Days Drawing In

Sunday, 18th December 2005

bird feederwillow titMy usual pattern is errands, visits, appointments and jobs throughout the day then by mid-evening at last having time to think 'what shall I draw?'; hence the fruit bowls, coffee tables and domestic bits and pieces that have been appearing in this so-called nature diary recently.

Today, just before the light faded, I sat down for a break with a mug of milky chai (a suitably spicy drink for this time of year) and drew the bird feeder as a willow tit repeatedly visited it. A great tit showed up too.

This is what I desperately need right now: more time to draw, preferably during daylight hours, preferably somewhere out there in the wider world, rather than sitting here at the dining room table.

It's a start though. But I need to work in colour again!

The Classics Reclassified

The Classics ReclassifiedSorry, but you can't buy this in the shops! A few weeks ago, I was discussing with my mum a book I remember we had when I was a child, The Classics Reclassified (1961), by Richard Armour, 'in which certain famous books are not so much digested as indigested, together with mercifully brief biographies of their authors, a few unnecessary footnotes, and questions which it might be helpful not to answer.'

Our copy disappeared long ago but as my mum said she'd like to read it again, I got our local bookseller, Rickaro, to track down a copy.

Moby Dick, Silas Marner, David Copperfield and The Iliad are amongst the books that get 'indigested'. For instance here's an incident from the seige of Troy that didn't get into the Bradd Pitt version:

'One warrior is smitten with a javelin that goes in at one temple and out by another, but he is unharmed because he is not in either temple at the time.'

Bellerophon stamp Yes, the book is pretty much as I remember it! As it had no cover, and it's a Christmas gift for my mum (don't tell her!), I soon designed one in Microsoft Publisher, using one of Campbell Grant's cartoons from the book.

There's a library stamp on the flyleaf; this copy evidently once sat on a shelf on the Royal Navy's HMS Bellerophon. Next Page

Richard Bell,