Friday, 21 July 2017


The above painting is of the Gower with Worms Head. The image of the painting isn't particularly great. Anyway the painting is sold.

Last night we had an invasion. A herd of grandchildren arrived to eat us out of house and home (only joking more like a swarm of locusts!!). Still I like to see kids eat properly.

The youngest little chap apparently performed an unwelcome but vaguely amusing feat. He needed to go to the bathroom and  Alex took him. Unfortunately he didn't pull his trousers fully down and instead of aiming into the toilet bowl he stood there directing a jet up towards the ceiling!

I think Alex saw the funny side after she had cleaned up and sterilised everything.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sketch of Alex

The above is a pencil sketch of Alex she is off today with her mom. I have that favourite pastime, visiting the dentist.

When I was at school I broke my front tooth playing rugby. I went to the dentist and he ground down what was left of it, put his hand in a box of false teeth and stuck one on. I suppose I would have been grateful if it was either the right colour or size. It wasn't. Over the years dentists have asked me if I would like one fitted that actually matched the other front tooth but I suppose I have kind of got used to it. So I have never bothered.  It is also a constant source of amusement for Alex, the children and even the grandchildren now.

Alex said the other day when my urn is collected at the crematorium it will be just that tooth rattling around along with some ashes!! ha ha.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Well I guess we may go off to the beach today. Not sure where yet. The painting above is one I did of Amroth, a nice little beach in Pembrokeshire. It never sold and is now part of land fill if I recall correctly.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

From Russia with Love

Our son's dog died at the weekend. He was a good age but it is always very upsetting when a family companion dies.

I have been asked to do a painting of him so I must scout around for a decent couple of photos to do something from.

Last week we were in Russia. I have had a few problems at passport control in the last two years which I have mentioned on here. Anyway Alex was a bit concerned but as it happened I had no problems getting in to Russia.

No, the problems came when I came to get out. I was in one of three queues and Alex was in another.

All the queses were going quite smoothly and around 30 seconds was the average time for someone to be scrutinised.

Then it came to me. The guard looked at me and then my passport. He looked at his computer screen and typed something in. This continued for several minutes.

After 5 minutes scrutiny I was starting to get a bit worried. All the people behind me had left and gone through other controls.

Passport control was now empty apart from me. I could see through the barriers a very anxious Alex pacing up and down.

Finally the guard looked me in the face and I waited for,

"You thought you were leaving us Mr Bond?"

But he just handed me my passport without a hint of a smile and I quickly left.

I have been to Russia twice. a very interesting place but I think I can cross it off my bucket list now!


Monday, 17 July 2017

What I brought to the table

This is a portrait of my Great Grandfather who was Scottish. It was a pleasing days work. At the time I was concentrating on portraits and had a specialist website and although I got some work it is a very niche market and I moved on. I paint most things now but only portraits of the family.

The other day Alex and I were in a restaurant. We were sat at at table for two amongst a couple of similar tables. The restaurant was full. It was a buffet service.

After I finished my first course I got up and helped myself to a desert (fruit salad). I walked back to the table eyeing up my desert and sat down. I was about to start when I heard someone laughing.

I looked across to the next table and saw Alex sat there laughing. I looked up and saw a woman sat opposite me. I  had inadvertently taken her husbands place while he was at the buffet too.

I muttered a few words in embarrassment and moved back to join Alex. I'd like to say the woman took it all in good humour, but she didn't. She just sat there po-faced!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Saundersfoot beach

We often go to Saundersfoot and take Jac for a walk on the beach. Occasionally I take my pochade box and do a painting. We bought a yacht in the harbour here and sailed it back to Llansteffan. It was a lovely looking boat with plenty of mahogany and brass. The truth is though that she sailed like a pig. Yes I know pigs can't sail,exactly. Anyway we kept her for a few years but finally bought something that sailed like a dinghy in all weathers and was real surefooted.

Monday, 10 July 2017

River Towy

The painting above is of the River Towy near Carmarthen.

There are good facilities at the Leisure centre in Carmarthen and all the grandchildren have learnt to swim.

When I used to go swimming as a young boy a gang of us would go by ourselves. Now you have to be accompanied by an adult. I used to go to Saltley Swimming Baths. As I recall it was built on the site of the old police station in the 1920s and was basically a small rectangular pool with cubicles all around the outside. It could also be boarded over for dances. The tiles were dark gloss green and it had a high arched ceiling. It was always pretty busy and I guess for many of the kids in the area it was the only time their bodies saw water. The new council houses had indoor baths and toilets but for the many these were new luxuries. As for me I was bathed in a tin bath in front of the fire and our toilet was outside.

Oh yes the good old days!