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Welcome to my Winter Wonderland

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icicles puppy in snow

Winter is back and it's all the Mid-Lenten Fairs fault. They are allowed into Stamford straight after Mothering Sunday and they nearly always bring cold weather with them. Last year was an exception of freak warmth, but normally they bring icy winds and Millets experiences a sales spike in gloves and bobble hats. This year's been a corker with an east wind blowing unimpeded off the North Sea over our flat land.  On the plus side I've heard my first ice cream van of the year. The jingle round her is the Captain Pugwash theme and I always hope they'll play enough of the tune to get to the lovely descending bit but they rarely do. Ice cream sellers are clearly optimists.

It is very sad to see how the crops are being clobbered by this weather. The land is sodden. We have a farming tradition in January of a Straw Bear dancing through Whittlesey and it set me a wondering about what it might have meant or could mean and how a real bear wouldn't like the fenland landscape, devoid of mountains and forest, so the only way to get one is to make your own and the only material available comes from the harvest. Grow-your-own-bear.

straw bear front straw bear back


 Was really lucky to get one of the last places to see Walter Keeler demonstrate for East Anglian Potters at the beginning of February. What a lovely man and very generous with his techniques and inspiration sources. Was also trying to pick up tips about how to give a demonstration. My May demo will come around all to soon and I just can't imagine how anything I do is not self evident and of any interest to anybody else. Will have to get a gadget to convert slides to digital.


walter keeler demo walter keeler pots

 Am coming into the last week of my annual lenten tasks of playing a tune and doing a sketch everyday. It's my 3rd year of doing it and have been less reluctant to do the drawing this time so I guess that's progress. Spent a couple of weeks drawing owls and ended up dreaming a Frankenstein dream of constructing a large owl out of other owl parts. Have also been drawing out the Ascension for a wall plaque for a church commission, but am now back to chickens (my default setting) as I've about had enough. The tune playing is easier but the puppy has taken to howling when I play and it's hard not to take it as a critic on my playing.

I think that's about it so Happy Easter and let's hope Spring will stop being shy and show us her new collection.


Really decent amount of frogspawn this year. Best in years. But the heron is lurking and I just hope it's not hoovered up all the frogs.

Really enjoyed 'Neverwhere' on radio 4 and 4xtra. Got hooked on the 'Moonstone' again - 3rd time round?

Prefer waking up Test Match Special than going to bed to it.

Became glued to 'Slade at the BBC' on BBC4. Had not appreciated how much they were part of my childhood. All the costumes were so familiar. If you asked me my abiding memory of Top of the Pops it would be how much I hated Pans People. I never saw the point of them and just wanted to see the proper musicians playing their own songs. I understand now that I was not really the target audience  for their gyrating choreography!




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