Some girl I’ve never seen

Ukrainian, as it happens, not that it matters.

My student: “Can you draw me a picture? Make it really nice?”
Me: Sure. What?
“I dunno. This girl.” *shows a picture of her class, points out a classmate*
…uh ok. Got any pens?
“This felt-tip. And glittery pens!”
I’ll see what I can do. *scribbles rapidly*
“Also there’s a table and she’s playing ping-pong!”
…a bit late for that. I’ll finish this one and draw a second picture with ping-pong table, OK?
Well let me finish this one, it’ll only take a minute. What I can I put in her hand…
“AAAAAH why did you put an axe in her hand why is there blood”
Well because I’m going to draw another one.
“NO no more pictures. How am I going to give this to her now?”
What…? Look let me draw that one you wanted with ping-pong –


So I scribbled a little note on the picture and told her to tell her friend that her English teacher was slightly crazy, and surely her friend would be ok with it. I suppose I’ll find out how that went in the new year.



The demands on my time have not abated. Old and unscanned art again this week (from a sketchbook I thought I’d lost, but which I simply hadn’t unpacked after moving flat).

The town of Liptovský Mikuláš used to be called Liptovský Svätý Mikuláš, or Liptov Saint Nicholas (the Slovaks sometimes name towns after saints, or days of the week). The Communists, however, disliked religious names, so excised the “Svätý” (Saint) from many names, including this one, and also the town of Svätý Martin (St. Martin), which is now known simply as “Martin”.

Anyway, the church in the Liptovský Mikuláš town centre:


The chapel near Marianka, north of Bratislava:


The kettle in the kitchen of the flat wherein the Significant Other used to live:


Younger Self

I have a long to-do list at the moment so this week I’m posting art from long, long ago, from an art project at school, theme: self-portraits.




Any apparent symbolism in the last one is totally unintentional. I thought a straight self-portrait was a bit dull and I needed something to make it a bit livelier; and, vaguely thinking of some Magritte picture I cannot find now, decided to make my face transparent and stick something more interesting (a volcano) in the background.

I am now 2.5 times as old as I was then; I have improved in skill, though like the man with 5 talents, not as much as I could have.

Educational Materials

An image I have sketched for numerous classes for a pronunciation exercise:


The woman above is (to judge by the act she is performing on a cow) a doctor to livestock. The veil indicates recent bereavement. For reasons beyond the scope of this discussion, she is riding on the back of a cetacean, and thus is a long way from dry.

Thus we have a vet in a veil getting wet on a whale.

If you’re a native English speaker, this is not a difficult phrase. For Eastern Europeans, on the other hand…