stories and illustration

Looking for Colour on a Grey Day


I went out walking for more or less the first time for a week, and when the rain came down on my uncovered head, thoughts of Victorian gentlemen getting lethal chills from venturing out when unwell passed swiftly through my mind.  No-one was out, except for a  plethora of fishermen, thigh-deep in Tweed or packed into little boats, hunched against the drizzle:, and some dog walkers. (One dog walker quickly slipped a lead on her dog as I approached, then said: “Are you with dog?” and when I answered in the negative, took off the lead again.  About two minutes later I met two very large black dogs coming hot-foot after the dog who had to be protected from itself, so hope there was no fracas in my wake.) When I pointed my camera to the sky the flash came on;  I took a picture of some wheeling birds that was just a mass of grey with flecks on.  And pictures of swans had rain-pools on the lens.  So on this brief foray into the open air I sought out some  splashes of colour.  I didn’t like nasturtiums when I was young, but now think they are a delight. When I got home I dried my hair with the hair-dryer and thought how much more fortunate I was than a Victorian gentleman with chill.

October 17, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Poem from “Old Merlaine”

Fish King's Daughter

This is a poem from a book of poems that were published by William Heinemann many years ago.  This has been a grey, wet, light-starved day, so I thought a watery poem and a black and white illustration would be appropriate, while I search through the somewhat bleak, rain- spotted photographs I took today, looking for some colour in the almost monochrome landscape of the Scottish Borders.

October 16, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Walk round the Lees


A Leaf by the Field Edge

Back in the Scottish Borders, I find that the acers in the garden have nearly all withered back, after their last minute burst of colour, so  I am glad I made an attempt to capture them before their delicate brilliance disppeared. I’m brewing up a cold, so decide to go for just a quick walk round the edge of the Lees, a great expanse of farmland without hedges, that is bordered on two sides by the Tweed. The river makes a great arc at this point, which is quite disorientating …

Much of the field area is ploughed now, the  barley has gone, as have the other crops laid round the edge; now the grass is springing up wherever it can manage to take root:


The sun to my right as I walk throws the shadows of trees far out over the field:



I look back towards Coldstream, with its clock towers rising up over the willows and other trees and shrubs that border the Leet, an offshoot of the Tweed:


And look up at the sky over the Lees:


At the corner, where I turn from the field edge up towards the Tweed itself, I take a photograph of the store of wood, in the patch of land where the guinea fowl ran round in the spring and summer:


This is a tree that I like so much:


Turning back towards Coldstream along the river, I kind of cheat, and point the camera through the apple trees on the bank straight towards the sun, and get these delicate murky tints that the camera sees but I don’t:


On past the fishing lodge, then try and get the swans into this picture of an autumnal waterside tree, but the swans are hiding:


So I take a picture of the tree itself instead, against the sky:


Time to go home, past the horse, then back along the Leet.  I pause to take one more picture of the water between the two bridges:


I hear a squawk behind me, wheel round, its that dratted heron: foiled again. Au revoir, heron, one day I’ll either get near enough to you, or have a lens strong enough to catch you properly, instead of just through obscuring reeds, or as a flitting silhouette.


Later, heron….. now it’s home for tea.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cat and Notices

cat and notice

October 10, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Canal III


October 10, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canal II


October 10, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canal 1


October 10, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Silent Woman (Ahem)

silent woman

Just got back from a journey to West Yorkshire where I saw this deliciously un-PC inn sign, which I think I shall send to my husband via email (he is just downstairs),

October 7, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments

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