April 12th…

A day out yesterday in the chilly April air…

The Long man of Wilmington is not made of chalk like the Cerne Abbas Giant ( bagged both these guys now!). Neither does he show off his best bits like the Dorset giant. Wilmington long man is made of white painted bricks placed along the original design on the hillside which was once only visible in certain light conditions. If you get up close apparently his proportions don’t look so odd from below! We sat and admired him from afar and raised a glass to the preservation of enigmatic drawings on British hillsides.

Then we went hunting and I spotted…

None of which took my fancy. Then I saw this

And delved into my bag for some paper, and got to work manually moving the platen along as the drawband was broken. The mainspring was still intact and I pondered…

I’ve never typed on it handled one of these though I’ve seen a couple in better condition with much higher price tags in antique shops. It was nice to get intimate with it but its price was too high and they would only come down by a tenner!

Just not quite screaming “take me take me take me” I left it muttering to itself about its nice blue detail and the fact that it was a Special … ah well!


A Wild SM9

Last weekend I spotted this Olympia in a charity shop by the sea

I had paper in my bag and asked to test it out

After a few minutes of idle chat with the volunteers in the shop I asked if I could take it away and clean it up for them. They said yes straight away, so I took it back up the hill. Bloody hell it was heavy, carrying it all the way when I already had a full bag of groceries!

It had that old Olympia smell, weird how some brands seem to cultivate a distinct aroma over the decades. The previous owner was keen on erasers. All the gunk I cleaned up was old greasy eraser crumbs:


I took the whole shell off. The easiest shell removal I’ve encountered so far. The whole front is the ribbon cover and pops off without hassle

The rest is secured with four screws on the base

Can’t help but admire that naked hulk in the evening light. A thorough careful clean with long handled brushes and a bit of canned air. Actually the air was useless on the eraser crumbs. There was just one loose spring we had to fix back. I’m guessing it was the tab set. It went back in place easily with a pair of tweezers.

I revitalised the ribbon with a bit of WD40. Easily the most hurried and slapdash operation I’ve ever done on a ribbon, taking me about ten minutes. I gave the unravelled ribbon a light spray and didn’t wait to let it soak before winding it back on the spools.

I left it overnight. The next day was St Patrick’s Day…

I cleaned the typeface with blue tack and the key tops with a soapy rag. I also cleaned the case with a soapy jute scrubber outside

Ok great! I fully intended taking some nice shots for the database before taking it back to the shop this weekend. However!

The SM9 got adopted before that could happen yesterday. It’s now sitting happily in its new home, and I have to take a twenty down the road to the charity shop when I’ve finished my tea, which is like…. now

Happy to have found a home for the SM 9 I was starting to get attached to. I know it will get lots of use, and I’m so pleased to be able to help out with sourcing a really fine machine.

Up The Revolution! Type on, my friends 🙂

Album Cover Artwork

Available today on Bandcamp, general release I believe is the 22nd March 2019.

This is already my favourite Pyramids of Space album, (and it has nothing to do with my artwork being chosen for the cover!) Seriously crafted epic journey. This album by rights ought to be on vinyl. It deserves the kind of listening we have grown out of in the digital age. Set aside enough time to play it through from start to finish on first listen the way we used to with LPs.


J’aime, mais c’est trop cher … et c’est cassé.

Ok so it’s only a broken drawstring and a stuck carriage. But £85… Aurgh better just go and stare at the sea for a while and talk myself out of it Edit… I returned a week later to find the serial number : F28221 which makes it late 1938. I also discovered that the ribbon selector needs work, though I did manage to coax a type sample out of the machine 🙂

She’s amazing

Greta Thunberg, 16 year old Swedish Climate Activist

I just LOVED her riposte to the British PM when British kids started to join in #fridaysforfuture climate strikes

“If you still say that we are wasting valuable lesson time, then let me remind you that our political leaders have wasted decades through denial and inaction.”

Right on.