28 October

Inktober 28 is FLOAT. Learning how to float can save your life and has been the subject of a safety campaign by the RNLI I have done this exercise with the Coastguard both as the casualty and as the coxswain. It can be very hard to spot a person in the water from a moving boat and for the person in the water the boat appears to vanish very quickly as you can’t see very far in the water especially when the sea is choppy. So learn to float and survive.

27 October

Inktober day 27 MUSIC. One of the things I have missed this year is sitting in the sun with friends drinking beer, listening to live music and drawing. Festivals and live gigs have all been cancelled this year and I feel sorry for the working musicians, techies, roadies and all the people that come together to make live music happen. They have largely been abandoned by the government who don’t see their jobs as viable. One of my highlights of 2019 was discovering this duo Wilson and Wakeman at Cropredy festival. Adam Wakeman is the son of Rick and a supremely talented pianist, Damien Wilson is an extraordinary vocalist with a soaring voice and song writing talent.

26 October

Inktober day 26 HIDE. I was stuck for an idea so I put hide into a search engine and found a photo of a bull elephant hiding behind a tree. Taken by wildlife photographer Ramona Reichert in Tanzania who said the elephant was apparently playing games with her as it kept going behind the tree aa if hiding then coming out to look at her. It clearly has no idea how big it is!

25 October

Inktober day 25 BUDDY. We have had the grandchildren to stay over the weekend, Emmet 5 and Cillian 3 (not 4 and 2 as I said yesterday!) Emmet said Cillian was one of his best friends, he helps him with jigsaw puzzles and includes him in his games. Last night when I read them a bedtime story our two labradors were curled up at the foot of the bed listening to the Gruffalo. Dogs like stories too apparently.

24 October

Inktober day 24 is DIG. I had to do this one early as we have the grandchildren staying today. They are lovely boys but at 2 and 4 I don’t get much time to draw in peace! I will get them painting later which will be messy but fun to see what they create.

23 October

Inktober day 23 RIP. We sold our little yacht SORELLI just before lockdown. She was 25 feet long with a lifting keel and in theory slept for but was comfortable for two. I shared her with a friend and although we didn’t get out on her a lot we had a couple of epic voyages, one summer we sailed to Dartmouth overnight from Poole. Unfortunately there was no wind so we ended up motoring most of the way, luckily our little Diesel engine would go for about a month on a gallon of diesel so it wasn’t a problem. We didn’t rip any sails but if we had this could have been me (apart from the beard!)

23 October

We went to Durlston Country Park with the art group yesterday. I started a painting of the globe but it poured with rain and washed off the blue of the sea that I had just finished painting. We retreated to the cafe so I finished the picture at home. The globe is 10 foot in diameter and weighs around 40 tonnes. It was made out of Portland stone in Greenwich in 1887 and brought to Swanage by sea. Wikipedia doesn’t tell how they got it from the ship to its position 136 feet above sea level but I suspect some heavy lifting was involved.

21 October

Inktober day 21 is Sleep. After their early morning walk and a quick breakfast Nuala and Fletcher settle down for a sleep until the next opportunity to eat comes around. They take turns to sleep in the chair and on the stool. It’s the only chair in the house they are allowed on so they make the most of it. However they do have beds scattered around the house, there is one in the hall, two in our bedroom, one in my studio and an old sofa they are allowed on in the front bedroom that used to be my office. They’re not spoilt are they.