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plane tree, and a toga party

I love plane trees, and how the little balls on them look like musical notes. I wonder if anyone has ever taken photos of plane tree branches and superimposed the balls on a musical staff to discover what kind of music the notes would make. If you cast the tree's shadow on a wall with lines on it, the music would change throughout the day. Sounds like something you might see in an art gallery, as the music probably wouldn't come out very tunefully.

If I was a composer, I'd want to write a Plane Tree Toccata for Xylophone. And maybe bring in an oboe, as the human passerby. It makes me smile, how there's a shrivelled ball on the end of one branch here, like a little grace note.

Have a look over on our Fleece Station blog, there's a new Derek the Sheep out today!

Last night I went to a toga party! At the London Coliseum! How cool is that. Here we are, in our expertly wrapped, if slightly unconvincing togas:

The good news for the comics community is that we've been joined by two more women, hurrah! Illustrator Emma Dodd and writer Kelly Gerrard have collaborated on their first-ever comic, with Templar, set in ancient Rome, and they're working on another one set in ancient Egypt. I've been somewhat aware of Emma, because she's also illustrated a picture book with Giles Andreae, and keeping an eye on Templar, who have started to come out with new comics, which is always exciting. Kelly and Emma decided to write a comic while waiting together to collect their children at the school gates. I was plugging Laydeez Do Comics and Comica Social Club to them, and hope they'll come along.

Louise Weir from LoveReading.co.uk, Emma Dodd, Kelly Gerrard

Here's writer Damian Kelleher modelling with the newly launched book, A Roman Rescue:

And a little peek inside the book. I like how Emma's kept some of of her picture book look, with its chunky line work, although I wish she'd been able to do more hand lettering. (I love the bits that are hand lettered.) A really good book for a first comic, I can't wait to see where the two of them will go with new work. It's hugely encouraging to see publishers coming out with more comics for children!

We even got to hear a Roman rap from a poet brought specially from Peterborough. (Whose name escapes me because I left his card in my other jacket pocket, but I will fix this tonight.) Here you can see him orating:

Just as a quirky side note, three of us Americans at the party discovered we had all met our English husbands on our 'junior year abroad' (that's the third year of American university). Kelly's from San Diego, but her journalist friend Ellie and I grew up in the same little suburb of Seattle! Such a small world.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
Plane tree seed balls also break up and make excellent itching powder :)
Jan. 21st, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Ha ha, I shall remember that when I next need itching powder. ;)
Jan. 21st, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
I didn't know "toga parties" were a thing...

(my first reaction was "but women aren't supposed to wear togas, except if they are..." but I must have read to many comics with Romans)

("also you don't wear a soldier's helmet with a toga, the toga is a civilian -" shut up, inner voice)
Jan. 21st, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
I know, the publicist was very conscious that women wear stolas, and I think the helmets were just for display, but they looked better worn. :)
Jan. 21st, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
How very decadent...
Jan. 21st, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
They certainly never had toga parties at the Coli in my day...although there were a few wild 'company' thrashes, years ago.
Those plane tree seeds were called 'itchyballs' in my hood, but I didn't know you coud actually treat itching with them. Is that for real?
Jan. 21st, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
You can treat itching with them? I think itching powder just make you itchy! Dock leaves are better for that, I think.
Jan. 24th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Hello, I used to work at the Coli too (just box office, nothing creative). I wasn't there for long, but do remember a great party with several people dressed in costumes from Macbeth and using the corgi skateboards. Being flirted at by a drunken witch clutching a corgi was quite something.

Yes itching powder is for making people itch.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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