Earlier on we mentioned the fact that House and Garden wanted to do an article about us (in a series about people who do things or make things) and that we had been interviewed and photographed. The article was duly published (in the December issue, so it should still be in the shops) and we have heard from a nice lot of people who are new to all this and were interested to look on our website and choose stuff to buy. We also heard from a lot of already friends who had somehow seen the article and were spurred to say hello!

The photographer, Andrew Montgomery, had kindly said that, after the publication of the article, he would send us a disc of the photos saying that, with a few entirely understandable exceptions, we could do whatever we liked with them. Here, therefore, are the three main ones which we are very pleased to have.

I must however give one very strong caveat. If anyone out there starts to look not at the figures but at the ‘things’ lying around and whatever is happening on the press &c in order to learn how things are done at the OSP, please let them not waste their time!!

Andrew is a wonderful photographer but not much of a printer . . . more like a set designer in some costume drama for a film. When he saw clothes pegs hanging from the roof he wanted something hanging from them. Old discarded proofs from an earlier book looked colourful even though there is no circumstance under which they would be hung up like that! I will not continue but would simply say that almost nothing is as it should be. The image of me peering at a sheet that appears to be coming off the press looks really great BUT, I have never before been at that end of the press in my life and no printed paper would emerge from that end of the press and so on and so on . . . but, again, they are really lovely photographs and we thank him profoundly.

Now here’s a funny thing . . .

I remember, as a boy, being fascinated when I was shown, in the National Gallery, the painting entitled The Ambassadors, and received an explanation of the curious object in front of the two gentlemen. On subsequent visits, I remember purposely going to the side of the painting and squinting at what, from there, was clearly a skull in elongated form. I cannot remember the theories as to why it had been included like that by the artist but I certainly enjoyed it when my knowing little act had the effect of causing others, young or old, to sidle round to see for themselves!

Why do I mention this now with a reproduction of the painting? Simply that, after inserting Andrew’s disc in my computer, I sought to print out one of the photographs. All seemed to be going to plan until I started to see what was emerging from the printer . . .

I am not really interested in why or how this happened except that either computer or printer had clearly had some sort of seizure. I am however very intrigued to see my own head [I am not quite sure how easy it is to view a computer from the side but it is easier if you click the image bigger] appearing in exactly the same way as the skull in Mr Holbein’s painting!