Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Nissen Hut. A Humble Abode, But Still A Home.

Strangely, although I am able to recall events from my past in quite minute detail, when it comes to trying to remember the dates, or years those events happened I struggle to remember. Which explains me being able to tell you that I last saw Fergie, my Mothers erstwhile boyfriend, in a dockside pub in Aberdeen. But being unable to tell you what year it was.

He was extremely drunk, extremely slobberingly maudlin, and, in a loud slur, telling anyone who cared to listen, what a good laddie I was. When in this kind of state, he was also fond of clamping an affectionate arm around my shoulder and bestowing the occasional alcohol laden, bewhiskered kiss upon my cheek. I would tolerate this for as long as I could. Which was not very long for the young man I was at that time.

This male bonding type of behaviour, was uncommon in those days, especially in a men only bar. I would say goodbye and leave him to it. I did not want anyone to think I was a .. well you possibly get my drift. Suffice to say I found it embarrassing. Funnily enough, these days I am extremely tactile. I love a hug. Male or female. I'm not bothered what people think. Maybe it's because I'm at an age where I don't give a stuff. Maybe it's just the way things are, these more enlightened days.

So let's just say for the sake of expediency, that I was twenty years old when I last saw Fergie. I make that forty odd years. He must have died quite soon after our last meeting. All I have left of him, apart from some lovely memories, is a small photo, measuring about 3ins x 2ins. It was taken by my Mother, when she and he were still together. It must have been taken in the late fifties. It shows Fergie sitting in the old Nissen hut which was their home then. This tiny image of Fergie is all I have to remind myself of what he looked like.

THATS THE RANGE with the sauspans on he's just after finishing his dinner when I took this snap
Or it was! Until I suddenly realised that I might be able, with the help of my computer to enlarge it.

Well The results of my endeavours in this respect are not great. But they have brought back vivid memories of Fergie. Memories of where things were in the hut. The stove, with the kettle and saucepans.The table, with the oilcloth cover. The big cup would have been his, and the smaller, more genteel cup, my Mothers. Look at the soup dish, with the spoon still in it. The bed in the corner. Never enough blankets, so supplemented in the winter with a couple of coats. That is a big chest of drawers, it would fetch a lot of money these days. They have decorated with wallpaper. Mum would have put the pictures on the walls, and have had little ornaments about the place. She loved things like that. All these little details in this photo, give it an added poignancy.

Oh dear! Once again I have saddened myself with a trip down memory lane. I must remind myself that I am doing it so that George, my extremely handsome son, has a record of my life and times.
I suspect that this was their first home together, after years being on the road. Mum would have made the best of it that she could.

It is difficult to explain, but those few words that she has written on the back of the snapshot, tell me quite clearly, that at the time she took this photo, she was in love with Fergie. She must have loved him, to put up with his fighting, binge drinking and the hardships of life travelling the length and breadth of the UK. Sadly, it was in the end, his drinking that ended the relationship. I say sadly, but it did allow Mum to move on with her life, and of course, eventually allowed her and I to be reunited after years apart.

Perhaps I should not say that their relationship ended? Because, in truth, it never did. Not entirely.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bonnie The Cat And The Unwanted Gift.

Bonnie the cat was pleased with the tin of sardines which I gave her for Christmas. She must have felt guilty that she hadn't got me a present, because she went out to find me something. As touching as her gesture was I really wish she hadn't bothered.
It was peaceful in the wagon that night. I had enjoyed my time in the house, with everyone, but now it was time to relax on my own, beside the fire, happily whittling a stick, whilst dreaming of selling a piece of artwork for a vast amount of money. Well I did say dreaming!
In my mind I wondered why Bonnie was making such a noisy job of coming through her cat flap. Idly I considered the idea of getting up from my chair to find out. Sadly the idea was still in the considering stage when she finally made it through. She had brought my gift home, and purring proudly, she dropped it by my feet.

The rat and I looked at each other in astounded surprise!

"Live and let live, Guv'ner. Live and let live".
Bearing in mind that the wretched creature had just been pounced upon, captured, and dragged into the wagon by a cat, it was perhaps, not surprising that I was the first to react to the situation.

My wild, mistimed kick, missed the rat entirely, and due to the fact that I had a sharp knife in one hand and a stick in the other, which I had to put down carefully, the rat was able to scuttle away.

I found it cowering under the kitchen sink, and all I could think to do, was to pick up a boot and throw it at the unwanted visitor. Again my aim was bad, but I was quite surprised to hear the rat squeal in fright, before it ran through the living area and into the bedroom. Bonnie took exception to the flying boot and took off, through the cat flap and out of harms way. Probably pondering on why I was reacting in such an ungrateful way to her generous gift.

Some regular readers may be aware that my wagon is not finished on the inside, hence there are no doors fitted to separate the various rooms. Which is how the rat ended up in the bedroom, under my bed. The bed is built in. There was no way I could remove the rat from under it. After a couple of minutes poking about with a stick, and shouting loudly, it became obvious that Mr Rat was not going to be bullied into moving from his place of safety. I retired from the fray and sat down to contemplate my next move.

After a while the rat, obviously thinking that the silence, meant security, poked his whiskered face around the door frame. Seeing me, he quickly scampered back under the bed. However I had now formulated a plan of action.

My plan was quite simple. It was, as luck would have it, a mild night. There was no wind, and no rain. I would leave the wagon door ajar all night. When all was quiet, the rat would be able to make his escape.
But how would I know if he, or she had actually left?

This is where I like to take a bit of time out and say a small prayer of thanks to the Almighty for giving me the gift of ultra intelligent brain power! Without this phenomenal intelligence I would not have been able to hit upon the solution to my problem.

What I did was, I sprinkled a layer of flour on the floor, directly across the area the rat would have to traverse to make his escape. Simple but ingenious! If there were little footprints in the flour I could be confident the little rodent had made good his escape.

In the meantime, where would I sleep? Well, let me tell you, it would take more than a rat to keep me from my bed!. I will admit that I took a flying leap onto the bed, so as to avoid the likelihood of having my toe bitten by an angry rat. But after a few minutes trepidation, wondering if it might get into bed with me, I soon fell asleep.

In the morning, my furry visitor had left. Here is a photo of his footprints to prove it.

I am pleased he got away without further incident. I have always greatly admired life's survivors.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Day.

                           We had a happy time this Christmas.
Gran looking at her photo album present.
Presents everywhere.
Something amusing happening!
Byron was a popular guest.
My extremely handsome son George bought me a bottle of 18 year old malt. Just holding the bottle makes me appear drunk. I haven't touched a drop!
A Christmassy corner.
Gran tucks in to her Christmas dinner.
The waiter brings in another plateful.
I wish I'd removed that jar of horse radish sauce from the table.
Reading cracker jokes. George must have been hungry!
Gran and Charlie relax.
Great Grandma's 19th century card game. A family heirloom.
                           Hope you had a lovely time too.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Wishing You All A Happy And Peaceful Time This Christmas!


I shall be sitting next to this fireside on Christmas day.
Isn't that just typical! I so wanted to make a Christmas card from this photo, but nothing is happening. Please will you use your imagination? Across the top it should state in bold light green lettering: 'SEASONS GREETINGS' and then in smaller less important letters at the bottom it should say: Best wishes from, 'Don't unplug your hub'. But as usual I haven't a clue how to do it.

Oh well, it is, as they say, the thought that counts, and my thoughts are with you. Happy, happy Christmas to you and your family and friends.

                                 Lots of love from,


                                 my extremely handsome son George,

                                 Sadie the German Shepherd,

                                 Bonnie the cat,

                                 the Wing commander and his wives.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tomorrow Is Another Day.

Yesterday was the shortest day. I wonder if it was the shortest day all over the world? Please excuse me if that is the daftest question you ever heard. I really don't know the answer, but there is a little voice in my head, telling me that I ought to know. Honestly I never even thought of the question until just now. The answer is yes, isn't it? Isn't it? I'll just google it. Sorry to bother you. I'll get my coat!
The fact that it was the shortest day, is wonderful. It means that the hours of daylight begin to increase. More time to spend outside. Hey it will soon be Spring! Fantastic! Then Summer! Perhaps I should not be wishing my life away like this. But I can't help feeling; roll on Spring.
Hold on, I just had another thought! How can there be a shortest day? Surely there are still 24 hours in it! Why do I confuse myself like this?
I do know one thing that isn't confusing though. This is my shortest post of the year!
                                        Talk to you soon.
                                        Bye for now.            

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

I Really Love My Dog. My Beautiful German Shepherd, Sadie.

Sadie the German Shepherd is in with me tonight. She is asleep on a blanket, under the table. Normally she would be in her kennel. She does after all, have her work to do. Namely protecting my property and livestock.

My workshop is vulnerable to thieves, being just an open fronted shed. Sadie has, at least twice to my certain knowledge, deterred these skulking purloiners.

On one occasion, she had one of these scumbags pinned against the wall screaming for help. It was a wonderful thing to observe this creep,- whose obvious intent had been to steal the tools I rely on to make my frugal living - receive his comeuppance in this way.

I escorted this frightened man from the premises. He had two cohorts waiting outside in a van. Perhaps I should have called the police, but Sadie had actually bitten the intruder, and blood was pouring from a wound in his arm. I was worried that Sadie might be accused of being a dangerous dog. That man won't be back in a hurry!

Suppose I had come across this thief on my own, without Sadie to help me? He would have called his mates, and I might have been attacked. Of course I could have dealt with three big blokes on my own, no problem. But it is great to have Sadie as back up in these situations.

So, you might be wondering, why is Sadie indoors with me tonight? The simple answer is, guilt. My guilt at forgetting to feed her at the right time this evening. I was so busy painting, that I forgot her. Her dinner was served four hours late. She had probably been waiting at the wagon door for most of that time, but in the end she had given up and taken to her kennel. Guilt! Guilt! Guilt!

Eventually, she had extra rations tonight. But I felt so ashamed to have forgotten my loyal friend, that I let her come in, out of the rain, and sit by the fire with me. She won't stay indoors all night. She will soon want to go back outside. She gets extremely restless if she has to stay indoors for too long.

As I turn from my computer and look at her, sleeping peacefully on the blanket, I ask myself, how is it possible to feel so much affection for a dog? An affection that causes so much guilt to rise inside me. Indeed, is affection a strong enough word for my feelings towards her? The answer is, no, it is not. this emotion I feel is without a doubt, love.

It is a love engendered by her devotion to me. A devotion she feels so strongly, that she will literally, put her own life on the line to protect me from harm. She will be there to comfort me, when I am sad. She will share my joy, when I am happy. She will happily come with me wherever I go. She will be my constant and faithful companion. She deserves my love, and my respect.

That is why.. Guilt! Guilt! Guilt! Assails me tonight. All she requires of me, in return for her devotion, is care, and I let her down.

Extra food, and a blanket on the floor! I hope that is enough to make amends. It doesn't seem like a lot!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sadie The German Shepherd Gives Out Some Stick.

Hi everyone it's me, Sadie the German Shepherd. You do remember me I hope. I do part time work as John's protector, in exchange for food and a bed. Occasionally I am called upon to protect his sensitivities also. Which is why I am writing this today on his behalf.

He's in bed, hidden under the bedclothes! Yesterday took a heck of a lot out of him emotionally, what with the anonymous comment and all. Blimey! He moans all the time about my whining. You should hear him today! Whimpering away under the blankets, like a little lost puppy. It's not even that he is upset! No, he is just finding it hard to come to terms at the amount of support you gave him.

"They like me Sadie," he keeps sobbing, "they like me."

Then he grabs me and cuddles his wet face into mine, hugging me around my neck, and kissing me. I hate that kissing stuff! I'm a proud German Shepherd! Get a grip John. No! Not of me you wimp. Get a grip of yourself, for heavens sake!

Anyway, lovely people, if he wasn't such a pathetic emotional wreck, I am sure he would be here himself to thank you all for the way you rallied to his defence. I know how grateful he is. But to tell you the truth, I think he really only has himself to blame for what he now describes as 'the nasty comment'. You know, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. That's my take on the situation.

Tough love that's what he needs. All your nice remarks about what a good writer he is, have softened him. To such an extent that one unexpectedly harsh comment, causes him mental anguish. Don't let him kid you otherwise. He was definitely shaken.

That is that, I hope. End of subject. Water under the bridge.

We went for a walk last Saturday. Well we go for a walk most days, but Saturday was different. We went for a walk in connection with his latest money spinning project. We were looking for walking stick material!

It involved a bit of a drive. John finds it stressful having me in the car. I tend to get overexcited. I do the whining bit at full volume. He shouts at me to shut up, but I just can't help myself. Then he starts whining too. Trying to drown me out. It doesn't work. I tell you one place you do not want to be, is in the car with the two of us at full throttle!

We walked across fields for a mile or so. I did enjoy it, even though I wasn't able to pick up my usual neighbourhood  messages. Eventually we came across a likely looking area of woodland, and ventured in. Well, you should have heard him!

"Look Sadie, look! It's walking stick heaven in here. Look at that one! Look at this one."
We were in walking stick heaven.

The way he was going on, you'd have thought he'd found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. He is such a kid at times.

Anyway off we wandered. It was lovely in the woods out of the wind. We were in a sheltered valley. It was like a little eco climate. Things were still growing, things that really ought to have bedded down for the winter. It was so still. Warm even, and as I say, full of walking stick potential.

Guess what happened? Go on. Have a guess what happened to John, the self styled 'bushcraft expert'. He got lost! Hilarious! He didn't have a clue where he was. Completely disorientated!

"Now then," I heard him muttering worriedly to himself, "where was the sun when we came in?"

Actually it didn't matter where the sun had been, because it had since clouded over.

Mr Intrepid then made a decision, and began marching in a determined manner, in totally the wrong direction. Of course I knew it was the wrong direction, but didn't let on, because I enjoy a long walk. Whatever direction we go in.
Things were still growing.

After a mile or so, we heard the sounds of a major road in the distance, and using his powerful sense of deduction, Mr Clever Dick realised that we should be heading the other way, away from the road.

Eventually, more by luck than good judgement, we made it back to the car, just as darkness was falling.

When we got home John consulted the ordnance survey map to determine where we had been. He discovered that if he had turned left or right we would have been out of the woods in about a hundred yards. We had been lost in a narrow strip of woodland! For over two hours!

What did he have to show for it? One stick! There are thousands of them. He couldn't make up his mind. Which means we'll be going back there. I can hardly wait. I'm so excited I think I might start whining at any moment!

I'm going to get him out of bed now. That's enough of his self pity. I'm hungry, and he has his duty of care towards me to fulfil too.

                                          Thanks again for everything.

                                           Lots of love Sadie. x  and John.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

How To Upset The Narrow Minded, Without Really Trying.

It seems I have upset someone. My last post didn't go down too well with them. I don't know who, because they chose to comment anonymously. All I know about this anonymous person is, that they have been following my blog for several months and that they describe themselves as a fellow creative spirit. Oh yes and also that they have been enjoying it. Oh, and also that they think I am a bit pathetic. Oh, and that I make stereotypical comments about women. Oh, and that I have let them down. Oh, I almost forgot this bit, they also apologise for having a sense of humour. I don't get that bit. Why apologise for that?

That is all I know about the anonymous person. I could I suppose, make assumptions about the type of person they are. Things like whether they are male or female for example. Or why they would choose to comment anonymously, when it only takes a second to add your name. I could wonder why they accuse me of being stereotypical when they have just demonstrated their own stereotypical leanings. I could also tell them not to liken themselves to me, because I am not narrow minded like them. I could, but I won't. Because that would make me sound stereotypical, and I would hate that.

Apparently I should not make comments about women past a certain age! Well really, what age would that be? Is it all right if I make comments about young women, or very elderly women? I presume, having reread my last post that the age I shouldn't comment about is the mid fifties. Notoriously touchy, women in that age group, what with the menopause and all that. Blimey! Did I just say that? What am I like? Typical man, stereotyping women like that!

So you have a sense of humour do you Anonymous person? Is that right? Do you really believe that I actually do care about women wearing their knickers on stage. It was a fun post! More about the rubbish that passes through my mind than anything else. I found the thought amusing and expanded on it. Lighten up for goodness sake!

Honestly, I did not mean to disparage women of any age. I love women! I love them at all ages, I love them short and I love them tall. I love them fat, and I love them thin. Maybe not too thin though. It is nice to have something to get a hold of. Oops! Did I just say that? Typical man! Typical stereotypical man!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, realise by now that a lot of it is written with my tongue firmly stuck in my cheek. In fact, I think I am very self deprecating in many of them. That is my way. It is not in my nature to deliberately provoke someone. If I have hurt anyone it is unintentional, and I apologise.
But you know, if I am going to write, I shall continue to put down my thoughts as they occur in my fluttering mind. Happily lots of you enjoy some of the nonsense I write.

You know, just because someone makes a statement that you disagree with, it does not mean it is wrong. It simply means that you disagree with it. Which of course you are perfectly entitled to do. Even if you have to do it anonymously, because you are worried about people knowing what you are really like. We are all entitled to our opinions. There is no need to hide a deeply felt belief. Hiding behind anonymity is, if I might say so, a very stereotypical thing to do.

Some time ago a comment was made by a regular reader, a lady whose comments I value, that I might, at times enrage you. At times sadden you. At times amuse you. But that I would always entertain you. That was a good comment. I liked that. It hit the nail on the head.

Stereotypical? Me? Are you sure Anonymous person, that you have been reading the right blog? If you have been, perhaps you had better stop. Because I am too old to change now. There is plenty more where that came from.

You say that like me, you have a creative spirit. I doubt that. Creative minds don't function too well on a narrow waveband.

By the way Anonymous, just in case your comment was intended as a jokey put down, which I realise it might be, you know, what with you and me both having a sense of humour, I would just like to say haha! That is how I took it. I wasn't upset at all. Never gave it a moments thought. Didn't dwell on it for a moment. Totally unconcerned by it. What anonymous comment? Never even noticed it. Completely unfazed. Absolutely unaffected by it. Typical bloke, that's me! Real stereotypical unfeeling bloke! Just like all men!

Thank you Anonymous, for being the catalyst for this post. I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Susan Boyle's Knickers And The Creation Of The Universe.

After a couple of hours cutting firewood into handy size pieces for my woodburner stove, my mind started wandering. Again. Well it gets quite boring after a while, cutting wood.

Don't ask me why, but I started thinking about women's knickers. Specifically, I began wondering, why modern female singers find it necessary to sing, whilst wearing only their underwear. Maybe I am getting old, but I have to say that whilst I am an ardent admirer of the female form, seeing them prancing about on stage, clad skimpily, in next weeks washing, does not appeal to me in the slightest. Perhaps they do it to distract from the painful, usually nasal screeching, of their latest 'hit'.

Personally, I lay the blame for this phenomena squarely at the feet of Madonna. I'm talking about the 'singer' here. Not the virgin Mary obviously. She started it, I believe, this prancing around half naked, whilst 'singing'.

Hey, maybe I'm not so old after all, because I can clearly remember thinking, when she first appeared on the scene, that I thought it looked stupid.

As she got older, she got even more outrageous. Obviously, being a highly intelligent woman, she thought that behaving like a slut would get her more fans. Happily she was proved wrong eventually, and has now it seems almost disappeared off the celebrity radar.

Although I did have the misfortune to accidentally see her on TV recently, in her knickers, naturally. Or in this context, unnaturally. Wonder what she looks like with her clothes on?

Why on earth does she think that anyone would want to see a woman in her mid fifties, cavorting on stage half dressed, or half undressed. Especially as she has now reached that time of her life where extra large knickers are the order of the day. Not that she has gained weight you understand. Just that she is no spring chicken. More of an old hen. Different shaped. That's what I'm trying to say. Unhappily, however, she has left this legacy of knickers, which today's young women appear keen to emulate.

Oh please someone tell them, these youngsters, how wonderful to the eye, is a well dressed woman. How alluring, how sensual, how enigmatic, and yes, I shall say it, how sexy they could look, if only they would leave something to the imagination.

My mind then thankfully left the subject of knickers, and began to ponder the creation of the Universe.Yes, I know, it is a big leap, but somehow I managed it.

I was thinking about the theory, currently favoured by many scientists, that the Universe came into existence, after a big bang. I had gone along with this theory. Callously disregarding everything I had been taught as a child, about God creating everything. When I say that I had gone along with this theory, what I mean is, that I just accepted it.

Until today that is. Because as the saw ripped through the umpteenth piece of timber, the thought suddenly occurred to me, what was it that caused the big bang to happen? Something must have been there already.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, I have, at least in my own mind, disproved the big bang theory, and shall return to my God fearing ways for now. Nobody, to my knowledge, has yet disproved God's existence. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I had finished sawing firewood, and was just bagging it up, when my mind returned to the subject of knickers.

Thank heavens I thought, thank heavens, that not all women singers need to be half naked when they are singing. I mean to say, I love Susan Boyle's singing. She has real talent. She doesn't need to appear on stage in her knickers. Can you imagine that?

No don't. Don't even think about that. I'm sorry I mentioned it!  

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

There Is A Fortune To Be Made In Advertising. Yeah Right!

See saw, marjory daw,
Johnny shall have a new master,
He shall earn a penny a day,
Because he can't work any faster.

A penny a day! That is what I am earning from having ads on my blog. It's only a week since the penny a day earnings began, up until then I was earning a penny only occasionally. It must have something to do with the number of readers I have.

Since I began this new hobby of blogging last March I have amassed the huge sum of £7.35p from advertising. That's from the google adsense ones. At least I think it is. The other ads I run are from..  Oh blimey, I can't remember where they originate!

Anyway I don't have a clue how much I am earning from them. If there is a way of finding out, I haven't found it yet.

Maybe they are doing well. Maybe there is a pile of money just waiting for me to claim it. I just remembered they are called 'adgitise'. I think they are called adgitise. Not sure. If anyone from a company by that name is reading this, please get in touch.

I looked it up, they are called Adgitize.

Please don't think I'm complaining about my lack of ad revenue. In fact I get a kick out of watching the money growing, even at it's present snails pace. Sometimes the money leaps up a bit, and that is so exciting. Once, completely unexpectedly, the earnings rose by £1.33p in one day! How exciting is that? Somebody must have clicked on an advert several times to make that happen. Hey! What you looking at me like that for?

If I remember correctly, Google send a cheque when the total reaches £50.00. So I am in a high state of anticipation, as I wait for the year 2020 to come. I shall only be 74 years old then. I might throw a wild party! No hang on! No might about it. I will throw a wild party! I shall spend most of the £50.00 on women and drink, and just squander the rest! What a night that is going to be!


Some of you have said how nice the header photo is. It is taken in the house. It took a lot of photos before I got it to look this nice. I put the camera on the setting used for fireworks, and had to hold the camera steady by using a chair back as I don't have a tripod. I was really pleased with the result.

Tricia and my extremely handsome son George are responsible for decorating the tree, and the house, for Christmas. My job is to bring the tree in and cut it to fit under the low ceiling. They always get a tree that is too tall for the little house.

I don't help with decorating it at all. All I do, apparently, is make unhelpful suggestions and generally get in the way! Oh is that right? Then perhaps they would explain to me who it is, that has to risk life and limb, finding out which fuse the Christmas tree lights have blown this year. Who is it that has to test each bulb individually, trying to find the short circuit? Yes that's right it is me!

Electrician, plumber, wood cutter, firewood provider, pet minder. Just some of the things I do around here. I'm not complaining though, it is a pleasure. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Amazing to think that I do it all on a penny a day!

Monday, 12 December 2011

A Rare, And Beautiful Sighting On The Sussex Downs.

Occasionally something happens in life that is guaranteed to cause a lot of happiness and excitement. Which are exactly the emotions that I experienced when I came across this remarkable scene one day last year, whilst enjoying a summers day walk on the beautiful South Downs, here in West Sussex, next to my home.
I really could not believe my luck when I spotted these two beauties enjoying the sunshine just as nature intended. Feverishly, my hands shaking, I scrabbled in my rucksack, desperate to get my camera out. Where was it? Oh no! Would you believe it, I had forgotten to take my camera with me!

Nobody would believe what I was witnessing without photographic evidence. If I was to mention this extraordinary event down at the pub over a beer or two, they would just laugh at me.

However, all was not lost. I decided that I would make a painting of the scene as soon as I reached home. Of course this meant that I would have to observe the scene very closely, and try to remember even the smallest details of it.

Now be honest, if you were to see something this rare and unexpected, would you be able to contain your excitement? Let me tell you it was extremely hard for me.

So that they wouldn't be frightened off, I did my best to hide in the long grass as I watched them closely. Although they were both having such a happy time, that I doubt if they would even be bothered by my bobbing up and down in the grass, as I kept track of their movements.

What exquisite creatures they truly were. Nature in the raw can give up some wonderful moments, and on this occasion nature excelled herself.

I continued to observe them, and even followed for a short distance, but I was not able to keep it up. I am not as young as I once was. In my younger days, I was able to keep going for much longer. But hey, never mind, I had noted as much detail of them as was necessary for the painting, and let's be honest here, I was not going to forget something like this in a hurry!

I do realise that my rather rough painting does not do true justice to their delicate beauty, but I was, after all is said and done, working from memory.

I have titled this painting 'The Camberwell Beauties'. Which is of course the name of this lovely, but sadly endangered species.

Yes indeed, it is not every day that one has the privilege of spotting these rare and beautiful, downland butterflies.

Incidentally, I have no idea what those naked hikers were doing up there. I didn't have time to ask them. As I said my attention was totally focused on the butterflies!

Bye for now. Hope you will visit again soon.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Success And Failure From This Dedicated Clothes Horse.

Early last week I made a decision to try and write a post every day. Well that resolution didn't last long did it? Yesterday was a fail.

Last night I got back late from visiting my neighbours John and Yola. I was just simply to tired to write.

I had been at John and Yola's house because John was going to record a song which I had written. We managed to get it recorded and uploaded, or should that be downloaded? I'm never sure. Anyway I have also now got a CD with my song on it. It is only a couple of minutes long though. I should have written a few more words.

After listening to it a couple of times.. a half a dozen times..all right then, what seemed like hundreds of times, I have gone off my song a bit. Shame really. At first I thought it was fantastic, a sure fire hit. Now I am not so sure. Anyway it is now inside my computer as well. Unfortunately I can't find it. I might put it on Utube later. I will let you know.

Don't worry though, I shall still talk to you all when I am famous. Our budding relationships are too important for me to dismiss lightly, even though the song is called: 'Walking away kind of man'.

I also spent time yesterday trying to fix yet another leaking tap for Tricia. I really should have left it well alone. My repair attempts were unsuccessful, and only succeeded in making things worse. Luckily I found an isolator valve, and so only one tap is affected. I have an intense dislike of plumbing. I don't know why I bother trying. Yes I do, I'm trying to save money. The plumber said he is coming tomorrow, which means hopefully we will see him sometime in the next week.

Another job yesterday was to cut lots of firewood. Easy enough, except the chain kept coming off the saw. Eventually I got the job done, but it took a lot longer than it should have.

Also I have been commissioned to make one of my painted sticks. It is going to be a Christmas present for some lucky man, so I started work on that.

My extremely handsome son George came to the woods with me and Sadie the German Shepherd. We found some really nice twisted branches which I cut to dry ready to make walking sticks with next year. Do you know when the best time is to cut branches off trees? When nobody is looking! I'm not sure if I should be cutting them, but hopefully you won't tell on me.

George took these photos of me, because he thinks I look so sartorially elegant. I always was a dedicated follower of fashion. Don't laugh, please. It was flipping cold outside.

So that was yesterday, a mixture of success and failure, but quite busy. That's why I didn't write a post yesterday. Too knackered to think straight.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Don't Worry I Can Take A Bit Of Stick.

I'm 64 years old. I shouldn't really be thinking: I should have gone out tonight, it's Friday. I had intended to go out tonight. Nothing planned, just maybe a drink or two in the local pub. Talk to people. Tell 'em how I would change the world for the better. That sort of talk. Inane chatter really. Or more likely I would be the one listening. Listening politely to someone spouting off about something or other. Something the speaker wouldn't normally have an opinion about. But he has on a Friday night, because the drink has given him a voice.

Oh well, never mind, I didn't go out. I was too lazy. Too lazy to put on a clean shirt. Too lazy to tidy myself up. Too lazy.

Anyway, as I say, I'm 64. What do I want to go out for on a Friday night? Really I ought to know better. The truth is I do know better. Just that occasionally, I feel the world, and life, is passing me by. Although how I think a night in the local pub is going to help resolve that issue, I have no idea.

So I stayed indoors, by the fire, and painted a stick. Painted a stick! What an exciting life I do lead. Actually it is the second stick I have painted this week. Two sticks! In one week! Yes I know. There is no stopping me once I get started.
A finished stick, and a stick in progress.
I painted a stick, a couple of years ago, and I use it every day on my walks with Sadie the German Shepherd. It is the stick that can be seen leaning against the wall in the side photo of the lady saying hallo to Sadie. Have you spotted it yet? Impressive eh? Oh, and look! There it is again in the header photo, next to the tractor. It gets about that stick.

So since the day two years ago that I finished that stick, the idea has been germinating in my mind, that I should make another one. Now I do realise that two years is a long time to spend thinking about painting a stick. But I did also think about other things in that time.

For instance, I spent several months thinking about painting a door, and quite a few weeks deciding whether or not to paint a gate. Neither of those thoughts came to anything. At least not yet. But there is always the possibility that something will happen eventually if I spend long enough thinking about it. Some people take up extreme sports for excitement, I think about painting things. Nothing wrong with that. We're all different.

Also, I would like to inform you that the stick I started painting today required some carving to be done. Now that was exciting! I was working on my lap, whittling away with a sharp knife, when it suddenly occurred to me that if the knife should slip, I might possibly cut myself in the leg. Wow! What an adrenaline rush that thought provoked! It didn't slip though, so I was all right. But it might have! That's all I'm saying. It might have! How much excitement do you want?

I have taken a few photos of the sticks in question. If the excitement is too much for you though. Please feel free not to look at them. They're not very good anyway. The photos I mean, not the sticks. The sticks are amazing!

By the way, I do realise that some of you, having looked at my photo, find it hard to believe I'm 64. I'm just lucky I guess!