Tree

This is where we walked today, up the hill, across the valley of the Trent. Part of the city laid out across the view. We are a long but thin city. Countryside all around us. A lot of green spaces despite the terraces. Not huge and grey like Manchester and Birmingham. Yes we get traffic jams and pollution, our infrastructure is poor, with many bottlenecks for cars and lorries, particularly when the nearby motorway gets blocked and all its traffic hits the cities dual carriage ways. Then again we can be completely blocked up by snowfalls. Ah well, that’s life…. The tree looks out over all of that and just ignores it and carries on growing…

Autumn photos

Walking around my neighbourhood. The first walk I’ve been out on in four weeks. I took many photos and decided to turn them into a montage of colours and shapes. Trees are hard to capture in art and the many shapes can be seen here. I may use one or two of these photos to base paintings on.

I managed to walk about three miles, including our steep hill, I’m absolutely shattered but I still went upstairs and drew for an hour. More of that in my next post….

Looking out

She often looks out watching the cars and vans racing up the hill. Looking at birds flying up to the factory roof, playing with the mobile on the window. Jumping down and clawing my legs under the desk when I go to type things up. This is her territory. She’s upstairs and her brother is downstairs. Both in their individual realms. They sometimes meet to play and chase. She’s a happy cat, she is mistress of all she surveys.

Window, band of sketchers prompt.

View through the window, from our living room. Our TV is at the bottom of the page. We have a pottery (Portmeirion) opposite where we live. They do have some ground that they garden, but they used to have roses scrambling all up the building. Sadly some of these have recently been cut back so the view is a bit less colourful now. Higher up the hill they are still there, still in flower. This is in a small sketchbook and is drawn with felt pens, some permanent markers a few coloured pencils and a thin black ink pen. The image on the TV is grey because we were watching a black and white film.

Rained again tonight.

sketch-1595672683018

My friends and I set out late this evening for our weekly walk. We’ve been walking up my steep hill every week for a few weeks, but tonight it was not to be. We’d got about 20 yards when splat! Big drops of rain. Lots of big drops. At least there was no thunder, no lightening. Just rain!

So… We could see bright pink clouds over the brow of the hill so we decided to drive in seperate cars over the hill to the local viewpoint. I was hoping to se a lovely sunset, but no, by the time we stopped the rain was falling fiercely there as well.

Plan C, we went into a local bar for a cool drink. By this time one of my friends had found a plastic bag to put over her head.

As we entered we had our temperature checked. I was still wearing a mask and because the bar was quiet felt reasonably happy removing it.

But it’s baby steps. I’m nervous of mingling with people I don’t know. It’s not something I will do without some trepidation.

X

Walking!

IMG_20200728_214214_686

A couple of hours and about four miles. Up hill and down dale. My feet hurt. I haven’t been that far for years. By the time I walked down our hill at the end of the walk my legs started wobbling underneath me!

It started as a gentle walk up our steep hill. Left along a slightly flatter road to meet (at a social distance) a couple of friends. Then we walked around the contour of the hill we live on. This photo is looking out over the Trent Valley across the school fields. Then right up the hill and saying goodbye to our friends. Me, my hubby and our friend we usually walk with carried on down a side street. Down hill, then up a pathway between roads, I didn’t take a photo but there is a high wall with a huge crack in it. It felt like it could topple and fall. We came out of the pathway onto another road. Downhill towards the old hospital site, past the local cemetery. We walked through side streets, past terraced houses, slowly wending our way towards home. We stopped off at a corner shop to sit and rest on a brick wall under the canopy of a large street tree. We bought ice creams to cool down and sat for a few minutes. When I got up I was feeling very stiff and my feet hurt. From there we went down a hill with a view over the south if the city, enjoying a cool breeze. We left our friend there and we walked up a side street, then down our hill to the house at the bottom. I had to hold my hubbies arm as my legs had started to wobble!

I feel tired but happy to have done another walk!

USK challenge 21.7.20

_20200722_010046

Out and about. A local street I have not walked down since March. Got to it by going up our very steep hill. It was only a couple of miles but I’m shattered. Black and white sketch taken from a photo. I wish I had drawn it in situ, but I didn’t have my sketchbook with me.

The plant really was growing out like a triffidcacross the pavement. I really liked it. Very interesting.

X

Where have I been?

_20200721_235425

I actually walked a reasonable distance today, about two miles up a steep hill, down a steep hill and along the main road. On the way I walked past this triffid growing out over the pavement.

I have not been out for a walk since March!

Well I got dragged out by a friend that walks miles every day. It made me realise I can do it. I just need to make the effort. But for now my knees and ankles ache. And I fell asleep when I got in. But it was worth the effort.

X

What to do on the Solstice

sketch-1592654798837

I can remember seeing the sun set and then come out again from behind the Cloud hill, near Congleton, Cheshire.

I could not remember where we were but according to ITV.com there is a place to stand to see it….

‘The solar event which happens just once each year will be visible in the Midlands tonight.

The double sunset takes places during the the summer solstice and can be seen from various locations around North Staffordshire.

According to the Oxford Journals the double sunset can be seen from the churchyard of St Edward the Confessor in Leek. The alignment of a local hill means that the Sun is occulted close to sunset around the time of the summer solstice. This phenomenon was described in 1686 by Dr Robert Plot. Calculations show the phenomenon will be visible for another 500 years.
  • How does it happen?
The apparent double sunset is due to the rotation of the Earth. As the sun sinks behind The Cloud the planet continues to rotate, allowing the sun to become briefly visible again.’

Apologies for the length of the quote, but it explains what I mean clearly.

Please note I’ve now been advised: due to earth movement and buildings it can no longer be seen in St Edwards churchyard but can be viewed from Lowe hill near Leek. My Dad is Doug Pickford who has written books about local legends (info from a friend)

X