Life is good.

October 17, 2014

Life is good. No sooner had I set up my MacAlfa Romeo Monza poster mini for an afternoon’s work than I received an order from Sweden for a poster through my Etsy shop. This is another of my occupations, and in this instance it involved repacking my computer and returning home for an hour this morning to print out a large giclee print of the art deco style Alfa Romeo poster that I designed a couple of years ago. It was no hardship.

These posters are my legacy. I have little else to pass on, and I certainly do need to press on with more designs as I’ve been otherwise engaged on a long-term writing project for the last two years (more of which later, I’m sure). But last week I took a welcome break from writing and completed a design that’s been sitting on BDLC2_smallthe back burner for a very long time. It’s a second version of my Bal De La Couture poster, following on from the 1927 poster completed a few years ago, the new design is for the 1928 event, but visually following similar lines and colours. I’m very fond of these designs but I can’t say that they’re selling like hot cakes. Probably something to do with key wording, as my automobile posters sell quite well.

But I do intend to return next year to my market stall in Framlingham, which I gave up a few years ago, or perhaps more accurately it gave up on me. I think this fashion poster might do quite well in that environment. But four or five years ago sales dwindled to zero for a run of several weeks, and I could do no more than crawl home to lick my wounds. It hurt. Since then I’ve struggled to find the necessary cash to renew my market traders licence, and also I no longer have a car that I can load with the stall and stock. But next year both of those issues should be resolved and I’ll get back to those lovely social Saturdays amongst the brilliant stall holders on the hill.

I have to say that I was probably a bit ambitious with the size of postersphone photos April 2008 027 that I hung in my tiny eight foot square stall, as so many people would say, “They’re really nice, but too big for my house.” That may have been a load of rubbish, but they did look a tad large. Ho hum.

But that’s the future and today is now. For mid October the weather is tranquil and I’m off to enjoy a teatime drink with a good friend to celebrate his birthday. We’ll meet up in The White Horse, a couple of miles from here, and get a couple of pints in before I get back and cook dinner for my sweet wife. As I say, life is good.

ImageSometimes I feel that words are unneccesary.

yomping through the mist

March 15, 2012

There was quite a heavy mist when I set out this morning, but the sun was already showing signs of breaking through. There is something special about walking through the fog on an early Spring morning. The landscape makes its appearance almost reluctantly but what you can’t see you can certainly hear. The sky seems full to bursting with the sounds of Skylarks, very early in the season as I normally regard larks as the harbinger of high summer. And the woods are alive with birdsong amplified through the mist’s acoustics. Every so often signs of other wildlife appeared; a young muntjak lurking in undergrowth, the unmistakable smell of fox and the large hoof prints of a red deer recently following the same path as myself.

But by the time I reached the top of the hill at Benhall the sun had broken through and I was beginning to feel uncomfortably warm in the coat I’d chosen to keep out the morning’s cold and damp. But that was all soon forgotten as the view from up here is wonderful looking down into the Alde Valley. I approach the river through the meadow which, later in the year, will be sprouting giant puffball and parasol mushrooms, then cross the bridge through White House Farm and home. Brilliant start to the day.

ImageI have recently begun a regime of morning walks in an attempt to both kickstart the day and to lose several pounds of unsightly fatty substance that somehow seems to have accumulated, uninvited, about my midrift. The truth is that I’ve been quite neglectful of my body for some time, and whilst i can never claim to have treated my body as a temple I nonetheless rarely had weight problems in the past. But that’s all probably due to the fact that I used to be naturally active and would unthinkingly leap up stairs or ride my bike to the pub instead of drive. And there you have it in a sentence. Driving to the pub has been my downfall. And I can only partly blame that on the closure of my local which was a reasonable half mile walk away. Not exactly marathon training.

ImageHowever, a small leaf has now been turned and each morning will see me striding manfully across the beautiful Suffolk countryside calling to an imaginary dog and greeting passers by in my best ‘hail fellow well met’ cheery manner. Setting out from home I’m immediately offered a number of choices for the route to take. I usually set out northwards and then, after a mile or so,  either west via Hall Farm and take a wide circular route around the village and head home past the church, or east via Sweffling village and Dodds Wood, where I used to go beating in the winter, and back via White House Farm in the Alde Valley. Plus the many variations on those two.

And there is also a new added interest since my visit last week to London and the quite extraordinary David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy. To say it was inspirational is rather understating it. I now view every aspect of a quite familiar landscape in a completely new perspective, and my camera is rarely left at home, as the accompanying photomontages will testfy.

Also, as the weeks progress I can see myself returning to landscape painting again. So a morning yomp of maybe four or five miles is turning out to be good for body and mind. All in all very satisfactory.