Thursday, 17 June 2010

Racing around to come up behind you again....

It's weeks since my last post and next week it's mid-summer.  How does it happen?  This year it seems scary how quickly time is passing!!

The last few weeks have been a real 'uppy-downy' time, I had my first Etsy sale (hurrah) then went away and had a fantastic few days in London and Paris.  Came home, back to the proper job then, completely wiped out by some kind of virus.  I won't go into details - it involved sinuses.  Got myself back in the saddle yesterday, feeling much, much better, so today I am up bright and early and I fully intend to get the creativity back on track.

In my last post I mentioned (& posted a photo) of a fungus I had found on a walk in the woods.  On our first day in London we went to the British Museum and look what I came across:

Now, I know this picture is a little obscure... I took it with my phone, but it is an ancient piece of 'bracket' or 'horse hoof' fungus, found in Yorkshire (yay!) dating back thousands of years.  This piece was deliberately cut to be used as tinder.  Evidently once lit, the fungus has very slow, steady and reliable burning properties.  The fungus is still used today for the same thing.  So the next time you are camping in the middle of nowhere and need fire lighters, here's the fungus you need....!  The black 'roll' in front of the fungus by the way.... is an equally ancient roll of birch bark that someone had prepared also for lighting a fire.  Clever ancient Yorkshire people!  I'm sure I've oversimplified this, and some of you may have nodded off - not having the same fungal fascination as I.

What can I say about Paris?  We had the best weather possible (we always do... if you want guaranteed fab holiday weather just ask when and where I will be and get yourself booked in).  I have trecked through Paris several times, schlepping between train stations with heavy rucksack on my way to somewhere else, but had never stopped in and around Paris.  We spent four days hammering the Metro tickets and visited every site we wanted to see.


Here's the obligatory - 'look at me I'm definitely in Paris' picture!!

The one place we spent time looking at and going into was Notre Dame Cathedral.  What a stunning place (so stunning you get three shots)...

Another place we visited was Pere Lachaise Cemetery, final resting place of Great and Good such as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edif Piaf.  I love cemeteries... this place is amazing.  We only really had a couple of hours at the end of our second day, but we found Jim:

and Oscar:

...all covered in lipstick kisses.  Some think this is vandalism but I kind of think Oscar would approve - if he could.

The narrow lanes of mausolea here are simply fascinating and to my mind quite beautiful.  I love these places - if you visit London, treat yourself to an alternative day out and go to Highgate Cemetery.  The lengths people and families will go to the memorialise themselves and / or their loved ones is quite extraordinary.

Then I found this family tomb and found myself particularly drawn (I don't know why) to the amazing figures guarding the door...

And what did I find when I looked through the door?  'Do, do, do, do. Do, do do, do.' (to the tune of the Twilight Zone theme if you will)...

My initials... such beautiful stained glass, amazing! 
Right, I'm off to do what I said at the start and get my creative day under way.  Watch this space for sketches I produced on my travels... I haven't had time to scan them yet.

Thanks to everyone for all your continued interest in my blog and the lovely comments you leave for me!  A big hello to lovely new people who keep popping up too.. thank you for joining in! xx

P.S.   I have just updated an Etsy treasury I started before my hols... do nip over and have a look - there is some lovely work and you might recognise some pieces by other people there!!!   ;o)  x


  1. Wow, it's really been a while since your last post, and it seems that you've had an awesome trip with some wonderful discovery. I was totally drawn to the statues guarding the LP family tomb too.
    You've been missed and great pictures! Congratulations with your sale on Etsy!!

  2. Great post Lesley, looks like you had an amzing time. i went to Pere Lachaise Cemetery many years ago...fantastic place. Congratulations on your Etsy sale

  3. Sounds like a fab trip. I'm glad you are feeling better and I look forward to some new artwork. Congrats on the sale.

    btw. A few years ago,I spent an afternoon in Pere Lachaise Cemetery with my sketchbook and pen, as there are so many great things to draw... if you go back I'd recommend it :D

  4. Sounds like a great trip! I just adore the Pere Lachaise cemetary too, it's such an amazing place! They say that there are some pretty wild parties going on at Jim's grave every now and then, still to this day.

    Looking forward to seeing your sketches from the trip!



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