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Thrilled to bits, 1975.

Seen during my quattrocento Florentine Adonis period with a number of objects to be found around our house in July 1975.

To my left is one of the last paraffin heaters in England. By this date they were somewhat safer to use than formerly and few people were now burned to death after knocking them over or poisoned by their toxic fumes. From time to time they had to be refilled with Esso "blue" or "pink" (I am not sure what the difference was) bought from an ironmonger's shop or a man who came around in a van. On my right is a contemporary television set ...black & white of course. The three available channels were selected by depressing one of the buttons on the console. You could then fine-tune your reception by rotating them. A fourth button has optimistically been provided. The two larger buttons were "volume" and "brightness". I think the days of "horizontal hold" and "vertical hold" were now gone. "Remotes" were still many years in the future.

Behind my head, with the packet of Daz is a copy of Robert Crumb's Head Comics ...a prized rarity until recently, when it was annoyingly re-issued. I still regard Crumb as one of the great original geniuses of our time and buy everything he publishes. After I had left some comments about him at a fan website, I was approached to write an article for an occasional journal devoted to Charles Bukowski, with whom Crumb was associated as an illustrator. This must have been five years ago and, as far as I know, the article has never appeared ...rather to my relief, as I would now write it differently.

On the floor in front of me is part of my growing collection of "underground" comics, books and maps, largely cropped out for reasons of boringness. I have thrown away most of the comics, keeping only the Crumbs and a few others, but many of these items are still in my possession.

Note nylon shirt ...turquoise with a pattern of thin orange stripes if I remember correctly.

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Uploaded on January 28, 2007