Jeff Kirkhouse – an artist

Off the wall – well, at least that’s the way I put it, author ‘an all. I was at an Art Exhibition in Mumbles the other day, the artist was Jeff Kirkhouse. Landscapes everywhere. Cityscapes and all in sundry including landscapes of Gower – plenty of these to keep the Swanseaites happy!

I wandered around staring at all the pictures and I must say I was hooked – I’ve got a few of them on my wall and bought a couple more. I gave Gower a miss and bought two of God knows where for the Matron – I thought it was gracious gesture and showed how much I love her. Fat chance of this, she said they were inspiring and that’s it. Well, that’s the Matron for you (actually she was very happy but that’s not the point, this is a newspaper so take it or leave it!).

A woman seems to be in the background for Jeff too. Married for a good many years and supportive when it counts – good on him! He also does teaching all around Swansea, my wife had a go at one of these workshops but gave it up on account of no talent, she prefers the caring of old ‘uns than trying to paint. It’s all in the brush stroke, that’s my take on it anyway.

So what did I think of it all? It’s not the first Art Exhibition I’ve been too. I was reminded of similar in Vienna and Italy and many more. When you go into these galleries it’s a mission of exposure, of being touched. The white walls are given light, expression. It is a balance of reality messing around with fantasy. It draws you in and spits you out. The artist uses his paintbrush to play with your senses, it is a course of endeavour that ultimately hits the right spot.

Jeff Kirkhouse managed these things in an air of caring for the people he paints for. Art, whether it be brush work or writing, is an adventure in trying to bring people on your side. He has done this and my congratulations to him.

More of the same and I am sure that we will be all better off for it – far better off than all the politicians we have anyway!



Sleep. Here’s something to grind your teeth on! Insomnia, waking up after a short sleep, not sleeping at all etc. It’s a heaven sent opportunity to, well if you’re someone who likes ‘moaning’ about things and there’s an awful to get your knickers in a twist at the moment! Brexit, the NHS, ageing and so much more. But let’s stick with the ‘sleeping’ business.

Despite being involved in an argument with a car engine a couple of years ago, I have never had any problems with sleep. Never anxious, never worried about things and so on (of course I have, but that’s beside the point, this is a newspaper so I’ll exaggerate to keep you all enlightened!). It’s been a fine night’s sleep and no kidding. But here’s the thing, after having my leg smashed up and brain surgery after the accident, sleeping has become a figment of my imagination. In fact day has turned into night and everything in between is just a blur – this could be described as a good thing because I don’t have to put up with my wife nagging me all the time. There’s something beneficial to altering one’s sleep patterns isn’t there?

I have tried the sleep clinics, doctors and so on. I have taken sleeping drugs and all the other unmentionables and guess what?

No joy.

The brain being disjointed and shoved over to the other side of my head is the cause and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Hard luck Ruck and you just have to live with it. Fair enough is my personal view, I just missed  saying ‘Hello’ to whatever God is out there and I’m still here scribbling just to annoy – remarkable  how some things stay intact isn’t it?

The brain has to switch off now and again and all I can say to anyone who has problems with sleeping, try going to bed at the same time every night, don’t drink caffeine (alcohol is out) or smoke and don’t bother with anything that may cause upset. If you can manage any of these thing then the future is bright.

Otherwise, the doctors, the sleeping specialists and the consultants are all a waste of time and you would probably better off living life like me and scribbling a bit – well, you can watch the TV but this is ill-advised too. Too mind occupying!