Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A very early and unwelcome start this morning as Mrs C. woke me at 5. She had observed two ne'erdowells cutting the CCTV wire on the Haven Mill and attempting to break in. She called the police and woke me up and I spoke briefly with the police before Mrs C. joined several officers across the road.

With the recent rooftop knob heads, the gradual hollowing out of the town centre, increasing anti-social behaviour and this, I begin to question what is the future of this town. It is happening throughout the country and since the rooftop stupidity there were two further rooftop incidents on the same day! Freshney shopping centre (local mall) is now approximately 40% empty but the council still insists on going ahead with the new cinema / chain restaurants build. Yet there are empty brownfield spaces which have been empty for over a decade. Crazy! I think a major rethink is required with local initiatives and a focus on society and people rather than money and material wealth. There's a big brick wall and humanity continues to bang its collective head against it. Or rather, politicians and those with power and wealth do so. It will all end in tears...

I also quit tw*tt*r last week after finally accepting it has really become a toxic place to be. I'd reached the point where most of my tweets consisted of cats, history and gardening as I deleted the political and social commentary stuff. That's what I have fb for so why duplicate it! If it wasn't for the modelling groups I would also delete fb as I believe the rethink mentioned above includes a reduction in or a move away from the on-line world and to re-engage with the real world. Talking of which, the garden looks colourful and I have never seen so many buttercups. Last night I researched bees and buttercups as our garden is full of bees. They are mainly around the various flowers and the raspberry bush but not so many around the buttercups. The latter I discovered are poisonous to animals and humans but possibly not to Bees. I'm hoping Blue Witch might have some information about this. I have a great crop of radishes coming up in the raised bed as well as healthy looking looking Borage surrounding the tomato plant. Fingers crossed we are starting to see more sunshine and hopefully a decent summer.

I'm off to catch up on some sleep after my rude awakening this morning.


Friday, June 08, 2018

A few days absence and the topic to commence with is scrotes...

This happened yesterday and the photo was taken from our back garden. These two took to the roof of someone's house after the police attended, possibly to arrest them. They stayed up there for nearly four hours, destroying roofs and throwing various tiles and bricks at the police, public, paramedics and fire service. They are allegedly the two toe rags that have been riding motorcycles without crash helmets and causing mischief having been chased out of their previous accommodation for similar anti-social behaviour. The police took a softly-softly approach and negotiated as the road was sealed off and they eventually came down via a fire service cherry picker.

The general consensus amongst the public was for high pressure fire hoses to be trained on them although some people advocated the use of a sniper! Local children watching shouted "Jump!" from time to time much to everyones amusement. The blitz spirit alive and well as neighbours gathered to watch and discuss the lack of parentage, lack of morals and lack of brains in these two wastrels. Sadly, one of our friends lives there with her small child but luckily they were out although her parked car was badly damaged as a result of their behaviour. We shall be watching the official response and consequences when these two appear in court. I anticipate the usual ineffectual slap on the wrist and they'll be freed to continue causing trouble until they seriously injure or kill someone. Public stocks every day for thirty days, rotten fruit and animal excrement as handy missiles would be my answer followed by public service cleaning up streets for a year with a chance at education and rehabilitation during that year. Re-offend, same again and depending on severity of crime two plus years of the same. For very serious crimes, lengthy or life sentences served in a high security prison on the Falkland Islands is my answer. Good behaviour means access to Skype calls to loved ones, BBC radio 3 and a well stocked library. I am sick and tired of bad and thuggish behaviour by a few scumbags who seem to continue to get away with it. Don't pay your TV licence, council tax or road tax and the authorities are very quick to punish you. Steal, burgle, assault, etc...on a regular basis and a multitude of official and charitable agencies leap in to protect you.

Moving on from yesterdays shenanigans and I continue to apply for jobs. One in particular has caught my eye and after a discussion with the manager of said team I was advised to complete a one day legal update to strengthen my application. I am booked in for a course near the Temple, London so a 'day trip' to the smoke is on the books. One of my reasons for being excited about this job is that they are advertising for a couple of permanent staff plus some one year fixed term contracts and for bank staff as well. A number of options and any of those will suit me as I am more than happy to do occasional work. I haven't worked now for six months and I have been surprised by my lack of success in finding work. I guess my age is the main factor but if this latest effort proves unsuccessful then I shall sign up to a nursing agency and seek work via that means. Crazy really because I might find myself working for the very teams that did not employ me from interview and they will pay more to the agency and me for the same role! Does the NHS need more money or should efforts be made to manage resources more efficiently before any new monies is considered? I know my answer and efficiency should be tried first. Enough of that. It is raining so no gardening today, I have a pot of fresh ground coffee made and more internet Sasquatch stories to listen to plus a new one to me, the 'Dogman'! They are apparently found in Wisconsin as well Scoakat so be careful out there. Are these creatures real because there are a hell of a lot reported incidents?  I'm abstaining from alcohol this month so the coffee is my treat plus some excellent ginger cake.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I finally completed the Vickers 6 ton tank today with a thin black wash applied after I had pinwashed some blue oil paint to enhance the grey colour. A Bulgarian tank circa 1940. A simple build but I took my time with it and it is now added to the collection.

Not much blogging as I am currently in the doldrums and I haven't much to say. I'm still job hunting and to be frank, it's getting me down. However, job interview next week and I am preparing for that.


Friday, May 18, 2018

                              Swan watch!

Seven cygnets with their mother with a very grumpy father nearby on land. He then crossed the small area of land to the dock and chased away the several young swans towards the Corporation road bridge.

An audience of dog walkers, photographers and the arrival of council workmen with a boat stood and watched. Nothing like media attention to ensure council workmen turn out to clean up the rubbish on the riverhead.

The nest further upstream has one abandoned swan egg and a new occupant with her own young in attendance.

It didn't take long for an opportunist duck to realise that a ready made nest without any hard work was available.

Close your eyes and it could almost be the Venice of the north.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

I couldn't take any photos of the cygnets because the Swan family had moved to the riverhead and I did not want to get to close to disturb them whilst they were sleeping. Hopefully the following Swan watch link from the local paper might do them justice. Kudos to the chap involved but apologies for mess at the riverhead where this drama took place.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I finished the Panther after a further mistake - once base coated in an acrylic paint and clear coated (varnish) you can apply a thin wash of enamel thinner and pin wash oils onto the kit. I obviously missed the turret roof with the clear coat and the thinner removed the acrylic paint! Hence the Molotov cocktail damage caused by some plucky Russian. Pastels scraped on top and washed in with plain water and then dusted with further pastels once dried. I really enjoy the painting side of modelling expresses my creative side. I may branch out to figure painting on a larger scale although that does require some skill to achieve a realistic effect. Acrylics, pastels and oils...perhaps I should buy some cheap canvases and try that out too.

At my junior school we learnt basket weaving, painting, pottery and classical music so not only learning the three 'R's' but also opening up our creativity. Children are quite plastic and open to new and fun ideas but I do wonder whether the same happens today? Pottery, music, ceramics and art continued at senior school although I opted for music. Rediscovering my creative side via modelling is a pleasant surprise. Up next is the original tank for my Vickers tank interest as I do like these little tanks.

Space is once again an issue as the cabinet is filling up quickly so small tanks like these and possibly those individual figures to make the most of limited space. I might begin to scour the second hand shops and boot sales for cheap glass cabinets and of course any old kits up for sale. I have my eye on this figure on evil bay as it's cheap and it will be an interesting challenge. If I'm successful in bidding for it this will certainly stretch and enhance my painting skills! As Mrs C said last week "Does it always have to be tanks?"

Or perhaps...

Whilst I make my mind up I shall be sorting out my digital camera to capture some decent images of the new cygnets. Mrs C says they have hatched and she believes there are six of them.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

A month of no blogging and I return 'refreshed'. No reason other than I felt I had grown stale and had little of interest to say. No change there then...

The modelling continues and I finally have the diorama 90 % completed. I have one more figure to add and a few little touch ups here and there and I may then be satisfied with it. My first ever diorama and I kept it very simple. Learning and practicing techniques I have gleaned from you tube and modelling forums. ( Panzerjager 1 circa December 1941 and the German tanks froze solid, hence the retreat from Moscow). It has whetted my appetite for more dioramas and taking on more difficult subjects.

 This is my current work in progress but I made a slight error by trying to save money and buying some cheap generic black acrylic paint to brush paint on as a base coat. I'll post pictures in a further blog but it's drying off after I rectified the issue and removed one of my cats who had expressed an interest in the paint and glue. He's now cleaned up as well!

The Fluffy cat we nearly adopted turned into a farce after the cat rescue group had him neutered, micro chipped and we had all contributed to bringing him back to a healthy condition. Some one finally crawled out of the woodwork and claimed he was their cat. He has returned to them after much discord and some evidence was provided of ownership and at one point the police were consulted! How someone can allow a cat to become dirty, malnourished, flea and worm infested with matted fur is beyond me. To also not realise their cat was absent for several weeks also beggars belief. I expect him to eventually wander through our kitchen door one day and I suspect we will make him very welcome. Needless to say we are now wary of helping any stray cats that turn up on our doorstep but Fluffy was a rare occurrence. It also prompted me to clean up my social media, detoxifying fb and tw****r by removing contacts. I now use fb primarily for cats, modelling forums and contact with family and friends in far flung places and as for tw'r, I am considering deleting it completely. It really isn't healthy and there is so much toxic nonsense on it. 

Work wise...I have had two further job interviews including a low paid non-nursing job and I have been unsuccessful in both. Same old story as the jobs were given to people already in each organisation. Funnily enough, the job I was unsuccessful in applying for several weeks back and also given to someone in that trust has just been re-advertised. I shan't bother although I know the answers now to their interview questions following feedback from the manager. I have applied for another couple of nursing jobs and there is an advert for a further job which I am ideally suited and specifically qualified for but there is a huge disincentive. The manager is someone I worked with many years ago and they were not 'helpful'. I am tempted to apply because I do like a challenge and it is a very challenging but rewarding job. However, there is that one huge disincentive and I am too old and tired to deal with idiots these days. 

Finally, Swan watch! They are still on the nest and we counted at least four eggs a few days ago when the weather was extremely warm. The swan sat off her nest to avoid overheating the eggs I guess and allowed us an opportunity to see them. We kept a good distance away to avoid spooking her but we glimpsed the eggs. I must look up the incubation period for swans because they must be due to hatch soon. I'll provide updates and hopefully photos as developments arise.