When we drop our car in for its annual service in Hunslet we like to walk alongside the River Aire to Leeds and make a day of it. Over the years on the river we’ve seen goosander, mallard, teal, cormorant, moorhen and kingfisher. We’ve seen goldfinches feeding on the cones of the riverside alders and a wagtail flitting about on a landing stage. Last year we saw our first warbler of the season, just flown in from Africa.
One year we met a knight walking his charger along the riverside path. This was at the time that the Royal Armouries Museum at Clarence Dock staged regular jousts in a tiltyard next to the museum.
Rain all day means that, for the first time, we miss out on our annual riverside ramble and content ourselves with dodging in and out of the shops in the city centre for a few hours. The art material stores of my college days in Leeds, Dinsdales and Jowett and Sowry have now moved out of the city centre so we were delighted to come across a new(ish) art and craft materials store, Fred Aldous, behind Leeds Market as you head towards Leeds Parish Church (now restyled as the Minster).
Naturally I have to buy a sketchbook. Will the acid free paper in the pocket-sized Leuchtturm 1917 notebook prove more sympathetic to watercolour than the Moleskine sketchbooks that I was using last year? It’s going to be a while before I get around to trying it as I’m currently using my Derwent Black Journal as a pocket notebook, carrying it in my pocket along with a Lamy Vista pen and a small wallet of children’s crayons. I used it when drawing the trees as we waited for our car after its service at the Luscombe’s Suzuki.
Link: Birds of the River Aire, 9 March 2oo5.
First Warbler, 2 March 2015.
Fred Aldous, art & craft supplies
Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbooks