The deep

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The small bathesphere was lowered over the side of the science vessel ‘Valour’.

Steph sat at the controls, watching the pressure guages and reporting every 100 meters they dropped into the abyss.

At 1 kilometer there was a brief pause to check all the systems again. Carbon Dioxide was at acceptable levels, the filters were working. Air was being pumped down at the right rate from the ship. Up top in the ship the mission room were happy to give her the go ahead to continue.

A few minutes later, and the pressure had increased massively on the hull. But it was built to withstand them. The bulbous glass windows were curved to take the external forces without buckling.

A shadow passed one of the windows, something gold and glittering… It came back, huge, fish shaped. A gaping mouth opening. The images on the bathesphere’s cameras were flickering with the reflections from the metallic looking fins and scales.

Steph shouted out in surprise ‘what the hell is it?’. But the ship didn’t hear her.

The rescue wasn’t successful. As they wound in the cable the scientists¬† on the ship could tell that the weight on it was no longer there. Finally the severed ends of it were hauled over the stern. ‘lost at sea’ was the report that was published…..

 

Fish

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Shimmering silver and gold,

Flicker in the sunshine,

catching erratic mayflies.

Slipping down the stream,

glinting and glimmering,

Sun and shade stripes of branches,

camouflaged and hidden

above the pebbled bed.

Leaping and jumping

flying fish for a second

mid air,

then like raindrops falling,

back into the crystal clear,

cold, brisk, water…

Sunset over the mere

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The clouds lifted over the mere as the sun set. For about five minutes it stopped raining and the drumming on the roof eased. The mere was almost invisible in the darkening evening. The only indication of it were reflections of house lights on the waters surface.

One strange ripple broke the surface. The wake of something moved across the glassy water of the mere.

A duck was heading for its nest for the night. Snap! It was gone.

A few feathers were all that were left.

The ripples stopped as the predator sank deeper. Patrolling now up and down the bank, a snap here, a snuck there, finding food…. The Pike picked its prey carefully.

Older paintings

Every so often my Facebook page comes up with memories of older paintings. I think all of these were done in 2016. They were on display in Cinders Hub in Newcastle-under-Lyme and two of them sold. I still have the painting of the koi carp. I realise now that although I paint a wide range of images I do like repeating certain themes.

I love colour as you can see, and I also love pattern.

George

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George was a good cat. If he climbed on windowsills he would carefully place his paws so he didn’t knock over the vases. If he climbed to the top of the bookcase, somehow he would not knock the books down. Even if paint was spilled on the floor he could avoid walking through it. Oh George was a clever cat. He could be seen in the window of the house. Not looking out, but looking into the room. A twinkle in his eye.

George had one bad habit. He chased the goldfish in the bowl. It would hide behind the plastic castle in the corner. Waiting for George, who could stare for hours, to get bored and go away.

One day it was cold and grey, the weather was stormy, and George decided to look out of the window and watch the trees waving in the wind. Suddenly a bolt of lightening struck one of the tallest trees. There was an almighty cracking noise, and a huge branch came down hitting the window and smashing it. George jumped out of the way just in time, his paws softly landing on the carpet. But then he saw the goldfish, it’s bowl had been knocked over. He sniffed it as it lay flapping on its side. But, instead of eating the fish he carefully gripped the tip of its tail in his mouth and ‘plop’, dropped it back into the half full bowl. Then he placed himself next to the bowl and watched the fish swim.

Xie Xie, thanks in chinese.

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I was just sitting in my local Chinese takeaway restaurant and decided to draw one of the fish they have swimming round in a large tank. When I had done it and the food was ready I showed my drawing to the lady behind the counter. I explained that it was a quick sketch as the fish kept swimming. It looks a bit worried but that’s just my drawing.

I asked how to say thank you as the food there is always lovely and the people in the restaurant said xie Xie and wrote it down next to the sketch. They are Mandarin speakers. I had asked if they were Cantonese. But they said no. The words are very similar in both languages but that the writing of Chinese script is the same in both languages (dialects). I think I remember reading that in a friends blog here, that even if the words are pronounced differently the script is the same.

Anyway it was a tasty supper and it’s nice to communicate even if it’s only with a few shared words.

Thinking about it the words I have learnt in other languages like Greek and Thai all tend to be the ones meaning please and thank you. I must have been bought up right!