I felt quite ill today, but I got on with some things to do with Easel Challange. This took up most of the day, then I helped Steve paint a picture. The most important rule to drawing is to draw what you see, not what you ‘think’ you see. It’s very difficult trying to explain that to someone in the process of drawing as we all think we know what a cup looks like or a tree or a car, but when it comes to putting it on paper everything looks much different. For example, if you are drawing a person sitting down at a certain angle it will look like the persons leg is coming out of their arm and when you try to draw a leg growing out of an arm your brain will instinctively tell you it is wrong as legs don’t grow out of arms, so instead of drawing what you see, you move the leg to where you think it should be and hey presto the brain is happy, but the drawing is wrong. Draw what you see, not what you ‘think’ you see. Another one people get stuck on is straight lines, people like to draw straight lines. Even if a line is a little curved the brain sees the curve as a fault and corrects it in our mind as that’s what we have been taught to do since we were kids, but straight lines don’t exist in nature. There is only one straight line in nature and that’s the horizon over the sea as you can’t see the curvature of the earth, there aren’t any other straight lines. Next time you are out have a good look at a tree, or a flower or some grass, and you wont find straight lines, the only time you will find straight lines is in man-made objects.
I think Steve got it in the end as whilst he was drawing he asked me if I could tell him where a certain line was going, so I simply said “can you see the line?” and he looked at me in a way that told me he was quickly processing everything I had told him to find the correct answer and he replied “I can’t see it so I don’t draw it” which was correct – you only draw what you can see. The brain is an interesting thing, forever trying to join up the dots in order to make sense. It’s silly really as not everything makes sense. I think it will take a little longer for me to explain to Steve that he needs to draw ‘the space between’ and not the actual object, but that lesson can wait for another day if he ever feels like painting again, which I hope he does. I was really impressed with his painting, it had depth, light, darkness and a range of colour tones, he did really well for his first ever painting. I am sure lots of people who have just started painting would have been very happy if they had painted the same picture, I know I would have been. He couldn’t see the picture in his mind at first, but when he had finished he was quite chuffed with himself.
After art school it was time for tea, then a few episodes of Prison Break before bed. I think this series of Prison Break is going to be much better than the last one, I wasn’t very interested in it at first, but it seems really good – they are on the run and the FBI are hot on their trail, how exciting.
Up around 9am. Lots to do today. Primarily B&B. Today would be spent on the client facing room views. I needed to show all the rooms and any attached photo’s in a professional manner. It took a few hours but I am pleased with the results.
I did the blog and checked everything was working ok. Ham salad sandwich for lunch, then persevered with B&B… I got what I wanted done by half 3 then decided it would be an idea to paint a picture. So, with Stacey’s help I painted a water colour… This led me to two conclusions. 1. Stacey (as I already new) is very talented and makes painting look so easy, and 2. I am a very good programmer. Dont get me wrong, I think it’s ok given who I am and where my skill set lies… If you want to see it, it’s on facebook, or email me and I will send you a copy.
After this I watched a Grand Designs while I made tea. Tonight was Sainsburys taste the difference Raviolli with a Pomadoro sauce and salad. I suspect the term ‘Taste the Difference’ would be correct if spending more than you should leaves a rotten taste in your mouth. It was ok, but looked a lot better than it tasted.
After I washed up, we had an early night and started season 2 of Prison Break. Three episodes later it was time for sleep.
Most of my day was wasted writing a letter to the financial ombudsman and raising a complaint with natwest bank – the bank really must be in trouble if they are phoning the likes of me, but if they want to waste my time I am more than happy wasting theirs too. The natwest bank are going to be so upset when I’m an multi-millionaire, i’m unsure if I will poke them in the eye and choose to bank elsewhere or stay with them and make huge demands and create a complete fuss with every transaction I make – maybe I will want my own design printed on my statements and keep asking them to change it as it’s wrong, wrong, wrong, or I may ask for weekly meetings and not wash for days and rub manure over my body so when I go to the bank I absolutely stink and make them all gag, of course I will expect to be picked up by a limo, which I can leave stagnant fish guts in, I don’t know, but i’m going to do something and they are going to have to deal with it as I am rich and they are my puppets…I digress…
When the letter was finished Steve and I headed to St Just to get some supplies and as it was such a ncie day we went to Sennen Cove which was a really lovely little place with lots to do an explore.
It really is a lovely place.
When we got back from Sennen Cove we set up the BBQ and had some tea, then it was time for the 1st few episodes of 24! I got a bit confused with 24 though as I had watched the 1st season years ago, then I watched the final season (season with Steve, then we watched season 2 the other week and now we are on season 3. I’m looking forward to the next season of Dexter to come out really, but it’s taking ages.
Steve and I were both tired today so as soon as our heads hit the pillow we were both fast asleep.
By this time it was heading toward lunch, so I decided to make scrambled eggs, bacon and beans. Yummy. Then I ended up tieing off all the little things that I’d needed to do for a while. I’d forgotten my bank username so I sorted that. I made sure all my bills were paid. I even phoned the VAT man who was chasing me about The Cook House and explained to him that if he tried as hard as he could using four fingers then maybe I could hear him whistle in Cornwall. Actually I think I got the only nice VAT man in the UK. He was very helpful and just said fair enough forget about it.
Then I did some more work on here. I put a site map on it. I dont think I want it as a main page though, so I might move it to the footer. I’m not sure yet.
Stacey was busy with her blog and complaining to her bank, quite rightly too! So I just busied myself until it was time to go out. We needed some more supplies, so a visit to St Just was in order. We set off around 4, and had all our provisions by half past. Stacey has a bit of a sore throat / cold / flu at the moment and we forgot to get anything for that so I nipped back to the co-op for all they could supply.
It was then we decided that as we had gone to the effort of getting Wanda up, dressed and ready, we may as well visit somewhere. We decided to go to a beach. I knew there was a beach somewhere between St Just and Lands End so we set off not knowing exactly where. We eventually found Sennen Cove.
At one end of the village is the fishing harbour. (above) and at the other is the beach. (below)
It is a big beach, I’d say a good 1/4 mile long. It looks to me as though it is a favourite with surfers as there always seems to be pretty good waves:
I took my shoes off and a had a good paddle. As always I ended up soaking my shorts! Stacey has this fantastic game on beaches where she hides behind rocks and jumps out at random people seeing how high she can make them jump… She does this secretly from me usually, generally because I am the unsuspecting target, but today I caught mid-game with some randoms…
Once she’d finished playing we headed back to Wanda who was at the other end of the village. The road was very narrow and she did well to get to the car park. We did see and open top bus though so knew she would be alright getting back up the really steep hill. When we got to the harbour we had a walk along the sea break the sun was make ing the view towards Lands End pretty spectacular:
Once back at Wanda we headed back to the campsite. Tonight we were barbequing. I made some burgers and coleslaw while stacey made the kebabs. Remember the bucket barbeque we bought, well I’ve gone off it. Primarly because we like these kebabs and because it is circular we can only cook two at a time… pretty pants really. Anyway, they were very nice and we played scrabble outside while we cooked. 1-1 at scrabble.
After tea we sat and watched the first few episodes of season 3 – 24… Jack what have you been up to?… then we went to bed.. an early ish night. A very nice day.
Today was spent trying to get Easel Challenge working, we were supposed to have spent the day working on the SEO (search engine optimisation), but as with everything in IT as soon as we had a look at the site something completely different wasn’t working. I really don’t like IT as whenever you change something another unrelated part of what you are working on stops working. Today I hadn’t even changed anything it had just decided to be an arse. After hours and hours of trying to work out what it was we came across a piddly little tick box that had suddenly appeared and needed a tick in it. IT drives me crazy, i’ve built about 8 websites now, which is good for someone who knows nothing about IT, but I could happily live the rest of my life without building any more. IT is pants.
A strange number has been phoning me for days leaving no message, but I don’t answer unknown calls so I had no idea who it was, in the end it worked out it was the bank and as usual they were being complete bankers. Basically i’ve got an overdraft, which I am in but nowhere near my limit and I haven’t touched it in ages, neither paying funds in or taking funds out and the bankers have suddenly got a bug up thier ass about it and got all scared. Of course after speaking to me they are even more scared as I have no address and I have no money coming in just yet as the websites i’ve made aren’t making any money at present, but i’m not speaking to them again as when I asked them to prove that they were the bank they declined. Even the gas man has to prove who he is before he enters you house, so I see no reason why the bank hasn’t got to do the same before you discuss your money. Do you know what the guy on the phone said to me? He said “I don’t have to prove who I am, I know i’m the bank” like he was Rocky Balboa or something, like I say, they were complete bankers. Taking into consideration I have never had any loans, credit cards, hire purchase, store cards or a mortgage and I am not in any financial debt except for being sat in my overdraft, they had absolutely no right to speak to me in the arrogant and flippant way they did and I will be writing a formal letter of complaint to the financial ombusmen about their behaviour.
So after my mellow was completely twisted by a bunch of bankers we headed to the onsite pub to take part in the pubs music quiz, it was quite crazy, Steve was on fire and knew the answers to everything, I thought my music knowledge was quite good, but I only knew 2 songs. There was an interesting man at the bar who had worked all over the world picking grapes, strawberries and apples, so he was telling us stories about travelling and I met a lovely canadian girl outside who was working in england as an au pair. Then I spent the rest of the evening playing with a little girl (who should have probably been in bed) helping her toy penguin and otter climb things.
Then it was time for bed.
After a late night of Prison Break all the alarms in the world wouldn’t have woke me. I did wake at 10am, but I rolled over… so at half 11 I got up.
I did take a lovely picture last night of the sunset though. The picture doesn’t do it justice though:
I was planning a day of B&B work, but by the time I’d done the blog and Stacey had made us a Chicken salad sandwich for lunch I had changed my mind. Today would be spent SEO’ing Easel Challenge. This site is a subscription artists forum with free competitions to win cash prizes. Generally art competitions on the net range from about £3 to £25 to enter a single picture. This site is different, not only do you get full access to the forum, but you get to enter four competitions a year to win cash prizes and all for £10. To me this is a bargain. If you are an arstist (of the art variety) or know any budding artists please let them know about Easel Challenge.
So the first thing I did was backup the website… unfortunatley I backed up the whole of my servers home directory… 850Mb and 2 hours later it finished… I then installed a sitemap generator… Then I thought I’d familiarise myself with the sitebefore tacking the SEO. Stacey has done a fantastic job creating this site. She’s got numerous plugins working together to get the functionality she needs. All this by learning it herself. Pretty cool I think.
So I log on as one of our users and try to look at the forums, and of course, because it’s IT, the forums which have been there forever have vanished for every user apart from admin… Could this site generator have caused this? I remove it and it still doesn’t work… So we spend the next three hours going though all the configurations trying figure out what’s going on. I even register a real user to see if it’s just our users who cant see it…that doesn’t work… at around 6ish we find a little check box which has appeared in each forum topic which needs to be ticked… then, tada! It all springs into life.
Net result of the day is that I now understand how it all links together, but no SEO at all was done…
The site we are staying on is fantastic. It is called Roselands Caravan Park. It is small. It has about 15 statics, space for about 15 tourers and a field for camping. I would say it’s about 1/3 full at the moment. Just right for us. It has laundry, hot showers (they are 20p, but last 6 minutes which does me!), a games room, a play area, all the normal caravan points, and a small bar. Tonight in the bar there would be a pop quiz at 8:30. So we decided to go to this.
The bar itself seats about 20 people, so to make sure we got a seat… we went down for half seven. We got chatting to Craig the owner and took residence at the bar. The place filled up in time for the quiz at half eight. The quiz was an intro’s quiz. 40 songs, a point for the title and a point for the artist. The music was 60′s to 90′s… All those who know me will have guessed by now, given that I am mentioning it at all, we won! 67 out of 80! I was on fire. Granted there were some I really shouldn’t have got like: Spice up your life, and Give me hope Joanna – Eddie Grant… but there you go… Mr Pugh would have been annoyed that I forgot that ELO sang Mr Blue Sky.. my mind just went blank for that I knew it was some letters I just couldn’t remember so I put OMD! Ken and I used to always put this song on whenever there was a jukebox. We did this for 2 reasons really. 1. It is a good song, but 2. More importantly, having yorkshire tendencies, it lasts a long time so you get value for money! Other entries in this category are LA Woman by the Doors, Sweet Home Chicago by The Blues Brothers, and Champagne Supanova by Oasis… if you put all those on for a pound then you’re edging on half an hour of music! I did learn something whilst over the border in Yorkshire !
The prize was two bottles of local beers. The entry money went to a local charity. We stayed in the bar until it closed then headed back to Wanda for a well deserved sleep. A very good day!
I know I said I would set my alarm, but I forgot. Luckily Stacey hadn’t so we were awake befotre 9! I did the blog then set to work while Stacey finished her painting. The painting is different to all the others I’ve seen by her. I think it is amazing and stands a great chance in the competition. To me, this one is very precise. It is professional. Her recent others as a contrast seem like they are straight from the heart, they are fuzzy and warm. This one has artistic quality and is very exact. I think it is seductive, it has passion and makes me think about what has happened. A painting that makes me think. I think it’s brilliant and Stacey is brilliant.
I worked on the room allocations. I made the bookings complete so that once paid for the rooms are no longer available to book. They are then removed from the room selection screen. I also wrote the visible rooms page for the client site.
We did have a problem though… by 11am we had run out of milk. This meant no more coffee… I run on coffee during the day… Actually, I used to run on coffee, when I had a paid job. Now, I have one ‘just when i’ve done this bit, and then this bit…’ so I only end up having two or three a day… A lot better than the 5 or 6 with a paid job!
The lack of milk basically meant we had to go into St Just. St Just reminds me of Windermere Village. It’s pretty enough and just behind the pretty main area is the main housing… it made me think it would be a place where everyone knows everyone and for such a small place I counted 5 pubs… I bet they have a black eye friday! I liked it though.
Before we set off I did a google streetmap round the village and found a chinese takeaway. Stacey had said she fancied one in the next week, so tonight seemed like the perfect opportunity. We ordered the chinese, then went to the co-op for the milk, then picked the chinese up. We ate it in Wanda so as to have it while it was hot. It was spicy for a chinese curry, but nice enough.
We then went back to the site. Stacey had to enter the competition with her painting, so I did a little more work… It was finally time for main bit of the day… Prison Break. We had four episodes left… The break was coming… What a bloody disappointment… Awake until half past one and it ends (look away now if you don’t want to know) with them running over a field with the police about 50 yards behind them… Series 2 will have to be about them breaking out again because they aint getting away this time!
So at ridiculous o’clock we went to sleep. A nice day.
I was going to have shower on Wanda again today, but she needed a wee so I used the onsite showers and I was really happy that they were hot! Such good news. These baby swifts live above the light outside the ladies toilet, there is a nest outside the gents too. They are very sweet, they make loads of noise when you walk out of the toilet and then quickly hide, but I managed to take this picture of them. I’m waiting for one to fall out of the nest so I can adopt it and look after it, it would be wrong to return it as the mother would abandon the nest.
After a very quick shower and a coo at the baby birds it was time to get on and do some painting. When I finished painting yesterday I almost wanted to go straight to bed so I could go to sleep, wake up and continue painting, as I really hate leaving things half way through, but I didn’t.
I spent the day painting and here is the finished product. I am incredibly happy with it, I followed all of the rules and tried as best I could and I’m quite pleased with myself, I was a little shocked as I was painting as I kind of realised how good I can be when I put some effort in and don’t settle for second best. I will definately be using this technique again, it takes longer, but the end product is worth it. I could do lots of paintings like these with lots of beautiful silk negligees and stockings hanging on things. Degas was the painter of dancers, I could be the painter of lingerie.
When I finished I took a few pictures and then Steve and I went into St Just to get a chinese as I fancied one about a week ago. St Just seems like a bit of a dive, but the chinese was ok, it tasted like chicken.
I’ve now entered the painting into the competition and I will be holding my breath until I hear something, I really hope I hear something. The competition closes 31st August so there is a while to wait yet. The artists who are selected are printed in the magazine and then people need to vote on them, so fingers crossed.
After the painting was entered it was time to go to bed and watch Prison Break. If you haven’t watched it look away now….we watched a few episodes until they got over the wall, then I pretty much lost interest, but Steve wanted to watch the final episode. To me, the series was called Prison Break, so as soon as they broke out it was over, but apparently there are four more series, I have no idea what they will be about and I am unsure if I am even interested. The point was to break out of prison and now they have, so it’s finished in my mind.
Anyway, Steve has downloaded the next series and another series of 24, so there is more to watch before bed. We haven’t watched TV in about 7 weeks, so I have no idea what is going on in the world, maybe that’s why I am sleeping so well.
I had a shower on Wanda today rather than going to the shower block as the water was cold yesterday. Wanda has got a great shower, I think it may be new, but the shower head is really good and powerful. The cubicle is a good size for me too, there is just enough room to not feel caged in, it may be a different story for Steve though as he’s a foot taller than me and just generally bigger.
After a nice hot shower I got on with drawing the picture for the competition. I used a grid system rather than drawing it free hand and I was surprised how quickly it was drawn. My mum always uses a grid system to draw things, but I had never tried it before as I’ve always wanted to be able to do all of my drawings freehand, now I understand why she uses that method, it’s just so easy.
When I was happy with the drawing I got on with painting the background, which I really like as it is bright a vibrant, then I started painting the roses, which were a bit tricky, but I got there in the end. I’ve got lots left to do on the painting, but I’ve made a good start. I’m not used to painting slowly, but I need to make the effort to do it properly so it may be finished tomorrow, it may not.
Below is last years winner of the still life category. Yes it is a painting! How crazy is that. It’s just cress, but it’s a pretty amazing painting, don’t you think? Paintings in the portrait section are like photographs too – hence me not entering – it’s pretty amazing, but it does cause some controversy and split opinions. The majority of people say they like paintings to look like paintings, but then they see something like this and they are completely blown away.
I’m not expecting my painting to come out as perfect as that – even though it’s what I am aiming for – winning is only a dream scenario, in reality I just want to be in the top 15. I’m not being pessimistic, i’m being realistic, even though it’s very optimistic to think I can be in the top 15.
When I finished painting for the day we had a schmorgers board for tea, Steve loves that word and said it to me in about 50 different accents whislt making tea. Sometimes when I see what Steve has prepared to eat I wonder if he has invited other people for tea without telling me!
After tea Steve played his guitar whilst I washed up then it was time for some more Prison Break before bed. We watched a few episodes then it was time for sleep, but aliens once again came down and took my beloved away and left behind the sound of a drowning warthog, I think it’s alcohol which attracts the aliens, so I slept in the carriage above the cab to get a peaceful nights sleep in the hope they would return him safe and sounds by morning.
Up for 10am again… Alarm will go on tomorrow! Quick blog update then set to work.
Today I wrote the email section for booking conrifmations, and also allocated the dates to the rooms. This means I can now do two things. 1. I can remove rooms from selection if they already booked, and 2. I can show availability of rooms on the clients site. That will be tomorrows work…
Anyway, I checked that the Traffic page was working ok, and it was. Then coded all day, only stopping for a ham sandwich at lunch time. It was such a shame really as it was a beautifully hot day and we were both sat inside. Stacey is working on her competition painting. I am not allowed to see it which as you can imagine living in a 20 foot box is quite tricky. We have managed it though.
At half five I went and paid for another 5 nights. This site at Roselands is great. Then I decided it would be nice to have some wine with tea so I got the bike down and cycled the 1.5 miles to St Just. I fancied a bit of exercise and as it was such a gorgeous day it was a pleasure.
Tea was a schmorgers board of salad, chicken, ham, homemade coleslaw, with fried chorizo and fried hallumi… it was absolutely delicious.
After tea we watched a couple of episodes of Prison Break before sleep.