Thursday, 2 June 2011
Cushie-dous an a keekin-gless
These days have been for strolling sunny pathways and picnic lunches on trees uprooted in the recent gales. I've been baking bread, eating marzipan in the churchyard, and taking trips to the art gallery timed to beat cloudbursts. A pair of old polyurethane ink rollers turned to an orange puddle on the window ledge, but they were in such bad shape already that it didn't matter and the colour of the mess was secretly a delight.
A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned to illustrate a lovely Doric language story called 'The Last Een' by Linda Smith. It was this year's winner of the Toulmin Prize, an annual literary competition in the North East of Scotland. Not being from Scotland, it's always interesting for me to puzzle my way through the Doric. I love finding words like watergaw (an incomplete rainbow), stammygaster (a great and sudden disappointment), and shargar (a stunted person). (The title of this post would be 'Wood Pigeons and a Mirror' in English.) The story and my illustration can be found in this month's edition of Leopard Magazine.
Many families of herring gulls have been nesting in the chimneys across the street for the past while. And yesterday, drawing by the window, I looked up to see that one family were nudging along a new chick as it wobbled up and down the roof tiles. While it hasn't been helping me to concentrate on the things I should be working on, it's lovely watching the little guy sticking out his wings for balance and trying to run up the rooftop, or flopping exhausted on its belly and falling asleep before it can renew its efforts to climb upwards. Meal times have been exciting and noisy spectacles, attracting extra gulls, and making it difficult to talk on the phone.
Oh ho, who can believe it's June already?