Monday, 26 September 2016


Bleubeard and Elizabeth are the hosts this month at "Art Journal Journey" with a very interesting theme, "Back to School".

On our first year at the Secondary School, aged 11, for one of our subjects we had a delightful teacher.
He was young, handsome, charming and a terrific teacher. 

Back to school, at the start of the second year, we were given our new timetable and told which teacher we would have for each subject.  Imagine our horror when we didn't get our lovely teacher again but got one who was, let's say, the exact opposite.

These flowers at the Flying Circus school have just this minute met their new IT (Information Technology) teacher for the year.

But don't worry about them, little flowers adapt easily, just as we did.

* * * * * * *

Here is the third of our Devon holiday pictures, as promised.
The South West Coast Path goes through the village where we stayed.

This was the start on the west side

and this was near the start on the east side. 

The cliff walks are picturesque and often very near the edge.
This was the walk from our village to the next.

Walking in the mist was interesting too.  You can see the coastal erosion, and more bits of the cliff are almost breaking off.

A narrow path further along the coast. 

This part of the walk was maintained by the National Trust with a reassuring wall on the cliff side.

We turned the corner and this is where I said, No!, no further, thanks. 
Would you have walked along this path? 

Of course in Devon there are many beautiful beaches and I promised you a shingle beach, but I'll leave that till next time to allow you a rest after your cliff walk.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016


Bleubeard and Elizabeth are the hosts this month at "Art Journal Journey" with a different sort of theme, "Back to School".

Some of you may remember the Flying Circus, the circus run by the birds, animals and flowers themselves, and of course the Flying Circus has a school too, for the young ones and for older ones wanting to learn new circus acts.

I thought you might like to see the tightrope-walking class. 
Birds can balance easily on branches and telephone wires but balancing on a tight-rope is much more difficult for them. 

* * * * * * *

I promised some more photos of my Devon holiday, one of the best ever.

Many roads in Devon are one-track with the occasional passing place, and have very high hedges right up at the side of the road.
Often no passing place is in sight.  These roads can go on for miles with no way of turning back.

It makes for fairly hairy driving

and I wouldn't like to live in this house.

The worse experience we had was when we travelled on the local single decker bus.  The driver careered round the roads and bends as if it was one way.  We couldn't even get out as the road would not have been safe to walk on. 

We were very much intrigued by the Sea Tractor.

The little ferry (in the middle of the sea) travels from Salcombe to this beach,

the Sea Tractor goes out to meet it and the passengers on each are swapped around.

We didn't try it as we were in the middle of a coastal walk, maybe next time.

One of the pleasure of holidays is seeing the different architecture of private houses.

Next time I'll take you on a cliff walk and a little stroll along a lovely shingle beach.

Saturday, 10 September 2016


Hello again!

After three weeks of the party of the Arts that is the Edinburgh Festival in August, we flew off to Devon on the South West of the UK to do some strenuous Coastal Path and countryside walking and breathe the clean and fresh sea air.

This was the peaceful village where we stayed

and this was the view from our rented cottage.

I hope to show you more later when Mr. E. has untangled all the many photographs.

I took my 4 x 4 inch sketchbooks again along with some oil pastels and watercolours.

While we were away our dear friends J. and E. looked after the garden and fed the birds (most important) and everything grew at double its usual speed, with the fruit

and the vegetables racing away.

Now I'm looking forward to visiting my friends in Blogland again.
Whenever I've been away it seems like everyone has had the most wonderful blogging art party, so do come in and say hello. 

Sunday, 28 August 2016


The Edinburgh Festival is the largest Arts Festival in the World.  

We are being tourists in our own city and going to many Festival events, mainly the Book Festival and Early Music and Jazz concerts.  Three weeks of it, and we can go back to our own home in the evening.
What could be better.

As regular readers will know, Douglas has his gardening duties during August, but he also likes to go to the Festival.
He was the very first visitor on the very first day at the Book Festival cafe.

It was difficult to choose from the great selection.

The Book Festival is held in one of the large garden squares right in the middle of the town, circled constantly by busy and often noisy traffic

but entering was like going through an enchanted portal, immediately one was in a magical and peaceful world of books, where the sun was shining and everyone was happy.

The square had one resident Book Festival seagull who liked to sit where he could see everything that was going on.

There were eight tents for events and two large book tents, one for books for adults and one for books for teenagers and children.

The adult book tent.

A smaller events tent.

The large events tent with 570 seats.

For most of the talks we attended, the tent was absolutely full, you couldn't get an extra mouse in.

We went to many talks and discussions on topics including the Dark Ages, Vapid Leftism, Angela Merkel, the perils (or not) of Video Games, mobile mindfulness, podcasts and poetry, book design, the influence of genes and cycling through Africa.

There was usually a new book out for each event and the author was there to sign the book afterwards.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Edinburgh Book Festival.

Douglas and I are linking to Elizabeth's "Tea on Tuesday" even although Douglas had a coffee.  We believe that is alright.

Thursday, 18 August 2016


When Mr. Next-Door was older he once said "The garden's got away".
Our garden hasn't got away yet, but I saw it packing its bags this morning.

The runner beans and courgettes are producing faster than I can get to the bottom of the garden.

I think I've picked all the beans then find this one laughing its head off.

Do you see who is here on the left?  He was just sitting there.

I fetched a couple of snails for his tea as he looked hungry.

I went down later and froggie was still there but I think the snails had legged it.

* * * * * * *

 At "Art Journal Journey" the theme is "Nature's Wonders" chosen by Gill.  Flowers and birds are very much alive in my garden and all are beyond wonderful.

I'm still in my watercolour phase - these are shown just as they were painted and are the fifth and sixth of the watercolour flower set. 



And I just had to have a little photo-edit play to end the day.
It was drawn and painted with the mouse.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


One of the first priorities with our garden is to make it a safe haven for birds, bees, insects and other creatures. 

We made a stumpery next to the woodland walk for visiting hedgehogs, woodlice, beetles and other friendly visitors.

Sadly we have never had a visiting hedgehog, even although there are lots of little stump "houses" here for him to hide in.

And that's why this hedgehog is wandering.  He has heard on the Hodgevine that there is a perfect house waiting for him in Orange Esmeralda's garden, but he doesn't know how to find it.

If you see him, could you let me know?

For those who are interesting in such things -
Like "The Artistic Fox" in the previous blogpost, this was painted with watercolours and measures
6 inches square unframed.
A stumpery is a garden feature made from parts of dead trees to form a habitat for several types of wildlife.

Linking to "Art Journal Journey" where Gill has chosen the theme "Nature's Wonders". 

Monday, 1 August 2016


At this time of year our vegetable garden is in full and wonderful production and Douglas has some gardening duties to perform including

looking beautiful among the flowers

pulling the rhubarb for tea

and checking to see if the broccoli is ready.

Our garden is full of the wonders of Nature.

As well as flowers and vegetables and trees and shrubs, there are many birds and their babies  - and  - drumroll - the artistic fox.

You may remember the fox came along and rearranged some of the sculptures on our new Zen garden.

I saw him again last week and here he is -


He was painted with watercolours especially for the challenge at "Art Journal Journey" where Gill has chosen the theme "Nature's Wonders".

Keep an eye open - he may be coming along to rearrange your garden too.

Saturday, 16 July 2016


My dear friend Annie has chosen this week's theme "Picnic" for the challenge site "Sunday Postcard Art".

I'm also linking to 
"Moo-Mania" where the theme is "Anything Goes"
and to
"Art Journal Journey" where the theme, chosen by Yvonne is "In my Garden there is".

* * * * * * *

I am not a great fan of outdoor picnics and if I have to have one I would be happiest to have it inside, especially if the rain is battering down.

So if your friends are dropping in and the sky is darkening then why not have your picnic indoors, in the caravan for the grown-ups and in the garden tower for the children.

Doesn't every garden have a garden tower?

I hope you noticed one of the flowers has pink bows in her hair, she's wearing them especially for the Picnic.