Oh, toe is me…!

Once. Nay twice. Nay THRICE! Egads!!!

I treated myself to some new socks over the weekend – I know how to live, don’t I? – all of my other pairs have now begun to lose their colour after being washed to beyond an inch of their lives. In fact a thread from one of my old pairs of socks had managed to knot itself around another three pairs whilst in the washing machine, and it took me an absolute age to untangle them. The curious thing was that whilst the socks were either a dull grey or an off brown colour, the offending thread was as black as night and still attached to one of the socks!

Enough was enough, I thought, as I marched off to the shop, armed with five pounds. Last of the great spenders me.

I bought six pairs of jet black socks, size 6 to 8.5 for those who need trivia details, and then put them to one side, ready to wear them today with my work attire. The dull brown socks were starting to look a little obvious with the black trousers.

So, I put on one of my nice new pairs of socks this morning, one on each foot as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, followed by my shoes, and set off into the day. A short while later, I felt a strange tugging inside my left shoe as I walked around. The tugging became stronger – sharper. I had to check things out… maybe I hadn’t pulled the sock on properly when I got dressed, and it had somehow curled up inside my shoe and was starting to shut off the circulation to my foot.

What I found took me back. Aghast, I saw my big toe poking through possibly the largest hole ever to be found in a new pair of socks. Well, a big toe sized hole is quite big in a sock. Especially with a big toe like mine, not that I’m bragging or anything. I have awful toes. Good balance, mind.

I pulled my toe back through the hole of the sock, and then pulled the sock around under my foot to avoid any further discomfort. and then carried on with my day. I was debating whether to take my socks back to the shop, but then thought they wouldn’t take them back as they had been worn and had a hole in them. They weren’t going to believe that the hole had just occurred as I wore them for the first time. And for £2.50 for three pairs it was hardly worth the effort anyway.

My brother said that my toenails must have been too long to slice through the material, which is unlikely, as I’m always careful to curl my toenails under my feet when I get ready. No, I jest. I always bite them before they get too long.

It’s terrible how things aren’t made to last any more, wouldn’t you agree?

Wordle: Patience

Cards on the table, change comes swift
Diamonds become spades, clubs or hearts
Hearts may become broken as sturdy roots shift
Weeping tears drizzle in parts

Aces when low become roots in the trail
When high they’re the peak of the game
Foundation or goal, the cards stack to the scale
And each hand dealt is never the same

Play forward with eyes open, not with tunnel vision
That will focus on the rot and complaint
Change can also be the medicine from heaven
That reveals the patience of a saint

Earthworm on the Nature Trail


And a large, juicy, fat one at that, all wriggly and rippled. Shudders.

Watercolour pencils this time around, without inking the original pencil drawing first just to be different. In real life, this painting is a lot more red in colour, but the flash from the camera on the mobile phone seems to have made it look a little more earthwormy in colour. Well, it does on my computer monitor with my wonky eye.

Can I just remind you that it is World Watercolour Month in July, if you feel a sudden urge to grab yourself some watercolours and a paintbrush or two. It’s a great way to pass an hour or so, and you’re adding creative energy into the Universe whilst doing it, which is always good. If you’re interested in taking part, click here for more details.

When will it ever stop raining?

Are we in for rain today?

Yesterday Afternoon

I looked out through the window over the Grinds this morning and was quite surprised. Not a raindrop was falling. The ground was still wet, however, so I’ve probably timed my glance right so as to miss the downpours.

We had a shower last night that was so heavy, it must have been raining at least twice at once – that’s the only explanation for so much water to fall with such ferocity! I don’t know why the raindrops didn’t all just merge into one great puddle and fall as that. The thing is, it is also so warm with it! So, the windows open, torrential rain floods in, and there isn’t a lick of a breeze to make things even seem fresh.

So, hopefully, with today’s rain, things may freshen a little.

I’ve just read a post on the Met Office’s blog which says that the total rainfall is average for this time of year, so we’re probably just getting what rain we’re due all at once… so reading between the lines that may mean that the better weather is on its way!

(The above links directly to Cate’s blog, as I appear to have jumped the gun somewhat with this post)

Random Digital: Swirls or Freedom?

I may not have had time to paint an image today, but I do have time to publish an abstract creation that I did digitally earlier in the year. The challenge is… what is it? I see a person breaking through the blue swirls as though they were continuous cycles of the same old same old, and the person going for freedom wanted something different, hence the bright colours. Also, in the central white circle that I’ve designated the face, I can make out… yes, a face! Is there anything here that you can see, dear visitor?

The Referendum

Today, folk from all over the United Kingdom and Gibraltar have been voting in the Referendum to state their choice as to whether the UK should remain in the European Union, or whether the UK should leave the European Union.

It’s taken what seems like a century for today to arrive, since the referendum was announced. I’ve been like a coiled spring waiting for today to arrive to get my vote cast. My mind was made up when the referendum was announced, and no number of debates, scaremongering, he said she saids, biased news reports, propaganda, lies, figures, external ‘influences’, threats, opinions, expensive leaflets, businessmen, work colleagues, and TV debates were ever going to change my mind. And they didn’t.

I cast my vote earlier this evening.

I’m not political, but I have my opinion.

As I write this, the polling booths close in five minute’s time at 10pm. Soon, we will learn the outcome of this referendum and see which side has won. And then we’ll have months of gloating to get through before we see any changes. Or, we’ll see if the public opinion has been listened to this time. Boaty McBoatface didn’t stand a chance.

As a result of tonight’s vote, I haven’t time to go on the Nature Trail, but as always, a change is as good as a rest.

It’s now 10pm. Well, here goes…

Frog and Lily on the Nature Trail


Nearly missed this on the Nature Trail today… a frog basking on a lily pad.

For this I’ve used my expensive paints (!) and a good brush. I can see instantly the difference between the paints, even when I squeezed the paints the new ones were much better than the el-cheapo ones at even leaving the tube. I made a bit of a booboo though when I bought the new tubes of paint – I forgot to get the white, so I had to mix the el-cheapo white with the more expensive red for the flower, and got the yucky red colour rather than the vibrant reddy-pink I was aiming for. Well, I’m still learning! And the flower’s really background anyway…

Also with this one, the reflection beneath the flower was very dark, but I got carried away and filled in the space on the leaf and I shouldn’t have done, and then I ran out of the green colour I was using for the water, hence it being a bit angular and blotchy.

I enjoyed painting the frog. And here was me wanting a plain animal to paint today after yesterday’s owl… here’s the frog on its own, without the distracting background:

Long-Eared Owl on the Nature Trail


It’s early evening on the Nature Trail today, and we’ve quietly come across a long-eared owl. The tufts on the top of its head are feathers and not ears, although they look like them. It only raises them when alarmed, so, like the squirrel the other day, we’ve once again spooked a little critter. Oops.

This one took a little longer than yesterday’s stag, about an hour, due to all the fiddly little markings and the el-cheapo paints drying out before I’d finished them, which meant the colour faded. In the end, I resorted to watercolour pencils to finish the job, otherwise I’d have been here until Kingdom Come. I’ve got the basic shape, but just wish I could have done more with the markings. The eyes also haven’t come across well in the photo, as they are slightly more orange in the original… but only just. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the flash. Still, it’s all trial and error!

Will there be anything on the trail tomorrow, I wonder? If so, I hope it’s something plain!

Knight’s Armour

“So, tellest me sire, why hast thine armour rusted?”

“The rain, o wise one. The rain, and the walk you sent me on to retrieve the amulet of Lah.”

“Didst thou not think to remove thine armour in the rain?”

“I did not.”

“No need to bow, sire, thoust will surely never straighten again. Continue, if thy will.”

“Aye, your most reverence. I did not think to remove the armour. It was raining, and I had nothing underneath.”

“But surely you wore undergarments beneath the armour. The chain mail pinches, and thoust may end up with many thousands of tiny bruises.”

“I did, o seer. The undergarments got caught in the chain mail making movement very difficult, so I removed it behind a hedge. I then removed the undergarments and then re-attired myself in the armour, from whence it began to rain.”

“And the bruising?”

“Yes, I bruised.”

“Did you retrieve the amulet of Lah, sire?”

“I did not.”

“Please, sire, thine armour is in no condition for bowing. I forbid you to attempt it, and please continue with thine reason.”

“Aye, o elevated one. Apologies, my lord. I did not retrieve the amulet of Lah. It was guarded by three lions.”

“But sire, three lions would have been no match for a knight such as thyself!”

“No, that in itself is true, o gracious one, but the lions were on the other side of a great lagoon. I couldn’t get across the lagoon in the armour.”

“And thy modesty stopped thee from removing it to obtain the amulet?”

“No o clever one, but the rust did.”

Stag on the Nature Trail


I’m really getting into this watercolour malarkey now! I’m not counting my chickens yet, but I may be able to do a few more than I thought, if I keep this up, for July’s World Watercolour Month.

We’re once again on the Nature Trail, and look what we’ve bumped into today… a young stag. Once again I’ve used my el-cheapo paints, the lacklustre coloured ones, but today they seem a little brighter somehow. They’ll probably fade as the evening progresses, but at least I’ve managed to take a photo whilst the colours still have colour in them. I’m only using these el-cheapo paints to practice with, but it’s a start. It’s been literally decades since I last picked up a paintbrush, but I really enjoy it. Mind you, I quite like being creative, I quite like colour, and I quite like trying to do something different. We should all be just a little more creative everyday!

On this painting, the eye is my favourite part. It kind of just happened, but I seem to find that with eyes. I don’t know what that’s all about; I did a digital painting of a tiger once, and the eyes on that just happened as well. I must have a knack for eyes, I suppose… pity my own don’t have the same knack. I have a blain on my small eye now, the one on my big eye is all but gone after all this time, but – ah, I digress. Mustn’t grumble.

So. I wonder what we’ll find on the Nature Trail tomorrow, if anything? Time will tell. (This painting took me 45 minutes from start to finish).

Starweaver’s Gift

Settle ye down, drift off to sleep
I’ll try to give you a memory to keep
Of a pleasant land not so far away
Of peace and tranquillity in every way

Settle ye down, relax and become one
With the Universe, the planet, the stars and the Sun
In that moment, everything will become clear
Answers to questions that you want to hear

Settle ye down, and I shall attend
And sprinkle my magic upon which depends
Your openness  to allow my dream for you in
From which a new start may even begin

Settle ye down, listen clearly to your dreams
Sometimes they mean more than what they first seem
Take in the message, do not resist
As I extend to you Starweaver’s gift

Squirrel on the Nature Trail


Once again we’re in the great outdoors, searching the nature trail for anything we can find. And look! We’ve been spotted by a squirrel. A slightly startled squirrel that is about to back off and scarper any second, but a squirrel all the same.

This is another attempt at a watercolour for Charlie’s monthly theme over at Doodlewash. I’m still using the el cheapo paints, and this was done with an even cheaper brush which shed bristles on contact with water, but always left one still attached slightly longer than all the others, which had a ‘drag’ effect on the paint as it touched the paper. Still, I managed to sort that problem out, but then overdid it with the black watercolour pencil to add a few embellishments to the fluffy tail. Ah well. It looks squirrelish to me, so I’ll go with it! Spellchecker thought I meant ‘squirrelfish’ then… now, I wonder what they look like? Hmmm…

Pop on over to Charlie’s if you’d like to have a go at splashing some watercolours around – the link above has all the details you’ll need!