MY TOP SHELF…

A desperate attempt to find a new blog subject.

I was invited to ‘A celebration of the music of Tim Rice’ at the Royal Festival Hall this week, but I thought that if I chose this as my subject I’d only go on about how beautifully presented were some of my favourite songs from the oeuvre of this true witty genius. Or how gorgeous Sophie Ellis Bextor looked as she gave us Another Suitcase and Another Hall from Evita, in the loveliest version I’d ever heard. Or how Cathy got weak at the knees at the very sight of Tim Minchin. Or how absurdly expensive it was to buy two glasses of wine and a packet of crisps in the interval. Or how I managed to tell Sophie Ellis Bextor at the party afterwards how wonderfully she had sung. Or how I was reminded of the last night of Superstar, when Jesus stood next to me at the party bar and said, “Have they only got bloody wine?”

But I decided all this stuff was a bit self-indulgent, so I decided to write about my top shelf instead. I could have chosen to mention all the shelves, but you need a few spare ideas in your armoury. So top shelf…

On my top shelf

Click the photo to see it full size. ‘Esc’ to return

The first item a casual observer might spot is one of those little artist’s wooden drawing figures, carefully positioned so it looks like he is preparing to dive off the edge. A lovely little model of Snow White which I gave to my Mum after a visit to Disneyland, and took back after she left us to it, bless her. Next to the Disney princess of them all is a squeezy Purple Parking mini-bus. I do a regular cartoon for this wonderful company, that goes out via email to about a million people – so I was so proud of it that it found its way to my top shelf.

Next to that, a clay model of some Jumblies sitting in a sieve with a tobacco pipe mast. When my colleague Alan Fenemore and I decided to do an animated film of this Edward Lear piece of classic nonsense, the sieve had to go round and round (and everyone said they’d all be drowned…) so trying to work out the inter-relationship of all the elements in the sieve as it spun was beyond me. Answer? Make a clay model, photograph it thirty times as I revolved it, and trace the results. Constantly repeat the sequence and there you go.

Near it is the award we won for the finished Jumblies film – IAC 2013 Best Animation. http://goo.gl/oTvksn

A lovely model of a yacht, very like the one a client of mine, half the Yachting Partners International team, once took me on from Cork to the Scilly Isles overnight. In spite of the fact that I told him I was much more adept at gin and tonics than ropes, he still whistled me aboard – and it was one of the best times of my life.

A big canvas of Cathy and me on our wedding day. Two photos of the resulting little chap, now five and a half, and a right one. An Oscar that the Thame Players presented to me for writing their panto Cinderella – the Sweetie Version, and all the scenery for it. Four or five 12′ high backdrops.. Among the gags in that masterpiece were a sign on the street scene pointing to Ma’s Bar (get it?) and special offers in a medieval shopping mall – Mall Teasers…

And lastly, two little wind-up Thomas the Tank Engine models.

There. Wasn’t that more interesting than the combined works of superstar lyricist Sir Tim Rice? No? Oh well…