Amanda’s Secrets (For Chewie and Artoo.)

Lots of patterns here on top od Promarkers for the background and then a range of finer pens for the details. The dots on the frame are sparkly but it doesn't show very well.

Earth was bored. She didn’t have any friends, except Moon, whose real name was Luna, which sounds prettier than Earth. That didn’t seem fair. Luna was white and gray and lumpy looking. She only looked good because Sun shone on her and made her bright. Sun was a bit too far away to be a friend and too hot to get close to but even he had another name – Sol, which was more than she had.

Earth was pretty, she knew she was. She was all colours and looked good even in the dark because the people who lived on her had strung lights everywhere to decorate her. Maybe they were her friends too. Her seas were the brightest, coolest shades of blue. Her mountains weren’t just gray lumps, they were green or brown, gray rocks or white with snow. She had golden deserts and shimmering snow fields and pastures of vivid green and miles of golden wheat. She had vibrant, rich, colourful jungles and tumbling blue and silver streams that became wide brown rivers that poured joyfully into the seas.

I used Promarker pens to colour in the landscape first and then patterned it with Pigma Micron 1 and some odd bits with Gelly Roll pens.

Mostly, the people who lived on Earth spent a lot of time keeping her healthy and beautiful, but not always. Sometimes people, greedy to take whatever she had to give them, burned down the beautiful forests that had taken so long to grow. They dug huge gaping scars in the surface to use the stone for building or making roads. They took oil from beneath the surface and then burned it, leaving trails of black smoke across her skies.

It hurt her when they did these things but all she could do was try to mend the damage by helping things to grow back as quickly as possible. Earth didn’t know if that was enough but it was all she could do. If she had a prettier name, perhaps the people would love her more.

She didn’t have another name but she did have a secret, buried deep inside, that had lain there for millions of years. The people lived mainly on her skin and rarely dug down really deep below the surface, where her secret lay. But down in the dark layers beneath the soil and seas were the bones of all the creatures that had gone before.

I decided to use the earth's strata as my basis and then tried to choose patterns appropriately, so we have Fescu for the growing things, Yuma for all the seeds under the surface, DL Sunray to look like caves, Sandswirl for all the ammonites buried in teh ground, Featherfal for the many fossils there are and Dugwud for the coal deposits. And, of course Ing for the fault.

There were creatures from the sea and land and all the margins in between. There were flying things and the trees they lived in. There were enormous dinosaurs and tiny insects locked in amber. There were fish and eggs and small scaly things with no name. All these creatures had lived on Earth’s surface and died there without ever doing her any harm. Why couldn’t people be the same?

Sometimes, when Earth moved a little in her sleep, these things had been thrown up onto the surface and the people were amazed. Some of the people, who called themselves paleontologists, studied them and searched for more, longing to know more about Earth and her history. But what they saw and what they knew was only the tiniest part of Earth’s secret and they knew it.

Some people realised that their way of life was hurting Earth and tried to stop the damage. They chose a day, to be Earth Day, when all the people would be reminded of what they owed her and shown how they could live without doing her harm.  Every year, on Earth Day, people told  those who didn’t know, how much harm was being caused and people tried to be less selfish and destructive and greedy.

And, in the far North, there lived two boys, one who wanted to be a paleontologist and one who agreed with Earth, that her name wasn’t pretty enough. He chose another name, Amanda. For him and his family and their friends, it was Amanda Day. And so Earth tried the name on and smiled. Amanda, yes, she liked it. It made her feel young again. She did have friends after all. One day, perhaps, when the boys were grown, she would let them in a little to her secrets. Amanda’s secrets.


Changing Seasons

The Diva Challenge being all about Autumn leaves this week has set me to thinking about the changing of the seasons and the passing of time. I liked the Autumn leaves thing, it reminded me of all sorts of things, pleasant memories for the most part. I was just getting myself into a cosy romanticised glow, remembering Autumns passed, roasted chestnuts, playing conkers, kicking through leaves in my wellies, being taken  for walks in Clumber Park…

Continue reading “Changing Seasons”

Motorway Blues

To be sung to the tune “On the Road Again” by Canned Heat.


Well I’m so tired of driving but I’m on the M1 again (On the M1 again)

It’s just stuffed full of roadworks but I’m on the M1 again. (On the M1 again)

I ain’t got no choice ‘cos I’ve got to get home again.


I started this journey when I was quite young (When I was quite young)

But I’m ageing by the mile and the driving is no fun (An’ it’s just no fun)

Bored and restless, wish I’d not begun.


There’s a guy in a Mercedes, I had to toot my horn (Had to toot the horn)

Guys like him they never should’ve been born. (I might’ve sworn)

Nearly ran me off the road and now I’m glad he’s gone.


I can see my turn now, Thank the lord for that (Thank the Lord for that)

Put the pedal to the metal, got my foot down flat. (My foot down flat.)

Scared some other drivers but I don’t care ’bout that.


But I aint going down that long old lonesome road (All by myself).
Not working until Tuesday when I’m back on the M1 road (All by myself.)

Watch out, you old Mercedes or I’ll have you towed…

History in the making

Hello again, world.

I don’t usually post so much, so close together but I have made a discovery and can’t wait to tell the world. If you have looked in the area on this blog called Le journal, you will have seen my Dad’s diary of when he went to France on a hiking holiday just after WWII. Now I knew he had sporadically kept journals all my life and they had been stored in a box, in a cupboard, never to see the light of day. He died at the comparatively young age of 70 – a fortnight after his 70th birthday, in fact – and neither my Mum nor I had the heart to go through them or throw them away. When my Mum died, twenty years later, I had a bad time of it and just cleared out the house, ready to let it as a commercial let. We dumped tons of stuff that we didn’t know what to do with in an outhouse, locked it away and didn’t give it another thought.

Recently, the tenant left and we went to the house to see what work might need doing before the new tenant moved in. (Be patient, I’m getting there!) We decided it was time to throw away the old unwanted stuff and opened the Aladdin’s cave that was the outhouse. (For anyone in the U.S. reading this, in Yorkshire, outhouse is not a euphemism for lavatory, it really is an outbuilding for storage purposes and for anyone from South Yorkshire reading this, I’ll point out it was actually the coil oil – coal house, to the rest of you.)

There, in a cardboard box smelling mouldy  and damp, were Dad’s diaries from 1948 to 1979. All handwritten and all just waiting for me to sit and relive my childhood through my Father’s eyes. One of the first ones I found looked like this:


You can see what sort of condition it's in.
You can see what sort of condition it’s in.

It didn’t look very prepossessing but, when I opened it, this is what I found;

Dad's diary 1951 inner

Being a pretty self centred person, I sat down to read it there and then. Now, I admit, there are no fulsome declarations of adoration of this clearly exceptional child – me- but I haven’t had a dry eye since I opened it. So what I’m going to do is type it up and add it to the Le journal section of the blog.

I feel ridiculously proud of my Dad, partly because he was a lad who left school aged 14 and went to work “int Pit”, as did so many lads in our area, and yet you’d never know it from his writing. Self taught for the most part and yet I haven’t found one punctuation or grammatical error. (And I’m an EX English teacher, so I can’t help looking for them) And partly because he only wrote about things that were important to him. He hardly mentions work, which he hated, or politics, which he distrusted, or art, about which he felt insufficiently educated to have a valid viewpoint. But he wrote about ME!. And best of all, as I read it, I can hear his voice, as if he’s just “tellint tale.”  I am so lucky, so very lucky.