What a fabulous watercolour. I also love your sharing of your life's experiences!

Sorry about that Michael. Lovely watercolour.

Very well painted, Michael, I like the choise of colours.

Thanks Gudrun, Henry and Cesare.

Intimacy in the ranks? but so what if it creates work as good as this and gets you sorted out.

Paljon kiitoksia Satu. Thanks Derek.

Are you a secret Finn Michael?

Nicely drawn and an intertesting story behind the drawing.

ei oikeastaan Satu. Just a Googler. Thanks Ivan. My sense of humour can be a bit weird too.

You poor love, I bet it was awful for you Michael! I must say she looks very shy and demure in your painting.....although the verbal picture you have painted of her, she sounds anything Remember, you were one of the 'Band of Brother's'. All that aside Michael, she has a great shape and tonal form. Can't wait to meet the rest!!

Thanks Fiona. I knew you would understand. Yes, this isn't Melanie's usual assertive pose. This was the moment I'd told her it was all over. Note the clinging mini dress of the 60s. I hope to publish some more but as you will understand, these memories are painful. I still see the band of brothers you know. Every couple of months the North East handlers get together in Weatherspoons at midday - alternatively Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough. The stories abound. In the navy they say you're 'swinging the lights'. Jolly Jack forever.

Wow Michael, sounds like you had a lucky escape, ... But looks like a loss lol...oh well back to art, I like the piece it creates an atmospheric work...

Thanks Alan. I was very fit at 18 but we all have our limits.

That must have been a huge disappointment to you Michael!! Yes she does look very bonny.

It was Adele but it was a very long time ago. Sometimes I think I'm only imagining it. Surely not.

I know the feeling Michael, as an ex paratrooper myself, I sweat these days just thinking what I used to do lol...

It's all coming back to haunt me Alan. Goodness knows what it must have been like for a paratrooper! The truth is Alan, I embellish and dramatise these days. It appeals to my sense of humour and puts a bit of fun into my diminished world. There I go again.

Hang on Studio Wall

Watercolour. Melanie was a Chief Petty Officer who took a shine to me at Royal Naval Airstation Culdrose in 1965. I was a young recruit and felt I had to do what she told me. She was a muscular woman and a fanatical keep fit follower. She insisted I take part in her regime but I wasn't quite as physical as her. After 6 months the relationship ended when I suffered physical exhaustion and a mild nervous breakdown. I eventually recovered and was able to progress in my career as an aircraft handler.

About the Artist
Michael Mcmanus

I was born in 1946. In the 1960s and part of the 70s I was an airman in the Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm. I joined Durham Constabulary in 1971. In 1999 I retired from policing and began teaching sociology and criminology at Durham University with emphasis on policing and researching crime. I've just…

View full profile
More by Michael Mcmanus