River Wissey Lovell Fuller

What does the Doctor think in September?

September 2014

As I write this, I am watching our ten month old grandchild scratching his forehead with his left big toe and marvelling at his flexibility. Also, today (August 6th, 2014) son Duncan and his wife Clare produced our 18th grandchild, a boy called James Ian Nisbet. My Dad was James and I am Ian so we are delighted and flattered by their choice of names. All went well in a birthing pool at home in Liverpool. Apparently, it is all on Facebook but Deannie and I are not really into all this social media stuff so we shall just have to imagine the scene – much better that way. In all my career, I have never seen a “pretty” delivery – they usually involve blood, tears and a variety of other bodily fluids and waste. Needless to say, the baby is perfect.

Head Office and I spent a few days in London, staying at the Royal Victoria Dock near the Excel and O2 arenas and opposite the Emirates cable car across the Thames. I chose the hotel because the Docklands Light Railway station is next door. We arrived to discover that the branch line in question was closed for the weekend. Hey Ho! The hotel provided a good breakfast and, one morning, we watched a lady from the Orient return to her table with a cup of coffee and look for the sugar. Spotting the salt grinder, she wondered whether it might contain sugar, picked it up, licked the bottom, discovered it was salt and replaced it on the table. We had a quiet word with the waitress! One of the purposes of our trip to London was to attend a sketching course for beginners at the Victoria and Albert Museum. For me, a picture has to look remarkably like a photograph to be any good (Google Reg Siger, watercolour artist, to see what I mean). I was hoping to draw cottages and learn about perspective.

We joined a small group at the V&A and a very charming lady turned up and sat us around a fountain for an introductory chat about natural light, reflected light, shade, etc. We were then given 2 hours to sit around a statue on a plinth and draw him. The statue was of Banovic Strahinja, made in 1908 by Ivan Mestrovic. Banovic had an amazing abdominal six-pack, excellent for demonstrating shade and reflected light. On the down side, he had suffered amputation of both his arms, he had been decapitated and his legs had been cut off just below the buttocks. Apart from that, he was fine! (Reminds me of the bloke who had a terrible accident and lost his left arm, left leg and the left half of his abdomen. He spent 8 weeks in hospital, recovering, and he is all right now – Boom Boom!)

Next, we had 15 minutes to draw a statue (one of the angels built for Wolsey's tomb in 1524, sold away by Henry VIII and reunited with its fellows at the V&A in 2014). Next, there was 15 minutes to do a left handed drawing of the tombstone of Antonio and Caterina Maggi da Bassano (1520) and, after an excellent Turkish lunch, I had two hours to draw Clytic, an ocean nymph from Roman mythology who turned into a sunflower. She was crafted in 1868 by George Watts. Not to put too fine a point on it, we had the head and shoulders of a lady, with her head thrown out backwards and sideways, her bosoms thrown out forwards and both her arms chopped off six inches below the shoulders. This torso was sitting in a sort of vase, possibly a lily pad, and was fiendishly difficult to draw. I have the evidence!

The teacher was brilliant – she saw good in everything! My horse looked like a camel, but had “a magnificent, striking face” and so on. I have bought a book about drawing the sort of stuff I would like to draw.

The jokes have been a bit thin on the ground recently so, here we go:

A doctor was listening to a man's chest with a stethoscope. The man asked “How do I stand?”  “I dunno, replied the doctor, that's what I'm trying to work out”. He gave the man 6 months to live but the man couldn't pay his bill, so the doctor gave him another six months. The doctor rang another patient and said “Your cheque has returned”  “Yes”, she said “So has my arthritis”. “Doctor, I've got ringing in my ears”  “Whatever you do, don't answer”.

A drunk was brought before a judge. “You have been brought to this court for drinking” “OK, let's get started”

Sammy was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his ill father died, he decided he needed to find a wife with whom to share his fortune. One evening, at an investment meeting , he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary guy," he said to her, "But in just a few months my father will die and I will inherit £200 million." Impressed, the woman asked for his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother. Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers. I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric the 11 year old next door,whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and asked him to come over.Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away,I called after him, 'So, what was wrong? He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.' I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless enquired, 'An,ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.' Eric grinned...'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before? 'No,' I replied. 'Write it down,' he said' and I think you'll work it out.' So I wrote down:  ID10T.   I used to like Eric.

Two sharks eyeing up a scuba diver “Don't eat the hard bit on his back – It'll give you terrible wind”

Finally, try this – While sitting in an upright chair, lift your right foot off the floor and circle it clockwise. Then, with your right hand, make a figure six in the air. Your foot will change movement to anticlockwise. Keep trying to make your foot win – I'll bet you cannot!                    Best wishes to you all – Ian Nisbet

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