Speak to us of children.

The wonderful news is that our precious grandson will be going home today with his mummy and daddy to start their lives together as a family and Tony and I can breathe a sigh of relief that our prayers have been answered.

The painting above is an illustration I made for a new baby card some years ago, I used our son James (the new daddy) as a model, now the debate continues as to who baby George looks like. I think he definitely has his daddy's nose, judging by this recent photograph!

Speak to Us of Children (by Kahlil Gibran)

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterdays.
You are bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer seeks the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And he bends you with His might that His arrow may go swift and far.
Let your blending in the archer’s hand be for goodness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.


Beautiful Boy.

This little baby is our beautiful, precious grandson who was born on Thursday the 17th September, his name is George Gareth. The photograph was taken shortly after he was born. He has been in a special care baby unit ever since after developing breathing problems, he is now much improved but still being cared for in hospital. Understandably it has been a very difficult time for us but we are hopeful that he will soon be home where he belongs with his mummy and daddy. We are so proud of them for coping so well under very difficult circumstances.


September walks.

I love September for the richness of colour found in the hedges and gardens; an unexpected warm day is an added bonus and tempts us to walk further afield. The canal towpath walk means a short five-minute drive from our house so you can imagine that we walk it often. Ted loves walking here because there are so many interesting smells, I on the other hand live in a more sight orientated world so appreciate the visual delights of red berries and butterflies, observing the progress of this years signets and ducklings and enjoying the sight of barges making their leisurely progress through the many locks here on the canal.

This stretch of the Trent and Mersey canal dates back to 1777 and was one of the earliest inland waterways to be navigable in Great Britain and would have served the nearby pottery industry at Stoke-on-Trent. By the way, the water appears to be a chocolate brown colour as a result of mineral deposits, in case you’re wondering!


Bookshop Treasures

On a recent visit to London we were delighted to find the rarest of all treasures, an independent bookshop by the name of John Sandoe Books Ltd. If I lived a bit nearer I think I would haunt this 18th Century bookshop, it is as if the owners have had secret access to your wish list of books and placed them strategically on view.

It was here that I found a paperback edition of “The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono and illustrated with wood engravings by Harry Brockway published by Harvill. I bought the book mainly because of its illustrations but the story is charming and for just £5.99 I think would make the perfect stocking filler for any bookworm.

Interestingly Harry Brockway trained as a stonemason and I think that his wood engravings have the qualities of a sculptor; they have a certain solidity to their form if that makes sense? You can see more of his work here.

Whilst I am on the subject of book illustration I have just heard from Mike Emeny at Books Illustrated that they will be making an appearance on the new BBC2 programme of ‘Trust me I’m a Dealer’ which is showing over the next few weeks on weekdays at 6:30pm. It is a programme where Paul Martin raises much needed funds for families with special plans.They will be involved with selling an Alice in Wonderland painting by Angel Dominguez as well as a Rupert Bear ink drawing by Mary Tourtel.