The Jungle in the Tiger

Saturday, 22nd October 2005

canal cutting


I get a break, walking along the towpath again, on a moist, muddy, mellow autumn morning. A canoeist dips his paddle with a splishy rhythm.


I've been using my favourite writing pen, a Parker fountain pen with a rubber grip, to sign copies of Rough Patch so now I need new cartridges (that sounds good, doesn't it! I admit I've written letters, my diary and drawn with it too). I always take a good look at pens, you never know what you might find, and when I see they have the same model in stock in Portfolio, Ossett, I get one to use for black ink, for drawing. It gives a bolder line than my favourite drawing pen, the Rotring Art Pen with an extra fine sketch nib, but it will make a change for certain subjects. I drew the canoeist, above, with the new pen and the girl in the woods, below.

girl singingAs we walk around the lake at Newmillerdam this afternoon, a young old girl is singing, as she walks with her mum and dad and little brother through the woods:

'There's a jungle in the tiger!
There's a jungle in the tiger! . . . '

'I think you mean “there's a tiger in the jungle?”' suggests her mum.

But I think she'd got it right first time; everyone knows that you can take the tiger out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the tiger.


The Chestnut Man

At the top end of the wood, a family party are out collecting sweet chestnuts. Grandad has a distinctive accent (eastern European?) and he is telling another couple who are collecting the prickly-cased fruits how best to use them.

I think he mentioned boiling them, although in England I've never heard of any other method than roasting them. Preferably in the still hot ashes of an open fire, although those aren't so easy to come across these days. Next Page

Richard Bell,