First Swallows, mountains and hot pots


Despite the current prolonged cold snap, last weekend the first swallows of the year appeared during the latest pilgrimage to Silbury Hill.  Their liquidy chirrups (I am fairly sure ) lead me to believe that we may not be the only species wondering if it should be a bit warmer at this juncture.  Oh well, only a few more weeks to go until we can bemoan the god-awful heat….mind you we have Daniel Crawshaw’s Snowdonian mountain-scapes to bring that clear mountain air into the gallery


Tryfan IV, Oil on panel, 21.x 14 cm. £500


And if that is not enough dew-laden relief there is the alpine evanescence of Jenny Pockley:

Bernina Pass, Oil on Linen, 100 x 120 cm. £7,000


‘To a Wreath of Snow’ by Emily Brontë

‘O transient voyager of heaven!
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ O silent sign of winter skies!
What adverse wind thy sail has driven
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ To dungeons where a prisoner lies?

Methinks the hands that shut the sun
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠So sternly from this morning’s brow
Might still their rebel task have done
⁠⁠ ⁠ ⁠ And checked a thing so frail as thou.

They would have done it had they known
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠The talisman that dwelt in thee,
For all the suns that ever shone
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠Have never been so kind to me!

For many a week, and many a day
⁠⁠ ⁠ ⁠ My heart was weighed with sinking gloom
When morning rose in mourning grey
⁠⁠ ⁠ ⁠ And faintly lit my prison room

But angel like, when I awoke,
⁠⁠ ⁠ ⁠ Thy silvery form, so soft and fair
Shining through darkness, sweetly spoke
⁠⁠ ⁠ ⁠ Of cloudy skies and mountains bare;

The dearest to a mountaineer
⁠⁠ ⁠ ⁠ Who, all life long has loved the snow
That crowned his native summits drear,
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠Better, than greenest plains below.

And voiceless, soulless, messenger
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠Thy presence waked a thrilling tone
That comforts me while thou art here
⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠And will sustain when thou art gone.’


Or if the land of Bonnie Prince Charlie is more your thing

Point of Slate, Oil on Board, 53 x 70 cm. £4,350.


‘Return to the Isle of Skye’ by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe

‘Here is the headland where you’d stand and watch
The fisher-boats come back, the tiny steamer
Call at the tiny pier, her paddles churning
Through your sea-thoughts, sea-gipsy and sea-dreamer.

Here, silhouetted against cloudy wings
Of transient flame, you’d watch the shadows darken
On eastward side of cliffs, the gay trees sink
Into the arms of twilight.
Here you’d hearken

The oyster-catchers’ eerie lonely whistle,
A mer-child calling, calling from a far
Blue island, and our faerie piper piping
To a westering star.

Here when the moon with magicry of mists
Transformed the uplands into crystal hills,
I’ve seen you, darling, quietly collecting –
The silver sorrow from the shining rills. . . .

A keel is grating on the weeded rock.
The sea-mews wail upon the old grey wall.
O you who heard a little mermaid’s cry,
Can you not hear my call?’

Any mention of the Isle of Skye always makes me think of the Skye boat song, which I first encountered on one of those small plastic wind-up music-box/record-players, with the notched coloured discs, which played the tune in chimes. I had no idea where or what Skye was (or the Blaydon Races….) but loved the tune. Whilst the ambient temperature is fairly baltic still, it is marvellous to walk into the gallery and feel the warmth literally (as the kids say) radiating  from Sara Moorhouse’s wonderfully bright ceramics.

24. (view 2) Small Curved Saturn Form Stoneware 9 x 15 cm. £315
24. Small Curved Saturn Form Stoneware 9 x 15 cm. £315


And finally…

Linda Pastan ‘What we want’

‘What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names—
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don’t remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.’



Bath, first thing.

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