By a lake, an old obelisk. No inscription except carved trysts, g+j, p+b? How old are they? The letters are neatly carved, so I would guess early twentieth century, when people were taught to be neat (even when defacing this!). I guess they will be related to the owners of the hall? I would have taken a close up but other people wanted to take photos. Perhaps we will go back and investigate more. There may be details on the websites. Whatever it signifies or memorialises, it is a strong statement on the hill above the lake….


Snowdrops gone, daffodils fading, tulips opening… Winter is over and Spring has sprung. I hope for warm spring days and new flowers opening. Blossom on the boughs of the cherry and pear trees, open already on the old plum tree and the walnut tree is starting to transform.

There are strong gusts and April Showers. Heavy rain and lightning, but we await the warmth of the sun. Not too hot. But the garden is growing and buds are breaking. I hope the hedgehogs and frogs reappear. It’s an effort to maintain things like the pond which needs a new liner. I must take some photos soon.

Pastel drawing

Pastel drawing of sea, land and sky. Came up on my Facebook memories from four years ago. Where does the time go? It was one of the drawings I did during a pastel workshop a while ago. It was framed and has a mount over it so any loose pastel dust falls behind the mount and not in front of it. I think I’m going to take it over to a gallery where I have some work so I can try and sell it.

Snowdonia sketch

Drawing from 2021. I was watching Sky Landscape Artist of the year and I decided to do a drawing of Snowdonia in North Wales. This took half an hour. I have relatives that live near to Snowdon so it’s a place I love. The landscape near where I live is more rolling hills, certainly no mountains nearby.

One of the things about the UK is that there are so many variations in the landscape. Flat, hilly, mountainous, green, forested, heathland, waterlogged, dry, arable, coastal. You can see why people fall in love with it.

A sprinkling of snow

View out of the upstairs window. I woke up to a sprinkling of snow. Its only a thin dusting, but the clouds are grey. Hubby’s talking about going for a walk in it. I’ve come back to bed to snuggle rather than putting the heaters on. Had a nice hot cup of decaff coffee. The weather forecast is for it to blow over. Heading east. Other places have had it far worse. But last night we had freezing rain so I think it’s going to be slippy underfoot and I’ve seen posts on Facebook about it being hazardous to drive in. The trouble with the UK is we have all sorts of weather all the time, tomorrow might be warmer and dry, or thundery, or we might get saharan dust! We don’t get used to driving in snow, it’s like iceskating once a year. You can’t be an expert in such a short time.

Baker St Park, with flying dog!

A cloudy sky (with an odd dog shape- I’m not changing it) flys above a park. The grass is shaded by the long shadows of trees. The sun is bright, but starting to set. I used various techniques taught to us by Jo Watson, an artist who comes out and teaches charcoal workshops.

Most of the group used images supplied by Jo, but a few of us chose our own images. This drawing was based on a photo of Baker Street Park in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent.

I really loved learning about charcoal, I’ve used it before, but not been in control of it! ❤️

Falcon Works

Old bottle oven at the falcon works in Stoke. Bushes are growing out of it and the old pottery factory next to it was damaged by fire last year. Its terrible that the industrial heritage of Stoke-on-Trent is gradually crumbling. It should be renovated and reused, but it will probably be allowed to fall down. But there is no money, there is no support, there is no hope for these buildings I think. A few years ago it was suggested it could be a museum but I think the local residents opposed it because there would be traffic issues. I wish there was a chance that the dereliction could be stopped!

Little pool

Snowdrops surround the dam at the end of the pond at Rode Hall on the snowdrop walk at the weekend. Some of the daffodils are already up and we saw cyclamen and Helibores too. Spring is just round the corner and unseasonably warm weather has reached us from the south. Tomorrow we are expecting colder, more normal temperatures with possible snow showers. It’s no wonder the birds and insects get confused at this time of year.