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Bob Graham

As a child

I lived with my mum, dad, my older sister and my grandmother – and a cat called Smokey. There was still a bit of bush around our suburb, where I could muck about. I could sometimes ride my scooter the entire length of the street in the gutter. There were few parked cars back in those days. I read Boys Own annuals from England, Hans Christian Andersen and Brothers Grimm stories from Europe, and America provided the superheroes in comic book form: Superman, Captain Marvel, The Phantom (the ghost who walks) and even Popeye, who constantly rescued his girlfriend, Olive Oyl, from the clutches of Bluto (all it took was a can of spinach). My course for a lifetime of interesting reading was set.

As an adult

I live in Australia with my wife, Carolyn, a printmaker who makes landscapes out of lino and wood. We have two grown-up children, Naomi, a musician and refugee worker living in London, and Peter, an artist in Melbourne making big, beautiful, ethereal paintings in oil. We have two grandchildren, Oliver and his older sister Rosie – and to them I am "Bob" rather than "Grandad" (somehow that name has the feeling of pipes, carpet slippers and rocking chairs; and I’m not quite ready for that). I read them books (mostly other people’s and, very occasionally, my own), and we just blob around and go to the park, and things like that. Dare I say it? Like a grandad and grandchildren are supposed to do.

As an artist

Every time a computer graphics course is advertised in the local paper, I say, “I MUST go.” But I always have something else to do, it seems. So I still use a pen dipped in ink, and chalks and watercolour, and scissors and sticky tape. Oh yes, and sometimes I tap out some words on my computer. And that suits me just fine.

Things you didn't know about Bob Graham

  1. I like surfing and Irish music.
  2. I like the sound of dogs’ ears flapping.
  3. I like chillies, coffee, chocolate and reading in bed.
  4. I like Bob Dylan, babies, breakfast and beer.
  5. I like looking out of the window, sitting in the sun and drawing.
  6. I like skateboarders, rock and roll, and interesting parcels.
  7. I like family photo albums, train journeys and reunions at airports.
  8. I dislike dog catchers (of dogs just having fun).
  9. I dislike progressive barn dances.
  10. And I dislike bullies.

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