Life as a Tintin Character


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Monday, 27th August, 2007

Richard as a Tintin characterI’M ENJOYING READING through the entire Adventures of Tintin, in a handsome new 8 volume A5 edition which Barbara spotted in the library. The smaller size makes more sense for sitting and reading but for studying how Hergé constructed his illustrations it would be good to have them at the original size. From what I remember from reading Hergé’s biography, he worked a size up from the way it appears in print.

His drawings are so clear and have a cartoon simplification about them so you’d think it would be easy to draw in the idiom but there’s more to it than you might imagine. For instance, in my drawing of myself trimming the hedge:

I'd like to try it again, it's fun trying to get the lively narrative quality of the drawings; I find the pace and humour of the stories echoes the movies of the post-war eriod.

The Last Bank Holiday of Summer

the woodIt’s our last Bank Holiday Monday of the summer and everyone is making the most of it. While I’m out in the garden trying to enjoy the peace and quiet, down at the Bingley Arms they’re having a barbecue to the amplified sounds of the sixties while in the valley they’re droning and droning and droning on motorbikes in the quarry area of the wood.

Makes me want to leave home and find somewhere quieter but I know that if I moved to the depths of the countryside that’s where the RAF like to practice their low-level jet fighter chases, so I guess I’m better off at home with the droning motorbikes and the booming Best of the Beatles.

But it explains why I look like Captain Haddock in my drawing; the most irate of Tintin characters.

frogFrogs in the Meadow

I'm continuing to give the garden a good haircut in preparation for the autumn and, having finished the hedge on two sides of the garden, I mow the small meadow area, shredding the hedge trimmings as I go. I take great care to avoid frogs, checking the first squares of grass by hand and removing three small frogs, then watching carefully as I mow along, making progress in the same direction so the frogs can hop out in the other.

Tomato Blight

tomato blightWe’ve noticed that we keep getting brown patches on our tomatoes and that the foliage is turning brown and shrivelling. It’s not blossom end rot which is caused by inconsistent watering; that’s blacker and always at the end of the tomato. Barbara looked this up and discovered that it’s tomato blight, a fungus that can infect the plants in warm, humid conditions.

We would probably have had more success this year growing outdoors where the plants would have been better ventilated.

Turf Waryoung blackbirds

So, the new generation; will they be like their parents, fighting for territory over our lawn?

Two speckled juveniles blackbirds are hopping along at either side of the lawn. Soon the one on the herb bed flies over to the other and there’s immediately a puffing up of feathers and enough aggression to persuade one of them to go back behind the invisible line that marks the boundary of the garden territories.

squirrelAt breakfast-time this character, a grey squirrel, poked his head over our own territorial marker; the plank in the gap in the fence between ourselves and next door. He must have decided it was better on the other side as he lowered himself back down once he’d taken a look.