Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
I FINALLY FOUND OUT HOW TO USE APERTURE AND SHUTTER SPEED
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Award-winning blogger James Alexander-Sinclair was here to deliver his plenary lecture on why garden designers can all go in the bin, apparently; he was last seen round the back of the fruit store being told off by some angry women.
Whereas I am here for a weekend-long course on how to create a garden blog. It may seem illogical to have an award-winning garden blogger on the premises and yet fail to exploit him for the garden blogging course, but there we go. So I'm the lesser-award-winning garden blogger helping the group to work out the foibles of Blogger's odd attitude towards uploading pictures etc.
But as well as a writing person, the group also get a photography person, in the form of Jacqui Hurst. As well as being a super-duper photographer, she is also a thoughtful teacher, and I feel like I've learned so much from her in the last 24 hours (never mind the actual paying students).
In one exercise she got us to do today, we had to try taking something we'd normally put centre of the photo - like these dahlias pictured above- and instead, put it off centre. And she has me thinking about backlighting, reflections and even planning to get up before breakfast for a spot of dewy post-dawn snapping.
I know the Sock is a fan of West Dean and its courses, but I would recommend them to everyone; there are people here this weekend learning to carve gargoyles, make lace, play Schumann and paint watercolours. The atmosphere is so peaceful, with rolling hills, baaing sheep and no mobile phone reception. And the food is excessively delicious and I fully expect to be rolling home at least a few pounds heavier. You can download the whole course brochure here, and if you've ever had the feeling that there isn't enough creativity in your life any more, I recommend you do it right now.
One watercolourist enjoying the autumn sunshine.
Friday, 9 October 2009
Slightly wonky camera taking artily-not-quite-right photo of one of my favourite autumn pleasures, the sunlit spider web.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
People with a long-term affectionate relationship with this blog will know that this time last year I was piffling on about my genuine excitement that both Sarah Raven (MD) and Nigella Lawson (lush) had an Xmas themed cookbook out.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
So I'm sure all of you are familiar with the need occasionally to go and get a member of your family and take them on a nice outing. My grandma has been suffering a bit lately from feeling worried about everything (a trait she helpfully passed onto me in the DNA, I don't think she did it on purpose though). So I decided what we needed was a nice little jaunt in the countryside.
Yes, the swimming pool, in a cool, enclosed courtyard. Ahhhhhhhhhh
Friday, 28 August 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Which words do you use too much in your writing?
Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?
What blog post do you wish you’d written?
Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?
How has your writing made a difference?
Name three favourite words
…And three words you’re not so keen on
Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
What’s your writing ambition?
Monday, 17 August 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Friday, 14 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Friday, 24 July 2009
Just pinched this from Richard the Guerilla Gardener's wonderfully informative (and constant, unlike some of us) Twitter feed.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Friday, 10 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
"Whilst dogs were always Darwin’s favourites, Henrietta Darwin wrote of her father’s tolerance towards her own pets,
'He cared for all our pursuits and interests, and lived our lives with us in a way that very few fathers do… He had no special taste for cats, but yet he knew and remembered the individualities of my many cats, and would talk about the habits and characters of the more remarkable ones years after they had died.'Darwin saw each animal as having its own separate being, its own 'individuality'. His celebration of Henrietta’s remarkable cats suggests, just delicately, that if we had asked Darwin if cats had souls, he might have answered, as much as any other creature does."