Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

Dartmouth and Jollimore (2012) — Jun 29, 2017

Dartmouth and Jollimore (2012)


Although I’ve talked about Secondary School by the Sea at great length on this blog before (even being the basis of my story Life is a Beach), this exhibition will serve as a proper introduction to the series for people who have just started following and/or reading my blog.

Secondary School by the Sea (sometimes abbreviated to SSBTS) is a comedy/drama TV series in the world of Canadian Boys. Set mostly at the Jenhamville High School, which is an actual school in the City of Canada, the series and its connected comics and graphic novels follows the daily duties and doings of its teachers and students – especially the protagonist duo of Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham and Jollimore Ferrison, along with the twins Rockingham Hemlock and Boulderwood Wenlock.

Much of the show focuses on Dartmouth, Jollimore and their students, with both the comedic and dramatic aspects of the show coming from Dartmouth’s continual struggles against his often-rebellious students – some of whom have borderline-psychopathic traits and tendencies. These students are so because of their deeply-held grudges against Dartmouth, due to his violent habit of hitting out at them for the tiniest thing – and not even the rare breed of well-behaved students are safe. Jollimore acts as Dartmouth’s comic relief, though he more often than not just gets annoyed by his jolliness and attempts to cheer him up. The entire show paints violence against figures of authority (i.e. teachers) in a whimsical light, which is the possible reason why Dartmouth always seems to survive anything that’s thrown – or shot – at him.

Dartmouth and Jollimore’s character bios now follow, while the twins’ bios will be posted on their own exhibition.

  • Dartmouth

A 28-year-old teacher, the main antagonist of the series. Pessimistic and always expecting things to turn out for the worst or go horribly wrong, he never looks forward to teaching at the school – the students are always finding new ways to get rid of him, resulting in him sustaining injuries (sometimes they are so severe that he has to be hospitalized for a while afterwards). Because of his good luck, Dartmouth will always survive whatever murderous methods the students will cook up next, but this comes at something of a cost – he has developed chronic paranoia, causing him to have nightmares about being successfully murdered and constantly turning thoughts in his mind over what – or who – is around the corner. Because of this, he is secretly suffering, but he does not make it known because of his cruel, uncaring demeanour – he has a very bad and violent habit of randomly hitting students with his suitcase, even those who are well-behaved (which is why the students want to kill him).

  • Jollimore

A 26-year-old teacher, the main protagonist of the series to contrast with Dartmouth’s antagonistic traits. An optimist, he is always looking on the bright side of life and loves to teach his students, as they get on the most with him. However, he does know when to act seriously, such as when visiting Dartmouth in hospital after sustaining severe injuries from an attempt on his life by the students. His philosophy of always finding the positives in life put him firmly in Dartmouth’s line of fire, as he is constantly getting annoyed by his ‘do-gooding’ and emphasizing the joys of positive thinking, which Dartmouth always complains about as being “a load of New Age malarkey”. In a similar manner, Jollimore is always disregarding Dartmouth’s naysaying, telling others not to mind him as he’s always wrong – everything will turn out just alright in the end.

Until somewhat recently, I’d only occasionally draw Dartmouth and Jollimore, or anything SSBTS-based. However, thanks to writing Life is a Beach, I now draw them a lot more frequently, and my portfolio of SSBTS artwork has grown almost virally. This gallery collects all the artwork I’ve drawn featuring Dartmouth and Jollimore together or alone, saving on having to make an exhibition for each individual drawing:

And as a special extra, here’s the marker sketch of Jollimore wearing his rainbow lei by Lighane, which was drawn as a commission from me:

Jollimore in a rainbow lei by Lighane







Weekend in Bournemouth — Jun 20, 2017

Weekend in Bournemouth

Beach holidays are a great favourite of mine. So when I got the lucky chance to spend a whole weekend in Bournemouth, which just so happened to be the hottest two days of the year so far, my excitement was understandable. I’ve been a big fan of the sea and everything nautical since my very early childhood, and it would help me to cool down a little from the intense heat we’ve been having the past week.

This wasn’t actually my first time going to Bournemouth, however – I’ve actually been to it about three or four times prior, the last time being back in July 2015, which was also on a hot sunny day (and coincidentally, when I first started writing on this blog):

A day beside the seaside in sunny Bournemouth!

Posted by Sabrina Gardiner on Sunday, July 12, 2015

This was also my second outing out to a coastal town this year, the first being a rather muted morning in Brighton, due to the cloudy skies and rather cold sea breeze. Unlike in Brighton, though, the weather actually held up for Bournemouth, making it the perfect beach weekend.

Our home for the weekend was an ensuite bathroom and bedroom with a double bed directly overlooking the Bournemouth FC football stadium, with three dogs for pets – Paco the pug/Chihuahua mix, and Mickey and Tyson the Border Collie twin brothers. Paco seemed to take to me the most, even coming to jump up onto our bed, just like our cat at home in London.

Because of the heat, we decided to walk down the whole way down to Boscombe Beach, the sparkling sapphire-blue sea visible just up ahead on the horizon. The sun was hot enough to make my skin tan a caramel brown, so we needed to slap on lots of suncream. The golden sand was peppered liberally with seashells and stones of varying colours and sizes – I found a few mussel shells with tiny barnacles anchored on to them, a couple of razor clam shells, and some tiny scallop shells with black, grey and white stripes.

While the sea was pretty cold at first step, the heat of the sun helped to accustom me to it quickly, though I never dunked my head below the salty water, fearing an incident much like that seen in my story, Life is a Beach (which I was taking much inspiration for, given its nautical setting and theme).

There was even a party nearby with a barbecue on the beach – we tried to get some food off them, but unfortunately we couldn’t, as it was only theirs. We did have our own food which we’d brought earlier however, like some orange-flavoured chocolate bars, which had melted down from the high heat. Luckily, the sea was just down the beach for a little wash…

Later in the evening, which was still lit up with the summer sun, we strolled along the promenade, where I made sure to snap some shots of the famous rainbow-hued beach huts (which is also another inspiration for Life is a Beach), through the seaside gardens and ending up in the town square, where I feasted on some pepperoni pizza and a refreshingly tangy lemonade.

The next day was even hotter than the day before, part of a heatwave that is still raging as I write. We went to a different part of the beach, one that wasn’t as crowded as the other, partly because it was Sunday and most people would have been ready to go back to work the day after. I stayed even longer in the sea than out of it to escape the heat of the sun, although I did come out of it briefly to buy a cooling vanilla Flake ice cream, a hot dog with tomato sauce and some tins of sour cream and onion Pringles at the beach food kiosk right behind our spot on the beach. We even got a moment to snap a selfie of the two of us enjoying the sunshine on the beach just before hauling ourselves back up the cliff and catching one last glimpse of the big blue sea before heading back home to London Town, where the heat goes on – and I’m hopefully filled up with even more story ideas for Life is a Beach.



Sackville, Oromocto and Aulac (2012) — Jun 11, 2017

Sackville, Oromocto and Aulac (2012)


My first creative work of 2012! 🙌🏽

Although I’ve previously talked about Sackville Sailor in a prior exhibition, newer readers and followers of mine may not have caught that, so I’ll (re-)introduce it here for them:

Sackville Sailor logo

Sackville Sailor is a show-within-a-show in the world of the Canadian Boys series. A children’s TV series with an accompanying storybook series which has been running on the COCBC – the City of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (an obvious take on the real-life CBC, or Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) – since 1990. A year after its first airing, it would win the City of Canada Children’s TV Award for being the best of the newcomers to the City-of-Canadian airwaves in that year. Today, it’s loved by children and children-at-heart all over the city, with some very passionate fans.

As you can probably deduct from the title, Sackville Sailor follows a young cadet sailor, Sackville Charles-Lusbie, and his two crewmates, Oromocto McMinn and Aulac Beausejour, along with the Captain (real name: Lakeville MacNaughton) on board the Navy ship HMCOCS Glacier.

Unlike most cartoons, the characters never actually speak, their speech and actions instead being described and spoken by an unseen narrator. Each character is given a different ‘voice’ by the narrator, which changes based on their current emotion or situation. The (male) narrator provides the voices for all the characters, even the female – or noticeably feminine – ones.

Every episode – and by extension, the storybooks – follows the traditional three-act storytelling structure used prolifically in TV and film:

  1. A character (usually Sackville) discovers a problem.
  2. They attempt to solve the problem straight away, but this only worsens it, and they may even temporarily regress into their old ways.
  3. After some mulling over, they tackle the problem head-on and finally resolve it, learning some vital skills in the process.

(In some cases, however, there isn’t really a practical solution to a problem; rather, the characters just accept it as being a normal part of life, as with Sackville’s Nightmare.)

Sackville Charles-Lusbie, Oromocto McMinn & Aulac Beausejour

Now a (re-)introduction to the main characters themselves:

  • Sackville

An 18-year-old cadet sailor who is just making a start at life in the Navy. Initially seeming daunted at the prospect of spending many times away from home (as seen in the first episode of Season 1, Sackville & the HMCOCS Glacier), he soon saw the brighter side of serving in the Navy and now enjoys honing his sailing skills on deck every morning. Owing to being a cadet, he is somewhat prone to making mistakes and causing a bit of havoc on board (such as in the Season 1 episode Sackville’s Bad Day, in which he became reclusive and refused to carry out any orders given to him). However, he’s always willing to try new things, and his fellow sailors are always there to help him out when he’s having troubles. Sackville is popular amongst the crew because of his sweet charm and manner. His favourite part of Naval life is the salute, which the crew give every morning to show their allegiance with fellow sailors on other ships and respect for the City-of-Canadian Navy.

  • Oromocto

A 19-year-old cadet sailor, slightly higher up in rank than Sackville. The only black crew member, he is also learning the tasks and lingo of Naval life, although he is not as error-prone as Sackville as he knows a little more. He is always all-ears and will readily carry out any errands given to him. Though he has had full emergency training, the Season 2 episode Operation Oromocto showed that he isn’t actually as competent in these skills as he always thought he was, because this was his first time in a real emergency and not merely a drill. Oromocto is Sackville’s main proprietor of good advice, and he’s always on hand should Sackville ever get stumped on what to do in a sticky situation. So far, he is the only crew member to have won a medal (the Canadian Cross of the Sea in the Season 3 episode Oromocto Braves the Storm, for responding quickly to a human emergency out in rough, cold seas).

  • Aulac

A 21-year-old cadet sailor (despite having served in the Navy for at least 4 years prior to the events of the series). Of a higher rank than Oromocto and Sackville (although Oromocto may technically be promoted in rank due to winning a medal), he has the most Naval knowledge out of the ‘main’ trio, and uses this to help out Sackville and Oromocto when they run into problems or don’t know about a procedure. While Oromocto specializes in giving useful advice to Sackville, Aulac is more of a commander, giving out any orders to him on behalf of the Captain. (This is especially prevalent in the Season 1 episode Sackville’s Bad Day, in which he tries – unsuccessfully – to coerce Sackville into doing the daily cleaning routine.) Aulac has often had to save Sackville and Oromocto whenever they get caught up in heavy storms or crash into obstacles such as sea rocks or a harbour wall, like in the Season 2 episode Operation Oromocto, where he had to finish off Oromocto’s job of rectifying an emergency as he found out he wasn’t quite good enough to be up to the task. Aulac is good friends with the Captain, whom he always receives orders from to pass onto the other sailors.

Lakeville MacNaughton (The Captain of the HMCOCS Glacier)
  • The Captain

The captain of the HMCOCS Glacier (his real name, Lakeville, was found out by Sackville in the Season 4 episode What’s the Captain’s Name?) The highest-ranked crew member, he oversees the running of daily tasks on deck, checks on the other crew members for behaviour, steers the ship and gives out orders. Considering his authoritative position, the Captain is somewhat stern, sometimes getting very angry with the sailors if they don’t carry out his orders as expected, as seen in the Season 1 episode Sackville’s Bad Day, where having finally had enough of Sackville’s defiance, he gives him a severe shouting-at in front of all the other sailors, causing Sackville to lose his confidence and dash away to his dorm, crying in humiliation. However, the Captain does have some compassion – referring back to Sackville’s Bad Day, he comes to Sackville the next morning, asking him to forgive him for hurting his pride and being so harsh on him. When he isn’t giving out any orders, he loves to host social gatherings for the crew on deck, where they can sing traditional sea shanties, eat, drink and be merry in a display of amity and unity. The Captain is on good terms with Aulac, who often gives out orders on his behalf.

So as to save on having to do separate weekly exhibitions for each drawing I’ve done for the Sackville Sailor series, I’ve compiled them all into one handy little gallery:





Pokémon Sun and Moon Sequels Confirmed! — Jun 6, 2017

Pokémon Sun and Moon Sequels Confirmed!

A mere half-year after they were first released, Pokémon Sun & Moon have already received some sequels of their own: Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon!

Already, I’m intrigued by the poster. It looks like Necrozma – an additional Legendary Pokémon found in Sun & Moon – can fuse with the mascot Legendaries, Solgaleo and Lunala. This seems to be taking an interesting turn of events a la Black 2 & White 2, the second versions of the fifth generation, where Kyurem can fuse with either Reshiram or Zekrom to make Black or White Kyurem.


In other Pokémon news, Pokémon Gold & Silver will be the next older games in the series to get a 3DS Virtual Console release, a year after their predecessors, Red, Blue & Yellow, got one just in time for the 20th anniversary. No word on if that includes Crystal just yet, but it’ll still be a huge nostalgia trip to the Johto region again after all these years.




London Is Still Open — Jun 4, 2017

London Is Still Open

Following two attacks in the capital, I want to re-send the message out to the world that London is still, and always will be, open.

No amount of attacks will ever shake or stop us.



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