Monday, March 12, 2018


Sitting in the National Portrait Gallery cafe on 2nd October 2007 I noticed Ken Dodd having tea at another table. Having just seen the portrait of him by David Cobley I decided to go over and ask Ken what he thought of it. He was with his partner Ann Jones. Both were very friendly and we had a conversation as if we were old acquaintances.

Apart from occasional flights of brilliant and surreal invention, his brand of comedy was never really my thing. But I will always remember open, unpretentious and gracious Ken Dodd with affection from that serendipitous meeting and the autograph he gave me has been pinned above my desk ever since.

Monday, March 05, 2018


Teeth. Do you want to talk about teeth? I'll go ahead anyway. A bit of torture at the dentist this morning motivates me.

I was born with wonky teeth. They showed up when baby teeth usually show up. Why didn't my parents notice? Why didn't they take me to an orthodontist immediately? Because it was Paris and they were busy having a good time, I suppose but I could be wrong. Anyway I grew up with wonky teeth, too crowded, whatever. Later in America I was the odd one out in school because all the kids were giants with perfect teeth. 99% of Americans have perfect teeth, it must be all that milk. I was (am) short, hated milk, had buck teeth and spoke with a French accent. As time went by I adapted and my smile was good enough, sexy enough to get by in this tooth-eat-tooth world. 

However, there's always a big however if you're born with wonkies, and as much more time went by the wonkiness played up. I'll skip the details but below is a page from my book Augustine's True Confession (1979) just to illustrate this post. If you want to read the book (it's good and not about teeth) I'll send you a copy, signed, for £10 plus postage. Yes that was a commercial break, an honest one.

As I was saying, lots of time went by and now it's today and I've just been tortured at the dentist because another loose tooth had to go. So today I have only 12 teeth of my own, 4 at the top and 8 at the bottom. Yesterday I had 13.

I know I shouldn't be talking about this because it's a secret. We who are afflicted D starts with dent.....Got it? We who have those fakes have to pretend they're real. But they ain't, right? Fake news ain't real news and never shall be. That's all for today.

Please note well: the page below (from the book) was written in 1979. I do not have pain in my mouth today. The injection before today's extraction was painful but it's gone now and I'm fine.

Thursday, March 01, 2018


Snow is definitely photogenic. Here's my contribution to the snowstorm of snow pics. No snowflakes were harmed in the process. I was snugly hidden at home behind a window.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


This morning, in the waiting room of a local hospital before my dermatology appointment ( a minor skin thing needing occasional review) I watched the people sitting there in total silence, mostly old, mostly grim-faced, and I had an urge to get up and say:

We're all going to die sooner or later so.....let's face the music and dance!

Then I would dance and sing with each one of them. That was the movie in my head. The urge was irresistible but I resisted it.

Another opportunity to change the world missed.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Tonight, 7- 8:30 pm at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, see this the right way round and hear the poems read by their poet, George Szirtes.

I'll be there too.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


The corner of my living room which inspired the setting of the new boxwork and the paintings actually hanging on the wall, mini-versions of which feature in the scene.

 The painting over the mantelpiece is Sonata for Apples and Chairs (2007) - I made a video showing its evolution, here it is.

 In case you're interested, a few other videos I've made are here on Vimeo.

And some are on Youtube.

Of the other two paintings below, one is a self-portrait painted in Sao Paulo, Brazil aged 21.

The other one is Apples Reflected (2011).

Now all I need is a play or an animated film imagining what the angel/paper doll is saying, what the artist is thinking, and what the apple theme is about. Don't ask me, I haven't a clue.


Angel Disguised As Paper Doll Explaining The Artist's Work is probably nearly arguably almost finished. Size: 51 x 41 x 9 cms (20 x 16.5 x 3.5 inches)

I can't seem to get a decent photo of it in any light. The colours are wrong, you can't see that the figure on the right is the same as the painting hanging behind her, you can't read the title written on the frame and so on.

My camera is an old ordinary Canon Power Shot and I think it's exhausted. Will try again when I can say that this boxwork is definitely finished. It's been over a year since I started it....oops,I've just checked ... I actually began building the box in September 2016! Here's the blog post about it.

How it began, 16 September 2016