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Ernest, Horace, Doris & Stripes (print)

Great Britain, Sam Toft 2001 - to the present day

€ 12 including VAT

Ernest, Horace, Doris & Stripes (Mr. Mustard, the duck, the dog & the cat)

Art print 24 x 30 cms, mounted

Have you met the Mustards?

Ernest Hemmingway Mustard lives on the Brighton/Hove border with his dear lady wife Violet and Doris, their rather grumpy, portly, Jack Russell.

Mr Mustard is a kind, simple soul: a professional tuneless hummer who dabbles in hurricane prediction. Violet, the dear lady wife, is slightly stern, seldom smiles, but is a devil for the Gypsy Creams. Although he doesn't quicken her pulse like a slightly damp Mr D'Arcy, Ernest is a fairly reliable and generous husband who will bring her a bar of Fry's Chocolate Cream and bunches of flowers from other people's gardens. She got a whole trough of bizzie lizzies once, and asked no questions.

Doris (her majesty) likes nothing more than to lie in front of the fire with a tin of evaporated milk for company, but reluctantly accompanies the Mustards out of the house when she knows their pockets are filled with humbugs. Of a weekend they walk on the Downs, and have met with a lovely new friend. Her long eyelashes, swanlike neck and elfin figure (disguised by her thick woollen coat) make one think of Audrey Hepburn reborn as a sheep. Audrey would simply adore to live with the Mustards, but they have such a small back yard, and what would the neighbours think?

Mr Mustard has taken it upon himself to broaden the horizons of his pet goldfish and, although it looks a little daft, he brings him on walks. Sometimes Rover, a melancholy fish with tunnel vision and a not-so-enquiring mind, has just started to come out of himself and looks forward to his trips into the "big wide world of walking things".

Horace Duck and Curiosity Cat live down the way. They often follow Mr Mustard about as they know he carries a secret stash of Spam to tide Doris over until teatime.

In fact, Mr Mustard is so often out wandering the streets with his menagerie that his wife is especially glad her oldest friend is not too far away. Mrs J. B. Macaroni and her special little Scottie dog, Precious number 7, live along the Eastbourne Riviera. It's quite a bus ride so when she comes to visit, they really make a day of it. They'll start off with a pub lunch or a picnic if it's nice, then find somewhere for tea and cakes to finish off. After a bit of a wander, it's fish and chips all round with extra crispy bits for Doris.

So consider yourself formally introduced to Ernest, Violet, Dot and Precious Macaroni, Audrey H., Doris Dog, a fish called Rover, Horace Duck and Stripes, the cat. Keep your eyes peeled and you may start seeing them too.


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