Settling into the rhythm

December 16, 2013

I started drawing today.

Like so many of us I feel the pressure of all these projects which I want to finish as we rush on into the last month of the year; already starting to think of deadlines for 2014. I can feel the calm draining away. But these days, all I want to do is wear my comfy sweaters and sit beside the fire.

How are you all doing at staying calm and gentle during the season?

I’ve been taking walks out into the fields but haven’t made it to the Thames yet. (It’s five field and a copse away) I’ve generally only been going thru the first three fields and turning around at the fourth. The reason is that mostly the times I’ve found to walk are at twilight…or…well, near twilight because twilight is happening at 4pm these days. But it’s the best time to spot the animals. R tells me he saw a few badgers in the “hawk” field. I saw several pheasants today, including one who scared the daylights out of me. (they wait till you get close enough and freak out and whirl straight up in a frantic beating of wings) I hope I see the badgers too. This summer, my friend Jackie told me the best times for her are at dawn. She said she has gone out into the fields and sat very quietly and suddenly all the bunnies and hares and birds came out into full view. Maybe I’ll give that a try.


We also went to the Christmas barn in the neighbouring village of Appleton to get our Christmas tree. Isn’t Appleton a lovely name for a village? You just know it’s filled with gentle people, don’t you? You have to smile to say it. Try saying it frowning. I’ll wait…. 😀 see?

IMG_5190 copy copy

Picked up my pencils for about 30 minutes this evening and started a little study of a nuthatch on one of the old dictionary pages that I’ve been using for printing on. It has the word “play” on it.

I realised that I’d left the map which I started drawing a red-tailed kite on here on my art desk and I’m so glad I did because now I can keep working on it. The kite is in a dive over the city and I think maybe dandelion seeds will be floating past him.

013 acopy copy

I’ve also finally had time to read a sweet little letter form a new friend. It came to Vancouver on the day I was leaving and so I stuck it into my purse and meant to read it on the flight and then completely zoned because it stayed forgotten till tonight. I’m so glad she decided to write to me and I’m excited to write back. 🙂

But not now. Now it’s evening here and I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep. (Last night was the third and that’s always the worst for jet-lag)

Linking with Mary for Mosaic Monday and looking forward to catching up with everyone after a few hours.

Doing my patriotic duty for Britain
It only seems right

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  • Reply December 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Such a beautiful post Veronica,,,,

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 2:04 am

      Aw thank you sweetie. 🙂 x

  • Reply woolf December 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    hello, veronica

    lovely to meet you! i saw just now you would like to play along on our drawing challenge “garland”, sorry to find it so late. it did happen last weekend, and of course you can participate! maybe it would be intresting to jump to next time’s challenge, because we meet up every weekend? (albeit could take us into the new year before we do now, because of the holidays. we’re qute relaxed about it all)…
    anyway. a surprise! cheers for the comment, and also the flickr following.
    tata, n?

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 2:04 am

      Hi Nadine, I’ll keep up with you and hopefully I’ll be able to jump in next time. 🙂

  • Reply Judy December 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Veronica, it must be so nice to be home at West Cottage. The pictures put me into the pages of a wonderful novel. I really love that you are drawing that little bird on the page of a book. There is something about that kind of art that is so romantic. I love it..Happy Monday and I will continue to picture you as a lovely heroine coming right off the pages..Happy Monday..Judy

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 2:02 am

      Hi Judy, it’s lovely to catch up with you again. Thank you so much for your sweet words. 🙂 I love to take something of little value, like an old book which someone sold at a car boot sale for 5p and draw in it suddenly increasing its value. 🙂

  • Reply eileen December 17, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Hello Veronica, sounds like you live in a wonderful place. The walks are nice, seeing the birds and wildlife. Your Nuthatch drawing is wonderful. Wonderful photos, enjoy your new week.

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 2:00 am

      Thank you so much Eileen. I’m lucky to live in the country here because I live in the city in Canada. Best of both worlds. 🙂

  • Reply francenestanley December 17, 2013 at 1:28 am

    I love the way you aim for peace amongst the wildlife. I guess it’s only when you arrive home that deadlines take over your thinking again.

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 1:59 am

      Thank you so much Francene. Isn’t it always the way? Different pressures between here and Vancouver but they are both home and so I need to flip between one and the other. The trouble is that neither goes away while I’m away…lol…so peace and tranquility are a must. 🙂 Thank you so much for visiting me.

  • Reply sophiebowns December 17, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I love this beautiful post. You seem ‘at one’ with nature 🙂

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Hi Sophie, thank you so much. I try to be because there’s such a richness here in the country. I love it. 🙂

      • Reply sophiebowns December 17, 2013 at 2:21 am

        I love living in the country side, I feel it too 🙂

        • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm

          Hi Sophie, I’m glad you feel it too. Do you have an open fire where you live? Even in the city I looked for a house with a wood burning fire place before I bought mine. There’s no substitute on cold winter evenings for me. 🙂

  • Reply Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow December 17, 2013 at 3:12 am

    What a sweet little nuthatch drawing! We have them around here but none have appeared at my feeders this year so far. I wish one would…they are such a sweet little bird and you have captured yours beautifully in the drawing.

    I do not feel very peaceful at this time of year and now you make me want to go sit in a field and wait for bunnies and badgers to appear…like a disney movie! 🙂

    I miss the scent of a fresh tree….your place must smell like Christmas 🙂

  • Reply dawnsrays December 17, 2013 at 3:28 am

    I love going out into nature early in the morning. I like feeling like I am waking up with all the creatures and I enjoy hearing the sounds return to the earth. It is refreshing. I enjoy twilight too, but more for the sunsets. Summertime is nice to watch the birds returning to their nests. I love your page drawings. I received my card in the mail yesterday! boy did I feel special 🙂
    I am mailing yours out today — not that you will get it till you return but non the less, I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten.
    I do like the name Appleton! it is hard to say with a frown, lol

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Hey hooray! I’m so glad you got the card and I hope you like it. I loved making them and now I want to make more and being able to send them out makes it even more fun. 🙂 I love my page drawings too…that is I love making them. Yesterday I started a wren. 🙂

  • Reply Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow December 17, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Me again 🙂 Veronica are the ‘tits” that you referred to ( in reference to my chickadee photos ) what we call titlmice here ( see my photos…I think they must be as they do have a blue shade to them )

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Hi again Deb, I think it is sometimes called a titmouse and I absolutely love your photo. Here is a link to something interesting I think the British version has a lot more blue. Robert just told me that the tits would nick his milk when he was a child. The milk would be left at the front door and there would be pecked holes thru the tin foil lids (gold for creamy, silver for normal, and red for thin!)…lol. He pointed and said, “that’s what they did, the little bastards!” 🙂

  • Reply Sara v December 17, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Hi Veronica! So lovely to see you snuggled in and walking the fields and drawing 😀 I love nuthatches, so adorable and how they run upside down is hilarious! A beautiful drawing also, hope that you see a badger soon. And there is no way to say Appleton with a frown 🙂 I’m mostly feeling like curling up with a book only getting up to make fudge and putter around outside, write poetry and maybe sketch. Very unmotivated to do much else…but as they say “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go” 😉

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Hi Sara, I know the feeling. Mmm, now you’ve got me thinking about fudge. I love the clotted cream fudge; is that the kind you make? Robert has a fantastic recipe for something called “tablet”. It’s a kind of mix between fudge and toffee and it’s absolutely delicious. I must make some this Christmas. 😀

  • Reply Poppy December 17, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Hi Veronica,

    Welcome back to Europe! My goodness, that’s a long flight each time, isn’t it? Flying to Toronto from Crete every time takes its toll on me and as I get older, the jet lag seems to hang on that much longer, too!

    West Cottage sounds lovely! How lucky you are to enjoy the best of both worlds, city life in Vancouver and country calm in England! I won’t ask you which you like more, as they are two completely different feelings, aren’t they? All I know is that when I’m in one, I long for the other!

    I would love to take a walk in your fields, make friends with the bunnies and all the other woodland creatures and sit down to a cozy Christmas picnic, complete with hot apple cider and a batch of your pretty gingerbread cookies!


    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      It’s a slog, isn’t it? But then we will have the best of both worlds. I know the feeling too of longing for the other. One of these years someone will invent a dematerialiser and we can just teleport to lunch in one place and be back in time in the other to feed the cats. 🙂

  • Reply Cecilia December 17, 2013 at 5:37 am

    You can find the William Morris Book in


    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Thank you so much Cecilia, and thank you for the reminder. 🙂

  • Reply Pondside December 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

    A walk at twilight seems like a lovely treat after a day of working, or sketching or sewing or baking or any of the things that come with this time of year. Your sketches are beautiful – I didn’t know that side of you!

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      That 4pm time seems to be when the jet-lag really starts to kick in and a walk is the best way to cope for me. Thank you so much. I do a lot of painting/sketching/any art stuff. 🙂

  • Reply Daryl December 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

    i think the sitting quietly waiting will get you some wonderful animal shots

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      if it stops raining…

  • Reply dianecayton December 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I love any name with the word Apple in it. When we lived in the state of Maryland we lived on Red Apple Lane. It was a wonderful life with perfect neighbors, bunnies, deer and even a fox that would sometimes visit. Yes… Apple is a good word.

    • Reply Veronica December 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      It sure is Diane. A fox? I hope I see a fox again this year. Robert and I were walking a few winters ago and a fox appeared int he field and I got so excited that I started shouting FOX FOX and it did the only thing a self respecting fox would do and took off…what am I like?

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