Freddie Darke (illustrator) – Boz and the Boy

Boz and the Boy

It is March 1837. A young, heavily mortgaged Charles Dickens has newfound fame to nurture, and a family to feed. One ill-fated day, a chance encounter and a single act of kindness together leave ‘Boz’ bereft of his precious ‘mems’ – his author’s notes for a new novel, entitled Oliver Twist.
A nano-novel written by Kevin Millicheap and illustrated by  Freddie Darke, is now published and available for Kindle.

This is an interesting way to read a story, akin to wandering around Dickensian London in the bustling half-dark, taking turnings at random and coming upon unexpected scenes. The notion of reading a story from two points of view at the same time is cleverly set up, and the illustrations are a delight. Freddie’s black and white drawings are filled with detail and touches of accent colour. To quote Proving House Digital‘s press release “Freddie Darke’s perfectly judged illustrations. . .  born out of shadowy caricature, yet subtly communicating the  ambiguity of human emotions … transport the reader to the secret passageways, louche inns and tricksy nooks and crannies of Dickensian London

Even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can download the free software to read the book on your computer.
Go on – buy a copy – you know you want to see and read more.

Boz and the Boy

The Chops
The Chops and Gin



On the day Prince George was born crowds of people waited outside Buckingham Palace for news. These two young men seemed a little out of place but they looked so good perched on the narrow ledge of the Victoria Memorial like a couple of large pigeons with immaculate white shoes.

Frank’s Bar in Peckham

Frank’s pop-up bar in Peckham, enterprisingly located on the roof of a multi-storey car park is an excellent place to watch the sun go down on a balmy night, it exists only during the summer months. The panoramic view of the London skyline is spectacular and St Paul’s cathedral is still a distinctive landmark amongst the 20th Century buildings.

London SkylineHe stood head and shoulders above the rest Tall man

Retractable awning


The last rays made a great shadow play on the concrete wall as the crowds began to leave.shadows

London St Pancras International

St Pancras is one of those places where there seems to be a special atmosphere, it has something to do with transience, everyone who goes there is a traveller, it is a major hub for London as well as being the starting point for train journeys to the Continent.

Its full everyday from early in the morning till late at night, people from all over the world come here in various states of anxiety, excitement, anticipation and sometimes calm. People wait here for their trains, for their friends or family arriving, or perhaps like me, just wandering and observing. There are of course all the people who work in the cafe’s newsagents, tickets offices but there may also be people who come for no other reason than just to be there, perhaps they feel comforted by the noise and the bustle, or able to disappear in the crowds and feel anonymous.

Welcome Home Hug
Welcome Home Hug
Indie Musician
Indie Musician

There are two pianos, painted blue, deliberately positioned to encourage the public to sit down and play, they are well used and loved, rarely idle and played by the widest range of ages and types,it is a joy to watch – and listen.

Japanese siblings

The Photographer
The Photographer

London People

Wandering around with a friend from out of town, I found these people and faces, so many stories in London, right on my doorstep. silhouetteboy
On the south bank of the Thames, these tourists were thrown into sharp silhouette by the brightly sunlit ship beyond.

white toecap At first I thought this man’s shoe was being highlighted by the sun but no, he is actually wearing canvas shoes with white rubber toecaps, his friend’s shadow just happens to be falling in line with the white rubber tip. The strange gesture of pointing his finger straight down, is in fact merely the gentleman getting a good grip on his walking stick, only visible by his right foot.


I sat for some time watching the passers-by in the courtyard garden of the Victoria and Albert Museum, this young boy seemed dedicated to improving his handstand technique in the water, he did it at least 10 times, the first was good, the last ones were excellent.The little girl to the right is desperate to try but I think too scared.

pink dress

I so admire this woman’s dress style, a great lover of Mondrian and a perfectly thought through outfit, even down to the flower earrings and the pink socks.IMG_2529

I looked up and this guy was towering over me, making everyone around look so small!


Its not often hat you see a plait this long and what a beautiful colour too.