Inktober 2018

Three years ago I was drawing pictures for Inktober. I did do drawings for the whole month. I must have visited my sister and drawn my impression of driving in the dark. That’s something I hate, people driving behind you with their headlights full on. (the two white dots on the drivers mirror) this was from my memory.

Since I’ve been doing an illustration course I have amassed a large collection of drawings and sketches. So many memories. Even during lockdown, I have recorded images. I’m not sure where to store them all!

Out all day

It’s been a long day. We went to the seaside to visit a relative but when we went to the sea it was fenced off! Apparently there is work being done on the sea defences to protect the coast from flooding.

That was really disappointing but we did visit a friendly ‘cat cafe’ which was lovely. The cats and kittens are being well looked after and it was very calming after a long drive.

Away

Yesterday we were ‘up north’ in Carnforth visiting relatives and we went to a model train show at Carnforth railway station. The station was the setting for the film ‘Brief Encounter’. There is a museum at the station about it. I might write a bit more about the model railways. We stayed at Lancaster University guest rooms, OK but no TV or radio and the WiFi wouldn’t connect to the Internet. Hence my lack of posting yesterday. A wet and misty morning meant an early breakfast. We came home by 1pm, so about 200 miles done in around twenty four hours!

Long hot drives

I remember the long hot drive to Robin Hoods Bay a few summers ago. It was so hot in the car that I had the window open. I had no air conditioning and the temperature was rising steadily. My right arm was being burnt by the morning sun as we crept our way slowly North and East through Yorkshire. Its a large English County and full of cities, towns and villages, but also farmland and moors.

We visited a cottage in Robin Hoods Bay. It was upside down, with the bedrooms on the ground and basement floors, and the living room upstairs. The photo is my painting of the view from the living room. We spent a lovely few days visiting landmarks and beaches, but at the end I became very tired and aching, I thought I had bad sunburn… It turned out I had shingles. It was a memorable trip, but not necessarily for the right reasons!

Rainy day in Burslem

Delivering a few presents today, the sky was grey and the clouds low, hanging over the hills in a misty damp blanket. I had the blower on in the car but it didn’t keep the moisture out. My glasses kept steaming up because I was wearing a mask.

By the time I got home I was cold and tired. But it was the furthest I’ve driven in nine months. A whole 24 miles.

Three years ago

Three years ago I was going to life drawing classes every week. The place was a bit far out in the countryside down quite narrow winding roads but I enjoyed going. The worst night was when it snowed while we were in the class. It was a very slippery and skiddy drive home. I remember there were two ways of getting there, through the town roads and then country lanes, or along a very fast dual carriageway then along equally twisty lanes. I preferred the slower town route, I might have got there later but there were not insane idiots speeding in huge trucks driving to close to my rear bumper.

The class was fun, always an interesting challenge to draw. A variety of models and sometimes a clothed pose from various guest models, like Lux whe was modeling for us on this occasion. She played the guitar if I remember….. Probably a 6b pencil sketch, that’s my favourite pencil to draw with, allows you to get all sorts of shades and textures. I really miss going to the class.

Which direction?

It was early one morning, I had to go out to visit a friend, but they were out when I got there. Which way to go home, the way I had come or the scenic route. It was a no brainer. I carried on into the beautiful countryside. I knew that the road joined up with a main road further on, but I’d never been up this lane before. Still I had the car window open. The sun was shining down on the local fields, the great avenue of trees along the road gave a cooling dappled shade. I came round a few bends, lowering my speed as the lane became more winding, narrower? That could not be right? I had driven straight along the lane. I knew it joined up further on? I kept going, now the trees were looming in on me. The lane became a rutted track. Nowhere to turn, could I reverse back? There was a fence up ahead. A gate in it had a blue sign on it. A sign with what seemed to be a face looking forward and two more looking to either side. Below that were the words ‘no Entry’ experimental research station. Where the hell had I gone….? There was an intercom box on a stone pillar next to the gate. I rang the bell, and after a pause a voice said, ‘state the nature of your business?’. All I could day that I was lost.

‘state your name’ the same toneless spoke again. I told them and just asked to be allowed through the gate so I could turn the car around. ‘wait there’ was the answer. I was standing by my car, the daylight starting to go… Waiting…. Waiting..

*NEWS* the body of a woman in her fifties has been found on a lane in Staffordshire. No marks were found on the body. But police say it may be a woman that went missing from her home a week ago.

Car being fixed

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My car is having some welding done after someone about six weeks ago. There us now a rusty hole in the wing. I’m not happy, but the person drove off and didn’t leave a note to say that they had hit me! It’s not worth claiming off the insurance as I wouldn’t be surprised if they said its not worth repairing! It’s an old car, but it runs well. The emissions are good, and think of the resources it would take to make a new one? Then in a few years time all cars in the UK will have to be electric. Which is difficult if you live in a terraced house with no driveway. How will they retrofit charging points? Maybe they should use all the plastic in the oceans to make the body panels or the interior lastic fittings? Recycle and reuse should be our constant motto.

In the meantime I will keep running my old car….

Hill and fence

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Driving through Wales last Year. My sister took us out into Snowdonia, past lakes and mountains. Along streams. Through wooded valleys, over mountain passes. Seeing the scree tumbling down. Sheep climbing jumbled piles of broken slate. Then down steep hills back to the coast, alongĀ  tunnels bored through the mountains, back to the flatter lands of North Wales (flatter not flat, its not Cheshire!)

The beauty of the country of Wales is amazing. I’ve only really explored the North of the principality, I would love to visit Cardiff for instance, which is in the very South of the country.

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Driving towards Betws y Coed from Llanrwst on the A470 in North Wales. The mountains of Snowdonia in the background. We were travelling South West after coming off the A55 at Abergele and driving along a senic route because of traffic jams and roadworks on the A55.

I woukd have taken more photos but it was too beautiful to remember to take my phone out. I wasn’t driving for once so I had a proper opportunity to look at the world. These are cropped to cut out the windscreen and stickers because they just add clutter. Some of the details at the sides may be missing but at least they look picturesque.

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