You can't be alone with your thoughts when it's
a lovely summer's afternoon but amongst the buzz of conversation
from next door's barbecue the thing that really grates is a visitor
repeating about twenty times to a toddler in a patronizing voice:
'Nice fur-ree wuff-wuff!'
As one of my neighbour's dogs once bit deep
into my leg, I would think that the appropriate thing to tell the
child would be:
'This is a DOG; it is unpredictable
and has very large pointed teeth!'
I might have got my child psychology wrong
here and do permanent damage to the child but at least there'd be
less of a chance of the dog doing permanent damage!
I don't do baby talk!
dunnock sings from the shed roof; a loud, bright
The weathered timber of our garden shed appeals to me as I sit
at the pond wondering what I'd like to draw. There are more colourful
subjects but, having spent the week writing and designing, I'm finding
it difficult to launch myself into colour. I just want to pick up
a pen and get lost in a drawing.
painting you're breaking off every minute to change the colour on
your brush, which interrupts the flow of observation, so - at least
as I see it this afternoon - you need to be in a more expansive
frame of mind.
A month from now the book should have gone to press and I hope
I'll be feeling more relaxed, ready for the challenge of colour.
This drawing might end up in the book anyway.
Etch a Sketch
If it does get printed on a page I hope the character of the drawing
will come over better than it does here. It was drawn with a fine-nibbed
(0.1 mm) Edding 1800 penwhich
gives an effect similar to the lines in an etching. At 75 dots per
inch the pixels of a computer screen are too coarse to show this
but the 600 dots per inch of lithography should show that dry, scratchy
quality which suits the grain of the weathered timbers.
The pen isn't dry and scratchy to use, by the way; the permanent
ink flows steadily.
tried the first of our Kestrel potatoes today;
small (that could be because of the weather we've had) and with
no damage on the skins, which have reddish patches on them. They
worked as well roast as they did boiled and they didn't fall into
the water, which I think was something our Maris Pipers used to
We also tried a handful of broad bean pods which
had beans not much bigger than baked beans in them. If you can resist
the temptation to let the pods get bigger, this is the time to eat
them, while they're still so tender.
Richard Bell, email@example.com