After retirement from work in 2010 it gave me more time to enjoy the hobbies and interests that I always had, but had little time to enjoy. Photography was a mainstay which goes way back to 1960's when I had several jobs ranging from darkroom work to commercial photography. It was the time when film cameras were the norm, colour in its infancy. Used such camera icons such as the Rollieflex twin lens reflex 2 1/4 square format, Leica 35mm, and the Linhoff Technica 5 x 4 sheet film cameras. An exciting time, but unfortunately not very well paid. Today I use a Lumix FZ200 digital camera which replaced my Canon 350D, the Lumix has an excellent Zeiss lens and is a joy to use. 

Gardening has kept me busy most of the year, always something to be done in the garden. A greenhouse gets used for tomatoes and the likes, which seem to do well. Pot plants are a favourite allowing you to add a great deal of colour to any corner, whether it be on the patio or round the borders. The down side to gardening is the constant weeding, which never ceases to amaze me how quick they sprout up. This year Canna Lillies were planted to see how they would fair and was impressed with this plant shown. Years back we had lawn to front and back gardens, but they were dated and soon there was more moss than grass, even after annual treatment to eliminate it. Now the grass lawns have long gone, after a lot of hard graft digging them up and now there are pebbles laid, I like the clean look of the pebbles and as a bonus don't have to spend half a year mowing, a good move methinks.

Bought myself a Dremel 4000 drill and attachments to help with another hobby of making coin rings, the old method was hard work but now with the Dremel much easier and quicker too. I use old pre-1920 silver UK coins, the example shown is an old shilling. The method I use is to use a ring gauge to draw a guide size on the face of the ring, then slowly hammer the rim of the coin with a ball pein hammer, making sure that the hammering is not too severe to distort the shape. Slowly peining the rim edges over leaves the coin details intact. When the hammering work has been completed to the size required, I used to use a large drill bit to drill out the centre, but now I drill a small hole and using a jewellers saw, take out the centre easily. The Dremel finishes off the rough interior which is then polished up with several grades of emery paper, checking with a ring gauge to make sure the fit is as intended. Finally after all is smoothed out, a polish with Metal polish to give a nice shine to the ring. Next project is to use up the left over silver bits, not sure what I will make yet, but will dream up something. I have some silver solder and a micro torch which am sure will be put to use.

Graphic work using the wide variety of ink jet printing paper available, has seen me making vinyl stickers, badges and the likes and has many uses, some which I have still to find. Transfer papers are another thing I have worked with, making customized T-Shirt designs which are durable as I have found out, after many washes, some of my own designs have lasted without fading. One thing to look out for when using vinyl paper is that you get two choices, clear and white, clear is fine for any design that does not have white in it. I have also used Decal papers, the same applies when using them, pretty obvious when you work out that you can't print white with an ink jet printer.

Recently got back into aircraft modelling, something I used to love doing as a teenager and sadly forgotten about. My obsession with the English Electric Lightning changed all that and now have two of these 1:48 scale Airfix models, one which was a birthday present and the other to accompany it on my display shelf. Was quite surprised at how the basic tools of this hobby had changed, gone are the metal tubes of glue that seemed to have a mind of their own when dispensing, and now liquid cement with a needle nozzle for great accuracy, a great improvement. One thing I did notice was the price of these little tins of Humbrol paint, quite expensive now, and of course had to restock with every colour I needed, which was a lot.

Website Design and being webmaster to several sites keeps me busy too. Have been doing this as a hobby for may years, having done a few IT courses that involved html and the creation of websites. An enjoyable pastime which keeps the old gray cells active and always finding new ways to do things. I was first introduced to computers back in 70's and found the challenges of these early days exciting, MS Dos, Windows, Linux and a whole host of others long forgotten. Apart from this site the one I did previously was for a friend who wanted a web presence as a point of contact for her Canal Mooring business, just a single page site, but looking at the visitors it has had, well worth the effort. In conclusion I have found retirement to my liking, lots of things to do and to do them when I want. There are many more interests I could list here, but this is just a list of the obvious ones.

I would welcome any feedback on the site, and will answer any questions you may have, just  Email me