Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So..., there I was, yesterday evening, drying out in front of the kitchen stove after a wettish dogwalk out the back, when I suddenly spotted a rare burst of sunshine out the window. Nipped outside for a closer look (I do like a good bit of dramatic evening light) and hey presto!: a rather impressive rainbow over the hamlet. Grabbed the camera and took a few shots in the drizzling rain. Then another big cloud rolled in and the sun disappeared. Went back indoors, fed the mutts, shoved a lasagne bolognese in the oven, topped and tailed a few beans and stuck 'em in boiling water, poured a large scotch and started browsing through some old bike mags on the kitchen table. Couple of minutes later, another burst of sunshine. Nipped out again. Rainbow was back but higher in the sky due to the sun being very low. Rattled off a few more shots. Fierce shaft of sunlight resulted in a double rainbow. A really bright one. Quite spectacular. Then it suddenly faded. Went back indoors, bit wet but rather chuffed at having witnessed one of nature's splendours. Can't beat a good rainbow.


Friday, April 20, 2012


Took Jock for a haircut recently. Kept his hair longish over the freezing winter months so he didn't get too chilly on dogwalks in the snow, wind and rain. Trouble is, when his hair's long it gets muddy and gets caught up with twigs and brambles. And I'm sure he can't see a thing with all that hair covering his eyes, but maybe I'm wrong 'cos he doesn't seem to bump into trees and he steers a steady course over forest tracks. Anyways, Georgie gets a bit worried whenever he has a haircut because the poodle parlour madame cut his back hair really short last time which could have given him sunburn, while leaving his undercarriage hair and leg 'feathers' quite long which meant he still got caught up with twigs and brambles. So, this time, I asked for not too much off his back and shortish on the legs and undercarriage, explaining that he was more of a yobby outdoor Westie rather than a calendar pin-up (not my exact words but she understood my reasoning). So, haircut done, Georgie asked to see some snaps. Took a couple yesterday. And took a couple this morning but they weren't so good (he shies away whenever I approach with the camera).

 Also took a shot of the front view which reminded me that I hadn't mentioned a slight change in the scenery. Local farmer has cut down a few trees alongside the downhill road across the valley. Neighbour Christian is somewhat appalled by the trees' removal and reckons the farmer's done it for purely monetary reasons, possibly to raise a few grand to contribute towards the construction costs of his son's new house which is nearing completion up past the Mairie. Could be wrong of course; Christian doesn't get on with the farmer (who is also the local mayor) so he always regards his actions with great suspicion. Personally, I think it is a bit of a shame that the trees have gone because they're prettier to look at than a road, but รง'est la vie. (Shall attempt to load before and after shots of the farmer's diligence.)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Latest painting

Had a few sunny days lately so I dug out my old painting gear and wandered off to the old orchard alongside the cemetery run. Took the dogs, of course, which was a bit of a nightmare 'cos they get bored easily (bet Van Gogh never had that problem). It's great up there when the late afternoon sunlight catches the moss-covered branches and the spindly smaller branches that light up almost white against the dark green of the pines behind. Absolute nightmare to paint, not only because it's all so complicated, but also because that dramatic evening light only lasts a short time. Took about five evening sessions and it's still not right, but it'll have to do.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Banged my head on a woodshed beam. Clumsy oaf. Scarred for life. Should have worn a crash helmet.