Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…


I took a break from my big project this week (still can’t really show you it!) It was a bit of a busman’s holiday as a friend’s daughter, Jemima,  who is in the second year of a Visual Communication degree at a local uni, asked me to help her with her final project.  She had found a little known story by J.R.R. Tolkien called ‘Roverandom’ and she has produced 31 illustrations to accompany the text and she needed help binding it into a book – which is where I came in. The illustrations are beautiful – she drew them and used monoprinting onto handmade paper to achieve the wonderful textured effect of the  finished images. Here are some photographs of the book, it’s box and some of the illustrations.


The box

The open box with the book inside

The open box with the book inside

The book

The book

Inside the book

Inside the book

The mermaid

The mermaid


I thought the book looked fantastic when it was finished and the illustrations fitted the text perfectly. I’m sure that Jemima will do really well when she presents this finished project to the university for assessment and I’m sure she has a very promising future ahead of her.

Other than this, a mixed week again. My laptop died and had to be resuscitated at the Apple Store in Exeter. It was caused by a faulty graphics card and I am very pleased that NVidia are picking up the tab for the repair. I didn’t really mind having to go to Exeter, it’s a rather nice city which has very good shopping (always a bonus in my book) and I bought some new glasses – which I did need as I keep mislaying my other pair (and then I can’t find them because I need my glasses…..) – it is really annoying. I went to the supermarket ‘sans specs’ the other day and was wandering around in a blur, unable to read any labels or price tags. Luckily, I knew by heart where the keys were on the PIN machine.

I have chosen a rather nice pair of Paul Smith frames and they are going to have the sort of lenses that turn into sunglasses when it is sunny out so I won’t need to keep swapping and changing glasses all the time when summer comes (and we have been promised a good summer this year. Yeah. Right.) or on my trips to sunnier climes – which will mean one less pair of sunglasses to worry about losing (or sitting on).


I do find it very difficult choosing new glasses – mainly because of the problem everyone faces – I can’t see myself properly in the optician’s mirror when I’m trying them on. I think they should video you wearing them and then play it back to you (while you are wearing your own glasses of course :-) )

Oops, just had that problem –


Any way, back to my specs. As I was handed the bill for my varifocal, transitions lensed, (very lovely) glasses I was reminded of this ad. Maybe I should have gone to Specsavers…..

Poor pooch.

41 responses to “Roverandom

  1. Marguerite May 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    That ad is hilarious!

  2. Marguerite May 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    (The book looks great, too) :)

  3. creechman May 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Throw the ring into the fire Frodo.

  4. Teresa May 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    You know, we’ve actually thought about shearing our dog (who looks very much like the pooch in the video) the same way. She gets so hot in the summer! ;)

    Oh Diane, you tease…bring up your project again and say you still can’t show us.

    Jemima’s book is wonderful! (My oldest son, who is a huge Tolkien fan, has heard of Roverandom, and was tickled by her book.)

    • Diane May 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm

      Milo is overdue a haircut. He spent a night in kennels this weekend and came back looking like he had rolled in a compost heap. I suspect he had indeed rolled in a compost heap. Took me a good hour to shampoo him as there were lumps of indescribable horribleness in his coat. And I paid for this to happen….I’m all for giving him a good run around but not in a paddock full of horse (or maybe cow) poo. :-(

      Glad you like the book!

  5. strugglingwriter May 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    That book is so beautiful I just shed three tears. Seriously.

    I love the illustrations and you did a great job with the binding.


    PS My Grandfather read a good portion of my novel yesterday. I blogged about it today. Just though you might want to know :)

    • Diane May 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm

      I just read your post, such a sweet story. And I meant what I said, I will bind you a copy of your novel when it is finished – so get writing! No slacking! (As if!)

  6. Daddy Papersurfer May 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Jemima is going to do fine, well more than fine actually, I have no worries for her…… what a useful person you are to know young Diane.

    Now I am worried about you however. Is it sensible to only have one pair of glasses? …. and you’re going sailing later in the year. Get another pair – blow the expense. The opticians the TG goes to, she’s blind as a bat without glasses, has got a machine that takes a piccy of you in your new glasses so that you can then look at them with your old glasses on …… Dolland & Aitchison I believe …..

    • Diane May 4, 2009 at 10:42 pm

      Jemima is very talented (takes after her mum, Jenny!)

      I have one pair of glasses that are varifocals and this is my second pair – these will save me having to take sunglasses as well. Too many boxes!

      There you are. Just what I needed – a photo of me in new glasses to help me decide. Next time. I should have gone to D&A!

  7. gitwizard May 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Excellent illustrations, I think you must be a talent magnet Diane. I’m also blind as a bat without glasses. I was going to go for photochromic ones last time, but Specsavers were doing a BOGOF promo at the time , so I had a normal pair and some tinted ones too. Unfortunately, the tint I chose is so dark, I can’t see out of them !

    • Diane May 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm

      I do know a lot of talented people I must say. I’m hoping some of it will rub off on me :-)

      I tried having a second, tinted prescription pair but I find that as you go from outside to inside – or when we are on our trip and we are driving through lots of tunnels, I keep having to swap sunglasses for ordinary glasses to be able to see. The photochromic ones are supposed to change really quickly so should do the trick. We shall see!

  8. Jemima May 4, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you everyone for the lovely comments on my illustrations. xxx

  9. barbara May 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Beautiful illustrations and a beautiful book!
    I’m writing this while looking through lopsided glasses . One of the earpieces broke off . Haven’t had time to go and get them fixed. Even went to L.A yesterday to see a play (‘Ain’t Misbehaving’).
    They fall off every time I look down. Couldn’t tape them because the screw is broken off in them. So I identified with your glasses story. I wrote you a note on my blog about Indian writers. Is this a sneaky way to get visitors to my blog? I think it might be. Forgive me and don’t fall for it. But I really loved it that you visited.

  10. Diane May 4, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you. Barbara!

    I know what a pain that is. I have a very bad habit of puttting my glasses on top of my head when I don’t need them (mainly so I don’t lose them!) Consequently, they get stretched and when I am wearing them, they fall off every time I look down which is such a nuisance when I am working.

    I’m off to your blog now. :-)

  11. gitwizard May 5, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hi Diane, hope you enjoyed your weekend. I have left you details of a photo competition at

  12. The Leaves of Tarkong May 6, 2009 at 8:02 am

    that lil black book is awesome! :)

    would love to have you over my site, too!

  13. 70steen May 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    What a beautiful illustrations I really like them and wonderfully bound :-)

    Know what you mean about ‘should have gone to specsavers’… I had a panic when I chose my first pair of spec 2 years ago…when they said how much they were …. I tried not to look totally stunned and said (in a Larry the Lamb voice whilst trying not to splutter)… ‘that’s fine!’ lol

    • Diane May 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm

      Ha! I know what you mean! I wish I could just buy cheapie reading glasses from the chemist but I need them for distance and close up (and everything in between!) so I have varifocals to avoid having to carry 2 pairs around!
      I used to have brilliant eye sight when I was younger too. Still, it’s not just me, a lot of my friends are having the same problems :-(

      The joys of getting old….

  14. RennyBA May 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    What an artistic piece of art – thanks for sharing!

    Happy Weekend to you and your family :-)

  15. laketrees May 11, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    what a fantastic talent she has and your book compliments her work beautifully!!!

    • Diane May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      I think she will go far. Harper Collins who sent her the text and allowed her to use it want to see the finished project. How exciting for her :-)

  16. lazyking May 12, 2009 at 3:23 am

    I’m lazy, I didnt read all the post :(
    but i really liked the drawing, especially the one after the mermaid, lol, I’m weird

  17. Diane May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Not weird – just living up to your name! ;-)
    Thank you for dropping by!

  18. Vaillant May 13, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Nice mermaid Diane. I laughed a lot at glasses. It’s so true!

  19. kirsten May 14, 2009 at 11:11 am

    wow! wow!
    that book is brilliant!
    so beautiful. i love everything about it – binding, artwork, gorgeous.

  20. Bart Cart May 25, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Wow this looks very pretty. Did you guys think of recreating it and selling it on ebay or something? I know I’d be willing to buy a copy.

    • Diane June 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

      Not sure if Harper Collins would allow us to do our own thing – they control all Tolkein’s work but Jemima is having a meeting with them to show them her book so watch this space!

  21. cathryn miller May 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Jemima should do well: That’s a lovely book with great illustrations! And you should consider an edition.

    • Diane June 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      See the reply above! I bought my own copy of Roverandom as published by Harper Collins, it’s a sad little book. Jemima’s is SO much nicer :-)

  22. Pozycjonowanie June 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    So what’s the correct answer? I usualy use emoticon+space (like so :) ). But it also looks kinda weird.

  23. Diane June 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Not sure there is one! We need to decide among ourselves (or better still, stop using emoticons :-) )

  24. Pingback: It’s all go…. « Much of a muchness

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