Saturday 28 May 2011

some wildlife pictures

card collection, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

Another addition to my Etsy shop; it's a set of 6 large, flat card reproductions of my paintings:

  • Moonlight bear
  • Starling roost
  • Fox in a hailstorm
  • Three Hares
  • Egret over the Severn
  • Fox in the snow

The cards measure 21.5cm x 13.5cm

Some of these pictures appeared in Geraldine Taylor's 'The Case Of The Curious Crow', a book of adventures in wildlife around the Bristol area. The three hares are inspired by the 'tinners hares', that can be found in churches around Dartmoor.

The set costs £5. Which works out at 7p per creature illustrated, by my reckoning. And that's not even counting the slug.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Dundry montage

We unveiled the interpretation board up on Dundry Hill last Wednesday. And here's the evidence.

It was nice seeing the finished work. And meeting all the other people involved in the project. Most of whose names I can't remember, sadly, but that's Bee Peters there to my left (and your right).

The leaflets for the Dundry Hill walk will be available from various places, or you can download them from here (front of leaflet) and here (back of leaflet). You should also be able to download them from the Dundry website (though not just yet).

I've also created a montage of the main pictures, as you see here. If you would like a copy, do let me know.

Dundry montage 2, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

It's dimensioned to fit standard frames, and would be printed on 260 gsm satin paper. Costs would be

A4 (21cm x 30cm) £8
30cm x 40cm £15
40cm x 50cm £20

Sunday 15 May 2011

Dancing on graves

On a tomb in the churchyard at Dundry, there is a dancing lesson in stone. It's interrupted when father comes home from the quarry; there's his hobnailed bootprint on the threshold, see?

We stopped there on our way west, in our hunt for the Giant Faun Of Shepton Mallett. A chamois, it is at home in precipitous places, and lived for a long time on the roof of the Babycham factory. But now it is sheltering under the trees nearby. We managed to get quite close, as you see.

...and then we went looking for a cup of tea, and found a Portuguese cafe in the high street.

I remarked to Deborah that I was sure this was the cafe where I came on a rainy day, twenty years ago, looking for a cup of tea and a bit to eat, and it was full of very large people who looked as though they shared a very small number of ancestors, all eating large gobbets of pork. And it was very steamy.

Today there was Sagres beer on offer, but we went for tea. And soup and rice cake. It was a little touch of Portugal in the west country. I listened carefully to the ads on the telly for maiƓs de banho and elections, and decided that while it sounded superficially like spanish, except for the 'sh' sound, I couldn't make head nor tail of it. And the patron spoke very little english. But one of the crowd at the counter cheerfully offered to translate if necessary. And he got some water for Ted the dog. It was a good cafe.

Outside, Ted started barking at a Very Large Dog with a Very Large Owner, both of whom looked as though they'd eaten quite a few gobbets of pork in their time. The chaps in the cafe came out to watch as we dragged Ted away. We waved cheerfully.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Ode for Ted

Ode for Ted (with apologies to Sylvia Plath)

I could do without the alarm that sounds
at the least provocation. .
The affronted expression on the faces
of harassed neighbourhood cats.
Lace curtains of collie snot
swagging the windows.
Pre-dawn chorusing in spring
while foxes rut.

Your fame amongst scooter-riding kids,
cyclists, and joggers in the park
verges on legend. ‘Hey Ted,’ they say,
as you whirl on your lead,
which means
‘Keep that crazed dog away from me!’
You’re black and white to them.
They miss the versatility

of my personal trainer
who brooks no slacking, my saviour-
dog in a manger, my angel
with healing kisses.
You would fetch the moon for me,
out-growl the roar of invisible seas.
My furry comforter, my guide.
The dark poet at my side.

Poem ©Deborah Harvey 2011

Wednesday 11 May 2011


I saw a bloke acting suspiciously with a bike outside the Commercial Rooms in Corn Street, Bristol; he was wrestling with the rear carrier, which was broken. There was a U-bolt lock hanging on the adjacent bike racks, and I wondered if he'd just broken the bike free of it. So I kept an eye on him. I followed him to the corner of Broad Street, where he struggled with a locked bike, removing the top tube pad. Then he wobbled off.

I took some pictures of him, and sent details of the incident to Avon and Somerset police.

This was on Saturday 30th April. Today, eleven days later, they still haven't been in touch.

Meantime, the bill for the policing of Stokes Croft, where they responded to a call from the security guards at Tesco by sending in 160 riot police from all over the region, is set to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Tesco guards had claimed that there were petrol bombs in Telepathic Heights, the squat opposite the store. It might have been cheaper, and possibly more effective, had a PCSO dropped into the squat, to have a quiet chat with the residents and see what the true story was.

And then the city would have been a bit more peaceful, and maybe the police would have had some time to investigate bike thefts.

Oh well, I guess they know what they're doing.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Queue for Banksy Petrol Bomb Art Poster in Stokes Croft 7th May 2011

Saturday saw Hamilton House in Stokes Croft hosting the Anarchist Book Fair. It also saw the selling of Banksy's commemorative poster...proceeds of which will be going to benefit locals affected by the Stokes Croft riots. Which is a Good Thing.

So of course there was a humungous queue for the posters. And AstroTurfer has made a nice film of it, with Mal's interview as a soundtrack. With, as an added bonus, a personal appearance from Mal, though you'll have to look carefully... by the way, it has been confirmed by the police that the security guards (presumably the Shergroup ones) at Tesco had made the claim about petrol bombs.

My rather less famous 'petrol bomb' picture....

...I'm getting a few cards of it printed, as a couple of people have expressed an interest. If you'd like one, do let me know!

Saturday 7 May 2011

Dundry Hill

Next Wednesday, 11th May, the new interpretation board will be officially unveiled on Dundry Hill. It's happening at 6:30pm. It's going to be in the car park just along the road from the church and the pub, next to Dundry Down. Where it says you are here on the picture, in fact.

There's also a waymarked circular walk of about 2 miles, and a guide leaflet is available. But if you can't get a copy, or you want to print your own, then thanks to the miracle of Upside Down In Cloud, you can download it from here and print it off. At least, I think you can. Good luck!

I'm quite pleased with this project, because I did everything from the drawing to the design and formatting, ready for the printers. It was a bit of a learning experience.... onwards and upwards!

Tuesday 3 May 2011

the smell of blossom in the morning

fox, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

Just for the moment, the war was over
The sun found its way into the garden
Warming the foxes drinking from the birdbath
A blackbird was singing
I smelled the hawthorn blossom on the breeze,
leaning out of the window while the kettle boiled.
Then I turned the radio on.

Yesterday morning's notes for a poem which I'll probably not get round to writing. It was one of those moments.

I remember the awful feeling seeing the planes crash into the World Trade Centre in 2001; it came at a bad time for me anyway; with my old life falling apart, suddenly seeing that things had just changed globally as well as personally....

Monday 2 May 2011

Mal - Bristol's own royal correspondent

Fresh from her Tescogate revelations, Mal gives the low-down on forthcoming media coverage of the royal couple. I thought this was too good not to share!