Christmas Cards

Re: Hamilton Coe’s Cards


I strongly recommend that you make some excuse for rejecting this commission. For years, Hamilton has encouraged artists to “have fun” with his card, only to take umbrage when presented with caricature that identifies some inescapable aspect of a personality that is – by the most generous assessment – disconcertingly odd.

Last year Gordon Gilfeather submitted an innocuous cartoon in which an infant H.C. investigates Santa – peering at him from behind a Christmas tree. This was preceded by a dozen or so emails in which Gordon presented his ideas and sketches, all of which were approved in the most effusive terms. On receiving his cards, though, Hamilton complained that the (agreed) depiction made him look ‘furtive’ and cancelled Gordon’s cheque.

If you do proceed, I’d suggest that you a) insist on a cash payment (prior to printing) and b) present Hamilton in a heroic light. Avoid scenarios, however absurd, in which he appears ‘cowardly’, ‘bumptious’ or ‘cruel’ (all historical pretexts for non-payment) and, however tempting, don’t exaggerate the size of his head.  



Who would be a station manager?

In the wake of Francis Kemp’s Christmas show, Mark Penny has spent his weekend reassuring listeners that Lomond Sound is not a bastion of prehistoric values. Twenty seven complaints have been received from listeners who think Kemp’s jokes inappropriate to 21st Century sensibilities. As an example, Mark repeats an anecdote in which a ‘leggy blonde’ is rescued from the roof of the King’s Arms, an improbable story that concluded with the punch-line, “someone told her the drinks were on the house…”

Mrs Walker offers the opinion that Kemp, is deliberately provocative, considering himself protected by his status as a (self-proclaimed) Lomond Sound Legend, rather than “a bumptious social climber who refers to himself as ‘Yours truly’ and pesters single women in restaurants…”



From: ‘Joy to the World!’

“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas-time,” sang Isobel as we made our way to Drumfeld Church for the Watch Night Service, her smoky baritone quivering with emotion. Sometimes it takes an outsider to remind us that happiness is fleeting. Noticing an exchange of sneers between Spencer and Colette, I joined in with the chorus. As Isobel took one of my arms and Liz the other, we proceeded, singing defiantly against whatever fate might send to confound us (which, as it turned out, was a rut in the pavement that caused Isobel to stumble and twist her ankle).

Hamilton Coe