Elegant Outfit For An English Winter, As A Result Of Watching Youtubers Give Style Advice.

Gosh, too many colours and choices. An outfit for the day…

I need to be warm, and to be able to run off at the drop of a hat (in case of murderers).

Eventually settled on = Grey Prince Of Wales checked trousers, cotton knitted beret, St Michael’s (1960’s Marks And Spencer) fine wool classic cardigan, brown leather boots, handmade red leather belt. Finally, have found a cosy and elegant look. Must show husband how nice I feel.

It wasn’t meant to be a costume but maybe it was. And I was meant to be pleased that I didn’t look like Norman. Right, must go and practice my pratfalls. Boink.

Postscript if you’re still reading this nonsense. Youtubers suggest LAYERING, which means putting a cardigan on.

Minimalists/French Style gurus suggest wearing only three colours. And not even colourful colours. They suggest ‘teaming’ grey with white (gasp!) and black (Swoon). And they get sponsored for this. Wish I’d thought of being a style youtuber, but I’d just sound sarcastic and I can hardly be arsed to do more than wash my face.

So. To conclude. Come and see my freshly washed face at Greater Manchester Fringe this July and also Machfest in May. Tickets just gone on sale. It’s my best show yet, I hope you like it. If you love me, I’ll see you there. It’ll be our Valentines gift to me and you.

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Which Wife?

Series 2 of my podcast ‘Wife On Earth’ is out now, available on all usual podcast listening places, and produced by Cosmic Shambles Network.

Today’s episode is called ‘Which Wife?’ and tackles the daunting phenomena of identity theft, and sees Celia in a sketch with three other women called Celia. Enjoy!

I’ve got so many ideas for series 3, that I almost don’t know where to start. Anyway, here are my latest sketchbook pages.

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Getting Ready For The Apocalypse Or ‘Sewing And Gardening’.

Yes, it's a ball of fun fur with eyes. But it's more than that. It's the beginning of my rekindling re: Making Do And Mending.
Yes, it’s a ball of fun fur with eyes. But it’s more than that. It’s the beginning of my rekindling re: Making Do And Mending.
I think my scanner is on the blink and that felt pen isn’t scanning at all well, back to dip pens and permanent ink. I hated losing a cup of tea. Happens quite a lot. But eventually I found it…
Types = Polychromos, Rowney 1940’s pencils. Conte water soluble, Eagle Verithins, metallic, miscellaneous. In other words, procrastinating because I have a huge list of things to do at the mo.
I am so lazy at times. Hoping to do just fifteen mins a day.
I tried to link to the article but can’t find it. Maybe it was a dream (it wasn’t).
Only six months? In Brighton the waiting lists were much longer than that, or so I thought. Maybe I’m in a town now with an older population, so they get handed on more quickly. I mean, allotments and gardening is quite hard work…
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the community allotment in time for the muck delivery. Hopefully next time. Muck is the life blood of allotments.
Soot sprite. Hoping to make 10,000 of these.
Obviously, the two toys in the nest are Studio Gibli ones. I just made the fur nest with extra soot sprites, leaves and felt flower. It’s also lined with feathers. I often wonder how I’d make a shelter in the event of an apocalypse. A friendly soot sprite in every corner might be just the ticket, in the hole in the ground of the future. Night night.
Mr Jam Face did this.
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I Am Trying To Read And Then I Give Up.

I need to knit a hat with ‘I am reading’ written on it, but at the same time, I don’t want to miss out on the whirlwind doings of a Boy Who Smells Of Strawberry Jam and the Robin that seems to have a life of it’s own, apparently.

Mum, can you look at my verruca?
Perhaps this best conveys the quick succession of events.
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How Do I Say Goodbye To You? On The EU and Pitying Boris Johnson.

At last, I have a nickname, decided by an eight year old.

(I was reading one of her books and now it’s my nickname. What a boring one. Made me laugh for that very reason) And check out his imaginative way of getting away with a rude gesture. Secret swears? Dix pointes.

Feeling Sorry For Boris Johnson

After the General Election, as a way of coping with the result and what it meant, I found a way to feel genuinely sorry for Boris Johnson and told it to my Tory Voting friend.

That Boris and his rich privileged friends have had sheltered lives and may never have known the loveliness of being treated kindly by some poor person who has nothing for themselves, who has never known luxury or personal wealth, but continues to give and share what they have anyway (this had just happened to me in a charity shop in Bexhill-On-Sea before Christmas, it was profoundly touching). And how we are kind in return, and what a lovely way to live, how sad never to have had that, because they seem to act as though poor people baffle them at best and at worst, disgust them. Poor, deprived, privileged people. Who’d want to live like that, don’t you agree?

My friend did not agree, they was almost incandescent with rage and defended Boris Johnson vehemently and then left. According to them, Boris probably has a lot of joy from being rich and having rich friends, that we don’t know about.

It was very satisfying. Pity is such a terrible emotion, I can highly recommend directing it at the people you dislike. It feels less destructive than rage but is pleasingly mean, and you can do it calmly, as though you’re being considerate. Aren’t I horrible? To be fair, my friend had already told me that Boris Johnson is right, that mothers shouldn’t work and that single mothers are responsible for criminals existing, while they were in my home, being fed by me, a working mother. If they’d bought a tea cake with them, I might have been less antagonistic, but they arrived empty handed and insulted me. The twit. (Changed one letter there, in case my mum is reading this).

Renationalising Rail

Here’s my doodle about the fact that Labours manifesto pledge to renationalise the railways, that was derided and rejected by the right, has now been implemented, just a month later, on one rail company at least. Hahahahaaha. Poor Boris and The One In A Top Hat.

Listening to music in other European languages and my gig in Brighton last weekend.

I’m listening to Mathieu Boogaerts right now, I want to be more European than ever, and Mathieu helps me with my French, I just haven’t told him. I noticed my driving licence has the EU flag with UK in the middle of it after my gig this weekend, the Bent Double comedy night at Brighton Komedia, run by the marvellous and brilliantly funny stand up Zoe Lyons. Zoe is one of my favourite stand ups in the world. I’ve been telling myself her jokes for a year now, and still laughing at the thought of them. In that way, she’s a bit like Laurel and Hardy.

Here’s a smashing song in French, performed by Rue 66, makes me want to dance and don’t you just love those Tricolore dresses? This is so groovy. Now I’ve just got to learn what they’re saying.

Also, this one by Françoise Hardy seemed apropos. I think it’s called ‘How do I say goodbye to you?’ (my translation but I might be slightly off).

Signing off. Best wishes, Pat Barker Of East Sussex.

Next time – a post in French.

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Seaside Girl In A Seaside World

Today I’ve been looking at designs for a simple crab puppet for my children’s show, and I also found this beautiful cutting in my Sea World folder. Everyone has a Sea World Folder, right? I also have a box labelled ‘For Making Hats’. And my records in alphabetical order, which really riles some people, and in turn, makes me laugh. It’s an awful affliction really, that people being indignantly furious makes me cry with laughter. Most unsympathetic. But I put on a show, so you wouldn’t know to look at me.

The beauty of it.
These are quite satisfying. I did a load of these with my nieces and they kept doing different designs.
The Tattooed Lady
Stinky McFish
Crayon Crabbington
Would you like to send me your designs? I’d love to see them.

My lovely creative friends Peter Chrisp and Lisa Wolfe in Brighton did a photo that reminded me of Diving Belle. Here they are in The Guardian.

I’m thinking of resurrecting my Dolphin character at some point. But things change. When I did this years ago, no one minded, but they might now because he’s made of plastic and he should really be made of recycled cardboard, bamboo or stainless steel. I guess the answer is never to chuck him in the sea.

Anyway, this Friday is Comedy At The Lamb with Dyball & Kerr, Sooz Kempner, Wendy Wason and I’ll be doing my cat character Mr Timkins and some new material. Tickets only £10 here. For people further afield, I’m doing Fireside Festival, MachFest2020, Manchester Fringe in July and more to be announced. Keep an eye on http://www.joneary.com for details. Thank you my friends (all three of you) xxx

Mr Timkins and his revolting bum hole (it’s a towel holder). Taken at the Komedia, Brighton
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No Running, No Heelies, No Gum/Sweets.


A disco with hot dogs and squash at the hatch. It’s a tradition.

(Hopefully this post has enough commas for everyone, what with the current Missing Oxford Comma debacle on the Brexit Fifty Pee. If anything, there’s too many commas, it’s like I’m trying to overcompensate due to British shame or something. But actually, I’ve only done 48% more commas than usual. So, as we all agree, nowhere near half, doesn’t count, and nothing to worry about. if only it’s been a resounding 52%, we’d be in no doubt that we have at least the correct number of punctuation marks, if anything, an overflow. I’ll end it here. I need to get out. Apparently – comma – we all do).

disco sketchbook jan 2020

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My son and his best friend wanted to dance to the Beatles. I asked for them and was met with a blank stare. Maybe the DJ hadn’t heard of them. Perhaps the DJ couldn’t hear me? Possibly, he’d ruined his hearing by blasting his ears with shit music. The other record request was for Cab Calloway.

I decided to draw this little episode because I have really nice colouring pencils* and I’ve been on lots of train journeys lately. I hope you can see it ok on your tiny devices. The colours are better in real life, ask to see if it you see me, as my scanner is a bit up the swanny. Love Jo.

  • = Faber Castell, Polychromos. They blend really nicely, you can get very dense coverage, you can even mix them with baby oil apparently and they don’t shatter all the way up if you drop them. I love these pencils so much that I never have dropped one. Here they are
  • IMG_0094

    This pencil case was free with a Datsun Sunny in the 1970s I’d guess, and I love it. It doesn’t have enough loops for the pencils but they do stay in with the velcro fastening. The rubber is a pretend 1980s lipstick but it’s a great design, as the plastic tube keeps the rubber clean. The tiny leather case is a very fine container for the brass pencil sharpener with three adjustable settings for varying sharpness. The putty rubber is pretty grotty but have you seen how much they cost now? I’m not buying a new one, I’m not the queen. The yellow is getting a bit short as it’s my favourite colour and supreme for mixing.

Next time – Belfast visit. Plus Bristol and Coventry Art Galleries and Museums. Comma.

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All About Celia And Friends. Tune In, Turn Up and Drop Scones.

Chapter 1

In which Joanna is thinking about poetry and can’t stop rhyming, pretends to be someone else so she can more easily blow on the old trumpet, breaks off to try and illustrate said post, remembers she’s meant to be doing ninety other things, decides to use press quotes because they describe it in ways she hasn’t thought of, hopes more people will listen to her podcast and like and subscribe so she can emerge triumphant from the new year slump

Wife On Earth Episode Round Up For Beginners

Award winning super dupes comedian and writer Joanna Neary brings us her beautiful, quirky, otherworldly and unique world starring her most loved character Celia Jesson, repressed 1940’s housewife with a tumultuous inner love life.

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Celia uses a square shaped microphone on purpose, as she says it looks less suggestive.

Celia was originally inspired by Laura Jesson, the female lead in Brief Encounter. Joanna loves that film very much indeed and is only inspired by things she adores. The one time she wrote based on dislike, it stank and was ditched.

To help you find what you’d like to hear best, here are our six episode outlines and some of the books Celia and her husband Fred reviewed for series 1.

  1. While reviewing The Planets by television’s Professor Brian Cox, Celia discovers that Brian longs to work in peace as an ordinary high street chemist. Can Celia keep his secret and preserve her own marriage?

  1. John Higgs’ The Future Starts Here is the first positive book about the future that Celia ever read. But how accurate is it? Celia travels into the future to find out. Meanwhile, Fred builds a homicidal robot. 

  1. Milkman* by Anna Burn is reviewed by the team. Russell Nigels has got an acting job, leaving unemployed fellow actor Gerard Jeremy to review the latest TV shows. Meanwhile, Celia has run out of milk…

  1. Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up book forces Celia down to the local charity depot to retrieve a donated crossword puzzle, and Russell Nigels re-evaluates his bedsit.

  1. Inspired by Jaron Lanier’s book, Celia joins Twitter so she can delete her account, and Fred meets a like-minded chum on Grindr. Preferring a simpler life, Celia goes to the Post Office and nearly destroys her marriage.

  1. Reading Phillip Pullman reminds Celia of her first love, leaving her longing for wild and stimulating adventure. Meanwhile, Fred is happy to read the phone book and charlady Mrs Coil storms out of the library during the ‘What The Local Papers Say.’

*In ‘Milkman’ male librarian Darren Trembling is sarcastic about a leather bookmark. If you’ve been affected by any of the bookmark- related issues covered in this episode please contact the Bookmark Trust for a confidential chat.

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Fred with a spanner. Fred would like to ask readers if they favour the beveled edge bench chisel, the mortice chisel or the paring chisel? See answer below.

Newspaper Fanfare

Here’s what the papers say about Celia, from Joanna’s previous live shows.

Her idea of crossing Celia Johnson’s character from Brief Encounter with a contemporary (trapped) housewife – relaying her diary’s 1940s-styled entries to us throughout the show – is so inspired, and beautifully executed, it deserves its own Radio 4 series.” 

Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

‘The real joy here is the character based on Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter, a pitch-perfect impersonation taken to its logical conclusion’

Stephanie Merritt, Observer

‘An immaculate Brief Encounters parody encapsulates a lost age of repressed passion, snobbery and lumpy marmalade’.

Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard

‘Has audience members wiping away tears of laughter’

The Edinburgh Reporter ****

‘This sense of dislocation is part of what makes Neary’s performance so captivating. She is like a woman from another era trying to get to grips with the modern world, but in her own very peculiarly repressed English way. Neary has a very distinctive comic mind and also goes off at wild, unexpected tangents. Martin is good value too, with an intriguing back story and a habit of playing unexpected acoustic power ballads’. 

Bruce Desssau, Beyond The Joke ****

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Centre Partin Martin, aka Jimi Pretendrix. He of ‘the intriguing back story’. He used to rehearse with his band in Kilham Hall and the band were delighted when Metallica released their album ‘Kill Em All’. Celia doesn’t know what any of this means.

Joanna never usually uses the Dominic Cavendish quote about Radio 4 because it seems a bit tricky. She’d love Radio 4 to like Celia but they’ve never taken her to their amplified London Based bosom. Celia has appeared on Radio 3 though, possibly because the show was recorded in Manchester, where she is allowed in. Namely, twice on The Verb, talking about words. It’s a shame (for JN) that the critics don’t work for the beeb but Joanna is very grateful indeed for their thoughtful words and has certainly had her fair share of bbc based luck and joy so there we are. We expect that Joanna loves that she can put out her own Celia show with Cosmic Shambles Network though, and knows it’s not for everyone. What is? And so we’ll just have the nice quotes thank you. Thank you.

Sitting on a wicker chair with a first edition (condition, fair)

Joanna really has to get going. As long as a book doesn’t stink or isn’t written in by other people, it’s considered good condition in this house. Ta.

Attention. The first episode was supposed to include a recipe for sago pudding, but it got mislaid in the library. If found please pop through the letterbox at 169 Acacia Avenue, Lower Upping, Toxborough, CT16 4NL.

Wife On Earth podcast also deals with listeners questions, eventually in CELIA’S MAILBAG. Here’s the first of those Listener Specials. Sorry to those who have been in touch and haven’t had a reply yet. It’s coming. Watch this space or check http://www.joneary.com for updates.

Which books would you like to hear reviewed by the gang? Let us know your thoughts. Series 2 will be looking at music, world history, childhood books, cookery, marriage, and days out that are meant to be fun. Anything else? Any particular books? Recommends gratefully received.

Condition of Books from Good To Mint, Homicidal Robots Are In Large Print

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This is Jennifer Coil, Celia’s right hand (char) woman. Here you can see her drinking tea from a wine glass, it was a forfeit on New Year’s Eve but Mrs Coil said it actually tasted better that way.

Answer to Fred’s chisel question is ‘Celia, this is a trick question, as no one in his right mind would choose the mortice chisel’.

Wife On Earth also stars Ben Crompton as Russell Nigels, Adam Buxton as Gerard Jeremy, Chris Sloman as Darren Trembling and Anna Crilly as The Head Librarian. It’s written by Joanna Neary and Joseph Nixon and the opening music is written by Hedluv.


wife on earth sketches

It’d mean the world to me if you liked and shared this work. But not if you hate it. And it’s fine if you do, we’re all different aren’t we? For instance, I violently dislike a good deal of mainstream tv, radio, music and opinion but I don’t bang on about it.

Jo is currently looking into taking Wife On Earth to Edinburgh Fringe Festival and also Brighton Fringe Festival and more.

Toodle oo.

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Finding things to draw, December 2019 – January 2020 so far.

Apropos Of Nowt

I kept on going, trying to draw each day, even though, when things are happening, we’re all too busy living. Some gaps because my diary has many uses, not all for public display… and what shall I rename my family show? I don’t think The Crab Prince is descriptive of how bats and fun and daft it is. And the puppets are so lovely…

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Making up for feeling old etc by getting the anz

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Family Call Back on the word ‘Cacophony’. Does it mean ‘The Sound Of Poo’ in French?


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I get how comforting it is to watch Youtubers calming our anxiety with simplicity and filters, but it’s also hilarious.

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The walk to Redruth in Cornwall reminds me of walking to work at the Fruit Market aged fifteen, and working out equations to pass the time.

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One of those days where I’m too busy to draw. But getting hungover on the 31st meant an early night that night. Doh.

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A huge reindeer shaped pasty. It was about two foot tall. I ran out of startling ideas for some reason

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One of the oldest members of my family, and one of the youngest. I loved Irish Coffee, it’s like HOT BAILEYS.

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Happy New Year 2020. I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, we’re all self evaluating enough as it is, aren’t we? I am.

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if you draw with pale blue pencil, and a bit in red, then put a red bit of acetate over it, the red disappears and the blue becomes dark purple. It’s a nice way of revealing secret messages. We went to the woods, Illogan woods to Portreath. Heaven, like Lord Of The Rings land (not Mordor, the nice bit)

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Watched Es Devlin’s Tedx talk and had mulled wine. Miracle Theatre’s show was very entertaining, it was a special less noisy show but I liked how we were allowed move about if needs be. More theatre should be like that, it was relaxing. Loved the performers, and my teenage hero Keri Jessiman was fab.

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Had a day of feeling furious. Decided to commence a booze break. There is trouble on the globe

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I love how PG Wodehouse describes his characters almost solely from how other characters feel about them. I imagine Gussie Fink Nottle has red hair and sticking out teeth but he doesn’t say it.

sketchbook jan 2020

My son is very taken with Tintin. Or is it Tin Tin? And he got a penknife for Christmas.

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I feel like the title of my children’s show isn’t exciting enough. How about ‘Crabby McCrabFace, Prince of Whales’. Or ‘Prince Of Whales And The Kiss Of Doom’. It’s a take on Frog Prince, but a crab. Any ideas gratefully received. ‘Stinky McPinch, The World’s Worse Prince’.


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Miserable Aging Faces and Looking On The Bright Side

Chapter One

In which my nearest and dearest gets two pages in my sketchbook because the recent Son Entries have made him slightly jealous, a video of crowds at a funeral and imagining being at the back trying to reach a friend who’s at the front, another plug for the Comedy Night At The Lamb, packing props for the show and explanation of miserable expression on what’s meant to be a loving day out.

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I am fascinated by faces. I love it when someone looks furious with their face in repose. But I’m a bit concerned that my face is going to start looking pinched due to annoyed thoughts. When you’re young and you look grumpy, it’s a bit goth, bit grunge, bit cool, still cute. But when you get older, lawks. My best friend’s ex husband looked permanently startled. Get me to do an impression if we meet. It’s such fun to do.

I can’t spell the name of the person whose funeral it was, off the top of my head, but if you follow the news, you’ll know who it is. I could have googled it, but I’ve chosen not to. It feels wrong to be honest, we ended up pretending to be looking for a friend in a nine mile long crowd and it was like a sketch. But it was still a funeral so, respect.

30%  miserable? Must remember to ask why sometime. We were having the best day. Lewes, Cafe, not working, laughing. Must try harder.

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that was the new phone I got, which I hated so much. I ended up shouting ‘oh eff off, you effer’ and threw it onto the bed and went back to scanning my drawings. That fricking Google assistant, there like a bad smell everytime my back was turned. This was the final straw

‘I can’t stand it anymore. It keeps notifying me and it feels like I’m being bullied’.

‘You can turn the notifications off’

‘I did! I pressed the button that said ‘turn off all notifications’ and it didn’t work’

‘ah, that won’t do it’.

‘wow. So ‘turn off all notifications’ doesn’t work?’

‘No, you have to do this, look’.

(Works like an unpaid factory worker on my phone for at least 3 precious minutes, during which time I could have been drinking tea, or getting an idea for something)

‘I am so sorry. I cannot cope with this phone. Please can you reinstall my old one that hardly works? I’m spent 5 hours on my only free day this week, being bullied by google. They want everything from me and I can’t take it anymore.’

So he reinstalled my old rubbish phone and I have never been more happy to see that little face glowing at me, with all notifications off for all time. Then I went too far and turned off all cookies, so then websites didn”t work properly and I had to change it back. But it was still less intrusive that that flaming google. Am I addicted to apple? Are you? Help me.

Comedy tonight at The Lamb Inn, Eastbourne, tonight.

Earlier I was kneeling in the hallway with my head in the understairs cupboard, on my own muttering ‘right, all I need now is the dollie’s head and my dunce’s hat’.

It’s going to be a great night. 7.30 start.

Tickets available at the door.

New Website coming

What do you think? Neary News or Blogs for a logo?


James Hingley Jo's website 1_0001

Looking on the bright side… I am now grateful for my old knackered phone and will never laugh cruelly as it falls to the floor again. Also, Liza Brown is taking photos tonight so I’ll do a post about the night soon.



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