Author Archives: Lindsey Thompson

Sandy banks and Butterbur

They say ‘nature finds a way’ and this is certainly true on the banks of the River Tees. My leisurely morning walks with the dog have now become a stomp. However, going out at sunrise provides a beautiful quality of light and stillness and a perfect time for refection. The first photo was taken on 9th February this year. It’s ironic that we had only just made it over the bridge before the police closed both the road and the footpath. Now we are in lockdown, it seems we are somewhat trapped on this side of the bridge! All unnecessary travel is banned so for now, our daily life is contained to the village.

Resilience and triumph

The River Tees, 9th February 2020

The force of nature constantly amazes me. To think that little raindrops join together to create this amount of water, thundering along at this volume for hours and hours is just incredible.

It’s hard to believe that these trees were almost completely submerged a few weeks ago (see photo above) yet they have survived the floods and are now covered in buds!

Here I am stood at the foot of these trees, whose tips were just visible in the first photo above. They survived the floods, hung on in there, waiting and waiting for the waters to subside, which they did and now it is their turn to shine. The buds are soaking up the energy from the sun and they are about to uncurl and change the colour of landscape from brown to green.

Butterbur flowers appear before the leaves. The huge heart-shaped leaves were once used to wrap butter.
The sand was deposited here by the floodwaters. The butterbur is now poking its head through the sand to greet the early morning sunshine.

It’s incredible that the ferocious floodwaters could not wash away the roots of this plant which according to 17th Century herbalist John Gerard, offered some protection against the plague!

…and what a beautiful shade of pink! I think this could be the inspiration for my next textile piece.

Our food shopping has gone a bit strange lately. The only avacado option was to buy a bag of eight. Just as well I like them! Well anyway, I’m thinking that I will create a dye using the skins and stones. Avacados produce a beatiful blush pink. I may try dyeing some wool fabric I have and recreate the detail in this flower stem with sculptural qualities.

I hope everyone can look to nature today to find something to marvel at, admire, gain comfort from or to use as inspiration in some form of creativity. This worrying time will pass.

Lindsey x

Time to slow down and see

Today Boris Johnson has been diagnosed with ‘the virus’. This has come 4 days after he announced that we must all stay home, in order to try and beat this thing which I am not going to mention by name on this blog.

I, like many, have wondered how to preserve positive mental health throughout what may be a long process; one which will affect family relationships, household finances and many other matters. I do not intend to dwell on the current goings on, because I am mostly powerless in the grand scheme of things, other than complying with the government advice and avoiding contact with others.

So without further ado, I would like to welcome you to my world and talk awhile about I am learning to cope with all of this.

In order to stay fit, I am doing my usual walk but much earlier in the day. It’s amazing how, when life slows down, you notice so much more. Going out at sunrise on my own has become the new norm. I begin by walking briskly, avoiding other people and behaving like some fugitive on the run. Luckily, it is still a little early for most and I have the route to myself.

When something catches my eye, I come to a stop and acknowedge my senses. The smell of the dew, the springtime birdsong. I can hear the River Trees swishing by and the occasional car go by. How odd that is. There is usually a costant hum of traffic in the distance. As the sun comes up, I continue to walk and delight in everything, knowing that I must stay home for the rest of the day.

I have one more thing to say about the virus before I banish it from my website. I do not want to constantly see the bigger picture. I cannot deal with the statistics of pain and suffering. I do not need to be constantly reminded of these things and so I have decided instead to connect with you in this way. If you would like to join me in reconnecting with nature, then why not leave the TV behind and enjoy nature at it’s best. Springtime is a very positive month. I hope you all have access to a green space or some wildlife, but if you don’t I hope you can find some comfort in my thoughts and photos over the coming weeks. Please stay safe and stay positive.

Back soon, love and peace.

xxx

A week in Perranuthnoe

Our first time holidaying in this region and I’m smitten. The beach is a three minute walk from our cottage and it’s fair to say the hours have just flown by that I have spent sketching on the rocks. Inspiration is all around me in the form of wild birds and flowers, crashing waves, surfers, moody skies contrasted with turquoise crystal waters in this ever changing scenery.

Painting on the rocks
Seal spotting on the South West Coast path

Here I am using a sumi stick and some rockpool water to capture the moment. Carrying tiny art materials enables me to access ‘sketch-worthy’ perches!

Rambles and ramblings

It’s warm for the end of September. It rained heavily last night. I wish I had worn my wellies instead of my old faithful comfy-but-holey walking shoes. The rain has washed the soil from the chips of blue and white pottery that now glisten in the furrows of the freshly ploughed field. I wonder how they ended up here. Did somebody throw their teapot in the bin? Who knows! I can’t help putting them in my pocket. I suppose they’re on a journey too. Maybe it’s a good thing coming home with me…they might even end up being part of an artwork. But for now, they’ll have a quick wash and go on my kitchen windowsill with all my other bits and bobs.

I once found a Victorian coin on this walk. It wasn’t shiny, but something made me stop and stare until I realised it was a coin. It had practically disintegrated by the time I cleaned it. Spending many years in the mud had taken it’s toll. It wasn’t valuable (yes, I did check!) but it was treasure to me nonetheless.

That’s the thing about walking an elderly Labrador; you get time to dither and observe. Going at snail’s pace makes you tune into your senses. I have become aware of the sounds around me; a donkey braying, farm machinery, crows, wood pigeons and blackbirds and as I walk I notice the changing light. The clouds partially cover the sun and then move on. I’m wishing I’d brought my sketchbook, but it’s too wet to sit on the ground anyway.

The old girl suddenly picks up speed and heads off towards the middle of the field, as fast as her wobbly legs will permit. In fox poo panic mode, I call her, shouting “teatime!” It’s too late, she’s down on the ground rolling. Luckily, it’s an innocent roll, the straw stubble is perfect for that itch you can’t reach. Time to head home as she heard the magic word and is staring at me.