Saturday, 25 February 2023
a Map of the Canal and Waterway Network of England and Wales
I drew this map two years ago, and was pretty happy with it, but following feedback, and particularly after my voyage down from the Montgomery Canal to the Kennet and Avon last year, I thought it would be improved if it were to identify the narrow canals.
These are the canals built for the use of narrowboats only; so there are several types of boat which simply will not fit into the locks on them, most generally widebeams.
As you see from the map, the north and the south of the network are cut off from each other for this class of boat. Though not for narrowboats! I really enjoyed our trip along the narrow canals last summer; the locks are so much easier.
...oh, I also changed that Leicester Longwool sheep. I wasn't happy with the first one.
Sorry, these images are fairly low-res. You can get hi res versions both on quality paper or as a download, on my Etsy shop, which you'll see linked over there on the right hand toolbar. Probably. Or here
Monday, 26 December 2022
a midwinter song for Saturnalia
Happy St Stephen's Day! Just as a change from Christmas, Yule, or indeed Solstice ('bright blessings' etc), here's a song for Saturnalia, the old feast of misrule held at this time of the year, when things were turned upside down and masters waited on slaves. It also references Mithras, who was born from a rock about now. Io Saturnalia, by the way, was the greeting or invocation they used,like we'd say Merry Christmas.
Jove keep you merry, everyone,
Let nothing you dismay
Cos Mithras the unconquered sun
Came down to us today
From depths of winter to the spring
To show us all the way
Singing Io Saturnalia...
Although the times are at their darkest
And we're ruled by thieves
Who'd have us at each other's throats
If we their lies believed
Remember they're just greedy swine
And give the sods the heave!
Singing Io Saturnalia...
We like the bread and circuses
They throw us now and then
But they're just crusts they throw to us
To keep us in our pen
Destroy all empires, and create
A Golden Age again!
Singing Io Saturnalia...
Saturday, 22 October 2022
tea towels on a rainy day
Jo Batchelor at Devizes Books called. "The tea towels have arrived!" So I got over there, and she was quite right. I'd ordered them quite some time ago, but there's been all sorts of difficulties this year for everyone, and they'd been running a bit late. Still, worth waiting for. This is the picture of Devizes that I did back in May, with the specific intention of having it printed like this.
Anyway, they're in stock at the bookshop, and in my Etsy shop too. Are tea towels a particularly british thing? -as in, getting them for the nice pictures on them? I can't say I ever noticed their local equivalents in my foreign travels, though everyone must need to dry their crockery with something.
Here's Eve, my boat, moored up in the rain. And the rather fine sunset I watched the evening before, over at Otter Poo Point. I played my flute but no otters appeared, though a kingfisher darted away in disgust.
Wednesday, 5 October 2022
drawing three hares and knotwork
Anyway, having got the basic pattern sorted, I used a lightbox to juggle three cut-out hares and trace them, and...
now it's done. I'm quite pleased with it. There's the moon in the middle, and May blossom around the edges.
I've got the picture available as greetings cards and high-quality giclee prints, over on Etsy.
Tuesday, 10 May 2022
Devizes; a portrait of a Wiltshire town
I've been planning to do this picture for ages! In the foreground are Ruth Pierce, whose alarming end is commemorated on the Market Cross; and a moonraker in front of the Crammer where the story of moonrakers is supposed to originate.
Then there's the canal wharf, and the locks of Caen Hill to the side.
Next there's the Wadsworths brewery dray, and the fountain with its attendant pigeons; and the Georgian buildings of the Market Square, and the Corn Exchange surmounted by Ceres, goddess of crops.
And then the parish church of St John the Baptist, and the spectacular Wadworths brewery, representing churches both spritual and temporal, maybe.
And in the background, Roundway Hill and the Devizes White Horse. And a red kite, and an RAF A400 Atlas, of a sort often to be seen whizzing around here.
You can get a copy of the picture in my Etsy shop. And I may well get round to having tea towels printed too
Wednesday, 27 April 2022
friends like this
Thursday, 21 April 2022
the Netty voyage, an illustrated map
So that's what happened. And this is the map I did of how we got there and what happened along the way.
Several people have expressed an interest in the first map I did before we set off, so this is the full version. I'm selling prints of it, and 50% of the proceeds go to Jinny and Chris.
They cost £5 for an A4 print, and £10 for an A3 one, which is the same size as the original.
You can find them in my Etsy shop!