last updated April 26, 2010

The Macheté and the Chancellor

It was 2 o'clock on Dumbarton Road and the promise of summer we had seen on Saturday morning was now hiding between a huge veil of drizzle. It was certainly a hangover Sunday. I got on the bus, marvelling at the £1.75 cost and went upstairs where a guy at the back starts shouting me. "houw, big man, how's it going?" He's fidgeting a bit and bangs on the window at one point. Everyone else has white buds in their ears. He comes down and sits behind me for a chat - I'm really fighting the fear and any company isn't that welcome - the guy starts showing me his hand, the thumb was hanging off last week when he went to the Royal to get his machete injury sewn back up.

Continue reading "The Macheté and the Chancellor"
Posted by stupot at 10:22 AM Monday 26 Apr

A Murder

I'm standing in the middle of Kirkwall and it's deadly quiet - save for the twenty or so crows building their nests above me: a murder if you will. I was never sure about that collective noun but you just have to be around them to understand. It sounds like Punch is murdering Judy. There's a seriousness to them when it's quiet: you're on your own, lunch time in a small town, you might have taken the wrong road. Hitchcock didn't make that scene on the climbing frame just for it's visual appeal. They make you shiver and a bit paranoid. Perhaps it's because I'm near the harbour, but the term 'crows nest' seems well founded - when I look up at the birds they are looking down on everyone else, but I'm glad to see it's just a couple helping each other fix twigs to their nest. You can't choose what accent you're born with I suppose.

the strynd, kirkwall

Posted by stupot at 02:07 PM Tuesday 20 Apr

Morocco in South America

My drawings are featured this month, with some others from the Urban Sketching gang, in TAM airlines inflight magazine called RED. The spreads are really nice - it features work from last years Morocco trip.
Post script: Bizarrely, I just got up from the computer and the hard copy arrived from Argentina - unfortunately it's the wrong issue!

Posted by stupot at 08:50 AM Tuesday 20 Apr

coincidences generally aren't

I found out from my dad recently that the spitfire which hangs in the Kelvingrove Museum sits in the opposite gallery from sculptures which must (surely) have been based on the work of Messerschmidt." Now that's the best unknown fact, and potential dog-fight, of the year so far for me. However, I did break it to some people in the pub a few weeks ago that there would definitely be a May 6th election. Everyone apparently already knew. Such is working on your own.


Posted by stupot at 05:43 PM Monday 19 Apr


Orkney was great fun - I cycled over to Deerness when Laura went to meetings and savoured the early spring weather after having had a day in Kirkwall on Monday. On Wednesday we went to the harbour village of Stromness (Kirkwall is a city thanks to its cathedral) with the house gables pointing to sea, suggesting just how severe the weather can be in Winter. The pier arts centre is a wonderful place with a great collection of Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson work. The rest of the village seems oblivious to the little modern building (hidden within old buildings), instead getting on with mending nets and going to school and delivering letters. Perhaps Stromness is more endearing because of it's proximity to the sea and the backdrop of the great hills and cliffs of Hoy.

orkney: stromness front

Posted by stupot at 01:35 PM Sunday 18 Apr

Merry dancers

merry dancers

Posted by stupot at 01:33 PM Sunday 18 Apr

How warm do you like it?

I have very nice conversations by email with a client in Japan - this morning he taught me the term 'hanabie' which describes the coldness which comes even after blossom. Scotland was similar this weekend - a sharp wind drifting over still snowy hills whilst daffodils replace crocus in bloom. The blue skies made for good cycling and Easter day was peachy with little wind and much sun. Hanagumori is also a phrase which describes this same time of year but cloudy, no doubt a commonly used term by Japanese tourists on the Royal Mile and Buchanan Street this week.


Posted by stupot at 04:26 PM Thursday 8 Apr

the source of the smell

The west side of Edinburgh always has a thick, hoppy smell about it and the source is only a mile from my house - Caledonian Brewery. When I was a kid we used to drive to my Gran's and the smell would lie thick in my nostrils as we hit the city limits. I now know it for producing my favourite tipple, Deuchars IPA. I thought of David Macaulay as I drew this.

Cally Brewery

Posted by stupot at 09:56 PM Wednesday 7 Apr