Monday, 27 April 2015

Dead Horses, a sort of Time Bomb and the first lesson in Oil Painting, a ramble from the bookshop in Ramsgate and of course Manston Airport.

There is only one thing you can be sure of in a day of bookselling and that is something bizarre will come up. So starting with an extract about Ramsgate at Christmas from European Magazine vol 51 pp 358 (May 1807)



It is certainly gratifying to learn that here in Ramsgate we were making a significant impact on European travellers a couple of hundred years ago. It also makes me wonder just what the Thanet voters will do for our relationship with Europe. 


Pretty much the next book I came to, in my pile of things to do was the Pelican book about Explosives, a sort of early anarchist's cook book.



Published in 1942 when all of the road signs had been removed to make it interesting for any German spy, the note on the title page verso about leaving it in a post office for any service man and woman to pick up amused me. 



A whole new issue in the secondhand book world, well I guess in the whole book world is the sticky security tag.


As you can see from the picture, if you have a pile of books with them on, the distorting effect is likely to lead to the books getting damaged.

On to the oil painting lesson, if you are a regular reader of this blog then you will know that I do a certain amount of painting and drawing. Up until now this activity has been confined, medium wise, to pencil, pen and watercolour. Anyway this year, now the weather is getting good enough to paint, I am going to have a go with the oil paint.

Now if you paint, or have considered painting and your idea of painting would be to stick a photograph up on the wall, erect your easel and paint the photo, then don't bother to read this.


If however you are like me and would really only be bothered to paint from life, then oil painting presents something of a problem. Obviously with oil painting equipment it doesn't all fit in my pocket like my watercolour kit does, so I bought a thing called a French Easel and this overcomes most of the problems, including carting around the painting when it is still wet.


I have had various practice sessions at home and kept coming up against the Paddington effect (the bear not the station) what I discovered is that like marmalade, oil paint is sticky. Up to now the paint managed to get onto my hands, the brushes, my clothes and so on, so I have developed this technique.


1 Don't hold the palette but jam it or clamp it onto the easel.


2 Limit yourself to 2 or at the most three brushes.


3 Only put a pea sized amount of paint on the palette apart from White which you will need a bit more of.


4 Don't touch the cloth you use to clean the brushes, lay it out several layers thick, wipe as much paint off the brush on the cloth, without picking it up, as you can, dip the brush the brush in the turps and squidge it around and the wipe it on the cloth again, without picking the cloth up.


5 Only put the paint on the palette that you are going to use, by this I mean that if you are going to start with the sky, just squirt out a dob of blue, a dob of white and if you have red in the sky a dob of red, don't bung on dobs from tubes until you need the colours.

6 Use a completely different cloth to the one you are using for cleaning brushes, to get off paint that gets on you.

I had hoped to do a political post today, comparing the different parties manifestos for TDC if the become councillors.

All I have received is a statement from Sir Roger Gale, who wants TDC to cpo Manston Airport so an American company can turn it into an airfreight hub.

Now when Manston closed I was all for saving a regional airport that I could fly from for business and leisure, but an airfreight hub I can't fly from is something that I consider would be very harmful to Thanet.

Of course now the situation has changed now the airport has been closed for about a year, the main change is that it has been bought by one of the main local employers, Discovery Parks and they have plans for a considerable amount of jobs at Manston.

So if there is a message for Roger or any other politicians, don't mess with the truth or it may backfire on you, if you want to save the airport as part of you election promises this is all fine and dandy, however if you want to support building an airfreight hub there that we can't fly from, then say so.

Here is the email from Roger;

Manston Airport – Statement – Sir Roger Gale

“I have received, in today`s post, a letter sent by UKIP`s “Transport Spokesman”, Ms. Seymour, headed “Important information about the future of Manston Airport”.

This communication asserts that “UKIP is unshakeable in its support for Manston” and that “David Cameron gave his support to the Gloag, Cartner, Musgrave Group who bought the site for just £1.”

As one who has been right at the centre of the proposed closure of Manston I am better placed than most to say that UKIP`s statement is a blatant lie.  Assuming that this document has been approved by “Bandwagon Farage” it is also, coming from someone who aspires to `leadership`, a disgrace.

First, Messrs. Cartner and Musgrave were not involved in the purchase, by the SNP supporting Ms. Gloag, of Manston for £1.  Only a party totally ill-informed about Manston Airport could have made such an elementary mistake.

Second, neither Farage nor any of his team have played any constructive part  in the Save Manston campaign – a fact that is well known to the campaign`s real and determined supporters.

From the time that I first raised the issue at Prime Minister`s Question Time months ago to date the Prime Minister has been, personally and through his Cabinet Ministers, nothing but wholly supportive of the efforts of myself, Laura Sandys and more recently Craig Mackinlay, to get Manston re-opened as an airport.  Indeed, it was the Prime Minister who, in an effort to unblock the Thanet District Council logjam, authorised the commissioning, by the Department of Transport, of the Price Waterhouse Inquiry.

The stumbling block has been the passing of a binding resolution, by Thanet Council`s Labour Group in October 2014, not to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order funded by RiverOak.  The Conservative Group,  seeking election to Thanet Council, are pledged to instigate the CPO immediately upon taking control of TDC  - which gives the lie, also, to Ms. Seymour`s claim that “The only party committed to a compulsory purchase order is UKIP”.

I have tried, stoically, to keep party-politics out of the Manston issue but I cannot ignore such a blatantly dishonest campaign gimmick that could, ultimately, damage a cause in which I passionately believe.

I call upon Farage, therefore, to publicly disown and withdraw the assertions that he and his party have made in this letter and, recently, in a paid-for advertisement in the local press.  I repeat, it is my informed view  that he has to date contributed nothing to the Save Manston campaign whatsoever.”



Sir Roger Gale - North Thanet  

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