Acorns and things

19°C, thin cloud.

I’ve forgotten how to type properly. That’s not good, we go back to work next week, and are getting "psyched-up" for that. My Appointments lit for the second day has been thrown out my admin’ staff – leaving me a little stuck on how to run that day.
One week, and I have bikes to fix, lessons to plan and generally get in the mood.

Found a new problem with my new computer- since adding in security updates to Windows 2000, it won’t connect to the web now- there is an error reported on the motherboard drivers now. That’s going to be fiddly to repair.

Second complete

24°C, clear, sunny & low humidity.

Linseed: Done another- second painting finished this holiday- the other being "Double-cross" which has been hanging around while I decide whether to do any more to it.


22°C, clear today., Yesterday C=32 miles; day before C=51.

Young Oak: Below is a picture of the Acorns from a young oak tree. Some of them are malformed- perhaps due to the gall wasps laying eggs on many of the leaves. I have posted pictures of those here before.

All that post-virus malaise has gone. Yesterday, I rode for 32 miles with a bloke in his 70s. We swapped good stories, had a lot in common- he was formerly a teacher and we shared a number of other coincidental experiences. I rode to get rid of those butterflies that come of excessive adrenaline.
Yesterday was a notable high for another reason, it came like a present – realising that we had another 2 weeks before term starts. I was so excited & relieved by that discovery.

It arrived today- a very shiny thing. Hold it up to the light, and it looks flawless, solid, impenetrable. It’s going to be good, I like it.


18°C, rain

It’s Wednesday, and I forgot to put the bins out!

Linseed: another day another layer, just like old times. The linseed layers are rather patchy, but as layers are piled on, the surface gets more lustrous with a better contrast in illuminosity between light and shadow. 
No new ground is being trod on this one, it is more of a refresher. It’s enjoyable enough, it makes me think about painting, and doesn’t cost much time, each session is about an hour, and I get a finished oil painitng after a few weeks.
However, I am planning a quite a complex one for the day this is finished though. The idea has been rattling about since the winter.
Drawing it up will be done differently.

Chornobyl: interesting BBC links debating the ecology of the Zone.
Some useful disagreement there.

revive canvas

24°C, clouds threatening but no rain.

Linseed: got that SquareJaw picture up and running. That was started last easter, so it’s been sitting around for ages. In previous pictures it had Turpentine layers marking out the structural tone of the face. Now it has some colour.

I’m back

 24°C, clear. C=88.9 miles

Rode home from South Wales today, not a cloud (…etcetera). I’ll upload some photos later.
chose a different route back since there were some nasty hills in the Wyre Forest going out last week. My mapdidn’t show the Malvern hills very clearly which was just as steep. Some of the climbs are quite hard work, especially bearing in mind that you have a further 50 miles to ride. A helpful trick while trying to keep a steady pedalling rhythm is to convery the roadsign gradient as from percentage to ratio- these were 16%, so that’s about 1:7
…I think.
At the top of the hill was a Cafe with a Russian tank parked outside. It must have been a hobby restoration by the Cafe owner.It looked pretty much complete, with engine and wheel rubbers. That machine must be of about 1944/45 vintage  – so that’s quite an ambitious project.

How is it doing?

18°C, some rain due this morning.

Pigeon: we’ve been looking out for a pigeon with no tail, not seen it yet. It can’t be too disasterous for a bird to loose its tail- crows can often be seen in this state- I bet that’s due to "hen-pecking". It must make landing difficult though- no steering on the final approach to a landing perch.

It takes about 2 hours to fit new brakes to the touring bike, and only a minute to discover that the forks are dangerously cracked. I knew a guy in Bristol who sprinted across traffic-lights and his forks snapped, he smacked the tarmac hard enough to break his jaw. Presumably that means concussion too.
I don’t want that.
The other photo is of a Dahlia, which is possibly more interesting before it flowers. It’s a little character – the sort of thing that deserves animating.


24°C, clear & light winds

Clawing the chimney-stack: Hannah called me down about an hour ago because she could see claws in the chimney. It explains the odd noises we heard all morning, an animal must have been trapped and slowly falling in stages down the chimney for about half-a-day. I opened the flue to get it (a common town-pigeon), breathing quietly holding onto the cast iron door above the fire- puzzled no doubt. My first grab with gloves on got me a large handful of feathers- including lots of long ones- oops. The second grab reaching in further up got the bird cupped in my hands.It looked well enough to put up[ a struggle, flapping and spreading small fluffy feathers all over the room. I dropped it on the soft grass outside then after a pause of a few seconds, it jumped up and flew high over the local houses.
Pigeons can fly quite well with no tail. Good luck pigeon!