Friday, 3 April 2020

Carving a niche.

When I first bought our tiny cottage, it was no more than a ruin.

As you entered via the remains of the 'front door', immediately around to the left was the ancient stone sink, on the left hand wall was a huge open fireplace, and on the wall opposite was a very large, 40 cms deep, integral cupboard, with a single rotten door hanging off its hinge.

The sink and fireplace were both intact, and simply required cleaning and patching. But the huge cupboard occupied almost all of one whole wall and obviously required alteration.

It was a question of either filling-in the whole thing, or reducing its size dramatically. I chose the latter.

I had a few bits of stone hanging around, so I gave them some chamfered edges, and made what I thought, at the time, was how it might have looked had they done the same thing 300 years previously. It was easy to cut, and easy to install. It also now looks as if it might have been 'original'.

It's strange to think that all those years ago, all the family's glasses, bowls, plates, and cooking utensils would have been kept on those shelves. These days it's home to a mouse, a few bottles and glasses, and some old decanters. 

Other than making a more solid cupboard, it has left plenty of space either side for hanging paintings. The initial shelf-room has been reduced by about 80%. 

It's better than it was, and you'd never know it was new.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

The Shepherd of Wilmington.

I've recently received another picture of a painting I haven't seen for many years. I think it's title is as above. Again 4 ft by 4 ft.  

That's it.... no more.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

That'sa ma boy!

My oldest son, Kimbo, takes his visits to Tesco very seriously.

Where he lives, in Kensington in central London, it's the epicenter of the UK's COVID-19 epidemic.

Best to take all precautions; n'est-ce pas? Stay safe darling boy!

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The best of times, the worst of times.

This wretched virus has certainly made us think more about our priorities.

It has also made most of us think how very lucky we are to have lived so long and so well in very liberal societies. Those of us who live in 'first world' countries are extremely fortunate.

Yes, we've had knife crime, a drug epidemic, terrorism, and now COVID-19, but water continues to flow from our taps, electricity still issues forth from our plugs, our loos flush, and most of us have plenty of food in the store-cupboard. One only has to look at the favelas, shanty towns, and refugee villages around the world to know that we are extremely blessed, and that our systems of government are the best there are.

I'm no believer in gods and devils, but the bible does contain plenty of common sense. One short phrase that often comes to mind is Christ's Mandatum novum do vobis. Having washed the feet of his disciples, he commands them to 'love one another, as I have loved you'. With all our woes, we are seeing a return to this spirit of amitiƩ. Neighbour is once again helping neighbour, people are making sure that those who are alone have everything they need, and people are applauding the selfless workers who look after us when we suffer.

Will good come from this appalling pandemic? I feel certain that it will.  When all is over, we will be more appreciative, more aware, and more cautious. For many, their financial circumstances will take a long time to recover, so any previous 'spend now, pay later' attitude will need serious review; which can only be a good thing.

Of course there have also been plenty of examples of profiteering from the epidemic. There will always be 'spivs' who leech off the unfortunate, who buy-up every bog roll in order to 'blackmail' the needy, or who fight in supermarkets over the last tin of beans. But these people are usually soon dealt with.

In general, I am hearing of kindness, of families communicating, and of benefaction. I do hope it will last, and that much of the previous selfishness will slowly disappear. My fingers are crossed.

Look after yourselves, and others.

Monday, 30 March 2020

What Virus?

Forget the bloody virus, here are some cutsie-wootsie Lab' puppies to brighten your day.

Our Monty was one of six puppies, and this reminds me of the day we went to bring him home from Miss Tadpole's rescue centre.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

When times are hard.

When Boo Boo searches for the path to omniscience and enlightened consciousness (so he tells me), he always turns to Yoga. 

Well, what would YOU do?

Saturday, 28 March 2020


If it should ever come to my using a Mobility Scooter; I shall want one of these.

Not quite as above, but with a Bugatti grill, pale blue paintwork, and a wooden rimmed steering wheel.

It would, of course, need to have a wickerwork rear pannier for shopping or picnic materials, and full leather upholstery. It would probably also have a handy container for either a brolly or shotgun.

Ideally it would be capable of around 50 Kph, and have a range of about 500 Kms.

With the Spanish border being only 450 Kms away, I could be in San Sebastian to dine on Oysters and Red Mullet before bedtime.

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