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, 5 September 2010


This morning having dawned bright and breezy, I hung a batch of shirts on the line, and they came in dry and un-seagull-decorated at lunchtime. It's been a good week really, both in terms of weather and work, with the oft-times-promised-and-never-delivered website e-commerce upgrade finally up and running, and with good progress to report on two of my artwork commissions. It also appears to have been a good week for using hyphens!

Monday, which dawned fine but clouded over with drizzle later, was one of work on the charity painting (of winter over Baltasound), during the morning, and the commission of the "St. Clair" (IV) off Girdleness lighthouse in the afternoon. In between, I concocted myself a leftover pork and rice creation (which was palatable) for lunch, and took a walk down to the shop for essential supplies. In the evening (they're beginning to draw in!) I attended to the burgeoning contents of my Outlook Express inbox, and did a few other minor tasks on the computer.

Tuesday, which was rather cloudy but calm (brilliant for midges!) was spent on the same two artworks, with the welcome interruption of a visit by my sister Thelma, with whom I had elevenses and a natter. I made myself some kedgeree for lunch, and remembered to put my bin-bag out for collection by the "essie-kert" squad. In the evening I phoned my brother, and came to the realisation that my plan for a trip to the mainland over the first weekend in October is now not going to happen. Certain things have to fall in place for this to be successful. Firstly, I must have an outside cabin on the ferry to myself. This is a selfish indulgence, I know, but I spend two of my three nights away on that boat, and I want it to be a pleasant experience. Secondly, my brother has to be available, so that we can spend the Saturday cruising the roads of the north-east of Scotland in his car, with me busy taking loads of photographs of the picturesque scenes we come across for my reference library. Thirdly, there has to be decent accommodation available for the Saturday night in Aberdeen. On this occasion, the boat is fully booked and my brother is otherwise engaged. The trip is being postponed until late March next year, just before the period covered by my Northlink Ferries discount vouchers runs out.

Wednesday's weather was mostly fine, with light winds. It was also a big day, the one set aside for getting the final work done on the website upgrade. Igor Mournly, my web designer, arrived, as arranged, at 10am, and we set about putting the greeting cards on the product database, and getting the other elements together for a fully e-commercialised online sales system, complete with the appropriate basket and checkout functions. We hit some technical snags, of course, and, at midday, Igor set off back to his own office to get these ironed out, leaving me to make a light lunch and spend another afternoon on the two commissioned paintings. Later still, I took the painting of Johnshaven harbour to the post office for onward shipment to its new owner in Cornwall. This cost me £38.95 to send, which hurt a bit, so, to numb the pain, I had a couple of pints of the yellow stuff in the Lounge. On my return home, I discovered that Igor had been doing some good work on the website, and had made a test order of £0.01, using my online payment system in conjunction with Paypal. The thing was clearly working. I phoned him my thanks for the generosity of his payment, which will no doubt be added to the amount of his invoice later!

Thursday was bright and clear, although a little low cloud occasionally threatened during the day. I'd arranged to make a soupy lunch for my sister Mary and myself, and it now looked as if I would have a third guest in the shape of Igor, who was coming along to do the final preliminaries to going "live" with the website upgrade. All in all, it was the most chatty lunch that has taken place at the Tait Gallery for some time, with the food being also acceptable, and the website mission being accomplished too. Then my two apparently satisfied guests left, leaving me to clear up the clutter, a task which took me over half-an-hour, and do a little more artwork. I spent the evening chilling out a bit.

Friday dawned and remained bright and mostly sunny, with light south-easterly winds. I took my usual trip out to mother's, collecting her pension and pre-ordered shopping along the way. I did the usual Friday things, such as watering the greenhouse, frying mother's favourite fish lunch of whiting in batter for lunch, clearing up afterwards, making tea and coffee, and generally helping her out with things. She is keeping quite well, if you disregard her severe mobility problems (which it's difficult for her to do!). She is now into her 95th year, and just getting through a day is a bit of a struggle for her, but she has decided that she'll stick it out at her home at Brugarth, Whiteness, for another winter, provided that my sister Mary carries out her promise to stay with her if the weather gets snowy and the access road becomes problematic for the home helps. Everyone got a fright over the severity of last winter, and no-one wants another like it - ever again.
Back at my flat in the evening, I made the mistake of trying to assemble a self-assembly cardboard display unit for my greeting cards. All my efforts at self-assembly tend to self-dissemble within a very short space of time, and this project never really got off the ground. The bits just didn't seem to fit. After an hour I realised that I was unequal to this struggle, threw the parts, which were now looking decidedly grubby and furry, into the bin, and ordered a couple of ready-assembled plastic units from a display units shop on the internet. Hang the expense!

Yesterday was also bright and sunny, with a moderate south-easterly breeze. I spent the morning on the "St. Clair" painting, and the afternoon on the cloud reflections in the water of the Baltasound picture, quite a tricky operation which I nearly finished before the end of the afternoon. I didn't do a lot in the evening, except watch what was watchable on the box. For some reason I hadn't yet seen the third film in the Bourne trilogy, which turned out to be even more frenetic, violent, scowling and frankly daft than the previous two, but it was fun to watch - a bit like Young Guns meets the Wacky Races, with a touch of Rocky thrown in.

And so to today, and I am determined to get this posted. I failed last Sunday, due to the fact that I spent the morning wrapping a painting and then went for a run out west with my sister Thelma in the afternoon. (I did the same run this afternoon, but I had most of this written beforehand.) Must do better, as they say! Have a nice week.

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