This is Bentley, a lovely horse at the La Foursou where we stayed at the beginning of the month. Digital oil using the ArtRage app on my ASUS tablet, mainly digital pallete knife over a thinned oil background.

Bentley, digital oils using ArtRage app

Bentley, digital oils using ArtRage app

Tulips Still Life

I’ve been doing some digital painting recently and this is the first one I’m sharing on the blog, though many have featured on Facebook over the past few months. The emphasis is turning more to blogging, now that Facebook controls who sees what and is overburdened with advertisements and rubbish.

Here’s today’s painting. It’s a still life of some tulips that featured as part of this weekends drawing event on It’s painted using the ArtRage app on my Android tablet using oil brushes.

Digital oils using ArtRage app on Android tablet

Digital oils using ArtRage app on Android tablet

Life Begins At – 60!

It’s been such a long, long time since I posted here and a lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since then. Recently I’ve been looking for a good excuse to start posting again and I can’t think of a better reason that celebrating my 60th birthday.

The expression goes that life begins at 40 and I guess there’s a certain amount of truth in this. Certainly a lot has happened since my 40th birthday; got married to my fabulous wife, raised a wonderful, strong daughter who has recently flown the nest, moved county (twice) and a whole lot more.  But turning 60 is like opening a brand new volume in the saga with so many new challenges becoming. What better reason to reinvigorate the blog?

QPad MK-85 Keyboard

QPad MK-85 First Impressions

I’m typing this on my new QPad MK-85 keyboard. It’s not that I’m into PC gaming that I bought this; but I spend so much time on the keyboard that I wanted a decent tool for the job. So far it’s been great – the keyboard is very heavy for a keyboard, rock solid construction, and the keys are lovely to type on. Shame it doesn’t correct the spelling for me too.

Here’s a pic. Oh, did I forget to mention it glows in the dark 🙂

QPad MK-85 Keyboard

Caterham in the snow 1963

Caterham In The Snow 1963

I recently moved my blog to a new hosting provider and for some reason this post didn’t come across. So for posterity sake here are a couple of pictures taken of our house on Stanstead Road, Caterham, Surrey, UK during the severe winter of 1963. I would have been 7 years old and remember it reasonably well.

Caterham in the snow 1963


Caterham in the snow 1963


Moving On

This is not an easy post to write.

For the last 14 months I’ve been running my own business, Computer Troubleshooters – West Cork. Unfortunately, despite all my best efforts, this simply isn’t paying the bills, let alone putting food on the table. So I’ve decided to wind the company up and look for a fulltime position again.

For me this is a bit like trying to change gear in the middle of taking a sharp corner rather too fast. Life is lurching rapidly towards the curb whilst I’m struggling to keep it under control, not really sure in which direction I’m headed.

One thing I’m hoping is that this post will allow me to transition out of Computer Troubleshooters mode and back into “prospective employee” mode.

At least I should have more time for posting to this blog 🙂

PS. The business is for sale if you’re interested. It’s a franchise business and you’d get it at a fraction of the cost of setting up from scratch. Drop me a line if you’re interested.

Why I Hate DIY

There’s an age old adage that you’re probably familiar with:

Measure twice – cut once.

Well for me it goes more like:

Measure twice – cut three or four times, measure it again and cut a couple times more.

I don’t know what it is; but I just can’t seem to get the measurements right. Take this afternoon for example. All I had to do was put two hooks on the back of the bathroom door to hang a bathroom “tidy” on.

Two hooks, same height up the door. Easy!

So I put the two hooks up, hung the tidy on it, stood back; goddammit it’s crooked. Had reposition one on the hooks to get it level.

Me and DIY don’t mix.

Review: Dyson DC23 – A Great Vacuum Cleaner

Up until now we’ve used a Miele S718 vacuum cleaner to quite good effect; but since we got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel last year it was obvious that the Miele was struggling to pick up the pet hair off the carpet.

By the way these dogs are described as “moderate shedders” of hair. I’d hate to see one that sheds a lot!

So we decided to replace it with a Dyson DC23 “Animal”. The vacuum is a compact format, as opposed to an upright, and comes with a good selection of tools and accessories including the all important turbo head for removing pet hairs. The vacuum has reasonably well packaged and took only a few minutes to assemble, though I struggled at one point to figure out just how the hose fitted around the cleaner body.

Time for a try out. There’s a reasonable length of electric cable; but I did think it could have been a few yards longer to reduce the need to keep moving sockets. I had hovered the sitting room only the afternoon before and the dog hadn’t been in there so I was completely amazed by the amount of hair that the vacuum picked up. Hopefully you can see this in the image.

Dog hair in the vacuum cylinder

So that’s a result! If I had any criticisms on this cleaner it’s in the very plastic construction of some of the parts. Only time will tell if these stand the rigors of domestic life.

As well as the large turbo head you also get:

  • Small turbo head for tight spaces (good for the stairs)
  • Wide brush head for hard floors
  • Small round brush head
  • Small narrow head for maximum suction
  • Small flat head for upholstery

The large turbo head and the three small heads all fit neatly onto the body of the cleaner for easy transport from one room to another.

Here are images of the vacuum Cylinder and the turbo heads:

The vacuum cleaner body

Large and small turbo heads