The end of the long summer holidays seems like a good time to catch up with my online diary. It reminds me of my school and college days, when I realised that it was time to wind up my summer projects and aim to be freshly productive in the autumn term.
These sketches are from my Leuchtturm 1917 pocket book. The paper is thin, like a pocket diary, so the fibre tip Pilot Drawing Pen which I’ve been using blots right through the page, leaving a few stray dots of ink.
I thought that a good way of getting back into the sketching habit would be to draw whatever was in front of me when we paused while out visiting or stopping somewhere for lunch or coffee.
It’s been good to see so many parents and grandparents taking their children out into the countryside during the summer holidays. When we were down by the canal yesterday, one dad took a leaf from a dandelion and explained to his young son how the plant got its name:
“Dent-de-Lion: can you see how the edge of the leaf looks like the teeth of a lion?”
On a consistently fine bank holiday weekend, we took advantage of the welcome shade of the woods on Saturday afternoon to walk up through Coxley Valley to Stoneycliffe Wood Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve, pausing for a drink at a bench.
I started a drawing of an oak tree (above), which is growing out over sandstone outcrop at the edge of the stream. On our return journey, when we stopped at the bench for another break, I added more to the drawing.
Ten Thousand Steps
Following my suspected TIA (mini-stroke) two or three months ago, I bought myself a Fitbit Charge 2, which keeps track of how many steps I take a day and also monitors my heart rate. I’m pleased to have kept up my 10,000 steps a day over the six weeks that I’ve been wearing it and it describes my heart rate as ‘excellent’ for a man of my age.
Barbara bought herself a Fitbit a year ago and I reckoned that if I stuck with her I could be sure of getting my 10,000 steps. I hadn’t realised that as I’ve got longer legs than she has I was only managing 8,500 steps for every 10,000 that she clocked up!
The Fruits of our Labours
We haven’t found a way of growing kiwi fruit (left) in the garden but we’re certainly self-sufficient in autumn raspberries at the moment. From a patch the size of a dining table, we’ve had enough to add a small handful to our porridge at breakfast-time plus a surplus which we’ve been using in batches of muffins.
The courgettes have been even more prolific and they’ve been a part of almost every meal for the past ten or eleven weeks.
I’m hoping that having started to get back to normal and having made a bit of an effort to get back into drawing, that it will be second nature to me when we start the new season and autumn, meteorologically speaking, starts on Friday.