Ladybirds at the Towner

Went to Eastbourne on the train with Karen Donnelly to see 'Another time, another place' -- Ladybird artwork on show at the Towner, featuring Martin Aitchison and John Berry. This is the same exhibition that started at Simon Finch Art in Portobello Road (in the Grauniad on 28 February), not the 'Art of Ladybird books' that was on at the Cheltenham Art Gallery in 2002 and was going to tour around. Wonder where it is now? It was great to see these little gouache pictures close up -- mostly from Key Words reading scheme books and the People at work series. They are photographic, but still reveal the hand of the artists, in painterly dabs and marks. Great details that they probably wouldn't get away with now, like Donald Duck and Birds Custard. Nice to see how the pictures were reworked by the same artist from the staid 60s to the more right-on 70s. Prices were around the £1200 to £2000 mark. My favourites were Berry's engineering ones with stark white and grey almost abstract interiors. Also checked out the Ravilious section and, thanks to a tip from the curator (who liked my hat), we had an excellent lunch in Sussex's oldest pub The Lamb, opposite -- carrot and coriander soup with tons of granary bread followed by spotted dick and custard (just like Peter and Jane might have had) washed down with Harvey's light mild. Get a bus to Safeways from stand K if it's raining!


My first book as illustrator for monday 2 friday books has just arrived -- The Good Pirate. Hope it sells well!


Can Blue men sing the Whites?: had a trawl through my old diaries yesterday and can positively say I saw the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, supported by Dave (David?) Anthony's Moods on Saturday 1 October 1966 in the great hall of Battersea College of Advanced Technology/University of Surrey (designate), Battersea Park Road.


Woo! Yay! my modest blog has been linked to by the blog of Simon Thornton: A Mutual Misunderstanding -- one of the first people in Brighton to be on the internet and a great mac tech help to me when I was starting out! A handful of us Pavilion/Mistral pioneers used to meet in the Greys (we had to sit outside cos Tom Hadfield, inventor of Soccernet was only 12 and Tom Shepherd was only 16!) -- I was the oldest there -- but I don't think Simon ever turned up!
'Can you spare five minutes for charity?' -- the chugger debate rattles on -- why don't they ever stop me and ask me for dosh? Maybe I don't look rich enough....
Peter and Jane go the art gallery -- the Ladybird travelling exhibition finally hits Eastbourne. Hope to go on Thursday.


I've been setting down my recollections of the British Blues boom of the mid-1960s. Post-punk next!


Kevin Ayers is appearing at Brighton's Komedia end of May. In Edinburgh last year I had a fit of nostalgia and bought one of his early CDs Shooting at the moon at Fopp, followed by another one back in Brighton (lots of extra tracks!). What a line-up: David bedford, Lol Coxhill and a very young Mike Oldfield! The babies on the cover of Whatevershebringswesing was coloured in by Adrian Boot -- I was round his house when he was doing it!


Natasha Kaplinsky features in one of the songs on my nephew-in-law Richard's band Anal Beard (which apparently isn't rude but a reference to obsessive record collectors). I'm going to write to her for an autograph!
Searched high and low for an Endofstory book yesterday, even went on a wild goose chase to the Marina cos a lady in the One-stop bus ticket shop at the bottom of St James's Street said there was a Waterstones near Cliff Richard's Walk of fame plaque. There is no Cliff plaque and no Waterstones at the Marina! Eventually got one thanks to a BBC Southern Counties compo, which I just picked up! Was on the wireless yesterday at the crack of dawn talking about cycle lanes...


Another wildcard for the festival and a chance to see inside Embassy Court: Stories High.
My wildcard for the festival: Save Fische!, an exhibition in ex-German minesweeper on Shoreham riverbank


A good resource for finding that quiet real-beer pub down the back streets of central London: fancyapint? - the guide to London pubs
Some photos I took on my APS Canon Ixus of The Rutles at 100 Club, 30 March 2004. We missed the encore to run for the 12.05 train back to Brighton. According to fellow blogger Nick, I missed: Let's be natural, Get up and go, and Back in '64 with Barry Wom doing his paper-tearing routine! Support was Wreckless Eric and I bought his autobiography from the man himself, signed and all. Bit of a long day -- up for a meeting/lunch in the Channel 4 canteen, then on to a combo ticket at Tate Britain for Pre-Raphaelite vision (disappointing mainly landscape paintings, lots of toffs with magnifying glasses) and In-a-gadda-da-vida with Damian Hirst et al. Liked the big fish tank with (plastic?) meat; the rest a bit puerile, esp. Sarah Lucas's Smam 'n' ciggy stuff. With a pint or two on the way, finally at a pub with amazing stained glass windows and ample portions of chips called The Champion.


The first full-frontal portrait of an Egyptian pharaoh has been discovered -- also an early use of the grid!