Thursday, 20 July 2017

It is all down to practice.

I am sure this little portrait is not just right but it does have a rather cheeky face so I thought I would give it a try.

I do not know why, maybe it is because I post with spelling mistakes, but I got an email from the dyslexia society the other day. Normally such emails I would just cast into the bin, but on this occasion I could not resist reading it. 

It took me back to my rather painful childhood. The hours I spent trying to do reading homework. My mother tried so hard but it became a nightmare. The book would go flying across the room as I failed for the twentieth time to read the few sentences I had to master. 

Of course the next day i would sit in class with all my classmates dreading that I would be picked on to stand up and read.

The words just bounced around in front of me and anxiety just made it worse. 

Writing was an even bigger disaster. I for some strange and wonderful reason would manage a few words and then the next few would be written mirror style.  Or maybe just a few letters in a word usually e would end up the wrong way round. 

To say I struggled was an understatement. I was marked down as, slow, lazy, thick and so on. No wonder at the earliest possible age I departed company with formal education.

It is amazing that later I began to write poetry and then hymns. That I went on to university and took an extra class in speed reading.  

There I learned a great secret. Stop trying to read the words let your brain read them for you. Let me give you an example to play with for a few minutes before you start your day. 

Start Here.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia.
Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.
(Hrad to blveiee taht yuo cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht yuo wehr rdanieg).
Isn't it amazing. Now the Atheist dyslexic deos not need to beleive in Dogs he can dibelieve in gods.
Now I know that is not a PC joke but after what I have written above I think I can safely get away with it. 
Have a wonderful day and maybe a bit of light reading. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wages and the Cost.

I heard the early news this morning and within the half hour I listened I was told about four times that today the BBC would announce the names of those presenters earning over £150,000. It seems that this is in fact a big story.

There is some concern that this publicity will result in  a hike in the cost of the TV licence because there will be more presenters striving for the same salary as the highest paid ones.

What concerns me is not the rush to the top but some of the things that happen because of the salaries being paid to some. 

We see the same faces night after night on one program after another, because they are being paid they must be used. 

We witnessed an incident where a tennis doubles match with just one game or so to be played before it finished being put off the air because one such high paid presenter was coming on to talk about the day at Wimbledon.

I could go on forever. But having given it some thought I think we need to make sure these employees are not dictating the terms but we the employers are. 

So, a new employee handbook.

Sick Days.

We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.


Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.
Personal Days

Each employee will receive 104 personal days each year. They are called, "Saturday" and "Sunday."

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for your dead friends, relatives or coworkers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is done.
Absence due to your own death.

This will be accepted as an excuse. However, we require at least two weeks' notice, as it is your duty to train your own replacement.

Dress Code

It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing a pair of £650.00 Prada running shoes & carrying a £1000.00 Gucci bag, we will assume that you are doing well financially & therefore do not need a raise.
Thank You.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplation's, consternation's, or input should be directed elsewhere.

Of course I am joking. There is a much easier solution, one I found while on holiday, hit the off button. Or look at the schedules and do not bother to hit the on button. Oh and you might want to tweet those in power and let them know you have. 
Have a wonderful TV free day you will discover there is so much more to life, than watching others live theirs.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Time and time.

Even in the darkest moments.

I was listening to some of my favourite music from the far and distant past. One that struck me for some reason was the one about for everything there is a season. it was based on a well known biblical quotation but it was well done and very simple.

It got me thinking as I wandered round the golf course on my own. Might I add I was on my own by choice. I really just wanted no pressure and to have a few good shots.

Halfway round the course there is a notice that informs you that if you are playing to time it should take one hour and fifty minutes to each that point.  I was well on schedule.

Time! Do we ever give enough thought to it?

To realise the value of ten years:
 Ask a cancer survivor, and their spouse, and their kids and grand-kids.
To realise the value of four years:
Ask a smiling college graduate with their new degree. Or look at pictures of somebody on graduation day.
To realise the value of one year:
Ask the parents of a baby on his/her first birthday. How fast it has gone.
 To realise the value of one week:
 Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realise the value of one day:
Ask a man / woman who has been sober for a first day after years of addiction. 
To realise the value of one minute:
 Ask the father who got the last seat on the plane to make it to watch his child play a part in the school play.
To realise the value of one-second:
Ask the pilot who ejected just before the plane crashed.
Time waits for nobody. Seize the moment and spend it with somebody precious.
Have a marvellous day.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Where are they?

I spent ages working on this little floral. I saw this on my last walk in France on the morning of my journey home. I possibly spent too much time and got the flowers a bit too correct, not what can be said about the poppies! Need to do some more on this. 

I have lost my spectacles and goodness knows where I have put them. Probably like most things I lose they will turn up later, but I really have searched and searched to no avail. One of the reasons why I never buy expensive spectacles. I either lose them or sit on them. Sadly in this case I have also misplaced the case I keep them in which I had kind of grown attached to. I had a rough acrylic painting on the box which helped to identify it as mine very easily.

It is an age thing for sure. 

Two aging little ladies had been friends since their 20s. They were "domino friends". Now in their 80s, they still got together a couple of times a week to play dominoes. 
One day they while playing one of them said, "You know, we’ve been friends for many years and, please don't get mad, but for the life of me, I can't remember your name. Please tell me what it is."
Her friend glared at her. She continued to glare and stare at her for at least three minutes. 
Finally, she said, "How soon do you need to know?"
I really do hope I am not as bad as that yet, but I am getting there.
Maybe I need to go see the doctor? I keep complaining about my friends and family moving things even when they assure me they have not touched them. 
Going to the doctor is something I hate, they only ever confirm my fears that I am getting old. 
The las time I went there it went something like this.
"The doctor asked me how much I weighed. I told her I weighed 104 pounds. Then she weighed me and the scale said 160."
"She asked me how tall I was. I said, '5 feet, 5 inches.' She measured me and I was only 5 feet, 3 inches tall"
"Then she took my blood pressure and told me it was high."
"Of course my blood pressure is high," I said.
"When I came in here I was tall and slender."
"Now I'm short and fat!"
The ever moving process of life.  
Played a round of golf with my son and his friend yesterday. Heading back down today to see if I can remember what to do with those club things I have in a bag on a trolly. 
Have a great day. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017


Yes I am aware that it is a silly little painting and full of sentimental stuff but it was the best I could do yesterday and we all have to live with the times when we did not manage to reach the point we were aiming at.

Maybe I needed a little bit more help with this one? 

This wonderful world of the web can be such an amazing thing and yet it can also be a bit frightening. Normally with a painting like this it would never see the light of day it would be straight into my bin. But trying to do  a painting a day, and keep a little tale for here means that sometimes I  end up being less than I hoped. 

The clouds are all wrong the reflection is not right. Maybe sometimes it is good to be honest . Not one of my best.

Back to this thought about the WWW.  Who invented it? How did it get here? 

YesI know there is more than one response, but let me give you the real story. 

An old, bearded shepherd with a crooked staff walked up to a stone pulpit and said, “And lo, it came to pass that the trader by the name of Abraham.Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.”
And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “Why dost thou travel far, from town to town, with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?”
And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “How, dear?
And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between the towns to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply, telling you which hath the best price. 
And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Daniels Pony Stable (DPS).”
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success.
Abraham sold all the goods he had, at the top price, without ever moving from his tent. 
But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham’s drum and was accused of insider trading.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums, that no one noticed the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land.
And, indeed, he did insist on making drums that would work only if you bought Brother Gates’ drumsticks. And Dot said, “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.
And, as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known, “eBay”, he said, “We need a name that reflects what we are,”
And Dot replied,
"Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
Oh, mmmmm, “Whoopee!”, said Abraham.
“No, YAHOO!” said Dot Com.

That is how the world wide web all began.
Off to a wedding today, have a wonderful day.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Just a Pencil.

Yesterday I was walking and during the walk I was, as is my want, waxing lyrical about my apple pencil. I listened to myself and thought, "What are you like it is just another tool that you have learned to use?"

That is in fact true, it is just another tool. It may in fact be more than just a pencil and with loads of practice it can produce some marvellous effects. 

But it is just another tool. So I shut up and just enjoyed the walk.

I then began to remember the tale of the pencil maker. he took great pride in the pencils he produced knowing that some of them might end up in the hands of some people who with his pencils might create works of art that would go on to inspire others and bring much joy.

Works I hope better than the one above, because even now I see bits there that are just not correct at all.

Back to the pencil maker.  But I do wonder if anybody in the production of the Apple Pencil ever gave such thought to the tool they were producing?  I guess they just might have. 

An old pencil maker took his newest pencil aside, just before he was about to pack him into a box. 

Imagining the little fellow as a person he recalled a few things about the pencil.

“There are five things you need to know,” he said to his pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember these five things - never forget them - and you will become the best pencil you can be!

1 “The first thing is to remember that you will be able to do many great things, but only if you put yourself in someone else’s hands. It is not possible to achieve anything in life without the help of others. To be stubborn and self conceited will only lead to failure.

2 “From time to time you will experience a painful sharpening, but remember that this will make you a better pencil. Life does not always run smooth or go the way you would want it to, and there will be times when it seems like it cannot get worse. But these things can make you a better person.

3 “Also, keep in mind that you will be able to correct any mistakes you might make along the way. You may not always be able to undo the errors but you can put them right.

4 “And the most important part of you is what’s on the inside. The inner you is what you alone see and know but it reflects on what you are to those around you.

5 “And lastly remember this, as well, upon every surface that you are used, you must leave your mark. No matter what else happens, you must continue to write.” It is never enough to just drift through life , it becomes empty and meaningless. So no matter the stage we are at leave a mark. 

It seemed the pencil listened to him and promised he would remember these five things so that he could live his life with heart and purpose.

Hope I am not sounding to teacher like but this has made me begin to think already about my own mark.

Have a great day. 

It is "Bastille Day." So an added joy to all my friends in France, "Bon Journée

Thursday, 13 July 2017


A Sunflower.

I spent almost the whole day in my garden yesterday and at last it is almost back to where I would like it to be. I filled my brown garden refuse bin and my neighbours. They were taken away by the bin men and I almost immediately filled it again and will be looking for a neighbours with little in it for the next collection. 

It is hard work and the price of spending so much time in France. 

The downside is that I have been painting at least one painting a day for the last two months and now for three days I have sone none.

My whole concentration has been on doing what I have not done for ages. I have been tampering with nature. Cutting back the growth of bushes and grass, pulling out weeds, which are only flowers n the wrong places.

When you look at the beauty of nature closely even weeds can be a thing of rare beauty.  This sunflower was an escapee. Some seed from its parental background had been carried by a bird to the edge of a path and there it had reproduced, and may well continue to do so.

It may been seen as a weed. In the wrong place. To some unfriendly being where it is not meant to be.  But there it is it has its own beauty its thousands of seeds with such potential to go on creating even more. 

When we paint such things of nature, flowers, trees , bark and such I creep down beside them and breath on them and look at their beauty in detail and try to share it with others. 

I often find myself trembling with the sense of wonder, they seem to be so much more sensual and beautiful than anything produced by humans. 

I do not touch them, but they sure do touch me deep in my inner being.

I hope I can inspire more to go and look closely at weeds, you might even end up taking a picture or two or even making a painting. You might even end up like my good friend Dave MacKay and end up saying, "That is fair braw."

Another thought, we often treat people we do not understand like we do weeds. It just might be that they are people just for a bit in the wrong place, with a little help they might become something of beauty.

Have a wonderful day and make sure to look at the weeds. I am working on my last weed of France one I saw at the side of a canal on my last walk for a bit in that land.