1st September. Last few days of August disappeared in a haze of painting and walking and watching the seals grow. The spring tide pulled the sea back so far that the coast looked so very different. The sea carved out a pool where a seal pup played. So different from the storming sea of a few weeks ago that stole away the life of a new pup.
Buzzards and red kites and a long drive to The Mumbles to pick up paintings that had been in a gallery near Bristol that has sadly closed. Hot day. Came home to find that Hannah had cleaned and tidied the house and Tom had walked the dogs.
The Snow Leopard continues to sell well and had its first review, despite not being out until October, and East of the Sun and West of the Moon teeters on the brink of finding a home with a publisher.
3rd September. I have decided that I am "Lost in Transition". I cannot pull myself together and gather my thoughts and get on with the work I should be doing. I stumble from day to day with a head full of bears, wander up and down the hill to see seals, and back again. Overhead buzzards call and today a peregrine flew past so fast we saw nothing but a blur and heard a loud rush of air. Bullet bird, so fast. Meanwhile buzzards few lazy circle dances and raven flipped and flew upside down for devilment in a clear blue.
At the end of the day, at a crossroads, a barn owl, caught in flight in the car headlights, hushwing ghost bird hunting the hedgerows. A day of birds and seals and a stoat.
4th September. Seduced by sunshine into walking too far after dropping off Hannah for school it was to be a day of slanting sun and birds again. Sea so blue that every cliche that could be thrown at it would still not cause a ripple. Like a mirror, like a mill pond, hardly a sway in the water. Choughs, red-legged, six in a field, a family of raven, a kestrel on a fence post.
In the evening the sun slanted again across the sea, and we walked too late. In between some painting was done.
7th September. Sunshine, walking, seals and still water. Tomorrow I will be 46 years old. Today I walked by Treginnis. Last time I was here the wind blew hard and the water boiled like a raging cauldron. Today it was still, calm and full of sunshine. A sleepy seal hung in a sheltered pool. Out at sea Grasholm was white with gannets. More seals on the catblog.
Came home to a pair of faux leopard fur boots, a beautiful, tiny, stone bear and books and a calendar of Inuit art from Belinda Recio at True North Gallery, an invitation to go to Paris from Gautier Languereau to sign books at a book festival. Feeling blessed.
Updated the Snow Leopard page of the website yesterday as the book is now officially published.
Feeling blue and spending time walking and trying to pull myself together not very successfully, but, walking in sunshine, and met a huge horse with great liquid eyes.
11th September. Seals, sunshine, painting. Still got the blues, but, walking in the evening saw a drowsy, pollen-dusty bumble bee, sleepy in the late evening cool sunshine.
Took photographs and then walked on. Out at sea there was a splash, close in, the another, white water in a still sea where there were no rocks. I stopped and watched, another, then another, in a line of breaking white water. Then the sea erupted into a boiling mass of white frenzy as porpoise feasted on fish and the water was white with excitement. They leapt and splashed and moved away from the shore and were a wonderful sight to see, breaking through the surface of the sea.
14th September. Listening to the radio and a phrase jumped out at me. " Being an artist is living your life out loud". So, the last week I have been wretched and miserable. Today it was suggested to me that it is quite possible that I am entering the phase of life known as the peri- menopause. For some reason that I cannot understand this has made me feel much better.
Little Bear Board Book has a publication date of December 2nd.
This morning there was bright sunshine and cold air. A tiny goldcrest flitted through the blackthorn twigs, fresh green like a new leaf in the early autumn changing world. A jewel of a bird. Cold. I filled up the bird feeders for the first time this year and the memory of winter hung in the air.
Found a card in a local shop, with a picture of an owl and set off on a journey on the net to find more images by Linda Wright. I was delighted to find a whole gallery of beautiful birds in flight, barn owls and falcons and eagle owls with comical chicks. All stunning.
22nd September. Hannah has gone off on an adventure to France with the school. I try not to worry. Tom and I headed for the hills on a gray day, and as the tops were wreathed in cloud we went to see what autumn was doing in Tycanol. Past the craggy tors of tumbled stone with the sunlight and cloud shadow racing over the hills we walked down into the twisted oak trees of the ancient forest. So far the autumn colour has barely kissed the green, but some leaves fall and the rain patters the leaf canopy over head as squirrels scramble and leap. Birds are all around and treecreepers scale the sides of moss covered trees. The star moss throws emerald light skywards. Boulders made into soft sculptures by the depth of bright jewel mosses. Magic. There should be wolves here, not just the memory of wolves.
Walking back up away from the woods we look back to see the stones of Pentre Ifan standing proud in the fields.
23rd September. Painting, seals, walking with Tom around Treginnis. Kestrel hanging in the cliff edge air. Bright white gannets and baby seal all round and plump.
24th September. Steady painting and almost finished the artwork for the book in Korea. Only one more painting to go. Meanwhile the bear waits patiently for colour.
25th September. Full moon, shadows softened by clouds, but the wind blows fast through and the shadows are crisp and deep. Hill stands out in the pale moonlight, drained of colour, and the sky is moonbleached and the starlight is dimmed by the bright white moon. Wind cold, autumn, still with a memory of summer from late honeysuckle flowers.
26th September. Lost in quiet moments of writing. Evening lying on beanbags with wolf blanket for warmth watching Dances With Wolves with Tom. One by one the cats come and settle until a blanket of cats in stitched together by kindness and they purr a quiet symphony of contentment.
27th September. Shelter from a curtain of rain by the burial chamber on St Davids Head. Across the valley the rain sweeps but behind the chamber all is dry. There is a story here, but it is locked away in memory and time and now only the stones remain.
29th September. Walking up the lane to the top of the hill. A gentle veil of rain falls. The green and the fresh thyme flowers and the pink stars of campion and the mild air and the balance of light and night almost belie that it is autumn. Slugs curl in a lover's embrace. Only the bright blackberries threaded through the hedges and the dark purple sloes give truth to the season.
The last day of September started like autumn with dampness and gray sky but gave way to the memory of summer and a sky so blue, and the sun still warm. Early evening in Porthgain the sun slanted through the castellated ruins of the brickworks in Porthgain.