Advent Calendar

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I’m pleased to announce that my Advent Calendar is now published. Those who were reading my site last December will remember that I did an online Advent Calendar (I won’t link to it so as not to spoil the anticipation, but if you want to see the images they aren’t hard to find…). Well, the print version is made up of almost exactly the same cartoons (with one or two modifications), one-a-day from 1 to 24 December. It is in A5 format with a spine at the top, meaning you can flip to the next one each day (picture below). The pages are double sided, so during the middle of Advent you turn it around and carry on. The calendar isn’t year-dated, so you can use it year after year.

Unlike my other calendars and books the cartoons are not church-specific, so someone not familiar with the church world would, I hope, understand them.

You can purchase the Advent Calendar from the following places:

  • Church House Bookshop
  • Aslan Christian Books (They interviewed me about my work too – link here)
  • It will appear on Amazon soon I should imagine.
  • There also copies in shops, but I can’t tell you exactly where. A bookshop should be able to order it for you. Quote ISBN-13 number: 9781848256606 if they look at you blankly.

While we’re talking calendars, my 2015 calendar is on sale too. It has a cartoon for each month, and plenty of space to write appointments, etc. The cartoons are some of my favourites from the Church Times, and aren’t ones that you will have seen online. You can buy it from Church House Bookshop, Aslan, or Amazon UK.

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Above: Calendar as it would look if you kept it on a desk near a keyboard.

Summer cartoon ideas

Any summer or indeed non-summer themed cartoon ideas would be welcomed. Anything you can send me via the comments section of this blog or via email would be much appreciated. Twitter is OK too, just not quite as easy for me to save / print off. Sorry to ask again, but cartooning has gone better than it currently is. I try to reply to all messages, but thanks in advance for your help.

Cycling cartoon: Cooling down

A new cartoon on my cyclingcartoons.com website: Cooling down. Some more cycling bits and pieces coming over the next few weeks, all being well.

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Cartoon ideas required

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I’m open to requests for subjects for my weekly Church Times cartoon slot. OK, this is another way of saying I could really do with some ideas.

Topics can be anything church-related, or some other issue (such as my election cartoon or the foodbanks one).

I can’t make any promises to draw anything on the subjects suggested, but I print out everything suggested in these blog comments threads and carry it around with me.

If possible I prefer ideas in blog comments (below) or by email. Tweets are appreciated, but they are harder to collect and save.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Riding on the track at the Olympic velodrome

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Yesterday I had the chance to ride on the track at the Olympic velodrome at Stratford. In summary: it was fantastic.

I hadn’t ridden on a velodrome before, or indeed on a fixed-wheel bike, so I was quite apprehensive about the whole thing. What if, in a moment of absent-mindedness, (to which I am prone), I forget to keep pedalling and come crashing down the banking? That kind of thing.

But it was all fine. The instructor was very good, and took us through one step at a time, so that at each point I felt ready for the next stage. So, first of all understanding about the bike and the rules of riding on the track, then learning how to clip in, how to start off and how to stop, how to ride on the safety zone, how to ride on the ‘côte d’azur’, (light blue section at the bottom of the wooden track), then riding on the boards themselves.

I was grinning from ear to ear for much of the time. Well, inwardly at least. Complete euphoria at actually riding on a track tinged with a hint of nervousness thinking that it could all still go horribly wrong at any moment. But it didn’t, and I absolutely loved it.

At the end of the session I was given the go ahead to progress to Level 2. And you know what? I think I will.

Some photos are below. Please excuse the fact that they aren’t all that sharp – the light is comparatively low and my speed was incredibly fast. OK, not really that fast, but fast enough to be blurry.

Thanks should to go to my family who bought me the ‘taster session’.

If you’d like to have a go yourself, or perhaps buy a taster session for a cyclist you know, you can do so on the Lee Valley Velo park website. I’d say that ideally you need to be fairly competent on a bike. It would help to have ridden a road bike before, but probably isn’t essential. Do ask me any questions about it if that would be useful.

Choosing a bike.

Being fitted for a bike. Struggling to get on it because the cranks don’t just turn to where you want them.

The coach explains how to ride on the track.

The coach explains how to ride on the track while we all hold onto the banister*. *It may not be called a banister.

Riding around for the first time, on the 'safety zone', the blue flat bit.

Riding around for the first time, on the ‘safety zone’, the blue flat bit. I can ride a fixed-gear bike – hurrah!

Riding on the 'côte d'azur', the light blue strip that is part of the track, but not steeply banked on the bends.

Riding on the ‘côte d’azur’, the light blue strip that is part of the track, but not steeply banked on the bends.

On the track.

On the track. I can feel the wind in my face and am very happy.

Riding at a great velocity.

Riding at a great velocity.

Notebook scan: The left / the right

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I did warn you about quality once we reached day 12. Notebook scan for today’s cartoon a day: ‘The left / the right’

Christian Aid Week

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Cartoon drawn for Christian Aid Week a year or two ago. This is for everyone raising money for Christian Aid Week, which starts approximately now. You can contribute here if you’d like to.

The man who washes the jars and cans

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Cartoon from circa 2007. Can’t remember who I originally drew it for, or why.

New cycling cartoon: Marginal gains

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Today’s daily cartoon is a cycling one, entitled ‘Marginal gains’. See all of my cycling diagrams on cyclingcartoons.com

Students: How to recognise them in church

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Today’s ‘cartoon-a-day’. This is one I did years ago for a publication called Quadrant, magazine/newsletter of Christian Research.