Woodhall Spa – First day

My first day in Woodhall Spa has been a real treat; from abandoned buildings, to cats on soft tops and discarded armchairs, what’s not to love? It has been no less than brilliant and has such a friendly feel (except right next to the Conservative club, which is slightly bleak). We had a wonderful gold teapot full of tea and a scone, raspberry jam and cream at Janet’s Tea Rooms, which is a visual treat for the eyes as you are surrounded by fantastic bric a brac delights. This was welcome after a 7 mile walk down by the river and round about.

Abandoned building Domestic postbox White truck in field Blue worn out fence Yummy tea and scones Broken wooden chair White cat on soft top car Arm Chair with bin bags

 

Lettuce

Lettuce is a floppy, soppy, cat who lives life on her own terms. She loves chasing me in the mornings when I have black work trousers on to get as much fluff on me as possible. She often lies in a superman position on the floor, where pipes are warm. Sometimes she looks at you like there is no thoughts in her head.

Rosa

Tonight I have done a quick drawing of Rosa, one of my parents cat. She is a right fuss pot and follows my Mum around for attention. She has a devious and playful nature and loves cuddles.

Drawing cats

I find drawing relaxing and would like to do a lot more of it. I recently drew my favourite cat on my road, after he moved house. I was genuinely sad that he or she (I never did establish which) had left. I often would say hello in the morning and the cat would squint back at me or roll on the floor for attention. I’m going to practice, as I haven’t captured the personality as well as I’d like but I really enjoyed drawing again. The photo is bad quality too, so shall replace with a better one later.

Neighbourhood cats

I have been taking photos of the cats in our neighbourhood as there are so many characters. They are all so lovely! I am not ashamed to admit that I have cat lady tendencies.

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I would love to look after cats all day everyday. Maybe one day…

 

Cats and chairs

My friend Phil has recently moved to London and the other day, in the big city he sighted this delight! I was over the moon to receive this in my work inbox, half way through a difficult day. It’s amazing how quickly my frame of mind changes when seeing a new chair. I love the fact that this one looks like it’s still functioning in it’s role as a comfortable seat, cushion and all. It almost looks like it’s basking in the sunshine.

On the same day I was walking home to clear my head, photographing the things I saw on the way when I came across this cat sitting on a chair. It was such a confident cat that looked so sure of itself. He gave me a look that my cats give me when they are telling me who really owns the furniture in our house.

The day was improved by cats and chairs. I think I’ll always feel okay if I get my cat and chair fix!

Christmas cat activity centre!

Caroline and I were sat in front of the fire yesterday drinking tea. I had mentioned that I was a bit fed up with having such a huge cardboard box in my living room and Caroline suggested the following inspired idea: To cover the box in wrapping paper and tinsel ready for Christmas! As someone who is far too excited about Christmas already, I was on board like a flash. We got our coats, boots, hats and scarfs and ventured out into the snow. Wilko’s bound we purchased very cheap wrapping paper and tinsel and revamped the cat activity centre. What a wonderful way to spend a snowy Saturday!

Even the monkey had a tinsel scarf!

Coastal walk

I have been away from the day job for a week now and have had a most wonderful break. Al and I went to Exmouth, Devon to visit my Grandma, go for walks and drink lots of ale. Grandma was on great form and we had such lovely conversations and huge amounts of laughter.

The weather was sent to turn on the Wednesday so we thought we should take advantage of the good weather on Tuesday for a long walk. We went from Budleigh Salterton a beautiful beach with a wildlife reserve to Otterton, a small village with a pub called the Kings Arms that sold Otter Ale and had a pub cat called Garfield. En route we saw stunning coastal views, a building called Brandy Head and a ghostly out of season caravan site.

I had three camera’s with me which might seem slightly excessive but they all came in useful. My SLR was the most used but I am ashamed to say the auto function is my comfort zone.

Saw this post it note on the beach with its biblical reference about evil deeds. You can click on the photograph to view its full size.

This was the bin in the toilet. I canny get enough of this kind of wear and tear.

There was an outdoor BBQ which would be an amazing setting for cooking fresh fish.

Sign post saying ‘POLITE NOTICE PLEASE KEEP TO THE FOOTPATH. DO NOT STRAY ON THE GRASS AREA, SOWS CAN BE VERY PROTECTIVE OF THEIR PIGLETS. PLEASE KEEP DOGS ON THEIR LEAD. THANKS.’ You can click on it to see the full size photograph.

We spent a lot of time at Brandy Head. It was such a beautiful building in beautiful surroundings. It felt like a discovery of sorts (even though it had a sign up telling you all about it). The reason for it’s name is because smuggling activities were rife along this coast, one of these being kegs of brandy. More recently it was used in World War II to test new aircraft mounted cannon and gun sights.

At the end of the coastal part of the walk there was this eerie out of season caravan park at Ladram Bay. Even the post box was out of order.

When we got to Otterton there was this lovely building weather worn paint.

Finally we arrived at the warm pub called the Kings Arm. Here is the pub cat Garfield. He sat on my lap which was such a great end to a great day. We drank Otter Ale and ate crisps which felt deserved after taking so many photographs!

First Wednesday in the Studio

Today has been my first Wednesday in my Studio after starting my new hours. I am hopefully going to have every other Wednesday off work to do with as I please. This is what I have been up to today:

  • Writing
  • Researching mechanisms that turn
  • Playing with cardboard boxes and tubes
  • Drinking huge amounts of tea
  • Reading about book making
  • Eating a halloumi and vegetable baguette from Greek restaurant Yiannis
  • Making a sketch book
  • Remembering ideas that I had forgotten about

Lettuce (one of my cats) is not happy at the idea of me cutting up her boxes so is having a sit in protest. The cardboard tube and two half boxes is the start of me making a turning mechanism. It is a lot more tricky than I thought but I am enjoying the challenge.

I am extremely pleased to work in a job that has this kind of flexibility and I’m glad I have finally found a way of using it to my benefit!