A Tail of Pugs and Vintage Ports...

ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8.75" [18 x 22.5cm]

You may have twigged by now that I'm an armchair traveller rather than a real traveller ~ at this time, at least.  But if I was a traveller, even though I love to pack light, I'd be tempted to take an entourage of empty vintage ports with me just for the sake of feigning more glamour than I really have.  In case you're tut-tutting over my excessive after-dinner drinking habits, tut not.  {My pretentiousness, on the other hand...}  A port is one of our words for luggage or suitcase, and in Queensland when my sister and I were growing up, it was also what we called the bag we took to school each day.  According to my irreproachable research source, Wikipedia, the term is fading from common use here, but it's derived from the French word portmanteau, so I just decided I'm going to continue to call my suitcases "ports" forever more. What's more, it lends a whole new meaning to the expression "Any port in a storm," albeit a senseless one.

In case you're wondering, this illustration was inspired by an interview and photo shoot of Kylie Minogue and a very sweet pug in the November 2009 Australian edition of InStyle magazine.  I took the liberty of wallpapering.  I hope they don't mind...


  1. Anyone ever tell you that you bear a resemblance to Kylie Minogue. Btw, how is her health nowadays?

  2. Ah, I didn't know that. But now that I think about it, I guess a portfolio is a port for transporting the folios. Or having them transported: I assume one would have a footman to carry them rather than actually lugging the ungainly thing about oneself.

    I'm glad you wallpapered. It's a lovely image, and the woman looks rightfully proud of her ports.

  3. I knew that! And portly is a ly you have to carry around. Wait, let me work on that.

    Sweet pug, sweet picture.

  4. Kylie Minogue? I thought you'd gotten hold of a picture of me whenever I travel to my summer villa in Italy. But I don't have a dog so it MUST be Kylie.

    Glad you have a luggage instead of an alcohol addiction, Shell!

  5. Ah, such elegance! Glad to hear that what I feared was an alcohol problem is actually a luggage obsession.
    Personally, I love the port you drink (but only the good stuff, which I can't afford so not a problem), and will hereafter refer to my grimier-with-each-trip lavender suitcase as my "port."

  6. Awesome illustration, especially the wallpaper! Love Kylie's dress, and the look on the little pug's face is priceless. I'd never heard of a suitcase being called a port but I like it. That has me thinking "port out starboard home" and of course Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the lines:

    O the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
    First cabin and captain's table regal company
    Pardon the dust of the upper crust - fetch us a cup of tea
    Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh

  7. I can't resist adding a link to the part of the movie featuring the POSH song. I've been singing this ditty for as long as I can remember!

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Posh

  8. Forgot to mention: Nice wallpaper—glad you found a use for the fripperies we wouldn't allow you here, my dear.

  9. Cafe ~ the size is about right, but there's no way I'd try those gold hotpants! Last thing I heard, her health is great, touch wood.

    Mise ~ definitely, a footman!

    Hiker ~ so gently is a gent you have to carry around ~ hang on, I think I've lost the plot.

    PCN ~ I love this obsession, because it's only in my head so I don't have to allocate storage space to it. ;)

    Alexa ~ lucky your lavender port can't talk. Oh, the tales it would tell...

    Oh, excellent, Katie! Thanks so much for the link ~ catchy, isn't it!

  10. I don't think they'll mind the wallpaper a bit. I know I'd sure love to have it hanging in my room.

    The little pug has the cutest face. I want to pick her up out of your picture and snuggle her. Lucky for your picture, one of my co-workers brings her pug into the office most days. :) I'll snuggle that one instead. Less paint will rub off.

    I had no idea a port was a suitcase. Love learning new Australian words. yay!

  11. Kylie never looked so good!

    Portmanteau is a great word. I shall use it henceforth.

    Alexa has a lavender port? I WANT iT!

  12. There's a new pug puppy in our neighborhood and Boz wants it. He's going to pick it up and port it home if I'm not careful.

    I'm happy to have this new word for my luggage. Any excuse for a vacation!

  13. Alexa ~ I'm still picking wallpaper glue out from under my nails, but it was worth it...

    Amy ~ oh, lucky you, getting to snuggle a real pug! Meep!

    LOL, Cali!! Maybe if we ask nicely, Alexa will put up a photo of her lavender port on her FB or blog!

    Petrea ~ I have the picture of Boz and his little playmate in my head. It's a nice picture!!

  14. Off this goes to my sweet Eva, whom you've so dearly illustrated in Paree, for she and her brother "le Petit Prince" have deux pugs, Ivy (aka Fifi) and Einstein ( aka Knucklehead)! :)

  15. I had no idea! Sounds so naughty to be hauling your port everywhere you go.

  16. Lovely lovely illustration Sherree. I remember taking my port to school too. These are so much more elegant than my old battered thing though.

  17. Gorgeous, Shell. I'm finally getting around to catching up and this one is a treat. I adore pugs and I have some fabulous photos of my friend Vera's pug puppy called Alfi. I think I put a photo of him on my blog about Vera a couple of months ago.

  18. Virginia ~ ah yes, I heard on the grapevine about your grand-pugs, though didn't know their names. All the cuter now! I hope Eva and Davis enjoy the illo.

    Margaret ~ and deciding how many ports to take can be even naughtier.

    Debs ~ and stored on the port rack. ;)

    Thanks, MmeB! You did put dear little Alfi up at your place ~ I remember him and Vera well!!

  19. I think I love this one for my daughter Vanessa and the Pug she loves to distraction!


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