Random tree


Photo taken last Thursday in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Spreading sideways, this tree seems to have had a haircut leaving all the horizontal branches but nothing hanging down. Also it’s still got a lot of leaves where the trees next to it are just about bare. It’s random because it’s just a street tree, the fence and road and car don’t really enhance the picture. It is all about horizontals I guess.

Last year


Or was it the year before? We went to see a play at Spode, another by Debbie McAndrew, probably Hot Lane. There was a car from the 1950’s as part of the set up. It was parked in the pathway between some of the buildings at the Spode Site. I took a picture of it and decided to make it look more authentic by turning it into a black and white photo.

I like monochrome pictures, they can be more atmospheric. I hope you like it.


When I start I can’t stop….


Another start, luckily I don’t need a starter handle to get going. Something switches on in my head and I suddenly can’t stop. It’s weird, my mind must be wired up in a strange way.

Today I have started painting a lion, a car, ivy, a planet, a latch for a gate. All very random, but a challenge to myself. I have a little cartoon at my studio which says I will paint anything, and I think that’s true. I might not be able to get things exactly right but I do try.

I’m thinking about what to write or paint here. I will try and do a few more spooky stories when I’ve finished this lot of art work.

Toot toot, off I go!

A strange call


Someone just phoned. I never answer unknown numbers, but then a text message came through saying I had hit someone’s wing mirror when I was driving and that I had then stopped and left my number on a note on the persons car. He said his car was not damaged and I could forget trying to claim for my wing mirror off him?

I texted back saying I did not know anything about it, and that I would ring the police.

The caller responded by admitting that the number he had contained 12 digits, one of which was blurry but he had tried my number anyway.

The whole thing is very strange. My wing mirror was damaged last week while my car was parked up. It was parked with the drivers side wing mirror against the pavement. I have not hit anyone and certainly if I had I would have stopped and sorted it out. I have never left a note on a car as I have never needed to.

What bothers me is it seems strange that a wing mirror is involved. It sounds like a scam. I’m considering blocking the number. I will keep the texts and report it to the police if there is any other strange communications.

Any thoughts?


Somedays life catches up with you.


Imagine, you have been ill for days, you feel awful, you’ve got a meeting to sort out an exhibition…..

Open your front door to go to your car and see a sticky, stripy envelope stuck to your windscreen…

Shock? Horror? What’s this?

My residents parking pass expired last week and I hadn’t realised. What to do? Can’t park there without a valid pass. So took myself up the office in a panic and full of cold and coughs.

Right. I could challenge it, fill a form in. I explained I had not had a renewal letter. The young man behind the desk said there had been a computer error?! Letters were not sent. I should have looked at my windscreen.


Plus I have been really ill so I hadn’t thought about it….

We will see what happens…..



Don’t think, act…. is that a good idea? Sometimes a moment’s thought can help get you out of a situation that you might have a problem with if you acted immediately, but on other occasions you just have to act. Maybe you should not spend time debating with yourself when you need to make a split second decision, but on the other hand, it just might help.

I remember driving down the motorway to Devon a few years ago. I didn’t have time to think when I saw debris in the road, I had to swerve round it as quickly as I could. If I hadn’t reacted I don’t know what would have happened to us. It was only as I was looking back, that I saw smoke rising from a car in the ditch next to the motorway in my rear view mirror.

Another time I had to fix my car starter motor. I could have rung a repair service and paid for it to be fixed, but I remembered it was sticking at top dead center. I had just come from a job interview and was wearing a blouse and suit. I opened the bonnet and tapped the starter motor with a spanner out of the boot. I tried the engine and it started! If I hadn’t got it working I could have got it repaired, but I didn’t have much money. The man sitting in the car behind me looked surprised. I got the job, and I was pleased that a moment of thought had solved the car problem.

Weekend drawings

Here are a few more of my drawings from the weekend, I didn’t take a camera but did take a sketchbook. I’m doing that more these days because I joined the local urban sketchers group a few months ago.

The drawings are from the Endon well dressing where their were lots of beautiful dogs entered for a dog obedience show. I drew a little scottie dog. There is also a drawing of a fellow exhibitor.

Then on Sunday we want back to Audlem where I had sung on Saturday and had a better look round the village. There was a Chalmers car there built in 1913. I drew it and gave the picture to the owner who kindly emailed me a photo of it. There is also a quick sketch of the Shropshire union canal looking down at barges tied up near the Shroppie Fly pub at the canal wharf.

The other sketches are of the Dorothy Clive garden which we also visited (busy weekend) the rhododendrons were fully in flower in the quarry garden and the view from the terrace outside the tea shop was wonderful (why did I leave my camera behind) anyway I did some drawings of the view and made notes of the colours of the rhododendrons to possibly do a watercolour later. The foliage is always a challenge to draw, but I did my best.

Note to self, maybe take a small box of watercolours with me in future , or pastels if there is no water…..