Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

May & April on the Battlefield (2007) — Feb 28, 2016

May & April on the Battlefield (2007)

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While November and December of The Months relax on the beach by playing a friendly game of volleyball, May and April are about to engage in something with a little more action and competition. They’ve already taken up their places in the ring, and the crowd roars encouragements betting on either April or May to emerge as the ultimate victor.

May is dressed up to somewhat resemble a kung fu fighter or karate athlete, wearing a sweatband around her head and making a martial arts-like pose. April has quite literally awakened the power of the dragon in her (like Jake Long: American Dragon) and transformed into a dragon herself so she can fly and dodge May’s karate chops and kicks at high speed. But May has a secret weapon… she also has wings, so she can fight and fly at the same time! (If May were a Pokemon, would she be Fighting/Flying type, like Hawlucha?)

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Although May and April are presumably going to fight in a wide-open stadium crammed with millions, the only signs of life apart from May and April themselves is the vague wiggly line below them carrying signs sporting various motivating slogans like “May Go!”, “Winner April” and “May is fire” (or maybe it says “fine”? Either way, it doesn’t seem to make sense.) At this time I couldn’t really draw crowds in detail (apart from that drawing with the Dec Band, but that crowd had the same character design in rainbow colours over and over). The background is also strangely blank, like nobody is watching May and April about to risk themselves in a competitive battle for a title. Why would no-one be watching what is possibly the biggest fight in May and April’s lives?

Unfortunately, I can’t stick around for the start of the fight, so whether May or April won in the end will always be a mystery.

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Celebrating My 21st! — Feb 24, 2016

Celebrating My 21st!

Today I turn 21 years old! That means I can now legally drink alcohol (although I prefer not to), drive a car, play in the lottery and some other adult things which I won’t mention on this family-friendly blog. (Cartoons are for everyone!)

Even though I’ve only grown one year older today, I’ve still been drawing in the weeks beforehand. Just because I don’t grow older at the very start of the new year doesn’t mean that my creativity and imagination has to be on hold to catch up with me! Here’s everything I’ve drawn this year so far up to today.

And I think I’ve also found the perfect cake for my birthday celebrations…

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In case you don’t know, that’s the provincial flag for Nova Scotia. You may have seen it in a few of my photos from last week’s trip to Halifax and even on some of my drawings, but if you aren’t a regular reader of mine you might just think it was a fancy decoration for a cake. So now you know!

Here’s to the start of a new chapter in the story of my life!

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November & December Play Volleyball on the Beach (2007) — Feb 21, 2016

November & December Play Volleyball on the Beach (2007)

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While it may still technically be winter (yes, February is a winter month, at least if you live in the northern hemisphere like I do), many of us might be planning ahead for our sunny summer getaways, whether at home or abroad. (Even though I’ve just come back from Canada… and it was cold!)

So if you’d rather be dancing around in the sea or sipping fruity cocktails on the beach rather than cooped up inside your house from the freezing temperatures with a mug of hot chocolate or tomato soup, just look ahead… at November and December from the Months playing beach volleyball! Where they live it’s always sunny (…in Philadelphia? No, wrong series) most of the time, so it’s always a great day to play by the seaside and go surfing or swimming! (It isn’t called Surfing the Sea for nothing!)

Even though they’re by the sea, November and December are for some reason dragons, like the Disney cartoon Jake Long: American Dragon. Dragons are well-known for breathing fire, and the sea is water, which would weaken their firepower. However, they do have wings, and so November and December can play beach volleyball above the beach, where flying about to hit the ball has a huge advantage and flexibility due to its sheer speed. November’s pet dog, who can also fly, watches on and laughs at all the action.

Unfortunately for December, it seems he can’t fathom November’s surprising strength, so much so that he fears his head might get blown off! (Although it’s obviously drawn here in a non-violent fashion, so it’s just for comedic effect like a cartoon, where characters often get themselves de-limbed or squashed in a bloodless, humorous way.) His fantasy also shows him in his normal form rather than as a dragon, so maybe his thoughts don’t change form with him?

I myself am wishing it was summer right now. After all that freezing cold I had to go through in Canada, I could do with a bit of hot weather and a run about on the beach in my swimwear!

Trip to Nova Scotia: Day 9 — Feb 20, 2016

Trip to Nova Scotia: Day 9

Our flight home to London from Halifax had been delayed… by a whole day! We would now be setting off at 9pm the next night rather than 11pm that day as originally expected. This would mean that we had to stay overnight at the airport, because we’d now checked out of our hotel in the city and so couldn’t return for the night. I had to sleep on both the floor and the seats, and it was very uncomfortable having my head pressed against a hard surface rather than a fluffy pillow and having only a jacket as a blanket.

Once I’d managed to wake myself up with the help of Tim Horton’s, there wasn’t much exploring left to do as we were already on our way home from Halifax. While I mostly just connected with family and friends back home and browsed the Web on my computer and tablet (as well as writing for this blog), I did have a break to eat at a pub, where I had a cheeseburger with chips and another ice cream sandwich, and revisiting the lobsters at the seafood store just around the corner from the lounge.

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Freshly-cooked Nova Scotia South Shore lobsters with smoked salmon
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Freshly-cooked Nova Scotia South Shore lobsters

I then noticed another lobster sculpture like the one in the lounge, except this one was made out of glittery mosaic tiles rather than decorated with the Nova Scotia tartan. Maybe they’re part of a series and people have to follow a trail to find each one?

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Glitter mosaic lobster sculpture

I also had a good look at the real lobsters in the shop tank, and I even put one out to see it close-up. Even though its claws were tied together with elastic bands, I still felt a little afraid of the spikes on its legs as they might give me nasty scratches. It was fun seeing the lobster make its way back into the tank and splashing inside, flipped over onto its back. (This sort of reminds me of the lobster hatchery scene in my novel Once Upon A Time In Canada, where Pictou is being shown a pregnant female lobster with eggs and she is carefully placed back down into the pool.)

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Lobsters in a tank
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Lobsters underwater

Of course, eventually the time rolled back around, and I had to leave my love Canada back for home shores in England. I tried not to cry again as the bright night lights of Halifax and the environs whizzed past me outside my window onboard the plane.

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Goodbye Halifax, see you some other day!

Once I finally landed back home, I was so sleepy but happy that I was back in familiar territory. (Of course, I was also still sad I couldn’t see Canada again for some time afterwards.) I fell asleep on the train home until I was tugged awake to get on the bus near my house… and that’s where I am now, home.

In retrospective, I’ve found that even if I only saw Canada once, it would complete my dream of simply seeing it. Now my next wish is to visit it again in the summer, and possibly eventually live there where I will always be around Canadians.

Thank you, Canada, for having me experience you for the first time in my life, and for seeing what you’re really all about!

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Trip to Nova Scotia: Day 8 — Feb 19, 2016

Trip to Nova Scotia: Day 8

Finally, after a week of enjoying Nova Scotia (or rather, two towns in Nova Scotia), I was ready to head back home to London and resume my normal working life! Inevitably, the tears came – and Canada is a country which I’ve previously never visited before, but it being my lifelong passion means I am inextricably attached to it. (I also cried when I left Yorkshire, my birth county in England, after visiting it for three days as a nostalgia trip, because nearly my whole childhood was spent there and so I’ve made a lot of memories there.)

We dragged our bags down Inglis Street towards the Halifax ViaRail train station, which also doubled up as a coach stop, and stored them in the bus’ luggage compartment. When the bus set off for the airport, I watched outside the window to enjoy Halifax and the surrounding area for one last time before I flew back home, having a short stopover in Dartmouth.

As the bus arrived at the airport, we went to fetch our bags from the luggage compartment, and since there was a lot of time to go before the flight back home to London, we had to find ways to keep ourselves entertained.

I came across a seafood shop which had real live lobsters for sale, just like the ones I’d seen in Peggy’s Cove the day before! They had been caught off Nova Scotia’s South Shore, so they were local – perfect for tourists who wanted to bring home the taste of Nova Scotia. I even got to see one of the lobsters up close – touching it felt somewhat surreal!

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A real live fresh Nova Scotia South Shore lobster!

Around the corner in the waiting lounge, there was another lobster! Sadly it wasn’t a real lobster (unless one of the lobsters from the seafood shop escaped), but rather a sculpture of a lobster decorated with the Nova Scotia tartan. There are apparently a good number of these lobster sculptures around Halifax, and they are being auctioned off for charitable causes in Nova Scotia.

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Nova Scotia tartan lobster sculpture

After we’d stuffed ourselves with fish and chips, ice cream sandwiches and Tim Horton’s, it was time to get ourselves ready to board the flight back to London. Or were we heading back to London…?

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