Saturday, 23 April 2016

Still hanging on!

Not doing any art at the moment. I'm either building my boat - a wooden 16 foot Maine Lobster boat - or editing books.

I was commissioned to edit a book (a second edition medical work) and it went on from there - it's almost a full time job at the moment; I even have a waiting list. 

I inhabit a strange world at times :), never time to grow bored.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Between us, Pat and I, have captured the market in illness - including spells in hospital. 


No artwork to put up, but as I have the conceit to be writing my (auto)biography, I thought I might include here a newspaper clipping from the period where my art started in earnest in 1981.

Friday, 29 January 2016


I don't do 'ill' ... alas a virus snuck up and I was struck down with bronchitis ... but all is not lost...

... for today Pat cooked her 'Jewish Mother's Soup' .... 

....this isn't just ANY soup ... this is the sort of soup that cures bronchitis whilst, mending the puncture in your tyre, winning Nobel Prizes, stopping Syrian Crisis, calming Storms, bringing peace in our time. The second bowl was even better! 

Tomorrow will bring 'second day' soup.... the black holes in space are cringing

Friday, 22 January 2016

Still Painting

Despite being dragged in MANY different directions, I did manage to paint my 'Angolan Woman' on a much smaller canvas ... and the smaller version now lives in Dubai.

I will be similarly downsizing my 'Afghan Man'

To all my painter friends on the Eastern Seaboard of the US, stay warm and safe during the horrendous snow storm that's about to engulf you. Will be watching and thinking (worrying) about you ... and waiting for the snowscapes to follow!

Monday, 11 January 2016

By Best Friend

My third granddaughter and best friend 

has published her first book and it came in at 71 in the US Best Sellers List

Proud grandfather or what? 

What I found really touching was the dedication I had no idea existed until I opened the page. Kind of makes life worthwhile.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Dilemma

Dilemma  time.... planning the New Year.

I have so many claims on my time that there is a danger that no matter what I'm doing, I will feel guilty that I should be doing something else.

I have written a novel that my granddaughter (a published author) desperately wants me to finish. There's still a month or so of final editing to do ... and I can't spare the time. 
   My autobiography has been chuntering on for years ... my granddaughters' are demanding it ... and I can't spare the time.

My wife has a list of 10+ drawings/paintings that are 'wanted,' not least the very large drawing of St David's Cathedral, which has miles and miles of work left on it ... and I can't spare the time. 

Then there's the boat!! Seagull !! which I'm building in two parts:

Part 1 is get a ship's bell for Christmas. Done :)

Part 2 is build a boat around the bell :)

I already (all ready) get up early, go to bed late and play work seven days a week.

To compound the situation, every day I see things that I want to do and add them a massively long list ... <sigh>
... not to mention the normal tasks of life.

You can see the dilemma can't you? We have visitors at the moment so I can't do anything mentioned above, which gives me until 2016 to set out my year ...!!!

What do you have planned for 2016?

Sunday, 20 December 2015

My Christmas Story

Time for my annual Christmas story:

The concept of 'Pantomime' is one that is rarely understood outside of Britain. Enough then, to think of it as Vaudeville meets funny fairy story, on stage ...with kids in mind.

In 1982 I was in Germany with the Royal Air Force and F4 Phantom Fighter jets. Which meant for the first time in twenty years of marriage (and long range flying) I now got home most nights. Pat, my wife, took full advantage of this when she was asked to produce/direct a Pantomime at the base theatre (theater). The show was to be Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

I became involved with making the costumes  (I come from a family line of tailors). But one costume required was that of a 'two man' camel named Sam Super.

As I made him, Sam Super took on a personality of his own. It was a costume worn by two men and had a mouth that opened and closed by a mechanical device I made inside it. 

Sam was quite a bad tempered character and made his mark on all that he came in contact with: it bit my hand when I was making the mouth; the back-end man was allergic to the fabric and had to be replaced, Sam also scared the life out of the kids in a German Orphanage. 

Sam, however, was to write himself into the history of the station by causing not only a security alert, but for me to be called into the Station Commander’s office. 

It all began when I put a little pressure on Roy the sergeant steward in the Sergeants Mess. Roy was a keen member of the theatre club who had been put in charge of publicity. He responded to my pressure in a way that gained us much publicity. He began one night by putting up ‘mysterious’ posters throughout the station  (base). The posters didn’t mention the pantomime but he thought they would raise people’s curiosity. He also sent, in the internal mail system, small copies of the poster to everyone from the Station Commander downwards.

The next day as the mail was opened, telephones started ringing and blue lights started flashing. I was sent for by Group Captain Palin. On his desk was Roy’s poster, its message glaringly simple:


It seems harmless enough unless you know that SAM is not an expression that is liked very much on fighter stations, it means SURFACE to AIR MISSILE! It took a lot of fast talking to get us out of trouble, but Station Commander couldn’t keep the twinkle out of his eye.