Here's Netty, with Chris, Jinny and Secretary Cat (the Skyravenwolf collective) on board, approaching the Dundas Aqueduct. I finished this picture this week. It was an interesting exercise; I used to do lots of pen and ink line drawings with hatching, but still have lots to learn. I was looking enviously at John Minton's illustrations in Elizabeth David's books; but then, just as in poetry, we all have our own styles, and must make the best of what we've got.
Mainstone Press have recently brought out a book of John Minton's work, by the way.
The days are lengthening by the day! It was still light at 5:30 yesterday. This is very welcome for us canal types, obviously. Still blooming cold though, and yesterday I was enticed out to service a bicycle for someone only to be rained, hailed, sleeted and snowed on in the space of half an hour. I really should have packed it in and gone back to it later, but there you go; sometimes when you get the bit between your teeth... I remember long ago back at Hafod Fach at haymaking, dad was baling when it started to rain, but kept on going, and I was wet and shivering and thinking PLEASE STOP WE'LL ONLY HAVE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN ... but there you go, sometimes the bit gets between the teeth and the apple has only fallen a little way from the tree, evidently.
Talking of things that fall from trees, there's been much activity along this stretch of canal over the last week, as contractors tidy up the trees along the railway that runs alongside us. Boaters have been swarming down and rescuing the cut timber and chopping it up for firewood. The less enterprising get theirs from Sherry Jim. Here he is. I was alerted to his presence by loud shoutings the other evening; he and Ding Dong and the Technicolour Bedlinton were delivering to a neighbour.
Ding Dong displayed his special facial skillz for the camera. He has, in his time, travelled to Cumbria to compete in the World Gurning Championships, but remains unrecognised on the world gurning stage, and continues to practice his art on the more humble one of the Kennet and Avon Canal.