Friday, 5 December 2008

Snow

I’m tired. Really, desperately, longingly, menacingly tired. I’ve managed to copy out one drawing from my notebook. I fell asleep twice while doing it. My mind can’t hold thoughts together for long, so I’ll copy some of my jotted thoughts out too.

***

There’s no snow in Manchester. Just rain and mild temperatures. The spirit of Christmas has yet to make itself known to me. I sit in an office devoid of novelty lights or tinsel. The wall chart in front of my desk tells me all about the disappearing rainforest. I find it hard to sympathise. Does the rainforest have a chart about my disappearing hopes and opportunities? It should.

***

The city is full of building and rebuilding. In these days of remote control, why do cranes need operators who climb up to the very top to control them? I look up in the dark morning sky. They have even sold advertising space on the cranes. From this distance, it seems to be for a sanitary towel. Interesting choice.

***

Beautiful new office blocks, full of beautiful people. Bright people. Good jobs. Why can't I be one of them? I walk pass the CityCafe. I see beautiful people eating breakfast. My boots are leaking.

***

Informed that for this year's office Christmas meal, we will be going Brazilian. I've told them that I'm not shaving down there for anybody. And I don't care if it is Christmas.

***

Lunchtime. More rain. I tire of onion. Waterstones has some beautiful new editions of the hardback Everyman classics. Tempted. Badly tempted. But I resist. I need to solve the problem of my damp feet.

***

Tried to make small talk in Clarks as I waited with the sales assistant for my new boots to arrive. I make a good quip. She says nothing. No response. I feel a fool for trying. She’s a strange shade of orange, like some new line of leather they’re trying out.

***

My new boots pinch. I bought brown boots. It’s a rebellious act in the sense that I refuse to buy black boots ‘for the office’. If they don’t match my trousers, so be it. I like boots and I like brown boots.

***

Why do new boots require waterproofing? Why do they want to sell me the spray in the store? I already have two cans of the bloody stuff. Why can't they just waterproof them as part of the manufacturing process?

***

Overheard on a train home: one woman speaks to her two friends about a wedding she attended. The subject turns to the photographs of the wedding reception.

‘They were black and white. Very nice. I love black and white but they had this picture of them drinking from a champagne glass. They were both in black and white but the glass was coloured in. Pink. Real classy.’

I smiled a wry smile. I thought it a classy smile.

***

I continue to doodle. I have more ideas for jokes than I have time to draw or write.

***

On Piccadilly Station, a man dressed as an elf hands me a plastic bag with some free eBay wrapping paper inside. It reminds me that no matter how bad my job, I don’t need to dress like an elf.

***

I fail to understand the eight hour working day that doesn’t include lunch. Too many people work through without a lunch break. I’m tempted but eight hours in front of a monitor isn’t healthy. With an hour's break, it means I’m up at six, on the train for seven, in the office at eight, home at six. Feels like twelve hours. Not eight. I don’t understand.

***

It’s just above freezing when I’m travelling home. I see five girls waiting for a train. They’re dressed in ballet tutus and little else. I admire their dedication to the cause. I just wonder what the cause might be. I wonder what will happen should they meet the elf. Love at first sight, I should imagine. That or more free wrapping paper.

***

I’ve filled my old leaking boots with superglue. They need to last until I break in my new pair. The more I play with superglue, the more I’m fascinated by the stuff. I read the other day of somebody spreading superglue on a public toilet seat. Some man was stuck to the seat for over an hour. Terrible practical joke. You really can’t beat the one involving cling film.

***

Is there any point going to sleep early? It’s a trade-off between making the most of my own time and feeling exhausted in the morning. I go. Reluctant. So very reluctant.

10 comments:

Brian said...

I truly sympathise with you Dick. 5 years ago I was an animator til the industry dried up and now I'm working in a call centre. I've had unbelievable lows when I didn't want to do anything, then slowly I started to feel good about myself -mainly from my drawing, which slowly started to improve after a huge slump. Your latest cartoon is great. Easily as good as some of the stuff that gets into print. Please keep it up.
Oh and you always have Molesworth to get you through those dark moments.

Dick Madeley said...
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Dick Madeley said...

So sorry, Brian. I can now speak freely (and spell your name right!).

It's utterly depressing to see how many people have talents yet are stuck in bad jobs. Are your cartoons online anywhere so I might look at them?

I often give serious thought to giving up blogging. I should spend my time trying to earn something from what I do. Only, the feedback I get from the blogs helps me continue working. I must have written close to a million words, done hundreds of pictures and cartoons, and earned about £15 in three years. Brighter mem would have given up a long time ago. Iw will have a go sending my best cartoons off (any suggestions for a newbie?) but, like my novel, I often think that it's nothing to do with how good a piece is. It's finding somebody willing to believe it in. I've sent my best work to Private Eye a few times and I've received polite no thank yous. In the end I canceled my subscription. It was an insult to see what they did choose to publish.

PS. Started Molesworth this morning. Such fun. The images and text work so well together. I don't know how I've missed this book all these years.

Brian said...

I don't have any cartoons online Dick, though I'm going to be setting up some sort of portfolio site soon. I get a bit of graphics work every now and then, but I'd much rather be working in animation again. I happen to think you are extremely talented, both as a writer as an artist. Those rejections you've received are no reflection on your ability, believe me. Look at John Kennedy Toole -He commited suicide after A Confederacy of Dunces was repeatedly turned down. One of the finest comic novels ever written.
Times are hard, especially for the arts. Mediocrity seems to be the name of the game. I refuse to give up though, and so should you.

elberry said...

It's seeing the crap they'll publish that makes rejection sting. i wouldn't mind if the editors etc. rejected my work because they had lots of really good stuff in their in-tray: it's seeing that 95% of it is dross, that makes you realise the game's not worth it.

Tessa said...

What you need to do Dick, is join in the celebration that is Illustration Friday. Theraputic in so very many ways, y'know?

percy stilton said...

Have faith Dick... I hope you gain some strength from connecting to this link..
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7018138206968267827&ei=wt7XSIOrIKiIqQO6zKHCAg&q=Publishing+Open+Content

Ms Baroque said...

Dick, anyone who can write that paragraph about the black & white wedding photos isn't washed up just yet.

Keep going, it ain't over till it's over.

xx

percy stilton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Welsh Girl said...

Love today's cartoon. It's fantastic. You may not get paid cash for the work you do on your blog but consider yourself paid by the sound of me laughing like a loon at the moments of genius you choose to share with us!