The red and gold Macfie’s Old-Fashioned Black Treacle tin has been sitting on one or other of my shelves since about 1975, and I’m sure that the Lyle’s Golden Syrup tin must have been their almost as long as neither of them have a barcode on them.
Drawing them reminds me that I must at some stage go through my pens and weed out any that have dried up. At least they give me something to draw.
I tend to have favourites which I use all the time, then there are experimental pens that I’m keen to try out which don’t quite make the grade and get relegated to treacle tins.
Once again this drawing is with my new pen – definitely a favourite – my Lamy AL-star fountain pen with the Noodler’s black ink (I’m sure that I must have inadvertently picked up my Lamy Safari, loaded with Noodler’s brown yesterday,which is just as good to use but I’m going to need black for my Waterton comic strip).
There’s a tropical feel to Coxley wood this afternoon. On the path beyond the old quarry the beck flows at the foot of a steep earth bank and, on what I remember long ago as being an open grassy space, lush wild garlic, now in full flower, spreads between tall alders and willows. Also in full blossom a straggly hawthorn bush arcs its branches in front of the quarry face.
Song thrushes are remarkably loud, repetitive and insistent, like tropical birds. I’m also picking up an unfamiliar ratchet-like sound. Not a mistle thrush, I realise that it’s the neighbours’ dog, Poppy, pulling on her extendable lead.
The top end of the wood is looking equally good with the oaks in fresh leaf and dripping with little light green catkins.
There are more song thrushes singing as we walk alongside the canal. On the Strands, the marshy field between the river and canal, a lapwing is calling. I’m glad to see them making a comeback over the past two months I’ve occasionally spotted them flying over our street, not so far away.