Sporadic Sketches

…is all I can do at the moment, and it feels quite odd to have all my mindspace and attention focussed on moving house and transporting stuff and trips to the tip and cleaning cupboards. I subscribe to Pressing Matters magazine which is a wonderful source of inspiration, and the new edition is due to drop at my current address any day now, so reading that should be a pleasant way to distract from the minor chaos that will no doubt ensue – especially as we are having the kitchen and bathroom refitted next week.

I have been looking out for birds on my walks up and down the Cuckoo Trail when I’m out with the dogs. I really enjoy this renovated and repurposed railway line, and some classic woodland species such as Long-tailed Tits and particularly Nuthatches seem to be very common. The “du-weep du-weep” of the Nuthatch and the “tzee-tzee-tzee” of the tits is lovely to hear, and closer to home, there are Jackdaws in the chimney pots of the house at the back of ours. I heard a very chatty Magpie on our neighbour’s roof, but sadly I’ve yet to have any birds on my window feeder. It took a while for them to find it here at my current house so I will get some berry suet pellets to help them spot it. I feel sad about not feeding the birds here who have grown used to an endless supply of sunflower seeds, but I have been reducing the refills and there are lots of things to eat in my garden with all the turning out and upending. I find that disturbance quite traumatic and carefully shake every piece of terracotta pot or half-buried piece of wood I find so that the woodlice and spiders don’t get squashed; getting eaten by a Dunnock at least seems a more fitting end.

There is a small flock of Collared Doves down the road, and I am really looking forward to exploring the area properly once I am fully ensconced as I am to-ing and fro-ing constantly at the moment to drop things off and only have time for to exercise the dogs rather than enjoy a walk. It’s only a few miles from here but I am used to the fields and farmland, so the edge-of-a-small-town birds will be a little different: I will swap Yellowhammers for House Sparrows.

I really miss my art materials and can’t wait to find the time and space to paint again. I have been sketching in my Permanent Pad (as in it’s always available) just to try and keep my hand in, and I have a couple of new projects in the pipeline for next year which is really exciting. I am planning a trip to Rye Harbour next week as the kitchen and bathroom are being ripped out, so once I’ve established that my housecat won’t take issue with the plumber I will wander down there and let Ned practise his Sitting Quietly in a Hide While Mum Sketches technique which we managed with a fair degree of success last time I took him.

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