Mickey or a Ringie?
In the Isle of Man there is something of a superstition whereby Manx people can’t say the name of one of those little furry things that were blamed for the Black Death, pestilence in general and a whole host of other nefarious things. The reasons for this have dissipated into the mists of time but the superstition remains and due to this quirk in Manx folklore there are a number of socially acceptable local alternatives which include joey, longtail, ringie, iron fella and roddan. Recently young people have also begun saying r-a-t, owing to the influence of English immigrants but older people on the Isle of Man don’t tend to listen to those Jonny come-overs too much and certainly not on such serious subjects as these little buggers. There is a comparable taboo against uttering the word ‘rabbit’ on the Isle of Portland. Here ends the lesson.
My most awkward dance at work
If you’ve ever been to an office Xmas party and reflected the next day that perhaps your drunken and impromptu Justin Timberlake impression with Nicole from accounts was probably somewhat awkward and inappropriate then spare a thought for poor Chantelle here.
She had made a last minute decision to do some exotic dancing for the bikers on the Isle of Man during TT week to earn a bit of cash for her upcoming family holiday for her dad’s 50th. On her third night, in the midst of some pretty athletic pole gyrations, in walks her dad with a group of his friends who’d secretly arranged a boys trip to the TT for him for his upcoming birthday. After she’d spotted him to say she felt a little awkward would be something of an understatement but being a professional she could do nothing but continue until the song finally finished.
She’d managed to avoid making eye contact with her father and his group but as she departed the stage after picking up her meagre elements of clothing from where she’d cast them she could hear someone shouting for more. Fat chance of that she thought as she pondered the more pressing question of how to tell her dad what her job had really been for the past couple of years.
This kid has had 13 ASBO’s slapped on him this month – and it’s only the fifth of June! He just doesn’t care and it seems he’s collecting ASBO’s like they are going out of fashion. So far he’s had them for the following (amongst others as yet unspecified):
- littering and dumping rubbish outside his local dry cleaners (apparently related to his misuse of the fabric softener)
- A constant misuse of fireworks (including using them late at night)
- Shouting and noisy behaviour in places where this might be annoying or upsetting (e.g. outside someone’s house). This I have a personal experience of.
- Using rude, abusive or insulting language to pretty much anyone especially the old or infirm.
- Threatening behaviour or bullying – including on the internet, mobile phones or other electronic media (whatever you do don’t let him borrow your phone or laptop).
- Uncontrolled and dangerous animals – he has 3 feral rabid rabbits that he takes with him everywhere
- Joyriding or using vehicles in an anti social manner (for example blocking access, noisy radios, wheel spinning); abandoning a vehicle – he especially likes pulling donuts at traffic lights.
- Excessively drinking alcohol, alcohol related trouble or buying and selling drugs in the street – yes to all above.
- Begging – he has such a sweet face (not).
As you can see he’s already got a tattoo of this achievement definitely making him the ASBO king and probably not an ideal next door neighbour.
Pssst! Wanna hear a story?
Peter here used to work for the council maintaining the parks and green spaces. He was good at his job and stuck at it for 22 years until the council streamlined their financing and outsourced park maintenance to a private company. After a lengthy period of unemployment Peter now grows what is undoubtedly the finest cannabis in the Rhondda Valley. Hooray for Peter!
Our portrait of Potfingered Pete makes him look a little sinister but then for the last few years he’s lived by the motto ‘old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance’ and who’s to say he’s wrong. On A4 and made using the magic of watercolour, acrylic and pencil. Drop us a line if interested…
The Danse Macabre
You’re at the ball, you look absolutely stunning, you’re dancing with the most charming partner ever and then suddenly he whispers in to your ear ‘We come from dust; we return to dust.’ and you suddenly realise this is your last dance. The sudden realisation brings images layered upon reality, your partners hands start to deform, his face suddenly showing the sallow bags of decay under his eyes. You’re freaking out, realising the end is so very close but all of a sudden a calmness enters your body and you decide to take death out on the floor for one last dance. The reason for this calmness was a film from the late 80’s that pops in to your head – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The line “You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the reaper.” calms your soul leaving you to enjoy the last dance of you life.
You might be thinking that this piece is about an old man who doesn’t want to be called a goat by today’s young and trendy kidults – but you’d be dead wrong. It is, in fact, about the reincarnation of an old goat as an old man. Not quite the magical fairytale ending the goat may have hoped for but reincarnation works in mysterious ways and it’s a pretty special turn of events all the same so I thought I’d commemorate this special event in a picture. Made using charcoal and pencil on A4 paper.
Nothing to shake a stick at
‘Nothing to shake a stick at’ seems to be a phrase that confuses people in general and this woman in particular. A quick internet search reveals that the phrases origins are shrouded in mystery. Could it be from farmers counting cattle or maybe counting fallen foes in battle? Who knows? This picture has nothing to do with it anyway.
In our studio we have a stout old stick used to defend ourselves against the spiders that thrive there. One day I came in, fearful of the spiders as usual, and found that the other half of id-iom had done a thorough clean the day before so there was literally nothing to shake a stick at. I celebrated with this picture. They’re back now of course and twice as big. I think they’ve been feeding on the neighbourhood cats judging by the size of them…