A Date With My Etch-a-Sketch

It lay forlornly faced down, amid an assortment of drawing tools.  I picked up my Etch-a-Sketch, devoid of life; staring blankly back at me.

“Hello old friend, it’s been a while.”

I remembered the good times we’d had; time I happily spent ‘in the zone’ whiling away the hours.  Having neglected my Etch-a-Sketch for too long, I decided to take it on a date to the museum.

lion statue at bristol museumWe rocked up at the Bristol museum, a little flustered from the rain.  As I warmed myself with a cuppa at the cafe, I carefully pulled out ‘Etchy’.  It’s grey face a blank canvas, white knobs glistening in the light – we were ready.  The bottom of the grand staircases are decorated with (to my mind) slightly worried-looking lions.   Sat in direct view of worried-lion, I began my continuous single line, weaving its way around the screen.  My fingers attempted a careful co-ordination of ‘up’ and ‘across’ to get those elusive curves.  Some attempts were less successful than others, granted… But at times slip ups were useful for creating impromptu ‘shading’.  As my line completed its final stroke across Etchy’s screen, I couldn’t help but be pleased at my efforts after such a long separation.etch a sketch drawing of lion statue


I wandered upstairs to the taxidermy section where wild beasts of all kinds stood their morbid watch.  I settled down for some Etch-a-sketch time with a pig but that didn’t end so well.  Frustrated, I shook my wiggly pig picture and started afresh with the creature next to it – a Himalayan Tahr.  I took my time, starting with the nose, working my way up and around its horns.  My favourite bit was the shaggy fur, as its more difficult to screw it up when you’re trying to be messy.

etch a sketch version of himalayan tahrEventually my Himalayan Tahr materialised onto the screen.  And just in case I forgot what it was, I wrote the name in the top right corner.  Unfortunately, in order to connect the letters you have to use a cursive writing, despite plain ol’ capital letters being the easiest  to create with the Etch-a-Sketch’s straight lines.

I was definitely getting in the swing of Etch-a-Sketching but sadly that was all I had time for.  We make a good team, Etchy and I, so I think we’ll be having another date.

Ahoj from Prague!

Wow, after successfully making it to Prague, and my hostel within; my biggest challenge directly facing me is this keyboard.  For example, it took me about 2 minutes to figure out how to make the semicolon after within.  And that within would have quotation marks if only I could figure that out too…

So anyway, back to the start – this morning was tense, I wont lie and after stalling at the cafe before even the departure lounge, it became clear that I really shouldn§t stall any longer.  With big hugs from the family I wandered off.  I did the obligatory mooch through all the shops and made my way to the gate, then the plane.  The door slammed shut and that was it.  No turning back.

Fortunately I occupied myself with my etch-a-sketch so the flight was rather fun.

The airport was pleasantly labelled in English.  I snickered at the misspelling of umbrela.  Righto.  I need directions on how to not spend my month stuck in Prague airport.  Printed instructions sent me to the bus.  I had to go back, buy a ridiculously priced bottled water and buy a ticket with the change.  I got off at the end of the route and found the tram (via 5 minutes accidentally meandering around the metro platform).  Excellent detective work told me I was on the wrong side and I managed to make my way onto the correct tram.  At this point I`m convinced that if I make it to the hostel it`ll be a bloody miracle.

Seems miracles are in order because here I am.  Once I`d been given my massive set of keys and a list of instructions that required a crystal maze team to remember it I got into the room, yoinked a bed and thought.  Now what?

I decide to go for a stroll, head up hill and wham!  Beautiful view across the city.  Naturally, I got drawing.  And drawing.  And drawing. And felt better for it. Now I`ve had a good ol` night time wander I know a couple places I want to revisit with my camera and full pencil case (like the astronomical clock).  Although I don`t know how much drawing of buildings I can do with the impending thunderstorm that is due tomorrow…

Little things I`ve noticed – I saw some free dog poo bags with a picture of a really sad dog looking very ashamed.   Poor sad ashamed dog.  A club called `disco duck`. Souvineer shops stay open really late (my meanderings were about 11pm) and try and entice you in with club music.  I was almost enticed with the one playing gypsy music but thought I might get harassed into buying something.  Everywhere is beautiful.  I`ve only just noticed that there are birds in the computer room.  That`s a cute touch.  Everywhere is cobbled, high heels are not welcome.  There are puppet shops with suspended characters mid dance.  I got a  lot of weird looks from people as I tried to draw an obscure view of Tyn Church.  I`m dead chuffed that `hello` in Czech is pronounced `ahoy`.

So next challenge of the moment is to try and quietly pick my way though a pitch black room of sleeping people and try and get to bed.  Wish me luck.

view over Prague from the castle

silhouette of statue near Prague castle

prague castle at night

prague castle and section of tyn church in prague

Architecture from Bristol

I’ve had these on my computer for a little while, and I thought it’d be nice to share.  These following images are a collection from visits into Bristol, some buildings, some statues, some little out-take sections but to me, all of them beautiful.  Especially the pigeon on the Burke statue…

Bristol Cathedral, near college green

Saint Mary Redcliffe church

cold, dark and a little bit creepy, Saint John's Crypt was definitely full of atmosphere.

Statue of Burke and some other details from other buildings.

Statue of William III, in the centre of Queen's Square

A building just outside of Bristol Temple Meads train station.