A White Easter

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Friday, 28th March, 2008

Snow EasterI THINK THAT we have had a White Easter before but it was over 20 years ago, when we'd first moved in down here. This was the scene last weekend on the morning of Easter Sunday, 23rd March but on the Saturday afternoon I had taken a similar picture where hail, rather than snow, covered the ground. However, it wasn't the Easter weather that blanked us out last week; Barbara and I had colds which put us both out of action for well over a week.

Cafe CasbahI think after all the work on the house and all the effort of getting my book to the printers it wasn't surprising that we should both go down with the latest virus that has been doing the rounds.

This view from the Café Casbah, Batley, (right) was drawn with my 0.8 mm Pilot Drawing Pen and coloured with my Winsor & Newton pocket box of colours and Pentel Aquash waterbrush as we enjoyed lattés and toasted ciabattas with strawberry jam this morning. Thanks to the effects of the cold, it's the first drawing that I've started in the last couple of weeks. In fact our trip to the Redbrick Mill this morning was probably the first time for months that we've been out just for fun, rather than on an errand connected with home improvements. Must do more of that.

Scissors, knife, sharpener

scissorsI got these out to collapse the box that the new dishwasher came in. The cardboard was so substantial that I did consider that I should do something useful with it, like build a bookcase. Our previous dishwasher, which was 14 years old, was another of the items in the house that has recently decided that it's come to the end of its useful life. It started tripping the circuit breaker on the final phase of its wash cycle and Barbara, who was in the kitchen at the time, reports seeing sparks from the plug, which was overheating, just before the lights went out.

Wave your arms about and look convincing

Party PeopleWe're at my niece's 18th birthday celebration at Ossett Town Football club this evening and I'm impressed how well my mum, who is 90 and who wears digital hearing aids, is getting on chatting to everyone, despite the 'boom-boom-boom' of the industrial strength amplification equipment. We're sitting as far as we can from the J20 apple and mangospeakers but I can't hear what the person sitting next to me at the table is saying.

My mum though is practiced at getting by in such situations; she tells me that you communicate more by waving your arms about than through talking and, if you don't catch someone's name, just assume you know them and chat to them anyway.

My strategy is to stick to sketching and to smile and nod in the appropriate places. And cough uncontrollably when anyone makes me laugh; I'm still not completely over this darn cold!