My collaboration with artist Anne Proctor is precious. Neither of us know why it works or how long it will last.


We have been working together for over 18 months and have so far produced two books: Allotments No1 and Swifts Screech and Circle in the Afternoon Sun which are available at our Tynemouth market stalls and on Etsy

allotments no1

Many ideas have flowed between us. Some stick beside us and others drift on and may or may not return.

Our current project is…a book about a place close to our hearts. The book is radically different from the first two. Anne is using an Albion Press, a blummin’ big Victorian printing press, to print the pages.

I visited her in Ouseburn’s Northern Print earlier this week and watched her typeset a page. Such a slow process but what a joy to watch.

Here is a link to Anne’s blog about the day

More news on this book as it is produced.

Anne has given me many things over the past year and a half: inspiration, a good belly laugh or ten, photographs, images, food and drink, lifts to interesting places, records and books.

Ah yes, books. One of the most amazing ones she has given me is The Fairburn System of Visual References: Male Age Groups, Characters & Expression. It’s a folder jam-packed with loose contact sheets featuring hundreds of photos of blokes from the 1970s with differing facial expressions. I’m mesmerised by it. Here’s part of one sheet. Enjoy.

Mad men 1 001