Silver Birch?

When I was young silver Birch trees were greyish silver. I remember seeing some in our local park. Even when I came to live in this city they were silver grey…..

But now… Each time I see one its white?! Is that right, are they the same species? I think they are…. I think it indicates how much less industrial smoke is in the air? And are trees growing faster now? They seem to shoot up. If they were cut down would their tree rings be wider, fatter, more growth in a year than before the pollution started to reduce… Memories of a changing world.


If you start with a photo of an object and multiply it you can get some interesting effects and patterns. I started with a photo of our halogen heater, changed it to black and white in a filter and then duplicated it over and over again with my photo booth layout app. I have put them next to each other so you can see the original black and white photo and the duplicated ones. I think the second photo reminds me of a wool blanket I had on my bed as a child.

9 years ago

We were visiting an agricultural show in Devon several years ago when I took the original photo. Then nine years ago I tried to copy it at the sketchfu website I used to draw at. The colours are a bit off because I took a photo of this from a screen and this is what I saved. The original drawing probably had more detail….


Still llife photo of conkers. Photo taken last year at Bodnant Garden in North Wales last year. What a great trip out that was. We walked round the large garden grounds. Down into the river valley, past huge and ancient trees. Late flowering perennials and bushes. Its a charming place to visit, but be aware it is hilly. Its a National Trust site so its very well maintained. There are small shops trading there, a garden centre and a cafe/restaurant.

Great for a visit when the garden is in full bloom, especially the laburnum walk. You can join the National Trust or pay when you visit. BUT check opening times, it does close in the winter and with the lockdown for the pandemic there will be changes to visiting and probably closures.

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.

Ball lightening?

I was just reading an article in the New Scientist on line about the phenomenon of ball lightening. Then I remembered that I visited an old lady as part of my job, twenty years ago. We were having a chat over a cup of tea. She told me about when she was a lot younger. She was in her living room, maybe in the 1950’s? There was a lightening storm outside and she had got her window open as it was a hot day. Suddenly a ball of light floated in through the open window, bounced off the floor and then disappeared again. She had never seen anything like it but thought it might be ball lightening? I didn’t ask her much because I didn’t know what to ask. She went on to say that from then on she always unplugged everything electrical in the house and kept her windows shut in a thunderstorm in case it happened again.

I would love to see something like that. But would it be dangerous and knock out electrical equipment if they came into contact with each other? Strange how memories you’ve never had before can suddenly come back to you.

I wish

I wish that I was driving on this road, following it round the bends, storing by a stile at the side of the road and climbing over it, walking up the hill, maybe past a few grazing sheep, till at the top I would see mountains in the distance in one direction, and tree covered hills in another. If I looked in one direction hard enough I think I would see a distant view of the sea.

Where am I? I could be in Scotland, or some parts of England, but this winding road is in Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 land of ancient people’s and dragons. Wales is in a lockdown for just over two weeks at the moment. I hope the people will all be safe. In the meantime I’m expecting where I am now to have another lockdown soon…. When will this end….

Edited portrait of Stephen Hawking

I uused an app called photoeditor to change the character of this digital drawing. The style option changes the line work and makes it look more standardised if that makes sense? It seems to smooth things out and tidy them up although it adds extra lines into the drawing.

I used sketcher free app to do the initial drawing. It’s relatively like using pencil and crayons, you get different options of drawing tools.

I admired Stephen Hawking, he was a brilliant physicist and had amazing knowledge. I wish more people appreciated scientists.