What fires up our imaginations to write and draw stories for this dog blog? Everything and anything, really. Read on…
This week I am starting my Four Paws rating for some of the books I have read in recent memory – on all possible subjects. All books can be purchased from Amazon.com or any good book shop.
🐾🐾🐾🐾= as good as it gets on the subject. Drop everything, , sniff out, scramble to catch up and ‘read’!
🐾🐾🐾= well-written, entertaining or informative. Worth putting on your reading list.
🐾🐾= Average read, will pass the time but does not exceed expectations – even modest ones. Ultimately forgettable.
🐾 = Seriously! There are many far better books out there on this subject. Don’t bother unless it’s a given as a present.
Robert MacFarlane – ‘Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the subterranean. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future’ (Amazon.com description). In my personal opinion, having an unhealthy interest in geology and anything that exists beneath our feet is, Underland reads like a Jules Verne adventure story. An expedition into the true heart of darkness that has always existed beneath the ground we stand on – and into places very few of us will ever venture.
- Publisher: Hamish Hamilton; 01 edition (2 May 2019)
- ISBN-10: 0241143802
- ISBN-13: 978-024114380
Kerry Brown – ‘China expert Kerry Brown [having lived and worked 30 years in the country] guides us through the world according to Xi: his plans to make China the most powerful country on earth and to eradicate poverty for its citizens. In this captivating book we discover Xi’s beliefs, how he thinks about communism, and how far he is willing to go to defend it.’ (Amazon.com description).
In my personal opinion, having lived and worked in China also, is that this little book of 128 pages is a great starter for anyone with an interest in awakened Dragon of the East. However, it misses one important aspect that I discovered from day one in the country, Chinese people have a great sense of humour, are extremely friendly, and willing to listen to another point of view – if they don’t agree with it.
- Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 Mar. 2018)
- ISBN-10: 1788313283
- ISBN-13: 978-1788313285
Neal Asher – one of the finest ‘hard’ science fiction writers of recent years. The Transformation trilogy is a great place to start if you like SciFi that pushes the boundaries of your imagination, and a bare-knuckled bone-crunching read of alien intelligences completely different from anything else you might discover in the same genre – I know this to be true, coz I read a lot science fiction. Erh, too much actually for my own good. Try book one Dark Intelligence and you won’t regret it.
- Publisher: Pan; Main Market edition (24 Sept. 2015)
- ISBN-10: 0330524550
- ISBN-13: 978-0330524551
My musical taste shoot off in two extreme directions: electronic ambient and melodic metalcore. This week back to the ambient scene and a quick peak at one of the founders of the genre: the American electronic musician Steve Roach
I once had the opportunity to work with Steve 20 odd years ago for a sound installation exhibition. It was the first time I had listened to ‘digital’ electronic sound-design which incorporates a bio-mechanical smoothness to the unearthly sounds; as opposed to analogue electronic music (think Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk) which tends to be a bit metronomic and repetitive.
There is no better place to start than his own webpage which offers mp3 listening bites for most of his back catalogue. But be warned, the catalogue is extensive. My suggestion would be to access the site and listen to: The Passing (2016), a long-form composition that is best enjoyed with good headphones, a comfortable chair, and, erh, a fine single malt whiskey.
Charities I belong to or follow
For those of you interested in restoring the balance to nature due to over-farming, deforestation and an OD of pesticides, please check out this great site for learning how to return wildlife to natural habitats and connecting people with the true wonders of our natural world. There is even a newsletter you can subscribe to for keeping in touch with all that’s going on in the attempt to return part of the United Kingdom to healthy pre-industrial levels of growth and animal habitation.
Peach Pit (band)
I have known this band for a few years but I am just now realizing their other songs and I have been listening to them for the past few days. Quite easy to listen to but energetic enough to keep you awake. Perfect for drawing, studying, disinfecting your house from any sort of virus, chilling with your mutts, you name it..
One of the artists who VERY much influenced my own drawing style, especially her line work, black and white abstract portraits and expressions. You will notice many influences from this artist on my own sketches, some of which are available here:
Cheers for Chupey!
Chupey (short for Chupacabra) is a rescue muttwit, mix of mostly Pittbull and Rottweiller, with a little bit of Staffordshire Terrier. Chupey has an extra chromosome which gives him this special look but it doesn’t stop him from smiling bright and looking gorgeous!
Find Chupey here: https://www.instagram.com/cheers.for.chupey/?hl=en
Justice for Amba
Although this is not a review or recommendation, I wanted to bring some awareness to what was done to Amba. This is a drawing I made in her memory.
Rest well mother Amba