Archive for the ‘Hobbies’ Category

Music by lamplight

December 21, 2016 Leave a comment
Clive playing his keyboard

Clive playing his keyboard

Clive is silhouetted against the light from his lamp as he plays his keyboard.

He doesn’t play carols, but he has one faithful singer.

Taylor regularly accompanies him with soaring whoops like a one-dog wolf pack.

Sometimes the other two dogs join in, and then I wonder what the neighbours think 300 metres away.

Photos on the walls

October 2, 2016 Leave a comment
The way to the castle in Assisi

The way to the castle in Assisi

This is a photograph I took a few years ago in Assisi. An A3 print of it is now displayed just inside the front door.

Thanks to our new photographic printer, we’ve put photos up all over the walls – bright photos of natural history and local views.

It’s absolutely amazing how much they’ve cheered the place up.

I certainly don’t miss the dark oil paintings and suchlike that were there before.


Talking of blue feathers …

September 30, 2016 Leave a comment
Collage of imaginary birds

Collage of imaginary birds

This is a collage I recently finished, having started it many years ago and then abandoned it.

The birds are a mosaic of pieces of windscreen glass, fragments of blue and green glass, broken blue tiles, etc.

They glitter as you move past – a bit difficult to catch in a photo.


August 14, 2016 Leave a comment
Clive playing his keyboard

Clive playing his keyboard

Clive is a study of concentration as he plays his keyboard, his eye on the music.

Any diversion is welcome while waiting to hear about hospital tests which we hope this time will be properly organised (and so far it doesn’t look like it).

At this time of year (to borrow the phrase he applied to the Football Association) “they move at a pace which makes a dead slug look like a blur”.

Playing with water

March 6, 2016 Leave a comment
Galileo contemplating the destruction of my cascade

Galileo by the blue pig, contemplating the destruction of my cascade

I’d been aware for some time that the water wasn’t reaching the pond from the ‘blue pig’ water tank.

It has about twenty-five metres of garden hose to go along (the original buried pipe having got furred up long ago due to the exceptional hardness of the spring water).

The thing to do is to find out where the worst blockage is, so I unscrewed in turn the joints along the length of the hose.

Aha, it wasn’t getting through the section right next to the blue pig. I substituted this piece of hose temporarily with a clean piece from elsewhere, and took the blocked length to the mains water to blast it through.

A great deal of mud, and dense sausages of algae like green icicles, plopped out.

I walked back to reposition the hose I’d cleaned. I was thinking – This is Heaven, playing with water on a windy mountain-top with a beautiful view. This must be the best activity in the world.

But fairy-feet Galileo had been drinking and climbing in the roof-tile cascade that takes excess water away from the blue pig and I had to spend a merry quarter of an hour scrambling about on the bank fixing it.

I didn’t feel quite so euphoric after that.

Shelved at last

February 19, 2016 Leave a comment
The shelves (blue rope is a getting-around contraption for Clive)

The masterpiece

We are officially shelved.

The small set of shelves I’ve been working on for about a month is finally finished and I’ve got the happy task of packing it with clutter.

About 90% thought and 10% action went into the project, which must be the obsessive version of “Measure Twice, Cut Once” (very wise advice).

Looking at the finished result the conversation went as follows:-

Me: After all that effort, it looks like it was built by a five-year-old out of building blocks.

Clive: No. A five-year-old would have made a better job of it.

Me: A three-year-old, then.

Clive: A three-year-old with ADHD, perhaps.

It’s difficult to have a swollen head in our house!


Odd yellow bead

January 18, 2016 Leave a comment
Necklace with odd yellow bead

Necklace with odd yellow bead

Not long ago I cheered myself up by making a necklace from left-over beads of all colours.

Unlike Italian womenfolk whose winter wardrobe is black, dark grey or dark brown, I prefer colour in the winter months, and what could be more colourful than these beads?

I had the numbers to go for symmetry, but I deliberately went for random. There’s a charm in randomness and asymmetry which many a stately home could have borne in mind.

The odd yellow bead loose off the thread is a yellow mistletoe berry – one of many scattered through the gravel and leaves under the big oak; the only colourful note now that frost has killed off the flowers.

They might look fun to squash underfoot, but the white goo that comes out is as sticky as chewing gum!