Sunday, 29 March 2015

How to Cook Perfectly with Electricity 1966

Fantastic cartoons in this retro book I borrowed from my dad. I've made all these cake problems. I have a challenge to cook the recipes from this book and there's some weird stuff in it. Liver souffle anyone?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Not painting like Alwyn Crawshaw

Off work today with a sprained ankle, staying busy without moving. 
I thought I'd try an exercise from the watercolour book Learn to Paint with Alwyn Crawshaw. I picked up a second hand copy of this at a church booksale, as I remembered having the book many years ago. The painting started well, but then I felt it got bogged down in detail, his are quite precise and realistic. For me, that's not what I enjoy so I got in there with some scrawly pencil and runny paint and now I quite like it. 
I did try using some bolder colours though, which was fun as I am usually a bit fixated on grey, blue, olive green and reddish brown. Backgrounds are also a bugbear of mine, so maybe some progress there too.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Wolf Stone

This may count as a Seen from the Foot....this fantastic Celtic stone known as The Wolf Stone can be found in the grounds of Leith Hall. It was found nearby, buried in the ground. The stone depicts a ferocious wolf (possibly a tribal symbol?) a bronze mirror and comb and an unidentified rectangle of curvilinear ornament. 
The stone was formerly displayed in a small lean-to, but is now back in pride of place at the entrance to the beautiful gardens.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Travel Reading

I am currently reading and enjoying Travels without my Aunt by Julia Llewellyn Smith. 

The author revisits locations of Graham Greene stories. Some are horrific (Sierra Leone) some interesting ( Cuba) some less exotic (Brighton). She stays in the hotels he stayed in and visits locations from the novels. This all sounds pretty cosy except that Greene was very drawn to the seedy, dysfunctional and marginal places of the world, there siting his seedy, marginal and dysfunctional characters...So there are some very scary trips to places like Haiti. Even in the most awful places though, like Greene, she finds interesting people and unexpected moments of beauty. I was interested in the idea of visiting places from books and how it deepens your understanding of books and author.

 I have read Travels with my Aunt which I really loved, but feel I should read some more...maybe Our Man in Havana.... 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Seen from the Road: Horatio's House

Beautiful Wardhouse is on my drive out to Leith Hall near Insch. I get very upset passing this as it has been a ruin since 1953 when it was sold and gutted. But the sun always seems to shine off the lovely classical front as it dominates the valley from a wooded hillside. 

Why Horatio? Well, Admiral Gordon, who lived there, was the model for fictional seafaring hero Horatio Hornblower. The house also incorporates a reference to King Arthur who was supposed to have held court at the nearby sacred hill of Dunideer. 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Blog Twin

  Alistair is back on his blog! Enjoy it by clicking on the link here:  Blog


Since I got back from my holiday, it feels like Spring has really arrived! Warm, sunny, and the crocuses and daffodils are out. I love the colours of spring flowers; yellow, pink and purple. These are so vibrant with the contrast of the purple petals and orange stamens.