There are some days which stand out in memory as ‘perfect’. Last Tuesday was one.
I rose at 6.30 and watched the sun rise over Flatford Mill on the Suffolk/Essex border.
Painting by 7.30 I tried to capture the early morning light, the reflections on the water, the cascade of blossom on the opposite bank of the river, and the trail through the dew left by three eager ducks.
Later, I wandered across the fields to Dedham – under a perfect blue sky, the air still and the reflections on the water of the river Stour dazzling in their clarity.
Through the afternoon, the day progressed in perfect harmony with season and nature, ending, placidly, with a sense of completion and quiet joy.
Early the next day, the morning sunlight drew me out again with my paintbox – but now the light was made obscure by the strange Saharan dust. Fragile beauty, soon to be lost as high pressure leached polution from the Continent and spewed it over southern England.
Such transient beauty is a perfect gift – a jewel, to be observed and delighted in. Its very transience adds to its value. It is a memory treasured, not lost – caught in my mind and, to some extent, captured in my painting. I must go back!
Dredger at work
The sea has been a bit over-excited in recent months, but during a day spent down at Watchet, on the Bristol Channel coast, it seemed fairly well-behaved. The harbour was calm enough and the dredger hard at work to keep the main channel clear of silt.
Back home, we took a trip out to Muchelney, no longer cut off by flood water:
Look carefully and you’ll see that there is still plenty of water around – but none of it salt.
No longer a time of Noah – but the local dogs are wagging their tails now that they can run round more than just one field!
Not a chess term – just a few lovely days checking out Welsh castles. Here is a taster or two…
Hay on Wye
OK, so Hay on Wye is a bit of a cheat – but it has been jumping in and out of Wales for years! And the view of Raglan is from the back, rather than the front – famed for its ‘machicolations’ (*A machicolation – French, machicoulis – is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones, or other objects, could be dropped on attackers at the base of a defensive wall.*…)
Don’t you just love a new word to describe castles? I added ‘slighted’ *archaic
raze or destroy (a fortification)*…to my list as well!
If you enjoyed the book cover game, you may like the ‘book titles with the last letter missin’ game:
My favourite image so far was created by Vicki’s *Lynne Reid Banks gets an Aussie twist with The L-Shaped Roo*
This was the nearest I could find:
Over to you!
image by Dixie Allan
This ‘Book Cover’ game is going viral. Here is my take on my childhood favourite: L M Montgomery’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’.
sorry I can’t embed it in the post – my technical know-how has fallen at the fence!
As the rain continues to fall, interspersed with the odd few hours of sunshine, indoor tasks become the focus of my attention. The puppets are now complete:
Meet Abe and Estee – now headed off to join the ‘Open the Book’ team.
And now I return to the Big Tidy Up – you know, the one which starts with enthusiasm, drags to an end in exhaustion and then begins all over again when another busy week’s worth of clutter is dragging you down. Glug, glug, glug.
So, the ‘to do’ list is born and lurks in the kitchen. Even putting something on the list which I have already done, so that I can tick it and feel good, is not convincing me that I am making progress – and now the sun is trying to pierce the gloom of overdue-for-cleaning windows.
Hey ho, never mind, it will soon be raining again!
The other day, choked with a weariness born of household chores, I sought fresh air and a brisk walk around the village, just as dusk was nearly upon us and folk had turned on lights but not yet closed their curtains. This peep into other lives revealed similar domestic toil – the ‘light duties’ of tidying drawers, sorting through the heap of paper in the kitchen, cleaning round the sink, finding homes for the minute detritus of 21st century life. Solidarity created a sense of a shared task – alone in the kitchen and yet one of an army of busy ants, bringing order to chaos.
Then, a low sun caught the catkin branch near the road and the catkins seemed to dance with the simple joy of living. A nearby bank filled with snowdrops quietly inderlined the theme of hidden, service.
(I hope no-one overheard me – it came out louder than expected in the hollow evening air.)
Time for tea and toast and a new page on the ‘to do’ list. No false entries today – pure reality will do,