The Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s acquisition and unveiling of this Stanier 8F was keenly followed by many Bo’Ness “enthusiasts” recently.


Eight Eff

All the way from Turkey it came – although born in Glasgow. I’m not holding my breath until it’s seen running, but it IS a most impressive beast. We were at Bo’Ness yesterday too and took a trip to the new End of the Line station at Manuel and thence back, with a rather less impressive DIESEL loco. I’m not keen on them so didn’t even take a snap of it. Diesel, Schmeisell……

A bit of the Dark Satanic Mills about this area of West Lothian, where the visual highlight is the Grangemouth petro-chemical works….

Wee Bo';Ness

So out for a spin on the Fixed today as start to the Post-Christmas self-indulgence, Mighty Expanding Gut banishment regime.

We’re just a few miles south of Bo’ness here at the Union Canal, complete with its solid topping. Fairly chilly!

Fixed at Canal.


As a pro. photographer, probably the least thing I can think about posting here is a mere photograph. But we dropped into Dysart yesterday and on a grey day this seemed to be a most fine sculpture at the harbour. As with most photies created these days – no camera was abused.


Grey Sculpture

Even wrinklies can get something with a PHONE…….

Merry Christmas to YOU!

That means you! In fact anyone I forgot to send a card to – and all who read this or have a penchant for aeroplanes and history and many other interesting things……..

End of Empires - Brandenburg C1 for MOO Card

The Brandenburg C1 is as accurate as possible, but having finished the painting, I find the bridge – which is the Mehmed Pasha bridge over the Drina at Visegrad – is quite inaccurate in two major ways.

To be revealed in 2015!

Loosen Up!

Some wee drawings of late in an attempt to get less totally representational. The one thing that scunners me about my chosen sphere of Aero-Art is its almost total adherence to photographic representation. I include myself in this, more’s the pity, and would love to discover the way to break out of it.


Pens and BrushPens at the moment. I suspect strong drink would help too. Recently I was led towards smooth gesso-primed boards and they certainly allow tiny detail to be incorporated in a small painting. But is that what I really want?



What to do, eh?


It seems like an age since I last tried a wee bloggie. And it is at least six months ago, so anything of earth-shattering significance been happening?
Well- lots of photos taken of events at “my” school, an awareness of the increasing allure of old motorcycles, a chance meeting with a boyhood hero, a return to saxophone lessons, a self-imposed reduction of one fingertip and even after much soul-searching, an awareness of how much my painting actually means to me.
This last was underlined a few days back as I turned to “December” on the Cross and Cockade calendar for 2014.


My RE7 painting from the Guild’s 2013 show. Happily sold but still with me – in print.
Next year’s calendar has another painting of mine too,
although sadly its reproduction is not in the same league as this.

So to Bicycle Maintenance. A lesson well-learned a month ago. After a complete replacement of transmission components on the Winter Fixed-wheel.
Keep inquisitive fingers clear of spinning chainwheel and chain or much pain-filled troubles will ensue. THAT buggered-up the saxophone lessons…..Ooooya! B……!

Went to the Scottish Motorcycle show with pal Peter a couple of months ago, when one Guest of the Day was a man whose exploits I grew up reading of in Motor Cycle News. The multiple Word Champion in 500cc and 350cc classes, the incomparable Giacomo Agostini.
As we knew the show’s M.C., we were imvited “backstage” for a coffee and sandwich. There, looking a bit bored and anxious to get back to his hotel – the Campionissimo himself. To cut it short, Pete and I ended up taking him for a conducted tour of Festival Edinburgh before delivering him back to that hotel.

I had to stop and pick up Ruth who had absolutely no awareness of the legend in the passengers’ seat!
I read recently that another World Champion – Phil Read – had described Ago as “Insular”.
Well, maybe to you, mate.
We found him warm, grateful, erudite and happy to talk of his exploits without any way resorting to arrogance.
Not sure if the same could be said of Read!