Days at home are precious. This is a short post, about two days, and about a book.
Yesterday I took the dogs, walked through the woods and down to the sea.
In this small part of the world where I live autumn usually comes as a fierce wind that strips the leaves from the trees, tears them off. But at Abermawr it is more sheltered. Here, autumn happens more slowly, but leaves that fall are the colour of a small golden dog.
The wind braids and pleaches tree branches of beech beside the beach.
At the beach a bank of pebbles is a wonderful hunting ground, though not so good when your small golden dog child discovers a dead seal to roll in.
Back home I worked on prepping prints that people have waited for for so long. Peacefull work.
Also, time to pack up otters, bought by Cecelia and Graham, the word Slopsh, written in otters. Love how otter language swims on a page. This was for a crowdfunder. There have been so many now I can’t remember which. So many, and that means so many books given to schools.
There’s new crowdfunders every day, for schools, hospice, carehomes. Here’s a link to some:
Our book, one year old now.
So, today I walked where the golden grasses grow, and the smallest dog ran wild and crazy, nose to the ground searching for birds. She put up a snipe. Autumn is coming. Goldfinch flocks are in the fields and edges. Bramble leaves flash crimson, as do the hawthorn berries.
The Icelandic horses are so gentle, and smell like sweet grass. Their coats held the warmth of the sun.
Back home I packaged up more things to post tomorrow. These included Bramble, won in another crowdfunder and delivery long overdue….
There’s a crowdfunder for London. I decided to paint them a lark. This, painted on one of the letterpress proof pages from the Compton Verney exhibition, is a lark, painted with sumi ink. The lark changed as she dried and this last image in these three is more accurate.
The yellowing is because the light is fading from the day, so not natural.
This lark is to be a ‘raffle prize’ for the London Crowdfunder. Donate any amount to be entered into the draw. I will send the painting to Robert Macfarlane to sign also. The words are his, from The Lost Words. Anyone who donates, from anywhere ( happy to post to any address) will have an equal chance to win, whether it’s a £5 or a £5000 donation. The draw will be done when the funding target is reached.
The small inked hare (25 x 10cms) below is also for the London Crowdfunder. £200, but email me first to secure before donating, with ‘hare’ in the subject matter.
Also this otter with butterfly at £225.
It is a curious thing for one’s work to be at the centre of this ‘movement’ of people passionate about making a gift of the book, to schools, hospices, carehomes. It’s also very humbling. How to say thank you? The only way I can is by trying to contribute. For me, my access to books was through libraries in schools and libraries changed my life. I’ve been watching how the crowdfunders help each other, teach each other how best to do this, how best to place the books in the right hands. I’ve been seeing the response of teachers and the astonishing and powerful work of children created around the book. The Lost Words is becoming a powerful community, working for change.
There are two lots of teaching resources now, both crafted with skill by Eva John. One is hosted here, at the John Muir Trust, the other in a few places. Please share. They are free to download, and i would like to say a huge thank you to Penguin Books for supporting this. For the first time ever I look forward to seeing World Book Day Costumes, if children follow the challenge on one of the challenge cards.
And there’s a wonderful piece from Rob Bushby on the Penguin Books website, about this first year of The Lost Words. It’s been quite a year.
I will be in Number Seven Dulverton on Thursday 25th October. Mine and Kerry Andrew’s event the evening before has sold out and there’s a long waiting list for tickets, but if you’ve a mind to you can watch our performance with Nicola Davies at Hay Festival. It cost £10 to subscribe for the year, but there is a wealth of wonder in that archive, a treasury.
And I will be in Yoevil on 27th at the festival. Tickets still available I think.
Dark outside now. I’ve much to do, otters to wrap, things to think about.