Posted in Cats, Unbelievable | 7 Comments

I’m back!

Hi Everybodypeeps!

Just got back from helping my fellow stained glass artist catch up with his work. We managed to clear the backlog of repairing the stained glass windows, mainly in situ, and made new ones to order.

I cant put pictures of the new ones on the blog because they are copyright of the companies who commissioned them. Shame really, there were some interesting designs.

The bird window shown on the previous post was one of two I made years ago. The first one, shown in the post, was not quite up to the customers liking. So I made another with the modifications he wanted, and fitted it with chain to hang in his window as a sun-catcher. Needless to say I charged him for both, but he didn’t want the second one so I kept it.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Away for a while.

panelI shall be away from my computer for a while. I’m off to help a fellow stained glass artist who is bogged down with too much work and is falling behind with his restoration work.

I have already done part of a large window, –see left– but I need access to his big studio to finish the rest of the window. I don’t know yet when I’ll be back.

Posted in Stained Glass | 3 Comments

Cry ‘God for Harry, England and St George’

Today is Will Shakespeare’s birthday, and St Georges Day.

battenberg_st_georgeThey may take our England away from us but they can’t take St George away, he will still be our patron saint even if the Government insist that we are all now officially the “United Kingdom”, there will always be an England. I insist!

Have a great St Georges Day. I’m off to a celebration dinner tonight. The roast beef of Old England down at the “Red Lion”.

Thanks to Bron Marshall for letting me use the picture of her cake!

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Zombie Carrots!

living-carrots-200x150Night of the Living Carrots

“It’s Halloween and a mutant alien pumpkin explodes on the Murphy’s carrot garden. Now, zombie carrots rise up to attack the town, biting the townspeople and taking over their minds. B.O.B., Dr. Cockroach and The Missing Link must join forces to take on the zombie carrots and somehow, someway find a way to defeat these denizens of the dirt if they are ever going to take back the night”. – The BBC’s description of this film.

This film is so ghastly that it makes “Mary Poppins” look on a parallel with “Gone with the Wind”, and that that was God-damned awful too!

Yes, I did watch it; with a bucket and a towel on hand. I believe that before you can criticise a film you must watch it and not rely on what the media has to say about it. In this case they were so right! Crap! Scraping the bottom of the barrel!

I’ll never look another carrot in the face again!

What has happened to our film industry to churn out this type of absolute rubbish in the name of entertainment?

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Do you see?

Do you see the darkening of the clouds above?
Do you see humankind embracing hatred instead of love?

Do you see the darkness taking away the light?
Do you see evil becoming epitomised as what is right?

Do you see our children’s future dashed upon the rock of greed?
Do you see the forlorn poor with hands outstretched in need?

Do you see that there is no longer room for God?
Do you see the growth of corruption and the proliferation of fraud?

Do you see the old with labels do not resuscitate?
Do you see that their social liability sealed their fate?

Do you see the paranoia and fear that is abound?
Do you see where the origin of the source can be found?

Do you see the liars in their political nests of deceit?
Do you see you have the power to rise from beneath their feet?

Do you see, do you see, do you see?

— Unknown.

Posted in Poetry Bit | 3 Comments

Handwriting revisited

“If we learned how to walk and talk the way we are taught how to read and write – everybody would limp and stutter.” — Mark Twain

Scanned Document01While browsing in a charity shop recently for second hand train magazines (don’t ask!) I came across the book on the left. Apparently it came out in 1954 – too late for my school-days – and was used by most schools, especially public schools.

I felt sad at the news recently that public schools are officially abandoned the teaching of cursive handwriting. I know that most state schools have long abandoned teaching handwriting, along with music, geography, and domestic skills – no longer necessary it seems.

There was nothing more tedious than my elementary school lessons in what used to be known as “Penmanship” classes. I recall the wide-lined paper — one line indicating the ceiling for lower case letters, the upper for capitals, and the up swoop of the the h and f and other tall lower case letters. The discipline of keeping the writing within these lines was nothing less than painful!. Consequently when I left school my handwriting deteriorated back to an unreadable scribble.

It wasn’t until I was in the Army serving Queen and Country that I realised I had to do something about my handwriting following numerous complaints about it from my parents, friends and the officers.

When I was on leave in London I went into Foyles bookshop and bought a slim volume about calligraphy. (I had never heard that term before). I was so impressed with it I bought a Swan Calligraph pen and another book called “How to improve your Handwriting” by John C Tarr. Inside a month my writing changed beyond belief.

These days, when I get the occasional hand written note from an acquaintance — I look at the untutored block printing or scribble that passes for handwriting and have a moment of regret that they were spared the tedium of penmanship in order to do more “creative” things in the early years of their education.

wrong-pen-holdMost of their writing and correspondence, as is the case with almost everyone these days, springs from a keyboard and self-taught typing skills. Nowadays in schools the pupils invariably use computers and iPads to take notes before typing them out and using a printer to hand in at school. They probably have never owned a fountain pen, and from what I have seen on the Internet they don’t even know how to hold a ball-point pen properly!

When I sit down to write an important personal note, or a sympathy card, or anything else for which computer word processing is inappropriate, I can turn out a legible and attractive script where all the letters connect in a rhythmic order that George Parker — who claimed to have invented the modern fountain pen — might approve of. I find a certain satisfaction at the logical, linear process of connecting one flowing letter to the next. There’s an additional benefit, a necessary deliberation that slows me down – there is no Delete or Backspace key on a fountain pen, this makes me choose my words more carefully. I have found that I remember things better when I handwrite them on paper than when I type it onto a screen.

As handwriting vanishes, will the coming generations, never having learned it, be incapable of reading cursive script? Few of us can read our doctors’ prescriptions now, but what if we couldn’t read that inherited box of our grandparents’ love letters?

A teacher told me recently, “We’re not hands on, we’re tech on.” Clearly, that’s the way of the future. Some day, when budgets are no longer busted and schools can add extracurricular classes again, a course on handwriting might be well worth offering. Call it a history lesson!

Scanned Document02Scanned Document03
Two examples from the book illustrating the many different styles of Italic handwriting.

What do you think? Is there still a place for cursive handwriting writing in the curriculum? Please share your thoughts.

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There will be storms



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This And That





1. My version of a salad for lunch today. Clockwise from top, Elmsthorpe tomato, red onion, celery, orange pepper, beetroot, cheese and cucumber. Ham in the centre with homemade apple and ginger chutney.

2. Dinky, the resident cat.

3. The ancient computer of Pontillius Antonius, (Tribune).

4. Henry, next doors cat, comes for a visit. Only here for the food!


Apologies to Betsy for blatantly stealing her idea for a “This And That” type of posting. Sorry there aren’t picturs of birds on this post (the cats have eaten them all) or flower shots (I only grow weeds and brambles here).

Posted in This and That | 3 Comments