I wouldn't normally post something like this but my New Year resolution demands that I do. One caricature a day is my goal and I wasn't going to miss a day simply because I hadn't finished it. This was intended to be a better caricature of the London mayor but no sooner had I sat down late last night to begin my usual end-of-day drawing than the email chirped up and I found myself with work to do. That's a problem with being freelance yet working for people who expect you to jump at the sound of a whistle. You work strange hours and sometimes you're not entirely sure if you're not working too many hours in a month. When all things are calculated, I probably sell myself for well below the minimum wage but what price freedom? Or, at least, the perception of freedom.
Today has been a little more successful. I moved myself beyond the call of the whistle and I've actually written something for tomorrow's blog as well as finished a drawing. I also spent the afternoon in Manchester, partly because I needed to buy a birthday card but also because I needed time away from my desk and (I have to say this in hushed tones) away from my ebullient sister who, for the first time in months, appears to be feeling better thanks to the advice of the consultant we spoke to on Saturday. He didn't so much provide a miracle cure as provide the advice to ignore the bad advice of our local GP.
In Manchester, I hit the usual shops and as is usually the case, Waterstones was full of books I couldn't afford. Unlike 99% of the time I visit, it actually had books I actually wanted but I had to forgo the hardback copy of Robert Crumb's 'Weirdo Years'. In the end, I settled for a book of political journalism which isn't always the definition of a good time but I occasionally have a hankering after the stuff.
Once thing I did notice as I stood in the the science section of the big Deansgate Waterstones: it was empty, yet across the aisle, the spirituality section was packed with five or six people. What does that say about science, spirituality, or, indeed, people?
I also visited Claus Oulsen for a new bike lock and stood in the queue behind a big guy who was getting frustrated that the queue wasn't moving. A little old lady was standing ahead of us and she just wasn't shifting. It took us the best part of two or three minutes before we realized we were actually standing behind a mannequin covered in a pac-a-mac. He laughed. I laughed. The world seemed okay.