have not been for eons. We covered Mr Men and Narnia, we’ve taken trips to chocolate factories with Charlie Bucket and we have had manic Dr Suess moments and we must have rhymed Tootles the Taxi more times than you have had hot dinners. Recently we’ve been having a Roald Dahl season and managed to read Matilda, one which she likes but never did I get to read, girly stuff I would have thought! I did enjoy that trip in the giant peach with James. One day we will go all bunny-like as I always loved Watership Down. For now though we touched that base last night with a book that my mum bought down after a clearing out of their loft. It always made me cry when mum read it to me, always requesting it when I felt ill. So with my daughter a bit under the weather I proposed we choose this. The Velveteen Rabbit was read, every word flooding back to me as I progressed through the toy bunnies heartache, I kept looking in her eye as I read, see if I could see a tear. She loved the book, I was surprised; but she shed no tear. What else could I do, the desired effect was wasted, and this simply couldn’t be. I decide that I must go to the toilet, lock myself in and have a little cry myself…….

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bloody 30 somethings.

Well, this is my last post as a thirty-something; nothing humorous about that I’m afraid. I could go on about my impending doom, another decade closer to receiving my bus pass….no nothing funny at all there.  What does my 40s hold for me I try not to wonder, not at all amusing.  “just another day,” the worried say to hide their worry, not in the least bit comical. As a kid I used to work out how old I would be in the intriguing year 2000, wow, 27; imagine being that old! Well now, oh how I wish I was 27; simply not witty. Old people say, “ah, 40, you are but a spring chicken,” but I know that’s not true, it’s just no hilarious comment at all. Will I lose my “funny,” Because right now I don’t know where it’s gone? Grumpy old whinger, that is the life I look forward too now……

Do I have to buy some hard wearing, chequered slippers? Is it law that I carry a purple cushion and a box of man-size hankies on the parcel shelf of my car? Is it mandatory that I spend my days staring out of the window, muttering about how anyone younger than me doesn’t know how easy they have it, that I fought through a recession, through the oppressive Thatcher era for them? Is it regulation now to walk really slowly down the path, taking up the entire width so more agile youths cannot pass? I’m not sure if I’m ready yet, I want to climb trees, I want to run and shout throwing my school books in the air, listen to gangham style until I’m shouted at to turn it down. I’m not getting past it am I?

I’m still hip with the kids, am I not? I still know all the names of the Girls Aloud, I understand what LOL means and I can quote Ant and Dec. No, not past it yet my friends, tomorrow will be just another day and if you find anything remotely funny about that you, my friend are too young, so bugger off, bloody kid and come back when you when you know you’ve been born!