A buzzard circles above the wood then heads over the meadow and garden towards the house. Looking up through my sloping roof-light window I can see it almost vertically overhead as it passes over my studio, the pancake patterns beneath its wing picked out by the afternoon sun. However many times I see it fly over, […]

Sabine’s Mission Impossible

I’ve been writing my Wild Yorkshire nature diary for the Dalesman for more than two years but the article that I’m working on now for the 150th anniversary of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers is rather different and I’m struggling a bit to decide what approach I should use. I’ve used a program called Scapple to pull […]

Wood Street Roofline

A coffee break drawing from Marmalade, Cross Square, Wakefield of a Dutch or Flemish style attic window of the building at the end of Wood Street which for many years was a branch of Barclays Bank. There are impressive terra cotta panels on the facade and the dates 1810 and a later date (1870?) which must refer to […]

The Woman over the Window

There are carved heads on keystones above the entrance and the windows of this Venetian palace style branch of the Wakefield and Barnsley Union Bank (now occupied by Barclays) built in Ossett in 1870. The Santa Claus lookalike above the door seems to be a portrait, perhaps of the first manager, but this woman over the window […]


I remember as a child coming across this 1932 Methuen’s English Classic edition of Eothen by Alexander William Kinglake in the bookcase amongst my parents’ old books. It looked rather impenetrable but it’s actually a colourful traveller’s tale of a tour of the Middle East in 1834. This copy is peppered with pencilled notes, underlined […]

Green Spire

The lime trees in the gardens of Victorian villas in Horbury are characteristically tall and columnar in shape. When they need to be replaced the tree officer for the local council requests varieties which have a similar shape; Tilia cordata ‘Rancho’ or Tilia cordata ‘Green Spire’. Ornamental heathers are now bringing some early spring colour into gardens.