Friday 21 February 2014


Here's a new map I've just done, for a walk guide. It's of Clifton, the suburb of Bristol that's poised on the side of the Downs overlooking Hotwells and the Avon Gorge. It was a challenge to try to represent the characteristic buildings in a way that worked within the limited space, and didn't interfere with the clarity. Not sure just how successful it has been.

I drew the map in black ink, then scanned it and coloured it in Paint Shop Pro. The same technique as I used for this picture, which is intended for the cover of this year's Wales Antiques Guide

Thursday 13 February 2014

On A Northerner Who Went South And Kept On Going

I've been mistraled and sciroccoed
And sometimes by a typhoon sockoed;
Drenched drookit in a haar
When low were isobars;
Felt all wet and weary
In a dreary chirimiri;
And I got so very gritty
When once a haboob hit me
That I felt completely smothered. 
But I've never once been wuthered.

 another one from the 52 prompts....

Wednesday 5 February 2014

The Roman Wolf's Song

Seventy years with me arse in the breeze
That blows up from the Levels nine days out of ten,
Endlessly suckling these lads at my knees,
And dreaming of Rome, where it’s warmer; but then
I’ve grown fond of these hills where the grass is so green
(when it isn’t obscured by the mist and the snow)
And the sheep are so plump, that I’m really quite keen
To jump down from me plinth here and give them a go.

And all that I ask is a night that is moonlit,
The farmers all snug in the Hunters Lodge Inn,
Some kind random person who’s willing to cub-sit
-and the Mendips’ Last Wolf will go wild once agin.

 Up on the Mendips is this statue of the she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, in a similar style to that one in the Museo Capitolino in Rome. This version was created by Gaetano Celestra, an Italian prisoner of war who was engaged in repairing bomb damage in the district during the Second World War. This was his gift to an area he'd come to appreciate.

This poem was inspired by a prompt from David Morley, who guested on Jo Bell's 52 this week;  "Choose an animal. Observe it as closely as possible in the wild or a zoo or aviary. Then become it. See it and live it. Look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to it, turn yourself to it."

By the way, the title is a nod to Kipling's Roman Centurion's Song....