big bird on campus

turkey
Look at this big geezer. I had to go into the office in early April, a few weeks into the shelter-in-place, and found an overgrown campus where the wildlife had taken over. Standing like a sentinel outside my building was this turkey, looking enormous with his feathers all ruffled up and on display. Strutting. His long wobbly beak and that colourful chin feature looked like something from an early 1980s Dr Who prop department. The ‘snood’. Always reminds me of those Arsenal players who wore those snoods when it got cold but the Premier League said they couldn’t. And the long hairy bit on his chest that falls down, look how long it is! That’s called a ‘beard’. Some humans have those. As far as I’m aware legs covered in tattoos, shaving one side of your hair and sampling snifters of craft beer aren’t yet popular in the turkey population. And he didn’t want me entering the building. He kept shaking his feathers at me as if to say, #stayhomesavelives ! #gobble #itscalledasnoodnotafacialnutsack (and other popular hashtags). When I went in, he came and stood by the door looking through the window at me and stayed there for a few hours, goading me when I came down to use the vending machine, I better not try to leave or he will stop me and ask for my attestation, am I going out for essential items (cranberry sauce or gravy I suppose). There are a few other doors to the building though so unless his mates are covering all the exits he wasn’t stopping me. He did loads of poos all over the entranceway though. You needed to know that. We get a lot of turkeys in Davis, there is a flock that lives near me on the north Davis green belt. They strut about making loud gobble noises when I go for an evening walk. They live quite high up in very tall trees, you’d be surprised how high they fly up. You may recall the story of Downtown Tom, a solo turkey who lived in downtown Davis for a while, occasionally terrorizing citizens and catching bad guys, evading all attempts at capture, until The Man had had Enough, and called in a sniper to assassinate him in his sleep. I imagine they though if they ever did catch him, they would all stand around wondering whether Tom actually intended to be caught, because he had some other nefarious plan up his snood. But no, they took him out in the dead of night, not releasing the news for six months, presumably it took that long to be sure he was really dead and didn’t have some kind of horcrux somewhere. Dudes, he’s a turkey. Tell you what though you don’t want to get into a ruck with one, they have much bigger claws than you do.

I drew this from a photo I took, in the grey paper sketchbook.

playing with colours, missing the games

Living Room
Decided to play with this big set of Prismacolour coloured pencils I’ve had sitting my cupboard, while watching old sports events, in this case the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. That was fun. I really miss my sports. I especially miss the Formula 1, which nearly started they all went down to Australia, they were having practice and qualifying, and then decided maybe you know having a big event like this at the start of a major pandemic probably isn’t a good idea, so the season did not start. I love the F1 so the lack of it has been worse than not having the football. No honestly the way Jose’s Spurs have been playing, it’s not been missable. Watching this old and ridiculous race brought back some memories, and I had forgotten some of the drivers were that long ago, it doesn’t feel like it. Jos Verstappen was there, Max’s dad, for almost a lap at least, and Schumacher wet out early. Damon Hill was there of course but did not win. And of course Murray Walker, the great voice of Formula 1, commentating in his memorable diesel tones, and I had forgotten who he pronounces the word fastest like they are two separate words, “Fast-Est”. So, sat on the couch. The exercise I’ve gotten used to this past year has fallen away, I’ve been getting up too late in the mornings for my morning runs, just not been feeling it.
Dinner Table and Kitchen

And here, using the pencils again, but this time sat at the dinner table (though admittedly we eat our dinner in the living room). These are drawn in a Stillman and Birn ‘Nova Trio’ book I got in Amsterdam last summer, it has grey, black and beige paper, so perfect for these sort of fun drawings. I watched the classic 1982 World Cup game Italy v Brazil, that was very enjoyable. I was only 6 during that World Cup so my memories of it are extremely foggy, just remember seeing them talk about it on telly, my brother watching it a lot, I remember Kevin Keegan being absolutely massive around then and that brilliant England shirt. I met Kevin Keegan 18 years later in Charleroi, in Belgium. This game though had the legendary Socrates (no, not that legendary one) for Brazil, and Italy’s Paulo Rossi nabbing a hat-trick. I’m gutted right now because all our youth soccer is being cancelled for the season, much to my son’s great disappointment. In particular, the Davis World Cup, our annual soccer tournament. I had designed the badge again, going for a very retro logo this year, but I’ll have to save it for next year. And change the year to 2021 obviously. Here they are, the three versions (for the t-shirts, medals, and other materials). After all this, the things we love will be back! In the meantime I’ll be watching old games, like listening to old records.