Friday, 21 February 2014

So it all went well yesterday at the bookshop!

And the rest of life crowds in once again…

I can't stop thinking about the impossibility of finding - or offering - comfort after a terrible loss. I don't know what to do with such grief, the overwhelming void of grief that remains when all the crowds of friends and supporters have gone back to their own lives. Because we're on the outside and this grief is too frightening and doesn't belong to us, and of course, we fear it.
But the impotent sadness it engenders can be quite overwhelming.

how are you doing?

It feels impossible to ask; "how are you doing?"
when I know that a fragment of something intangible
has lodged in your soul
opening an inviolable wound.

I see that you now live in a perception of what it really is
to be (or not to be) here on this heavy earth,
because that other place has slipped through
and with invisible hands
stolen the beat of your life
leaving the taste of 4am in each moment.

With a hazy forgetfulness you awake rapt
and are destroyed every single morning.
Sometimes the soft drum of remembrance fades in slowly,
sometimes it strikes like a knife on bone.

And I cannot even ask; "how are you doing?"
because I do imagine the answer and I cannot touch that pain
because it is yours alone
and too private.

What did I expect and what good does it do anyway
when all you really want is life as it once was,
with him returned.
The smell of him, the breath of him
his whole self; solid, warm
held and loved entirely.

GD February 2014

BACKGROUND information...

My first picture book - called A Possum's Tail - is a collaboration with brilliant illustrator Alex Barrow and came out 6th February 2014. A second book called London Calls! is a whistle-stop tour of London, led by a Pearly grandma and her granddaughter. London Calls! came out on 4th September 2014 and is my second book with Alex Barrow. A Possum's Tail was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
Both books are by Tate Publishing.

Please see my CURRICULUM VITAE for more details & updates.

As well as writing children's books, for children's television and two award-winning children's magazines, I do both private and commercial art commissions, a selection of which you can see here.

The children's shoes are part of an ongoing series of "first shoes", including several cards commissioned by the Almanac Gallery.

Hand-drawn, bespoke invitations, announcements, portraits and menus, such as the examples here are also available upon request..

Any enquiries please email:


I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!

An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera The original adaptation of the show (co-created/adapted by myself, producer Ceri Barnes and Doodle Productions) was acquired by CBeebies. 52 x 11 minute episodes will be coming to a screen near you soon in 2015.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................
N E W S F L A S H! MESSY GOES TO OKIDO Series TWO is now in production, following a super-successful 52 episode first series!



Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet

Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011

Happy Birthday OKIDO!

Happy Birthday OKIDO!
Okido was 5 years old this issue...the wonderful art and science magazine for kids I've been lucky enough to have worked on for the past - 8 - years now