Saturday, 27 September 2014

I Finally Drove the Morgan for the First Time in Just Over a Month

I have come to the conclusion that I am either Very Patient or have just Capitulated to others Priorities.

I actually waited until today for my First Mog Drive since the Gas Company Blocked our Drive.

Having had so many problems with my new tyres I first checked the pressures and then off I went.

I only did a 27 mile round trip in the time available, which seems to be my average recently. 

I usually head for the same Hotel alongside the Thames and being a Saturday, today, there was a fair chance that there would be a Wedding Reception in process, which there was.

So here she is, The Green Goddess, ready to go. 

Parked next to 'Managements' Pride & Joy. ( I need a 'step ladder' to wash that one ).  

Once again, I head for Maidenhead via the Village of Cookham. 

Here we are crossing the bridge over the River Thames into the village. 

Side shots when driving never really come off. 

Here I am trying to photograph the church. Sorry about the misty photos? Does something need cleaning, I ask myself? 

 This view along the river towards Bourne End was a quick Snap as we drove along the bridge.

Across the junction withing Cookham Village we can see the old Chapel which is the Art Gallery featuring works by famous War Artist, Stanley Spencer.

Another passing 'Side Snap' of Cookham Main Street with is shops and restaurants.

Heading along the road from Cookham to Maidenhead Riverside.

Approaching the pretty Boulters Lock on the Thames. 

It never ceases to amaze me how people get away with Parking Camper Vans on the Footpath right in front of the lock.

 I drove slowly so that I could get this shot of the Lock and the Bridge to the Island Restaurant.'s Lock

Just beyond the lock is the holding area for Boats waiting to go through the lock. 

Into the Sun. 

 I just knew that this tree would get in the way of the cruise traveling towards me. 
It seems that they always do!

The Short Cut to Water Oakley and the Oakley Court Hotel takes me through the Village of Bray. 

Right next to the Cricket Ground, and overlooking it, is the home of Celebrity and Cricket Fan, Michael Parkinson.

Over the Speed Hump and into the Village Centre where Celebrity Chef Heston Blumenthal, had his The Fat Duck is located.  

Through the narrow Exit road and over a Second Speed Hump (to be taken very carefully) 

An 'Only Just' shot of the old Jesus Hospital Alms Houses.

There is the Second Speed Hump in front which I forgot about and gave it a hefty thump. It is like climbing a low wall going over these things

It is not far from Bray to my destination, The Oakley Court Hotel. As I expected, there was a Wedding Reception in Progress so  the Parking Areas where full.  

Before deciding what to do I reversed in the, now smaller, Main Entrance Turning Circle and parked to take this photo.

At this point, one of the reception security men popped out to tell me that I could not park here. When I explained that I was only stopping there to take a photograph, he decided to join in and took the next few photos for me.

Unfortunately, he also decided to take this one while I am removing my Cap

 Posing again. Unfortunately that new cycle shed in the background spoils the vista.

The Oakley Court Main Entrance and Deer. I am standing awkwardly, while trying to hide my cap. 

One fortunate outcome of the photo session was that he then offered me one ot their Chained off Reserved Parking slots so that I could go in for a coffee in the Gardens by the river, which was very kind.

Making my way to a deck chair, coffee in hand I came across this beautiful, new to me, 'Driftwood Sculpture' of a Trotting Foal.

While sitting there I caught sight of the Bride & Groom making their way to have their customary  'Riverside Photos'  taken. The Groom looked splendid in his Kilt. 

One of the reasons I love going to Oakley Court are the fond memories of our own daughters wedding reception held there 10 years ago.

Taken in the Oakley Court gardens. Hubby Matt is the tallone in the middle wearing the Carnation. Unfortunately our river shot is in the official album. 

 Much time was spent with the preparation and dress adjustment. 

I had to chuckle when he asked them to assume a 'Kissing Pose' and then walked off to get his cameras. 

They held that pose for ages, obviously enjoying every moment of it.

The timing could not have been better for them as this Paddle Steamer Pleasure Cruiser passed by. 
As soon as the passengers spotted the couple they gave a hearty round of applause, calling over with their good wishes.  

The Very Happy Couple.

Having finished my coffee, I set off to inspect the plumbing before leaving. 

The Al Fresco Restaurant was full and nothing to do with the wedding. 

It is a very popular hotel, it seems. 

One last photo of the Hotel as I pull out of my parking slot.

Back through Bray in the other direction. This time I can just catch a shot of the Church.

Taking a different route home through the village of Taplow and up the short winding hill climb there.

I slow down to almost a stop to take this passing shot of part of the lovely Taplow Court House, which is now a Buddhist Retreat. 

Being on a High Spot their gardens have a fine view over the Thames Valley and Maidenhead.

Back at Home.

The Mog is here, undergoing a Fast Cool Down before she goes back into our Small garage.


Chinese Greetings Cards

Having worked in China during the 1980's and 90's I have friends there in both Mainland China and Hong Kong. Even two friends from there who now live in the UK.

During that time, I was sent the beautiful Greetings Cards below.

Sadly, having never been given 'Return Addresses' for most of them, I have lost touch with their senders.

This very traditional Christmas Card was sent to me from No2 Worsted Mill of Inner Mongolia in 1984. There is no Senders Name, unfortunately. 

I worked in Hohhot, the capital, with the staff of No2 Worsted Mill where we installed and set up a factory for them to make Men's Tailored Suits. 

This Christmas Card was sent to me by Mr Sun Rusheng of the State Bureau of Foreign Experts, Beijing . 

Mr Sun was my host during a 4 day holiday there during which I attended a State Reception on the Eve of the National Day on 30th September in 1986 

The front pages of both of the above cards are separate slips of very thin paper on which the picture is printed. This one above has then been hand coloured.

The Front Cover of my official invitation to the State Reception.

The very large gathering of Embassy Staffs and our band of 12 Foreign Experts all got to meet the Government and the then Premier Zhou Ziyang. (The one who disappeared from office following the Tiananmen Square Shootings) 

This New Year Card from 1986 was send by Mr Song Duo Jing, also from the same state Bureau and my tour guide during those 4 days. 

Inside he 'Welcomes me back to China' which unfortunately I was unable to do due to my role in the UK.

Later they offered me a two week lecture tour of the country, which I was also unable to take up.

This pretty New Year card was sent from Hong Kong by Zhou Sue Ping (Zita).

Zita was Secretary from our company's Hong Kong Office who had accompanied our group to Hohhot as our Secretary & Interpreter.

Another very Traditional Card sent to me by Mr Wu Jun, a Young Big & Handsome Mongolian, who came to the UK for training as one of a delegation of 6 trainees. 

He became the Head Technician in the Hohhot Suit Factory. 

This card has no name attached that I can read as everything inside is written in Chinese, so I have no idea where it was sent from.

This Christmas card was sent from / or purchased in China by Wong Mei Lan (Mei).

Mei is a Garment Technologist and Tailoress who was another of our Hong Kong Staff back then who came to China with our large group during my first ever visit to Hohhot in January 1984.  

Mei was trained in the UK and now lives permanently in the UK

Another Christmas Card from Mr Wu Jun. The eyes are of that early corrugated material that makes the pupils move when viewed from different angles. 

A totally different New Year Card sent to me by 'Lily' from the Hohhot Suit Factory.

'Lily' was just a young machinist who during training her, I discovered could speak and write english. A very Valuable asset to me when there were no Hong Kong Secretaries to do that work. 
Lily became the Factory Interpreter, raising her status there considerably.

  Another Christmas Card from Mr Song Dou Jing. This one includes that ancient Chines Art of Paper Cutting Filigree in the red part. 

I imagine that this one is machine made?

This last Traditional Scene is a New Year Card also sent to me by Mei in 2005. 

Mei still keeps in touch, usually with an equally pretty Chinese Card for my Birthday each year.

I hope you found these cards, and a little of my history, interesting.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Art Folder - Part 2 of Some of the Things that you find when Clearing the Loft.

The Secret Garden 

I am really only posting these pictures as a way of storing them in a fashion that allows me to 'occasionally look at them.

The go to remind myself what a lousy artist I would have been had I taken up Art as a Hobby, so often recommended by a member of my family.

They include the many of doodles that I used to do in those younger days when infatuation with someone caused frequent musings with a pencil and paper.

Others are School Work which was not much praised at the time as I was always too heavy with the Paint and Pictures tended to get darker & darker as these next couple show.

 The Break In 
(or could it be Break Out?)

 Delivering the Coal 
(yes, it used to be delivered to homes in this manner)

The Refugees
(at the time of Refugees from the Hungarian Conflict, coming to the UK) 

Then I tried some colours

 Playing with Colour?

The Birthday Party.

The Foundrymen
(My father, bless him, was a Foundryman)

 Fun At The Cresta Run Coffee Bar

One of my School Mates suffering for my art.

Some of my family in sketch form 

My Mother

 My sister Denise

My sister Jeanette

Friend of the Family 'Johnny Wallace'

I seemed to produce more sketches than anything else

A Friend from School

Then there were my Music influences.

 My Favourite of the 60's , Adam Faith

 George Harrison, My favourite on Guitar
(Under Tissue Paper)

Favourite Beatle - John Lennon

Another favourite was Seductive French Singer Francoise Hardy
(she would kill me for these hopeless depictions)  

The Young Lady herself

I had another obsession with Brigitte Bardot

The real person

 Colour does not help one little bit!

 Two attempts at a Reclining Pose

The Better Version, I think

Then there were the 'Self' Portraits. In every case I did not realise that using a mirror puts everything including my Hair Parting 'The Wrong War Around'!

Probably the nearest to how I actually appeared at the time during my Beatnik phase. Grandads striped shirts and starched collars.

There were some dull periods when I had to do what I was told is Line Drawing to test my hand before my School of Architecture interview.

 This one is too sketchy for a Line Drawing, I'm told.

My Drawing Board

My Mother's Chip Pan

The Milk Pan

This will 'Date' it, Our Television Set

My Cycle Racing Cup for a 25mile Time Trial.

The Coffee Table plus Odd Items 

I must have been struggling for things to draw mixing the Scales with a Toilet Plunger.

More Odd Items from the Art Class Store

And More

Yes, This was our Kettle in those days.

And Mothers Trusty Steam Iron.

 My Fathers Philips Shaver

 Fast running out of items to use

Our Glazed Tiled Coffee Table

The next phase of my meagre attempts to draw involved trying to introduce people and animals and 'movement' . That proved not to be very successful either.

'Tigger' Hussey seated ( The horses head transferred itself from a pastel sketch.)

 Pete Muckett on the other edge of the same page.

 Hopeless Attempt

 At the Aircraft Museum

Still could not get the Perspective correct and getting heavy handed again.

During this time I took an interest in Horse Riding, blowing my ten shillings earned from my newspaper delivery job each week on a 2 hour session each Saturday morning.

 Following someone elses Horse Painting, I think.

 The Horse I used to ride and his owner Diane at Cams Hall, Hampshire (taken from a photo)

 The Cleveland Bay (taken from a picture)

   Simple Simon, another horse at Cams Hall

During Art Classes we were encouraged to try different mediums and techniques.

 The score says it all. for my poor attempt at a Car Rally Poster 

Then there was the Single Colour Lino Print where a block of brown lino was cut away and a Print taken from what was left untouched.

 The technique of using Shadow or Light

 And the 'Scraper Board' where the Indian Ink is scraped away using a pointed pen to reveal the white chalk surface.

The last of my Art Folder is a few more faces of friends and pictures taken from magazines.
I have no idea who most of them are now.

My last two are the most recent and both of the originals were given to the owners.

 My Chinese work Colleague Grace, trying to be 'The Girl with the Pearl Earing'

Another Work Colleague Harry Rea, sadly passed now, bought this 1928 Brookland Riley from Sammy Davis. (compiled from Photo images)

Then I found two more drawings that I did at School when I was dreaming about the only Motor Cycle that I may have been able to afford.

I apologise for the poor quality of these drawings as they were stored badly for the last 53 years

A Little BSA Bantam 125cc or 175cc Two Stroke converted to 'Racer' trim.

This Drawing probably should be among the Engineering Drawings but as it relates to the BSA Bantam Motor Cycle, I have parked it here.

I was reading a magazine back then extolling the virtues back then of a new Opposed Twin Cylinder Diesel Engine. In typical Schoolboy Fashion, I decided to create a 'Idea' for a similat Two stroke engine for the Bantam, never ever to be tried out.

This last offering is not really Art, but just a 'Frustration Doodle' I did in 1983 during a management meeting where my 'New Product Development' department was being criticised and '******* upon' , by a Factory Management Team who would not respect that the wishes of the 'Merchandising Internal Customers' we served, needed to be recognised and implemented.

'Operations' division = everything other than 'Merchandising & Purchasing' division .
'Product Development' department used to be part of the 'Manufacturing' division but had been transferred to sit between both divisions as a Service entity.

Interestingly, the Manufacturing Division no longer exists.

( The company name is included in the page as we were all issued with our monogrammed note pads. So be it. )

That is my Art Folder for what it is worth!