After the eclipse,it turned out very sunny.

Trees

So here in Cheltenham at 9-30 this morning it went darker, not much darker than normal, and then it went light again. Very light. So I took advantage of a it and went for a walk with ‘she with the map’. A new booklet came through the door with walks in the area and we tested one out: Sheepscombe

 

Cricket

Brilliant sunny afternoon and we came across this, which is supposed to be the most beautiful cricket field in England. It’s in Sheepscombe in Gloucestershire and has just the most stunning views across the valley. Laurie Lee, the famous poet and writer apparently used to play here and had a hand in preserving it as a cricket field ad infinitum. The gorse was beginning to open and the birds were in abundance enjoying a warm afternoon. What could be better, perhaps a half pint of bitter before a return to urban life, if it can be called that in leafy Cheltenham. Sadly the pub was shut, and activity around the area was just mums collecting children from the local village school.

Drawing cartoons is best done on days when it’s cold and rainy outside, an afternoon like this afternoon is best used for getting out and feeling the sun on your back and looking at the birds and the trees.

Gorse

Ye Olde Sunne Dryed Tomatoe

Visitors to this remote and historic ex-hostelry, far up in the hills where rivers rise, always used to enjoy looking at the old photographs on the wall. These reflected a bygone age when the local produce show was held here, customers formed football and darts teams and turned up in Toyota pick-ups.

Those were the days, my friends, when the pub was the social sine qua non of a scattered rural community. The community is still scattered but if anybody wants a pint now it has to be a widget tin from the supermarket down the valley; no pints have been sold at Ye Tomatoe for a twelvemonth.

Yes, in that short time Signor Pomodoro Lambretta, front of house, and Darren ‘Sharon’ Maclaren, chef, transformed the place. Before, you could only get bitter, lager, Guinness and two sorts of sandwich: cheese and pickle, or cheese. Under Pommy and Sharon, you could have Saltimbocca Siciliano, Fegato alla Milanese, Pavarotti alla Mariolanza and various fusion dishes, including Szechuan Ostrich Stroganoff and Thai Broken Harbour Soup with Wild Orkney Octopus. You washed these down with 35 different sorts of Bardolino and 27 of Frascati. If you got too merry you could have bed and full Italian breakfast for the price of a farm labourer’s week’s wages.

It was not long before the two proprietors discovered that Upper Weirdale was no place for a gastropub. Their loan was called in and they had to sell the place as a private house, so that was that.

mp coverforweb

Another of the drawings featured in the book. Words by Mr Thorburn of course.

It’s that time of year when all the stats come out for the blogs and I note with some disappointment tinged with hope that the most popular blog was the one about my holidays in Crete

Cretetree

and the next best was one announcing an exhibition of my wife’s paintings.

Epainttexturecompleteweb

Cartoons came a poor third! That aside I intend to persist. This site and the other one: unexpecteditems.com will hopefully develop over the coming year.

cropped-drummin.jpg

I have a number of followers in Brazil, they seem to drop in every time I post so for them I have put this next paragraph through a translation sausage machine and hope that it works. Many thanks to our followers there.

Olá Brasil
parece que tenho seguidores no seu país e estou tendo esta oportunidade para agradecer-lhe para largar no site.Sinta-se livre para me acompanhar e passar no meu endereço do site aos seus compatriotas e mulheres. Saúdo-te para o seu senso de humor!
Que se refere ao
Paul Davies