Sunday, 31 August 2008

Butterfly Party

I can't express how much I love this field. It ticks all the boxes for me -- or will when the trees are a little more mature -- I love the fact that it's been reclaimed by nature from man. I tried to carry one of the 4' square pieces of board home today but it was solid wood and weighed a ton. I brought a smaller opiece home instead, to make a cover for the fire pit, but it was too small.

This is wind and grass and trees.

A Meadow Brown butterfly

it was the unofficial birthday of Luisa and Gina today (Luisa's is the 3rd, Gina's the 6th) and look what happened to the garden!

Luisa was game - despite (you can't see it in the
picture) the pouring rain.

And Gina, of course!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

DK's Birthday

Here's THIS house again.

The graffiti has gone, as has the skip and rubbish. It looks as though it will be on the market shortly.

It's DK's birthday today and we went out for a lunchtime meal (Miranda and Gina split the bill - thank you ladies). We went to the Red Lion and the food had changed with the management - we went expecting two-meals-for one on steak and chips and ended up with expensive gourmet food.

Here's one of the fireplaces. There were a lot of signed etchings - a couple of which I would have liked a print of myself.

And there was a shed, too!
Oh happy day!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Haiga - Rusted Bike

Another shot (doctored this time) of the bike from Tuesday

Treasures from the past

It's a little late in the season for the flowers, but here is the delight and profusion of plants on the old factory site. You can only see thistle and ragwort in flower but there are hundreds of varieties.

I also love this steel hawser that dips in and out of the foliage like a sea serpent. I'd bring it back for garden sculpture but there's a hundred feet or more of inch thick cable.

This is what I love about nature-reclaimed building sites. Although this used to be a factory, I could just as easily be looking at an ancient Roman fort here, with just dressed stone half-buried in grass.

I did bring a small (about fist sized) stone back. This is full of holes like those occasional beach pebbles. Here it is in my sink garden. That's a wild strawberry plant behind it.

Wild? It's livid! I just dropped a rock on its sucker!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Shops and Sheds

This is just around the corner from us - I'm not entirely certain if its the one we use, because I think I'd distrust the 100% beef claims.

The cemetery field has been mowed since the last time I walked the dogs here.

Crop circle, anyone?

This isn't a stick of wood but a 2" strip of missing bark. One has to wonder why.

This seems to be a disused council yard at the back of the cemetery. I've never seen any vehicles in it. A waste of shed if you ask me!

Not as good as Gina's!


Book Review

Wooden Womb Man – Elizabeth O’Neill

Amazon Synopsis

The Legg family are a nightmare, and it is only that good if you are part of it. Domestic violence, heavy drinking, junk food and cigarettes are the staples of everyday life and an unholy interest in eggs only adds a surreal twist to the misery Gregg Legg has to put up with. He has always been bullied and the bullying seems as though it will continue throughout his life, being only marginally better since he decided to marry Peggy Legg, who doesn’t let anyone bully her husband except herself. But now there is their son to think about and Gregg doesn’t want history to repeat itself. “Wooden Womb Man” is a surreal, darkly hilarious and often terrifying novel, which digs into the heart of an ASBO community and finds it to be as healthy as the ash from a packet of Kensitas Club. Set in Irvine, Elizabeth O’Neill writes in dialect and describes the horror of domestic abuse and its effects from a new and refreshing perspective, the darkness of the story leavened with some of the worst puns ever set in print.

My Thoughts

I read this novel on the plane to Ireland and struggled with it not because of the Scots dialect it is written in (which actually trips easily off the mind’s tongue after a few pages), nor with the subject matter which is bother horrifying and darkly humourous. The naming of characters in a running inside joke annoyed me greatly – I was constantly thrown out of the story by yet another intentional – and contrived – rhyme. Not a single character aroused my sympathies except perhaps the boy, but there is no focus on his development.

The end is as tragic as any I have read, though Peg’s journey is the most tragic of all, since it seems she learned nothing from it.

Although not to my taste I would recommend this book as a snapshot of life in the first decade of the twentieth century, much as I view Bill Naughton’s novels from the viewpoint of growing up in the sixties.

Many thanks to Anthony at Bluechrome for sending me a review copy.

Buy it Here

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Stones and Rubbish

Walking through the wetlands field again I spied this piece of lichen-covered stone and wanted to take it home. Even the brick in the foreground was full of bountiful colour.

At the top of the ridge, where houses overlook the field, was this swathe of polygonum (Russian Vine) at the back of someone's garden.

Here's the start of the woods and the horrendous amount of rubbish that fills it. This is what i hate, not the rusting hulks or the abandoned factories but the utter laziness of people not disposing of litter.

Sure, I made dens when I was a kid but I never, ever left rubbish. Perhaps because I was brought up on Enid Blyton whose characters always cleaned up after themselves.

Finally, what's the betting that all this rubbish -- and it's mostly beer cans -- came sailing over the fence from the garden at the top?

Perhaps if we had Fun Garbage Bags?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A new Field

We turned away from the cemetery today and went to the site of a disused factory. DK and I went there a few years ago when we still had Holly dog but then it was a bare patch of waste ground. Now its a rich wetland habitat, crowded with wild flowers and trees.

I still love teasels, despite the thousands that come up in our garden every year

An old rusted and crushed incinerator. I could rally do with a whole version of this for growing potatoes in.

I tried to show the wetlands. Bear padded through the 6" water easily but Trickster had problems.

I doubt that even Rowan could mend this bike. It has ten speeds, all of them 'stop'.

Who isn't cheered by a daisy?

Monday, 25 August 2008

Garden and Cemetery

Rusted parrafin lamp
still lights our path
better then dead fairy lights.

Echinacea blooms --
cheerful daisies
among the nasturtiums.

Dark clouds over the meadow
Poplar trees are popular
in cemeteries

Horse chestnuts
swelling in the rain
and the August sun.

Plastic flowers
adorn a Beech
One wonders why.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Garden photos

Cheerful star
in the lantern tree
waiting for night time.

Soulful demon
looks out over the pond
from his hermitage

Runner beans
climbing up the chime frame
flower in Eucalyptus

So I worked out how to get my phone card out and plug it into a USB reader, told Kirsty to keep my phone cable and ordered another from e-bay.


For the prompt "Resolve" at One Single Impression

Friday, 22 August 2008

No photos again - bits of the house

Windowsill bottles
Sunshine captured for later
with the present corked.

Downstairs bathroom wall
bedecked with bits of tag art -
memories of walks.

Anyone for tea?
An old pot and Christmas lights -
interesting lamp.

Presents for DK:
drawers of integrity and
other emotions.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Derilict Factories

Walking back from Morisson's I came a different route that took me through the middle of two abandoned factories. I felt almost awed at the huge space of these brownfield areas an the vast number of disused buildings. The amount of concrete laid down would have comfortably parked three hundred cars and was being slwly reclaimed by nature; principally buddleias.

It was mostly surrounded by these old walls where were themselves being invaded by ferns and lichens and buddleias and ash saplings.

Further on was part of a wall of a third disused factory. Sandstone and iron railings: marvellous!

Finally the path nearest to the house.

Why someone had left an office chair (destroyed) I've no idea. A testament to man, I suppose, though left to itself it will soon be covered by brambles.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Still no camera pics

This is a portrait of my friend Maggie, done in my third year at art school. It was originally a 5' by 4' 'standard' portrait of her (This was 1987 and i had a huge crush on her at the time) but it was boring. I cut it up, added the broken chair (she'd just had an operation on her leg) and repainted it over three canvasses. A serious influence from Howard Hodgkin, too.

Watercolour "Sansuriel"
One of my recent watercolours
I have this one somewhere. It was up for sale for a while.

"Bit" Collage, 1999

A collage with a long poem about my ex.

Best forgotten, I think.

"Natural 4"

Found materials collected from the river bank of the Derwent.