Tuesday, 18 October 2011

As the years roll by ...

The two of us - my Facebook followers will have seen this already, but it was taken on a day we were actually relaxing and doing nothing - which is unusual for us
Today is my birthday and now (aged 74) I move into my 75th year. It's been a lovely day; quiet with time to play (unusual for me). Despite a more than usually strenuous twelve months, I am grateful for so many things: my beloved husband who is so supportive of all I do; our three amazing children and nine very special grandchildren; my extended family, friends and acquaintances; our home and garden; and my health, even if it does wobble from time to time, and I frequently think I am going senile!  My hobbies rejuvenate me - words, paper and textiles scrambled into mixed-media creations and my many illustrated journals. I am a poor correspondent and owe letters or emails to so many people; I can only apologise and wish I could make more hours in the day. I know I should do so.

issue two - just published
And I am grateful to all those who still offer me work, without which it would be difficult to survive. Magazine commissions proliferate; sometimes I remember to post them on Facebook - usually I forget. But the one that has consumed most of my time these last months has been the title for which I have been engaged as Travel Editor ('Discover Touring'). That was some task: researching, collecting and editing all the material and images to cover the ten UK tourist regions. Eventually it was done (and my role was but a very small contribution to the whole); the result is an issue of which I am so proud to have been a part. It should be on sale now in WHSmith - I know this is a bit of a hard sell but this is only the second issue and it deserves to be better known. If you are into touring by caravan or motorhome, or even camping, here or abroad, do take a look.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The sun is still shining ...

motorhomes and caravans continued to arrive all day, yet in no way do we feel 'cramped' - so much space surrounds each outfit - and what a view
It is the most amazing feeling to be somewhere you love being, with work to do and yet somehow not the same pressure; here below the long line of the Malvern Hills (where we were only a week ago, also working) time slows. Usually when we are away in the caravan or motorhome, we cannot ever relax - deadlines loom, the clock ticks, words must be written and photographs taken. It's become second nature to both of us to capture the moment; something we may not need for months to come - text and images that must be pulled from the well of experiences. All must be catalogued and annotated.

Almost ready for delivery - each car is personalised to the requirements of the owner-to-be, from start to finish
Yesterday was different. We visited the Morgan car factory - a 2-hour tour that anyone can take, but this was organised by TCAS as part of the 'Escape to the Hills' weekend. What always fascinates me when on such an outing is looking behind the scenes, the organisation, the attention to detail in so many aspects of a company. This post will not be a 'write-up' of Morgan - a British-owned, family-run firm since 1905, every beautiful car put together by hand, skilled workforce using hand-tools - just a gallery of the snapshots I was able to take as we walked from one dedicated workshop to another. I won't even caption the photos, for I cannot pretend to understand the technical aspects; hopefully such shots as I was able to take will speak for themselves. Words fail me for once - though I could research it if I needed to; most of the time I couldn't hear the tour guide anyway, for I lagged behind aiming for photos that showed the workmanship and not the backs of strangers!

A group of strangers, with one purpose - a tour of the Morgan Car factory

An Edwardian advertising photo, seen in the Morgan Museum (I probably should not have snapped this, but thought it was so beautiful, taken on the common near the factory, and with the highest point in the Hills in the background)
Our day ended with steak and salad by candlelight, sitting outside in the dark, stars above and an owl hooting (amazing, 30th September and so warm) - and I had spent a WHOLE AFTERNOON working on my 'Malvern Map Trail' - a mixed media words and images collage about which I will post as it progresses.
In my element - an old map, crayons, collage components, paints - and time