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….

Spooky Oak

Text taken from Wikipedia. I only heard about the Chained Oak today and I don’t live too far away from it!

Apologies to Wikipedia :

 an autumn night, the Earl of Shrewsbury was returning to his home at Alton Towers when an old woman suddenly appeared in the road ahead of his horse and coach. The coach stopped to find why she was there at which point the old woman begged for a coin. The Earl cruelly dismissed her, so the old woman stated that she would place a curse on him. The old woman told the Earl that for every branch on the Old Oak Tree that fell, a member of the Earl’s family would die. The Earl dismissed this and carried on his way.

That same night, a violent storm caused a single branch from the old oak tree to break and fall. Later that evening, a member of the Earl’s family suddenly and mysteriously died.

Now firmly believing the power of the curse, the Earl is said to have ordered his servants to chain every branch together to prevent other branches from falling. To this day, the Oak tree remains chained up.

Note, the Oak is near Alton Towers which is now a massive theme park in the county of Staffordshire, England.

Postcard from a friend

The Lamentation of Christ by Francesco Montemezzano

The photo is by Clive Lawrence.

My friend visited a church somewhere in Yorkshire and saw this. Apparently he’d been the week before but it was closed. Last week he found out who he needed to speak to to get access to the church. I’d like to visit it one day. The ainting was apparently very black until it was cleaned. Unfortunately my friend didn’t tell me the name of the church or where in Yorkshire it is

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Horse at Trentham

Copper tree, copper sculpture. Photo taken at Trentham Gardens last year. I think it looks Grecian, or Celtic. I like to collect interesting images and this was very striking. I think it’s on the far side of Trentham Gardens Lake? I haven’t been back since with all the problems with the virus and the way things are going it might be winter or later before I go back? Various parts of the country have gone back into increasing quarentine measures. The threat for them is fines of up to £10000 for breaking the rules. So I will remember things rather than going out much. I will try and stay safe, and watch small businesses fail. The world is beautiful and sad.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Want to visit Wales

Over a year ago we visited Llandudno and walked along the pier at the seafront. This is at the far end looking back at a magestic hotel. We also went up the Great Orme mountain in a tram car (there is a chair lift too). We went back to North Wales at Christmas and stayed for a couple of days, but that’s the last time we had a trip over there because of covid 19. I would love to live over there but we would never be able to afford it and I would miss all my friends here. But once life has got back to a more normal situation I think we will start visiting the beautiful countryside of Wales again. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Friends bean and tomato plants.

Visited a friend who has some bean plants growing and some tomato plants.

I was jealous, my tomatoes only have a couple of fruits on them. And we don’t have any beans. But I admire her ability to grow them. It’s good to go out and visit people at a distance. It’s better than sitti g in my house. I still wear a mask even if I’m outside. That made it hard to have a glass of elderflower cordial so I relented because I was thirsty and we kept a good six feet apart. Now I’m back home in the cool. It was 36° C in places today. The hottest August day since 2003, and it’s forecast to get hotter!

The new normal?

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Visiting my friend today who’s a fine art student. Because we were inside her house we both wore masks.  This is the final Stoke Urban Sketchers challenge for this run but I don’t think it will be the last. This was so good, to be able to visit someone. I feel like crying, I felt nervous, I felt touched that someone would let me in their house after all this time. I may dream about it! It was an honour to be allowed to draw her. I hope she does well in her fine art degree.

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Almost three years ago

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We visited a pub in September 2017 called the bleeding wolf which is on the A34 pub just North of Stoke on Trent in Rode Heath.

This is something I’ve missed doing in lockdown, just going out and visiting places outside the city. Enjoying the countryside. The feeling of freedom.

But even now I’m luckier than many people. I do have a home and food and water. I can afford to pay for things I need. I keep reflecting on how things could be so much worse here. I hope you are all safe and well.

 

Dorothy Clive Garden.

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This was my drawing of the Dorothy Clive Garden on 6.5.18. It’s recently reopened but with a booking system so you have to book morning or afternoon slots to visit. There is a self service system at the cafe. I hope we can go one day next week if the weather improves, after a month or more of sunshine we have been having rain for the last few days. Good for all gardens including the Dorothy Clive.

It will be lovely to see different landscapes, beautiful flowers, and peaceful water features.

When you draw a place you are interpreting the world in a different way to simple photographs. That’s why I enjoy it. Trying to tame nature and describe it.

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My friends talk on Egypt

It’s not often that you can go to a talk about a visit to a country these days. Usually everything is on YouTube or Facebook. But my friend just gave a fascinating talk about his visit to Egypt a few months ago. He travelled from the coast in the south of Egypt, west to the Valley of the Queens and the King’s, then by train up to Cairo, Alexandria, and returning south to the airport. All in eight days!

The impression he had was of a friendly and helpful country. He nly had one encounter with a taxi driver who was a bit pushy, but everyone else was fine, he was invited for meals and shown interesting places and restaurants. He was able to visit the Pyramids and the Sphynx. Also an amphitheatre in Alexandria which was recently discovered and was Roman.

The life of the country was shown in detail, making for a really interesting evening.