Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Fence Hopping

Although the title of this entry is primarily concerned with the realisation that a change of scenery (project direction) is the order of the day, and that the grass can sometimes look a little greener, given ones current viewpoint, and possibly more constructive in the long run (see below), it does remind me of a game I used to enjoy playing when I was a kid.

Fence Hopping was the (ahem)... "sport" of finding a long row of terraced houses with similar styled front gardens (in Britain this is not hard to do) and attempting to traverse said gardens, in a parallel fashion, from one end to the other by roughly concentrating on the centre line within the gardens between the front door and the front gate. There were some rules involved which tended to focus around what actually counted as a "score" when it came to the traversing of each individual garden. Of course, the score was maintained by a small mob of like-minded youths who followed your progress by running adjacent to you along the street shouting encouragement. The main rule was as follows...

To score a point, one must successfully navigate an individual garden (the space defined by the usual suburban boundaries such as hedge, bedding (flowers), wall, fence etc...) without destroying property or invoking the resident of the garden/house to "investigate" the disturbance while a foot is still in physical contact with the ground of said property.There were other more subtle rules that resulted from certain circumstances (I'll leave that up to your imagination), but the main rule is the one that really defined the spirit of the game.

I was a nimble little sod, so was naturally good at this game and maintain the record score of 47 which I achieved by attempting what was considered the "Everest" of Fence Hopping exploits: a twisting row of 56 suburban gardens placed in a giddy architectual town planners loop... One that involved 3 seperate acts of pond-jumping (a sub-sport itself), 2 frontal attacks on lines of tall conifer trees, 3 sheds (the second of which was the failure of many previous attempts), 4-6 fences that involved some physical strain that doesn't fall under the header of "hopping", and one or two mischivious pets (very dangerous when it comes to the resident reaction rule).

I never thought I'd find myself (as a grown man) bragging about my Fence Hopping exploits - even though I have always been drawn to such thoughs every time I come into contact with the notion of sitting on the fence or the grass being greener. I guess it's good to finally get a chance to vent my Fence Hopping escapades and get them off my chest.So what does this ramble have to do with the sketch-post? Oh, just judge for yourself...

I've had little time to sketch, paint or post lately, but here's a dump of a few tidbits concerning the "Garra Ruffa" project I was working on. I say "was" because, after getting my mits on a set of traditional Manga inking nibs, I fast realised I am woefully inadequate with the unruly swines. But to cut a long story short, I have recently swapped my initial comic book setting for one that is far more forgiving when it comes to lines drawn in ink. I haven't discarded this setting. I'm just in the process of creating a new setting (see next post) that will hopefully be a better learning ground for inking with traditional nibs.

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