Personal History: My Old Home

Watercolour drawing of house


So much for catching up with Boot Kamp! I’m still behind but am OK with that. This sketch was for an assignment on personal histories. I chose to use Google Street View to draw the house that I grew up in.

I lived here until the age of 19 and since then it’s only really changed a little bit. The house itself looks the same. One¬†difference is the gate on the driveway, which wasn’t there when I lived there. Otherwise, there used to be a flower bed in the centre of the front lawn with a blossom tree planted in it, a bush growing under the front window and a holly bush in one corner of the garden next to the drive. Oh, and the front door was different too. Other than that, it all looks very familiar to me.

If anything, the adjoining house next door seems to have changed more than my old home but I didn’t have enough space to draw that one too!


Back to Yoga Class

Drawing of feet, purple yoga mat

I’ve picked a drawing from the beginning of this year for this post. I’ll probably still make a new drawing at some point later today but I wanted to post something before then and I don’t think I’ve shared this one before.

I’ve spent a big chunk of the last few weeks feeling either very tired or a bit ill. I wasn’t sure if it was the M.E, another cold/virus or a bit of both. Whatever it was, I needed to rest quite a lot and even when my naturally stubborn nature tried to push through, my body just wasn’t having any of it so, rest it was.

Among other things, that meant that I missed my weekly yoga class for about 3 weeks. I’ve been going to the same place roughly once a week to do yoga for about 4 years now.

Because my energy’s usually in short supply that class is a sort of cornerstone of my week. It gives me an opportunity to be out among other, like-minded people and now, familiar faces. I have a couple of other things that I do regularly each week that give me some structure and interaction with others but my yoga class is the one I’ve been doing for the longest.

Once a week I make time for myself, where for one hour I just focus on the present moment, away from any distractions at home and it gives me a physical and a psychological boost.

I’ve noticed that when I have a break from it for a while, I gradually start to find myself feeling a bit more stressed or anxious. Sometimes that creeps up on me so, although today’s class was the last one until January, it was good to feel well enough to go back and just ‘be’ for a while again.

I Went to the Finnish Church Fair

Coloured pencil drawing of a Fazer Moomin chocolate bar

Since we came back from Finland we’ve kept meaning to visit the Finnish Church in London because they have a shop that sells our favourite rye bread, which we can’t seem to get hold of anywhere else (apart from Finland – maybe that’s a good enough excuse for a return visit).

On Sunday we decided to head down there because it was the last day of their Christmas fair. It poured with rain non-stop all day but we didn’t let that put us off. We still had a look around at the stalls outside, drank some mulled apple juice to keep us warm and ate churros (I’m still not sure what the Finnish connection is there but I’m not complaining).

Inside was the main event. It was so busy that it was difficult to have a really good look around but we got a couple of packs of bread and some Fazer Moomin sweets, including this little chocolate bar, featuring Little My.

The plan is to go back to the church shop and cafe another day when it’s not quite as busy, in search of more bread and hopefully some cloudberry jam.

Wentworth Woodhouse

Side view of Wentworth Woodhouse

I spent this past weekend with my family back in Yorkshire. On Monday we went for a short walk through the park where Wentworth Woodhouse sits, which is very close to where I grew up. The house used to be owned by the local authority but has been privately owned for some time now.

View of the front of Wentworth Woodhouse

The current owners have opened up parts of the house and gardens to the public and run guided tours. For as long as I can remember though, there have been public footpaths through the parkland, which goes on for miles.

Tree and cow in a field

These photos show the tiniest fraction of what’s there because we didn’t walk very far at all. It was still nice to get some fresh air though, even if the cows seemed a bit close for comfort!

Grazing cows next to footpath

I took these photos using my Samsung Galaxy S4.

Stable Block

Icecream van with tress and road behind

Today #2: Stop, Start

Morning glory leave on trellis

Nib and lid of Copic multiliner pen

Page from urban Watercolour Sketching book


Watercolour palette, brushes and sketchbook

DSLR battery charger

I probably should call this one ‘Yesterday and Today’. I started taking photographs of my day yesterday morning and my camera battery went flat so I ended up leaving it to charge for the rest of the day and took some more photos this morning. So after a bit of a stop-start, this is from the past 24 hours.

My Morning Glory seedlings are no longer seedlings and are going a bit crazy climbing the trellis and railings on our balcony.

I realised that the nib on my favourite drawing pen was getting a bit ‘tired’. This was when I discovered that my pens are the disposable ones, not the ones with replaceable nibs and ink so I ordered a couple of new pens.

I spent some time yesterday reading my new copy of Urban Watercolor Sketching, which isn’t really about urban sketching at all but is a very useful guide to watercolour painting.

This morning, as on most days I checked on the plants outside and gave them some water, noticing that the wildflower seeds I’d scattered a few weeks ago have not only grown but at least one is flowering.

Last night I spent a bit of time practising a bit more with watercolour glazes.

I had a bad night’s sleep last night so like my camera yesterday, I’m spending the rest of the day recharging.