Yesterday felt like a gift. I have waited weeks for a day like that, one blessed with gentle sunshine and a warmth that kissed the skin, full of blue skies and sunlight, birdsong and a sense of new life blooming.
Buds were suddenly blossom where a few days before they had been tightly closed, birds flew overhead with twigs in their beaks with which to furnish their nests. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that when my jobs were done, I had to get out into that beautiful day and so after lunch, I pulled on my walking boots and headed up the hill.
I am very fortunate that I live right by the edge of the moors which are on the edge of the wild, windswept Pennines. It is easy for me to be in the countryside, and away from the sound of traffic in about five minutes flat.
I had a luxurious two hours before I had to do the school run, and it felt blissfully naughty to disappear on my own for a bit.
The sweeping views took my breath away...
Down in the valley, the water shimmered like a thousand diamonds in the sun.
Looking back down the lane as I headed up to the moorland...see those houses there on the left in the distance, my home is down in the valley just behind them.
At the top, by the Trig Point...the view is amazing, the feeling of space is wonderful. All I could hear was the sound of curlews and skylarks.
I stayed a while, marvelling at the scenery, then set off again down through the woods.
This is a lovely copse of trees, generously spaced with spongy grass underfoot. It feels a little magical there...
And then I was back onto the lane, looking down into our beautiful valley.
I was reluctant to go home, the feeling of the sun, warm on my arms (and warm enough to take off my jumper) was a revelation after months of being bundled up in thick coats and scarves. It seeped into my very soul and made me feel happy and connected to this wonderful planet. I had a sense of optimism, yes, Spring was well and truly coming.
Later that day I managed to spend a little time in the studio, I have been busy working on some birthday card designs for Milkwood Publishing, and as they are now finished I decided to start a lovely, sunny coastal painting.
I've decided to paint Godrevy Lighthouse in Cornwall, with lots of summery pink thrift in the foreground. This is the very bare bones of the painting, and I will spend some time working it up in layers.
I am using a gesso board for this, which is basically a piece of ply that has been professionally coated with white gesso. The colours look really bright when painted onto this surface and I'm pleased with how it's coming on.
This particular beach reminds me of a holiday we once spent on Hayle Towans in a beautiful 1950s style chalet, and one evening we had a small barbecue on the rocks, taking a picnic of fizzy wine and other goodies to munch on the beach as the sun went down.
How lovely to imagine that days like those aren't too far away again!
Til next time xxx