Mollusc Frenzy

It’s been raining and the molluscs are on the move, charging up the garden path, swarming up stalks and flinging themselves acrobatically from leaf to leaf as they circle in on Sketching Weakly’s prize Campanula Pendula. Which is now a sad-looking stalk.

Mollusc FrenzyThe flies have been busy too.

fliesSnails seem to really love tree climbing.

climbing snails

Pie Cycling in Somerset

Sketching Weakly couldn’t help but admire this pie cycling shirt while at large near Exmoor.IMG_3120Here is Tony in a shady gazebo scanning for bird life.

IMG_3113Here’s a bit of the Shady Gazebo. But technically speaking it is probably a Bower.IMG_3121A small gathering in the Shady Bower.

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Sweltering on the Paddington train…

…in the carriage where the air-conditioning was broken and the designer hadn’t thought to include any blinds. Trying to draw the reflection of the man in front, he became a hallucinatingly large apparition.

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So had a go at some (largely imaginary) trees seen from the window. The train helpfully stopped quite often due to signalling problems near Hayes and Harlington.

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In Praise of Plastic Bags

Sacs PlastiquesA really long time ago (well, you can see from the item above it was 1997), I spotted this entrancing poster in St Savin in France and desperately desired some copies of it. Look at all the shapes and sizes of bags gathered here.  I simply had to have it. We tracked down the exposition but alas it was Mardi and fermi. But the kind owner invited us in for coffee and showed us the sacs plastiques and gave us lots of posters. (There was a wondrous cave of plastic bags of every possible configuation but I loved the poster the most.)

So I salute this long-ago exhibition of the wonders of the throwaway plastic bag. It seems to me that the aim of packaging is to stop you in your tracks from throwing it away and instead make you place it in your Cabinet of Curiosities, preserved for posterity.

Here are some more pieces of packaging that were too exciting to be thrown away:

amarettiThis amaretti packet was the inspiration for the cover of The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. baking powderA never-ending recursion of tins decorate this baking powder.boy pateI don’t know what lies within this tin – it could be a sort of pâté of little boy. FlanThis FLAN is promising dinner party quality elegance with a hint of flamenco..

ploppThe very jolly PLOPP bar packet, and its friend, the DING DONG.ding dongFollowed by the reassuring tin for Sure Shield Laxatives.sure shield

This PUDING sounds delicious, especially in čokoládový flavour.

pudingThese always seem too beautiful to ever throw away.treacleAnd this is the piece of packaging that started off the story of Hermelin.Cheese Box

So now there is a Plastic Bag Tax, which is mildly inconvenient and some might say futile (in terms of the scale of waste plastic altogether) – but it does show the surprising effectiveness of a smallish tax-based nudge to change behaviour. ….hmmm – what to change next…?

 

PS: Thanks to Whit & Caroline for Plopp, Ding Dong & Boy Pâté.

Wrestling the Octopus

OctosketchsmHere we go again. Every time you think you’ve got all the tentacles covered, another one springs up brandishing something surprising.

Perhaps the tactic is all wrong. Perhaps the Octopus isn’t wrestling after all. Perhaps this is just ordinary Octopus behaviour, an octopus offering. Time to shake hands with the octopus. Repeatedly.

OctoboxsmPS: If you want an octopus to wrestle with too, here are a couple of favourites…

OctoScarrypoulpe colossal 02