Nov 10, 2010

The Joy of Being A Fallen Angel - Afterwards

From the age of four I attended Sunday School.

The school was an ancient Sunday School, so ancient that my  mother and her many friends had spent most the wild times of their premarried life in the Sunday School, or in the church. The Church had been going since 1859.

Set in the now posh inner Sydney suburb of "W", the Sunday School was in a double story building attached to the manse of our church. On one side was a large hall where the Church held its plays and pantomines, on the other was an enclosed and locked playground with swings and roundabouts and all manner of fun things - to those brave enough to climb the fence.

It was locked to keep the poor people out. For in those days the suburb of "W' was (relatively speaking) a working class quagmire of small semi detached houses with pan toilets and back alleys.

The Sunday School room itself was reached by climbing a steep set of stairs. At the top of the stairs you found yourself in a hexagonal room. There was a window in each of five walls. The floor was composed of grey floorboards with a bright but tattered rug in the centre. If you looked from the window you could see into the backyards where the poor people hung their washing.

In the centre of the Sunday School room was a half circle of child sized straw chairs.

For Sunday School lessons, we sat on those chairs, all pointing to the one seat in the middle of the circle where the Sunday School teacher sat. Behind her was a piano - on which to play the Sunday School songs. Next to her was the Birthday chair where any lucky child whose birthday had occurred in the proceding week took pride of place.
Flanking both teacher and birthday child were six foot high broom handles that stood on stands like senturies. Holes in the wood supported small flags. There were two types of flags - the English Union Jack, or the Australian Flag.

Once we had taken our places in front of our seats the teacher would pick out the birthday child. The birthday child would have the honour of sticking the flags into the broomstick handles. Then the teacher would go to the piano and start playing the first song. Her name was Caroline, and she had a fine voice.

My favourite song was "You need not fear the storm or the earthquake shock" because we all got to slap our hands together as we said 'shock'. We would clap them as hard as possible, clap them so the palms stung. It was fun. Especially when you were four years old.
Of course none of us realised that the song was a metaphor for the church. Neither were we interested. We didn't care if we were being indoctrinated. In fact, as an adult I think it was good for us.

Build on the Rock, the Rock that ever stands,
Oh, build on the Rock, and not upon the sands;
You need not fear the storm, or the earthquake shock,
You're safe for evermore if you build on the Rock.

Around the walls of the Sunday School were scattered pictures of scenes from Jesus' life. In one picture there he was with Lazaurus, in another he was with a crowd of barefoot smiling little blonde children. In the picture over the piano he was throwing the money lenders out of the temple. And finally, in the picture closest to the stair well, he was riding a donkey, surrounded by dust and adoring crowd. The crowds waved palm fronds at him in excitement.

Each picture was a beautiful water colour, the colours rich and vibrant, the tonal range muted - so that a feeling of peace and well being would decend on the viewer. The pictures were behind glass, and in little gold frames.

But the thing that none of us kids ever noticed was that Jesus was a white. It wouldn't have occurred to us to think that he would be anything else.

But not only was he white, he was tall, he was blonde, he had a prophet's blonde beard, he had beautiful hair that had been freshly shampooed, he had kind blue eyes, his face was kind and unwrinkled, his nose delicate and well mannered, his robes immaculate and freshly laundered.

Being of English, Irish and Scottish descent we were white kids with small cute noses, blue eyes, mainly blonde hair (all Australian children were blonde until the age of 13). We were perfect little Aryans. And, height, beard and hair aside, Jesus looked just like us.

How lucky was that?

It wasn't till later that I realised that it was all wrong. (see footnote).

But by then I'd left the church, gone my own way. Sadly I was the last Sunday School teacher. When I left in 1975 they closed the place down. The Church itself ceased being a Church in the 1980's. A fire set by an arsonist in 1989 left it nothing but a blackened shell.

So now you know.

These images for Illustration Friday illustrate the concept "Afterward". It's a nod to the blonde haired Norse looking Jesus I grew up with. In it you'll find Judas - with dark hair of course. There's also doubting Thomas, and the devil. And me.

The setting is the Garden of Gethsemane (what a beautiful name eh?). It's not meant to be figurative, but metaphorical. It represents the feelings and events of Gesthsmane, both past and present - and afterward.

Here's a quote about Gethsemane (from here)

Knowing of his coming betrayal by Judas, Christ went with his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. There he took the disciples Peter, James, and John aside and asked them to keep watch while he went apart and prayed. Twice Christ returned, found them sleeping and woke them. Upon returning the third time, he said: "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners

Thank you for being kind enough to look at this work.
PS: dthaase is setting up a whimsical wednesday. I think it's worth a visit.

Footnote: On Jesus' face. Modern research suggests us that Jesus probably had "abroad peasant's face, dark olive skin, short curly hair and a prominent nose. He was probably 5' 1" ( Alison Galloway, professor of anthropology at the University of California in Santa Cruz)


  1. Hmmm. I believe that in Spain at this time everyone is taking a nap!

  2. Hi Andrew, this remaind me a little on the codice da Vinci
    ... fantastic atmosphere

  3. I loved reading this. What a fine story! Oh yes! Jesus was blonde blue eyed gentle English speaking man in the movies but fortunately I had a mother who told us that it was the Hollywood Jesus we were watching on the screen and the true Jesus was in our faith. I was too young to understand but she told us never to kiss the community crosses, icons and photographs for they were vectors and harbinger of diseases especially tuberculosis and the colds during Lenten and other holiday seasons. She told us to worship the God who dwells in our hearts. Say what? Say What? I wanted to go up there and prostrate myself in front of the cross and bend over to show off my panty and petticoat! Yes! Right in front to f the altar with the wailing whining believers. Mother said no. She said to worship quietly and be stoic. Drats! That was not fun! I wanted to whip and flagellate myself and have me nailed on the cross!

    They still do that in the Philippines.

    Your images are very haunting. You know, you could design some saintly statues. I love the bearded man. He looks like the men in the lenten pageants. He reminds me of Rasputin!

  4. You are a terrific story teller. I wish I could meet you up for coffee. I don't even drink but I may start drinking beer just to listen to your stories.

  5. Oh on second thought that may not be a good idea. I may throw up. Because of the beer, not because of the stories. Have a great day Andrew!


  6. hello, it's me.
    to be really deeply seriously bloody desperately honest, i have had some issues with the religious thing lately (note: being discriminated), so im just gonna enjoy the images if you dont mind...

    love being here.

  7. hello, i found this

    i want to be lovely just like audrey.

  8. Bravo encore pour l'ensemble de vos illustrations... ainsi que pour l'histoire... Il est vrai que je suis obligée de lire à plusieurs reprises... mon anglais est un peu moins savant et le traducteur me donne l'impression de me traduire un texte après avoir bu toutes les bouteilles de vin de ma cave!!!

  9. Le regard de votre Jésus est très doux...
    J'avais oublié de vous le dire et aussi un grand merci pour l'ensemble de vos messages...
    A bientôt,

  10. I remember once when I was little I was looking at someone's collection of angel figurines, all blond, & I asked my mother, "Aren't there any dark-haired angels?" She responded lightly with what I now know was meant as a joke, "Only if they're black." But at the time I was stricken, thinking I'd never make it into heaven with my dark hair!

    Who knows, maybe that's what set me up to be a skeptic... :)

    Fascinating image!

  11. Well, you never seize to amaze, do you? You´ve been a Sunday-school-teacher? I didn´t see that one coming! But then again, I bet you didn´t know I´d been a missionary for a year, either... People are funny. They have so many layers. That´s what make them interesting.
    But enough with the small-talk. I love your images. Really. The main one is almost baroque in all it´s glory, filled with symbols and details and the warm colors. I think actually this might be one of my favorite of your pieces. The light is beautiful over the garden, and brings that little extra magic to it.
    When you´re done with the book of Hell, maybe you should get going on the book of Heaven.... Faith (and religion) is a curious thing. Few things can evoke stronger emotions in people.

  12. What an incredible story and illustration! I think Jesus was a bit more swarthy than the one we all grew up with.Were you there at that ancient church for many years? Terrible that it all burnt down! I spent a lot of years in Sunday school and every summer at church camp with a religious sect called the Mennonites (kind of like the Amish.) They were a good early influence on my life. As usual I wish I could step into your pictures to get a closer look at all the beautiful details. Thanks for your kind comments too! :o)

  13. yopodríaservosoalguien!

    ahh I am good because today it is Rememberance Day today here in Oz, we remember the dead from the wars. I am sorry that the flag is not working. I just translated it in google and it changes the pronouns around (he becomes 'I' etc.)

    Lucky we understand each other eh? It's a miracle. But art tells a story by itself - the words are just wrapping on the present perhaps.

  14. Hey Laura, ohh you have a great avatar. The da Vinci Code is a page turner and made me want to be rich so I could visit the places. If only Dan Brown could write ..... ;) just kidding.

  15. Oh Laura I forgot to say thanks :) ! :)

  16. Andrew, already back?

    this issue for me is also very familiar.
    I was educated in Catholic schools and all my relatives came from Italy at the turn of last century, so the church and school were an extension of home ...

    This illustration is great!
    I liked the elements in the assembly of the scene, the devil [who could not miss], levitation, the altar with the sides and the entire hierarchy, and the lovely Jesus!
    The figure of Jesus has always been clear-eyed blonde - and in the 70's, when they started, the communities of young people, had a song that asked: Do you have the same love? if Jesus was a man of color? ...
    nobody questioned it; was kind of scandalous ...

    and you know, this chorus of the song, that you children sing is very positive and encouraging, brings security! and fits very well to this day:
    Build on the Rock, the Rock That ever stands,
    Oh, build on the Rock, and not upon the sands;
    You need not fear the storm, or the earthquake shock,
    You're safe for evermore if you build on the Rock.

    think it is good to wake up every day, which need not fear, is built on the rock ....
    the nuns in my school, we only teach us very well "to be guilty", they still do not know that!

    if I start talking about this, I need an appointment with the analyst ...

    thanks for sharing!

  17. Hey Ces, well your mum was smart, you wouldn't want to be turning men's minds to the dark side in that situation. Men have enough trouble as it is (see, being a robot I am speaking in the third person narratorial voice :) )

    Oh thanks for reading the story I am practicing my Hemingway voice. The man nodded at his gun. He said "Two beers". The man behind the lolly bar pulled the beers. Ces stood and watched the beers. She felt sick. She felt sick and the day was hot. Later, after the beers were gone, she walked out onto the street. In the street she made a painting.
    The painting was good. :) :)


  18. Hola Mita, I am sorry about the religious thing. Oh I am not religious but would like to be. Especially as I get older and closer to you know what. If there is a Heaven I reckon it's the place to be. Thank you for the Audrey Picture. She is delicate. Reminds me of someone perhaps? :) I think she reminds me of me :) (just kidding) Hope your day in the mountains is grande.

  19. Bonjour Martine, oui je vois que boire quelques bouteilles de bon-Rouge française rendrait le traducteur de google plus intelligent. Peut-être que nous pouvons avoir une conversation avec M. Google. Je crois qu'il aimerait aussi certaines de vos peintures! Voyant qu'il a le goût des aliments. A très bientôt!

    Well that's almost right. I wrote Mr google has good taste. And the translated French says :He has the taste of good food!

    Thank you again for checking out the images.

    À plus tard!

  20. Greetings Leah, thanks a lot for visiting. :) I am enamoured of your work as you know. It would be wonderful to see it in real life. Your creatures and imagination tap into the source. I'm looking for the source actually.

    We need dark haired angels you know. The blonde ones I have heard get sunburnt .... :) For example, my nose is the colour of an over ripe grape (but I am not an angel)

    see you :)

  21. God dag Janne, håper jeg at du hadde det gøy å være misjonær?

    Hey you have dipthongs in Norwegian? How good is that! Actually when I first saw your picture I guessed you were a missionary :) Did you go to a foreign land? We have missionary's in Australia, sent from America to convert us. They ride pushbikes, wear black straight ties and are very nice.

    Thanks for liking this piece. I was scared I'd made it too.... sepia, and dark and lacking in detail? I'm never sure. Blurry is good to a point (that's why I always forget my reading glasses) :)

    A religious book of Heaven. That's an idea! But I think illustrations are like the evening news. ? It's such a dangerous topic religion. Fills people with passion.

    see you

    hold on where is google tyranslator... Ser deg når sunshines igjen!

  22. Denise, Oh I need an appointment with the analyst as well :) Can you recommend one ? :) Actually here we have what is called 'Catholic Guilt'. It effects many people, but I was am were a protestant, so it is hard for me to understand. I can only guess that people being human act like people. So it is our spirituality versus our animalness? And our animalness leads us to guilt?

    Oh the song is grande. Just lots of fun.

    We used to have a hymn called Onward Christian Soldiers.

    Onward Christian soldiers.
    Marching as to war.
    With the cross of Jesus,
    Going on before....

    Considering the implications I could never figure out why we were singing it, but it had a good tune.

    Of course, it was just a metaphor for spreading the 'word'.

    Now days I think it is banned.
    We have political correctness and are too scared to leave our homes. :)

    see you!

  23. Heidi! Oh it's a pleasure to visit your work. I just saw your "Spent"... where have I been? And I had to look up 'swarthy' :) So you have taught me a new word thank you.

    And also the Mennonites. I thought they were a bunch of people who lived in Syria in 2000 BC ... so today I have learnt two things already.

    thank you for liking the work :)

    cheers from :)

  24. Hiya, Fin! Just wanted to make some noise after reading this post... and make you feel obligated to respond ;-)

    You touch onto a lot of things here... Would love to bounce a few things off of you privately, to see how far your eyeballs would cross in hearing them, but... well... but.

    The imagery you have created here is very intriguing on so many levels.

  25. Bonjourno Arik,

    well how is the setam punk project? Err make that 'steam' punk :) I see you have galvanised the anim8or hoi polli. I drop in and watch im amazement, you are doing an amazing job.

    Thanks for looking at the work. When you get a chance, how about starting an illustration blog? I think it would be good and fit in with the writing?


  26. Do you mean take the Steampunk project and blog-ificate it?

    Yes, I did sort of quietly wonder if, by mention of my steampunk idea, it might end up getting taken on. It was very surprising just how big the response and team-effect became, and continues. I have fallen behind, of course...

  27. your blog is very interesting and I'm impressed by your talent, I'm always admiring by those who create it !
    I congratulate you for your very good work, I follow you with pleasure !

    Bye Mahon

  28. Mr. Finnie, another incredible image. I find myself studying this intensely, almost floating into it. There seem to be several side stories going on, enough to keep my imagination whirring. Beautiful how the light strikes Jesus's face from beneath. And why does Judas remind me a bit of Steven Tyler?

    I enjoyed your trip to your childhood. I could envision the building and climbing the steps and the small straw chairs in a semi circle. I could hear the happy singing and clapping of little children. You are a master storyteller, indeed.

    I forgot to mention in the last post that I am THIS close to reporting you and Ces to the CIA, FBI, and Interpol. I suspect you two are secretly bionic. Or somehow superhuman. Or perhaps the result of military genetic testing. No ordinary being could possibly produce the quantity of art that you two produce, certainly not at such an excellent calibre.

    Am I inksane?


    In truth, I am rummy and odd and queer. The honor of being risible falls to you.

    Oh, look at that. Blogger agrees with me. It is calling me rumall. All rum. Got Coke?

  29. Aw stop it. I am hardly gone 24 hours and you are already emotionally blackmailing me. I need to pay attention to some very important matter. A month, or two maybe three. I hope I will be able to return next year in the early spring and if the angels and Jesus answer my prayers, earlier. I will come here and harass you now and then!

  30. hello :)
    I went to Catholic school so I found this entry particulary close to my own memories as a child. Those were good days. Maybe because children don't question so much about life (they just enjoy it), then being Catholic there was always Jesus to fix any problem we had right? I kind of miss that feeling of being safe religion gave me back then.I'm not a religious believer now but I think I can't denied the importance of faith, it gives people hope, strength to endure difficult times and believe in god can help people believe in themselves to reach their goals. It's a nice quality to have faith, if I could choose I'd rather to believe, too bad that's something we can't choose.
    Funny you mention this image of blonde jesus. I understand it was used first in europe so people could identified with him. Here in south america is a different story...I guess it must have been an important part of the spanish conquest to reaffirm superiority.
    However indian artists have found their way to show their own vision of jesus, maybe not in the church but I've seen many "nacimientos" made by artisans with a dark skinned Jesus. Some are really beautiful art pieces.
    I really enjoyed the picture, looks like it's hiding some secrets there. An enigma...that's what makes it so interesting to watch.
    I must go now, see you :)

  31. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! I JUST READ your reply to my first comments. I love your Hemmingway impression and I love that you portrayed me as painting in the street and it was good. When I get a chance to paint this season, I shall think of your image as Rasputin and I will giggle! Ah maybe I will just hang out here and rack up comment points. How the heck did Amalia get on first place?

  32. Arik

    Oh I meant for your own art. It would meld well with your story telling, the two could be symbiotic. You know, the hole is bigger than the golf ball.... err I mean the whole is bigger than the parts :) No that didn't come out right. I meant you are a good writer and a good anim8or so the two might go together :)

  33. Mahon, thanks so much. I have seen your red cat album and oh those flowers made me hungry, so lush and wild and succulent. It was like visiting another country thank you :)

  34. Hello Bella by name and nature :)

    Rummy odd and queer? Now wherever did you find those words, they sound like antonyms not synonyms. :) :)

    Oh Jesus is lit from the bottom. You are very observant! It was a suprise that he turned out so gentle looking because whenever I stick a torch under my face I look spoooky. But then again, I look spooky anyway.

    Thankyou for not reporting me to the rspsca, the pofctc (prevention of cruelty to children society) and the BBMAOA (the big boned men's association od Australia) .

    Actually I woke up the other morning and could see ten strange things poking up at the end of the bed .... they were my toes. I haven't seen them for months, in fact I thought they'd gone into hiding, but there they were. I recognised them because of the black polish (slightly worn) I painted on them for Christmas last year

    heh. :) Thank you for reading my story and being kind about my art. :) See you. Alas I have no magik word with witch to share. :)

  35. Sorry ces, I didn't mean to blackmail you emotionally - after all, I still have those photos I found on that site you sent me :)

    But seriously, I am glad you have seen sense and are having a rest from blogging. It is good for 'us' in the end because you will make more art.

    Bloggers suffer but the world, as a whole, becomes a better place.

    I hope you are well.!

  36. Hey Ana, well you sound just like me. I would be happy to be religious, to believe in 'things', to have faith.

    Mind you, I was walking on the beach a few days ago, looking up at the dome of the sky, seeing the never ending blueness and the white clouds scudding, watching how the earth curved on the horizon, and I had this distinct feeling that I was just a small vertical dash sticking up from the surface of the earth, and that the earth itself was small, covered in a fragile glass dome, and outside that small glass dome the rest of the universe just went on forever and ever...

    Which it does of course.

    You know when the blonde haired Jesus thing hit me? When I saw some pictures of Jesus in a Korean church. And he looked Korean.

    That's when it dawned on me.

    see you :)

  37. Ces, oh that gadget is, like a sinking ship, buggered :) (sorry that is swearing.)

    Oh I dialed up how to write like hemingway the other day. I love his writing. No adjectives, no adverbs, nothing extraneous.

    The man had rhythm.
    Till he blew his brains out.

    I think what is not said, is more important than what is said, eh?

    After all, we spend most of our lives saying something slightly different to what we really mean.

    Why start now?

    Let me search a Hemingway quote.

  38. Something from a Farewell to Arms

    "But we were never lonely and never afraid when we were together. I know that the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started......... If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them.

    Twell, how's that for gobbley gook

  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  40. Well... I'd sure love to see what you could do with "Uncle Klaus in the Jail Cell".... And, I did revisions recently, so the chapters have a bit of rework from Chapter 3 on...

  41. Hey Andrew! I hope you enjoyed the surf! It was a great surprise visit by you over at my place. My door is always open. Your comments are always so... interesting. Welcome back! I see I already missed some of your posts. That procrastination piece was genius!!!

    I was raised Catholic and our “Jesus” was also blue eyed and blond haired.I never really contemplated it as a kid... but then I never really thought about anything but baseball! I fell away from the catholic faith because I lost some loved ones in my life and “Jesus” never really meant much to me. When I did life on my own for 20 years and ended up divorced and facing time in the clinker... I turned to Jesus and He was there with open arms! Ten years later (afterward) Now I am a Sunday school teacher! I’ve never felt a more true peace in all my years Life is funny!

    Enough about me! See what raw emotion and passion your work brings out in me! (and others I see). Great work as usual my friend! You are a storytelling genius! I was walking up those stairs and saw the room as I opened the door. You described it so perfectly! You are a picture artist as well as a word artist.

  42. Hey Arik, well I just read Chapter 3 again, it's a fine rework. Good to see the steampunk sites happening :)

  43. Hello Jack, well it's great to see you too. I don't like coming to your place because you make me laugh and I am vain and worry about wrinkles. I had botox of course, but it tasted real bad...

    it wasn't till after the third course did I discover you were supposed to inject it ... :)

    Oh you have had an interesting life, more interesting than my comments even.

    It's good that you have come full circle. I am jealous. You are an unfallen angel! But I already knew that.

    Did you ever see those ninja movies where the ninjas upfall into the trees? I guess it's like that eh? :)

    I worried about doing a post that touched on Religion you know. It can evoke a lot of emotions. I'm glad it turned out okay!

    thanks for your kind words also

    see you :)

  44. Mita! O Ces is having a short break.

    She is like the blue fairy you know. I think that if we all close our eyes and wish very hard she will change her mind.

    Failing that, I have her address ;)

  45. Great thoughts, story and images for "Afterwards." You have found and created beauty in damnation, but it seems to be a dangerous place to linger...Oh be careful, little eyes, what you see! ;o)

  46. Well, you know I am busy when I haven't even taken the time to comment on your work. I must have looked at it already, but not had time to comment, because I had to skim through to make sure I hadn't commented and forgotten. Lovely Jesus, and he is the blue eyed, blond haired Jesus of my Catholic and then later protestant upbringing also. Beautiful and interesting work as usual Andrew. For some reason I have always wanted to do a religious piece, but I never have. You don't shy away from anything, I really respect that.

  47. Danke für das Sehen auf meiner Seite, viele Grüße von Jasmin

  48. Michele, well there is beauty in that warning thankyou. Yes it is a dangerous place to linger!


    I better not linger longer

  49. Karen, hey! I'm sorry you are so busy. Soon you will have time I hope :)

    On sunject matter ..Oh if you knew me in real life you woul find that my mouth has no filter. It's an interesting mouth - someimes I leave it at home :)

    lookng forward to your next gem :)

  50. Jasmin... Meine Freude Jasmin genoss ich Ihre Arbeit

  51. Thanks, Andrew.
    I believe that we are surrounded by good times. but sometimes, we do not know see them clearly. And we believe that everything around us is negative. life always gives us the ability to smile. and good music is one of the roads. not be deprived of hearing.
    Good suns. good moons. and good winds, also are excellent signs.

  52. I just love the work, the technical skill involved and the story.
    I grew up in Sydney and went to a Catholic school, it sure brought back a few memories ... and a tune or two :)

  53. Hello, Andrew! I'm sorry for my silence, but I've been seriously ill the last couple of weeks. I'm still taking pills, but am feeling much better, so here I am again.
    I've told you not once that you are a brilliant story teller. Reading your Sunday School story, I saw everything as if in a movie and felt such a pleasure! Your experience differs so much from my own, but I see what you are talking about. The "religion" theme is a complicated one for our society, 'cause before the political changes, during the communist governing, going to church was forbidden, so to say. Nowadays everything has changed and people are free again to choose their religion and to decide whether to believe in God, following their hearts and necessities...
    Your drawing is amazing! I like the softened light and the nuances in colours, as well as the composition!
    I hope to see you again soon! Have a lovely week!

  54. Oh, just watch this - It was posted a little while ago in the blog of a very talented doll maker -

  55. Andrew, you always with your eye cunning and smart.
    Perhaps the person, your glimpse hidden
    probably me, maybe I am the tree.
    (I've endured many hurricanes and still standing)
    Thanks for your comment.
    Oh. I have not said anything about this post. Well, you know. when I'm with my mouth open like a mummy, I can not speak. my jaw is not moving.

    *:These illustrations are astounding!

  56. Okay... I read your tags and they say: Devil, Illustration Friday, Jesus, Judas... Hhm, quite a curious lot to sum up from those, I'll say! Your Sunday school teacher would be so proud of you... (and the Devil too?) :)

    I do very much love the ancient antiquity feel to these, Monsieur. Although being no expert on the subject, I can only offer you "mmm...eerr...uuh...Damnation! Magnificent job, matey!" (I hope that's all righty...:)).

    And lucky angelic Aussy kids! I hope they grow up still looking angelic... Well, thank God I was a so-so looking brat, and I grew up into just humbly looking old me. Could never cope with that kind of disappointment, if I may so myself...heheh. :))

    Anyway, have a good day today! (6_*)

  57. Notable historia la tuya, posiblemente cuando se es moreno es más dificil creer en Dios... cuando la vida infantil tenia menos televisión tenia más domingos parroquiales. Por esos caprichos de la memoria aprendí las misas completas, aun persigo las viejas canciones que se entonaban en mi infancia de niña catolica, aun persigo esos espacios altos y frescos de las antiguas iglesias de mi pueblo que los terremotos tiraron al suelo.

    Gigantes saludos

  58. I think that began to appear syndrome: "I will not be the last to leave comments because Andrew is about to upload a new picture" Do not you think so?
    Ehhh. I do not mind, I love to be the last!
    Hugs, Andrew!!

  59. Hya Ram, oh I just realised it was Paul MCartney Ram? I thought it was like "Ram' like masculine man. Me, I am a goat :) Whether Billy or Nanny is hard to tell. :)

    Oh yes, we are surrounded by good times. It is only we step outside ourselves can we see that. We need the clarity of distance. It's the same when we are young and beautiful eh? It's only when we are old and craggy do we look back and see the truth.

    Ahh to reverse time. :)

  60. Naomi, hey thanks. I'm so glad I found your site again, it fell off my radar. The 'net is like a dark forest with lots of luminous laterns hanging from the tree branches, but I quite often get confused and lose my way.

    But I managed to find tasmania thankyou :)

    avagoodday !

  61. Ross-i-chickee :) Thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad you like the story. I read it again and it is full of passive tense (lots of 'was') so I need a wrap of the knuckles.

    Oh you are so lucky to be free now. Here in the west we had so much propaganda about the Eastern block during the cold war. The weird thing is that it appears to be all true.

    Still, they still bend our minds. It's like 1984. One year we hate this person, the next year we hate someone else.

    That's why I don't read the newspaper (I only look at the pictures). Thanks for that video. It is truly inspirational eh?

    see you !

  62. Skizo, Oh dear, you are another person I had lost. Another rap on my knuckles. Thank you for visiting. Your man with the hole in the head is wonderous.

    Skizo, querida Oh, você é outra pessoa que tinha perdido. Outra batida em meus dedos. Obrigado pela sua visita. Seu homem com o furo na cabeça é wonderous.

  63. Hola Don Roberto, heh. Oh do you know musical chairs? The one thing about life is that you can be sure that at one time the music will stop.

    Are we gentlemen and grab the last remaining chair? Or do we do as they did on the Titanic, drown in the icy waters of chair-less-ness?

    Heaven knows what google translate will make of 'chairlessness'? :)

  64. Haha Amalia, you are very funny :) Oh we are not angelic looking kids here. We were ugly brats with vegemite on our faces. (vegemite is a salty yeast extract that, when smeared on the face, looks like dark you know what).

    The mists of time gave us all blue eyes and blonde hair. Now all thos blue eyed kids have red runny eyes, scabs on their face - from having the sun cancers burnt off - skin like albino crocadiles and grey white comb overs that must be glued down on windy days.

    (thankls for looking at my work :) )

    Oh I never knew I couldn't spell crocidiles)

    ahh got it right with the least expected spelling.

  65. Hi Andrew, I'll tell you the truth.
    my name is Roberto Alfredo Marín: RAM.
    Is smiling?
    Perhaps Paul was referred to me (ja ja). I prefer the later photograph of John with a pig.

  66. Antonia, hey well I will let google gargle once not twice. So you are a 'dressmaker scarecrow'? Oh but you are a poet. That cannot be denied.
    So a poet.

    I'm sorry, I didn't know about your earthquakes. We have such an insular life here. It is like Ptolemy's theory of the universe, but Australia, not the vatican is the centre of the universe :)

    Don't tell anyone!

  67. You're amazing, Andrew. What a story and illustration. Thought-provoking.

  68. Dear Andrew, one who's outside could never understand in full what our life used to be and how it changed. I think we live normally now and it's so important for our children. Yes, the Iron Curtain existed and the best example for it was the divided town of Berlin into East Berlin and West Berlin... But I don't like to talk about politics, I prefer to enjoy life! In contrast to you I like to watch TV news, 'cause there's always something to be heard or seen... It's another theme how much "rubbish" sneaks there...

  69. Wow, what mistake! You were talking about newspapers... Sorry!:(((

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