This fine frame is a 1980s Cougar built by Terry Dolan in Liverpool, now simply known as Dolan Bikes. Today this British bicycle manufacturer is well known for their track racing bicycles ridden by some of the UK’s best known cycling talent from Bradley Wiggins to Mark Cavendish.
A good range of easy-to-use gears and lightweight quality quick-release wheels makes for a fun and responsive retro ride. If you are a small rider looking for a compact steel racing machine for Eroica then look no further.
I will work slowly and take my time as always, this frame is a massive part of British bicycle manufacturing history, I cannot wait to get her restored and back on the road again
It is almost a year since I posted here on my blog but there has been a great reason why not 🙂
The bike above was finished my myself, four weeks ago and has been stripped down completely with new components, new paintwork and a full road safety check. I love every moment of this build…..
I have spent the last year studying a full-time city and guilds engineering course in county Kilkenny and it has been one of the most amazing years of my life 🙂
This time last year I was on a cycling holiday in county Mayo, at that stage Covid was just coming to an end as far as a lot of public restrictions were concerned. However, I knew I needed to make a change in my life, so a looked for a new training course and found one that was the course of my dreams.
I have always loved the Bicycle as a form of transport and fully believe in its future, in fact, I feel strongly that the bicycle will play an ever-growing role in returning our environment to normality.
The course has lived up to every one of my expectations and in many ways has exceeded them.
Here is a list of all subjects included
Bicycle maintenance, including full bike disassembly and reassembly
Math and Geometry
Steel bicycle frame building
Bike CAD and bike Geometry
And many many more subjects
Leading a Winner Team for a bike build and business plan project 🙂
I will add a Gallary of images below, It has been a very intensive course with in all fourteen exams, overall I passed with a Distinction and was over the moon with both the result and the course.
I am currently reviewing my options but would love to take up a full role in adding my new skills to an industry I fully support and love.
A Short Story of Falling – Alice Oswald
It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again
it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower
and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows green and momentary
is one of water’s wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnail
if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through a plume of grass
to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind of lifting rain drip
then I might know like water how to balance
the weight of hope against the light of patience
water which is so raw so earthy-strong
and lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks along
drawn under gravity towards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work of this song
which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light and falls again
ThomasTown train station and the Kilkenny to Thomastown rail line, part of the Waterford and Kilkenny Railway, opened on 12 May 1848; it was subsequently extended from Thomastown to Jerpoint Hill, opening on 29 May 1850. These days there are only three or four trains stopping here each day with a direct links to Waterford City and Dublin Heuston stations.
I captured this image on a walk around the ThomasTown area last weekend, the signal box in the picture is located on the far side from the now only public used platform, their is only a single rail line passing through the station these days. There was only a single car parted in the larg car park on this Sunday afternoon with the two of us being the only Humans to be found, the atmosphere here felt ghostly and isolated, with great weather for a series of moody black and white images.
I took many black and white images and I am working on the rest during this week, I will post an image Gallery before next weekend. This image was taken using My much loved Nikon Coolpix A , These cameras have become very hard to find, I had to wait many years before finding one in good condition at a very good price, finding one for sale in Dublin. The images it can produces are high quality and its a perfect walk around camera for location studies.
The image Is processed using Raw Image Processor RawTherapee , this is a Linux version of the application that I have been using for sometime now, I find its one of the best programs for my Black and White image processing Style.
A wanderer, I explore grasses high as my knees
Far away, grey foam breaks from the stiff seabreeze
To my left, a stark mountain frames the sky
My tireless bare feet follow memories nearby
As I inhale familiarity, my heartbeat slows
And earthy remembrance kneads through my toes
I’m not scared as blossoming storm clouds appear
For I remember what happened when I was actually here
Nostalgic breaths of wind soon whip at my face
Surrounded by vastness, this awe I embrace
To a place lost in time, I’m fervently drawn
Funny how you can only miss something when it’s gone
Fabrizia Mugnatto Dec 2016
The river has a silver string that runs its length,
holds it to a source in the mountains.
The river cradles its corded muscles of water
between high banks, giving the banks no thought
as it bites them with eddies,
eroding their lower flanks.
River thinks it is only water and the gristle
of currents, hay stacking surfaces
and deep, bellowing falls
running for the sea, though
it does not know it is there.
River should take more care of its banks.
Banks are what hold it a river, give
direction, keep it mitering downward.
Without banks, river loses its way,
becomes a swamp and stills.
All my life I have chafed at river banks,
fighting to spread my currents
in whatever turn needed exploring.
The high song of freedom seemed
to be a music of ‘no banks’,
and yet the whole joy of rivers is pushing,
etching the banks to join the flow,
but having them hold.
My childhood was spend in Altrincham, greater Manchester, towards the end of hundreds of years of history lived within the Industrial age. I can just about remember the look of the towns industry parks like broadheath near the bridgewater canal, that passed through our town on its way into the city of Manchester.
I have been working on a personal art project for about the last twelve months, working mainly with charcoal on paper, I felt that charcoal was the perfect medium to work with as I can remember just how black these places looked as a result of the smoke created from the burning of coal used to create the energy needed to drive the factory machine.
This week I have moved onto creating a series of images painted onto timber boards, using black Acrylic ink. The boards I am using have a great pink and red feel to them and they also have a fantastic horizontal grain that adds a very likeable texture to the finished work! At first I was considering painting the board with a white under painted ground, In the end I made a great choice (I feel) in just painting directly onto the timber.
I intend now to work on a good collection of these boards, working with many different compositions, talking of which I feel this subject is all about composition and I am learning a lot in this area by doing this work, treating the factory buildings as shapes to be visually moved around in my mind, overlapping them and working them into a valuable depth from background to foreground, never letting any object rest and stand by itself until the ones that are the closest to the viewer…..
Following on from my last post, I have now completed a finished A2 sized Charcoal drawing based on the sketch work I posted two days ago.
I have very much enjoyed this process of working from sketchbook into a full sized drawing and I intend to use this method from now on …….
For sometime I have wanted to start sharing my charcoal and pencil figure drawings here on my blog, first however I wanted to get my drawing skills up-to a level I was truly happy with, I feel that I still have a lot of work to do in order to be consistent from drawing to drawing.
I am happy however to start sharing with people some of the drawings and painting I have been creating, this drawing was produced today , drawing as freely as possible and doing my best to make the minimum of marks needed to produce the finish work ……
I spent the early years of my life growing up in Altrincham in the greater Manchester area of northwest England. It was in these years, between the 1970’s and the late 1980’s that marked the end of the industrial age for the town.
This period left much of our local area with factories that became redundant and closed, some locations included empty land where factories once stood, a lot of these locations existed beside the Bridgewater canal.
I am currently working on a visual art project that is calling on my memories of these locations, working both digitally and with charcoal on paper, creating some compositions that reflect on this period of my life, places from my childhood. I am in my 50’s so this is not easy at times but I feel its a great exercise in visual storytelling…
I march this year I treated myself to a new Panasonic gx80, micro four thirds camera with an Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens. This kit is my first M/43 kit and so far I have been very pleased with the results produced by this little gem of a camera.
I have a long history of working with black and white photography going way back to using Ilford XP2 and HP5 film, loaded into a Nikon FM2. This medium sized sensor camera is the first digital compact camera I have owned that can and does reproduce the look and feel of these black and white films with its MONO-L shooting profiles.
This image of a barn on the land owned by some friends of ours, during a stay at the start of April, was taken in the early morning sunlight and is taken using a Cokin-P ND4 gradient filter to darken the sky so that the foreground of the image could be exposed as I wanted it to be. I also used this filter system to help me make as few adjustments as possible in post processing.
By what rude waves hast thou been tossed,
To gain this quiet beach?
What wide-spread waters hast thou crossed,
This peaceful shore to reach?
An awful secret dost thou tell
About the yawning deep,
That, while her billows war and swell,
They most profoundly keep.
Thou speakest of one whose weary frame
Has sought repose on thee;
But not of kindred, home, or name,
Sad outcast of the sea!
Thou giv’st no record of his birth,
No token of the clime,
Where he was last a child of earth,
Or when he passed from time.
And who must now, on some far shore,
Await the coming sail
Of him, they will behold no more
Till mortal sight shall fail?
For fearful things dost thou present
Before the spirit’s view;
The parting bark! the canvass rent!
The helpless, dying crew!
Of one dread scene the fatal whole,
In thought, I hear and see.
It chills my blood—it makes my soul
Grow sick to look at thee.
‘The seas must render up their dead!’
Is all thou dost reply;
While o’er thee, cold and restless bed,
The tide rolls proud and high!
The guilty deep is taking back
The witness of her wrath,
To bury it with every track
That marks its troubled path!
The midday sun glistened in the sea,
who would stand in the scorching sand,
Or get burned by the salty waves,
But there he was, a man
Frolicking, unafraid of the heat,
of the midday sun and it’s brilliant blaze,
He didn’t care for the sweet serenity,
of the dawn past, or the dusk to come
It was a dance, of a moth drawn to fire,
In solitude, for it was one’s goal alone,
A dark speck, that shined in the splendor,
It dashed towards a destiny, carved for those,
who dared to dance, where no one stood.
Carnivan beach, Fethard on sea, is on of my most loved beaches along the Irish coast line, located in county Wexford, it is simply stunning and offers a view along the coast towards hook head lighthouse.
A winter time art project, Digital painting created using a Wacom art tablet and taken from a photographic study of our local landscape and the Crows that have made it their winter home.
I feel today’s painting is a big step closer to the final paintings I am hoping to create, I like this composition much more than my last painting and I feel that I am now starting to represent the crows and the movement they create in our winter fields much better….
Coming through the dreaming and the real years
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore
I shall roll on and on, and break upon your lap with laughter
And no one in the world will know where we both are.
I will be like the breeze on the ocean waves
Drinking from the breasts of the ocean deep
Dew from the glistening morning weep
And each of its longing that daybreak craves.
From side to side grows each tubular wave
Each thinking that they catch me in its worth
They allow me to completely forget
What hour comes after this instant in time.
For painful is the oceans every wave
As it doesn’t let me to sit in peace
For the days which I have taken as lease
Are passing by and leaving me alone.
Weeping clouds drifting its moments in tears
I turn to face the dark black sea to mourn
From where I find no water to save
My soul from the sound of crashing waves.
Only in my illusory freedom amidst the universal chorus
The sun shining moods that flows around its spell
Why do human souls not sing as does the sea
Why does the east wind sigh?
From the earth up to the highest stars
Unanswered is my question to this very day
A voice lamenting in the wilderness
Leaves my soul protesting despairingly.