We recently returned from a family holiday in The Lake District where we did a little walking and visited old haunts. The weather had finally turned from bitingly cold to warmer and wetter, more typically bright and breezy days. The fells were dotted with newborn lambs and daffodils dutifully danced in the breeze.
It was my first time to climb to the top of Orrest Head; that is me in the photograph, hanging on for dear life as it was extremely windy and head staggeringly high, although the image looks deceptive. The view from the top is wonderful and you can see for miles in all directions. Hills, mountains, lakes and valleys with Lake Windermere being the closest. Wainwright said of this place “Those few hours on Orrest Head cast a spell that changed my life forever”.
I have always loved the Lake District and have fond memories of childhood visits with my parents and later as a pupil. Our school had a house on the shores of Lake Coniston and we would stay there on field trips. Years later we went as students and visited Dove Cottage. It was the garden at Dove Cottage that made a lasting impression on me, so much so that I was reluctant to visit again in case the spell was broken. It was the home of the poet Wordsworth where he lived with his sister Dorothy and it was here that she wrote her now famous journal and shared the delights of her beloved garden.
I particularly loved the view of the garden from the little kitchen window. The garden is very steep and climbs up the hillside in such a way as to present the viewer with a green tapestry, filling the window frame with layer upon layer of lush vegetation. This time it was daffodils but the first time I went the entire garden seemed to have been embroidered with wild strawberries. When you climb to the top of the garden path you can see way above the rooftops to Grassmere and the surrounding mountains. Wordsworth loved this place and referred to it as “a love within a love”.
I wonder if Dorothy would have kept a blog had she been alive today? She certainly had many interests; her love of nature, her garden and poetry would have been well suited to the medium of the blog. All of which brings me to my little celebration; on the 25th of this month this little blog will be five years old! I have never been very good at journal keeping and any diary I have attempted to write has been short lived, so it has been interesting to look back on the past five years via these posts. I thought it called for something of a celebration and so I am having a little give away. On offer is a “Little Lamb” (see above) print of an illustration I did for “A Book of Days” which was first published in 1984. Goodness how time flies, my work is now vintage!
You can read a little more about the print here in my Etsy shop.
If you wish to take part in the giveaway, please leave me a comment indicating your wish to do so. If you have a special place that you hold dear maybe you would like to share it with us? I will choose a winner on Sunday May 5th.
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.