Saturday, 19 December 2009

traveller's joy

The Seven Sisters are a group of Scots Pines on a barrow on Durdham Down, just across the road from where I live. Except that there are now only three of them.

The Old Man's Beard (or Traveller's Joy, or indeed Virgin's Bower) is very conspicuous just now, especially when the low winter sun lights up the white fluff. I must have another go at drawing it; the fluffiness is just not fluffy enough in this picture. Damn.

In the middle distance, a Fieldfare. We used to get great flocks of them on the Downs; you can still see the occasional one, anyway. They're winter visitors from Scandinavia.

And that's my solstice/Christmas/(insert your choice of winter festival here) card. And if I don't have your address, you won't be getting one in the post. Unless you e-mail me your addy. In which case I'd love to.

Happy wossname!


  1. I love your painting. I'm sure the fluff will come with practise.

    I'm going to say 'Happy Christmas' and 'God Yul'.

    Which hill will you be climbing up this year?

  2. and joyeux Noel to you! (Hope I got that right...) Still wondering about the hill. I'm thinking off the beaten track this time. If the weather's like it is today, it will be perfect mountain weather; see for miles.

    Fat chance... :-)

  3. We are all going to take on the local coast path this boxing day about 8 miles. Its long enough to worl off Christmas days excess and work up an appetite for a warm evening of wine and cheeses, mmmmmm.....

    I almost purchased a christmas bauble for our tree this year which had the most intricate painting of a robin, I think it must have been done with nothing larger that 000 and 00 size brushes. If its still around when I go into the shop next time I'm going to buy it as it was so unusual and I was trying to be good this year with our money and so I didn't buy it but now I regret it!

    I still say Happy Christmas Dru, I this does not offend, I hope you have a great holiday.


  4. Offended? -perish the thort. Us pagans is a bit of a broad church :-)

    Happy Christmas, Helen!

  5. Thanks for your beautiful card, Dru - Happy Solstice to you too... I can already feel my spirits rising, knowing that tomorrow will be light 5 minutes longer than today.

    I love all your stuff about bikes and the Evening Post. What amazes me is the amount of anger people carry around inside them. I wrote a little book called 'How to Turn Your Parents Green' a couple of years ago, which was designed to make children laugh about climate change and so on rather than live in terror of it... I got a fairly non-committal reception from the Greenish media but was viciously attacked by a succession of libertarian/Clarksonish types. Every now and again a new attack appears, which is strangely gratifying.

    I've seen some terrible cycling recently, nearly been mown down a couple of times on Bedminster pavements, but this doesn't explain the level of antipathy towards cyclists. it's not as if cyclists have much of an effect on the world, most of the time. is it something about not being motorised?

    on a slightly different tack, what about those mobility vehicles that trundle along road or pavement with impunity? I saw one the other day with a family of four riding on it - the vehicle of the future?!

  6. Hi James! Yes, I read some of the Daily Mail-type attacks on you. V gratifying, I bet.

    I am vaguely anti cycling on pavements, but it's more about the way people ride on the pavements than the fact of their being there that I find objectionable, and the truly stupid pavement cycling I've seen has been relatively very rare.

    I should very much have liked to see the mobility vehicle, and to have had my camera. Like the moped I saw in Italy, with a large chap and two small girls on it, and the chap talking on the mobile as they bimbled along.