Getting ready?

Thinking about Christmas. Or any other festival. I would usually be getting ready to travel to see my relatives on Christmas day, or for them to come to us. Only a small group of us, between three and four depending if there is another guest. Then Christmas lunch would be turkey with sausage meat and stuffing, roast potatoes and parsnips, peas and sprouts. Plus gravy. Not interested in bread sauce or cranberries. Our lunch then over we open presents and chat, watch some TV. Maybe go for a walk. In the evening the meal is a salad with some cold meat. I guess I should apologise for this. I know vegetarians and vegans and I do feel guilty. It’s our family tradition, but perhaps it’s time to change.

As the Christmas celebration arrives I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth tidying up and preparing lots of food. There are only two of us this year. Life changes and you have to go with it….funny how describing it for us is all about food and not the religious reason. How strange. I didn’t mention presents either. I’ve got too much stuff. I don’t think I need more!

Jack Frost

Trying to draw Frost from my memory. Not easy. I couldn’t get the feathery patterns that it makes. Drawn in ArtRage oils. Working between metallic and non metallic white on a blue background.

I remember going to bed in the cold. The Frost built up inside the windows. Our breath condensing on the glass. I was on the window side of the room (I shared with my sister) and the curtains were thin and yellow. Behind them a wide windowledge, then wooden window frames with curly cast iron handles to open them. I’d look out on freezing nights and see ‘Jack frost’ on the panes. If it was really cold we were allowed to put the one bar electric heater on until we got in bed under eider downs and our school macs to keep warm under. I’d often sleep with my coat over my head. Breathe warm air on my hands and try and stop shivering. We only got double glazing to our n family home after I’d left for college I think….

Horse in snow

For as long as I remember I’ve drawn horses. I used to read horsey books. I’ve only ever sat on a donkey when I was a child and I’ve sat on a horse and been led on a walk a couple of times too. Sitting up on a horse gives me vertigo, and I certainly don’t think I’m built for it. But that said, I do love horses.

I used to draw them all the time when I was little. My bedroom wall was covered with either drawings of Asterix the Gaul, Elizabethan men and women wearing ruffs and dappled grey horses. It was always dappled grey. I used to watch show jumping on the TV (horses jumping over fences) and looking at the way they moved. I got so good I even sold one for sixpence when I was at junior school….. I felt really guilty!

Over time I have stopped drawing them as much, but sometimes I just have to draw them…

Swimming

Our senior school was amalgamated with another one and so they decided to to rebuild science and craft blocks and a sports block with a swimming pool! The great thing was that we got to do life saving skills as well as learning to canoe!

That was the time years ago when governments spent money on schools and education…. And it was good because children who couldn’t afford it got to learn to swim. I wish that austerity hadn’t cur so many services now.

Autumn is going.

Most of the leaves have fallen. Now we are at the start of winter there is a bit more to see. The Holly Bush is getting in the way though. The bright sunshine and blue sky have gone. Today there is persistent rain gushing down from the sky with threats of snow. As far as I’m concerned I would sleep through winter and wake up in the spring if it stays as bad as this!

Memory of Dolphin Island

About fifty years ago I used to watch ‘Flipper’ on the TV. A 1960’s show it was all about the adventures of a dolphin called Flipper. I didn’t know then that there was more than one dolphin and I think I remember reading they were not well looked after during filming?

I remember finding a book in the library called ‘Dolphin Island’ by Arthur C Clarke. It had the effect of waking an interest in science in me. I remembered a boy being shipwrecked and rescued by dolphins. He ends up on a Pacific Island and goes through several more adventures until the inevitable happy ending.

Recently someone mentioned the book so I decided to order a second hand copy. What I got was bitter sweet memories. The book was a lot shorter than I remembered. I read it in a couple of nights. The adventures that had been in it are now seen through older eyes. Where I had been on the edge of my seat, the tension was no longer there. It was still interesting, and I would love to know if there is any chance of finding a dolphin language. But I don’t think I will re-read it. This is an old fashioned Children’s Book. Give me 2001 a space odessey any day.

Too many books?

Featuring a painting by my artist friend Charlie Walker. The other, little yellow rose, is one of mine.

Who needs insulation when you have lots of books? Well I only have them lining one wall so I guess we do. I did start counting them once, but when I got to 1000 I gave up. Some of them are unreachable because they are too high up. I sometimes get the step ladders out if I notice one I’d like to read again. I have my favourites, including sci-fi and fantasy, biography and science books. I’m about to start a book about the history of Jodrell Bank Radio telescope.

There are books by Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke that I like. I also enjoy books by Terry Pratchett. I think that’s because I read some them when I was at school so I have that memory ingrained in me. I remember reading Arthur C Clarke Dolphin Island when I was young. It enthralled me. I read it again recently but it had lost some of its magic. I guess some of the fantastic things he talked about dont seem as amazing in the modern world….

Sad today

Oh, I don’t know what is wrong with me, I just feel sad. I’m fed up with things, the cat has got another appointment at the vets. I think I need to see them too! My shoulder aches, although the exercises I’m doing really are helping. I just want to talk to someone new, or an old friend, but I don’t want to bother them with my worries. I find myself staying indoors, keeping myself to myself, ignoring my hubby who comes up with grandiose ideas and I can’t keep up with him. Anyway enough moaning… Take care everyone. Have a good weekend.

Dancing leaves

Of all the seasons I remember autumn’s the most. Walking in the ark as a child, kicking my legs through piles of dry leaves, or slashing in puddles of water with soggy leaves sticking to my wellies. Looking at faces in gnarled trees, seeing if I could see Halloween witches. Sitting under the remaining few leaves of a weeping willow. Wondering when it would be clothed again. Time then was slow. Six months took a year….