a note

Here's where to look if you want to know what I'm up to. You'll find photographs, sketches, anecdotes, ideas and updates, including - hopefully - book publishing news. I can't promise to post regularly while I'm travelling - and I can't promise to be witty or clever, but I will promise to be honest. No fake news here.

Covering the ugly wall with lots of sketches... Now to add colour...

My wall of sketches is growing nicely.... but now it's time to add some colour. Wish me luck (nervous I'll pick the wrong colours and ruin the drawings completely).

Anyhoo, got to get to it. Maybe you'll get another update next weekend, if it all goes well.

I am still working behind the scenes! I'm taking time out from flat renovating and exploring the Scottish countryside this weekend to work on updating my illustration portfolio.

Here's a quick behind the scenes snap of my current, messy, set-up. Note the wallpaper. (Yes I do plan to update it.)

I am still working full time, which means less creative time! BUT I have managed to write 2 new picture book manuscripts. My plan is to do some mock-up illustrations for them and then send them out into the big wide world of publishing and hope somebody likes them enough to take them on. Fingers-crossed! And now I better get back to it...

After an amazing, busy, cold four months of backpacking I’ve finally arrived in Glasgow! Okay, I arrived exactly two weeks and one day ago but have been busy running around organising accommodation (whoopee no more living out of a backpack!), finding work (an ongoing, time-consuming process), and editing novel#1 in preparation for sending it out into the world (scary and exciting at the same time).

In between dodgy internet and sightseeing my website has been sadly neglected. I shall try to remedy this when I get a spare few moments, but will make no promises as creating comes first - and I have a backlog of drawings and stories I’d like to work on now that I actually have a desk and space to work in!

So where did I go after Greece and disappearing off the face of the internet? First up was Albania, which was both unexpected and delightful. I saw my first ruined castle in Shkodër (I was so excited about castles… then. I have seen a LOT since that time). The food was delicious – but I ate it – not took photos of it. A fast food called ‘Arabian pitas’ were delicious. In fact the food has been tasty (especially the Vietnamese in Prague) everywhere…until London. Giving London and England the benefit of the doubt, maybe I just didn’t pick the tasty restaurants to eat at.

The ruins of Rozafa Castle, Shkodër.

Now to continue on our (Gordon and myself) journey through Albania: the train from Durres to Shkoder was like stepping into a time warp. It had very old high carriages with steep stairs you had to pull yourself up into. Many of the windows were cracked and graffiti covered the outside. The connecting door between the carriages kept swinging open as we turned corners and let in a freezing wind. Every time we approached a station (generally dilapidated buildings beside the tracks) or a level-crossing (no signals and automatic boom gates) the train would continually blast its horn. And, as we chugged (“sped” would be too generous for our pace) across the countryside, the sun set, night descended and we finished our journey in total darkness. Whether the lights in the train weren’t working or they just weren’t switched on we never discovered….

Albania from the train.

From Albania we crossed to Bar, Montenegro, which I'll get to soon... (before another 3 months have passed I'm sure).

*Update: I have scored a full time job! Happy news for my bank account! But it does mean that I’ll be fitting drawing, writing, blogging and exploring Glasgow around that. If only I could do several things at once…*