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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The April one



      Here we have the last of the Beggarstaff Brothers calendar woodcut illustrations, we began them last May. This is another brilliant woodcut, this time of a horse with rowers  who are the real subject yet they are relegated to the far background.
      Once again the cutting of the horse is quite beautifully done and further convinces us that Pride and Nicholson, or at least one of them, loved horses and loved a flutter at the track.
      The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is coming up so the illustration is quite appropriate for this time of year. No push bike for this coach of the old days, just gallop along the towpath and scatter the walkers and anglers with a one man cavalry charge.
      The verse is a bit deep too, like the river.



Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Going out like a lion




      During the early weeks March seemed to be easing itself in like the like the proverbial lamb but in the last few days it has making up for it trying to go out like a lion and especially so on Sunday.
      The wind rose to a frenzy of gusts and squalls that continued all afternoon and the wild, squally, stormy weather continued into the evening then passed leaving a clear sky.
      

      The big grey sky pictured at the top, taken from the front of the house in the mid-afternoon, gave us an inch of rain in an hour and made the drive look like a river. At times the rain was so heavy you could actually hear it hitting the house and all the while the wind blasted the rain horizontally making it sound like gravel hitting the windows.
      A day later and the wind has abated a little but it still blowing a gale, just not such a bad gale.
      Stormy weather indeed and March just rages on, and on, and on, with the wind force building-up and here it comes again.





Monday, 30 March 2015

Blossom in waiting




      We were walking through an orchard with the two Jack Russells and for reasons better known to ourselves we started examining the tips of the Grenadier apple tree branches. Closer examination revealed that the blossom is there, all budded up and ready to go, given the right weather conditions. That'll cheer the landscape up a little when all those groves of apple trees burst into blossom.
      Did we say a walk with Minnow and Barney? Once we get into an orchard it becomes more of a rummage with the two terriers, we slow to a crawl and they root around, noses getting stuck into anything and everything, for ages.
      That's the way it is in terrier world.





Friday, 27 March 2015

White line fever



      What a fantastic morning, a bit chilly but what a sky, and it's a sky of two halves. A beautiful clean, straight East to West vapour trail cutting the sky in half. It looks like the aircraft must be eight miles high, easily but it's going to be a lovely day down here as well as up there.
      No doubt jobs around the house will have to be attended to and then there's the garden and the guns to clean because with all the sugar beet that has been sown in the last week, when those tender little green leaves break through the pigeons will be descending like an airborne plague.
      Then, just for good measure, the two Jack Russells will be banging on about going for a walk too.
      It's all go in West Norfolk, believe me. It's difficult keeping up with the pace of life.
      Yawn.


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lovely Camellias dear




      What a lovely pair of Camellias dear, can I pluck them?
      Perhaps a little bit Frankie Howerd and with a touch of the Bamforth postcard but they are a lovely pair. For the first time ever the boss has managed a good show on the camellia bushes.
      A good show on the Camellia bush, please yourself dear.
      Anyway back to the subject, has the weather been right or is it a lack of extreme temperatures? Next year they'll probably be a resounding failure with all the flower buds falling off at the first hint of cold weather. Personally I think the success this year is down to pouring the dregs from the teapot onto the plants, the secret ingredient.
      The splash of heritage paint, as in the Norfolk Bog Door Blue fence panel also helps the display too giving it a certain sophistication and gravitas.




Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Light music from the big pink



      This is the first real dralon sunset this year, and right outside the front door too, so you only have to walk twenty or thirty yards to take the picture.
      They're always a bit more florid than dawn but they do seem to last dramatically longer although that's illogical because the sun must set just as fast as it rises. The strange white line that is just visible is not water but a fleece protecting the farmer's early potatoes and peas from not only the frost but from that dreaded piranha of the skies the pigeon. Should they have the temerity to land on the plants it will be their last supper.
      Bang, bang.
      Pigeon pie to go with the potatoes and peas.



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Thinking of summer




      Suddenly the cold biting wind has gone and we've got the pleasure of a warm day, even down to working outside in a tee-shirt.
      Wandering along with the two Jack Russells who were huffing and puffing down at the far end of the farmers irrigation pipes hunting for rodents both imaginary and real, I found an unwanted garden roller, strangely I've come across quite a few of these rollers in farmyards and I can't work out why.
      Was West Norfolk a hotbed of croquet, bowls or cricket? Maybe there was a serious neighbourly 'mine's the best lawn' competition?
      Who knows, I think we'll have to procure a few of these, I know they'll come in useful even if it's only for the letterforms on the centre 'V' brace.