Saturday, March 20, 2010

“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” Oscar Wilde

I hesitate to say this but I do think that spring might (almost) be here. After a torrentially moist week towards the end of February, we’ve had a very dry spell, with frostily cold mornings preceding warm sunny days. However, we’ve had a couple of mild mornings and some of our 32 varieties of willow are sporting catkins, the cherry blossoms are popping and the birds are noticeably singing more optimistically.

Just before we say goodbye to winter, have a look at this photo from Musings from a Stonehead only a couple of weeks ago. Undaunted by overnight temperatures of minus 10ºC, our brave Berkshire-pig-breeding crofter sees the “bright side—the snow has completely frozen solid and can now bear my weight. I no longer have to kick or dig paths through the snow. I can walk over it.” If you want a smile, have a look at this post: the photos show his boys, plus dog, running on the frozen crust of snow … until it gives way and one young chap icily descends up to his armpits, much to the dog’s amusement.

I’m not quite so brave and after a succession of cold days, I decided the time had come to catch up with some paper- and computer-work. Strange, I know, but I have a little problem if I’m indoors while Gabrielle chooses to work outside. So she appeased my masculine sensitivities and decided on a music practice with Al, who came over a short wile later with partner Caroline. I was thus serenaded in my bureaucratic tasks. Artist Caroline, who never leaves home without her sketchbook, was also inclined to remain indoors, so ended up looking out of the window for inspiration, painting a watercolour of our enormous pile of cut and split logs (the pic at the top) which awaits me and my wheelbarrow to stack them neatly. Spot her top left of the photo below, sketchbook in hand.

We’ve had to move furniture about in our back bedroom so I could remove the wall and rebuild the room to incorporate our new compost toilet. As I moved the bed, another piece of artwork dropped to the floor. Three cheeky children (plus parents Phil and Sid) came to stay and animal-sit over Christmas and a few drawings got drawed. This one never saw the light of day until I turned the back bedroom upside- down. The childlike obsession with bum, poo and naughty words! Question: what does this drawing say about them? and what does it say about us?