Saturday, 31 October 2015

Friday Ramble

The Manston Airport cpo saga finally seems to be over, the main stumbling block was the same one that stops most property deals.

In layman’s terms and with a lot of guessing, here is how I see the series of events.

A very large foreign company own an airport which isnt showing a profit and this looks bad on their balance sheet.

This is perceived as being detrimental to their company image something that is probably costing them millions of pounds a year, in terms or investor credibility, overall share price and borrowing costs.

They want to dispose of this airport in a way that means there will be no adverse publicity for their company, therefore it has to be disposed of to another large company, that can’t go into liquidation and is guaranteed to take any flack should the airport have to be closed.    

Irate employees who have made redundant, airport supporters if such people exist, unpopular redevelopment of the site were all mud that if slung, would have been very expensive to a company with an annual turnover of billions.

The easiest part of this to understand is that for a company with running debt of over NZ$1bn or 1,000,000,000 then 1% on the interest rate they are borrowing at is 10,000,000 per year.

So what they did was to sell the airport to Ann Gloag, the idea being that she would try and make it work as an airport and if she couldn't, she could sell the assets including the site for as much as she could.

I would think when this is all added to the costs of running the airport, keeping Manston could easily have cost them much more in a year than they could ever have hoped to get for it.

Well we all know the airport closed and then Ann Gloag decided to sell it, word on the street is that the asking price was in the £7m ball park.

The only two contenders were RiverOak and Discovery, very big companies with that sort of money to gamble on a project. In both cases I think neither could pay cash, or they would have done straight away.

For the seller, this comes down to the buyer's assets and provable income added any cast iron guarantors, just like if you or me want to buy an expensive item and don’t have the cash. If you have a house worth £200,000 and want to spend £50,000 on an expensive car but only have 10,000 it’s much easier than if you don’t own a house.

The next stage was the council trying to buy it by cpo. To understand this you have to appreciate that the first stage of process would be the council making an offer in the likely price ballpark.

The council has never made an offer for the airport and can’t start the cpo process without having done so, it has to be the acquiring authority making the offer and it has to be in the £7m ball park.

Obviously as Riveroak have said they have already made offers in this ballpark, all RiverOak have to do is give £7m to the council, then the council can offer it for the Airport.

If the owner says yes, then the council buys it, give the £7m to the owners who give the airport to the council, who give the airport RiverOak.

So the first of the many hurdles was for RiverOak to give £7m to the council, they never did manage this.

Another pen and watercolour view from Chocolate Cafe in Canterbury.

Doing this during half term when I get my children snacks there, adds to the fun.

On to the absence of blogging the past few days, the truth is I am writing an account of my youth and don't have much time for other writing.

Finally whoever clocked the 2m mark on the counter here, a wave from the spiral staircase of my life, to the spiral staircase of yours.  

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Start of a Watercolour painting of La Trappiste from Chocolate Café in Canterbury today.

I have finally found the ideal site to paint La Trappiste in Canterbury from, if you are familiar with Chocolate Café in Canterbury, ‘nough said, otherwise I can only say it comes with my strongest recommendation.

The picture is all brush, lots of layers and fairly free.

If you are geographically disadvantaged La Trappiste is on the left in this photo and Chocolate Café is on the right. 

A really odd one here from my teenage children, I offered to give them the money to get themselves a drink and a cake in McDonalds or join me in Chocolate Café and the elected to join me. 
The atmosphere is very good for painting as because everyone is high on dopamine and therefore very happy.    

Saturday, 24 October 2015

My most bizarre artistic experience at Turner Contemporary so far.

For some inexplicable reason my children wanted to go to Dreamland today, the ghost train has mentioned several times this evening, so while this is in no way a review of Dreamland as I didn’t go, it may be worth trying.

Being somewhat inconvenient, needing inspiration for a painting, a café with a view where one is allowed to vape, paint, get the old PG and chocolate cake, I made my way to Turner Contemporary.

I had lunch in the café and started this pen and watercolour sketch of Margate Lighthouse.

After I had got this far, I wandered into Margate and bought some books for my bookshop.

I got back to the gallery at about 4pm, thinking as the gallery closed at 5pm I had hour to paint.

I should have paid more attention to the signage in the gallery.

 At 4.35 an electrically powered blind descended obscuring the view, I asked the chap at the next table if has installed any unusual apps on hos phone recently and eventually asked the Cafe staff, the replied that it was because they were closing.

I explained that I needed to see the view because I was painting it, this fell on deaf ears, so I gave up and left.

I am now even more convinced that I am a painter and not an artist. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

CCGS from CCCPR and Peter Cushing’s Lampshade a blog about painting and drawing in Kent, bookbuying in Kent and School.

The youf of today were demonstrating educational activates at their school’s open evening so I went to the restaurant over the road and sketched the school.  

 Progress and meal and painting self evident from pictures

I have mixed feelings about schools, and as probably the only survivor from my year at the last and best school I attended, there are unlikely to be others to give much of an opinion on the subject.

Anyway schools make me a bit edgy, so all that done, the rest of the day…  

Whitstable earlier today, which culminated at The Oxford Street Bookshop which is getting on for the size of my bookshop in Ramsgate (see Shut Your Face )and has a similar price structure so I bought a lot of books for stock.

Lunch at Weatherspooons next door.

I tried to draw Peter Cushing's inside, after two attempts at the lampshade I gave up and will have another go on a wet winter day.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Peace Protesters take over Manston control tower

I have embedded what seems to be going on

This is a protest against Instro Precision moving to one of the disused hangers at Manston

Here is Instro Precision’s website

I think this protest is partly aimed at the site owners, partly at TDC and their approving the planning application and partly an anti arms manufacture protest.   

At the moment they operate from Hornet Close, Pysons Road Industrial Estate.

On one hand you have a local firm employing about 200 people that wants to expand and move to the already controversial Manston airport site and on the other hand they manufacture target acquisition technology among other things.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

I paint Curchill’s window frame for school open day

Passing through Spencer Square tonight on the way for a burger, I noticed that Vincent van Gogh who lived at 10, 11 or 12 has a blue plaque that says he was a painter. I sort of supposed that he would have had one that says he was an artist, as it sort of suggests he was the house painter who decorated 10, 11 and 12.

I, we got the early evening off, because of school, my youngest two children were helping with their school’s open evening for prospective pupils.

Considering the way art is going today I suppose for old VvG, there isn’t much to choose between being associated with painters and decorators and other such ragged trousered philanthropists and being associated with installation art.

Now me, for a number of reasons. What? I know that I’m painter. However an artist; I just don’t know. Rather in the way I don’t know if, an artist can be equivalent 8 to a bricklayer, so armed with these ideas I decided to paint the window of VvG’S local boozer over my burger.

Oh and this sign which seemed to equate to. "Fighting is prohibited on the killing ground."
Which was almost too much for me.

After this I rushed off to school where a group of youfs showed me their pictures and I showed them my window painting.

Meanwhile back at the bookshop, replacing Hopeful Monsters and other fiction today, see 

"The conceit of literary intellectuals is to imagine that other people don't have ideas so that they can assume a superior status by having their own." - Nicholas Mosley.

At this point, I thought I would say. “I am not an intellectual.”

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Americans seem to be saying that while on the one hand, they are considering litigation against TDC on the other hand they would still like to be partners, and not as you would suppose, four fingers and a thumb.

The tale of two Manstons defies ordinary comprehension, I can’t explain it here as it has passed out of the realms of reason.

I should point out here, the picture at the top of the page is not contemporary art, it just isn’t finished yet. 

Sharon Hendy at Bohemi Art Gallery Ramsgate Harbour Arches

The current Exhibition  is an Exhibition by Ramsgate Artist Sharon Hendy. A varied collection of styles and media. The exhibition runs Friday

Monday, 19 October 2015

A couple of sketches of La Trappiste in Canterbury, Android phone memory problems, oh what the hell memory problems in general.

Yesterday morning, while the more pious family members were out god bothering, I went out and bought several boxes of books for my bookshop, we all then went to Canterbury.

The object of the mission being clothes and shoe shopping, an activity to which I am allergic, so I went of to paint the town.    

Having painted the view from La Trappiste in Canterbury, see I thought I would try to find a location to paint La Trappiste from.

This one is from Mrs Jones's Kitchen, which was ok

And this from Café Chambers which was better.

Both are preliminary sketches I think aspects of the drawing, particularly the perspective needs practice.

Over the last few weeks my phone has been giving trouble, the symptoms were messages saying not enough memory to update this app or that app, combined with the whole thing slowing down.

I started out removing apps that I didn’t really need, which worked for a while, I installed Cleanmaster which worked for a while, but yesterday I ran out of solutions.

My phone is a Galaxy Note GT-7000, the mark one of the Note series and is typical of the sort of old smart phone that you can get on Ebay for about £50, it dates from 2011. In terms of memory ROM RAM if you like, it has four different memories.

About 1 GB of RAM, which does the thinking and about 75 GB of ROM, which does the storing. 

Back in the day RAM was made of lots of tiny ferrite beads threaded onto a matrix of copper wires, currents in the wires caused the beads to be charged or the charge to be read where the wires converged. This was all a long time ago and don't trust my memory on this, but I think the first RAM computer memory I used was on a wooden frame (wires threaded between holes in the wood) about a foot square, and about 1 kilobyte. The ROM was on magnetic tape on big reels.
On my phone the ROM memory (storage in the settings) is called,

1 “device memory” about 2 GB, this is where the apps and bits of the apps you can’t move elsewhere have a sort of life.

2 USB storage about 11 GB, which is just like a memory card you can’t get out of the phone.

Added together this 1, 2 and 11 and 1 of RAM makes up the 16 GB that it says on the packet.

3 SD card storage, which is the memory card which you can put in the phone, I think this can be anything up to 64GB and is you usually where you store you pictures, docs, music and videos.  

OK we all know there is 1 GB missing and this is mostly taken up with the operating system, on the phone this is called Android, on a conventional computer it will be called Windows or some such thing.

Fortunately there is the other memory called the cloud which all your stuff is automatically stored to, providing you phone is set properly and that memory is on the internet, so it still stays there if your phone explodes or something.

The only solution was taking the phone back to its factory settings.

So now I have a laptop running Windows 10, a tablet running Lollipop 5.1 and a phone running Jelly Bean 4.1.2, fortunately all interconnected by the cloud.

Having wiped the phone I have got my memory back and nearly everything it had on it before the memory problem was reinstalled automatically once I signed on to Google.

What I think happened was that the phone started backing everything it did on the internal memory, and lost the ability to delete it.  

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Julian Lovegrove at The York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

The current Exhibition  is by Broadstairs based artist Julian Lovegrove The exhibition runs   14th October - 21st October Exhibitions change weekly on Wednesdays.