Monday, 4 April 2011

The Big Sixty

Hi all,
Yesterday I reached sixty; no bells rang and there wasn't a big party..
I'm pleased there wasn't a party because that would've absolutely ruined my day. It may come as a surprise to those who knew me a few years ago that I am now a very modest drinker.
I haven't quite given up altogether, but my monthly intake is about the same as I used to sup in one night. Having said that one couldn't have a sixtieth birthday without any drink at all, so I was pleased that my wife had bought me a bottle of Drambuie. I'll be able to make myself a nice shandy or two and it will keep me company for the rest of the year.

Anyway, that's enough about the demon drink, it's making me thirsty and reaching sixty is no excuse to get sloshed. My wife also bought me a fishing licence, so I will be going fishing this year after all. Speaking of my wife, she pulled out all the stops and painted me a beautiful birthday card using watercolours and guache. It can be seen above and I don't know about you, but I can almost hear those startled pheasants squawking. Painting me a birthday card is getting to be a habit; the one she did last year can be seen below.

One of the more unusual presents I received was a pyrography tool.
It's a bit like a soldering iron that is used to burn artwork into wood. Apparently, pyrography was a favourite past-time of Victorian ladies who used red-hot pokers that were heated up in the fire. I've seen examples in craft shops and it looked interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try. The only mistake I made was in not getting some suitable wood to try it out on properly. I had lots of bits of pine in my shed and thought that would do, but the instruction book warned against using pine because it is too soft and too sappy.

In my frustration I did try it out on a spare pine shelf-bracket and you can see the results on the right. It's supposed to be a birch tree and some mushrooms, what do you think, is it worth persevering?

In my next post I will be carrying on with our tour of Scotland.

If you want to see some more of my wife's paintings please click here to visit our art website.
If you want to find out more about me or my books please click here.

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