A big thank you to everyone who visited my exhibition stand at Art Unequalled this weekend. It was a good experience, but I can never get used to the fact that one day bubbles with profit and the next can be in the red! The footfall on Saturday was great (and I had taken some artwork with me to do but did not get time), but Sunday was the opposite so I was a bit bored for some of the day (having left the artwork at home, thinking I would be busy again!).
But now for a year off to produce my book in earnest.
For 2016 I have decided to do what I do best: paint pictures. One nice lady said as she was going out of the door yesterday: ‘Please do not stop painting – your work is absolutely wonderful’. So I have taken that to heart with humble thanks. I shall try to get some work done for the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art (NEWA), which I missed this year because I sold the pieces I was going to submit; and of course the Gransden Agricultural Show which is a splendid day for anyone with a country thought – and I just love the atmosphere in the art marquee.
My book is about Bourn Brook, and here is a little poem about it:
I trickle up from down below, where pure and pristine waters flow,
And bubbling in to light and sun, my source from Eltisley does run.
From ten miles west of Cambridge Town, where scholars toil in flowing gown,
Two hundred feet above the sea, with four in number tribut’ry,
Called Eastern Brook and Gascote Dean and Crow and Hay Deans too are seen.
Near Caxton village ancient ‘lode’, pointing north the Roman Road.
Called Ermine Street its way now crossed, the spoils of empire’s myst’ries lost.
Then footpath hugs my pleasing banks, through village Bourn my entrance flanks.
And fording over Caxton End, I speed on with meandering bend.
For ‘Bourn’ means ‘brook’ it takes the name, to you or me it means the same!
And on and on passed football ground, and Doctors’ surgery can be found.
I slip right through the village folds, as tees and greens my route beholds.
Where stood before great fields of corn, now shouts of ‘Fore’ are loudly borne.
Caldecote now comes to sight, and there I see a shimmering light,
As Dean Brook’s waters swish and sway, and slink inside me on my way.
Next Toft with grazing fields of green, I mark its bound’ry, though I’m keen,
To tell you that with time these change, as my meanders morph in range.
More shouts of ‘Fore’ as on I chase, Meridian line does cross my face,
And probing distant stars and moons, the Mullard dishes sing their tunes.
I form the watery binding space of Comberton/Barton’s southern face.
And just beyond old Foxes Bridge, from furrowed field and stony ridge,
Sweet Tit Brook chuckles into view and brings sweet waters all anew,
But scampers right across my girth to join with Long Brook in its mirth.
Then on and on, I am northern rim to Eversdens’/Haslingfield’s country inns.
And on to Grantchester, meadows sweet, passed M11’s noisy street.
I swoon ‘neath widened bridge of road, no room here for Green Cross Code!
As traffic thunders all time long, you cannot hear my rippling song.
My deepest waters, bank so wide, where all the water creatures hide.
From run-off pipes now mainly fed, with hope that ‘harmfuls’ are all dead.
In Grantchester’s historic place, near Byron’s Pool, my ‘Sense of Place’.
Is it ‘Rhee’ or ‘Granta’ where I am, or is it the gentle, flowing, ‘Cam’?
As seawards rills envelope me, my water’s spirit now runs free.
(Tina Bone ©)
This is my painting of otters playing at Bourn Brook, near Kingston.