Ugly Duckling

Holly was at one of her things. Kids seem to have very busy lives, groups for this and that, parties here and there and consequently lots of hour-long waits which are never long enough to do something or even go home and have a cuppa, it’s parent taxi limbo world. A netherworld filled with disgruntled mothers and fathers, many of whom can’t park their cars properly or smile at their children let alone other people.
We decided to go for a wander rather than endlessly orbit the dashboard clock and ended up on the canal towpath where it was getting dim but the more golden of trees still managed to glow a little. On the way back a family of swans sailed towards us which was as much a photie moment as you could want in the circumstances. I crouched down, pointed and waited as they silently drifted towards me.
Then as a unit, a military unit, a militant military unit ready for a coup attempt, they all turned on me, hissing and beating the water with their webbed claws. Yes, claws.
I reversed while still crouched as Joycee went Ooooohhhhh Peteseeee and then skipped away slipping the camera back into my pocket.
I dunno if was my purple baseball boots or what, but it was definitely uncalled for. I’ll be ready for them next time, a swan can break your arm you know.


Drew Struzan is a genius. Look above and below and you may or may not recognise the images from Alice Cooper’s (who I’ll be seeing shortly if the bloody ticket actually arrives…)Welcome to my Nightmare and Black Sabbath’s front and back images from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Struzan did these as a staff artist at Pacific Eye and Ear (google them along with Hipgnosis for unending joy) back in the early 70’s and created icons that endure, you can still buy t-shirts with Alice and the evil man’s death bed scene below (the good man’s death bed scene just isn’t metal enough for a t-shirt).
Struzan also did all the Indiana Jones movie posters as well as a bunch of other stuff including Star Wars, a lovely style he’s got.

Album covers used to be something you could look at for the 39 minutes the album lasted, lose yourself in the story, hoover up the detail and draw a version of it on your school jotters. It made the album more that it ever would have been otherwise. Cramming a CD to the brim with songs because it’s expected just isn’t the same, sometimes less is more.

I’m glad these images still attract and fascinate new eyes and old, art is more important than people realise. As soon as folk had time to rest inbetween chasing mammoths, they drew them on the cave walls. Art is in our DNA, and as much as I think a lot of what is lauded today in the art establishment is actually meritless pish, it still took creativety to realise it, regardless of whether the motivation was to make something to delight or dismay or just to see what they could get away with while trying to keep a straight face.

Times are hard, money is hard to catch even with a big net, but let’s not lose what lifts us out of mere existence: the capacity to create and enjoy the abstract, the esoteric and the irrelevant.