I see my mind as a tapestry woven through with memories, dreams and thoughts.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday Snippet

'Although in this 1795 portrait, by Peter Vandyke, the 23-year-old Coleridge looks respectable enough, we know that at this point in his career he normally cultivated the appearance of a wild and unkempt revelutionary: his future bride described him as cutting "a dreadful figure"; his clothes worn out and full of holes, his hair long and shaggy.'

From 'The Iluustrated Lake Poets by Molly Lefebure

Friday, 29 July 2011

Kitten Watch Friday

Kitten watching you looking at kitten.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Delmar Banner 'View from Scafell Pike'

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tuesday Taster

'Listen! It's time to begin; and when we come to the end, we shall know more than we do now.'

First paragraph of 'The Snow Queen' by Hans Christian Anderson ..... continuing the fairytale theme.

Would you be drawn in?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sunday Snippet

'Aire Force' (Allom and Rose)


... Showering and springing,
Flying and flinging,
Writhing and ringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting,
Around and around
With endless rebound! ...
Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound ...
Collecting, projecting,
Receding and speeding,
And whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping,
And hitting and spitting ...
And thumping and pumping and bumping and jumping,
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;
And so never ending, but always descending,
Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending,
All at once and all o'er with a mighty uproar.
And this way the water comes down at Lodore.

Robert Southey
('Rhymes for the Nursery' 1812)

Southey wrote this poem to answer a nursery query,
"How does the water come down at Lodore?"

Lodore is a waterfall in the Lake District, near Lake Derwentwater.

(The images and words are taken from 'The Illustrated Lake Poets' by Molly Lefebure)

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sky Watch Friday

In silence she rises, draped in a gossamer shroud,

to sail with grace

through courtly clouds tinged with evening's glow.

To the theatre of night, drawn, she glides,

pale and elusive,

the moon

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sunday Snippet

'The road out of the city web site is quite smooth - like rolled out pastry. There are funny shaped hills in the background and fluffy pink clouds in the sky. The fields are very green.
“I like this,” says Pansy Soup.
Larry’s Lorry is leaving tyre tracks on the road.
“Just like pastry crust,” thinks Violet Jelly. She sniffs the air. “I smell food,” she says and opens a gate at the side of the road.
“There’s no fence belonging to the gate,” remarks Pansy Soup.
“Well I never!” says Larry. “A gate without a fence.”
They all go through the gate, because it is fun. No one wants to go round it.
“Ah! A slope,” says Violet Jelly.
And there is - a slope going down into a tunnel. The tunnel goes underneath the field.

“Come on then!” says Violet Jelly. “The food is this way.”
The tunnel leads to a big kitchen which is very clean and has white tiled walls. There is a large oven along one wall and every shape of pot and pan hanging or standing around. Violet Jelly notices that some food has been cooked, but it does not look very interesting or appetising. There are ingredients lying around.
“What are you doing lying around?” Violet Jelly asks them.
“What!” A bag of rice jumps up, rattling a bit, because it is not a full bag.
“Ooops!” says the salt, which is leaning against a wall.
“What a way to leave a kitchen!” exclaims Violet Jelly.
“Well,” says a jar of spice haughtily. “We are so bored with our recipe that we just gave up.”
“Look at us,” rattles the rice. “Do we look happy? Would you want us in your recipe?”
“I most certainly would,” says Violet Jelly. “Get yourselves together and let’s make something of you.”
Violet Jelly puts down her bag, washes her hands and orders, “Clean the work tops. We’re going to cook!”
Everyone joins in. Violet Jelly finds what she needs from her bag and begins to make a meal.

“Do you need 6 of anything?” asks 6.
“That’s called half a dozen,” says Pansy Soup to 6.
“I’ve got two names,” confides 6 to 5 and -2, “6 and half a dozen.”
“Well, we can’t have -2 of anything,” jokes Larry.
-2 looks tearful. Larry realises his mistake. He is sorry that he has upset -2.'

from 'Violet Jelly' by Ann Sharples ('look inside' on amazon.com)

Hope you enjoy this extract.

Have fun!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Sky Watch Friday

This cloud is going somewhere ....... as a child, I longed to travel by cloud ...... as an adult, I am still 'up for it'; it's a great way to dream.

Where will this cloud take you ..... up, up and away ....?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tuesday Taster

'There were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, myself, and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were - bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.

We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it. Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said he had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what he was doing. With me, it was my liver that was out of order. I knew it was my liver that was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his liver was out of order. I had them all.'

The first two paragraphs of 'Three Men in a Boat' by Jerome K. Jerome

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sunday Snippet

Curious, I investigated another book of Fairy Tales; this time 'The Brothers Grimm Popular Folk Tales' translated by Brian Alderson.

Here is the first paragraph ...


Once upon a time, in the depths of winter, with snow lying in great drifts, a poor boy was sent out to bring in wood on a sledge. When he'd found all he wanted, and piled it all up, he decided - because he was so freezing cold - that he wouldn't go home just yet but would make a fire and warm himself up a bit. So he raked away the snow, and just as he was clearing a patch of earth he found a tiny golden key. "Aha," said he to himself, "where there's a key, there must be a lock," and he burrowed in the ground and discovered an iron casket. "If only the key fits!" he thought, "there's surely precious things in this box." He peered about but there didn't seem to to be a key-hole - and then, at last, he found one, but so small that you could hardly see it. He tried it, and the key fitted perfectly. Then he turned it once ...

... and here is the second paragraph:

... and now we must wait till it's completely unlocked, with the lid open, so that we can see what wonderful things are really there, lying in the casket.

And this is the end of the story. What are your thoughts?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Sky Watch Friday

I have chosen this cloud, which passed my way a few days ago, as it reminds me of John Burningham's book for children called 'Cloudland'. I went to an exhibition of the work of chidren's illustrators a few years ago and it delighted me to read that he had gone in search of exactly the right clouds for this book and had found them in Scotland. I loved this idea and it spurred me to collect photographs of anything that could well work in my own illustrations.

About the book - I always feel that it is about a child with concussion or in a coma, not overtly but subtly. However, it does not say that it is. Has anyone read it to children or grandchildren and, if so, what did you think?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tuesday Taster

I came across a book of Victorian Fairy Tales, some of which are very odd indeed. I give you the first paragraph of this one, 'The Deliverers of Their Country' by E. Nesbit.

Would you read on?

'It all began with Effie's getting something in her eye. It hurt very much indeed, and it felt something like a red-hot spark - only it seemed to hasve legs as well, and wings like a fly. Effie rubbed and cried - not real crying, but the kind your eye does all by itself without your being miserable inside your mind - and then she went to her father to have the thing in her eye taken out. Effie's father was a doctor, so of course he knew how to take things out of eyes - and he did so very cleverly with a soft paint-brush dipped in castor-oil. When he had got the thing out, he said:
"This is very curious." Effie had often got things in her eye before, and her father had always seemed to think it was natural - rather tiresome and naughty perhaps, but still natural. He had never before thought it curious. She stood holding her handkerchief to her eye, and said:
"I don't believe it's out." People always say this when they have had something in their eyes.
"Oh yes - it's out," said the doctor - "here it is on the brush. This is very ineresting."

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sunday Snippet

I have returned to the stories of Flannery O'Connor simply because of her brilliant use of words. This incident describes the moment that Mr. Head and his grandson, Nelson, arrive at thier station, returning from an unpleassant visit to the city.

'Their train glided into the suburb stop just as they reached the station and they boarded it together, and ten minutes before it was due to arrive at the junction, they went to the door and stood ready to jump off if it did not stop; but it did, just as the moon, restored to its full splendor, sprang from a cloud and flooded the clearing with light. As they stepped off, the sage grass was shivering gently in shades of silver and the clinkers under their feet glittered with a fresh black light. The treetops, fencing the junction like the protecting wall of a garden, were darker than the sky which was hung with gigantic white clouds illuminated like lanterns.'

From 'The Artificial Nigger' to be found in the 'Complete Stories' of Flannery O'Connor

Does it not remind you of noticing the details when you have been away from home?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Sky Watch Friday

'A lake and a fairy boat
To sail in the moonlight clear,
And merrily we would float
From the dragons that watch us here.

Thy gown shall be snow-white silk,
And strings of orient pearls,
Like gossamers dipped in milk,
Should twine with thy raven curls.'

From 'Song: For Music' by Thomas Hood