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Friday, 18 November 2016

An Outstanding French Artist. (Bernard Buffet 1928 - 1999)




I will hold my hands up and say I know nothing about art. I don't know what is expressionism or abstract. I've never taken the time to learn because the world is full of wonderful and variable things. I like it when something strikes me in a raw and sometimes rude way.

In one of my blogs, I wrote how Vincent Van Gogh just happened to me. His artwork grew and somehow I liked the work of this fine painter.

Well, I was looking through Google and tapped great French artists into the search engine. I was flooded with many great artists with little portraits to click onto. Then I came across a photo of Bernard Buffet. I was a little surprised by the surname of Buffet because it did not sound that French to me, and I, was probably pronouncing it wrong by letting the '...et' at the end of the word sound like 'it.' You know the way working class English might say it: 'Bernie Buff-it'

Perhaps in French, it might be Bernard Boofay in sound, I don't know. I suppose I'm being a bit of a pleb. 

Well, I clicked onto this French artist and what joy. I was mesmerised by how striking and compelling his paintings are. I'm always perplexed by drab looking things that draw me in with other points of interest. I thought Bernard Buffet's paintings were like George Orwell's writing. Stylishly dull but full of wonderful detail. His work has clear and defined lines and the observer can clearly see what his picture is of, but there is also a clean drab look about everything that goes on in his work.

His name does not sound French to me, but his gorgeous art most certainly is France in all glory. That special word that the French say, 'jour ne se qua.'

This great French artist lived from 1928 to 1999 when he committed suicide because of the onset of Parkinson's disease. He could not longer work and create his wonderful paintings. He was classed as an artist of expressionism and ant-abstract paintings. Whatever this actually means, I don't know but the man's work has the jour ne se qua for me. 

Bernard Buffet's paintings are truly wonderful to behold.  I enjoy his landscapes most of all. There are thousands of paintings by the man in museums all over the world and one museum in Japan dedicated to him.








Looking Forward to Another Cruise


Carole and I spent yesterday morning packing the luggage for our holiday cruise. We are going to the island of Madeira first and then onto the Canary Islands. It's a two-week cruise and we've been looking forward to this since we booked up in the summer. It also breaks the winter up for us.  

The last time we did this cruise was three years ago and we saw a man dressed as Father Christmas sweating in the warmth. This was December. God knows how hot it can get in the summer months.

I'm hoping to see the man in the Funchal, Madeira with his eagle again. This time, I'll hopefully get a good photo with me holding the wonderful raptor. 

We'll also visit the Spanish mainland at Cadiz and Seville. Then Portugal's capital city of Lisbon. All in all, it should be a fun winter break. :D 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Never Meet Your Heroes - You'll Only Be Dissapointed.

Geoff Hurst holding the World Cup
I always remember my Dad saying; ‘Never Meet Your Heroes, You’ll Only Be Disappointed.’ Well this was so for me in 1970 or 1971 when I was a kid of nine or ten. I lived in Poplar, East London. Almost everyone around the district was a West Ham fan. 

Of course, West Ham had three main England players of the 1966 World Cup winning squad. Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. To be fair, I think Martin Peters had just transferred to Spurs, so he was a former West Ham man.


Word came about that Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick for England in the World Cup final, was coming to a local public house to knock over a pile of pennies. This was for a charity, though I do not know what one it was. It was a mid-week night and we kids all went to the pub and waited outside for the grand hat trick scoring England man to arrive.

When he did pull up outside the pub we all eagerly gathered around to look at our real life English hero. He never said a word to any of us. He just parked up and went inside while we all looked on disappointed. I suppose we expected him to say a few things before going into the pub.

Then after a short time we were allowed in, one at a time, to get an autograph off of this football star who seemed bored with all us snotty nose little hero worshipers. He went through the chore and we got a quick and silent autograph then ushered off of the premises. As I went out the door, I felt exceptionally let down. As kids we all expected him to say a few words. It was as though we were irritations – little unwanted pests. I remember walking back with my friends and we all agreed that Geoff Hurst was a bit of a let-down. Even today, when I see him on TV doing a rare interview, I look away.


I’m glad England won that day and I think Geoff Hurst and his team played well. However, the disappointment of meeting him as a flea or a minor inconvenience sticks with me to this day. If I saw him walking along the street, I would cross the road to avoid the man. I do not regard him as a gallant English hero anymore. Not since that day.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Floyd's First Pike Fish.


Floyd and Lloyd went over the Star Lane Fishing lake in Great Wakering, Essex. It was Sunday and my son, Lloyd had gone back home from my house after doing some pike fishing along the rivers of March in Cambridgeshire. He got the taste for pike fishing, even though he is more of a carp man. 

He told me he would take Floyd over the Star Lane lake when he got home as the youngster is getting a taste for fishing. So has Lloyd's wife Claire. Soon, I can visualise the whole family going fishing. Lloyd and Claire and all the five children. 

Floyd caught this pike within the first few moments of arriving. It set him up nicely for the day. There were other fish too, but I think Floyd was pleased most by his first pike. :D

My Son Lloyd and His Amazing Mirror Carp.




It was just under 30lb on the scales. But hey! We'll still say 30lb. In reality, two ounces under. But what a great fish.

Lloyd was with his wife Claire and was getting ready to pack up, after a disappointing day. Then as they were putting their things away, they had left one rod out. Suddenly the bite alarm started screaming out and Lloyd quickly moved forward and struck. He had hooked this fine specimen and took a little time playing the fish towards his landing net that Claire had put into the water for Lloyd to guide the Mirror Carp over.

Suddenly it was landed and both Lloyd and Claire were full of glee. It was the biggest fish caught to date and is rumoured to be the biggest Carp in Star Lane Lakes at Great Wakering pits in Essex, England.

The day before this, Lloyd took his son Floyd over the same lake and within moments, Floyd had caught himself a nice little Jack Pike. It was his first Pike and he, of course, was very pleased with himself. 

Fishing can get everyone out and about. My son Lloyd is hoping to come back to March and fish the lakes and rivers here in the Fenland again, in the near future.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Splendid, first class, excellent - Love it to bits.



I came home from work yesterday evening and as I walked through the door, I could smell the lovely roast dinner being prepared. The aroma was gorgeous and my belly began to rumble.

"What's cooking?" I asked.

"Lamb shanks," replied my wife, who is a vegetarian.

"Oh wow! One of my favs," I replied. It's a standard joke. Whatever she cooks, I always reply, "Oh wow! That's one of my favs."

Carole always replies, "Food, in general, is one of your favs."

As the plate was put on the table, I decided to take a quick snap so all you lovely peeps could see the prize awaiting my devoted attention. I, of course, managed to rise to the occasion. My performance in doing justice to this dinner was; splendid, first class, excellent.

In short, I Love it to bits. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

DALEKS, DALEKS, DALEKS! It's all happening with POWER OF THE DALEKS.






The big kid inside this 55-year-old body got all excited this week. A missing Doctor Who story from 1966 was brought back under an animation. I remembered watching the first ever Patrick Troughton story when I was five years of age. I can remember near Christmas time with pictures in the newspaper of Ben and Polly (The Doctor's travelling companions) They were kneeling down with the dreaded Daleks in the background. It was the final episode of the six-part story and the Daleks went on an extermination spree. I was looking at it from behind the armchair. Not daring to turn my eyes away.

I eagerly bought the BBC download the other day and have been watching an episode each day. Today was the sixth and final animated adaptation and the Daleks went on that good old killing spree. I was back in 1966 again in my old house in Limehouse, East London. Good old days and the adaptation via animation made me swoon with nostalgic little boy memories. GREAT STUFF! :D

A Pirate's Dinner





A Pirate's Dinner

The Grand children came in and looked at the curried vegtables with rice. We were not expecting them and they usually like kiddie things.

Jokingly, I said, "That's what pirates have for dinner,"

"Do they," said the pair of them. They like pirates.

"Oh yeah," I replied. "They love this sort of thing."

They decided to have some with rice and ate the lot. :D


Lloyd Fishing the River for Pike, Perch and Roach.

My son Lloyd, is mainly a carp fisherman. He likes to go to all the various lakes in his area of Southend-on-Sea in Essex. He decided to come and visit me this week for a couple of days to try out the various rivers in Fenland, Cambridgeshire. He found himself a spot, just outside of March by a road bridge.

I helped him get his roads and other fishing equipment down the bank and left him there for the day. Previously he had been in the local fishing tackle shop to buy different baits. He loved the shop because it had so many different things to do with the hobby he enjoys.

When I went to get him at the end of the day, he had caught a pike and two more had escaped his hook, and broke away as he tried to play them in. He had also caught several Perch and Roach. It was a different type of fishing from the lakes that he is used to. However, he was pleased with the size of some of his Perch. He said the were the largest of the Perch he normally catches in the lakes.

Also, he said he was not used to river fishing, but had learnt a lot during the course of the day. He says that when he comes again he will try for more Perch. He seems very excited by Perch fishing in this area now. 




Sunday, 30 October 2016

Dusty the Cockerel Introduced to the Hens.




Dusty the Bantam cockerel is introduced to the garden. The hens in the coop are not happy and neither is the single ostracised hen living in the garden with the ducks. The first encounter is with Chickie the lone hen. It is a gradual process, but soon Dusty will be among the hens. 
Hopefully, this will harmonise and stop the bickering among the hens. However, on first appearances, there seems to be a long way to go yet.
Dusty seems to like walking on hard surfaces and appears a little disoriented at the moment. That is to be expected. As I go out and check on him, he seems to be gradually working his way towards the chicken coop wire. 
He and the hens are getting used to one another with a barrier there.