Saturday, July 30, 2011

John was so greedy

I enjoy being without internet, TV and newspapers while I'm working in France and was shocked to learn of the fragile state of things in the USA, a mass shooting spree and the death of Amy Winehouse when I returned yesterday. It seems too few are taking control and others are out of control. I was reading a non-fiction book about the 1850/60's last week and I get the impression that things haven't changed a great deal.

Strangely, the most alarming, though not the most tragic news was regarding the USA. Can you imagine the impact on the world should they default on their debt commitments?

So, what did I achieve in my media starved world in France this time round? Not much really, but I'm so tired. (details over on the Destination Brittany blog)

Today we walked to Newark and enjoyed the atmosphere of the market. They also had hanging demonstrations, musket shooting, lute playing, sword fighting and everything medieval in the castle grounds.

I was particularly impressed with the area in the castle that King John died so painfully. They say he only had four faults... he was cruel, greedy, lustful and ... and...can't remember the fourth, but I think I have more than that albeit different ones (I think / hope).

I really wished I'd taken my camera...every time I forget to take it, something happens.

I'm glad to be back, for once.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No indispensable man

When I left Vodafone's employment last month, this verse by Saxon N White Kissinger came to mind even though I was far from the most qualified person in the room and that my leaving would leave a hole that would easily be filled....and it was. 

It was also a great reminder of how much I would be missed.

Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You're the best qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you'll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man.

I'm off to France tomorrow for ten days to work on the house...I wonder if, in my absence, Bev agrees with this blog post title:)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Back to painting

Today's efforts...This is Featherbed Rock on Vane Tempest Beach. I was supposed to do a small sample, but went straight ahead and painted it 24x24. It's about half-way there.
 This is a small 6x6 that is now sold, but I couldn't resist strengthening it before sending it off on Monday. When I varnish it tomorrow, those colours are going to explode. Can't wait.
Now how many times am I going to tinker around with this Irish rock pool? I'm a lot happier with the flowing water and am tempted to call it a day.
 A favourite scene of mine...a step closer to completion.
I can't wait to get painting full-time, but with France looming next week, I'll have to wait a while longer.

These are too big for my art blog so they'll end up on my website when finished.

We just nipped out about an hour ago for a treat (Chinese takeaway) and got caught in a truly violent storm...thunder claps and all... it was tremendous and we were drenched as we ran into Blockbusters to pick a film for the night.  We enjoyed Liam Neesom in Taken, so we picked another of his films just as the ceiling collapsed behind the counter.

We stood with dropped jaws at the torrent of water gushing from above and drenching the staff and stock. It was the most incredible scene and proved most entertaining. There was more water falling than the waterfall in the above painting. Of course, they couldn't operate the till so we eventually left empty handed as they emptied the store of customers and locked the door behind us.

The storm has now passed and the sun is shining.

That was an experience and a half and was one of those times that I wish I had my camera with me because I can't believe what just happened as I now look out of the window.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Couple of treats from last week

Had a great time last week and just one of the highlights was a first-time walk with my baby sister in Mowbray Park. We paused to sit in both of these which were about 500 yards apart, to read the words.

How would you finish each verse?

Another special date was with my daughter who treated me to a concert for father's day to watch Ron Sexsmith at the Sage.

The big old bridge is Newcastle and the new Millennium Bridge is Gateshead...the Sage Theatre (mirror cladded armadillo) is in the middle above Juli pulling faces...

 The old bridge...

 We stayed after the concert to watch the various colours of the tilting bridge...Pity my camera doesn't stay focused for bright lights, but it gives an idea...

 Juli still in wacky mood...

The bridge fully can you tell I didn't take the photo?

I'm a lucky dad, eh?

She did make me work though :)

The full verses from Mowbray Park...

If love was a lion, it would purr like iron, burn bright as orion.

If love was a rose, we'd watch how it grows, learn all the secrets it knows.

Monday, July 04, 2011

A first time experience

This is what I wrote and should have posted before going to Sunderland ten days ago. I'm back now and feel a new man having had almost 12 hours much needed sleep last night.

22nd June...The drive is finished and looking good, although I think I'd like another sprinkling on top and whack it down nice and firm. I'll have to wait because the gravel is out of if I care. I welcome the break.

I've never caught a train from Newark to Durham and am looking forward to to this first-time experience. When Chris picks me up at the other end and drives me to Sunderland, I will be at the mercy of Juli for a week or so.

I expect the list of jobs to have already been penned and their completion eagerly anticipated. Roll on tomorrow for my first-time experience...and another chance to be of use.

Enjoying Wimbledon
Enjoying the chocolate from Father's Day
Enjoying not feeling guilty about those extra few strips of  chocolate today
Enjoying the warm days
Enjoying waking up
Enjoying ticking off the jobs completed
Enjoying reading blogs
Enjoying hitting the pillow
Enjoying my dreams

Not enjoying feeling zapped around lunchtime and having to push myself.