The fires in my garden were festive, exciting –
Stars and sparks mingling
Woodsmoke a spicy scent, in your hair lingering.
The fires in my fireplace were friendly, inviting –
Warming and mellowing music and wine
The glow in the hearth made your eyes gleam and shine.
But this was a fire that was bitter and frightening
It came uninvited
Rapacious as lightning
Tore through the house, left my life dark and hollow
Its flames soon extinguished
Then long-lasting sorrow.
Weeks of toil, months of mourning, confusion and grieving
And realisation of what is not here –
Then sweep up the ashes and dump what we’re leaving –
We’ll build a new bonfire
The first of the year.
Poem by TW
The Humber Bridge crosses the estuary between Hessle in East Yorkshire and Barton upon Humber in North Lincolnshire.
At the time it was built in 1981, it was the world’s longest single-span suspension bridge (1.4 miles). That record was beaten in the late 1990s but the Humber Bridge remains the longest in the world that can be crossed on foot or by cycle.
The bridge is a beautiful achievement, and I am not the only one to be inspired by it.
Thanks to Skipper Bruce, for giving me the opportunity to see it from this viewpoint!
The sky meets the sea
on the Isle of Tiree
The Isle of Tiree is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides.
It is relatively small – about twelve miles long and three miles wide
– and very flat.
Sky, sky, sky, sky.
And a bit of flat land.
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan ;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone ;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow ;
In the bleak mid-winter
From the poem ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Christina Rossetti, published in 1872.
I was driving, so this is a memory of a glimpse of the view from the A61 near Pannal, North Yorkshire.
Leeds – like I’ve never seen it before!
The trees in the foreground are along the edge of Soldier’s Field, Roundhay Park. On the far right, you might just make out the Parkinson Building.
These paintings are from 3 weeks ago, the first time I painted outdoors this year. I worked alongside artist Michael Daly. He asked me to use his paints, brushes and preparation techniques, which are all different to mine. I’m very happy with the results.
And thanks to David, for his kindness and hospitality in allowing us to splash and daub in his lovely garden.