More than home from home

As the new year rolls in, and it becomes time to reflect on the old all I can think is, wow. What a year that was. The beginning was hard, hard, pushing to meet the deadline, shape and craft The Lost Words with the wonderful team at Hamish Hamilton, finding the right image for the cover, and then waiting, waiting, for the book to be published.

What happened next took me by surprise. A different kind of hard work followed and how lucky we were to be supported in our travels by great friends who made us welcome, took us into their homes, by bookshops who so fully and utterly supported the book. Wonderful, but also such a challenge. Come December I was ragged. Then my mum went into hospital for a hip operation. And Christmas….. well, not my favourite time of year.

So, trying to get back to normal now, find time to paint, write and think.Over Christmas I painted a fish, read by the fire, walked.

She is 110 x 55cms and is for sale, unframed at £4500, watercolour and gold leaf.

She’s called, She Loved to Walk and Would Often Think on Her Feet.

Then I ran away.

To Druidsden. And here we stayed in the Roundhouse. You can see it, in the top right hand corner of the next photo. Perched on the edge of the land. Through the window you can see the rock where I go to write. In the evenings we watched the moon rise. The wind battered us. We walked on the beach. I edited my manuscript to the end. The nights seemed somewhat out of time and dreams came and went. The fire was glorious, and the bathroom! I love that bath. I painted gold on stones and left them on the beach. And one on Jane’s grave, which no one must take.


Water, stone, ripples, movement.

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There’s a stone in the stream in the photo below. The one from the instagram post above. It was found in less than 24 hours, but I think the one by the waterfall will remain as a gift for the sea.

The dogs slept and ran and played and were quiet, and I was a little worried about Pi following her nose off the cliff but we were careful.

This one went onto the beach at low tide at twilight, so little chance of being found before being claimed by the sea.


Stone-still, waterfall.

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And I decided to regain an old habit of writing just a few words each day, but this time posting on twitter. Hand writing as it’s becoming a lost art. With a hashtag of  EveryDayaFewWords. So join me if you wish. Either thread onto mine, or tag, or hashtag. No more than 50 ever. 25 even better. It’s the advice Michael Morpurgo gave me, that Ted Hughes had given him. Just a few. Every day. It changes the way you think.



Home again now. Cold outside and hoping it will be again tonight, though I worry for the birds. Wrens will gather in bundles to sleep, sharing warmth.

I’ve work to do.

But first I would like to say a huge thank you to Beth and Angus and all at Druidstone Hotel for making our stay such a wonderful one. Warmth, good food, peace and space and love. Thank you.


About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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6 Responses to More than home from home

  1. Mo Crow says:

    oh that glorious fish are you a Piscean too?

  2. Your fish seems to me so sad, but it is a stunning fish. The whole painting is stunning. Everything you put your hand to is stunning. Sorry, stuck on the word STUNNING. How did you mum fare? Who is Jane? All those lovely rock markers move me. The land/Seascapes move me. What a magnificent place to call home. I love visiting and have been doing so for years. That’s the wonder of this virtual platform. I travel right out of the third floor old apartment in Manhattan thanks to it. Later I dream of what I’ve seen.

    • Jackie says:

      Not so much sad as melancholic I think. There’s more of me in the picture than I thought. The experience of having made a ‘best seller’ is an astonishing thing, and she’s moving forward with a strong march, but lost in reflection inside her mind and being followed by, or walking, or towing, a big fish, that can swim, fly by itself, but is connected.

      Mum doing well, but thanks for reminder to ring her.

      Jane is Jane Bell from the Dru, who was my friend, is my friend, though she died a few years back. She was a fierce woman, great supporter of artists. Sometimes I stay in her house, and I wrote One cheetah, One Cherry there. I was at the Dru when I heard Robert and I had a contract with Hamish Hamilton for The Lost Words, and this time we heard we have a Stateside publisher, well, Canadian, in House of Anansi.

      And I always love hearing from you xx

  3. Bernie Bell says:

    If I wanted something I couldn’t possibly have, my Mum would say “You can’t take a goldfish for a walk.”
    Looks like you can!
    Good to have your blog back, Jackie, for all us non-twitterers.

  4. Bernie Bell says:

    Michelle mentions dreaming………….
    Last night, I dreamt of an otter.
    I was outside, somewhere in the countryside, in a green lane. I saw an otter, who came over to me and started to gambole around me, and come up to me and give me a ‘hard stare’ and nudge my leg. I got the idea he wanted something. I then realised that he wanted me to pick him up, so I did. He wanted to be held, so that he faced forward. One of my arms was supporting his bottom, and the other arm was under, and supporting his two front legs – can you picture it? This meant that he could see ‘out’ as we walked along. I then realised, that it also was meaning that I was seeing, what he saw. We wandered around for a bit, and it was…….well, I don’t have the words for it. I was seeing, through an otters eyes.
    He then wanted to be put down again, so I placed him on the ground, and he started to dig in an earthy bit of a bank.
    This reminds me of when your snow leopard card prompted my dream of meeting snow leopards. It was different. The snow leopards dream was more to do with cuddling and connecting with them. This was more to do with the otter trying to show me something.
    What was he showing me? I think it needs to simk in a bit more, before I can catch that.

  5. thank you for the suggestion to write just a few words every day – loving this small reflective practice of noticing the world around me 🙂

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