20 April 2014


The young mares are in season and this morning, in the cold, miserable mist, there was a lot of action and whinnying. Snippet spotted them first:

Snippet was in serious trouble by the end and had to go on the lead on the way home. Luckily most of the ponies know him and just ignore him:

The cows were behaving a bit more sedately:

This Blackbird too:

Trees can't really get up to much:

It's been tipping down all day which has been a real shock after almost the whole Easter holiday with brilliant weather.

On Thursday OB and I went to Westward Ho! in North Devon to meet some friends. My father (who I never knew) spent a lot of his childhood there with his Grandmother, so I had a romanticised view of it as we drove the hour and a half it takes to get there. The name 'Westward Ho!' comes from Charles Kingsley's novel of the same name, which was set in Bideford, just along the coast. The village was built by entrepreneurs, keen to develop tourism in the area. The beach is spectacular but, with limited time and frankly freezing conditions, we spent little time on it. A huge naturally formed pebble ridge runs the length of the beach. Here is OB taking pictures with his ipod. 

Look who I found resting on one of the beautiful grey sandstone pebbles:

How are OB and his friend not tripping up, as I nearly did walking, on the stones?

Wastward Ho! is not the beautiful town I had hoped, but I just liked being in a place where my Dad had been in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Apparently he used to cycle around Dartmoor in his teens, so living here has another familial aspect to it. As a 17 year old, he worked at Bletchley Park in the last year of the war but never spoke of it. We had rather disappointing coffee and cake before we left:

It's been so busy this week - I'm sorry I haven't been posting very much. There just hasn't been time but in a good way if you see what I mean. Today we've had a brief respite before two Easter egg hunts tomorrow. Here are a few more pictures from the sunny week. Firstly, Trigger through what was originally a Beech hedge but which is now a run of immense trees:

Looking through the branches of the same trees in the early morning light:

Meadow Pipit:

Jack on the rocks:

One of a pair of Pied Wagtails nesting on Kestor. I've watched them vying for space with the Wheatear pair that are also nesting there again this year:

I hope you're all having a great Easter and thanks so much for all your positive comments on the Landscape post. Once OB is back at school, I'm going to bite the pen and watercolour bullet and see what occurs. Disaster or not, I promise to publish the results. I think I'm going to try and sell the other one. So until next time, here are the dogs after a long, hot walk, one of whom thinks rolling in wood shavings will cool him down............hmmm. 

14 April 2014


I don't do landscapes. However, M has been on at me to do one for ages and, given the beauty of our surroundings, I thought I should have a go. Did I enjoy the process? No, I did not. I'm glad I did it, but it took FOREVER and I really missed the detail in a close up subject. It started well....

Really enjoying myself with the deep shadow on the rocks in the foreground in these first few.....

2 hours later, still feeling quite positive as I do the shelter belt conifers in the distance and start the deciduous stuff on the right......

How can this be taking so long? It's just a bit of moorland. 

I've been at it for nearly five hours now.....time for the horizon stuff.........zzzzzzz

At this point I realised I should have been taking it to the window to take the photographs. Time for a bit of colour. I'm seriously bored now but determined to finish. I thought the colour would take less time; oh no - this sky is taking forever:

This wasn't done in one day by the way - it's day three now and I'm losing the will to live. Grass....

................and more grass............and at last, it's finished. M likes it. I'm not sure. 

Whilst doing my mum's shopping in Waitrose last week, I spotted some cereal I thought OB might like; I hate the way even the lower sugar ones are still full of the stuff and this uses Coconut blossom nectar instead. Still sugar but a lower GI apparently. Anyway, this what he did with it. He thinks I wear a coat too much by the way.

The weather is so beautiful. Cold at night and glorious in the day. The mornings are chilly. Here's Trigger in the paddock up here at a distance:

Early morning sun:

Dew on a spider web:

Lambs love the sun:

So do the dogs:

Today OB had a couple of friends here and we went up to Kestor with the dogs. 

They have no fear of heights:

Neither do the boys:

It's nearly half past ten now and, having got waylaid earlier as I was about to press the 'publish' button, I am now in bed with our little tablet thingy. This is a slippery slope; a descent into a technology based oblivion I swore I would avoid at all costs. I am ashamed. However, I'm very comfy and have a hot water bottle tucked under one arm. I'm close to conversion but will take up my book in a sec rather than surfing the internet. So, until next time when I hope to be on a chair, here are those dogs in the sun again earlier today.