Gilding the hawk.

This morning began with a desire to climb up a hill, and a realisation that going away for four weeks takes a lot of organisation. So, dropped van at the garage for a good check over and walked home.

Pembrokeshire is still a quiet place. There were few cars on the road. My head is full of eagles, peregrines and plans.

In Pembrokeshire you don’t need a weather vane to know which way the wind blows. I have one anyway.

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Came home, where Glyn’s house was wrapped in blackthorn blossom and a small cat was waiting on the path. She was quickly joined by the boys.

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Now I have two days left to paint peregrines in preparation for Easter weekend at Holkham Hall, where I will be working with Marilyn from the Norfolk Centre for the Children’s Book, write a book, pick up paintings, pack and my head is full of eagles. Something has to give.

I have a list, washing on the line, a good book to read and the sun is shining.

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Little Leopard’s first walk.

Morning began with coffee and reading, and loving A Horse for Angel by Sarah Lean.

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Then, up the hill, the sky so blue, with Sarah Lean, to the very top , and Nick and Leopard came too.

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Spit checked to make sure Sarah and Nick were following.

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catdog rocks spotthecat25 spotted silvergoldrestingBack home the sun slanted through the glass in the back garden. Beautiful.

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Mary and Leopard

Mary was feeling a little jealous. She knew that her sister had gone on holiday. She had packed her suitcase and gone away, a long long way away.

 

 

Mary said , “I would like to see the sea. I’ve never seen the sea. I don’t know what it looks like. Can I come with you , please.”

I said, “Yes.”

And Leopard came too.

And Mary said, “What are these pink flowers?”

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And I said, “Thrift.”

“And the white ones, so pretty?”

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“That’s sea campion,” I said.

“I like the sea,” said Mary. “It’s all wrinkled and it moves in a ┬árestless way all of the time, like it can’t quite settle.”

And Mary said, “That’s a pretty house.”

And I said “Yes.”

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And Mary said, “There’s so much space. I can hear birds. They’re sitting on the ledges on the cliffs. What are they?”

And I said, “They’re fulmars and they are making nests and laying eggs and soon there will be baby birds to feed. Mind now, the cliffs can be dangerous. Come away from the edge.”

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And Mary held tight to Leopard so he wouldn’t be scared.

And Mary and Leopard sat in the sun and looked at the world around them. And I said, ” You did see the sea, when we went up the hill.” And Mary said, ” Yes, but I wanted to see it again, because it is so lovely.”

And I said, “Oh.”

And Mary said, “Next time, can we go to the beach? Please?”

And I said, “Yes. Next time Mary, we’ll go to the beach. And Leopard can come too.”

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Working on cat book, with help from cats

Putting together Catwalk is a little like herding cats. So many images, so many cats, so many memories. It makes me smile, it makes me sad.

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The cats, bless them, have been ‘helping’. I struggle with distractions, and blue sky and walking. Outside the studio the blackthorn blossom is filled with chiffchaff and movement. Inside my head is a little the same.

Meanwhile Spittifer the Bold came for an evening walk after supper, up the the high hill with the wide angled lens.

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Loving the blue skies and the sunshine.

And loving the mouse skin shoe.

 

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Wide angles

Loving my wide angled lens almost as much as I am loving the sunshine.

Come for a walk with me around Nine Wells and Tug Beach and back via the pond.

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Something of extraordinary beauty.

Walking today around Pothlliski and the light and sky and clouds were wonderful.

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On the way home I took Helen to the Goat Street Gallery, my favourite gallery in Pembrokeshire. I didn’t expect to find there this curious creature of extraordinary beauty.

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I love Dan and Amanda’s work and was delighted to hear that they are both at Art in Action this year, Amanda in textiles, Dan in Ceramics, both demonstrating. ( They had told me, but it had slipped my mind. ) Amanda made us coffee and i found this, atracted first by the name on the cover, Mererid Hopwood.

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I will let it speak for itself as to what it is.

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Mererid Hopwood was the first woman to win the chair at the Eistedfodd in Wales. She has a way with words in Welsh, in English that make both heart and soul sing. There are only 1000 copies. If you want something wonderful, give the gallery a call.

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Queen of the skies update.

So, here I am trying to work and Ffion phones again to say she’s going to fly the beauty. And the sun is shining, but I should be working on the Cat Walk book. And somehow in my heart I know that Matthew will forgive me as I pick up my camera and rush out the house. She’s free flying now, without the creance. She could go any day, just feeling the wind under her wings and off. Soft jesses so if she flies she will be able to get them off and they won’t snag and tangle in the trees. Falconry terms are such beautiful, soft words.

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So, Ffi weighs the bird and we walk out and she asks me to keep my distance when she flies so she doesn’t spook and we walk across the fields and Ffi says, I will just go and put her on the cannon in the middle of the field and I say, cannon? What’s a cannon? Is that a falconry term and Ffi gives me an odd kind of sideways look and says no, it’s a cannon, in the middle of the field. Sticking up. Well, of course it is. This is Pembrokeshire.

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Walking in sunshine

Two days of walking in sunshine in beautiful Pembrokeshire. From Whitesands to Porth Melgan, from Treginnis around in a circle along Ramsey Sound, looking for and finding porpoise and so much more.

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What Mary and Leopard did today.

There are days when you work really hard, but all that you do comes out ugly and wrong. But you have do do it, to discover that it won’t work, and then try and move on with hope and make it work in another way. So, after a frustrating day Mary and Leopard and I went for a walk.

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They wrote a postcard for Karin, because they miss her and their friends, but I think they enjoyed their adventure.

Love to all at Celestine and the Hare.

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Friends

Nicola sent me a tweet. Something about coming to visit, if she managed to finish her book on bowhead whales. I hate being at the end of a book, and really hoped she would finish in time to be able to come down, walk a bit, talk a lot.

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And so she did.

We parked the van at Whitesands Beach and walked home. The tide was out. On Porthmelgan Rosie made Nic laugh as she dug holes in the sand.

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And we saw chough and raven and wheatear and skylark and porpoise, really close to the land, and stonechat and pippets.

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And Nic found some otter poo that she picked up and sniffed. I have so many friends who get excited by poo!

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And we sat for a while watching the rise of a dorsal fin or two, lazy porpoise swimming slowly. Then home to a glass of wine and more talk, via Maes y Mynydd and I showed Nic the dead swans.

Then next morning a shorter walk and Nic helped me thread and frame a synopsis for a new book, making the words fall into an order that is sweet and so right and even perhaps powerful.

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Friends. They are the best thing.

 

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