Thursday, 1 October 2015

All Sorts Day



It all seems so long ago now. A cold lunchtime in late January, with us coming out of a very French wine bar just off the Charing Cross Road and me blinking at the light as I watched my publisher cycle quickly off into the traffic. Leaving me wondering "What have I done?". You see, it was January this year and somewhere between one libation and the next I'd said "Of course I can do it by the end of July". But I did, and I have to say that amongst all my books this is the one I've enjoyed putting together the most. And it's out today.

Everything became a pleasure. Pouring over Ordnance maps to find ruined Norfolk churches, talking to a very attractive driver of a new Heatherwick Routemaster in Victoria, having deep meaningful conversations with the Tiptree Jam people, polishing-up a Hornby O Gauge Fyffes Banana truck, turning up in a back street of Abingdon at a couldn't-be-bettered moment, remembering unprovoked attacks made on me by a chicken, attempting to whittle a list down to just three James Ravilious photographs, lying on a shingle beach in Aldeburgh thinking about my first pint of Adnams.

And the kindness of people. Edward Milward Oliver for sending me fantastic stills of Raymond Hawkey film titles, Tony Meeuwissen for sending me gorgeous examples of his outstanding work, Tom Harris for letting me crawl all over his newly-restored 1952 Jaguar XK120. Clive Aslet for writing such an insightful preface, Richard Gregory for meticulously and patiently making sure the whole thing got printed satisfactorily- which it was, by the exceptional Conti Tipocolor in Florence. And the inimitable David Campbell (the Charing Cross Road peddler) for well, another brilliant lunch, making it all happen and then just letting me get on with it. So many incredible people helped, I do hope I remembered you all in my 'thanks' bit at the back.

Your local bookshop will of course at this very minute be putting shed loads in their windows, but in any case you can read more here.


22 comments:

Biff Raven-Hill said...

I have had the privilege of seeing this book already and it is a truly beautiful thing. The contents are so unexpected and, although it follows the format of the other Unmitigated books, in that it shines a light into the delicious minutiae of England, the topics that he covers give a genuine insight into the uniqueness and eccentricity of both our landscape and our mentality. Well done that boy!

Peter Ashley said...

Thank you very much Biff. I wondered where that advance copy had gone!

Stephen Barker said...

Congratulations I look forward to getting a copy to add to the others.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Stephen

S.P.Moss (Sue) said...

Oooooh! Just as well I have a birthday coming up, really.

Peter Ashley said...

Happy Birthday Sue! Peruse it over a big slice of cake!

Diplomate said...

Marvellous
Very Good
Carry On

The Vintage Knitter said...

Congratulations on the birth of a new book! Another one for the VK library I reckon.

Peter Ashley said...

Welcome back Diplo! Got any badger pate left?

VK: Thankyou!

martin said...

Having retired, I've swapped the necessity of South London for the Unmitigated Joy of Cornwall. Received Allsorts from the bookshop yesterday. All I can do is echo Diplo's comment. Will there be a fourth?

Peter Ashley said...

Are you a Doc, Martin? Retiring to Portwen? I think I might have enough for a fourth volume sometime, with perhaps even more about Cornwall.

Thud said...

On my chrimbo list!

Peter Ashley said...

Well done Thud!

Jon Dudley said...

Brilliant! what more can I say...

Peter Ashley said...

Thank you Jon. Actually, thank you very much.

Majorwheels said...

Arrived today, brilliant, love the LT section!

Peter Ashley said...

Thank you Majorwheels. The more I learn about LT the more I want an RF single decker. To do Unmitigated England Tours in. Actually........

Majorwheels said...

Oh yes Peter, the sightseeing version with the glass roof sections, ideal for tours, if you are looking for a driver...

Peter Ashley said...

You're on Major. Provided you have the pale grey jacket and white summer top to your cap. And badges of course. Actually I've got them.

Jon Dudley said...

Just purchased my copy...an unmitigated delight!
Apart from the visual delights, I particularly enjoyed your pieces about early days with the big design groups, designers and illustrators all pre-Mac of course and with the attendant old skills. Took me right back there...the aroma of Cow Gum in the morning and the scalpel wounds after extended lunches; tripping out on Magic Marker fumes (and other stuff) was the reward for a visual well-done...

Peter Ashley said...

Thank you Jon! The chapter you refer to, Pipes & Pencils: Design Without A Mac On, is an extended part of what was going to be in a whole book on graphic design before computers. Which may still happen, after I've re-jigged these pieces.

Somewhere in Ashley Towers, I think, a tin of Cow Gum is lurking. If I find it I will do a still life of it with other accoutrements like Rapidographs. The only thing missing will be a 'gubungee', which, as you know, is the Cow Gum eraser made from successive removals of gum from around our 'paste-ups'.

Jon Dudley said...

Great balls of snot! (as we called cow gum rubbers)! Can't wait for that. Wish we'd kept some of the hundreds of Magic Marker visuals for brochures and ads we did over the years...some were really lovely things produced by really talented people; I do hope someone has.