Goldfish Emergency


Elementary Fish Keeping: Lesson One

We knew Paul, Lewis and Stewart, Herbie’s goldfish, were tough; they’d survived the winter and also not been fed for 11 months.

But when your goldfish spend all their time with their little noses at the surface of the pond, they are not being friendly and sociable, but MOUTHING SILENT CRIES OF HELP AS THEY SLOWLY ASPHYXIATE.

It was too late to save brave little Lewis and Paul, who lost the battle against total lack of oxygen.

But maybe not too late for Stewart.

Luckily we live near the The Best Fish-Keeping Shop in the Universe, the Goldfish Bowl, where Barry was able to declare our water to be deadly poisonous and tell us what to do to stop the catastrophe.

Elementary Fish Keeping : Lesson Two

Even if you’ve got frogs in it, your pond may not be the harmonious ecosystem you think it is. Too many snail suicides and too much sludge may have turned your water toxic.

We are not proud of our negligent and woeful fish-keeping. But Stewart is still afloat and the frog triplets are keeping him company until our pond water is declared safe for more aquatic life forms.

Sketching Weakly Al Fresco

Sketching Weakly has been Out & About in Norfolk, often in pubs…al fresco 01Every pub needs its own chickens. (The Hare Arms)

al fresco 02These ladies are painted on the side of that baby elephant.

al fresco 04al fresco 03A bit of a chestnut tree.

The swifts are back

swiftsThey’re squealing across the sky.

spacecatBonzetta, our Animals Correspondent, points out:

Technically none of the above birds is a swift.

This is a swift:

swiftThey’ve been in southern and equatorial Africa for the winter and they spend all their lives miraculously on the wing. Almost impossible to catch but delicious as a pre-dinner snack, possibly with a tasty dipping sauce.

Note: Sketching Weakly is not endorsing serving swifts as a cocktail party snack, and thinks they are much better left freewheeling their way round the sky. Here’s some more about the incredible Swift, and also about how modern houses don’t have the sorts of holes in them swifts need to make their nests in.

The RestOfTheWorldists Election Special

spacecatBonzetta, our Animals Correspondent, writes:

Want to join the Humanists, but realise you’re not human? Thinking of joining the Mammal Society, but remember that you’re a reptile? Finding it hard to join anything because you’re an amphibian? Or a fish? Or a plant? Well….join The RestOfTheWorldists!

With just a week till the election to go, the RestOfTheWorldists have been working on their Election Manifesto…

Election ManifestoMaybe an environmentally-friendly political party might consider a rethink of the National Planning Policy Framework…

And just in from Tony – some action shots of Bonzetta working on her manifesto:Bonzetta at Work01….and still hard at it a bit later…

Bonzetta at Work02…mostly thinking about it….


What the Cretaceous…?

What the cretaceous Highlights from Herbie’s dinosaur collection: The Improbably-Modelled Prehistoric Creature Awards.

anky0212th place: is it a Kentrosaur? Or a sort of Ankylosaur?

Toro close up11: Maybe this beauty is a Protoceratops.

Yellow Rex In 10th place: I think this is some sort of stooping yellow T-Rex, but it might be an Allosaurus with neck problems.

Anky9: Another jaunty yellow one – perhaps a sort of Ankylosaurus that can amazingly walk about on two legs? – nice jolly lipstick.

Gadzilla8: Lovely green texture makes me think of Godzilla – again a dash of bright lip colour. Looks like a sort of hadrosaur – Corythosaurus, maybe?

Para close up7: Rather ghostly head-crest and glowing red eyes make this Parasauralophus look like a predatory visitor from an alien planet.

T-REX6: The modelling of the T-Rex is conventional, but it is given a hellish patina by a home-made paint job.

Horn nose5: Perhaps an Iguanadon modelled from the early times, when the thumb-spike was attached to the nose? But then, from the teeth it looks like a carnivore.

lizardy4: Nice active stance makes this lizard creature look like it’s about to have a round in the boxing ring…or is it doing some funky dancing? Not even trying to guess what it is.

DIPPYThird prize: This one’s just a friendly diplodocus who looks like he’s perhaps telling you a joke or having a chat about the weather.

steg03Second place: It makes me think anteater, but it’s actually Stegosaurus.

Mrs TriceratopsFirst place – this lovely Triceratops has really gone to town with eye shadow, blusher and lippy – a truly glamorous herbivore.

PS: If you love plastic dinosaurs, you might like this post from the Grant Museum, and also the DinoToy Blog, here’s a fab item

Draw Me a Story

The Draw Me A Story exhibition is now on at the Story Museum in Pembroke Street in Oxford, with pictures and all sorts from Quentin Blake, Emily Gravett, Korky Paul, Yasmeen Ismail, Nick Sharrat – and me.  There’s artwork, sketchbooks, things to find and do, and even a tame illustrator at work in the Illustrator Zoo!

Here’s some more about it.

Draw me a story

Hermelin Types