A barge called Lothlorien

Holiday or daily living, canal barges offer accommodation ‘off the grid’. A friend of ours had one for about five years while he was living on his own. It was an old wooden boat, about seventy two foot long, and had a massive lifeboat engine powering it that was started with a huge starting handle like on an old car! It took many turns of the handle to fire up the engine.

His barge was a wooden Hull, so every year he took it into dry dock to recaulk the gaps between the wooden boards. If he didn’t the boats planks would let in water. It was lovely in the summer, but cold and damp in the winter, especially on foggy days.

The photo of a metal hulled boat was taken today on the Trent and Mersey canal.

Before covid?

You could go to a beach and find someone just painting stones as a job (Lulworth Cove in Dorset). A respectable way of earning some money as an artist. Sitting in the sunshine, working on imaginative designs. We bought one with a blue octopus painted on it. The stones were probably collected off the shingle beach (yes I’m writing about different shingles). I would love to go back there but I doubt this artist would still be plying his trade. Yes the world has changed.

Jubilee time

Jubilation and celebrations continue throughout the land. Not everyone is a royalist, but I think 70 as head of state is quite important. I don’t have any bunting or flags up. I do think that some of the money given to the crown should be used to support the poorest in society. Trickle down, the idea that giving to the rich let’s money get down to the poorest doesn’t work. People with money put extra money in the bank. People with no money will spend any extra, probably locally because they can’t afford to go anywhere else.

So congratulations ma’am, enjoy your celebration. But please government, try and be a bit kinder to the poorest in society, don’t keep overlooking them.

At Lulworth Cove

Seven years ago, the sun was shining, we were on holiday near Weymouth and visited Lulworth Cove on the Dorset coast. We met a brilliant artist called Chris. He was painting shells and stones. We bought a stone with an octopus painted on it. The cove itself is circular with a gap in it that allows the sea in. If you catch a boat ride along the coast to the west you can see Durdle door, an archway of rocky cliff extending out into the sea. We had a lovely day.

Memory of devon

I once swam with a wild dolphin, we’d been driving round Devon and came back to the seaside to find a crowd of people on the beach and a group in wetsuits about fifty yards out. They were all excited and we saw a pod of dolphins swimming away. But one stayed in the bay. I decided I would swim out a bit and got in the sea fully clothed minus my shoes and glasses. My hubby stayed on the beach. The dolphin swam backwards and forwards between the two groups of people. Because I was in the middle he ket swimming close to me. It was fascinating. He kept coming past me and I noticed large wounds on his sides. It was after half an hour of being near him that I saw he was male! I can only say that it was quite alarming and not at all spiritual!. The next day there was a sign up about him at the camp site. He was called Georges and he was an adolescent male. His scars were because he would get too close to boat propelers. It also said not to breathe near them as they can transmit airborne diseases from their blowholes.

When I got home I did an imagined portrait of him but unfortunately the painting is at my sisters otherwise I would share a photo of him leaping through the waves. X


Seeing Pudsey bear 🐻 on children in need last night (a telethon to raise money for childrens charities) reminded me of this teddy bear. We went on holiday to a Youth Hostel in the Lake District of England one year. The hostel was old, small and friendly. It was at Thirlmere near the lake and consisted of a few simple wooden huts. The hostel warden was called Ray and he was really friendly. There were a wide range of old board games in the hostel so on a dark wet night, you were entertained without the need of a TV or radio, (this was before mobile phones). One thing Ray did to raise funds was to sell knitted Teddy bears that his mother made. I fell in love with this one, but Ray said that it had to have Ray in its name… Raymond, Ray-chel, perhaps? I’d heard of the gas Radon so my bear became Raydon, after all in that colour he virtually glows in the dark!

Worst holiday ever?

I remember a cyclo camping holiday in Wales with my hubby. We forgot the main tent. We got to Wales on the train and to our campsite. It was only when we unpacked the tent we realised we had left the tent airing on the washing line at home. We had to tie our groundsheet onto a young man’s tent for shelter, it was raining and not good under there despite having our sleeping bags. So we went in the camp bar and bought the lad whiskeys to say thanks for him helping us out. Then in the morning we realised we had spent all our holiday money on booze so we had to comeback the next day. We ended up in the guards van of the train with a rugby team because there were no seats. They were Very Rude! Worst holiday ever!

Manorbier Castle

Painted a few years ago while we were on holiday in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿.

I ppainted this while we were staying in a caravan in Pembrokeshire, I’d decided to take paints and a canvas for a change (I usually just take a sketch book or watercolours). I did some sketches of the castle but used a guide book for the castle to find an image to work from.

Manorbier is still in private ownership (a lot of places are now owned by the National Trust and other charities). Its really close to the coast, you can walk down a valley to the sea and if you look back you can see the castle up on a hill on the left and the church tower of the village on a hill on the right.

If you ever go to South West Wales it’s worth a visit……

Last year

We were sitting on a balcony, looking out over a lake in North Yorkshire. A glass of wine, a comfy chair. The hotel had cabins as well as rooms, all made of wood like American or Canadian log cabins. We had been out for the day to the Yorkshire sculpture park and had driven from there North and East so we could drive over the massive suspension bridge over the river Humber. We then took the road West through Hull and back down towards Otley and the river Wharfe where we had a meal in an italian restaurant overlooking the river, we had a delicious fish meal with pasta and salad, I still remember it. Finally back to where the hotel sits a few miles outside of the town of Shipley. We only stayed a couple of nights, but it was warm and friendly. I would go again, as soon as we can after the virus has faded into a distant memory (hopefully). I need a break. But only when it’s safe.