It's my birthday today and it would appear that, against all the odds, I've reached the ripe old age of 45...


I'm guessing most folk reflect back on the last twelve months at new years. I get to do it a few days early, what with my birthday being on Christmas Eve an' all. 45... 45... no matter how many times I say it, it just doesn't seem... I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I never had a problem with turning 40 so why the issue with 45? Perhaps it's because the year started out with so much promise. I'd discovered Green Door and I'd begun to produce work that I was actually proud to put my name to. I even sold a few pieces early on. I was to be included in a book that was to be sent out to agency's around the country. There were communications with someone who wanted to sell by work through their new web site. My work was to be on permanent display as part of an ongoing show.

But mid year, everything started to go tit's up. My office announced that it was moving so my visits to the studio were looking in doubt (it's still ify on that front). There has been no news or further developments on either the book or the new web site. The Café Zen exhibit folded early because of problems with the owner. And, probably worst of all, I feel like all the drive that I'd had at the beginning of the year has deserted me.

Roll on 2010. Perhaps I'll get my mojo back then.


It's Christmas time once again and my favourite festive event is imminent. That's right, the Doctor Who Christmas special will air in two days...well, what else did you think I was talking about?

I've been a fan of the Dr. since I was old enough to be able to turn on the family black and white T.V. and to mark such an auspicious event as the ushering in of a new Dr. I thought I'd sketch a few of his previous incarnations.

Even though I was too young to remember William Hartnells portrayal (63-66), I did catch up with these episodes many, many years later. His Dr. was foreboding, mysterious and down right scary. A great place to start.

Patric Troughton (66-69) just made it into my child hood memory. It was his last episode which was actually my first Dr. experience. Which instantly confused me as, just as we had met, he changed into John Pertwee. Go figure. But from there I was hooked and spent every Saturday evening watching the Dr.'s amazing adventures. Troughton to Pertwee to Baker.

Then I 'grew up' and the Dr. and I parted company. It would not be until years later that Paul McGann took up the mantle in a mid-nineties T.V. movie. An event that was integral in Helen an I getting together. It actually wasn't bad. A little too Hollywood perhaps, but a good attempt at relaunching the franchise.

2005 rolled around and the Dr. was back for good in the form of Chris Eccleston. Not only was the Dr. back but so was I, back on the sofa, just waiting for the inevitable Dalek appearance.

Then came David Tennant, without 'who' the show might have become just another remake (I'm thinking about V, has anyone seen that?). But Dave's moving on and handing the keys to the Tardis to a would be time lord, Matt Smith.

As the Dr. knows only too well, time marches on. This could be where the series takes a serious nose dive but I've my fingers crossed that that wont happen.

Don't let me down, Matt.


So, we are now rushing headlong into the madness that is known as Christmas.

I've never been 'into' Christmas, despite having my birthday on Christmas Eve (that's right, another few hours and I might have been called Noel). My family are not what you'd call 'close knit' and we don't live in each others pockets. It's a case of knowing that each of us is just on the other end of a 'phone should we need each other. In day's gone by, on the odd occasion that you'd find us all occupying the same space at the same time, it'd be at our folk's house. Now that they are no longer around though, we only ever get together for a brief few hours one day before Christmas to exchange gifts. So that's what is going on at the moment. The logistics of this annual event is currently being orchestrated by one of my sisters. She 'phones back and forth, checking and cross checking available dates with us until we all fit into place on the right one. It's kind of like waiting for the stars to be in the correct alignment.

The other major event in my life, the office move, is casting an ominous shadow over any festive cheer that I might have. Most of my work colleges are really troubled by the thought of this move. Some are in denial, some are depressed, most are just miserable.

Because of this upheaval I'm still trying to sort out how my studio visits will fit into the working week. I could really do with a big Lottery win or finding a generous benefactor to fund my dreams. Neither are looking too imminent. Perhaps father Christmas will pay me a visit with a big, fat cheque.

So I'm doodling when I can but, to be honest, the wind has kind of gone out of my sails. This was the last thing I drew, a sketch of Sir Ian Mckellan which I posted on Skineart last week.