You know what makes me grumpy? All the Grumpy Old Men who appeared on the BBC TV series were younger than me, that's what makes me grumpy. Mutter, mutter....

The Grumpy Old Artist

The Grumpy Old Artist
Would YOU pose for this man???

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster
Catterline Event, 2011

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Helford River, Cornwall

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Full-riggers "Georg Stage" and "Danmark"

Other Recent Works

Other Recent Works
Fordyce Castle and Village

Hay's Dock, Lerwick

Shetland-model Boats at Burravoe, Yell

Tall Ships Seascape

The Tour Boat "Dunter III", with Gannets, off Noss

The "Karen Ann II" entering Fraserburgh harbour

Summer Evening, Boyndie Bay

1930s Lerwick Harbour

Johnshaven Harbour

"Seabourn Legend"

Greeting Cards!

Greeting Cards!
Now Available in Packs of Five or in Assorted Sets of Four

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Since BBC4 has been doing a series of programmes about diaries, I thought I would show you a week's entries from mine. It doesn't have the intrigue and general naughtiness of Allan Clark's, or the historical event coverage (and further naughtiness, rather surprisingly) of Samuel Pepys's, but it has a bit of je ne sais quoi nevertheless. Here goes:

MONDAY weather bright with showers and moderate winds. Working on the Fraserburgh fishing boat commission, getting some of her wheelhouse and deck details done. Fried whiting in batter for my lunch, after which I took a walk to post a letter and get groceries fron the nearest thing I've got to a corner shop. In the evening, I sorted out some text and photographic material to send to a graphics firm in the north of England, to form part of a brochure for a charity auction I am supporting. Emailed this to said graphics firm.

TUESDAY My web designer and I spent most of the day on getting me familiarised with some of the new functions on my website. I have an awful lot of work to do before the new version becomes a cyber-reality, and the potential for error-making by an e-novice like me, on these rather complicated procedures, is enormous and scary. I made kedgeree for our lunch, which seemed to go down well. The weather began bright with light winds, but it gradually clouded over during the day, and the wind increased.

WEDNESDAY Worked on the Fraserburgh fishing boat commission during the morning, this time on her hull markings. My nephew Kenneth breezed in as I was clearing up after my lunch, and gave me a lift to the Lerwick Doctor's practice for my swine flu jag appointment, after which I visited the bank and other places, including the stationer's, where I bought a couple of rolls of bubble wrap for some painting protection from pathological postmen, very necessary for what I have to do later. A couple of women called on the Tait Gallery in the evening to discuss options for a forthcoming wedding anniversary present. They are going to get back to me later on those. The weather was mostly dull, with strong south-east winds. My upper left arm, which had taken the flu jag, was really hurting by bed-time.

THURSDAY My oldest sister Thelma popped by in the morning for a chat and a cuppa. I then put in the fenders on the Fraserburgh fishing boat, and started on the ripple effect on the quiet waters of the harbour in which the boat is manoeuvring. My middle sister Mary came for her pre-arranged soup at lunch-time, and Kenneth joined us again. We arranged to meet up for a day's home decorating at Sandwick on Saturday. I completed, bar snagging, the Fraserburgh boat commission in the afternoon. An evening of domestic tasks ensued - ironing of shirts, putting a load through the tumbledryer, washing of crockery and cutlery. I also fired off my weekly news email to my youngest sister Angela in Saudi Arabia, and replied to yet another request for information regarding the Sigvardsson Gallery in Denmark. I'm going to start charging for all these glowing reports I'm giving him! The weather has been dull, dry with a strong SSE wind.

FRIDAY Weather horrendous - gale force winds, heavy rain. Lerwick harbour full of sheltering fishing boats, one of which had run aground on the Holm of Cruester during the night, but had been towed off apparently undamaged. There has also been a similar grounding at Scalloway, near the Fisheries college. This boat, the "Vela", was also towed off successfully. From the news, it appears that a navigation buoy had been unlit, and this could have contributed to the grounding. There may be trouble ahead!
Thelma and I have decided to jointly give one of my A3 prints to the auction her church is organising for the Haiti earthquake appeal. Meanwhile, I was off to Whiteness to spend most of today with my mother, as I usually do on Fridays. I did all the usual things - collected her pension and groceries from the shop, took a look at the greenhouse, made lunch, washed up afterwards, made tea and coffee and helped with various other little tasks. But the most important thing I did was just to be there. On my return to Lerwick in the late afternoon, I did a few administrative tasks, but not a lot else. The wind fell away a bit in the evening, and I watched, from my window, the bright stern lights of some of the fishing boats heading off to sea again in the still-heavy swell.

SATURDAY Bought 2 sheets of polystyrene sheeting from my local builders' merchants' for wrapping purposes, and hired a large taxi to get these home. My downstairs neighbour gave me a hand up the stairwell with these awkward 8 x 4 foot sheets, for which I was very grateful to her. Then it was off down to Sandwick with Mary in her Volvo to do some titivation on Victoria House, my nephew's home. My niece and her two children turned up for a visit too, so it turned into a party for a time. I did some scraping and painting, and also resurrected some paintbrushes which had been left for dead after previous decoration duties. Why do I always end up doing brushwork? On being dropped off home at about tea-time, I did a few computer-connected things in the evening, and watched some television, for which, of course, I felt guilty. All that website stuff waiting to be done, and here am I goggling the box.....
Weather mostly dull and showery with occasional bright spells. Wind much lighter.

SUNDAY Here is where the wrapping products, in which I invested earlier in the week, come into their own. I spent a couple of hours using the bubblewrap and polystyrene sheeting to protect the painting I am sending to the charity auction, by Royal Mail Special Delivery, tomorrow. I put one layer of bubblewrap around the picture, then cut two pieces of polystyrene sheet to fit (using my gas ring to heat an old breadknife to cut it) and secure these on either side. I then put another layer of bubblewrap round that. It then fits quite neatly into a black refuse sack, round the ends and sides of which I put copious quantities of parcel tape. I put another strip of this up the middle both ways, and the thing is then ready to receive the self-adhesive address envelope. That, and this post, have been my main tasks for today. Oh, and the weather? Mostly dull and dry with fresh south-easterly winds.

And so to bed. Have a nice week!

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