Otter sculpture

We are thinking of getting a tree stump carved in our garden. We had to get it cut down to about seven foot high as it was over growing a part of the garden and making it shady.

This sculpture was in Trentham gardens today. There were quite a few other ones but this was my favourite, especially since it is next to the river Trent which has got a lot cleaner over recent years.

It was a short but tiring walk. Trentham gardens is worth a visit for a day. There is also a retail village and a monkey forest on the site. But do check what is open before you visit.

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Mask

Theatrical mask made by a friend for 2019’s Penkhull Mystery play. Strange that sux months later we had to wear real masks! I painted this up with my hubbies features. He had to sit still at a potters wheel and pretend to be a mannequin until the cast were transported back in time. Then he took it off and became Thomas Doodey, Master Potter.

To be honest I really miss the fun we had on that day. Crowds of people watching the action. Molly dancers, a hurdy hurdy man, Punch and Judy, and a maypole. Lots of stalls.

This year we are going to do a virtual Mystery play. I’m hoping to do a copy of the Mona Lisa I an hour and a half. Numerous other ideas are being considered.

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Crosses

Three crosses in Stoke Cemetery, seen on my walk today. I’m interested in the celtic patterns on them, some more pronounced than others. This ancient design style is subtle and complex. I want to learn more about them again. I wrote a thesis on pre- Christian celtic art for my degree, but I would love to learn how to draw the patterns. I get lost in the patterns. I need quiet and concentration I think.

Island?

No, a mirrored photo, flipped on its vertical axis. The resulting image looks like a green island on a pond edged with a stone path. In actual fact this was a photo taken as we walked along the Trent and Mersey canal near Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent. Its strange how the eye sees symmetry as beautiful. Even ugly shapes can improve when you make them symmetrical. I also enjoy trying to create images that look like animals. If you follow this blog, or my Instagram page you will already know that.

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Allotment view

Bright sun and deep shadow. Looking out over the south of the city of Stoke-on-Trent from Penkhull hill. The gate has a square grill? on it. I like the way the spaces are captured like a square jigsaw puzzle. While people went off to beer gardens we went for a quiet walk instead. Green and blue, white scudding clouds. A pleasant day.

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Weeping willows

Shaggy giants with delicate fronds of leaves hanging down and blowing in the cold wind. I’ve sat underneath a willow tree, back against its trunk, hidden behind the curtain of leaves. I was only young and it was like sitting in a fairytale. I remember the sunlight sparkling and dancing through the lace like leaves.

Dry ground, roots, scuffed by ducks and geese. Memories of the 1960’s. So long ago, but we’ll remembered.

Finally walking again

As we arrived at Westport Lake today it started to snow. It didn’t stick, but children were running screaming as it came down thick and fast. We sat and waited in the car till it stopped. I didn’t take a photo of it because my phone was stuck in my pocket trapped between me and the car door.

Then out, a quick visit to the icecream van for a treat and round the latge lake once and the small one twice. No where near as far as I would normally do, but I managed to get enough steps and heart points in to meet my daily challenge. I’m shattered but happy!

Red dragon

Two years ago we were visiting the Gladstone Pottery museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. I saw this design for a red dragon and took a photo. I think it was a panel explaining the glazing techniques for getting the red colouration. I believe reds are quite difficult to produce?

Red dragons are the symbol for 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales, but this does not look like it. At the moment I’m trying to create a map for a maze/garden and this is another possibility to base it on. We will see…

Hartshill Nature reserve

Although the nature reserve is on a steep slope, there is still a pool on it. The end with the bridge over it might be a dam. I don’t know the history of the place but there are steep steps down into it and in some areas what paths there are, are quite slippy.

I had to lean on my friends arm to get down one section, not socially distanced but I was wearing a mask.

Today was sunny with very warm temperatures, the warmest March day since 1968. Red admiral butterflies were flitting about in pairs and triplets. The bird song was loud and liquid. Buds were bursting and insects humming.

I did another five miles today, that seems to be my upper limit for walking at the moment. Tomorrows planned walk is about the same length!

In the canal 😭

I was depressed by the amount of rubbish floating in the canal today. It was in an area close to Stoke Town centre.

I saw many old plastic bottles, they were dirty, as if they had been stored somewhere outside and then dumped together into the canal later. There were bits of broken wood and even an old set of mudguards from a bike floating on the surface. It makes me angry, because this section of canal is part of our city. How disgusting that stuff can just be dumped. Then further on towards Dolphin Boats but on the other side was a burnt out motor scooter. No one seems to care. I tagged in the Canal and Rivers Trust. I hope they can arrange a clean up.