Sunday, 31 December 2017

Sketch Crawl - The 'Into' Building, 16th December

South Africa War Memorial, from the Into Building
(0.8 marker in A4 sketchbook)

For some reason I completely forgot to post this drawing, done on the last sketch crawl of the year. The "crawl" was a bit unusual, in that the Tyne & Wear Urban Sketchers were invited to join the Newcastle Painters Group for an informal lunch, before we went up to the top floor of Newcastle University's 'Into' Building to do some sketching.

What a view! I've never been able to see the angel on top of the South Africa War Memorial so clearly before and I'm well pleased with the drawing I made. A good end to the year's sketching.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 31st December 1947

"Work again.

Paid 1st full monthly salary £21.14.9.

Saw the New Year in at Mother's with Ronnie & Glad, Billy & Winnie."

And that, of course, is the last entry of the Diary. In the Notes at the bottom of the final diary page are these important dates:


Harry born Jan 29th.

Established as Sen. Mss. Nov 10th."

Finally, at the back of the diary, is a list of music that presumably my Dad listened to and thought worthy of noting down:

"Mood Indigo.
Moonlight Sonata.
Concerto for Two.
Rachmaninoff's Second.
The Flea.
The Folks Who Live on the Hill.
On with the Motley.
The Student Prince.
The Desert Song.
Tommy Dorsey - Getting Sentimental.
Cabin in the Sky.
Gloomy Sunday.
Westering Home (Robert Wilson)
Tenement Symphony (Anne Shelton)
The Folks Who Live on the Hill."

And yes, "The Folks..." does appear twice.

I hope at least some of you have found these diary entries of interest and my thanks to those who may not have found them so, but stayed on nevertheless.

To those who unsubscribed because "Content no longer relevant" I have nothing to say because you won't read it anyway (smiley face).

Friday, 29 December 2017

Ian Bennett RIP

I'm saddened to report that my old friend, Ian Bennett, died last night of pneumonia. His wife Rachel died earlier this year and when I saw him last he was looking very frail.
Ian and I, with two other painters, formed Figure8 in 2004 to show our paintings and we held shows round the region for ten years. This is part of the poster for our last show together in 2014. I shall miss him.

My Dad's Diary : Mon 29th December 1947


Mother minded Harry in PM. 

Took Doris to Westgate to see Charlie Chaplin."

Monsieur Verdoux Poster

The film was probably Monsieur Verdoux, a black comedy in which Chaplin abandoned his little tramp persona to play: "A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards."

The film was not well received by the press and did better in Europe than America, but it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing in 1947.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 28th December 1947

"Usual Sunday. Pottered about in garden.

Five Wand at night."

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 26th December 1947

"Had walk out with Doris & Harry. Wreath on father's grave."

My Dad used to take me to Saltwell Cemetery every Xmas, without fail, to lay a holly wreath on his Father's grave. After his Mother's death, we changed the day to Xmas Day itself so that we could lay the wreath on her birthday.

My parents were both cremated but I had their ashes put in the same grave and I've made sure I continue the tradition of laying a wreath on the grave, although I now do it on Xmas Eve. This is this year's:

Monday, 25 December 2017

Sunday, 24 December 2017

December Sky

We've been getting some spectacular sunsets recently. The sky last night was particularly impressive.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 24th December 1947

"Everybody half tight in afternoon. Glad to finish off.

 Kept sober myself."

Xmas parties at "The Ministry" were notorious. Shortly before I went to to work there they were stopped, reportedly after a couple were discovered having it off in a telephone kiosk in one of the Blocks. 

After that, we could only have office parties in the local pubs, most notably "Block 18" - The Newton Park Hotel.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Friday, 22 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 22nd December 1947

"Joe on holidays. Looking after 10 & 11 Blocks. Saw Bennett re. shuttle instructions."

Thursday, 21 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 21st December 1947

"Took Harry for a walk, called in at Freeman's.

Usual night with Ronnie."

I don't know who Freeman was.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 19th December 1947

"Association night.

Bought D.L.I. Journal."

Monday, 18 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 18th December 1947

"Damp & cold.

Drew £3 out of Post Office. Went to Ritz with Doris."

Ritz Cinema, that is.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

I Looked *Everywhere*.

Winter's Jar WIP
(acrylic on board, 24 x 24 cm)

Still Life with Fish and Chair WIP
(acrylic on board, 10 x 10 in)

Collage Jar WIP
(acrylic on board, 18 x 20 cm)

On Friday I decided to try to get these three paintings finished in time for a meeting of the Newcastle Painters Group on Saturday, only to realise I couldn't find my box of paints. During the week we'd moved the rest of my stuff from the old house and in making room for all the boxes, I'd put my container of most-used colours Somewhere Safe.
After a search Everywhere, I pressed on with some of my other colours but progress was slow and I didn't complete any of them. Still, they were well-received on Saturday and I've since looked in that other place that wasn't Everywhere and found the mislaid paints.

My Dad's Diary: Wed 17th December 1947

"Damp and cold."

Saturday, 16 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 15th, Tues 16th December 1947

Mon 15th 

______________ [no entry]

Tues 16th

"Damp and cold.

Using bicycle for work again."

Thursday, 14 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 14th December 1947

"Ronnie's baby christened.

Usual night at Five Wand."

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 13th December 1947

"Had quiet afternoon.

Pulled a bit of veg from garden."

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 12th December 1947

"Association meeting.

Had long talk with Tommy.

Nice evening."

Monday, 11 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 11th December 1947

"Damp & cold.

Took Doris to Gateshead Odeon."

Sunday, 10 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 10th December 1947

"Coughing well - cold continues.

Weather is very cheerless."

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Winter's Jar WIP

Winter's Jar WIP
(acrylic on board, 24 x 24 cm)

One of the problems with sticking too closely to Gateshead Art Society's programme of suggested activities is that I seem to be ending up with quite a few unfinished paintings. This is certainly not a new situation for me in that I've always liked having several pictures on the go, but the number of unfinished ones is growing.

This came home to me yesterday when I found myself starting yet another. The suggested subject this week (and last, but I wasn't there last week) was "Winter". Using a photograph of a hillside in Little Langdale, adapted to show a covering of snow, I've added another of the pharmacy jars I saw in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

There's a long way to go with it and I'm not entirely sure it will work the way I thought it might, but for now I'll take it forward.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 9th December 1947

"Full of cold.

Brought in 2nd overall for Mr Moody."

Friday, 8 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 8th December 1947

"Griffiths, Ministry of Health visited Benton today - loads of bull.

Cold still bad."

Thursday, 7 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 7th December 1947

"Work today - same job as Saturday. Finished 5pm.

Gladys churched."

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 6th December 1947

"Work all day.

Corridors of No.8 block to clear - finished 5 pm."

The printed motto at the bottom of the page reads:

"Lost time is never found again."

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 5th December 1947

"Bit of a cold this morning.

Usual sort of day.


Monday, 4 December 2017

Mint Street Recovery

Mint Street WIP
(acrylic on board, 25 x 25 cm)

I'm pleased to say my solution for eliminating the annoying Sharpie lines worked. Using acrylic matte medium, I pasted down two layers of very thin paper so that I could see the general outlines of the painting, then re-established the main colour areas. 

Tidied up and corrected with a few Posca Pens (which is why you should ignore the rather insistent blue lines), it feels ready to to be taken forward. The little man outside the shop has become a ghost, but I expect he can be summoned into life again.

My Dad's Diary : Thur 4th December 1947

"C.S. Exam today.

Sat for it and didn't do too bad.

Rain poured down.

G.W. did overtime."

I don't know if we'll find out the result of Dad sitting the Civil Service exam before the Diary ends, but I do know, of course, that he did go on eventually to be an Executive Officer.

Years later, when I was in the Civil Service, I worked with a man called George Wilson who'd worked with my Dad. I wonder if he might have been "G.W.".

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Bad Sharpie!

Mint Street WIP
(acrylic on board)

I spent yesterday afternoon in the Shipley Art Gallery, sitting at a table in front of the big Tintoretto, smiling benignly at the people who'd come in to look at Gateshead Art Society's Xmas Exhibition. As part of my duties, I'd been asked to do a bit of painting, just to demonstrate what it is we do at our meetings (as if the paintings on display weren't enough), and so I did.

I'd hurriedly thrown some paints, brushes and a prepared board into a bag, together with a printout of a potential subject, but what I neglected to add was a pencil. So when it came to squaring up the board I had to fall back on the only alternative - the black Sharpie in my coat pocket. And what a disaster that turned out to be.

I'm sure you can see from the photograph above that the construction lines are still plainly visible and that's after several layers of paint. Acrylic is so transparent! Even the layer of white acrylic gesso I added when I got home failed to cover the lines.

I have one other solution in mind, but if that doesn't work, I'll simply have to scrap several hours work and paint over the board and begin again.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 3rd December 1947

"Frost broke today.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sisyphus SOLD

(acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 in)

This little painting has intrigued me since its creation. It grew out of my current line of Path Through the Woods paintings but unlike the others in the series, it really owes its existence to something in my subconscious. Derived from a pastel drawing done quite a few years ago, it went through several changes, mostly driven by instinct. I sometimes wondered whether it would appeal to anyone other than me.

Yesterday I sent this little painting on its way to its new home in Roswell, GA. 

My Dad's Diary : Mon 1st December 1947

"Still freezing.

Using tramcar now as roads are too bad.

Overtime until 7 pm."

Thursday, 30 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 30th November 1947

"Took Harry in pram to garden.

Everything frozen - bad walking.

Went to mother's at night."

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 28th November 1947


Drew back pay to 10th Nov. -- £15.6.1."

Monday, 27 November 2017

Memory Lane

Memory Lane
(acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 in)

Another painting completed recently for the Path Through the Woods series. The title is somewhat ironic because I can't remember where this lane is. 

My Dad's Diary : Thur 27th November 1947


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Tower in the Woods

Tower in the Woods
(acrylic on board, 12 x 12 in)

I finished this painting fairly recently and took it along to a meeting of the Newcastle Painters' Group last weekend where it was warmly complimented. Silly, I know, but I needed that confirmation that my work, slightly changed by methods and medium, is going well.

Photographing artwork is difficult at this time of year, with the light quality being seriously reduced, so this is the best I could manage under the circumstances. I'll try for a better quality photograph in due course.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 25th November 1947

"Windy. Greased all Fire Extinguishers."

Friday, 24 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 24th November 1947

"Fine morning. Took B.C. to S/E. told to keep it until needed.

Quiet evening at home."

Thursday, 23 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 23rd November 1947

"Wet morning. Went up to Five Wand Mill before dinner.

Usual night. Billy and Winnie at Mother's."

Winnie was Dad's sister, Billy her husband.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Oil Pastel Progress

Across the River WIP
(Oil pastels on grey mount board, 11 x 11 in)

Looking at this oil pastel I see that some progress was made on it last week before I was taken away by other duties. Not a lot, I admit, but there's some added subtlety in the water and a few more silver birch have grown up across the river. 

One of the problems I found was in dealing with the wood itself. I simply don't have enough dark pastels to get the interior of the wood as dark as I'd like. Dark green, dark blue and black aren't sufficient. I may have to buy a few more if I want to get this picture to where it should be.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 22nd November 1947

"Raining - Had quiet afternoon.

All chrysanths nipped with frost."

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 21st November 1947

"Very mild.

'Campaign in Burma' taken from 114A"

The Campaign in Burma appears to have been the book by Frank Owen written in 1946. This is the 1957 edition:

Monday, 20 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 20th November 1947

"Milder today.

Saw Griffiths re. shuttles.

Rec'd 25/5. Overtime money."

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Opening Sale

Whitby Fudge Bar
(Acrylic on board, 8 x 8 in.)

Yesterday at Gateshead Art Society I started to work on the recent oil pastel picture but was gently nudged back upstairs by a reminder that as a committee member I should be helping with the setting up of the Xmas Exhibition.

I suppose I should be grateful for that because it allowed me to make sure my four paintings were displayed well. (This has not always been the case.) And it's possible, therefore, that it was so perfectly placed that today at the Opening of the Exhibition it caught the attention of the nice young couple who bought it.

Whatever, it's always gratifying to find that someone is prepared to part with real money for one of your pictures and I hope they get many years of pleasure from the Whitby Fudge Bar.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 18th November 1947

"Everything going along fine.

Very frosty weather."

Friday, 17 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 17th November 1947


Shuttle system time check today and Tuesday."

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Still Life Doodling

Still Life Doodle (WIP)
(Acrylic on board, 10 x 10 in.)

I still haven't decided on a method for preserving squeezed-out acrylic paint at the end of the day, so rather than simply scraping it off the palette and throwing it away, I've been painting it randomly onto small boards. 

Last night, I was taken with the idea of trying out a painting idea on one of these prepared boards, using one of a couple of still life doodles I did recently. I think it has potential.

Still Life Doodles
(Marker on paper, each image 3 x 3 in. approx)

My Dad's Diary : Sun 16th November 1947

"Ronnie's baby born this morning."

To Ronnie and Gladys, a baby boy. Happy birthday to my cousin Alan.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 15th November 1947

"Gladys taken to hospital."

Aunt Gladys was married to Uncle Ronnie.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 14th November 1947

"Saw McGee re. Moody.

Warned check on shuttle system Mon & Tues."

Make of that what you will.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Gateshead Art Society Xmas Exhibition

Image may contain: text

I'll be showing these four small paintings (all acrylic, 8x8 ins.):

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 13th November 1947

"Everything going well.

Cold weather started."

Sunday, 12 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 12th November 1947

"Took up duties as senior messenger, No.11 Block, C.R.O."

C.R.O. was Central Records Office, part of the Ministry of National Insurance.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

End of Circle

These should be my last entries in my Partner Norma's sketchbook in this year's Sketchbook Circle. A little rushed, some not really complete, others simply minor additions to Norma's own pages.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 11th November 1947

"132F. See Mr. Brown at 9.20 Wed.

Back in own room.


Friday, 10 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 10th November 1947

"Still up in 12D. Rather sick of doing someone else's work.



Thursday, 9 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 9th November 1947

"Very windy.

Garden in morning.

Had straight talk with Ronnie at night."

I don't know what that was about.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Greetings Cards

Time to announce that you can now buy Greetings Cards based on my paintings and cartoons from

Go on, you know you want to!

My Dad's Diary : Sat 8th November 1947

"Fine but windy.

Spent early afternoon at garden.

Went walk with Doris at night."

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Monday, 6 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 6th November 1947

"Still short of rain.

Sold book of raffle tickets (R.A.S.C.).

Had night at home after overtime."

Sunday, 5 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 5th November 1947

"12D again today.

Marvelous fine weather just now.

Overtime tonight."

Saturday, 4 November 2017


(Markers in A5 sketchbook)

The Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery asked if, in addition to drawings of specified gravestones and memorials, the Urban Sketchers might also provide them with some drawings of incidental flora and fauna found in the Cemetery.

This is my contribution - ivy, though drawn from an online source rather than actual Cemetery ivy.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 4th November 1947

"Henderson & Reynolds off - had to work in 12D today.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Inking the Gravestones

Jesmond Old Cemetery
(Marker ink over printed pencil drawing.)

Because of our holiday break in Spain, I wasn't able to get my designated gravestones drawn for inclusion in an Urban Sketchers/Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery project. In the hope that some of my less specific drawings from our first visit to the Old Cemetery can be used, I spent some time today inking in a copy of my pencil drawing from that Sketch Crawl.

Jesmond Old Cemetery 22 April 2017
(2B pencil in A4 sketchbook)

My Dad's Diary : Mon 3rd November 1947

"Start overtime tonight sorting correspondence."

Thursday, 2 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 2nd November 1947

"Got a lot of digging done today and most of liming.

Five Wand Mill at night."

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 1st November 1947


Went to see Gateshead play Bradford. 0-0"

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 31st October 1947

"Damp morning.

DLI Assn. Pd 2/-.

Met chap who had been 'hanged'."

Oh for more detail! If I had to guess, I'd opt for someone who had been a prisoner of the Japanese.

Monday, 30 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 30th October 1947

"Dull and showery.

Another night in house."

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Oil Pastel Workshop

Across the River WIP
(Oil pastel on grey mount board, 11 x 11 in)

Another Friday afternoon at Gateshead Art Society, another interesting workshop led by my old friend Tony Montague

I've used oil pastels before but not to any great extent and I did find it a little frustrating not to be able to cover greater areas faster. This picture represents about an hour and a half's work and you can see I'm nowhere near covering the grey mount board. I don't want to cover all of it, of course: the board was chosen for its colour and some of the grey will show through the finished image.

As is often the case, I had to make a frantic search for suitable imagery for this afternoon session and I eventually found this image in a set of photographs I took on one of our painting weeks away. This one was in Little Langdale in 2007, and you might be able to guess that I chose it as an addition to my current fascination with paths through woods.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 28th October 1947

"Dull and showery.

Spending most nights at home now."

For those who wonder, this just means "spending most evenings at home".

Friday, 27 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 27th October 1947

"Dull & showery.

Went to Library at night."

Thursday, 26 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 26th October 1947

"Usual Sunday, but to Five Wand at night."

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 25th October 1947

"Spent afternoon in garden digging."

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Lost in the Woods

Tower in the Woods WIP
(Acrylic on board, 12 x 12 in)

Thinking I was on a roll with these woodland path paintings, I decided to try this one, based on a conflation of two photographs taken in Croatia. I've always liked  the idea of finding deserted or derelict buildings in the middle of woods so the Romantic in me was pleased. I think perhaps I would have liked it to have become darker, more sinister, but my sunny personality won out as always (winky emoji).

Initially, I'd planned to paint it on one of the more recent 8x8 inch canvases but then decided the subject deserved something a little larger, hence the 12x12 inch panel (incidentally cut from one of the many paintings I've had to destroy in the last year). Yet, as I've often found to be the case, the change in scale, even this small a change, proved awkward. By restricting the available area, the smaller sized paintings made me more economical with the shrubbery; given the relatively broad expanse of the new support (I exaggerate), I ran amok with wild and florid bushes and tree tops.

It was all too busy. What I've done now - and the photo shows where we are at the moment - is draw round the main clumps of bushes with a green Posca Pen and flatten out the shapes with darker paint within those outlines. It already looks better, so I'll try to reassert some of their solidity without, I hope, making it all too busy again.

My Dad's Diary : Fri 24th September 1947


Went to D.L.I. Assn. meeting. Paid 2/6."

As long as I can remember, Dad was a member of the DLI Association, an ex-servicemen's organisation. He was the flag bearer at commemorative marches and I think the meetings allowed him to talk about the War in a way he never could at home.

Members of the DLI Assocn. came to his funeral in 2001 and, with my permission, draped his coffin with the Union Flag and gave him an honour guard.

Here he is with the banner at a Reunion (probably at Brancepeth Castle) in 1951.

Monday, 23 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 19th - Thur 23rd October 1947

Sun 19th September

"Usual Sunday."


Mon 20th September 

"Neighbour was put in own room today - took over 46-66.

Drew £23 from Post Office."

The first part is obviously to do with Messenger services at work.

Here's Dad (on the left) in 1948 with "my Messengers".


Tues 21st September

"Foggy morning.

But still very little rain has fallen.

Received £12 for settee."

I guess this was the old settee recently replaced by the three piece suite .


Wed 22nd September

"Fine but chilly.

Slight fog.

Paid for 3 Pce Suite - £34."


Thur 23rd September


Went to G'head Odeon to see Sinbad the Sailor."

Sinbad, the Sailor (1947) starring the great Douglas Fairbanks, Jr and Maureen O'Hara. : "In medieval Persia, during the rule of Caliph Harun-Al-Rashid, Sinbad the Sailor boasts about his latest adventures to his friends."

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Sketchbook Circle - nearing the end.

Holidays in Spain meant I had little time to work on my Sketchbook Circle book, so only four pages this time. Materials used : Posca Pens, torn envelopes and magazines, cut up prints from my Circle Partner, Gwen, maps, a postage stamp, a chocolate wrapper, various other found papers and some basic printing.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 18th October 1947

"Fine but chilly.

Saw Hull City beat G'head 1-0."

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 17th October 1947

"Dull and cold.

Doris went to Dr. - slight heart trouble."

Monday, 16 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thurs 16th October 1947

"Dull & cold.

Had row with Doris re not going to doctor."

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sketch Crawl : Queens Arms, Shieldfield.

Queens Arms, Shieldfield
(0.5 marker and brush pens in A4 sketchbook)

Officially, the Sketch Crawl yesterday was to Northumbria University campus but while Mike was happy - and successful! - at tackling the intricate modern architecture of the new campus buildings, I felt more comfortable going round the corner to draw this nice old pub on Simpson Terrace. I surprised myself by getting almost all of it done within the first hour. Only a bit of line strengthening and lettering remained to finish off at home.

The mysterious "whirlpool" in the foreground is actually the worn remains of a mini roundabout. Why I stopped drawing at the edge of the page instead of finishing the building on the adjoining page is more of a mystery. Maybe I'll go back and remedy that.

We had a pleasant surprise in the form of two visitors from other Sketch Crawl groups - Andy from Urban Sketchers Yorkshire and Christine from Urban Sketchers London. Nice to meet you both and I hope we get to meet up again sometime.

[Next Time : 11th Nov., Sunderland Winter Gardens]

My Dad's Diary : Wed 15th October 1947

"Showery this morning.

Spent night at home.

Called at mother's."

Saturday, 14 October 2017

La Cartuja, Seville.

La Cartuja, Seville.
(0.5 marker and watercolour in A5 sketchbook)

I'd just about given up on drawing anything in Seville, even after a wander round the fascinating complex of La Cartuja with its Spanish and Moorish architecture mixed with British kiln chimneys, and was on my way out of the gate. Looking back I saw this doorway and, really quite tired by then, sat down on a step and got the sketchbook out. The circular design proved a nightmare because it was composed of thousands of coloured ceramic tiles, but I guess (hope) that doesn't come across too badly in the final drawing.

Back at the apartment, I dug out my tiny watercolour box and a waterbrush and added a bit of colour to pull the thing together.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 14th October 1947

"Fine weather continues.

Went to the doctor's for Drs Certs. Jimmie and Lily sick now.

Doris had dizzy bout."

Jim and Lily were Mam's brother and sister, also living in the flat upstairs.

Friday, 13 October 2017

La Farola, Malaga

La Farola, Malaga
(0.5 marker in A5 sketchbook)

Despite an optimistic packing of several different sketchbooks, I found it as difficult as usual to get anything drawn on holiday. Two weeks in Spain and only two drawings done. Well, you either get to see lots of interesting new things or you get to stop for an hour or so and get something drawn. So it goes.

At the end of the week in Malaga, I found myself in the harbour looking at the lighthouse and suddenly feeling I could get something down on paper. And here it is.

My Dad's Diary : Mon 13th October 1947

"Changed bike over to fixed."

Thursday, 12 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 12th October 1947

"Mr & Mrs Brownlee & Ken sick with food poisoning.

Did lots of digging in No.52 garden.

Fine weather continues."

"Mr & Mrs Brownlee" were my Mam's parents who lived in the flat above us with her younger brother Ken. I have no memory of my maternal grandad, but I'm fairly sure this is us together in the backyard. To the best of my knowledge, no one ended up buried in No.52 garden.

The "fine weather" was actually the hottest summer on record for 300 years.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 11th October 1947

"Bed settee suite delivered. Cost £34.00.

Took Doris to Ritz."

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 10th October 1947

"Fine weather continues.

Went to see about 3 pce suite. Fixed on Bed Settee suite."

My Dad's Diary : Thur 9th October 1947

"Harry now has 5 teeth.

Wrote to Joe Milburn."

Monday, 9 October 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 8th October 1947

"Fine day.

Collected logs from Mother's.

Rec'd letter from Nora."

My Dad's Diary : Sun 5th - 7th October 1947

Sun 5th October 

"Fine sunny day.

Garden in morning. Started stripping turf off.

Five Wand at night."

Image result for five wand mill inn


Mon 6th October

"Fine day again."


Tues 7th October

"Fine day.

Had haircut."