Sunday, 30 April 2017

THE DUEL Penned by BB

                                                             Copyright 30/04/2017

                                                               The Year is 1743

History does not identify him,as fact or even fiction,but he served like many do today.

He was always in all circles  referred to  plainly as Bagley. A name known at Horse Guards,The British Admiralty and to Kings and Princes. All respected him although most feared him for his coat buttoned up on many sides. He wore several uniforms when there was need to do so,but far preferred a bland pattern cut to his cloth of grey,but always he favoured well his waistcoat of light green and that long blue black coat that carried important letters from the Crown ,The House of Lords,and Parliament of England. His three cornered hat given to him by the P M of the day.
His own King George, along with other royal heads was fettled to a fine sharp shine of iron and all had fell out from the same sagging mould after being cast up into a troubled sea of struggling world power. A repetitive thing ongoing still in our own time,for those with big sticks like to flex enough muscle in order to use them. Bagley, served a mad king,and that highly proven fact would create high costly wars and eventful loss throughout the colonise. For the America`s were the sweet Prize in the jewel of many a kings crown,sitting upon many a throne.

                                                     BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS

So upon such a sea of constant intrigue  this loyal kinsman was often a target for insult, and even a target for murder, but his sword saw fit to dispatch the many who had tried ,and as for those highly paid in polished coin to insult him, they soon came to realise his ice cold skill with both pistols and sword upon the duelling field.

However it was not always a killing field,
but many came to limp along through life because of it.

One such  duel happened to take place in America in 1743 or 1744 dates are often a great mystery for me at odd times. It involved a French Officer, during the peace, he having stamped hard on Bagley`s shoe rendering it in deep twisted red clay at his now painful big toe end. An outright insult indeed and with no apology forthcoming from this dressed up dandy in fine white cloths. A Duel, a place and time was arranged by others acting for both parties concerned.

At that particular time inside The Hare & Hound Tavern, it being rather stuffy, filled up to brimming point with odd sized gentleman, all clay pipe smokers of the finest twist of sweet Virginia. Within this haze of towering smoke swaying heads were soon puffing gossip fit enough  to unseat a king.
                                                     DUEL ARRANGEMENTS

It was a rather rushed affair and the time for it being at midday on that day,and with only a few minutes to prepare for it. It was agreed pistols would be primed and loaded on the field of gallant display. For such Peacocking was duly witnessed by others seeking fair play. It was agreed two pistols each would be used to settle well this day of outlawed activity. The place arranged a nice quite spot called and recorded as Fox Hill just outside of Boston on the Common near the large twisted tree. The Frenchman and his seconds rode up to that spot, as did Bagley, with his fellows following on behind. Time being short and without reliable pistols to hand, a British Officer of Kings 1st Dragoons approached  the gallant gentleman, and offered both his pistols and his horse, and a good shake of hands in agreement was welcomed as were the few silver coins for a round of drinks.  For Bagley was a realist who thought this might well be his ending upon this day. So a parting gift for a drinking spree, left behind by him was to his liking. With fresh drink arriving the whole  house  stood up and cheered him, for most certainly he was no ordinary common man.

                                                       ON THE COMMON

For those who do not realise it horse pistols of that day and age were indeed fearsome huge long barrelled things. I only make mention of it because the Frenchman an Officer in shinny white lace had brought two fine pocket pistols that had been taken out of the highly polished wooden box. He looked very nervous as his weapons were being loaded with powder and shot, while he could see two huge Dragoon pistols being likewise primed for a broadside action he now cared little for.
"I object!" He said. "
You object Sir?",replied all who were to stand in support of him. "I do. His weapons are monstrous  things not fitting a gentleman." He declared. One and all could see his point even the smiling Bagley, because a Frenchman peering at two alarming large primed weapons, while he himself had ornate pocket pistols,well it must have looked like he was indeed looking at the business end of two British six pounders?
After walking around,sizing up each other it was agreed to be unfair to the other gentleman by those overseeing this rather rushed forward occasion. Now the fellow who had accepted gold to dispatch Bagley in this American field of opportunity seemed now rather relieved not to face a blasting from those black powdered devil's.  Shinny Devil`s that the Englishman held in each hand while tilting them back half cocked against his breast.  " Does the young gentleman wish to apologise and withdraw from the duelling field?" The Frenchman was asked.
"Bien sur que non!"____________________"Of course not!"
After a brief discussion concerning this  tricky situation it was agreed, both would duel with the French gentleman`s pocket pistols. Bagley, agreed as did the other gentleman who seemed to have passed his ill at ease activity of sweating enough to float a small boat. "The Englishman will chose his weapon as he is the party slighted."
And so it came about both did pace it out,turn and fire. In that instant of time both pistols misfired. Bagley`s hand was stung to share extremeness! Much like being caned at school, leaving him having to flap it about while doing a very fine jig of a dance. Finally his dance finished, he placed his hand , as if it would cure it in some magical awesome way under his other arm. A sting and powder burns,he had come off light.
As the Frenchman's pistol misfired it blew apart blowing off two of his fingers. He too danced such an up and down jig of frenzy! Proving that the French can keep pace with any Englishman on any day of the week for such jigging about.
Gradually the smoke cleared away, and the screams and fine hot dancing subsided and after a few minutes of medical treatment such as it was,it being the case a white handkerchief was wound around the poor gentleman`s hand while he sat upon the damp grass his face covered in tumbling tears, enough to float another small boat.
With his mind now fully accepting the constant repetitive throbbing,Bagley the fine upstanding fellow that he was approached the worst off of such a days play,and shock the injured Frenchman`s hand with the remaining thumb and two fingers. Honor was served.
Two days later the body of the French gentleman was fished out of Boston harbour.

As for Bagley, his story is far from being over, but it is important he be mentioned at this particular time.____After serving many years, but being no way an old man another story begins to unfold for him in the year 1759 with a house and parcel of land being granted to him, in crusty old England for his service to the Crown. The why of it was never penned upon such a Royal Letter he had received. The Property & Deeds thereof were for a house, and included those pertaining to outlaying buildings along with 30 acres of meadow land at Old Catton with The Tills cutting a  pathway along one side of it,and 15 acres of woodland named Fiddle Wood, with the Gurney Stream passing through it.

It certainly was a very strange house for it had many a plumb line and set square angle added to it. The extension of rendered brick with gable end dormer window,and roof with a new double chimney was added that year 1759, and so it was that Mr Johnathan Bagley Pollywhat and Mrs Belinda Catherine Pollywhat, moved into the house in 1760,and soon after a child was born and the date of the birth it being the 2nd day of February 1760 was recorded in the family Bible as being a Girl Child named Peggity Belinda Pollywhat. Yes dear Peggity had arrived.

There will be other story`s pen and inked concerning Peggity`s earlier life,but that is for a later time.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

THE HOUSE : A Story Book Tale presented by BB

                                                               Copyright 2017

The house had long since fallen  into disrepair followed by pointless dilapidation  and it being very old, but recently arrived there among the tall sea of flax, was most feared by the locals because of many a strange tale concerning it and  those that had tried to live there. I came upon the look of this house during a dream of utter torment for such details were very strange to me. While having such a vision of this house,I awoke and got up, made a cup of tea,just in order to break such a dream theme up. Drinking the last sweet brown stuff down I returned to my slumber. However, yes it continued where I had left off.

I guess silly me,  I must have left it on pause?

Since then the days passed into weeks and then one day it being an Easter Sunday those details came flooding into my mind again, but not in any dream,but in broad daylight in my wide awake day time activities. Although hazed in shape the wood framed building was easy to mark out,as if I had been doing it in repartition during many an earlier time. As I placed the first dark outline upon the paper card I realised it to be a very large building with a dense roof of thatch and it did seem to have grown there as if a natural reed bed on the nearby fens. For this part of East Anglia, was awash with such floating read beds of friendly waving flax. Of course in reality the house never existed. but now traced out within the outer framework of this story it did,and it along with nameless characters were fitting together piece by little topsy turvy piece. _Soon after starting the writing of this, and the scratch building of  that medieval timber framed house I realised this was getting most scary and it was as if I was being compelled to pen and ink it down,and also build this uncommon place up.Uneasiness began to dominate both types of work,and over a few days that which I had dreamed of stood complete upon my small work table. The numerous windows seemed very dark black eyes of this hair-raising place, for truly I knew it as such without really knowing it before at all. Such are uncommon places stemmed from such dreams.                                                                

The photo results seem very clear to view,but does the human eye always pick out that which is there?       The old solid door now stripped bear clear of wicked rose thorns is locked tight, and some in Nat Village say it is bolted shut tight from inside,and those that did such a locking and a bolting of all those dark Oak doors and windows are still there,if only in dismembered remains. For certain there are no Winkle graves in the nearby village church. No not even a one. So when was it that Sir Edward Charles Winkle, a Knight placed his stamp of authority upon such a blot on this landscape ?  As near as I can tell it was during and after the Wars of The Roses ,and oppressed peoples were given over to seek other means of gaining a living other than working of land afforded them.


The red brick lower part of the rendered walls crumbled in places seem to date this place and firmly plant it around the 1480`s and in fact Henry the King who had six wives made royal mention of it in  1539. The case being the Monks from  the near by Anglesey Abbey had been discovered in hiding there ,and he boasted while stuffing his neck with chicken. " They all wanted to go to Heaven, but were in no great awful rush to get there. However they all went anyway." He laughed out shockingly aloud. That Court loved Henry,for to do otherwise meant being shortend by a neck it being hacked off something terribly cruel ,and with much more than just one blow at the hacking block. It did seem the stiff necked English sure put a dead certain dullness ,and wicked bluntness to the shine and sharpness of all the axe-mans tools.

It was 1537 Easter Day,a Sunday evening when the house servants left for the Church Service in the village, while the family occupants preferred not to hold with any religious  house for fear of Henry, and that awesome blunt axe. As Old Mott,with no other name beside it left the house, with the rounded plump dogmatic swearing Cook, trundling on behind him,called Beggs, and the two young serving girls following along behind her whispering girls talk with giggles, all headed towards the sound of that dong, dong bell.                                                                                                          

Little did they realise it then that they would soon be free of that overburdened place of regal  servitude.                                                                                                                                                         As the mist rose from the surrounding Fen land.                                        
Most certainly it was a most solemn silent Meeting in that tiny flinted church,as Mickmead, the Priest had left for safer shores. It seemed although he being a rather short ,but very loud, fat, and double chinned man of the cloth in his mid 40`s, he had no intention of getting a lot shorter in Henry`s ,England. Such was his chin that gave resemblance to that of a chewing Hamster to him that owned it, and it that hung so well was much more the worthwhile  a saving.  So he took fearful flight to safer shores carrying the golden cross and goblet along with the small  finger bowl from the church. Fate decreed rather oddly for him, that it all turned out to be some kind of ornamental shinny brass.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
It was indeed Flaggend,,,that had rung the bell since Brother Mickmead`s, timely scarpering! He being the digger of graves when there was such a call of opportunity  for it. As it was a Sixpence in his hand for a doing it, "Spand, Spick, Hand Proper," as was his a calling of it. Most certainly Flaggend,,, the dark skinned man with curly hair, will be written of in other tales.

As for the house it had remained long after the Winkle family`s disappearance, some reckoned an evil event had befallen them all, because on that night of the large full Moon they vanished without a trace. The last half eaten meal still settled to cold congealed fattiness upon the dark metal plates, ___indeed the long table was still set out untidy-like in the six odd places around it. All their belongings intact with cloths hanging where they would've been while others were out for the wash,but them gone never to be seen or heard of since.The only living thing left in that house seen above, was the family`s one eyed skinny dog,that answered to Keats! It being a tiny thin dog it could never have been accused of eating them that is for sure. It was Pennwick,the Church recorder of family names, and village Fish Monger that took the dog in,and it played out its life span in pure delight with the village children that nicknamed him little Cyclopes, although very few of the younger kids knew of it or understood such a name. As for the dog, she would only ever answer to Keats,a name put into place long before he ever existed. Another mystery was concerning that one eyed dog,and how certain children in 1537 knew of the Cyclopes?
Such are the ongoing stave's of time changed and passed along without any comprehensive answer. With the rustic sound of the Saxon Church bell come a Sunday, and that place the house left shut tight.  That house now silent still has settled well into this wetland and overgrown has become a mystifying part of it.                                                                                                                               



After I took all those photo shots,something strange occurred upon the viewing of them, 
a ghostly figure in the upper  window.   The hairs on the back of my neck stood up,and each did quite prick a well deserved nerve ending of frightening chill.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Written & Scratch-built  by  BB                                                                                   
A Few Shots More.



Having completed lots of work on my other trees above I now needed to make a few easy trees using wire to make a sweeping contrast on the diorama.                                                                                   




The tools I required to do the work,and the thin wire.

l also needed a spoon to put through the  loop in the wire and holding the wire in the pliers the spoon was easily turned to create the first few twists  and it helped form the bottom of the tree.

These are not going to be massive tree`s. So Giant Oaks,they are not. Nor are they any type of named Genus Tree. They will be abstract ,and everyone knows what a tree looks like,but there are those irritating tree inspectors who to say the least of them, do put off people wanting to enjoy this hobby.
I hope you all understand my meaning?  Four pieces of wire were doubled up in halves so the ends met and all were twisted with the aid of the spoon to form the trunk. Then separated as seen into differing directions. This is not a twig making method, but a clear cut quick one that will reveal the results that I need.

The makings for a good sturdy base, and the HO OO Scale building with the wire armature  by its side.

Yes this worked out a real treat,and there will be a few more tree`s and each one will look different from the others, but basically the same size tree.

Now scratch built tree`s have the ability to fall over when trying to form them up in the higgledy-piggledy required  manor.   So a Milk Bottle top helped form a good sturdy base shape.

A share oddity of design using blu tac, which needs not look pretty to anyones eyes.

Well the tree base along with other stuff was cast up in Plaster of Paris. Yes they are Mushrooms!


                                                     Forming the bottom feet

Working out the branches from roughly the halfway point showing 2 wires twisted together.

                                                       Twisting the feet.

Well after 5minutes the wire part of the tree is nearly finished.

5 pieces of folded up wire were added  to five branches.

 No measurements was required just judging the work by eye.

The wire was positioned across each branch which now makes two wires either side to be twisted together this twisting tightens each wire placed and in this way a soldering iron is not needed.

 So after working around the tree each branch now has four wires.

Placing it in my hand loosely allowed it to be tugged with the other hand and this pushed the wire into a more compact  form.

The little tree,needed a little trimming at this point,and the size comparison with the teaspoon was to my liking. It is those single wire pieces on the ends of each branch that supported the canopy later.

Along side the first one,there stands the second little tree awaiting the casting up.  Making sure the armature is free standing means the base can be filled and then the tree can be pushed into the mix and left free standing. Leaving the tree half complete,but the easier half was to come later.

                       One cannot make stuff without making a mess and I believe in showing it.

  From the start of cutting the wire to the base pouring 10 minutes tops.  _______________ Magic!

The ends of the wire was to be rounded over at this point making it safer to handle without all that sharp end wire to impale and scratch.

                                     FORMING THE CANOPY OF THE TREE

Below are pictures I used before on how to make simple tree`s? So they have saved me time by not re-shooting again,i decided to use the same stuff on those trees above and it will form a nice light canopy. I like to use materials that are cheap and easily available in bulk like those below.

                                                            It tears off easy in a strip.

                                       This forms enough twiggy foundation on the wire.

           It is something that does not require heaps of it to help form a good looking tree.
The leftover sponge can be used on other projects like long hedges so there is no waste.


There are lots of ways I do my hedges and I dreamed this one up a few years back.

Using the left over sponge.

The sponge was cut into halves, and a few minutes were spent picking out tiny pieces,which were saved for other projects.

An easy way to shape the sponge hedge.

By pushing in a length of wire through the entire length.

A corner is made to the hedge. ( The little fellow is one of mine made with wire and P V A  Glue.)
Emulsion Paint does just fine,and when dry it will harden nicely. I find neat paint without water mixed in it ,is the best  way to paint sponges because there is no need to soak the work. I remember the nice sunny day when I placed the entire work outside to dry. The plucked out pieces where used elsewhere for vegetation of lots of kinds.  So there is  no waste at all.

Another Tree

This tree was actually designed to lean forward. 

The same tree after casting up.

The ends of the wire bent and rounded over for safety. This will not notice later. This tree being larger than the others took an hour to reach this stage. Rounding the edges takes time but is better done than left.  I have made five of these wire tree`s, and the next stage is applying plaster to the tree. However Plaster of Paris goes off very quick and so I mix PVA Glue, Washing up Liquid  and water. This combination acts as a plasticizer which means I have lots of time to complete the next stage that I will show later.

                                                     END OF PART ONE

             Thank you for viewing I hope you find time for part two?  BB

                                                           PART TWO

                                                         Welcome Back.

Plaster of Paris fresh mixed up and still runny, and one table spoonful of PVA Glue, A good Squirt of Washing Up Liquid. This all mixed up in the Yogurt Tub. The mixture is laid on by the brush and dries in just a few minutes. The mixture will not go hard in the plastic tub, and it is day five and I`m still using it for adding to all the tree`s including adding roots on the bases of the plaster cast ones on the table.

Like setting out a Chees Board, the formal straight lines are broken up,by other tree`s placed that creates 9`s, 7,s ,5,s and 3`s,and even the 5 wire tree`s are placed with yes three houses.

 This is only an illustration to show how these will suit well within the HO OO Scale I work in.

There are many tree`s in Fiddle Wood where I live, some are craggy old and split by wind damage others tall and branched out as if having hands with twisted fingers trying to catch the clouds as they pass them by. Like I mentioned before these are just abstract tree`s, but yes inspiration is certainly gleaned happy head first in magic style from real tree`s,along with pictures of them.

I have coated and raised the plasterwork five times,and it has now reached the point along with all the other twisted hobbit like tree`s, that are  off now onto the  painting production line. Now I never know what or how each will look with colour added. Some add colour to the plaster but i prefer to ? ????? I`ll explain later.  Thanks for looking. BB

                                                      END OF PART TWO