Welcome to the Duck House

Quack!Welcome to the website of Chip the Duck. No part of this site has been the subject of an expense claim from the taxpayer, unlike this duck house.
On these pages you’ll find information and links relating to my favourite interests and activities. In no particular order these are Sir Peter Viggers’ Duck House purchased with UK taxpayers’ money, EU Corruption and Dictatorship centred on Brussels (not a problem for too much longer), Geocaching, Portsmouth FC, Good Quality Street Art (not scrawled graffiti), Setting & Solving Puzzles, Sea Fishing, Photography, Ducks in general, all things Portuguese (I split my time between England and Portugal) plus some other stuff.

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The Witless of Westminster

A couple of minutes listening to Prime Minister’s Questions demonstrates that intelligence is at a premium at Westminster. But now it seems to have deserted our parliament completely.

A majority of MPs have voted to prevent No Deal, or more accurately leaving the EU on WTO terms (that stands for World Trade Organisation, not Westminster Takes Over).

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence realises that you cannot legislate against something NOT happening. The only way to stop something not happening is to make it happen. Only if there is a radical change in the EU’s stance, influenced by new blood at Brussels following the EU election, can a deal happen – currently they will not negotiate and will only accept May’s Brino proposal which has been rejected by MPs on 3 occasions.

So we have stalemate, and that’s illegal according to our leaders.

Led by donkeys!

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Where has all the Money Gone?

OK, UK taxpayers DON’T GIVE £350 million a week to the EU because they get some back, but they still GIVE £200 million net every week. And the UK isn’t the biggest contributor – we come third.

The EU then LEND it to Greece, Portugal, Italy etc  – and charge them interest.

So how come the EU is skint and still has to print money? Surely Juncker and Tusk can’t earn that much!

I smell brown envelopes. Very big brown envelopes, also known as corruption on a grand scale. Hardly surprising that the EU’s accounts have failed audit every year for more than 20 years.

So if anyone wants to give me regular gifts of money so that I can start a banking business just drop me a line.

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A Great Institution – Once!

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Lagos Urban Art 2018 – ARTURb

September saw the annual gathering of European street artists in Lagos, Portugal. As in previous years there are several new examples on the streets, although this year there was greater emphasis on creating works in the old town jail which is the extensive creative space of LAC, the arts laboratory that organises the event.

The jail itself is chilling, especially the solitary confinement cell – no snooker tables or satellite TV were available to prisoners here.

It is less than 3 metres square with a tiny barred window and a concrete slab for a bed. Pisa 73, who is “Making Street Art Great Again” in keeping with Donald Trump’s sentiments, painted the cell black and then added stencilled marks to count off the days and a grim message.My favourite of this year’s artists was B-Toy from Barcelona, the only female artist in the group, who produced a number of impressive portraits including this depiction of Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra which you will find on a wall near the Financas office (the taxman!).

Here it is shown part finished and complete.

Below are some of B-Toy’s other portraits which are hanging in the jail. Mia Farrow is instantly recognisable – the others are all famous murder victims.

Polish artist Czarnobyl participated last year and returned to produce a “meat sculpture” which was stencilled on to thick carpet using spray paint. He then painstakingly cut out the carcasses and hung them in a gallery at the jail.RMYR (René Meyer from Germany) was the youngest invited artist and is developing his own style using overlaid stencils. You can find a number of his geometric patterns on the streets and a stunning 3D work in the jail. Here he is seen cutting stencils from plastic sheets for a finished work on an electricity sub station in the parking area near the new Camara (council) offices in Lagos.

Also from Germany are a two man team calling themselves Monstfur. They built an elaborate sculpture including the skeleton of a red painted boat suspended in the jail’s exercise yard and a statement about Salazar, the former dictator who ruled Portugal.

Finally Stefan Winterle produced various pieces using recycled signs as a starting point.

The jail is open from 2.00 to 7.00 Wednesday to Saturday for viewing until 3rd November.  Admission is free and without appointment and you can take photos of the many exhibits including those featured here. Some items are available to purchase although several of the works are applied directly to the walls and will be overpainted next year.

The people who make up LAC are an enthusiastic and friendly bunch so I am sure they will let you view the exhibition after 3rd November if you give them a call first.

LAC – Laboratório de Actividades Criativas    Tel 282 084 959
Rua Largo do Convento de Nossa Sra. Da Glória (the old jail), 8600-660 Lagos 

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Brexit Betrayal

I have sent the email below to my MP Bob Blackman, who supports leaving the EU and Hard Brexit, as do I.

“Dear Bob

Thank you for representing me so ably at Westminster and for responding to correspondence honestly and promptly.

If my vote at future elections was “for the person” I would have no hesitation in continuing to vote for you. However, as you know, whilst you represent a political party I will be voting “for the party”, not the man.

I generally support Conservative policies, especially economic ones, and abhor Labour but the U-turn on Brexit policy (Brexit does not mean Brexit any more) has persuaded me that the party now shows contempt for true democracy: the democracy of the referendum.

I must therefore, very reluctantly, advise that unless there is a significant move in Conservative policy towards a clean break from the EU, I will not be able to vote for you again. I feel betrayed.

Of course, should you decide to represent another party committed to complete withdrawal from the EU or reversion to the arrangements we originally voted for some 40 years ago, then I would be delighted and you would be assured of my future votes.

Many thanks for your support, especially in trying to achieve a hard Brexit and fighting for Equitable Life policyholders.”

Sad that democracy means nothing in Britain today.

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Lagos Street Art 2017 – Part 2

If you live in the Algarve region of Portugal you may have come across the street art in and around Lagos, or seen articles and images in the Tomorrow Algarve magazine.

The huge mural by Mister Thoms featured in my last post is my favourite of this year’s works, but there are lots of other quality pieces in the streets and in the old town jail.

The Old Jail

The programme entitled ARTURb is sponsored each year by Laboratório de Actividades Criativas (LAC)  who are based in the town’s former jail at Rua Largo do Convento de Nossa Sra. Da Glória in Lagos (we love long street names). The internal walls of the jail are painted white each August to prepare them as “canvases” for the visiting artists who are ably assisted by Jorge Pereira, LAC’s resident artist.

This year the artists were:

Czarnobyl from Poland who works entirely using stencils and spray paint and belongs to a group of artists working in Berlin. The blue android was created from a dozen layers each using different stencils and can be found in Rua Alvaro Esteves in the Santo Amaro area of Lagos. The stencils are prepared in advance so this work took less than a morning to complete on site. He has a website at stencil-spray.de

Er’naste Nasimo – This reclining figure is the work of Er’naste Nasimo and can be found near Pepper’s bar in Rua Soeiro da Costa in the old town. Er’naste travelled from his home in Bulgaria to demonstrate his style of street art. All street art sites are agreed with Lagos Camara (Council) and permission obtained from the owners of the walls in advance. Er’naste’s website is at nasimo.org

Jorge Charrua specialises in portraits and produced several canvases for exhibition in the old jail before hitting the streets to produce the portrait shown here on an electricity sub-station in Rua da Ameijeira. This work was produced using ordinary household silk finish emulsion applied with brush and rollers. More at www.instagram.com/jorgecharrua1

Kruella D’Enfer– The above images were all shot in the street but Kruella from Lisbon,  who specialises in colourful 3D art, produced the most poignant work inside the jail. It is contained in the solitary confinement cell and is a chilling contrast between a fantasy parkland landscape and the stark bars of the tiny windowless concrete cell. Her website is at www.kruelladenfer.com/

In addition to Kruella, each of the artists contributed to the “Jail Project” by producing  sculptures and paintings on and in the jail. Here are some examples each with the artist’s name.

Mister Thoms

Mister Thoms

A Rusty Toolbox from Mister Thoms




Jorge Churrua

The Artists with LAC Staff

Whilst the jail is not manned permanently, you will find it open most weekdays and, from experience, you will warmly welcomed and allowed to view the art free of charge. It’s perhaps best to telephone first on 00351 282 084 959.

There is an ARTURb website featuring some of the works by Jorge Pereira, the resident LAC artist, with links to all the artists participating since the programme began in 2011 which is well worth investigating. Far better to visit LAC if you are ever in the Algarve.

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Lagos Street Art – 2017

Followers of my occasional blog will know that I have an interest in street art, particularly around Lagos (in Portugal, not the Nigerian one). In conjunction with the local council, LAC (Lagos’ arts laboratory) invites artists from around Europe to join local artists in painting walls around the town. They also paint the inside of the old town jail which happens to be LAC’s HQ.

Each year I produce articles for the Western Algarve’s English language monthly magazine, Tomorrow, and will reproduce the images here, with perhaps a few extra, starting with the feature on Italian artist Mister Thoms who produced this year’s most spectacular piece of street art.  It was created over 4 days using a cherry picker, brushes, paint rollers and a lot of paint! His website is well worth a visit: www.thoms.it

Here are some shots taken whilst he was working.

Mister Thoms from Rome (real name Diego Della Posta) has been producing urban art for 20 years and, true to the Italian stereotype, he passed the time happily singing operatic arias as he applied the paint through the heat of the day. Not everyone is delighted with the transformation; one neighbour complained that she had to look at it every day, but most view it as an improvement on a blank wall covered in scrawled “tags” (signatures) as low grade graffiti is all too common in Portugal.

The finished masterpiece  entitled “Don’t Take the Bait” makes a statement about the dangers of social media and can be viewed on the side of a building close to Os Lambertos restaurant in the new town.

Further info: LAC – Laboratório de Actividades Criativas    Tel 00351 282 084 959
Rua Largo do Convento de Nossa Sra. Da Glória (the old jail), 8600-660 Lagos 

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