Went for a walk

We went for a short walk today, just round the local streets, back past an avenue of trees. It was only about a mile but I came back aching, cold and a bit breathless so it was far enough. After months of illnesses and problems I was pleased to drag my hubby out into the cold air. No rain today, no chance of slipping, just the chance to stretch my legs and think I can start again. I hope we can extend our steps a little bit each day. I didn’t measure them because I forgot to take my phone. Now I’m just trying to relax the aches out of my leg and back. But it’s good to feel able to exercise again.

Performance

The choir I was in performed in the play Beautiful Thing in 2018?. We all really enjoyed singing and basically backing the drama that we were immersed in. The story is about a young man and his growing relationship with his boyfriend. It is thoughtful, life affirming, and optimistic. We had to sing songs like Teen Spirit which was fun for a group of older performers. This came into my mind as I delivered my two paintings to the New Victoria Theatre this morning. There are probably thirty pieces of work on show from tonight.

Car saga.. Again

Plans, don’t make them! The mechanic was ill yesterday. He’s a lovely chap, and really helpful. But he can’t help being under the weather. So yesterday he said ring today and the car should be done. Unfortunately it isn’t. He fixed the problem with the earthing of the starter motor but today when he tried running it, it was very feeble. It’s worn out basically. So now he’s ordered another one for Friday but he can’t say when it will arrive. I explained ideally I need to go somewhere tomorrow, but as he said he has no control over the deliveries. I have to accept this (the world does not revolve around me). I’m just thankful it’s getting done.

Film theatre

I just read a post on Instagram about the problems the Film Theatre at Staffordshire University is having to deal with before it can reopen after covid. I wrote a response because this independent cinema had a great impact on my understanding and appreciation of films. Here is what I said.

I used to love coming to the film theatre. You could see films that made you question your beliefs, challenged your thoughts, tickled your imagination! It seems mad that it’s not open. I first saw a film there in 1979 and it was also used for the film studies part of the Fine Art Ba(hons). My hubby came to a projectionist course and learned how to project the reels and know when to change them. It’s sad you are having these problems.

So it did snow…

Not much though, and it’s melting today. But when it was snowing it was dropping big wet flakes out of the clouds, like bits of wet tissue paper. When you look up you can see the flakes falling down, dark shadows against the whitish clouds, then white as they get caught in the light from my doorway. There was a small accumulation over night, but then as the sun caught the snow on branches it dripped off in white blobs.

Around the country it has been far worse, a double decker bus toppled over on an icy road near Hinckley Point yesterday. Some of the passengers were injured. The lake district hills are covered in snow, and Scotland and Wales have had much more than here. I guess living in a city means it doesn’t get as cold so snow melts more quickly and with global warming there are less really cold days than ever before.

Winter watch is on

Winterwatch is an offshoot of Springwatch which is a programme that started on BBC TV several years ago. The presenters have changed over time, but it gives us a view of the British Isles through the seasons.

Winterwatch is lovely, seeing badgers, falcons, water rats, deer, stoats and seabirds amongst other animals gives you an idea of how they live and survive and in some cases thrive during the winter.

The programme explores wildlife and behaviour over a couple of weeks, sampling their lives and how humans affect them. The series is a wonderful reminder of nature. Some of it is filmed live during the evening programmes and also has videos of other animal activity happening at this time of year.

If you want to know more about the natural history of the British Isles during winter you can watch it in the UK on BBC 2, or the BBC I player, or the Facebook page which is called BBC Springwatch. Or bbc.co.uk/winterwatch

Snow expected

Another finger painting

It’s getting colder here and the forecast or Scotland, parts of Wales and the North West is for snow over the next few days. That made me want to draw snowflakes, and that led me to using the sketch app again.

At the moment I’m trying to keep warm and get over the bug I’ve had for a few weeks. The thought of colder weather does not fill me with joy. Just dread!

Still I like my colours that I’ve used on the drawing, a little bit like Wedgwood China.

Still light

5pm sky. Less than a month after the shortest day, and this afternoon I noticed there was still light in the sky after 5pm.

Why does it matter? When I was working and doing a 9 to 5 job I hated starting and finishing the day in the dark, particularly in the evening.

There was an experiment in the 1960’s when the UK kept British Summer time throughout the year. It only lasted for about three years, but it was much better to walk home from school in daylight. The Royal Society for the prevention of accidents? (I think), worked out it was safer for children because in the evening people were tired and there were less accidents when children were more visible when walking home.

For me, when it starts to get lighter in the evening I feel less gloomy, my spirits lift. I’m pretty sure I don’t suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. (SAD). I can’t imagine how bad it must be for people that do.

Now I’m looking forward to Spring despite the rest of the winter to come.

Mythical animals

Where do mythical animals come from? Do they have a connection with real animals or are they created purely from imagination? I guess some of the creatures come from word of mouth. One person describes a lion for instance with a ‘proud chest’ and it ends up through word of mouth and illustration as actually having beasts! Maybe because this is meant to be a lioness or perhaps it is seen as a mixture of lion and human.

You only have to look at egyptian hieroglyphs to see strange combinations of animals and humans. There are interesting creatures in the histories of all countries around the world. Dragons are known from West to East. They are wise and benevolent in the east, but seen as evil and sly in the West. They vary in shape and size, from snake like creatures in some Asian countries to having two legs and two wings, or four legs and two or four wings. Dragons or Great snakes are also found in Australia and the Americas.

There are too many mythological beasts to describe here but some are very strange. And looking at medieval illustrations gives you an idea of what was in people’s minds at the time. You only have to look at the tryptich ‘the garden of earthly delights’ by Hyronymous Bosch which depicts some weird and hellish creatures. The imagination is a wonderful thing.

Funny face

When I drew a very grumpy picture of myself today I remembered how much I used to like pulling faces. Then a memory came back to me… I suddenly remembered that I won the funny face competition and my twin won the funny walk competition at a school sports-fun day one year. We won a pound and a half of full cream chocolate! I think we must have practiced a lot, but I’m not sure I knew that this was what the prize was.

It’s funny because I can remember the scene as if it was yesterday now. A group of children on the sports field and kids taking it in turn to make the others laugh. Whoever had the idea was a genius, much more fun than running races. No doubt influenced by ‘Month Pythons Flying Circus’ TV show which was on at the time. (Which I wasn’t allowed to watch because it was too ‘rude).