Bluebell Time

Greys Court, near Henley, is ablaze with bluebells right now. And it’s spring – my favourite season. Except when it rains – as it’s been doing for the last few days. We’ve just driven home in the driving rain from a lovely lunch with Joanne who lives in the Cotswolds. Heavy April showers interspersed with flashes of intense acid yellow of the fields of rape patterned our way.
Last Tuesday I went to the opticians for my annual check-up. All was OK. While I was there I asked whether they had a spare pare of old spectacles they didn’t want. Only the day before they’d given a large amount to a charity but they managed to find me a pair. The reason for my request was that I wanted to see what spectacles would look like on the clay sculpture head of Rolf Harris that I’m working on. (I still have a long way to go before the head is finished). Then when it’s complete I’ll convert it into bronze, or bronze-coloured resin and have the spectacles added in the same colour (without the lenses). Here’s the result, so far, after last Friday’s lesson. I’m slowly learning, but am finding it much more difficult than I first imagined.

Yesterday morning I called in to see Rolf and showed him the above picture. He’d like the final result to resemble an impressionistic image I think, but seemed to like the progress to date.

Next month will see the opening of a very big exhibition of his work at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. It will run for three months and will be quite a spectacular event.

I’m very excited about the large painting I’ve started of Kevin Gibbings – The Queen’s chimney sweep - and can’t wait till the morning so I can get back to it. In the meantime I finished the miniature of the little girl I started last week. Here it is.

It’s been a pretty quiet week so there’s not too much to say, but as is becoming more frequent these days, the politically correct commissars have been at work again. Last week, as a young lady joined her parents and boyfriend on the water of a weir on the river Dearne at Harlington in South Yorkshire, a group of thieves snatched her kayak and drove off with it strapped to one of their quad bikes. The young lady called the police and gave chase tracking the gang across fields in the hope that the police would take over once they arrived. Which they did, as soon as they caught up with the gang on the road. But then political correctness reared its ugly head and the police called off the chase on the grounds that they didn’t want to risk causing an accident because the gang were not wearing crash helmets and were driving erratically! It really does make you wonder how many incidents of this type are happening.

Much more seriously, but equally due to Health and Safety regulations, in March last year a 41 year old man drowned in a 3ft-deep lake in Hampshire when a policeman and a paramedic were ordered not to rescue him. From in three feet of water!!!
 And in 2009 another middle-aged man died after firemen refused to rescue him from a frozen lake. He screamed ‘Don’t let me die’ , but the crew – sent to Brightwell Lake in Northamptonshire – did not go in because they were not trained in water rescue!
In another instance Karl Malton drowned in 18 inches of water in Lincolnshire when a senior fire officer stopped his men climbing down a 15ft bank after a ‘risk assessment’  was carried out. His body remained face down in the water for three hours after a decision was made to send for a ‘water rescue team’ based more than 50 miles away!
 I could go on.