Sunday, 30 January 2011

See you again next year

The days are short,
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor,
And parkas pile up
Near the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees' black lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

"JANUARY" by John Updike

Strange to think that January is almost finnished, the first month of the year seems such a long month as the days tick by but then when February looms I wonder where January went!

abientot Janvier

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Pretty green

Today I saw tiny lime green shoots pushing out of the leafy, mouldy, muddy earth high up in the bluebell woods and I smiled at their promise.
The highly scented smell of hyacinth is wafting out from the kitchen.....

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Marcasite morning

Outside the world is frozen and silent ~ tiny crystals stud the surface of everything in sight.
Jack frost has been at work coating the countryside with icy beads all has become mineralised.
The light is soft and milky everything that is familiar looks magical and heightened.
Come with us (Mr.Boodle and I)
as we step out onto the crunchy grass, each blade edged with icy beading.

Come and see this rock salted frozen landscape.

The fence posts have been blanched and dusted with diamonds they are pale and magical, softly glinting in the difused morning light.
Barbed wire becomes decorous caked in its frosting.

Turning for home we see a kiss in the hedgrow

Home field has been turned to bone, ossified and ivory white.

Straight on to an art class where Virginia has grouped this lovely little cluster of natural coloured objects for us to draw as a warm up exercise!

Hmm, that lovely wooden horse fills me with a stab of fear..... I can't draw horses

But I do!

Enjoy your weekend

Monday, 17 January 2011

Land Girls

Today I am celebrating the return of the wonderful BBC 1 drama "Land Girls".
Based on the experiences of women working on the land during the Second World War.
As a teenager I was really fascinated by the romance and drama of this period and would pour over my Granny's black and white photos. She was in the WAAF (Women's Auxilliary Airforce) and worked on Lancaster Bombers. She was lucky to survive the War as she was blown off a tube at Collindale Station when it was hit during a bombing raid. She is famously low key about it and will simply say "It nearly blew my eyebrows off!". Granny was blown clear of the train, the girl sitting next to her was not so lucky and was killed.
Granny ran away from home and lied about her age in order to join up. She was training at RAF Hendon when she was caught in the bomb blast. The WAAF grew from about 1,700 members at the outbreak of war to approximately 180,000 by 1943. It was a very intense time to be alive and every family has it's own stories to tell. The Imperial War Museum held an exhibition that told the story of servicewomen, nurses, land girls, factory workers, secret agents, pilots and peacekeepers from the First World War to the present day. You can still visit online here
Today the Land Girls are back on BBC 1 AT 2.15PM.
One of my enduring teenage memories is of trying to work the 1940's look! I was mad about vintage silk scarves tied in my hair and red lipstick! I was forever scouring charity shops for vintage dresses in ditsy prints. (I heard you Mr.Lane! I know nothing changes!)
These days I think Alys rocks the vintage look
When I see these amazing period photographs the hairs stand up on the back of my neck

here are the girls from series one

And this land girl is simply stunning

Last year I got busy buying up the Royal Mail "Britain Alone" stamp issue.
A Special Stamp issue paying tribute to all those who showed such tenacity of spirit during Britain’s darkest hour.
The eight Special Stamps feature archive photography of some of the stoic people who made this 'our finest hour'.
Brilliant photgraphs don't you think? You can still get them here

This whole set is fantastic

Now off to catch up with the girls!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Life is tweet!

The morning birds that sing me into wakefullness each morning sound very chirrupy indeed this week. They start slowly, a lone song that is gradually built to a crescendo as the sun begins to rise and eveyone joins in.

I wonder if they really are more chirpy or whether perhaps my own longing for the early signs of spring has tricked me? This year there are so many blue-tits darting about, they are such a joy to stand and watch for a while, so playful, diving and darting and swooping into the hawthorn opposite the kitchen window.

Hopefully they are thinking about building their perfect little nests

I gave Mr.Lane this mug for Christmas - very appropriate!

I am thinking of investing in some of this beatiful stationary from Dear Prudence ~ find them here

Dont worry the robin has not been usurped in my affections he is still number one! ( you may remember my "the robin" post from 2009, read it here )

I have been trying to determine their different songs and have been listening to a brilliant radio staion called "Birdsong Radio" where you can listen to the dawn chorus any time of day, genius!

I saw one of these at the end of the year whilst having lunch with the Magpie in Tuckenhay at the Waterman's Arms

I was so excited!

There are quite a lot of these about at the moment

and these

but I am desperate to see Jenny Wren

All of this musing got me thinking how much I would like to be able to paint birds well, I can definately have a bash at sketching them but there is something wonderful about capturing the character of your subject and I am not talented enough.
Unlike the amazing Beatrix Potter, I was looking at some of her illustrations, trying to see them with a fresh eye. Her work is so iconic I don't think I always take the time to study it as it has been with me since childhood.

I really like this pen and ink study of her garden at Hilltop Farm.

And here it is lovingly recreated by the production team for Miss Potter.

I am off to tackle my poor snow decimated kitchen border as soon as it gets light! Wish me luck, I am hoping for some company of the robin variety.
Have a great weekend,