Today’s sketches at apedale

Trees, trains, troops, tea, and horses all on display at Apedale (Moseley trust) today.

Apedale is a nature reserve, but there is also a mining museum there and a light railway with preserved steam engines. Today there was a steam gala, but because they have been commemorating the 1st World War there they had a lot of extra activity and extra exhibits on display. These have included a tank, a sopwith camel plane. Also about 8 steam engines, various trade stalls and model train displays and stalls.

I had a go at drawing as I didn’t take a camera with me. I drew William, one of the horses which pull a limber with a field gun attached. We had to go before they did their display sadly.

I also drew a couple of the volunteer troops and a couple of the trains that were on display. The first train I was drawing suddenly drove off, so the result isn’t brilliant. I also drew inside the cafe.

My Triceratops


Im not sure about the juxtaposition of these objects, and I’m certainly not sure if this is a poem, but I thought I would try and write something…..

Come drink at the mirror pool, my Triceratops

Dip your horned snout deep into its glassy surface.

Remember Rhinos or Elephants hidden in time drinking here.

Plastic, printed, broken foot….night light shines to light the way.

My Triceratops, a whim when bought, now friend.

Each brick and brack gathered and coveted. No space for you?

But still you stay….

Triceratops, on a tray, on the microwave…

How random is that place, how chaotic….

My Triceratops please stay.


Black and White cats


Two tiers of cats, one tries to get higher than the other. Both sleep, then a tail flickers or a whisker twitches, and they wake, wash, then chase each other round the room, upstairs, into the front bedroom, thundering paws shaking the floorboards.

Hot cats sleep more in this weather, try to find cool places. The newly refurbished kitchen is ideal at night. Apparently there is a lack of insulation in the roof so it gets cooler in the evening. I walk in there and one cat is curled up in the fruit bowl and the other is lying on top of the cooker cover.

One morning this week the male cat was asleep in a box. Why would an animal covered in thick fur decide to take a nap in something that would make it warmer?

Black and White photos of black and white cats appeal to me. You can see more of the patterns on their coats. The background colours are not there to distract your vision and the gradation of greys makes for a more interesting picture.

Sometimes one cat is easier to take a picture of than the other. Our female cat is very friendly when she wants a fuss but more often than not she will find somewhere quiet under a cupboard to sleep. She also runs off when I try and photograph her.

They are a brother and sister…..but the male is twice as large as the female. I like it when they move in synchronisation or lie down in mirror image positions.

I love my cats, and I think they love me back.



Cats and keyboards


“Get off you pest!” I don’t shout at the cat…

“You’re in the way,”  I think but stay silent.

“No paws here!” I meant to say, but no breath escapes…

“Ok, that’s my keyboard,” I mean to yell…

Curled up, cute, cuddly,  the cat snores.


“Shift cat, I need to type”, I quietly think.

“Your tail is in my paint! Don’t twitch it…”

“No, its gone all over the paper…Drat, Cat!”

Whiskers twitch, as quietly…

Curled up, cute, kitty, snores….


“No don’t lick that here! ” A feeble squeak emitted.

“Dont wash your paws in the kitchen sink,” I think…

“No furballs allowed,” I try not to choke,

“No cat food on the cupboard,” I cry……

Curled up cute, cat, snores…


All the world to rest in, and you chose this lap?

Go ahead cute cat, curl up kitty, and snore …..


In memory of Tig


This is a digital drawing I did of my old cat called Tig.

He was a stray, and turned up one day at our back door. Our other cat Casey had died following a road traffic accident so we were happy to give him a home .

Tig was a character, he was very friendly and fun, his one fear was of the window cleaner. He would always run and hide when the man came round next door. Whether it was the rattle of his bucket, or his ladder, Tug would absent himself until the man had gone.

He was a climber and loved the trees in our garden. He would sometimes climb up the goat willow tree on the corner of the garden and jump to a neighbouring roof to sunbathe.

Life was sunny for Tig. He loved a fuss, and he had such a cute face. I even started doing tiny drawings on a website called Youdraw that I called “the adventures of Tig”. I didn’t write it for long but people knew about him and liked him.

Then, well , the day came when he didn’t come home after the window cleaner had been. We had put posters up when Casey went missing, and on the following day when he still hadn’t come back I decided to do some posters and print them off. But before I did them I visited the neighbour because Tig used to go in his house for a fuss…….

As I walked out of his front door I saw Tig curled up outside our front door. I rushed over to him, but he wasn’t moving. As I got close I could see he wasn’t breathing.

I didn’t understand how he got there. Then my partner came out of the house. He had been looking for me. He explained he had found Tig in our garden, and realised he had died. He didn’t want me to see him straight away because I would be upset so he had left Tig outside while he went in to get me.

He did not know I was at the neighbours, and was upset that I had found the cat. It was a horrible, sad, day.

It seems that Tig may have been poisoned. We contacted the vet, but they told us even if they did an autopsy we would not know where he had picked it up.

Tig is buried in our garden, under the goat willow. I still miss him.

Getting your ducks in a row

I found this digital drawing of a duck on my Facebook memories. It was drawn in ArtRage oils and I just liked the pattern for the feathers that I created so I took a section of it and duplicated it in the Layout app on my tablet. I then changed the colours slightly in an Instagram filter called Charmes I think.

I wanted to make a reflection pattern and this uses 16 sections of the original drawing turned and twisted. I think the bits at the top and the bottom look like small crabs and the central sections look like vegetation arching  over a still pond.

I often draw birds, I love the way their eyes stare out at you. I love feathers, I used to draw them all the time as a child. I liked how the strands in them interlock. I have drawn peacocks and swans and lately painted crows. I would like to be able to paint birds in flight, its how their wings spread, and the feathers flutter and split as the wind flows through them. I like the iridescent colours that sparkle off the feathers, especially on birds such as peacocks.




Apologies to real writers out there. I drew this then decided to write a very short story to go with it…forgive me!

The Phoenix rose into the air above the flames,  it’s wings beat them back and swirled huge sparks around it. The shock waves from its flight blew branches off the trees, then tiles off the roof just across the way from where the bird had cracked the golden shell of her egg.

In the bedroom of the house a young girl sat brushing her hair before she got into bed. A small nightlight with a pink shade cast a gentle glow in the room. Two windows let in pale starlight, and for a moment the girl thought she saw a shooting star streaking across the sky.

The Phoenix had seen the steady light from the bedroom. It was young and craved the warm heat that it had left behind. It had been born in the bonfire that the girls neighbour had lit earlier in the day, not knowing that an old Phoenix had laid her egg there before fluttering off to die in the forest.

Phoenix can survive without fire, but when they are chicks they need warm light to dry out their feathers which stay damp from the egg for a long time. The light from the room was just right so beating her wings she flitted across the street.

The girl opened her window to allow cool air into the room and snuggled down under the covers. As she lay there she thought she heard the scrabbling of her cats claws at the door. But the noise seemed to be coming from her bedside table. Quietly she lifted the blankets and looked, directly into the glinting eye of the Phoenix!

No ….she must be dreaming  she thought. Then she saw the bird had carefully curved its wings around the top of the night light.  It raised its head so that its neck was straight and beak pointed up to the ceiling.

Now it was bathing in the heat and light, gaining strength with each minute. The girl lay still, she didn’t want to breath. She could see through the wings, they were almost transparent now, the bird was starting to fade……

“Don’t go!” she whispered, but it was too late. The Phoenix  had become a sparkling, soaring mass of light, weightless, magical, etherial.

Quietly it flowed through the air like liquid gold and silver. …out through the window and on towards the rising moon….