HERE’S ANOTHER camera that I decided to sell on eBay; a Canon PowerShot G5, my first serious digital camera. My little Olympus Tough hasn’t replaced it as such but it does cover most of what I need a camera for. I might go for something more ambitious in the future, one of the so-called ‘super-zoom’ cameras, so that I can attempt to photograph birds, but at the moment there’s a big overlap between the capabilities of my two digital cameras so I’m afraid it’s time for one of them to go. I rarely set out without the bar-of-soap-sized ‘Tough’ in my art bag, so that’s the one that I’m sticking with.

But I haven’t had time for photography or even for much drawing during the last week. It’s got to that stage where I’m going to have to give the book that I’m working on my undivided attention (undivided, that is, apart from umpteen other commitments that I can’t get out of, even when my workload is at its most pressing).

Special Delivery

Our travels this morning included taking my mum to the dentist’s, which gave me a chance to draw the resident school of goldfish there then, after lunch, I sketched the back of a building (top, centre, above) as I waited for Barbara on a book delivery errand in the centre town. Our next delivery, just ten minutes drive away, offered more impressive scenery; we dropped off a batch of my Sandal Castle booklets at the visitor centre there and took a walk around the earthworks.

Some of my friend John Welding’s Battle of Wakefield drawings are currently featured in the displays there, with more of his artwork on banners near the memorial to Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, nearby at Manygates.

Curtains for the Squirrel?

It was a week ago this morning that I had a surprise encounter with a Grey Squirrel. I was taking the tray of coffee cups into my mum’s front room when I heard an urgent scurrying and scrabbling. As I entered, an alarmed squirrel bolted for the top of the curtains in the lofty bay window and did its best to conceal itself, not very successfully with that bushy tail poking out.

Barbara and my mum stood ready to usher the intruder out through the open front door while I used the perfect humane squirrel shepherding device, my mum’s outrageously over-the-top feathery cob web brush – it’s like one of the fans that Cleopatra’s servants waft around her throne – which soon persuaded it to scurry back outside.

My mum naturally is alarmed in case she finds herself with another intruder. This week when she was sitting by the front door a squirrel came right up to the doorstep, oblivious of her presence. A family of them have made a home in the roof, climbing the Virginia creeper to gain access via the guttering.

We’re hoping that, rather than getting in the pest control experts, we can persuade my mum to have the Virginia creeper cut back, so that squirrels no longer feel that the house is their home territory. But I suspect that they might be equally adept at climbing the drainpipes.

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  1. My goodness, your squirrel story brought back memories! We, too, had squirrels living in our attic for some time. Sounded like they were moving furniture up there at times….We did have to eventually get the critter control to lure them away and seal up the hole. They are very clever creatures.

    1. We once stayed in a holiday apartment in a converted stable in a village in Brittany and at night there was a sound like someone ten-pin bowling in the attic. It wasn’t until I read ‘The Amateur Naturalist’ by Gerald Durrell that I discovered these were Garden Dormice which, like your squirrels, he describes as sounding as if they’re moving furniture all night. Our trip to France was in early autumn so I guess the dormice we heard were squirrelling away walnuts or hazel-nuts for the winter. They’re so cute that I would be happy to have them in my attic!

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