Sometimes a fifteen year old knows more than a 50 year old

Today I spent building the Horses and Elephants blog. It is all in the detail. The old site had the banner head just across about half of the page. I found out how to have it across the whole page. It is bolder. There were lots of fiddly bits and pieces to attend to and I found myself using the same template for the Writing Habit website.

And I was happy, till my fifteen-year-old daughter came home.

I showed her the websites. She didn’t like the Writing Habit.  ‘I just don’t like the typeface.’ she said. I told her that it wasn’t meant to be that serious. She said the typeface just put her off. We then had supper.


I kept thinking about this. What was I meant to do? I decided to dump the old banner and try something new.  I picked up a pen, took a page out of a notebook and wrote ‘The Writing Habit’. Then I took a photo with my mobile, uploaded the image and did a bit of work in Photoshop.

‘Yes, Daddy, that’s much better.’

And, to be honest, she was right.  It is better.


On Friday I met Ben Wilson, the chewing gum man. If you have been to the Tate Modern, you may have seen his work. Not in the museum, but on the Millennium Bridge. The most perfect little paintings on the tiniest pieces of gum.

I saw him as I walked over the bridge, crouched down, painting and then as I approached, he stood up, so I stopped and asked ‘Do you paint these chewing gum paintings?’ He laughed and told me how he liked to paint on the pieces of thrown-away gum. I had often walked across the bridge with my daughter and we had wondered who was behind these perfect pieces of art, so I was delighted to meet him. He was so unassuming. So charming and likeable. We shook hands and went our ways.

I am not a great fan of people who discard their gum by chucking it on the pavement, but if ever there was a good way of dealing with these tiny grey blobs, painting images comes high on the list. This is the purest form of public art. It is underfoot and so doesn’t last long. It is art for the observant, for the curious. We have to pay attention to see it.


What makes a good Sunday

Sunday is a mix of weekly shopping, family lunches, watching politicians being grilled by Andrew Marr on the BBC and writing.

The pleasure of writing in the afternoon at the dining table as our daughter works on an art project, turning her right hand into a tree trunk, her fingers becoming roots. The theme of the project is transformation. I can’t believe the detail. It is so believable.


Then afterwards I work on writing posts for The Writing Habit and plan the things I will write tomorrow.