I am really interested in the possibility that Shakespeare may have written A Midsummer Nights Dream in a cave in Clydach.

Then on a stroll earlier I was considering the act of walking while reading and so therefore feeling my way along.  This is how I often do things unthinkingly when tired, instead of fully seeing where I am going, acting as if half blind.  It would add difficultly if I made it on bumpy terrain.  Perhaps even a cave.

I often think that I need to quit the writing.  Then I just carry on.  Looks like I’m wrong or self-destructive or both!

Basically I try all the methods available to me.  Writing. Painting. Printing. Video. Photography.  I am following my nose.  Whatever form I need to do, I do. Playful works for me with my words.  I can express myself fluidly in text (when not under pressure) and in dance.  Dance, like music, has no direct representative quality, but can be highly visually perceived.


I’ve been reading up about various cultural notes linked with the Clydach Gorge collaboration and in looking at a Wiki entry on how Mary Frances Frere came to write about Indian folklore, the phrase What started as an idle conversation jumped out at me.  This is often how the very best things start, conversations while travelling in the car, just letting things come into the mind, almost meditatively surfacing.  Hmmm.  This is how a few ‘opening my world up’ things have started for me recently.

While watching my son at athletics this evening I heard a coach say to an athlete in the advanced group Run how you feel and it stuck with me all evening.  While walking around the track I ended up finishing an article debating whether originality in art is overrated while walking and it reminded me of how I’d wanted to do something involving reading while doing another activity, such as expressive movement, or exercise or maybe something trickier?  Still mulling that one over.

I cleaned up the hexagonal tiles and piled them on my studio table.  Bears some resemblance to the Giants causeway.

I got painting more of the large canvas propped in the studio this morning, titled it Clydach (Ellie) as I’m thinking about the landscape around Clydach Gorge yet there is something about what I’m trying to do with this painting which has something in parallel with how late artist friend Ellie Tremayne-Exton painted. At least how I thought she painted…trying to get a feeling, a breath of a place.  This is what I saw she did, rather than what she ever said.  She painted cornwall from memory and I am painting a place a barely know at all. They are both special places, the long term loyal knowing and the excited, new getting to know a place part. They are at the opposite end of a spectrum of knowing.


A very cold start in the shed yesterday morning!  Began a large stretched canvas –working freely, thoughts of the landscape around Clydach on my mind.
Went for a family walk to Clydach on Sunday, up the ridge above the village and walked around the top and then down – very steep, bracken covered path, streams covering the path every so often.  Once we were down in the woods on the way down, found what I think must be a lime kiln.  That’s the third I’ve seen recently.  This one, to the side where a stream came out had two flower arrangements, one with lilies and a dried flower wall hanging, with ‘A mother’s love stays in your heart forever’.

Nearer the village we saw a field of what might have been Jacob’s sheep and I was surprised how many people live right up there, up the steeply winding roads on the side of the hill.  Must feel really remote on winter nights.  Near the ironworks Andrew spotted a load of dumped hexagonal tiles, which I’ve picked up, slugs and all.  They are now awaiting cleaning in a wheelbarrow by the back door.

I’ve begun drawing on polystyrene plates in biro, my memory of the landscape, to be printed.

Yesterday I pulled fact 7. On Allison Neal list: “Sir Bartle Frere’s daughter Mary wrote the first English-language book of Indian story tales Old Deccan Days.  Her sister, Catherine Frances Frer illustrated and edited the book.  Catherine also edited several cookery books, one of which was reviewed by Virginia Woolf. “  I’m curious to read VW’s review of it and to find what Old Deccan Days is about.


My usual camera has given up working completely after a lot of good use.  My photography has been via photographers for events and in getting my finished work photographed or on my camera phone, which is ok, but I’m really not getting good results.  My husband has a digital SLR for photographing his opal jewellery, it’s a fairly recent thing.  I did have a go on it a few weeks ago but couldn’t get the hang of it, got impatient and gave up, thinking this is way too hard!  Now I have read (some of) the instructions, got some great tips from a friend and I have been having another bash at it.  This (very talented) friend suggested that I practice my camera skills in the middle of every day, taking photographs of whatever I have been working on in the studio in the natural light available.

I picked up the camera today, doing lazy Sunday morning things, son on the Pi and holding cat on the stairs, showing me what his homework was, I also attempted to take images of Andrew blow torching silver into a melting ball.  The DSLR camera piqued my son’s interest too and before long we were back and forth with the camera. It has been in demand today!  Potatoes roasting in the oven.  Then walking at Clydach Gorge in the late afternoon light.