Month: January 2016

Henrietta Winda Spida (Take 3)

I’ve stupidly upset my winter guest.

Blocking the escape route back to her tiny corner hole.

Making her jump about arse over tit on her web.

She was not at all pleased. Very put out to be put upon (and poked with a pencil)

Couldn’t wait to get away from the disgraceful ignomy I was putting her through. Danced down my arm, abseiled smartly down the wall – and legged it sharpish.

Possibly never to be seen again.

Goodbye Henrietta winda spida. Come back again next winter!

Saturday afternoon on Dartmoor

Here’s a couple of Darmoor watercolours Haze drew (and watered) (and coloured) on Saturday afternoon while lying in (my) bed.

The windy wilderness of the Moors is blowing through this picture.

Saturday afternoon sketch 2

A meteorologists dream is Dartmoor.

Dramatic and sudden shifts of weather are the norm up there.

This second watercolour is also of The Moors (of Haze’s imagination).

It’ll be raining again in a minute.

Saturday afternoon sketch 1

The Rhinofish

One of the fish in my goldfish bowl has grown a protruberance

Rhino fish 5

It keeps charging the other fish around and around the bowl and butting them in their dorsals. It’s poked one catfishes eye out.

Rhino fish 7

Its got a right old temper this little zebra fish.

But a zebra it is no more. It’s evolved.

Into the ferocious rhinofish – with a horn!

Rhino fish 6

‘I would like to watch you sleeping’

Haze heard this poem of Margaret Attwoods read a couple of Sundays ago on radio 4 (a programme called ‘Something Understood’) She was so taken with it she wrote it out for me. I asked her to illustrate the right hand side of it. Which she’s done with some bindy Celtic scrolls.

Beautiful! Both the poem, and Haze’s illustrative version of it.

Illustrated poem edit

Poem: Margaret Attwood; Calligraphy and Illustration: Hazel Brown

Shags scope the shore

Around about this time (January) last year we were issuing one another challenges like this every day. I’d send Haze an early morning text asking her to draw any old thing that came into my head. And she’d send me a text back with random words as stimulus to a writing challenge.

This particular ‘challenge’ has had an extra degree of difficulty; I’ve been attempting to write it on the bus to and from work. Not easy. You can only write anything on a bus when it stops; at a stop, or traffic lights  – then you hastily get 30 seconds to scribble a few words down!

So here we go. Don’t look for any deeper meaning in this. It’s just me mucking about making words roll around on wobbly wheels. I mean, I don’t even know what kind of calls, if any, shags make!

Being Haselnuss Challenge No 14:  Shags, Shore, Green, Storm Force, Garrulous, Guile

Shags scope the shore
For green tailed tiddlers.
Their calls a garrulous,
Shirty, rasping.

I turn to you
With hand tight clasping.
Stick tongue down deep
Without you asking
To fish out kisses
From you gasping.

With greedy guile
I keep you guessing
For a while.

Obscure intent
Inside my seagull smile.

From far within blows
A Storm Force Ten
Of passionate kissings
And ravenous spittings

To knock us off the tethers
On which we are sitting.

Looked out to sea
The shags have gone.
Flown off to cliffs
The days fishing done.

Henrietta Winda Spida (Take 2)

So Henrietta my bedroom winda spida is still here. I reckon she’s been up there on that window ledge for the last 2 months. She ain’t going nowhere.

I did frighten her a bit a few days ago though; blocked her little corner escape exit. I wasn’t wanting to hurt her; merely get a better – closer – look at how beautiful she is. Anyway, she disappeared for a couple of days, probably in a huff; most decidedly put out by my crude intrusion into her perfectly ordered and organised life.

But she’s back now. Every morning when I wake up she’s there, sat dead-still on her web, waiting for her cornflakefly breakfast.

Henrietta? – go and make me a cup of tea, you lazy madam!

Video: Ian Nisbet

Winter Birchbirds

Like last year I’ve kicking off this new year with a film of birds in the silver birch outside my kitchen window.

There are jackdaws, magpies, collared doves, starlings (or possibly some kind of tit, Haze will know)

All these birds seem to use this silver birch as a town-centre ‘lookout post’ or communication hub. So many birds were hopping on and off today. Maybe the unseasonally warm weather we’re having is making them frisky.

Warm and wet. That’s how it’s been all winter long. But come rain come shine, be it rook be it dove, the silver birch gracefully receives everything that throws itself on, or at, her.

Words & Video: Ian Nisbet