April Fool

What better time for returning to my long-lost blog than April Fool’s Day? I stopped blogging in early 2015 and didn’t come back for a long time. When I did start taking an interest earlier this year, I couldn’t get access to the mechanical gubbins that lets you write a post or get beneath the hood. I thought about starting a new blog, but it seemed such a waste to throw away all the work I’ve put into this one.

Then a remarkably quick response from the WordPress help forum solved the problem – I was logging in with the wrong username. Hence the relationship of this post to its title.

You will be pleased to know that I’ve removed the advertising from this blog, because I’m not prepared to inflict on you, dear readers, something I loathe. It will take a while to relearn everything and make some necessary changes. Looking back at an old blog is sort of comforting in a way, like reading an old diary, but there are things you wince at.

That’s all for now. I want to get my April Fool post in on time.

william mcgonagall as performance poet

 

We are hypocrites if we allow Muhammed to be satirised but not the Holocaust

If I’m reluctant to say ‘Je suis Charlie’, it’s precisely because of the double standards.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Oh the ignorance – and hypocrisy – is painful.

On the very same day satirists in France are killed in cold blood for exercising their right to free speech – including the right to use images which are offensive to many – self-righteous people over here, without any apparent irony, are spluttering in outrage at the use of images in satire which they themselves find offensive.

Because in the hypocritical UK, we seem to only support satire when it’s offending other people, but not when we ourselves are offended:

Miliband reprimands councillor over doctored Auschwitz Tory poster tweet

Truly supporting satire means supporting it even when we ourselves – or others we care about – find it offensive.

Not least because the best satire tends to be offensive.

Way back in 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote his brilliant satirical essay “A Modest Proposal” in which he proposed solving a famine in Ireland by persuading the poor…

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It’s been a long, long, lonely winter

And here comes the Sun…

It is probably not a good thing to internalise my avatar to the extent that I hibernate during the winter. Forgotten how the blog works and there has been much disgruntlement and growling. Oh, and some quite intemperate shouting. On the plus side, it’s my birthday, though at this point in my life perhaps it’s better not to be reminded.

I took this picture today, on the first walk in months that didn’t have a utilitarian purpose, just to get started. An earnest of good intentions.

Girls and whale sharks!

Chicquero

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In an effort to raise awareness about conservation and the environment, marine life photographer Shawn Heinrichs collaborated with fashion photographer Kristian Schmidt on this completely awe-inspiring underwater project. The images feature enchanting combinations where human models swim in sync with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish.

Involved in the project were Italian model Roberta Mancino, underwater model Hannah Fraser, stylist Fazli Krasniqi, and physiologist and artist Taro Smith. As the models and animals worked flawlessly together, the two photographers captured rare moments of natural visual harmony. A strong passion for the preservation and protection of our world is evident in this project, and, through their hard work and creative minds, Heinrichs and Schmidt have brought to us a collection of innovative moments that serve as a constant reminder of the fragility of nature.

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“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” Edwin Louis Cole

YOU…

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The 2014 calendar is for sale!

I bought last year’s calendar for myself and for Christmas presents. A beautiful, subversive, and unique calendar by a proper artist.

Art by Nancy Farmer

Actually it has been for sale for some time, but it has just occurred to me that I have not actually put it on the blog, sorry!

“A Medusa for All Seasons”

12 prints inspired by the passing of the months

Price: £12 each or £9.50 each if you buy more than one calendar at a time
I have also discounted postage (see below) so that shipping is free on a single calendar within the UK. Postage is charged in all other cases, but the booklet format of this calendar means it is exactly the same size as last year’s when hung on the wall, but costs half of what last year’s cost to post!

If you have any questions do please email me.

The images in 2014’s calendar are reproductions of a series of 12 intaglio prints inspired by the passing of the months, and all featuring Medusa…

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Tory Ornithology – interesting facts about the Common Loon

Politics imitating nature…

Pride's Purge

(satire – or is it?)

As loons – especially swivel-eyed ones – are in the news at the moment, I thought I’d give you some interesting facts – completely true I promise you – about the habitat and breeding habits of the bird known as the Common Loon.

  • Loons are extremely territorial and will aggressively defend their territory sometimes to the death.
  • Common Loons often make wailing or moaning noises but can yodel when defending their territory.
  • Most Loons have grey heads and white bellies.
  • Loons are slow to take off but once they get going their considerable stamina means they can fly for considerable distances.
  • Loons prefer to build their nests on small islands surrounded by water where they are completely cut off from other inhabitants.
  • The word ‘Loon’ comes from the Old Norse word lōmr, which means ‘to moan’.

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Looks like Cameron’s mate was more spot-on than…

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