Saturday, 22 June 2019

My cat came home with a new friend.

Harley returned home last night after a couple of days away doing tomcat stuff.
 I was alerted to his arrival by the scream of my wife. Bounding downstairs with a much zeal as a man who'd just spent 16 hours at work could muster, it was to see my daughter's cat sitting patiently at the patio door waiting to come in.

    At the same moment my beloved hurtled past admonishing me to slaughter the wretched cat with a carving knife. I think the epithet was wretched, but might just have begun with the letter "F" - I wasn't really taking much notice because of my astonishment.

    Harley isn't the biggest cat in the world, but clasped between his jaws was the biggest rat I've ever seen. The ex rodent I wasn't wriggling so I assumed it must have met its end courtesy of my daughter's moggy.

    'Sorry, pal. You're on your own," I advised him having been the recipient of several similar threats by She-who-must-not-be annoyed.

    Clearly realising that he was not going to be admitted. Harley dropped the animal and began to eat it.

    Five minutes later my wife called down demanding to know if it was gone. By  "it" I assumed her to mean both of them.

    "Nearly," I answered, intrigued as to how such a small cat could consume so much meat, and everything else as well. Maybe his stomach is a feline TARDIS. A muffled retching sound was my only answer.

   Ten minutes later the rat was gone, completely gone, and Harley mewed politely to come in.

    Just how he managed such a feat will always be a mystery but Harls is a real cool cat, and my favorite of the two my daughter brought unannounced to the house one day, and left behind when she relocated with her partner. The other has just set the new Olympic record for sleeping - it's about two weeks now I think. The closest she''s ever come to a rat is running away from one.



Friday, 7 June 2019

My tribute to Bob Ross

Given the release of Krita 4.2 which is sooooooooooo much better now (and because I've managed to trash GIMP - again) I gave it a go. I didn't think I'd live long enough to master the previous version but it's had about a thousand improvements. And as it has so many more usable brushes now, here's my attempt to paint like the great Bob Ross.

    Yes you can stop laughing now because I know it's rubbish, but that doesn't matter. I had a good time.

Friday, 31 May 2019

It finally happened.

I was at work yesterday. Nothing too unusual there. 

    I was laying cement; a job for which I'm not trained, but doing a reasonable job of it, when three enormous fridges arrived. When I say enormous I really mean it. Each weighed about 150 kilos, that's over three hundred pounds in old money. The old were to be manhandled down three flights of rickety steps, and the new ones delivered in the same manner.

    I sprang to help, although that's probably not the correct word since that minicab ran over my foot last week when I was waiting at traffic lights on my motorbike. And it wasn't some measly little car either, it was a sodding great Mercedes people carrier. Suffice to say I won't be spranging anywhere for a couple of weeks. Thus I was not looking forward to the fridge event.

    "No," my manager said. "We''l take care of it." 
    "Why?" said I.
    "Don't worry about it, we young ones will do it."
    "What, are you calling me a wimp or just old?" I demanded. My only response was a thin smile.

    So that's it, then. I'm officially old. And if that's what they think then I'm just going to go with it. I'm not a Royal Marines Commando anymore; just a decrepit old codger.

    And if they think I'm going to scale the thirty foot high walls they almost gouged to extinction while removing the old and bringing in the new machines, they can think again. 

    I might fall and trash my feeble old body. 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

What do I do?

I like to think I'm a pretty normal sort of bloke.

    I care for the planet. I recycle whenever possible and I don't toss litter. I don't idle my boss's gas guzzling 5 litre supercharged Ranger Rover when I can turn it off - that's mainly because it uses about a gallon of petrol every twenty minutes, even when I'm not driving. 

    So all in all I'm not too much of a wastrel. Which brings me to my dilemma.

    I realise that I should have stumbled upon this sooner, but perhaps I couldn't really come to terms with the fact that some companies were even more cynical than me.

    A few years ago I bought myself a printer/scanner/copier. I've tried most, and the least worst in my opinion is Epson. It caused me a few problems when I finally moved from XP to Windows 10 when I had to download the new drivers. That apart it works just as well now as it did when I picked it up for a measly forty quid. That should have been my clue.

    It came with a packet of spare cartridges, which are now all gone. So off to the supermarket went I to buy some more. I don't buy them from printer shops - even I'm not that stupid. 

    Seventy five quid just for four cartridges!!

    I've tried everywhere to buy cheaper ones and even tried to get them refilled. No good.

    Either I stick to my planet protecting image and buy a typewriter, or bite the bullet and do exactly what the company wants me to do.

    A curse on their houses!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Hit the doctor this morning

What I mean is that I visited the doctor this morning. There, no bodily contact involved.

    I was summoned a few weeks ago for my annual visit but couldn't (get the time off work, be bothered), but as I go so rarely I would get struck, stricken or just basically removed from their books if I don't go at least once a year.

    'So, what did you want to talk about,' enquired the cheerful but clearly harried man.

    'I didn't want to talk about anything, I was ordered to come,' said I glibly.

    Clearly debating whether to stab me with a suspiciously lurking syringe on his desk or throw me out, he glanced at my notes.

    'Oh, yes, your cholesterol.'

    I was still enjoying the remnants of my own eloquence and came up with something to say that distinguished me from one of the herd.

    'I don't believe in it. I'm still as fit as I was in the Marines (a bare faced lie, even though I am still pretty fit for my age) and those statins you gave me three years ago made my joints hurt and left me with the memory of an amoeba.'

    'So you stopped taking them,' he frowned in that demi-god like way doctors reserve for their most stupid patients. 'You do remember that your level was nearly ten before I gave them to you in the first place.' Determined not to be outdone by some who, admittedly did quite a few years training before seeing me, I continued.

    'Yes, but since then I began eating all the stuff I loath, like vegetables, and fruit, (I carried on, grimacing at the thought of food I truly despise, 'and fruit juice and cod liver oil, and Benecol and...' Clearly seeing me as a lost cause he raised a hand.

    'Will you try a brand new statin? And if in two weeks your joints haven't seized up and you can still remember your name we'll try them for a while longer.' He was still eyeing the syringe so I decided to humour the man. At least I'd done my duty and retained the (free) services of the National Health Service for another twelve months.

    I left wishing that I'd been able to talk to him about the nearly healed chemical burns on my hands that are driving me insane with their itching, but said NHS only permits the doctor to talk about one ailment per visit, so it's imperative to delineate what's the most important before one goes in. If I'd told him about my hands then I would have had to make another appointment for the cholesterol thing.

    If a man of my age can still run five miles in forty minutes and blow up a moderately sized party balloon in one breath I refuse to believe I'm at death's door.

Saturday, 11 May 2019


I was in my local supermarket this evening buying healthy food. Well no, that's a lie. I was buying chocolate cookies which comprise almost my entire diet these days. Despite that I'm still losing weight at an alarming rate. Maybe I should patent myself. But getting off the point somewhat.

    Talking to one of the assistants, she informed me that due to cost cutting the security guards had been removed.

  Now perhaps that's a usage of the word economy that I was previously unaware off. 

  Or perhaps, unlike anywhere else in the world, all the shop lifters have seen the error of their ways and begun paying for their food.

    As if.

    I'm not going to mention which branch it is lest an avalanche of thieving gits descend on my small village and boost everything that isn't bolted to the floor.

    Thanks as always to for all the images I'm totally incapable of painting.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019


I was in the garage today buying fuel for my hog (Yamaha 125cc) when I spotted, at the pumps, the most beautiful VW Golf. Inside the shop I asked the man standing before me if it was his.

    "Yes," he said enthusiastically.

    "It's gorgeous," said I unwisely, for he spent the next three minutes passionately informing me that it was an EVO (pronounced by him like "Heave ho." Not only that but it possessed about five turbos, a couple of superchargers, had enough torque to stop the planet's spin all on its own, and the Teflon paint was apparently tough enough to withstand an aerial attack.

    By this time I'd come to the conclusion that he wasn't talking about the 1980 Golf parked at the pump in front of it and partially restored by a man with very bruised hands paying for his petrol, with a gaze of pure love every time he turned around to check that his adored motor had not been boosted.

    It was then that the younger man finally noted the direction of my gaze, tossed his money at the startled cashier with a huff of indignation before jumping into his car and roaring off with a multi-turbo fueled whine of smoke and leaving most of his rear tyres plastered all over the forecourt.

    I "borrowed" these pics from Google Images, as I don't know what the younger man might have killed me with if I'd taken a shot myself.