Dog, Donkey and Geese

WHEREVER YOU are there’s something to draw but whenever I’ve got the chance I’ll go for a plant, animal or landscape so, in the bookshop, it has to be Tilly the Welsh collie if she isn’t hiding under the desk.

And at my biomechanics appointment although I had the usual waiting room subject matter of chairs and fire-extinguishers to draw I decided on the foliage of ash and sycamore, visible through a high window.

My biomechanical fault is that I have one leg about a centimetre longer than the other, so I wear insoles to even that out a bit but my annual check in with the podiatrist gave me a chance to get some expert advice on walking. On my 14 mile walk to Denby Dale a few weeks ago I’d developed small black bruises under my little-toe nails. This isn’t a biomechanical problem, he explained, it’s just the toe rubbing repeatedly against the side of the boot. A small tubular bandage that goes over the toe might be worth trying.

I asked about the backache that I get on a long walk. I tried a bum-bag instead of a rucksack this time but after a few hours I developed exactly the same ache in my mid to lower back. ‘We’ll load you up like a mule next time!’, he suggested, but the way around this would be for me to work out at what stage on the walk the ache starts and take a break just before that starts to happen. The muscles in your back that control posture are actually quite small, they’re not like the large muscle masses that you use swinging your legs and arms in the process of walking itself, so they tire easily.

I should think a fifteen or twenty minute break to do a drawing every 90 minutes would do the trick for me and I look forward to trying that out.

‘There’s life in the old dog yet!’ the podiatrist insisted, so I’ll take that as a professional opinion.

The bucket is a sketch for my new book while the donkey and geese were drawn at Charlotte’s ice cream parlour where we took my mum for a coffee for the third week running this morning, after her regular shopping and appointments outing. This is out in the countryside that I walked through for the first time on my long walk and, as we drive back by various attractive routes along country lanes, I keep spotting public footpath signs tempting me to come back and explore.

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