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.

Monday 14 December 2015

The Knights are Getting Shorter!!!!

I am getting short of knights in the gallery, the Knight Templar is on his way to Arkansas. This photograph is a bit skewed, but you get the idea. I painted the knight using a stained glass window as reference ... nothing to do with Microsoft Windows :) 

The Knight Templar       John Simlett
Acrylic on Canvas
32 inch x 12 inch

The Knight Hospitaler        John Simlett

Acrylic on Canvas
32 inch x 12 inch