Bath is full of visitors this August. I am not sure I have the right DNA for these temperatures. What’s more the dog starts to tremble at the merest hint of thunder. Makes one (almost) long for autumn.

At This Time, Oil on Board 68 x 57 cm, 88 x 76 cm (inc. frame). Sold

My mother, who hates thunder storms,
Holds up each summer day and shakes
It out suspiciously, lest swarms
Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there;
But when the August weather breaks
And rains begin, and brittle frost
Sharpens the bird-abandoned air,
Her worried summer look is lost,

And I her son, though summer-born
And summer-loving, none the less
Am easier when the leaves are gone
Too often summer days appear
Emblems of perfect happiness
I can’t confront: I must await
A time less bold, less rich, less clear:
An autumn more appropriate.

Philip Larkin Mother, Summer, I

On the subject of storms, my grandmother would sprinkle holy water in the garden following thunder, whilst her son (my late father) would put on his gardening boots to go and turn the sod over (‘for the ions’ ). The dog finds no upside at all in thunder and lightning, whatever the ions are doing for the potatoes.

Another wonderful tree painting:

Oak. The Time of the Silage, Mixed Media on Paper 68 x 81 cm. £9,900

Oak in the time of Silage would be a good title for a magical realist book written by a bucolic Englishman (in the manner of James Rebanks). Though it is a little dry at the moment for mowing, this by Ada Limon is very summery and soothing….

The man across the street is mowing 40 acres on a small lawn mower.
It’s so small, it must take him days, so I imagine that he likes it. He
must. He goes around each tree carefully. He has 10,000 trees; it’s
a tree farm, so there are so many trees. One circle here. One circle
there. My dog and I’ve been watching. The light’s escaping the sky,
and there’s this place I like to stand, it’s before the rise, so I’m invis-
ible. I’m standing there, and I’ve got the dog, and the man is mow-
ing in his circles. So many circles. There are no birds or anything, or
none that I can see. I imagine what it must be like to stay hidden,
disappear in the dusky nothing and stay still in the night. It’s not
sadness, though it may sound like it. I’m thinking about people
and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than
anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine,
and how it’s hard not to always want something else, not just to let
the savage grass grow.


This by Ashraf Hanna, is a feast for the eyes. Tall, elegant, weighty – such a perfectly balanced piece of work.

3. Slim Black Vessel, Ashraf Hanna Clay, 59 x 22 x 30 cm. Sold

One more tree….

Three Kings, Acrylic on Paper 55 x 58 cm. £2,000

And Finally…

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here

Wendell Berry ‘What we need is here’

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