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Posts tagged ‘Freshly Pressed’

Post 1000 | Celebrating a Daily Norm milestone!

Who would have known, when I wrote my first ever post on The Daily Norm on 14 November 2011, that some 7 years later I would reach the massive milestone of my 1000th article. When I think how much I must have shared with Daily Norm readers in that time, and how many hours I have whiled away sharing my musings and inspirations with the world, I almost can’t believe I could have written so much. And yet for me, this is a moment of utmost pride. Because writing a blog does take time and real effort. But The Daily Norm quite simply changed the way I saw the world and the way in which I prioritised my life: For when you know you are going to share slices of your life with the world wide web, you make more of an effort to live life to the full.

Now, when I look back at my statistics, I find it eye-watering to see that over three-quarters of a million people have looked at my blog and shared in my life’s adventure. That’s practically a country! I am honoured to have well over 5,000 subscribed followers who continue to put up with my waffle and indulge me in sharing my aesthetic vision of life. Thank you everyone, truly. You have given me a reason to paint, to draw, to take photos on holiday and generally have pride in my existence.

So how can one celebrate this great feat in Daily Norm history? Well, asides from bubbles, and plenty of them, no celebration of this nature would be the same without the protagonist of this blog, the little cute, one-armed white blob whose existence prompted the name and the nature of this creative platform: my Norm. And here, in the latest of my Norm sketches, we can see the Norms going about their own appropriate celebration of this four-figured, triple-zero achievement. Let’s just hope these poor little blobs don’t get squashed by the somewhat tenuous erection of that last mighty “0”.

Daily Norm 1000

The Daily Norm celebrates 1000 posts (©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, 2018, pen and ink on paper)

But that’s not all. This week, The Daily Norm will be very much daily again (sorry, that’s become something of a rarity of late) as my 1000th post spills over into 1001, 1002 and so on and so forth, with a look back at the most popular ever post, and the most popular Norm painting, as well as some new content and my favourite Norm sketches ever.

All that remains is to thank you all once again for supporting The Daily Norm. A newspaper is nothing without its audience and the same goes for this blog. Who knows if I will make it to 2000 posts, but one thing is certain, The Daily Norm isn’t going anywhere. So long as there’s a Norm, a painting or a beautiful landscape to be seen and shared, I will be blogging.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2011-2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

The Colours of Marrakech, Part 4: Multi-coloured Souks

Winding, uneven, disorientating streets, packed with every kind of sight and sound and smell. A maze of chaotic, pulsating brilliance, cross crossed with shards of light as the boiling heat penetrates awnings made of grass and bamboo. These are the Souks of Marrakech, the utterly mesmerising completely confusing labyrinth of tightly packed market streets which sit at the heart of the city’s ancient Medina, and of its inhabitants. For trade has always been central to the functioning of Marrakech, which grew up around its perfect positioning for business with Spain and the rest of mighty Africa. Today the Souks remain the ancient location for the thousands of craftsmen eking out an existence selling their handmade wares, and easily the most fascinating place to visit.


The Souks are intrinsically beautiful. Packed with gold and ivory, leather and metalwork, great piles of spices, others of candied fruits, stalls loaded high with magical carpets, they are a real sight to be seen, as well as to smell. But be under no illusion. A visit to the Souks is an endurance test and a hard often intimidating slog for any westerner (since, lets face it, we stick out like a sore thumb against the more traditional dress of the locals). Wherever you go, you draw attention. Many see money, others see a nuisance, but almost everyone will want something from you and every 5 seconds you will need to handle an approach or a plea. Walking along those precariously narrow streets is no stroll in the park – locals use the same narrow lanes to drive like maniacs on mopeds, weaving as they do so in and out of poor donkeys, still heaving along heavy carts like a rewind back 200 years, and chickens who meander around clucking, unaware of their forthcoming bloody fate. For those on foot, you must get used to jumping out of the way, being careful not to fall into one of those precariously balanced spice piles as you do so. Then there’s the merchants. Catch their eyes, and like spiders they will ensnare you in their web. Look at their produce, take an interest in their wares, and they will lure you further still until the trap closes in. Try to get out without purchasing something I dare you! And don’t even think of looking at a map. Suggest for one second you are lost and you will be surrounded by mischievous teenagers who will try to persuade you to take them on as a tour guide. Their tricks are well known. They will get you all the more lost, taking you deeper into the Souks, before demanding money for your release.


It all sounds rather terrifying, I know. And going to the Souks is never exactly comfortable. But there is something so utterly mesmerising about this magical world that you cannot help but go back for more and gaze in sheer wonder at this incredible picture of a wonderfully different life. Until you go to the Souks, you will never truly appreciate what is Marrakech, nor Morocco. This is where the cultural differences are at their most extreme. The authenticity of the scene makes the so-called Moroccan shops in Southern Spain look like a sham. And the beauty of the place is such that you will want to photograph until your camera battery is exhausted – but be careful with this too. The locals hate being photographed and those less shy will demand money for the privilege.


So those are the Souks that ensnared our souls, scaring us aplenty but which provided the most memorable experiences of our trip. And we came away with some Saharan pottery, a metal lion, a miniature red tagine and some orange blossom essence. Not bad, especially as we were required to barter as part of the process, something which is inherently uncomfortable for the polite English. Long will I remember this maze of plenty, its exotic smells and hardened people. Most of all I will remember the multiple colours which characterise this dazzling place.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Daily Norm’s 2nd Anniversary/ 30th Birthday/ new website/ exhibition preview spectacular!

Christmas may be merely 5 weeks away, but its been all about a mighty great November for me. Not only have I been celebrating the relaunch of my official art website this month, but I have also been busy organising the first solo gallery showing of my artwork in 6 years, which will make its debut in London in the Spring of next year – more details will follow soon. Not only that, but I am still reeling from the shock of turning 30 earlier this year, but nevertheless still determined to celebrate it for as long as the year goes on. And finally, this month (and in fact the 14th November last week) marks the two year birthday of The Daily Norm!

From its very humble beginnings, this blog has now been freshly pressed 3 times, gained 2,332 followers, had 301,364 total views and even received 2,527 comments. And statistics aside, it has just been a joy from beginning to end – an outlet for my creativity; a mirror on my soul, and a magnificent far-reaching channel through which my thoughts and experiences can be shared with the world. So a huge thank you just has to go to everyone who has supported my blog all of this time. I feel incredibly honoured that you take the time to share just a little of my life with me.

My paintings on show at the Benugo Drawing Room private cocktail bar, last Friday

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So how best to celebrate all of these marked feats of November jubilation? Why, to throw a private party of course! Yep, last Friday night, the best and beautiful of my inner circle – both friends and colleagues alike – gathered in their glad rags to belatedly celebrate my birthday, mark the relaunch of my website, reflect on the success of The Daily Norm, and look forward, in equal measure, to the prospect of my solo art exhibition next Spring. And in celebrating the latter aspect, what better way to anticipate what I hope will be the art show of the 2014 Spring season than to kick things off with a warm up preview of some of my latest works!

So for all those friends of mine rocking up at the British Film Institute’s secret cocktail bar within its main Benugo bar last friday evening, they were treated to an impromptu display of some 20 of my works, including a selection of my latest Compositions series, a few of my Norm originals including my Norm take on Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe and Flamenco Norm, and also a few examples of my more contemplative works, such as Pink Bf, Return Journey and Pupillage.

The evening was a fantastic success, a wonderful opportunity for some of my latest colourful paintings and more subdued, delicate etchings to benefit from an outing to London’s cultural South Bank centre, and a fine way to touch base with my ever faithful friends, many of whom I have not seen for months, if not years. And I sold 3 more paintings to boot – which can’t be bad!


Sadly, as far as recording this magnificent event goes, I can only show you photos taken as the paintings went out, but before the people came in. No sooner had the first friend arrived than I was occupied talking to my guests all evening – and my well intentioned desire to record the evening through photos got quite lost in the revelry. But that is surely a sign of a good party.

Stay tuned, as ever, into The Daily Norm for exclusive details of my May 2014 art exhibition – coming soon!

And in the meantime another huge thanks to all those who have supported me and my blog for the two years of its happy existence. Here’s to the next!