Sunday 25 September 2011


I have returned to the choir and last Sunday we sung this lovely hymn.
The first verse was simply uplifting

Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,
Leave the gloomy haunts of sadness;
Come into the daylight's splendor,
There with joy thy praises render
Unto Christ Whose grace unbounded
Hath this wondrous banquet founded.
Higher o'er all the heav'ns He reigneth,
Yet to dwell with thee He deigneth.

Text: Johann Franck, 1649; trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Music: Johann Cruger, 1598-1662

When did I last wear that jacket?

The other day, in a desperate attempt to look smart I dug a seldom-used jacket from my wardrobe and fished this boarding pass from the last time I had worn it.

The memories of a few summer days and eating in restaurants by the River Nile came flooding back.


I am sure many people like me share a love of Canada and Canadians! Recently new friend Rob Elliot took on the might of the dear Canadian banking system to get a cheque over to me for my book Drawing on Experience.

The chain of email between us reached nearly to Newfoundland before the money turned up on my door step! Check out the envelope and stamps.

This story is a testament to all that is wonderful about Canada.

And Rob has the tenacity of a RCMP.

Thanks Rob
See Rob at


My latest artistic collaboration is with walker, writer and photographer Ruth Livingstone.

Quote from her Home Page: "My name is Ruth Livingstone. I am a 50 something lady and I have set myself a task. I am going to walk around the coastline of the British mainland. Starting in North Norfolk, I will head clockwise around the coastline, following paths and tracks"

Please visit Ruth here

The arrangement with Ruth is that from time to time she sends me one her great photos and I turn it into a drawing and it finds its way up on which is wonderful.

Example of the first drawing is here
This is a hugely exciting collaboration. Ruth's energy and flair bounces off the pages of her Blog as she walks round our coast and like my other artists she is constantly doing and creating!

Thank you Ruth x

Here is the second drawing


Spotted at JFK airport last night.

Super-friend and West Coast girl Juliet Erickson and captured this retail rainbow on her iPhone. This colourful display is at the ever excellent and constantly wonderful Muji store.

Love the colour, love the store, and really love the thought!

Friday 9 September 2011


Sunday Monday – each day a walk long the beach at White Sands just below the house. Few people about and I take a dip in the sea thinking that it will be sometime before I can next be in seawater swimming. We take a cliff top walk, five miles, a wonderful coastal path and look down the cliffs to the sea below rushing against rocks 750 million years old, the Cambrian age. Eventually we reach the lifeboat station at Porthstinian and here we are scooped up by Kate in the Land Rover and bounced back to the house for lunch.

I take afternoon nap, on a towel outside the house in the sun and the down onto the beach for a swim and an ice cream, chocolate with chocolate cornet.

Sunday evening: Church Beer and Fish and Chips. We attend Evensong at St David’s Cathedral. Warm grey stone sits on this town’s hillside basking in the last of the evening sun. The collects give us hope: Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Then bump bump in the Land Rover to Porth Gain and the Sloop Inn for a goodly and godly pint! The place was packed and live music was the draw

With warm welsh bitter which we sat and supped taking in the sights and people watching. Mike and I tarried longer over out pints contemplating more at The Shed the fish and chip bistro in the village where I tucked into haddock and chips with a little more pale welsh beer. All in all a wonderful evening and on the five-mile ride back to Whitesands I was nicely insulated through food and drink to the bump bump of Mike Land Rover.

One of my artistic hero’s is John Knapp-Fisher. I have salivated over his work through re-reading his wonderful book Pembrokeshire. Mike drove me over to his gallery in Croesgoch only a few miles down the road. John was in and we engaged in conversation and I was able to show him with immoderate praise and as importantly to actually see his work close-up! This experience included seeing his wonderful sketchbooks and colour palettes and all the paraphernalia of his work – everything was on display to touch and feel! These three short days in Pembroke, talking to John about his work, the location and hospitality afforded by Mike and Kate has ensured that I am bonded to this part of the world and willed to return. This is a particular landscape, unpacked before me in short order: tiny fields, hedge row-walls punctuated with slate roofed farms and often a blue blue sea.

For more on Mr. Knapp-Fisher



All shades of grey and ochre. All shades of green punctuated with purple and orange. Green landscape that reaches through slate stone and igneous and on to broad beach of sands that carry the reflection of walkers, surfers and the others.

Craig yr Awel is a lovely 1930’s cottage dear friends Kate and Mike have taken for a few weeks and invited us. This lovely house wedged into a hillside that looks out over the sea, which today shades grey green blue and changes every minute. The day is grey with wind and rain lashing everything until the mid afternoon.

One looks out on a sea, which changes colour directed by the light that may or may not break through a cloud and alter the temperature of the view. This is the light fantastic, or Fantasique, in a part of Wales that spawns painters and makers.

We arrived at noon in great wetness and wind and after a great lunch of local crab and roe with a nice green salad and a glass of rosé Sancerre. Then I climbed into a wet suit for a lesson on body boarding in the afternoon. I made a quick drawing on the beach (which was coloured in later).

This evening as I sit in the conservatory at Craig yr Awel the light continues to change, the colour of the sea, islands three miles out, and the sands immediately beneath this blessed house.