Monday, December 7, 2015

Two group exhibitions and recent experiences with Twitter

First up, as I write, I would like to share that I currently have work in two group exhibitions (that hasn't happened in a while), some smaller pieces in Gallery Revival of Moneygall's Affordable Art Exhibition, and two in the Eclectic Mix Art Exhibition in Quay Arts of Ballina/Killaloe, on the Tipperary side of the down. Rosaleen who runs that also wants me to do one of her weekened exhibitionst. Nice!

Second, Twitter the social media miniblogging platform has proven to be interesting. I've discovered this thing called #thepowerofthehours, and you have different times and days to specifically promote your wares in a specific county. Last night was #Tipperaryhour, only fitting as last night was the launch of the exhibition in Quay Arts (located in County Tipperary) but there are other nights and times for other counties and indeed they don't have an issue with you tweeting with the hashtag at any other time. Not only was it rather good fun, but I found out about other businesses AND got myself more followers. Plus being limited in how much you can actually type per tweet makes for careful wording - but of course at the time I thought it was a bit short.

Other than that, I am my usual grinch-like self for the next couple of weeks, refusing to acknowledge C .... C .... C .... the upcoming holiday (I'll spare my readers the usual rant on how the build-up is way too long, how crass commercialism has led to a horrible sense of entitlement among the brattier of the younger generation) until about the 20th of the month when I will learn WHO will be coming to my house for lunch on the 25th which will trigger some rush buying of provisions - or not. We might just stay in and eat crackers and cheese all day and watch slasher movies.

However, it's important to many out there for various reasons, so here you go: I wish you all good cheer that isn't just the warm fuzzy side effect of the sugar in the alcohol, but the real deal you get from helping others (including non-humans) less fortunate than yourself. I wish you all enough happiness and peace over the holiday that you don't feel the need to take up the cleaver and massacre the annoying relatives that you got stuck with because nobody else wanted them - but feel free to do so in the privacy of your own mind, just don't make it real. (One's imagination can be a fantastic release valve.) And finally, I wish you a happy and successful and rewarding 2016, full of creativity, sparkle, fun, challenges and all that other good stuff that Hallmark likes to stick on its cards.

Ah go on. You know what I mean.


An older landscape I did in the early noughties, from a lay-by just outside of Killarney. Still have it, if anyone is interested in it. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Road Trip: Glen of Aherlow




A couple of months ago we went on a mini road trip from Kilfinnane to Glenbrohane, and from there downhill towards Ballylanders and then slowly along the Glen between the Slievenamuck Mountains to the north and the Galtee Mountains to the south, towards Bansha. (I love the name 'Slievenamuck'. It's Irish for 'Mountain of Pigs'.) We took our time, managed to get spectacularly lost before we ended up near the Moore Abbey near Galbally (where I took the picture of the daisies) and chilled a bit, and got talking to a pair of local women who were just hanging out there beside the little River Aherlow. We moseyed along, looking for a particular hotel we'd stopped in many years ago, which has since closed and is up for sale - not too surprising, given the economic situation in recent years. It's a lovely location, what with all the woods around, very pretty.

We got to Bansha on the N24, drove the few miles to Tipperary Town and got a bite to eat before heading home. Feeling nice and chilled. It was a lovely afternoon.   

Friday, October 9, 2015

Since my last post ....

1. Myles Breen has won an award. Huge congratulations to Myles and Bottom Dog Theatre Company generally. Richly deserved.

2. I've had to update technology. I'm not saying anymore other than it, and the cost of it, is keeping me awake at nights.

3. I've been thinking about ways to offset those costs, and looking at all my small works on paper and going hmmmmm .....

4. I've sent out a few submissions for inclusion in group exhibitions in other parts of Ireland. Will be interesting to see how that works out.

5. I've rediscovered the benefits of exercise. Specifically walking uphill. Damn but it tightens the rear.

6. I've bought loads of Cadbury's Turkish Delight chocolate which I am going to send to my great friend and sister from another mister Linda in the Netherlands. (Must do that this afternoon.)

7. I'm watching the sky frantically, and the back lawn, hoping they will clear and dry respectively, so I can mow the back lawn.

8. I'm looking at shrubs and hedging and wondering how quickly I can cut back, tidy and where necessary, poison.

9. I'm now doing art with disabled people twice a month, which I enjoy. We are exploring chalk pastels.

10. Since my last post I've completed three paintings and a chalk pastel drawing started a few more, and am hoping to participate in the next group exhibition in Moneygall, I'm doing two little acrylics for consideration. Even if he doesn't want them, I'm pleased with them.

11. Dolf and I went on a road trip around the Béara Peninsula and it was LOVELY. I posted my favourite photos I took along the way on Flickr.com and they have been getting lots of stars.

12. I'm learning the art of less is more with regard to photo editing. And realise that I still haven't gone through my camera manual, yikes.

13. I've started a few blog posts but either not finished them, or decided to change them and expand them, or simply deleted them. But I do enjoy the Draft option.

14. I went through my various computer folders and found hundreds of photos I'd forgotten about, including some really cool shots taken in Portugal. I miss travelling.

Now for a picture:

Ballyheigue Strand at Lough Akeragh Outlet, 2015, acrylic on paper

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Language Unbecoming A Lady to go to New York

Language Unbecoming A Lady is a play written and performed by Limerick actor and playwright Myles Breen, who is something of a gay icon in all senses of the expression, and directed by Liam O'Brien. There's just one character, a drag queen, and the entire play takes place in her dressing room, as she tells her story of growing up gay, finding herself within himself (or vice versa), her life and loves, and how she is inspired by the great divas. This is a tough but very moving story to watch, especially when you consider that homosexuality was not decriminalised in Ireland until the early 1990s. So, within the context of the history of homosexuality in Ireland, and its place in society, this play is important.

Myles has been active in drama for many years, and you'll see him in films set in Limerick, including Angela's Ashes, possibly not the best vehicle to sum up the sense of enthusiasm and vitality that typifies 21st-century Limerick city, but it's the most famous one I can think of. Myles works with Bottom Dog Theatre Company, and also holds drama workshops in the city and county, and was recently awarded Limerick Person of the Year for his services to Drama and Theatre - recognition that many agree was long overdue. He's been in several Christmas pantomines as an ugly sister, a villain, and a long-suffering mother to the hero. He's also in the brilliant Choke Comedy performances with several other outstanding performers, which involve a lot of improvisation and audience participation and are the BEST antidote to workweek stress ever, you laugh so much you're high on endorphins for two days afterwards; and of course anyone who has been to Limerick Gay Pride festivities will have enjoyed Myles leading the now (in)famous Tea Dance, which is just great fun to participate in too.

Myles and the Bottom Dog Theatre Company have been invited to bring Language Unbecoming A Lady to New York, as part of the very prestigious Origin's Ist Irish Theatre Festival over there, but owing to cuts in the arts in Ireland in recent years, funds are low, hence the need to crowd-fund. In Limerick city, there is a gala fund-raising event taking place tonight in Dolans of Limerick, the details of which are available here, and the online crowd-funding campaign can be accessed here, through Indigogo. Every little bit helps.

In its own right, the play is the story of an individual at odds with the society in which he has grown up, but he still finds his place - or her place. It's funny, it's sad, it's hopeless in places, yet overall very hopeful for a more inclusive future in a more open and tolerant society. It's human. It speaks to those who inhabit the fringes, yet is confrontational. At the risk of throwing in a cliché that's been done to death: it's a story about someone coming of age. And perhaps more significantly, in the light of developments in Ireland in 2015, it reflects the story of a country coming of age, shaking off the yoke of social oppression disguised as spiritual dogma, and moving forward.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

July 2015, exhibitions and looking up plurals

It never rains but it pours. In a fit of madness I submitted 3 little paintings for a group show in the eastern half of Ireland, then suddenly I'm offered a solo exhibition in the midlands, Gallery Revival in Moneygall, to be exact. The crowd who sold my painting in March. And because the gallerist Joseph-Philippe Bevillard is a real jack-of-all-trades, I'm bringing some with frames that need a little remedial TLC, I know he'll do a good job of touching them up and making them look pretty again. In addition to analogue photography, Joseph restores antique furniture. If the three little paintings for the group show aren't accepted, I'll add them to the solo project in Moneygall.

As I write, I'm taking a break from the day job, today it's translating interviews with prostitutes who live and work in the city of Amsterdam, or, as my friend and translation agency project manager Caby calls them, the 'sex texts'. I have had to look up the plural of the word 'dildo', and for anyone who's interested, there are two options: 'dildos' and 'dildoes'. I'm going with 'dildoes', because it kind of makes sense, it's consistent with the spelling rule that applies to other nouns that end with an 'o', like 'potatoes' and 'tomatoes'. I think I'll cook rice for dinner tonight.

I've also been looking at old photos again, and have come across a couple of nice ones of me as a child on my mother's old horse. Kind of scary looking at them now, as the horse was in her paddock and I had climbed onto her back from the fence - the joys of being a farm kid - and she had no bridle or rope or anything on her for me to control her. Thankfully she was very gentle. Of course, I am fully aware of the nostalgia possibilities of this, so the old cynic in me is saying 'make a painting or three of this'. So I probably will. Most of us make a concerted effort to think back fondly on our childhoods, I am largely successful in this, and I suppose the nostalgia element in a thing is a way of exploring that option.

UPDATE: Oh, and another thing I learned as part of working on the 'sex texts' as we now call them, is the difference between a 'budplug' and a 'buttplug'. It's quite eye-opening, this series of texts. I realise that I have lived a pretty sheltered life .... and it's astonishing what you can find on the Google.

Jean in Moneygall has told me that there is considerable interest in my paintings, but nobody is brave enough to buy any yet. I use the word 'brave' in a very loaded manner for two reasons: I am largely unknown among collectors, and a very private person who prefers to keep out of the limelight; and I think it's understandable that prospective buyers are still watching their pennies and being careful about what they buy, given the unsettled state of the world economy. But we will still make art :-).

That aside, aspiring curators should go see how Joseph has hung the exhibition, how he lights the space, and how he dresses the empty areas around the paintings. I love it. And I will exhibit there again.

The next exhibition planned for Gallery Revival in Moneygall is Nudes & Still Lifes, and details on how to submit are on their Facebook page.

And a couple of pieces in my exhibition that's on for the remainder of August 2015:

Sailing to Ischia I


Dún na Gréine: French and Italian




Caloptric Chamber: Hall of Mirrors

Monday, June 8, 2015

Finally, it's here! My invite on Facebook for my exhibition in Dooradoyle next week.

Here's the text from the Facebook invite:

I like watching people, speculating about their lives - very innocently, of course. I like sketching them, possibly catching a moment of great importance in their lives. I like the snapshot element that's possible in painting, and how suggestive it is of what might happen next, and how it is open to interpretation. Some of these paintings were taken from drawings and photographs made in other countries, but the people in them could be anyone - someone you know, perhaps. The world is a village, people make their own stories.

Official launch of the exhibition is 18 June between 6.00 and 8.00 pm, but the paintings will be available for viewing from 17 June until 27 June during Library opening hours. The launch speaker is ILoveLimerick.ie photographer Dolf Patijn. The launch is sponsored by The Treasury restaurant, Limerick city.

This exhibition is supported by Limerick Arts Office.

Now to go figure out how to get this sorted on Twitter.

I've also been invited to participate in a group exhibition in Moneygall, County Offaly again, which I'm pleased about. It's a good gallery, and the curator/owner is VERY particular about lights and framing and presentation in general. Now to figure out WHEN I can take the car and get the four little paintings to the gallery, which is an hour away from my house.

As for the book that I had hoped to have ready for the Dooradoyle exhibition: not yet. I have had so many ideas for it, I need to work through them, and pick some that will work together. It's taking on a life of its own, which is rather exciting.

In the meantime, some paintings.






Monday, April 13, 2015

John McNamara

I believe it was the late Maya Angelou who said "people will never forget how you made them feel."

I only knew John for a few years, but in that time he became a great friend. I came to appreciate his intelligence, his calm, his love of beauty and fashion, his ability to listen, his wisdom, and his great, great kindness. I also learned to appreciate his particular sense of humour - very dry most of the time, but occasionally very smutty, which initially was not something you'd expect from someone so genteel and cultured. In fact, the first time he revealed that particular aspect of his personality I was driving on the motorway around Limerick and momentarily lost control of the steering wheel, but however.

I'd walk around the city centre with John many times, and we'd go to lunch on Saturdays, and everyone seemed to know him. He seemed to know a lot about many people - but he was discreet. So it came as a huge surprise to me just this weekend, immediately after he left us, to learn that he was even more private than I had assumed. He was friendly to people in general, it was part of him, but he liked his own house, his own space, and his few close friends for whom he loved to cook. Not many others were allowed in.

I know that he loved his work as a bespoke designer. I like to think that it was part of his kindness - he had the ability to make women look and feel beautiful on their special days, and he loved being able to do that. After he wound down his business, he and I and a friend of ours went exploring through Brown Thomas here in Limerick, and we came across a designer I'd never heard of - "very few women can pull this designer's work off, but I think it would really suit you," he told me, and then talked into trying on a very odd garment that closed with a giant pin. I am a hard person to get to try on clothes anyway, but he was very firm ... and he was right. I DID look good in it. "There now," he said "You should buy that. It's 370 Euro now, but it will probably be only about 200 in the sale." This was in 2012, I didn't have the funds for it, but anyway. In the summer of 2014 my niece Emma from the Netherlands came to visit, we all went shopping, and he picked out a lovely jacket for her. Emma was thrilled to meet a fashion expert like John. She is shocked to learn he has passed.

I know he enjoyed his involvement in ILoveLimerick.com, for various reasons. It meant he kept in touch with what was happening in the city and the various people involved in those events, and he so enjoyed Richard's company as well, and I think was very helpful to ILoveLimerick in so many ways. John's calm and measured approach to things also helped Richard personally, and in turn Richard brought out John's fun, naughty side, and we could appreciate John's dry and smutty sense of humour I mentioned earlier.

Dolf and I loved to meet up with John and we'd go out for lunch of a Saturday, or I'd call John and we'd go grocery shopping, have coffee, and catch up. He didn't have that many very close friends, I realise now, but those he loved, he loved deeply. I know that he loved and missed his mother Nora very much, and that he was very attached to his brothers and sisters-in-law and their children and grandchildren.

But back to the how John made people feel. He was curious about people, remembered things about them, and liked to tell you if you were looking well. You came away from a brief exchange feeling a little happier, a little more attractive, a little special. That was John's gift. He was kind enough to share his infinite inner beauty with everyone he knew. He was in my life for just a few years, but I know I will miss him for a very long time.

Me and John McNamara, photo courtesy of ILoveLimerick.com, photographer Dolf Patijn

Friday, March 6, 2015

Have sold a painting!!!!

So in between turning cartwheels and doing a mad happy dance around the kitchen and over my furniture, I thought I'd let you all know:

Cliffs of Moher: Rummaging has sold.

That's this painting:


I believe the buyer is local. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Book of People

So I am slowly gathering quotes from various sources to put through the book of paintings I want to produce, the working title of which is currently The Book of People. They include memes that resonate, quotes from great writers and thinkers, and a few choice posts made by friends on Facebook. I've also been paying attention to other media, and as a result am curious about an Iranian poet whose words seem to resonate among Iranians at least as much as other writings, if not more; and about the writings of Dante Alghieri, who wrote The Divine Comedy.

Someone loaned me a book that was basically written around the premise that there are only seven stories in the world (Patrick, I want my book on philosophical experiments back, if you're reading this. Contact me please). Yeats wrote about how pissed off he was about political and social developments in Ireland, grieved about great friends he'd lost, and went on and on about Maude Gonne, the woman he loved. I could nearly exchange the names and the countries for any other combination, and you'd get the idea ... but I'd rather celebrate how much writers from different parts of the world have in common.

And not just writers. Frustrated artists are everywhere. Here, we have the freedom to express, but not the funds to bring our expression to full fruition. In some countries, it's illegal to depict a human being - especially one that's celebrated for being a prophet (Clashes of ideology are fine on paper and on a computer screen, but once they hit the streets or even become the reason for attacking or killing others - not good. Not good at all.) so as long as you depict what's officially approved of, you're fine. Some video games are horribly violent and misogynistic, but allowed - yet two adults making love and just adoring each other generally is considered nasty, vulgar, unclean, immoral. Compared to the video games, that's just so fucked up.

But I digress. Back to my point, which is: every artist has to struggle with something, so matter where he or she is from. The struggle is vital. It forces you to go examine things, including your own motivation to create. I prefer to celebrate what humans have in common, not nitpick about the differences. So there are only seven stories in a world of how many billions of people? Guys, there are SEVEN STORIES .... stories we all know. It's a GOOD thing.

Hello, do I have a theme here for the book? I wonder. Quite possibly.

There are also seven ages of man, according to Shakespeare. Hm.

And there are news items. And my oh my, but don't we live in interesting times right now. Hm.

And images like these will be included also:




All drawings from the Palermo Sea front, a great place to sketch people on summer evenings.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Landscape shots

One of the reasons why doing landscapes is getting so complicated is because I am drawn to the wonderful lines in the foliage of the wild hedgerows here. They're just mad. They don't follow any particular logic, they are merely plants growing towards light in whatever space they can find. They are tangled, fecund, thorny, and home to birds, insects and various rodents, investigated by cats, rabbits, foxes, dogs, ferrets and pine martens. Now they are slightly bare, but growing buds. In a few weeks there will be leaves, and later will follow blossoms, and eventually fruit. Every single year. Each hedgerow is its own ecosystem.

The fun part is getting those snarly, twisty, wonderful lines on a canvas. But that's for another blog.


One of the things I so enjoy about going out at different times of the day is the light. I have a few dozen of this particular place, in all kinds of light, but this is one of my favourites.


This farm track goes back for about half a mile, and it's very muddy and messy in wet weather, but look at how the light reflects in the puddles ... I'm facing east as I take this photo, and plan on getting some dawn shots, but am not the best at getting out of bed in the morning. Will have to time it well, after rain.


These trees are a couple of kilometres away from my house, and quite high above the little road. Every time I pass them, I want to photograph them .... so I suppose I'll just have to walk past them once a month and get the as they change with the seasons. Twelve shots. Hm. That's a calendar. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some things worth sharing

The first: I'll be having a solo show in Limerick in June 2015, at the Library in Dooradoyle. Details to follow closer to the time, but I am also compiling a book of my paintings, and some quotes. Have seen some marvellous things on Facebook that I'm going to use, and of course will credit whoever posted them up where I can.

The second: I was invited to submit two artworks for a group exhibition in Gallery Revival, Moneygall, County Offaly. Nice! The gallery specified non-Hallmark works, so I wrote about how my people paintings are a bit unsettling when you look past the surface, and he picked two from the attachments. Am very pleased, it was a spur of the moment e-mail asking if he had room for more. I dropped up the paintings and met Joseph-Philippe who runs it, he likes to hold themed exhibitions, which suits me fine because I have different genres of work I'd like to exhibit - my people paintings, landscapes, nudes - and I'd love to try some still life and abstract works, and deadlines are marvellous for helping one focus.

And I'm off out taking photos most days. Am admiring the landscape where I live, the man-made elements of it, and the way the light changes so much. Can see why the Impressionists would get all hot and bothered over it. Landscape was SO unfashionable when I was in art college, but it's not something we should ignore as a subject, because the way the landscape is changing, and the way the human relationship with landscape is changing, you can take different things from it. Plus I've been seeing a lot of Donald Teskey's work on my Twitter feed lately, and his landscapes are simply wonderful. And also, I suppose I was influenced by John Shinnors' landscape work, his Estuary series. I've been thinking about that too. A bit. But mostly about the Impressionists.

So this morning I got some canvases and put gesso on them. I have only a vague idea of what I'm going to paint. It will probably involve acrylic paints. I did five of them. I have this idea that I'll do five of them and see what's what.

The two for Moneygall: This one and this one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Call To Read: Give in to the Book

The best storytellers in the world are the most appreciative of other stories. And in nine cases out of ten, those storytellers are also great readers.

Before we had writing, we had stories - and they were shared by memory, but don't you know, memory isn't always the most reliable. So when there came a way to 'draw words' and writing developed, it was a great way to record stories, and of course variations on stories. And nowadays people tell their own stories.

I'll just interrupt this here before the self-professed non-readers among you start yawning: YOU share your own stories through writing, and we read them. Oh yes. You use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, MySpace? You're writing you own story for the world to see. And you read the stories of your friends and those you'd like to be friends with. You do it every day on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC or fruit-decorated equivalent, you write your story and read other people's stories CONSTANTLY. You're addicted to writing, reading and sharing these stories. So don't tell me you don't read, I'm not buying that for a second.

You don't read BOOKS. Books are for school, for nerds. Or they are manuals to help you do things like use that expensive device you bought - sometimes. And newspapers? Please. Why bother with newspapers when you have the Internet?

In a way, it's a valid point. I first learned about the Malaysian jet shot down by the Russians - no, I won't change that, a spade is a spade, bitches - on Facebook. I learned about the death of the great Robin Williams on Twitter (Oh Captain My Captain), and have been following various newsworthy items in Ireland through links shared on the social networking sites. Here's the thing though: Those links are posted by newspapers. It may be online, but the premise is the same: (good) reporting and writing is cross-generational, (good) storytelling is not limited to any particular age group. Accuracy is another thing entirely, but isn't really relevant to my Call To Read. But I do feel that with some stories, accuracy is important. It's just as important to news editors as it is posting your own story online - but that's another story.

If you use social networking sites, you think you're reading for informative purposes, to keep up with your mates, keep an eye on the gossip ... but you're still reading stories. You read every day. And given the extent to the mental activity and the imagination you exercise when you read what your friends are up to without you, you are only fooling yourself when you say 'I'm not really into reading.'

You're better off saying 'I'm not really into books.' This would be more accurate, especially as books are long, and are someone else's story. Books, however, DO END. The stories you read, write and share with your friends of your own lives do not end so neatly - it could be argued they go on and on, and indeed the particular stories you share with one individual will only end when one of you dies. Not a pleasant thought. Sorry, but there it is. And unless you have their password, all the photos and everything they posted online will be gone also.

Every single book written is somebody's story. There's a whole discipline behind it, there's hours of writing followed by hours of editing followed by more hours of writing and more editing until the writer has something he/she can show an agent, and even then, there's no guarantee it will very be published, packaged and sold in a shop. If you post a lot online, and don't edit, you soon learn the hard way that not editing is not a good idea.

I got into reading because my parents liked reading. My father used to read to us, and he brought the books to life in a beautiful way. Everyone's favourite was Winnie-the-Pooh, and he managed to create voices and individual inflection for the characters, and even made up the little songs that Pooh loved to sing. Later, it was Roald Dahl and his books, and we loved Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator so much that we'd go around calling each other 'Vermicious Knids', much to the consternation of our classmates in the Presentation Convent school we attended, not to mention the poor nuns who were supervising us in the playgrounds, who didn't know what we were saying and didn't know if it was rude or not. And there were the Little House books, which were really interesting and kind of cool because of the television series as well. (The books were always better!)

And I would read a LOT. Why? Because I was exposed to good writers who could and did create wonderful visuals with words, and that stimulates the imagination, which triggers all kinds of other good brain activity. Nevertheless, the downside of this was the fact that I would always have a book under my desk and if the lesson at school was boring, I'd read instead. I got caught several times. And the teachers weren't happy, because that was an indication their classes were not as interesting as they might have liked. Some of those teachers might have benefited from more reading. And then instead of doing the homework, I'd end up reading ... sigh. But still, it was good. Some subjects work through reading, like history. My old school might not believe me, but I actually liked history. Still do. Mainly because good writers present it so much better than any of my teachers ever did, with a couple of exceptions.

I like reading so much that I read for a living. Most of it is not really the kind of material I'd actually choose to read, but no matter - I'm the geek who sees a misused apostrophe, spots and hisses at a hyphen that doesn't belong, and queries the use of the word 'unique'. (Seriously. That word has TOTALLY lost its meaning. Nobody seems to know what it actually means anymore.) I like reading so much that I read in other languages, and rewrite what was written in those languages in English - for a living. And it pays for the art.

Aside from the enjoyment and stimulation I gain from reading, it is also interesting to see how the meaning of words changes. The word 'gay', for example, has undergone a few changes in meaning: it started out to mean 'happy' or 'jolly' or 'cheerful', and now mostly means 'homosexual', for both men and women, and has started to mean 'stupid' as well - a usage I personally don't encourage, as such usage stems from homophobia. 'Awful', which originally meant 'evokes a sense of awe', now means the opposite of  'wonderful'. 'Terrific' used to mean 'evokes a sense of terror', but it no longer means this at all. A phone is no longer a device that's plugged into a physical network and you only talk through it, it has changed almost beyond recognition. Language changes to reflect the world of its users, and you see this in books also, probably more so than you would on a website, as websites are frequently updated. And this is even before you get into regional variations of the meanings of words in other countries: In Ireland and the UK, a fag is NOT a homosexual, a telephone line can be engaged, and most people have mobiles instead of cells - although, to be even more accurate, that world is divided into iPhones and Androids, never the twain shall meet. (In the 1990s, an Android was something that walked on two legs and lived in a star ship, but however.)

I have huge respect for JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series. Huge. She got a whole generation back into reading BOOKS - like I said, they were already readers, just didn't really know it.

Reading is fantastic - in all senses of that word. So yeah, if you think you're not a reader, and you're reading this, please just stop deluding yourself and surrender to it. Give In To The Book. You WILL be glad you did.

Pen drawing, more of a doodle really ....