Sunday 27 January 2013

The English Boat

'Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a chearful Note,
And all the way, to guide their Chime,
with falling Oars they kept the time.'

I've been working on an illustration for Andrew Marvell's poem The Bermudas.  Marvell's poem is a beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving by a party of 17th century emigrating puritans to the god that led them 'through the watry maze' to Bermuda, another island far kinder than England itself.
I have been endlessly drawing men rowing boats to foreign lands and, after a lot of drawings which didn't quite look right -boats that didn't look right and men that didn't look right-  came up with this sketch.  I am now working on a colour version which I'll post up soon.

(And yes, he really did spell cheerful with an 'a'.)

Saturday 19 January 2013

It's chilly, but not this chilly...

This picture belongs to the incredibly brave and stoic Gerry Clark who survived a frighteningly freezing time in the Southern Ocean on his boat Totorore in the 1980's,

...and I am worried about my washing machine;  how ridiculously petty and suburban is that?!  I think it's frozen (it lives in a shed next to the also-frozen outside loo).  At least I am not having to hack ice from my rudder so I can steer (under bare poles) and stay alive.

My washing machine doesn't look good in photos,  so here are some pictures of a mildly snowy Mersea Island instead.

If you click on the picture below (to make it bigger) you can just about make out the withies marking the oyster beds.

Sunday 13 January 2013


I quite like Januarys, and I had high hopes of leaping into this shiny new year full of verve and promises, but I have stumbled at the start -ugh horrid flu go away.  

All sorts of lovely people have asked to use my Sailing Into the New Year image including this lot all the way over in Australia (where is it is topping 40C - hard to imagine as I sit here with five layers on and it tries to snow outside).

As promised, my favourite Claudiaism...

This illustration belongs to Claudia Myatt, and incase you're wondering about shipping forecast protocol, imminent means in the next six hours and soon means in less than twelve hours- both of which would be a jolly long wait for supper!

RNLI Boxing Day Dip

Here I am dropping Stormy Stan ashore for the 2012 RNLI Boxing Day Dip (I think he might have got wet feet).  This is the first year I didn't swim but I had a good excuse.

...and here are some of the dippers (photo from who couldn't help dipping too);  a few people got cold, nobody drowned.