Diary… Classic Bosch needs slight attention

Drill chucks and the dark arts of SEO

🔹The things you end up saying yes to. While on holiday recently I got a message from a London neighbour, Tom, asking me if I can fix his drill chuck. 

I replied that I would get back to him when we return from Tenerife, but in the meantime the short answer is “unlikely”.

Today I got to check out his chuck. He wants to replace it because his bits are slipping.

And just like I guessed while on holiday in Tenerife, there was little I could do to help, so I suggested he ask the guys in our local hardware shop, which is helpfully named City Hardware.

I did admire his tool though, a classic Bosch power drill he inherited from his father 27 years ago.

The City Hardware staff are notorious for their earthy banter and practical jokes.

I once went in to buy a rubber door wedge. “One question,” I was asked. “Is it for a left-handed door, or a right-hander?” 

Tom seemed satisfied with my City Hardware solution and happy even to step into the den of ridicule that a visit to the store can so often turn out to be, so I left it at that.

🔹I don’t have many regular visitors to this blog, so I have been trying to work out what I’m doing wrong, other than being a bore.

I have one regular visitor, Zaza19, and I’m convinced it is my sister in disguise, trying to show mercy by taking on an alias.

In WordPress – my blog host (because it’s free) – the key determinants for people plugging into your wit and wisdom are CATEGORIES and TAGS.

Both of these things come from the dark arts of the internet known as SEO, which I have worked out stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

I simply have no idea what buttons I’m meant to press or what words I need to type into the fields that require filling, and I’m not sure I really care.

Doing SEO for what I consider to be idle mutterings somehow seems wrong.

It’s like you’re taking yourself seriously, which I’m dead against. 

All I want to do is write the text, take the pictures and draw the drawings.

Anything else seems like hard work, which I’m dead against.

So obscurity is perhaps where I am meant to be.

The sad truth

🔹Later I met development manager Laura at the Barbican Kitchen for a chat about Headway East London’s plans for ABI Week in May.

I agreed to help facilitate getting ideas from HEL members and learned that she no longer lives in Manchester but in Chichester.

🔹On a brighter note, I have been scouring the Autograph ABP ‘Exhibition in a Box’ collection ‘The Missing Chapters: Black Chronicles’ for suitable subjects to use in a monoprint workshop I’m meant to deliver at the Shoreditch gallery in March.

One is a boxer, the other is a vicar.

Boxer Peter Jackson 1889
Rev Thomas L Johnson,
circa 1893

These characters are fascinating for many reasons, but from a monoprinting point of view the Autograph portraits have strong shape and definition. 

There are also nice details to play with, such as Jackson’s pocket handkerchief and watch chain, and the lines around Johnson’s eyes and the glasses hooked into his waistcoat. His hair looks like endless fun. 

That’s also a very big knot in his tie, a trend that appeared to take off with flamboyant UK soccer stars in the late 20th Century, but now seems to have fallen out of favour. Thankfully.

🔹Read the Thursday journal.