One of my lifetime ambitions has been realised!

Newspaper Cartoons
Queen Victoria on the phone to Lancaster Castle.

Queen Victoria on the phone to Lancaster Castle.

How exciting, to be able to cross something off your “bucket list”. I’m not one for world travel or high octane death defying persuits, so my bucket list is really rather mundane. Still, that doesn’t make it altogether easy. For example, one of the items that’s been on my life’s to do list since I was very small is to one day meet The Queen. She and I both exist on this planet so as long as we both lived there was a chance, however small, that our paths would one day cross.
Well, it finally happened. Last Friday Her Majesty came up to Lancaster for a whistle stop visit to the castle and luckily I happened to be one of the lucky folk who were invited to attend a reception for her within the castle grounds. Myself and all manner of interesting dignitaries were lined up in the A-Wing of the former prison and I was one of the first people to be introduced to Her Majesty when she arrived at about 11-ish. It was unreal seeing her standing there, a woman who up until then I’d only ever seen on television, stamps and coins. The actual Queen of England, right in front of me!
I told her that it was a great honour to finally get to meet her, and I also told her I was a cartoonist and I’d drawn a picture of Queen Victoria that week in tribute to the fact she was visiting Lancaster. She smiled slightly and nodded, said it was “interesting” in the way one does when one is Queen and has to talk to a million people every year. Then she moved on down the line, occasionally stopping to ask someone what they did and so forth.
I couldn’t stop from staring at her as she went along, it was so very unreal. I’ve actually met and spoken to The Queen. I just wish I could have recorded the moment for posterity, mainly so I could remember in greater detail what happened because frankly it’s all a little hazy with shock and awe.
I do remember that she was wearing a light blue wedding hat, diamond/silver ear studs, a pale wool coat with blue buttons that went down to her knees, a broach, a pearl necklace, sturdy black shoes with stocky heels, a sturdy handbag, also black, and black gloves.
I just wanted to follow her around, get the chance to talk to her some more. But of course, it was not to be. She had a packed schedule and places to be, so she unveiled a plaque and went on her merry way.
Next life goal to accomplish then…be the featured artist of the month in Computer Arts magazine.

The Rocking Horse Is Coming Back!

Newspaper Cartoons
Lancaster Guardian cartoon.

Lancaster Guardian cartoon.

Sometimes it’s the little things, and often they seem to be horse related. First it was the horse shoe from horse shoe corner here in Lancaster that went missing as the building works started on the paving in town. People weren’t sure where it went to, but one day it was restored to the crossroads area between Cheapside and Penny Street and everyone was pleased.
All that remained to be restored was the Rocking Horse from the above 8 New Street. A long time relic of a shop sign, as the plaque nearby says (or something similar at least). It was hanging above Lawsons toy shop when I first arrived in Lancaster in 2004. Then the toy shop closed and the horse remained, hanging above All Fired Up – a ceramics cafe that opened on the spot. Then after that closed, the horse graced the wall above the new Greek taverna The Trojan Horse, which suited it well. Then after that, Enchanted Kids opened selling children’s clothes and toys, which was the closest the site came to returning to it’s bygone days of being a toy shop. Finally, and most recently, the shop is now going to be a burger bar.
In between Enchaned Kids closing down and now however, the horse vanished. There was much to-do and outcry about this, but all is not lost. Apparently the rocking horse had just been taken away to be restored to his former glory before he will be returned to his spec’ above the shop where he’s been for nigh on eighty years or so.
Though the contents of the shop may change and change again – the rocking horse will endure!

As for what he might have been up to whilst he’s finally got a holiday from his job as wall ornament, who can say? Breaking world indoor skiing records perhaps? One can only hazard a guess.

Dog Waste Management or Sporting Activity?

Newspaper Cartoons
Unpublished cartoon for Lancaster Guardian.

Unpublished cartoon for Lancaster Guardian.

I’ve been in a bit of a pickle…well, not so much a pickle as umming and ahhing. Basically, I got the cartoon all done and dusted and off to the newspaper as per usual. Only, this time, the story they were covering fell through and without an accompanying article to explain my lunacy, the cartoon can’t run either.
So…yeah. I guess it’ll just have to sit here and be one of life’s little mysteries. Generations from now people will say “what on earth was Jack going on about this this one?” we just don’t know…

General Election Day!

Newspaper Cartoons
Election candidates for the 2015 general election. Cartoon for Lancaster Guardian newspaper

Election candidates for the 2015 general election. Cartoon for Lancaster Guardian newspaper

It’s general election day 2015! This kind of thing only happens once every five years, so it’s quite exciting. Some people don’t seem to be as excited as I am, which is a shame. I’m one of those wide eyed hopeful people that believes in democracy and wants people to use their vote. You know.
Anyway, I didn’t want to get all “political”, but at the same time I don’t want to ignore the fact that the Lancaster Guardian is coming out on election day. So I thought hum…what kind of voting DO the people of Britain seem to care about?