Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Websites, Walks & Art Projects

screen shot of one of the pages in my new website

I have spent weeks worrying about the state of my website, and the last three days doing something about it - staring at the computer screen for hours on end. Like so many things, when you tackle a problem it eventually disappears. I was supposed to be adding recipes to augment an article on preserves that had appeared in the July issue of 'Grow it!' magazine, but for one reason and another, the two versions of the web software I use (iWeb) are not compatible. I could not add material to my existing site and the latest software would not open old files. So I decided to re-vamp the whole thing and begin again.

I still haven't added the recipes (yet!) and at one point screamed in frustration when I had deleted all the old web pages and the new ones would not load. But it's up and running now, though still evolving; there is much to do yet. Do please take a look - I hope you enjoy it; just click on this link: If you like what you see, do please leave a comment (good or bad!) on this blog, or email me (there is a link to my email address on my 'Welcome' page).

sloes on the blackthorn in the roadside hedgerow where I walked

Exercise was essential after all that brainwork (I'm technically incompetent), and a walk on the wild-side, out of the village, past the blackthorn hedge now dripping with sloes, and on down the road to view the new 'Chapel House Allotments', which only came into being earlier this year, established by a group of determined villagers.

They are amazing. Back in March, all that existed was a sloping grass field. Now it is productive, and quite beautiful.

notice inviting villagers to walk in the woodland

Bright Wood stretches up the hill to the left; on the right is little stream that feeds into the River Stour, then the Avon; it eventually reaches the Severn, the sea and the Atlantic Ocean

I walk on, still only five minutes from home, and discover that the small coppice planted not that long ago has grown into a wonderful hillside wood, into which the public are invited. This will be somewhere to which to escape whenever I feel fraught and in need of solitude; how glad I am that we live on this side of the village.

Back home, I turn to my art projects; or rather to the file of photocopies that outline my creative thoughts of the last few months. They need cataloguing! I ought to be 'doing' and resolve to sketch the hogweed seedhead I photographed on my walk, and to actually press the striking vermillion maple leaves that I collected from alongside the burbling stream that I crossed on my way home.

I can visualise this as a free-form embroidery, dark cream thread on a beige linen; or sketched on tissue, crinkled, and applied to one of my paperbag pocket-pages

when pressed flat, but still limp, these will be mounted in a fabric journal using bondaweb, or sandwiched between pale apricot gauze


  1. My God you are prolific Ann! I don't know how you get it all done. I love that you now have allotments and the new walk. We have loved walking the roads around your house, but these seem like new possibilities.

    Your web site is very big. Having done ours I can appreciate how painful to start all over again. Augh!

  2. Lovely view once more. Thanks ever so much for teaching me what "sloes" are - they must go in gin??? (Maybe not.) Allotments? Are those public growing sites? I think I see sweet peas in there with the lavender and squash. The trees are a wonderful place to wander - but I could write a scary story about them when the wind is howling at night! - Jeanne in Oregon

  3. Ann, Wow! You have done a lot of work on your website, it’s coming along nicely. I can’t wait for the recipe section to be up! You are so inspiring, one of these days, I will tackle setting up a website. I am finally dropping by (I have been so busy these days too), and catching up with all your news. Doesn’t it seem, as the years go by, even “retired”, there is more to do and time seems to go faster. I know that’s how I feel these days, but then I think how great to be doing more of what we love in the golden years... Ann, your blogs are wonderful, love your gardens, and the pictures accompanying the stories take me there. I hope you will plunge straight ahead through the “weeds” (aka, computer madness), to get to the delightful virtual garden you are planting on your website!!
    Delorse near Seattle

  4. What a wonderful post Ann. I loved going for that walk. xx

  5. I so wish I could fly across the pond for just one walk in the countryside and your gardens! It all seems so magical. Perhaps one day you will offer a retreat for tired and wayward 'creatives'...