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.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Take away the deer and that is the current state of the garden. It has rained non-stop for the past twelve hours and added to the already sodden ground. Rain stops play and my gardening tools remain locked away for now. At least the ducks and swans are happy! Back to the books and music plus more coffee.

Monday, April 09, 2018

The Fluff monster has now gone.

Our local cat lady took him for his appointment with the vet for his nutectomy and general check up. He'll then be fostered whilst they seek a new home for him. He was named Samson because of his long fur and a handsome fellow he will be once he has gained more weight. Despite three pouches of food a day plus dry food and titbits of ham and chicken, he was still underweight but slowly filling out. I am sad to see him go but the past few weeks of cat fights as the girls did not like having an intact male staying with us has been trying. He is friendly, easy going and a delightful cat so some family will be pleased to get him. Five cats would have been too much and I suspect I already have a reputation locally as the mad cat man. The house will be a thankfully calmer and quieter place now.


Thursday, April 05, 2018

Swan watch!

The swans are beginning to nest but they usually prefer the safety of an island further upstream. These two were building the nest yesterday and Mrs C and I took some pictures on my mobile. I popped out early this morning to check on progress and the female is sitting comfortably on the nest. Lovely to see although the traffic cone and shopping trolley don't particularly present a rural idyll!

I am assuming they are nesting here because of a lack of space on the island as over the past two years there have been a lot of cygnets born and survived to adulthood. Wonderful to see plus reports of otters further upstream is also good news. We intend to keep an eye on their progress and hopefully the local feral scrotes won't bother them. The empty land behind them is in the centre of town and has been an empty wasteland for the past fourteen years apart from occasional use by a visiting funfair. Good to see brownfield sites remaining empty as greenfield sites are gobbled up by greedy developers for housing, especially flood plain sites! The stupidity of national and local governments and the greed of landowners and developers. A pox on them all!

Finally, just the one picture of the work in progress on the KV1.