Monday, 16 November 2015

dryads and pirates and fireballs





My mooring looks across to the valley of Monkton Combe, which notches into the steep valley of the Avon and gives a good view of the evening sky- that's why this stretch is known as Sunset Strip... two nights ago, I got up just after one o'clock and opened the hatch to see what I could see in the sky- the night was clear as anything, and a moment after the hatch swung open a great fireball dropped over to the west. Goodness! All those times I've stared fruitlessly at the sky hoping to see a shooting star. I Tweeted the sighting, being all modern like that, and saw that someone else had seen a fireball over Wiltshire an hour earlier. Apparently it's the Taurids that are responsible. I watched a while longer, the more permanent pleasures of Orion, and the Pleiades, or Seven Friendly Stars, glowing high overheard, so clear that I could make out five of them with eye unaided by anything more than my specs.

That's the second time I've seen a fireball. The first time I'd been waiting for the ISS to appear...

The picture above is the fruit of my wanderings in the local woods, and is for Deborah Harvey's forthcoming collection. On her blog is a series of picture showing this picture developing.

It's a relief to be painting again. Sometimes it can be very hard to get started again after being distracted, by, in this case, the publishing and getting-out-there of Hailing Foxes. Anyway, the desk is now in painting mode, which is just as untidy as any other mode, but with a predominance of artstuff cluttering it.

And here are some pics of canal things, as I get back to that project. The pirate season has passed now; in the high season you might get four pirate boats in an hour going by. In November, oilskins and sou'westers are more the thing. Though we did get a hireboat crammed with chaps all dressed in country best, with tweed jackets and flat caps. Though to be fair, the fellow on the helm did have a captain's hat on.