Downs by the sea

Downs by the sea

a great long stitherum showing the start of things on a topographical model of the South Downs, beginning with a blocking out of the basic contour levels, through several layers of fibreglass and filling, sanding down, and shoreline building…

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Hell and High Water

timelapse sequence of the beginning stages of a baseboard for to be used in gameplay at the games day.

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a nod to the dawn…

a nod to the dawn...

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Giant Chocolate Fountain!



construction of a giant chocolate fountain (non-functional!) or chocolate fondu, to be used as a shelving/display unit at Cadbury World:

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mountains of madness

building of a model at 1/1000th scale for a housing/holiday home development in St Lucia

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topographical model of the Alladale Estate in Scotland, the owner of which is intending to begin reinstatement of wild wolves into the area as natural predators of the existing fauna and other reintroduced animals such as boar…

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Carmel’s calamity

Carmel's calamity

bit of a rehash required for Carmel the Cadbury’s Caramel bunny, suffering as she does by way of the clambering clogs of the littluns at her tree-den down in Cadbury World – a making-of video pops up if you click on the poor wee lass…

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with apologies to Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by:

I travelled down it quite a bit –

and that’s why I’m such a weird little git.


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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here…

…starting the new year with a bang – or perhaps more of a toot – here’s a little train of thought I rattled down the tracks of a wee while back, as I was easing my way towards a bit of a bum-exam.

I’d better explain that a bit – I had reason to have a mild concern over the wellbeing of my waterworks; it’s always recommended to get a just-in-case kinda checkup with such things, so. Having not had all that much to do with my other end, I found I had a few thoughts to ponder before going into it all, and decided to put ’em into prose to mull them all over – the following nonsense was all the ‘before’; I did an ‘after’ as well, which will be along sometime later on. Meanwhile, get yer goggles on, we’re going in…

– well to begin with, I reckon I ought to start by saying that this entry might need a parental guidance certificate, I may be about to launch into some slightly iffy bits and pieces about the human body – perhaps more specifically to do with some of the possible complications of that of the male of the species (no, not that bit, you mucky-minded lot) – so if you think you’re at all likely to be offended, disturbed, perturbed or otherwise unsettled by the slightly scatological musings relating to the…let’s say, lower bowel region, I’d advise a swift departure – consider yourselves warned, and don’t come whinging to me at the end if your retinas have dropped off or something.

– anyway, the Prostate Gland, then – this’d be one of them things – specifically, the whole getting-it-checked-out procedure – that blokes, generally speaking, are usually unlikely to talk to one another about, whether over the phone, down the pub, or – well, in just about any imaginable situation. So I’m gonna bust up a bit of a taboo and air mine out right here in public.

…perhaps I should rephrase that last bit.

– so. As a fella of ‘a certain age’, it becomes somewhat of a pastime to start keeping track of the various bits of yourself that are starting to malfunction (over and above the various other parts of you that have lately seen fit to start reminding you of all the stupid stuff you did when you were younger and made out of rubber, and could get away with jumping off roofs and being knocked down by cars or falling off bikes (etc.) – by way of them taking longer to wake up than the rest of you, or to have taken on a ‘twinge’ or a creaking sound every now and again) – and to maybe, possibly, think seriously about just making sure that they’re not going to pack up on you anytime soon, or aren’t going to develop unwelcome swellings, or…whatever.

Anyway, Proctology, eh? You have to wonder just what might give someone the idea to specialise in such a very particular area of medical practise – I suppose the same must be true though of Gynaecology, which I’m sure must be a much more intimately intrusive procedure for anyone undergoing it – it’s just that blokes are often a bit wimpy about all this sort of thing: anyway, I’m booked in for being looked up, not ’cause there’s anything wrong, more than likely-ly, but just to make sure there isn’t. So as the date draws near, I guess pretty soon I’m gonna have to grin and bear it, and take it like a man.

I suppose for the typical bloke, one of the concerns is the (probably) entirely irrational fear that you’ll get a doctor who enjoys their work just a bit too much, maybe seeing it as a vocation rather than just a job – and you’ll be worrying that maybe he or she is getting just a bit too comfortable with whatever they’re getting up to back there…

Just a thought here – as much as we’re uncomfortable with the idea of all this, it really can’t be a great day in the doc’s diary, either – look at it from their point of view (erm, almost literally), and imagine walking a mile in their shoes…or more correctly I suppose, spending ten minutes in their rubber gloves. That can’t be anything like fun – there you are doc, with some random, wrinkled-rose-hole winking at you, and the old poorly punch-bag dangling down like a badly-packed pinata right in yer eye-line while you’re contemplating a quick bit or rectum-wrestling – whichever end of the equation you’re on, a bluebird on yer shoulder isn’t gonna make a whit of a difference to what kind of wonderful the day might turn out to be…

I’d also tend to be thinking it’d be good to have something diverting to talk about while it all goes on, principally to take your mind off the fact there’s a practical stranger shaking hands with your colon – choice of subject-matter for discussion should probably be carefully considered – for example it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to bring up your potholing holiday in the peak district while you’ve got a doctor’s digits up your doddy-pocket; likewise, veer away from anything that might lead you towards the story of the little dutch boy holding back the floodwaters, or any facsimile thereof.

Meanwhile, I’m kind of considering that it might be an idea to learn a few ventriloquism-tricks, so’s the doc maybe doesn’t feel quite so alone back there, or find the conversation a bit one-sided from where he is; and while I know they always say it’s easier to ‘do’ conversations if you just be yourself, I’m reckoning it’d actually be kind of hard to be yourself if you’re facing the wrong way. And of course effecting a confident stance and holding strong eye-contact are right out of the question.

I can almost imagine what it must be like at the other end too, though I’m not really trying very hard at it if I’m honest – just the things that might go through the doc’s mind while he’s scruttling about up your scooby-tube, hoping he’s not gonna find any hidden treasures clogging up the corners of yer colon while he’s ferreting about…or maybe he or she will simply be wondering about whether or not to employ the endoscope – which y’know, while we’re on that little subject – I’d like to say that, though I’m not sure if I’ve actually got a ‘good side’ when it comes to being photographed, I’m almost certain it’s not likely to be anywhere up there. And meanwhile at the other end, the task of getting it all in focus is hardly to be envied.

…I’m afraid I keep using ‘he’ when it could be either gender doing the doctoring, it’s not intentional, just lazy I guess and space-saving – but in any case one’s doctor’s gender could also be of concern to the average chap – I dunno, either way it’s not a great means of starting out on any kind of beautiful friendship. Also either way, there may be concern on a gentleman’s part (so to speak) that he might find himself appreciating the whole experience rather more than he expected to. People will pay good money for similar kinds of ‘entertainment’, after all.

Erm, so I’m told.

It could be a very worrying thing, all this, that you might find out a lot more about yourself from your little visit than you were expecting to, not least because it could thereafter involve the prospect of some fairly life-altering lifestyle-adjustments…

…anyway, I’m not exactly keen on experiencing all this muck-tunnel malarkey – and I thought I’d be done with examinations after I’d finished school! – I dunno exactly how they’d go about grading this sort of test, mind you – extra marks for presentation, maybe? Showing your workings, I think, would probably not be among the requirements.
– and another thing is, it’s not like it’s something you can have a quick practice at before you go in, like you might rehearse your French vocab with your mates, or build up to making a speech or presentation to an audience by trying it out with your friends and family first – and I’m pretty sure it’d be well beyond the normal bounds of a friendly favour to ask a mate round to lend you a hand for a couple of minutes.


Of course the next thing after all that will be that you’ll get home and there’ll be a message from the doc on your answerphone, about how he seems to have mislaid his watch somewhere…

– hmm, too much, maybe?

…that’d better be it for this little bit of now, I’ll leave you to ruminate…

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Buckbeak Bows

– one of several ‘live’ animatronic features at the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour, the griffon/gryphon from…well, whichever one it was in. Went for a visit there yesterday with a couple of friends for one of their birthdays.

Whatever you think of the whole Potter phenomenon, the tour thing is really quite an experience – granted I’m pretty biased by way of being a sculptor/modelmaker, but – so. much. stuff! – six hours and didn’t feel like we’d taken it all in – massively impressed with how much practical stuff is still involved, and how much of it goes unseen, but also with how the practical is tied in with the virtual.

And the enormous ‘Hogwarts’ model…oh my effin’ g. I nearly wept…

– eyeballs are still aching from trying to see everything that was there. Really well-organised layout, no time to get bored in between exhibits…the people-wrangling was very well handled, didn’t seem to have to wait any great length of time even for having a go on a broomstick (be warned, there *will* be video of a Brum on a broom!)

…image quality a bit grainy here, had the settings a bit stuffed after several readjustments throughout the tour – looks ok though I think.

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