Ok, so it’s not a mystery but it was that or ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which was not appropriate for this story.
Why haven’t I blogged for a while? Well, my dodgy back occasionally affects my balance and a few weeks ago it caused me to miss my footing at the top of our (steep old Victorian) stairs. I tried to correct myself with my dodgy leg, which promptly gave way under me and… crash, bang ‘weasel. I was stone cold sober at the time, honest. Maybe that’s where I went wrong?
It was one of those accidents that went in slow motion. My first thought was ‘where’s the dog?’ but she’d scarpered as soon as she heard my first swear. Then I thought Very Bad Things about the horribly underfunded state of the NHS and those responsible for underfunding it, because I’m still waiting for two rescheduled hospital appointments at the spine clinic and the foot/leg clinic. Then I thought of certain sympathetic (…*ahem*…) friends and decided that if this was how I was going to go I wanted to be laid to rest in the exact upside-down-and-backwards pose in which I’d landed, because they would find that hilarious. Then I just thought ‘Ouch’. Thankfully, I avoided serious injury; my legs took the worst of it and I already had a pair of crutches in the house, but it’s slowed me down and bits of me are still various shades of bruised.
In more cheerful news, I’ve been having great fun with the 100 Day Project. I’ve added my drawings so far to a gallery page here and there’s now a ‘comments’ section on all my galleries for anyone who fancies a chat. I’m using the hashtags #The 100DayProject and #ImaginaryMenagerie if you’d like to follow along on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I’m ‘@poochweasel’ everywhere.
Also, my short stair-related break means I have FINALLY got around to building a new website shop so you can now buy prints, mugs, or t shirts of anything you like! Adding all the products is quite painstaking so it’s still a work in progress but I’m so pleased it’s up and running. I really want to get it right first time, because my old website was a headache to maintain and I was forever tweaking and mending things. Technology has moved on a lot since then but my 56 year old brain has not. I’m having to learn new technical skills, which is not really my brain’s thing. A typical afternoon at Poochweasel Towers goes something like this:
Me: Right then, brain, we need to create some new product templates.
My brain: Ok.
Me: Then we need to… *something about pricing, mock ups and uploads*…
Me: Are you still listening?
Brain: What? Oh yeah… of course. Templates.
Me: Yes. Templates.
Brain: Have you ever noticed that when wombats yawn, they look like they’re doing karaoke?
Me: Stop it.
20 minutes later:
And in case you were in any doubt, here’s a little story I should probably call ‘Reasons I Am An Idiot Episode 437’.
I have a good friend called Ritu, who is amazing DJ and broadcaster. You should take a minute to check out her website and follow all her socials. We met in the late 1980s, when I was working for Our Price Records and struggling to find the time to be creative, and she was DJ-ing evenings and weekends around her ‘day job’. We bonded over (among many other things) music and art and she was pretty much the only person I knew who was supportive of my ambition to be a full time artist one day. She gave me a beautiful Rotring pen set for my birthday. Artists just did an intake of breath… those things are not cheap. Shortly after that I changed job and moved house. Awful grown up stuff happened and I downed my art tools for many years until I met Luce, who encouraged me to pick them up again and start arting full time.
Fast forward to 2019 when I set myself the challenge of getting back into ink drawing. I quickly graduated from biros, my old standby, to fineliners. As I remembered how to draw(!) I also remembered the struggle to find the perfect pen. I bought better pens, with finer nibs that didn’t blot. Then more pens, because I was getting through them so quickly. I fretted about the environmental impact of disposables and researched pens that would last longer, might be refillable, might have impossibly delicate nibs that wouldn’t break. I talked for hours to other people who obsessed about pens and were constantly disappointed.
Fast forward again to last month when, after three years of pen-related frustration, my brain (see above) finally stopped thinking about wombats and 1980s song lyrics for five minutes and went “hang on”… Sure enough, about 20cm away from my battered little knees, carefully placed in a drawer of the desk I sit at Every. Single. Day. was the Rotring drawing set, in prisine condition after 30 years. I just needed new ink, which cost me £5.99 with free delivery. Take a bow, ‘Weasel, you absolute lemon.
On the plus side, it was a lovely surprise, I’m now using this glorious thing every day and I’ve probably just given Ritu a laugh.
There’s almost certainly a lesson to be learned from all of the above. Don’t ask me what it is though, if my life wasn’t a constant parade of nonsense and bobbins I’d have nothing to write about.
Bonus Music Video
I will always love Siouxsie. Can you tell it was 1979? The clues are there… Kids, ask your mum.