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Phoenix Feathers is updated on Tuesday and Friday

Amecon approaches, and there are far too many things to do - print runs to organise, banners, badges, catalogues to make, samples to print, CDs to burn, and so on. And I have a grading this weekend. So I have to apologise for the lack of a cover to the new issue of Looking for the Sun. It was going to be done tonight, but the scanner chopped the feet off some of the characters and I couldn't face all the faff that rescanning and setting up a cover involves. Instead, have a random ship watercolour (it will be the background to the cover).

All the ships and parts of ships depicted in this issue (save two) are drawn or painted from the same model, which was given to me by my great-uncle (I think that's the right relation). I only met him once; I was about fifteen and had recently decided that I wanted to go sailing (I have a taste for expensive hobbies). My family visited this old man for an afternoon, and I spent the time messing with his beautiful model ship. It took him several years to make, apparently. I never saw him again and have no recollection of what he looked like or even of much of what he said to my parents while we were there. He died in 1999, during my second year at university, and in his will he left the model ship to me.

She's been adorning various shelves in the different places I've lived since then. She didn't have a name when my great-uncle owned her - at least, not to the best of my knowledge. His given name was Arthur, so I named her the Merlin, and she reminds me of the floor next to the cabinet in my great-uncle's flat, which is all I can remember of the visit save him telling me that she wouldn't sail if I put her in water, and of the unexpected kindness people can be capable of that still catches me off guard.

- Sun Kitten, 13th Aug '04

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