Saturday, September 30, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Eight – Nashe’s Farm

A windy blustery day. A day of sunshine, showers and rainbows. And a day of wondering if we are ever going to crack potty-training.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Seven – Daylight walk!

At last I’ve broken the back of all the design work that came at once, so was able to get out to walk before dark. I’m also preparing a yummy supper to celebrate Robin’s return from his dinghy instructor course – he’s due back in a couple of hours. I can’t wait to have the family chauffeur back.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Six – St Leonard’s Church

Another busy day work-wise, so another walk in the dark after feeding the children and getting Xavier to bed. To see the original on-site black and white drawing – before all the Photoshop magic added later – mouse over the picture.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Five – Acorns

Another fairly quick one – drawn sitting on a bench at Jersey Farm Woodland Park. Xavier loves acorns – the house is full of his collections of them. With Tom and Hugo it was conkers, great buckets of them that I was not allowed to move until they had very obvious signs of mould and rot.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Four – The scout hut

This was a very quick sketch dashed as I rushed up the hill to the bluebell wood in the only spare moments I had before it got dark. I really don’t want to be walking in the dark, but at the moment my timetable doesn’t allow for much walking time unless it eats into toddler-free working time. It seems worse this week as Robin is away – and despite thinking I am entirely responsible for everything functioning in this household, it turns out that he does have his uses.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Three – Basketball players

A day of work, work, work so I could only get out after the sun had set. I was thinking ‘Now what would Alison draw in this dark night?’, when I saw our wonderful, floodlit, newly refurbished netball/tennis/basketball courts. The man with the hat thought I was keeping score for them as I scribbled away.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-Two – More clouds

A quick walk up to the Bluebell wood after a busy day of ferrying children to sailing events and doing more *yawn* tedious design work.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty-One – Clouds again

After yesterday, the clouds were gorgeous this evening. However in this damp air the water colours take longer and longer to dry. I look like like some kind of mad woman walking my dog and holding my sketchbook open as though I’m desperate for someone to look and comment (and I don’t need that do I – that’s what my blog is for!).

At last I’ve caught up with myself. My blog is now back in real time!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fifty – Courtyard garden

I wish that I could have given my Australian friends some of the rain we had today. At one point (unfortunately while Hugo was cycling home from school) the rain was so torrential there was a small river running down the High Street. I did wonder how I was going to draw without wrecking a sketchbook. Fortunately it completely cleared at about six so, as I had children to feed and chauffeur to sea cadets, I tried to see how well I could draw this little garden at Pound Farm in as short a time as possible. I’m striving to learn what to leave out.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Fory-Nine – Same subject, different media

Having discovered the other day that there is a perfect cattle-viewing spot behind the Green Man pub, I’m afraid you’re going to have to put up with quite a lot of these.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty-Eight – So much work to try and fit in

I worked all day on tedious graphic design work, with barely a moment’s break, but something has to pay for food and clothes and Greek holidays, so tedious work is better than no work. This evening – which by the way was warm and lovely – I walked through Spencer playing field and round the Bluebell wood. the cattle were unusually close to the fence and it was lovely to see the calves with their mothers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty-Seven – Car in for repair

The car was in for repair so I did a whole lot of walking, dropping the car off, walking home, walking to the Baptist church seen above (morning nursery) walking to the school (afternoon nursery) whilst feeding Xavier a packed lunch, walked home, walked back to afternoon nursery, then back home. So the next time you get one of those corporate in-house magazines, just think, the designer has probably had to fit in all this whilst also designing the pages and trying to find yet another *original* looking photograph of two businessmen shaking hands.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty-Six – Quick walk around Jersey Farm Woodland Park

Fast graphite drawing as every client I have seems to have given me work at the same time!
Clouds are so much more interesting here than they were in Greece, some consolation for the cold and wet and dark of the winter.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty Five – Pheasant Walk with Robin

I arrived back from Manchester, having had a wonderful evening. Chris is such a funny and talented story teller. The play ‘Salford Stuffers’ was brilliant, with the most wonderful cast of actors. And you can all enjoy her work – the 45 minute afternoon play on BBC Radio 4 on the 27th of September is written by her, so tune in (and for those of you not in the UK, Radio 4 can be played over the internet and with the ‘listen again’ facility you should be able to hear it up to a week after the broadcast date). Robin and I walked what we call ‘the pheasant walk’ with Xavier, and this was the view looking from the three trees and straw bales.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty-Four – Cattle from behind The Green Man

Up early to walk Rufus before the treat of going away from home for one night on my own without any children. Woo hoo. My dear friend Jenny is taking me up to Manchester to see a production of her sister’s play (The Salford Stuffers by Christine Marshall) at the Lowry.
Quite frankly we could be going up to Manchester to dine out at McDonalds and I would still be thrilled.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty Three – Burma Star Memorial

I walked Xavier through Jersey Farm Woodland Park to his new afternoon nursery school, for a taster session, and back past the Burma Star War Memorial. The inscription was very sad and moving, but also, I felt, in some way romanticised the sheer bloody awfulness of young men dying far away from home.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty-Two – Shall I buy a stool?

Warm misty day. I painted these cottages near the church and then walked around the other wood and down Woodcock Hill. I may need to buy a stool – all the serendipitous streaks and drips were because I was standing on the side of the road trying to hold sketchbook, paints, brushes and a pallette, and trying to paint at the same time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty-One – No Time

A quick scribble and dash round the bluebell wood. I seem to be so short of time at the moment.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Forty – Backlit trees

Unseasonably warm, apparently the hottest September day since the 1940s. I wish I was still in Greece, I’m finding it difficult to get enthusiastic about the same old environment.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Nine - Three trees

I took Xavier for a picnic lunch by the straw-bale-enclosed corn that I described previously. Tomorrow he’s back at playgroup, which I am really looking forward to. I’m feeling a bit like one of those inept mothers that feature in programmes about how to manage and discipline your children – frazzled by the unrelenting demands of this very strong-willed child.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Eight – The entrance to Pound Farm

I walked a lot today, food and school uniform shopping, so this evening I quickly went up to the bluebell wood and back round to the playing fields. This is the entrance to the farmyard from the main road. I see Kevin, the farmer, is attaching some kind of red thing to the tractor – maybe a seed drill as so many fields have now been ploughed? I sound as though I know what I’m talking about when in fact I haven’t the faintest notion what they’re up to.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Seven – Strange new farming


The weather is beautiful and warm. Xavier and I went for a walk past the Bluebell wood and in three different places I saw something I’d never seen before. There were small crops of corn (in fields where wheat had grown previously) and each of them were enclosed by walls made of straw bales with small gaps between the bales. Xavier thought they were wonderful and slipped through one of the gaps of one of these. We also collected more blackberries. On the way home however, I bumped into someone who was able to enlighten me that the corn was to attract and feed the pheasants (who would be protected by the straw bales). And then the new owners of the farm will be able to make money having pheasant shoots, killing these virtually tame corn-fed pheasants.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Six - Xavier and a big rock

A walk around the woodland park including the playground and then onto the pond where a rock became a spaceship.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Five – Hill End Farm at dusk

So much to do today, that I was only able to get out for a short walk at seven in the evening. Sadly, the browns in my water colour pallette are at last getting an outing after all those blues.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Four – Blackberry picking

Although the other children are back at school, Xavier doesn’t start nursery ’till next week. His lovely childminder (our next-door neighbour) is on maternity leave, and I am juggling work, entertaining Xavier and walking as well as I can manage. So an outing to collect free fruit seemed a good way to keep him busy for some of the time today. We strolled up the lane to the Bluebell wood picking and eating as we went. It always takes me ages, because I find it difficult to stop collecting – I can’t bear to see the juicy berries uncollected and going to waste.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Three – Bumping into Natalie

I bumped into my friend Natalie, and as we had so much to catch up with we walked round Spencer playing fields several times before she decided to abandon the playing field and come with me round past the scout hut to finish off the conversation. I had to rush back as I had a roast in the oven and a family to feed, so I grabbed some elderberries to draw after supper.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Thirty-Two – the Lych Gate

After all the excitement of seeing something new everyday, it was a little difficult to go back to the familiar. When you’ve been on a really good holiday, every moment has been experienced to the full and it feels like you’ve been absent for so long, that you almost expect everything at home to be different, but I walked around the church and then up to the bluebell wood and very little had changed, the fields were more muted colours and there were more berries on the bushes but it was still much the same.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Walk/Swim One Hundred and Thirty One – Last day in Greece

We were up early, said our goodbyes and took a taxi to a hotel with a swimming pool. After breakfast, Robin and I had a little walk around the neighbourhood, but it was a little dull so I drew Flo when we got back. We went back to the mainland by ferry and were taken to the airport by coach where we did get to see the Acropolis in the distance.

The rest of the evening was hellish. As we were just about to get on the plane a delay of twenty minutes was announced, so we had to return to the gate. In the end our flight was delayed for a total of four hours – but we weren’t informed how long the delay would be, so we had to stay at the gate. There were insufficient seats, so we had to sit on the floor. We were not offered any refreshments and we daren’t leave the gate area to get some because we didn’t know whether the flight was on the verge of leaving. But there you go, that’s what happens now on airlines.

Our good friend Igor, still turned out at, I think, three in the morning to pick us up at the airport, and we had nonetheless had a wonderful holiday so we had a lot to be grateful for.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Walk/Swim/Sail One Hundred and Thirty – Nea Epidavros to Poros


The illustration above was the view from the back of the boat on our last evening in Poros. To see a bigger version, just click on it.

We set off early from Nea Epidavros as we wanted to have a look at Selonda Bay before returning back to Poros. Although attractive, I think Rod Heikell was exaggerating the beauty of the bay and it did not really justify a detour. We then sailed almost all of the way back to Poros. We stopped at one of the bays, before our final destination, for lunch and a last swim in the sea. If we had had the time I would have liked to have drawn the Villa Galina overlooking the bay. This golden coloured building was where Henry Miller wrote ‘The Colossus of Maroussi’ and where George Seferis the Greek Nobel Laureate poet was a guest. However we had to get the boat back, so it wasn’t to be and the photograph I took will have to do.

At our final destination Robin and the children went into Poros to look for souvenirs of our trip and I drew this picture, sitting in the cockpit of ‘Maria Kallas’.

We then dressed and went for our final group dinner with the others, before our last night sleeping on the boat.