stories and illustration

Looking into Leet Water



October 31, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bright Tree


October 31, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Window, October, Reflections


I was walking across the Market Square in Coldstream and saw something strange.  I couldn’t understand why I had never seen this object before, as it looked like a pub sign or a painting on the side of this house which I must have passed hundreds of times before – however, when I shifted my viewpoint I saw that it was just an ordinary window.  I took these four photographs of the window and put them together, as I think they look like a sophisticated abstract painting, and they are just reflections.  I like the colours! I have been thinking about colour today, because I have decided that in the rough of the story I am creating the illustrations are wrong tonally, they don’t have the feeling that I want.  I bought a book some time ago of photographs of gardens by night, and looking at this has given me new ideas for the story. Maybe I was feeling more alert visually because of this and these reflections caught my eye. If I was doing a painting  I would take out quite a lot of the window frame, but it isn’t a painting so I’ll leave it a tad haphazard as it is.

October 29, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Little Walk Through Trees


Every day the trees change, the wind has pulled the leaves off many of the rowan trees – but on a sunny October afternoon I put on my new waterproof trousers and put my possum hat in my pocket and set off to get some fresh air.  Just inside the great grounds of the Hirsel, opposite the memorial to Sir Alec Douglas-Home, once Prime Minister, there is a path that goes up alongside the golf course, a tad off the beaten track as it is not one of the designated walking routes (you could frighten the pheasants, but you wouldn’t meet any until much further on). Although the path is strewn with leaves, the trees still have plenty of green in them:


The sun coming from the left illuminates a fern and not much else:


On the right hand side a mound of cut trees cuts out the light from the other side, and more or less hides the green of the golf course. I saw some of these trees being hewn last year, and they are still piled up here in a long row. Something rather melancholy about them, lain there disregarded:




I come out at the top of the path and before arriving at the little gate, turn back towards the road (thus leaving any pheasants undisturbed). Now I can see, over the fields, a distant view of Trimontium, aka The Eildons, beloved of Sir Walter Scott.  From Scotts View, in summer, they look a lot prettier and less muggy than this. Still, there is something about the sight of them on the horizon that stirs me, they are so emblematic of the Borders landscape:


At the bottom of the hill I squeeze through the exit space, cross the road, and take my usual path down towards the Tweed:



A digger is rearranging the ground where once the smashed television stood all by itself amid little craters of mud. The tangle of buddleia bushes, flowers, and scrub has gone, and there is no more whiskery cheeping from the warblers to be heard. Over the coming year, this patch of ground will be completely remade:


I am not going down to the Tweed today, because I like reflections, and there are no reflections to be seen in the muddy swirling water – turbid I think is the word – after the recent rain.



Instead, I turn up to take the little path through the trees which runs along the ridge above the fields which border the Tweed:



Every day the colours of the trees up here change. Today a high wind is blowing, so soon the yellow leaves will be torn away:


The colour of the sky looks completely mad behind the orange-yellow of the leaves.  It is like some Russian jewellery:



The rowan, on the other hand, has been rendered almost leafless in the wind:


At the end of the path, with its back to me, is the small green bench where no-one sits:


Along the last part of the path the sweet chestnuts are scattered on the ground:


I go past the deserted tennis court and through the copse:


Say goodbye to the horse, and then walk on home:


October 26, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Puddle and Leaves 2


There are leaves at the bottom of the puddle, and leaves floating on the surface, and the reflections of the silver birches.  The bright blue sky and its clouds have turned a purple tinged  deep blue in the reflection against which the orange-yellow of the specked leaves and the pale backs of the leaves shine out The silver birches on the other side of the road are reflected beneath the surface leaves. The shapes are like sycamore leaves but very small, perhaps they are maples – my books about trees are out in the Tardis, and the night is wet and cold. The tree with the dark reflection has shed them and the puddle has picked them up. Aha, I think I see a sycamore key in the puddle!

October 25, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Puddle and Leaves1


Have to try and capture any fine weather this October, as it has been raining and raining; but when it stops, the world looks rinsed. Walking back from the Hirsel I liked the fallen leaves of the silver birches above the reflection of the trees, and chased these images in puddles all along the road, when enough light was shining on the water to give the feeling of depth in these few centimetres of muddy water.

October 25, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

River Tweed and Moon


I was talking to Doron about walking, in the darkness, into a massive pile of leaves on the Lees estate last year, just near where I took this photograph; and how strange a feeling that was, being deeper than waist deep in a substance I could not see, and for a moment or two could not recognise. I thought I would put this image on my blog, as a recognition that the light is darkening, the days are shortening, but it is still possible to wander round with a camera making a fool of oneself in the near-dark. I don’t suppose the person who originally swept up the leaves into this great pile would have been best pleased at the mess I must have caused  – however, I hope he/she ascribed the mess to wild animals and not a straying human eejit.

October 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Moon, Willows, River Tweed


October 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple Trees, Moon, River Tweed


October 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October Puddle

October puddle

Out walking, negotiating the mud (it has been raining non-stop for hour, only stopping briefly this afternoon) I ignored the state of my boots for a moment and looked into the reflection of the murky water, and thought that even puddles can look pretty at times.

October 17, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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