For details about my work have a look at my website,

I am currently working on large prints combining water based woodblock techniques with oil based linocut: nothing if not a challenge! I'm also doing some teaching and go back to school myself in the spring to qualify as an adult education tutor

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Hard Day's Night

Last week at the factory I did a few 5am starts. People were impressed to varying degrees about this: my teenage son refused to believe that it was possible to get up at 4am with the intention of working, though obviously it's fine for him to come home at 4am with the intention of sleeping. My London friends were all horrified and obviously have visions of Wells as some sort of throwback to the early industrial revolution - all soot and brimstone with small children forced to shovel coal into furnace mouths through the night. To the guys at Wells it's no big deal: 3am is the early start. The only person who seemed in any doubt there was Lucy the printer who confessed to me in low voice that she didn't think it was entirely 'normal' to get up and still have the moon in the sky. Having done the five until five shift I have to say that I prefer the moon to be at one end of the day or the other, both is a bit much.

I'm not bad at getting up, but the switch from a 6am start to a 4am one did call for an alarm. Fortunately I had the inspired idea of setting my phone to a ring tone so banal and offensive that I was awake in a psychotic rage before I knew it, neatly combining early rising with a full cardio workout. Also fortunately in the quiet factory I was able to work my way down from vile to bad tempered to slightly ratty before anyone much arrived.

The early starts also meant bringing food in with me for various meals. Some people, Colin is a shining example, had things really sussed with stacking tupperware like Japanese bento, taking them through the day in neat courses. I had microwave porridge and an uneasy relationship with the chocolate machine. I work next to the vending machines and there is a steady stream of men who have an entirely guilt free approach: if they want three Mars bars and a packet of Monster Munch for breakfast, they do. I sat around like a large and grubby Miss Muffet with my bowl of porridge wondering if extreme weariness was enough justification for a kitkat. I need to either get over that or get some tupperware: my final week will certainly be more of the same.