I’ve known Renita for a while now. Originally from America, Renita now lives in Wigtown, which the book town in Scotland, with the most stunning views across the estuary. When I’ve performed at the festival, the children have all been whipped up to a frenzy by Renita, who welcomes them in and “settles them down” [...]
Tag: Natural History
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get out a bit more. That is to get out of the studio and stretch my legs a bit. I’m sure it’s not good to sit hunched over a desk all day.
Now that I’ve been CRBeed, I feel okay going off for a walk in the woods on my own. If I wait for everyone to decide if they are coming and get themselves togged up, it’s not worth going in the first place. So I’ve decided that going for a walk is part of my job description.
To those of you who go to work, this may sound a bit self-indulgent, you do at least leave the house once a day. We who work at home start in the morning in our pyjamas and finish the day with our laptops in bed, feeling that we probably haven’t worked hard enough in the day.
The only way to get out for a bit is to make it part of the job. So I will take my camera and see if I can find interesting things along the way. That makes the walk proper work.
Of course that doesn’t stop people treating you suspiciously as a lone walker in a very suspicious hat without a dog. But hey! I’m working – so now I don’t care what they think. Isn’t positive thinking an amazing thing?
Anyway, It was cold today and I found these wonderful frozen puddles for your joy and delectation.
Yes, another youTube drawing lesson. I was asked to do this and thought it might be difficult. It turned out a lot easier than I thought.
I had my Annual walk with my friend, the crime fiction author, Andrew Taylor, yesterday. We over do it once a year and today I’m feeling a little stiff. We must have walked ten miles or so.
Starting out just below Staunton, in the Forest of Dean, we walked up to the Kymin Naval Temple that looks down on Monmouth, where we headed for lunch in a pub. I don’t know what the people next to us were eating, but I’m not sure it was dead! Made my stomach feel a little heavy as we headed off upstream along the river Wye footpath.
It was glorious, the beech and the oak turning a riot of autumn colours. We stopped into the tiny Dixton Church for a look around. It seemed to be inhabited mostly by the Griffin Griffin Family who sound like they should be put into a book. A new, carved oak organ loft has been put in, at some expense, I should think, It’s a bit fab and ready to last another 500 years or so – if the floods don’t get it first.
We crossed back over the river on the Biblins Footbridge, which is very squeeky, swayey and I’m a celebrity get me out of here-ish. It was getting late by this stage and we hightailed it back up to Staunton. Luckily Andy’s sense of direction was perfect. we went past the Suckstone, an enormous slab that looks like a crashed spaceship, and the wonderfully named Far Harkening, a cliff that, I imagine, acts as an amplifier when calling across the valley.
As ever, we resolved not to leave it so long next time. We do have a route planned for next time, so maybe we will do it sooner rather than later.
Please vote for the Pink Car Rally coach to win the bling my coach competition by voting for them here
The Pink Car Rally is in aid of a fledgling children’s charity, called the Little Princess Trust, which provides children who have lost their hair (primarily through cancer treatments) with ‘real hair’ wigs. If we win this competition, we can take 49 pink passengers on the coach and if each one raised an average of £50 Sponsorship, we could raise in the region of £2500 for the charity!! How fantastic would that be? It means that the charity could provide wigs for 8 more children!! We NEED to win!! Please help us…..
Please look at the short film, which is introduced by Gail Porter, on the Little Princess Trust’s website (www.littleprincesses.org.uk) It tells the story of how the charity helped Melissa….
The Lifeboat guys were practicing holding their position in the waves, sending diesel fumes across the beach. Mmm! The strand was thin and not very interesting, but I did find this little bit of seaweed beautifully arranged for a photo.
It’s such a different place in the autumn. In the Summer months the beach teams with life and ice creams and sandcastles and jetskiers and paragliders – pretty quiet today.
It was glorious. Not a soul around and a whole wild and wooly wood to myself – except for the sheep, but coming from the Forest of Dean, I can handle them!
I just had to share this. Coming back from a wedding in the New Forest this weekend, I was blinded in the gloom, by this incredible field of poppies, high up on a ridge in Compton Abbas, Wiltshire. Apparently, According the the couple I talked to there, it has been featured in the Telegraph.
I calmly asked my wife if we could stop, as we zoomed by. Luckily there was no one behind us and there was a convenient parking place for walkers.
So glad we saw it.
Yay! I suppose it’s a bit of a milestone – My online Drawing school has clocked up over 5,000 plays now. Okay, it’s not as popular as that sneezing panda on YouTube, but I’m quietly pleased. These aren’t just hits, but people watching and interacting. I’d like to do a whole lot more, but I never do seem to have the time. Here’s the latest for you.
I just came across this photo that I took on holiday in Greece, this summer. He must have very recently got away from what ever it was that nearly got him!
I just heard a bit of kerfuffling on the roof of my studio. This is usually either cats, squirrels or blackbirds looking for grubs in the leaf litter. A minute later I was distracted by a movement outside my window. A squirrel clung to the trunk of the willow tree, that is about twenty five feet away. It was flicking it’s tail as if to get my attention. Then I saw it was carrying two apples in its mouth, arranged beautifully, like a puffin arranges its fish.
I scrabbled around, looking for my camera, telling it to stay still for just one more moment. The camera does not zoom that far, but by cropping and enlarging in photoshop, you can see what he was up to. Once I’d got the shot, he shook his tail and disappeared.
The birds have been acting strangely this morning too. Flitting around the pond in an agitated state – mostly tits and dunnocks that have been invisible all summer. It must be the equinox – a message has been triggered in their brains. “Get ready for winter!”