No snow references today I promise – dare I say it but I think Winter may have gone for good? it’s been another glorious week of sunshine and the bluebells are out already. Everywhere you drive in the white peak, places such as Great Longstone, Foolow and Stoney Middleton, you can see the white walls interspersed with little white lambs jumping about in the lush green grass and the baby cows just being born – it’s a fantastic time of year.
The Peak District woodlands are awash with wild garlic and white anemones, and the flowers are out on the stinging nettles. I know the nettles are springing up as my poor springy Bog dog, gets stung every year at this time, in between her toes and she does a sort of moonwalk when we get back in from her walk up Rowsley wood. She tries to walk backwards, scraping her feet on the carpet, doing a hairy impression of Michael Jackson . I’ve tried rubbing dock leaves on her paws but then that usually turns into a game – ending up with me on the floor covered in whatever muck she’s been rolling in and Jasmine having a huge piece of dock leaf hanging out of her jowls like Ermintrude the Cow.
The swallows have returned and are making their nests again outside the front door of my old studio. Summer is almost upon us and I’m off next week on my jollies. Where am I going to soak up all this glorious sunshine and hot weather? The beaches in Cornwall? No. The beaches in Devon? No The Beaches in Dorset? No.
Scotland- the land of mists and rain.
Scotland with it’s wild wet and windy weather and bogs (quite an apt place to go for a Bogger) . When I booked in October I thought well the whole country will be wet – it’s April – April showers yes? We may as well go and get wet in Scotland and enjoy the scenery while we’re about it. Little did I know there would be a freak heat wave with temperatures into the 80’s across the rest of the country. What’s it been doing on the west coast of Scotland all week? Raining that’s what. Oh and and it’s been very foggy for good measure. Oh well, pac –a-macs at the ready - we WILL enjoy ourselves.
I’m hoping for a spot of wildlife watching although it’s nigh on impossible to get my 12 year old and the dog to sit still long enough to see anything at all, but we’ll live in hope. The shop is still open all week, being run by my trusty little elves and my house has a cat sitter (sorry to disappoint all burglars)
I have told all my family and friends that I am going away and they have all asked me the same thing. Are you taking your paints with you? Now would you ask a welder if he’s taking his blow torch on holiday? Would you ask an accountant if he’s taking his calculator (no he isn’t) or a bin man if he’s bringing along his rubbish? No. And I’m not taking my tools with me either. I am having a break from the paints to recharge my batteries but I will be taking a sketchbook and one pencil. Now this is my idea of a hobby! I can sketch the mountains and the lochs and the odd highland cow if I feel like it. Nothing to sell, nothing commissioned , nothing important. Just me, the scenery and my pencil – now that’s what I call a holiday.
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