Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Broads’

The fresh ploughed field Norfolk

November 4, 2011 2 comments

size 15cm x 30cm 6″ x 12″ approx

This picture was finished today after being started on holiday in Norfolk in August. Today I took the detail of the hedgerow from my sketchbook and put it onto the paper which held the loose washes for the field and the sky. I am ( at the moment) quite pleased with it. I may yet come to loath it or rather see its’ faults in an uncomfortable way. It is quite satisfying to meld two sketches together like this. In other words the background and the forground were done outdoors and the hedgerow and houses were added from notes in my sketchbook.

The last week has been very hectic but really exiting, I took the family sailing offshore which we have never tried before. This involved chartering ( or hiring really) a small yacht and just taking off. It was interesting to find that the things I used to do most  came back most readily…I am still a competent navigator and not reliant on GPS and other assorted gizmos, I am fairly rubbish at mooring stern onto a jetty with an unfamiliar boat, I can helm in a near gale and enjoy most of it. I can cook at sea without being sick. Getting into a marina does make me feel queasy especially when I can hear the marina staff saying ” Oh my god there’s a woman at the helm!!”; next time I must tell them I understand them and polish up some fitting  riposte in greek, a satisfying language in which to swear.

The high points were waking up the morning after a stressy anchoring episode in failing light, looking up and seeing an ancient Greek city complete with amphitheatre laid out on the slopes either side of the harbour. Ancient Knidos even has stone breakwaters which are 2000 years old and still functioning, the remains of the stone quays are still there from the days when it was an important trading city. There is a second harbour which was for the triremes or warships now only used by little fishing boats. Visiting the volcano crater on Nisyros was smelly but fascinating and seeing dolphins always makes my week. The best food was at Oguns Place and if he offers you an assortment of his mezethes say yes and cancel any thoughts of coping with a main course as well.

The Greek economic crisis felt like the elephant in the room..almost never mentioned.

How did the sons and DIY dad cope you may ask? DIY had to be dissuaded from opening  a hole in the bottom of the boat to replace the impeler, yes I do know it is possible to fit the bung into the hole quickly but it’s not essential and frankly I have a serious aversion to holes in the bottoms of boats. The boys thought it was alright to carry on arguing about who taken whose t-shirt – as skipper I felt it was my duty to give the crew hell if they forgot that the boat comes before clothes and all other petty quarrels. I have been brought up to understand that in a boat you will get shouted at and its important to jump to and not take it personally and definitely avoid sulking, it is rather unendearingly old-fashioned but there it is, it was the first thing I was ever told about sailing. Once I reminded them that they needed to say,” yes chef “,to indicate that they had got their orders they got the idea- good old reality TV.

I think there are ten loads of washing to be done, I am only onto the fourth or fifth. Holidays are good things…but how to recover from them seems to be the problem. Lovely aunt coped well while I was away- apart from an invitation to travel 60 miles on a train ( which she is scared to do) for a pub lunch ,  she also hates to say no and disappoint people and ends up in a spin as a result.

Below is my first anchorage in the Aegean….found by serendipity, it wasn’t where we had first intended to go, the yacht in the middle of the frame is the one we were on.



Ellison’s Orange Apples – a painting a day

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Trying to key apples, they have to be cut up.

 size 6 in x 4.5 in 15cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Yesterday I went to collect my aunt so that she could visit us and then the intrepid soul is off for a week on the Norfolk Broads with my mother and sister. They will be hiring a motor boat , she has packed more thick jumpers than I own.My mother has made a Fleetwood cake which was the cake which went with us on any journey when we were children. When we went to the Broads as children the standard was an 8”x8” cake and a catering tray of homemade bread pudding donated by my grandmother. We also took all our Easter eggs as it was always just after Easter that we went. Sometimes it was lovely the reedbeds were coming alive after winter and the primroses were out. Some years it snowed. I remember being in a dinghy when the snow started falling and the wind dropped to nothing , the belly of the sail filled with goosefeathers of snow as we watched and grew colder and colder. I think we got back in the end by using the sail as a great bit flapping wing. Hot tea and slabs of cake restored us.

I had a very frustrating attempt to get the apples from the community orchard identified. I tried to spread the apples out over the day and had got one identified positively when I queued again. I finally got to where it seemed to be my turn and a woman from Storrington pushed in with ten samples of apple and I couldn’t keep my aunt and the rest of the family waiting any longer.

So it now requires another visit to another apple day or some tentative guesses with the online apple key. Slow work,an expert will recognise features which short cut the process.

#134 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog