Tuesday, 30 December 2014

An Early Night.

Do you know what time it is? I’ll tell you. It’s 2:36 in the morning. I woke up at about 12:30 and since then I have been lying in bed thinking stuff. My mind is swirling around like a whirlpool. Flitting about from one thought to another like a ... er ... like a ... I said whirlpool didn’t I? Do whirlpools flit? They whirl don’t they? I’ll tell you what happened.

I went to bed early about 8:30 because I was sitting in front of the fire feeling nice and cosy and I was having a glass of whisky and dozing off. That thing happened to me. That thing where you suddenly jump. Do you know what I mean? Like you are just about to fall asleep and you suddenly jerk awake? That thing. It can be quite startling. Yes startled awake that’s it. Well, that’s what happened and I nearly spilt the glass of whisky I was holding so I went to bed.

I read my book for a bit. Not my book I didn’t write it. A bloke called Robin Cook wrote it. I called it my book because I own it, that’s what I meant. But that’s not true actually. I don’t own it. I borrowed it from Tricia. She has got loads of books. So anyway I read the book – it’s title is Chromosome 6 by the way – for about an hour and then I go to sleep.

Later on I wake up and I hear a train passing – I live near a railway track – so I think to myself, oh good I think, it is morning. But it is not. When I look at my phone to see what the time is, it is only half past 12. I have only been asleep for about three hours!

So I have spent the last two hours or so lying here, trying to get back to sleep but can’t and my mind is swirling around like a whirlpool. So I set this little laptop computer up and here I am sitting up in bed writing this. It’s a bit cold but I have got my dressing gown on so not too bad really.

I like writing. I like reading too. If you asked me what I liked best writing or reading? It would be quite close but I would choose writing. More creative isn’t it? I mean you don’t need to be creative to read a book do you? So it’s no contest as far as I’m concerned. Definitely writing.

It is 3:16 now. Do you want to hear about the bloke I met outside the local shop yesterday? I shall tell you anyway. Let’s see if I can make it worth reading about

Yeah, I saw him outside the co-op. He was scratching one of them lottery scratchcards. By the time I got near him he was about to throw it in the bin. He looked up and saw me, “Waste of bloody money,” he says.

“Better luck next time eh,” I said.

He gives the scratchcard another look just to make sure he isn’t making a terrible mistake and throwing away a fortune. “ Nah,” he says with a grimace, “nothing. Oh well.” Then he looks at me again and I see a dawning recognition. “How you doing?” he asks, “ain’t seen you about for a while.”

I tell him I’m doing fine thanks and I go into the shop. When I come out again he is still standing there. He gives me a smile, “ere mate,” he says, “I don’t suppose you could lend me a quid could you? Please mate.”
I reach into my trouser pocket, locate a pound coin and hand it to him without saying anything. My silence and the look I give him is intended to show him I disapprove of his begging.

“Cheers mate,” he says, “ I’ll give it back to you next time I see you.” And with that he disappears into the shop.

He won’t give me the money back next time he sees me, he never does!
It is now 04:02. I think I shall try and get a bit of shuteye. Good night, or should that be good morning?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Give Me The Simple Life.

Dunno why they call this a simple life. It ain’t when it’s this cold. Even me toothpaste was frozen this morning. Had to brush me teeth wiv Lurpak Spreadable and rinse with some dregs of anti-freeze what was left in me ‘ot water bottle! Didn’t spit of course. Waste not, want not. That’s the philosophy I live by, always have always will, ‘cept when I don’t!

Was going to ‘ave a fried egg for me breakfast but the egg was, yeah you guessed it, frozen!  I stuck an old ‘andle on it, ‘ad it as an ice lolly instead!

Me water pipe, me only concession to luxury living is frozen solid too. ‘Ad to forego me usual cold shower this morning. Improvised rather cleverly I thought,  though I do say so meself, by rolling around naked on the frosty grass. No sign of me genitalia after that little escapade but I don’t tend to ‘ave much use for them in the winter, or ever come to that. Not since I was forced to give up sex when I got old and became unattractive through no fault of me own, to the opposite sex. Or let’s be ‘onest the same sex too! Well, yes there was a short period of readjustment when the unattractiveness first kicked in when I was ready to give anything a go!

Anyway being ‘as how it is colder indoors than it is outdoors I am going outside for a bit of a warm-up. See you later. Don’t forget, keep it simple!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Best Wishes For Christmas And A Happy New Year.

My extremely handsome son George, Mia the German Shepherd and yes, I'm afraid that is what I look like when dressed for the cold weather!

Thank you for sticking with my blog despite my tardiness with it this past year. I hope you have a loving and peaceful time this Christmas and that the New Year brings you much joy.

With love from John and everyone at 'the hub'.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Mixed Veg!

Today I had my dinner -mince and tatties with veg- at breakfast time and I intend to have my breakfast - don't know what yet- at dinner time. Lunch time is causing me a bit of a quandary. I suppose it will have to stay there in the middle. If I had supper I could change it til supper time but I never eat supper.

I like my vegetables properly cooked, especially brussel sprouts, by that I mean soggily soft. I can't see the point of eating them when they are still hard. To me that is more like a salad.

I read somewhere recently that you should not peel potatoes because all the goodness is in the skins. Tried it. Bloody awful! Spoilt a good meal! Don't believe everything you read that's all I'm saying.

I always par boil potatoes, then give them a good shake up over the heat before roasting. Makes them nice and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. I do the same with chips, 'cept I then fry them in the wok. Lovely!

Me and potatoes, a match made in heaven as far as I'm concerned. Yes I know the start of this sentence starts with an object instead of a pronoun but I don't care because I don't know what it actually means. Although I would like to thank the Grammarly app for the information I will not always be making use of the information it supplies.

Right, what's the time? Nearly three o'clock. I'm off for my elevenses. Laters.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


I have just been outside chopping wood for the fire. Cut up a fair amount of kindling too. I need lots of small pieces to get this old range of mine up to heat. The kindling takes a while to get enough and after a while it gets quite boring and I seem to go into a kind of automaton mode. Sounds a bit dangerous I know but really it’s not. At least not yet, because I haven’t cut any digits off.

It’s when I’m chopping away in this automaton state that my mind wanders off. All sorts of things are idly sought  out, thought over for a short time, dismissed and off my mind wanders again until it hits on something worth lingering over. Usually, what with me being a man it stops and investigates when something sexual comes to the fore – did you know that men think about sex every fifteen minutes? This is nonsense of course. It is much more frequent than that.

Let me get back to where I was about my mind wandering. Today it stopped and decided to spend a while thinking about freedom. After a while tossing thoughts here, there and everywhere it decided finally that freedom does not exist.

It. My wandering mind that is decided that freedom is an illusion. Oh, certainly you can escape from many situations, prison, marriage, the nine to five grind to name a few examples. But the truth is you cannot escape from the fact that you exist.

Existence, the fact that you are alive, is a prison. There is no escape. There is no freedom. Not even death because what is after death we cannot know and no one can tell us.

There were other thoughts associated with the illusion of freedom, things like responsibility, the need for a passport when travelling, where you can and cannot go, things like that but luckily, at this point my mind decided there was enough kindling chopped for today and I came indoors and wrote this.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Me And Claude Monet.

I have been busy lately doing paintings and growing my beard so I look like one of them old French impressionists. Maybe I look like Monet? I wish I could paint like him.

That picture of me in the hat? I am not wearing it for effect honestly. I always wear a rain hat indoors just in case I have to go outside suddenly and don't have time to put my rain hat on if it's raining. You can't see it in the picture, but I am also wearing waders in case I suddenly have to go outside and accidentally fall into a large water-filled hole in the ground. And also, I have an inflatable raft in my pocket. No, I don't. I am being ridiculous now.

I am trying to set up a website http://bain646.wix.com/john-bain-artist. It's one of them easy to do it yourself websites, except it isn't. Easy I mean. Still plenty to do to make it look good. Have I already told you about it? Apologies if I have.

I have also made a facebook page to sell my work on. It is also John Bain Artist if you want to rush and have a look. Mind you I think you have seen most of the paintings on it.

I have got a few commissions from the facebook page. I hope I don't get bored with it all. I always prefer to paint what I want to paint.
Oil on canvas

Oil on canvas

Cattle grazing
Oil on canvas
The artist John Bain at his easel pretending he is painting.

Please tell your friends about my website etc. I have got a special offer at the moment. £45 for an oil painting from a photo, on canvas or board. 16x12in. Plus posting and packing. I don't make a lot from them after material costs, but I prefer to do plenty of paintings at a low price than none at a high price. I will never be rich that's for sure. Not in a monetary sense at least.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Short Story. Or Is It The Start Of My New Book?

Sandra says she is pregnant. She says she is definite. She says she is always on time and she is a week late. I’ve only known her for a few weeks. Mind you we have been fucking non-stop since then. At it like rabbits we are. She has got a bit of a reputation as being easy and I know she has had a few boyfriends, but she says she really loves me and I believe her.

I don’t know what to say to her. Suppose I feel a bit happy about it really. A bit proud. I suppose she will want to get married. I wouldn’t mind getting married. I do love her and like I say, she says she loves me.

Sandra has been talking about prams and baby clothes a lot lately. I feel useless being on the dole. I ain’t got any money to buy stuff for the baby. Cot. She took me to look at a cot. A brand new one. She says she wants all new stuff for the baby and she don’t want a second hand pram neither.

I went back to the shop. The one where they sell all the baby stuff. I had a look round the back. Don’t know how I’m going to get a cot out, but there is a window. It’s got bars on and it’s a bit small but the bars don’t look all that strong.  I could get some baby clothes through it and nappies. Sandra goes on about nappies. Don’t think I could get a pram through it. Maybe one of them folding ones, but even that’s a bit dodgy.

Remanded in custody.  They reckon I will get eighteen months. What happened was I did the shop. The baby stuff shop. Got loads of stuff. Clothes and that. Sandra was so pleased. Ever so happy. But I didn’t get nappies. Couldn’t find them and I didn’t want to hang about. So I went back the next night. Fucking stupid! They got me as I was climbing back out with the nappies.

Sandra came to visit me. She says she has met someone else. A bloke with a job. She says she was going to write me a letter but she thought she would do the decent thing and tell me in person. I am really upset but there ain’t nothing I can do, not while I’m stuck in here.

She says she is ever so happy with her new bloke. Dave his name is and what is really good, she says, is that she is not pregnant after all. False alarm. She doesn’t understand that at all because usually she is as regular as clockwork!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Lizzie Windsor.

I decided to paint a portrait of Lizzie Windsor. My reason for doing this is because not enough people have painted her portrait before. I like Lizzie but I'm not sure she will like me when she sees this. I haven't flattered her at all. She ain't bad looking for her age mind you.

Lizzie Windsor by John Bain
Oil on canvas

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Portrait Of Emma.

I have painted this portrait of Emma from a photo. I found it quite difficult to do the initial drawing because her head is at an unusual angle, not only three-quarter face,
but her head is down too. Many artists would struggle with this. I know this because I read it somewhere.
Emma And The Red Telephone. By John Bain
Oil on canvas.
Click to enlarge
The other difficulty was that whenever I see Emma she is usually smiling and she has the most beautiful eyes. Neither of which is in this portrait.
I actually find it easier to paint eyes open than closed. Funny that, but true.
Did you know that most artists find it difficult to paint a profile portrait? I read that somewhere too, but also know it from experience. But it is good to have a challenge.
You can see how I struggled by looking at the white canvas. In the end I gave up and made a grid on the photo. This is something I only do on rare occasions. It did help. I ought to do it more often, but it feels a bit like cheating to me. I know a lot of artists use the grid method, but I do pride myself on my freehand drawing.
I like the finished result here but more importantly Emma likes it too.

Monday, 10 November 2014

On The Off Chance.

I am getting a bit fed up with being on my own so I have decided to market myself to women worldwide.

There must be someone out there who is as desperate as me! This is the advert I intend to use. I would appreciate any thoughts and/or advice you might have regarding it. Thank you.


I am an old, short, fattish, flatulent, balding, Viagra and indigestion tablet dependent gentleman of extremely limited means and no hope. My interests are, not eating out and not going to the theatre.
My hobbies include, looking for my glasses and trying to remember if I have taken my tablets. I would like to meet a woman preferably, but am prepared to try anything once, or should that be again? Please send in the first instance, some nude photos taken from unusual angles. Own house and nice car. Not me, you. Sorry, I am unable to return photos.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Making An Impression.

Autumnal Morning. Impression.

Oil on canvas.


Autumnal Morning. Impression. Oil on canvas. 16x12in.
click to enlarge.

Isn't it amazing how it is possible to put a photograph onto a computer. All the colours too! I just cannot comprehend it at all. How on earth did anyone think of it in the first place? Beats me!

I saw the deer, but it was at quite a distance. I painted this very quickly - mostly with a palette knife - at home from memory.

I am currently trying to make a website for my paintings. One of the free ones. They say it is easy to do following simple instructions. It is not!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

What A Reception!

Just been to the surgery for a blood test. The doctors receptionist, having obviously just completed the 'how to be a doctors receptionist' course, was at her very best. Although she did at one stage - probably a trick of the light - almost give the impression of a smile.

The nurse too was as miserable as sin. I almost apologised for ruining her day and when she uttered the words, "you may feel a bit of a prick," I refused to respond in my usual hilarious way.

After the blood had been taken I returned to the receptionists desk. "I would like to make an appointment for about two weeks time," I said politely, smiling in an effort to melt her icy demeanour. It didn't work.

She glared at me, "Doctor or nurse?"

"Yes please," I said.

"Which?" she asked, looking at me as though I were a complete idiot.

"I don't know. It's to get my test results."


At this stage I was becoming a bit miserable myself, "Sorry for being so stupid," I said, "and thank you for being so understanding about my lack of knowledge regarding the way things work around here." My sarcasm went right over her head.

"That's okay," she said, and actually smiled.

It was at this point that I realised that she truly did think I was an idiot.

I drove home having become as miserable as the surgery staff. However, I did cheer up considerably when - despite the frosty weather - I espied a lovely decolletage displayed by a lady of magnificent proportions.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Hello Everyone,

I took a break from the nursery rhyme theme and painted these instead. The Boathouse at Swanbourne Lake. Autumn was painted from a quick sketch I did and the Gun Dog with Pheasant was painted from a photo. They are both oil on canvas. 16 x 12

You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Boathouse At Swanbourne Lake. Autumn. Oil on canvas. 16x12 inches.

Gun Dog With Pheasant. Oil on canvas. 16x12 inches.

Swanbourne lake is at Arundel, West Sussex which is near where I live. The lake is fed from springs from the chalk downland. It is in the grounds of Arundel Castle, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk.

During the summer months Arundel is a popular tourist attraction. If they feel so inclined visitors can hire a row boat on the lake.

I do hope I find you well and happy as I find myself.

                   Take care.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Hands, Knees And Bumps-A-Daisy.

If you put your elbow on a table and raise your lower arm it is possible to rest your head on your hand. I think it is amazing the way hands are attached to wrists which in turn are attached to the end of arms. And also the way arms are able to bend at the elbow, which just happens to be smack bang in the middle of the arm. I mean can you imagine how awkward life would be if we couldn't rest our head in our hands like this? Or bend at the elbow? We would have to kind of slump forward with our head resting on the table. Not a good idea, especially if one happens to be eating a bowl of soup at the time ones head reaches optimum heaviness. It is possible, although quite messy, to eat soup whilst resting ones head on ones hand. I did it a lot when I was a moody, lethargic teenager.

I like the way legs bend at the knee. This is amazingly useful and saves us having to sit with our legs sticking out. If legs didn't bend we would have to make all chairs with built in footstools. What a lot of extra space that would take up. Houses would have to be twice as big. Doesn't bear thinking about! On the subject of sitting, isn't it wonderful to have our bottoms in just the right place to do so?

And feet? If we didn't have feet the ends of our legs would be all frayed. Not to mention the fact we would have nothing to put our shoes on.

Ears are usefully placed also. One on each side of the head. How would people who wear glasses be able to manage if there was nothing to hold them on? Not forgetting how important it is to have the nose situated where it is to stop the glasses slipping down our face.

Of course there are some parts of our bodies not so conveniently placed. But I'm not going to go there. Certainly not!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.

Contrary? That's only the half of it! What a lot these royals were. Didn't seem to think twice about knocking off anyone they disagreed with or who disagreed with them. Don't study the history of Kings and Queens, it'll do your head in!

This is my second painting depicting nursery rhymes.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells.
And pretty maids all in a row.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. Oil on Canvas. 16x12

Some say it's about Mary Queen of Scots. Wasn't she also Mary 1 of England? Known as Bloody Mary? I'm confused. I have tried to look it up, but it is very complicated. Or maybe I'm just thick?

Some say it is allegorical, about Catholicism. For or against I don't know.

How does your garden grow could refer to her reign over her realm.

Siver bells? Catholic cathedrals?

Cockleshells? Insinuating her husband (which one?) was unfaithful.

Pretty maids all in a row could be her ladies-in-waiting.

There are lots of other explanations about this rhyme. I don't know the truth of it. I have just painted the picture that was in my head. That'll do for me. I am more interested in the painting than the history, as you may have guessed. I didn't know what Mary looked like when I was painting this, so I made her up. Turns out I wasn't too far off the mark if I do say so myself.

Please click on photo to enlarge.


Friday, 17 October 2014

Baa Baa Black Sheep.

This is the first painting in what I hope will be a series depicting nursery rhymes. Can you guess what this one is called?

Some say Baa Baa Black Sheep is about the slave trade. Some say it is about a 16th-century tax on wool.

Of course, when I was a child I simply thought it was about a black sheep, three bags full of wool, a master, a dame and a little boy who lived down the lane. If only life could stay so childishly simple and uncluttered by the awful realities.

'Baa Baa Black Sheep' by John Bain. Oil on canvas. 16 x 12 inches.
I think if you click on the picture it will enlarge.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Mia The German Shepherd's Hard Hitting Expose`.

Mia the German Shepherd is a quick learner and responds well to training. However, I do have good reason to believe that she may be using her intelligence in an unsatisfactory way.

Normally I wouldn't dream of invading her privacy when she is on the computer, but when I saw the guilty look in her eyes today I just had to sneak a look.

I am shocked, saddened and disappointed to say the least!

Mia is writing a book!

I cannot believe what she has written!

And all because I forgot to buy her favourite biscuits yesterday. Unbelievable!

Monday, 6 October 2014


I found an 'ook. A rubber coated 'ook. I was 'appy about it 'cos I needed an 'ook to 'ang something on. I put the 'ook in a safe place for later. An' then blow me down if a bit later on I didn't find another 'ook exactly the same! That's lucky I thought, and I went to put it in the safe place with the first 'ook.

Guess what? The first 'ook wasn't where I thought it was. So I put the second 'ook in another safe place. Where, believe it or not I found an 'ook. Oh, good I thought, I have found the first 'ook. But I could not for the life of me remember putting the first 'ook there. Then it suddenly occurred to me. Perhaps it wasn't the first 'ook. Perhaps I had found another 'ook altogether?

Anyway I took what I thought was the first 'ook, which might actually be a third 'ook, but which was now the second 'ook and put it with the second 'ook which was now the first 'ook because the first 'ook had gone missing, in the second 'ook's safe place.

And then, yes you have guessed it. I found the first 'ook. The original first 'ook. And as it happened, I was right about the third 'ook which I thought was the first 'ook being a third 'ook altogether.

So I now had three identical 'ooks. Well, almost identical 'ooks. I am able to tell them apart because the third 'ook which I thought was the first 'ook has got a bit of rust and the second 'ook is a bit discoloured and the first 'ook, the original 'ook which I renamed the second 'ook before I realised it was a third 'ook, is cleaner than the other two 'ooks.

All three 'ooks are now in a safe place!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Portrait Of Mia.

The saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. As a writer, I am not sure about that, but I do believe this picture has captured without words the love I feel for Mia.

A portrait of Mia.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Typical Bloke Thinking! (A Story).

That nice woman who works at Tesco's supermarket. Good looking. Happy. Always smiling. Big smile. Nice white teeth. I like her voice, soft, can't quite place it. Grey blue eyes. Not too much make-up but red lipstick (I like that). She's got lightish brown hair. Quite long. Always has it up. In a bun (I think it's called). Her yeah. That's the one. I like her. She's a little bit cuddly looking. Am I allowed to say a bit plump? It's in a nice sort of way. If she's on the check out counter I always go to her till. Even if I have to wait for the queue to go down. I think she only works part time, 'cos some days she's not anywhere to be seen, even if I go in several times. She ain't got a wedding ring on. Not that that means much these days!

Well, anyway she has noticed that I am on an organic diet because, well she mentioned it actually. She said to me - when I was shopping last Tuesday it was, - she said to me - well sort of exclaimed it really - she said, "my goodness, what a lot of healthy shopping!"

So I told her about me being on this organic diet and that, and how it's made me feel tons better and about me walking a lot easier and all that. And she seemed really interested. She said she might give it a go herself. But d'you know what she said after that, when I was putting me shopping into me shopping bag? Funny thing is, even me shopping bags one of them organic ones! D'you know what she said? No course you don't. She said - and she had her lovely big smile on when she said it. Looked me right in the eye she did - she said, "well I must say," she said, "I must say, you do look really well on it, a lot better."

Well, I'll tell you what. I was made up with her saying that I can tell you. Not just because it means me organic diet must be working. No, not just 'cos of that. No, but because if she thinks I look a lot better now than I did before, it must mean she has noticed me before. You know what I mean? Well, it must mustn't it?

I reckon she fancies me. Grace her name is. She didn't tell me. It's on her badge. She's really nice!

PS. This is just a story. I made the whole thing up. Although I wouldn't be at all surprised if women do think I look good on me new diet!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Just Popping By To Say Hello.

Sixteen days it has been since my last post. This must be my longest absence since I began blogging. I have no excuse, if one were needed. Just been doing other things.

Scottish referendum today. I wonder which way it will go? I suspect the majority of Scots will plump to stay part of the United Kingdom. If they do split I suppose I will have dual nationality.

I have gone organic. Been cooking proper meals. Making pies and biscuits, Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. I find I really enjoy making pastry. I even made a loaf of bread. It tasted delicious. Didn't last long though because everyone wanted some. I have not eaten a ready meal for three weeks now, nor eaten any processed meat. I am sure I feel a lot better for it.

Mia the German Shepherd is getting on very well. She is a sweet character. Bonnie the Ginger Cat has started coming indoors again. Which is very pleasing. Mind you she has been missing for two days. This is not unusual for her though.

My Extremely Handsome Son George has returned to University in Liverpool. We drove up on Sunday. We are both emotional softies and saying goodbye is always difficult. We are getting better at it though. My campervan broke down on the way back and I completed the last 140 miles on the back of a breakdown truck. The problem was minor. A broken fanbelt. A five minute job to replace normally, but the breakdown service didn't have one to fit. And it being Sunday there was no place open to get one. My breakdown service only costs me £30 a year. Money well spent. The van is repaired now.

I am hoping my writing mojo returns soon. I miss my blogging. And of course I miss you.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

How Far Is It? Just There And Back Again.

My Extremely Handsome Son George informs me that he is going for a walk today with his friend Cameron.

"Where are you walking to son?"

"Going to Pulborough dad."

"Blimey that's what you call a walk. Must be about 20 miles.

"Yeah about that I think."

"Do you want me to come and pick you up when you get there?"

"No thanks."

"How you going to get home then?"

"We're going to walk home."

My Extremely Handsome Son George doesn't half make me feel old sometimes!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

If At First You Don't Succeed.

Apart from the plants to be added my Extremely Handsome Son George completed his dew pond project and very nice it looked too. Couldn't have looked nicer in my opinion. All that hard work looked to have paid off handsomely.
Finished pond ready for plants.
And then it happened. Disaster! It slowly began to lose water. Disaster might be too strong a word. To my mind EHS George did succeed in making a dew pond. Sadly though it would only hold water to a certain depth. As dew ponds go that it all that is required, but  this was also to be a wildlife pond and the water needs to overspill the margins to create a marshy area for wildlife.

And so a pond liner was required. And to install a liner all the water had to be removed. That is a lot of water! But not too worry, I have just the thing to do that; a water pump that runs off my Lister D engine. Should empty it in no time at all.

But seventy year old water pumps cannot be relied upon, and sadly this one refused to work. Oh well, nothing for it but to get in there with a bucket and scoop all the water out by hand. What a job! Doesn't half do your stomach muscles in. I soon gave up, but not EHS George, he is made of much stronger stuff.

 After several attempts at scooping and chucking it over the sides only for most of it to run back in, we came up with a novel use for a ladder, a traffic cone, and a length of plastic guttering. Resourceful lot us Bain boys.

Empty at last.

EHS George then took the opportunity to dig out a few ledges at various depths for plants. After a bit more working of the clay he then had the perfect smooth pond sides to install the liner.

And there you have it. A wildlife pond, with a liner guaranteed for forty years. All that is needed now is for soil to be added around the margin and some plants and it will look beautiful. In forty years time I shall be 107 years old. I shall check the liner when I'm 106 years old and if there is one little defect in that liner I shall ask for my money back!

EHS George is back to Uni in Liverpool soon. I am sure going to miss him.