Monday, 3 January 2011


Yesterday when I went to Llandielo I stopped on the way back to do a quick sketch of the Towy Valley from Whitemill. Today I did the painting shown with the sketch above. The sky was not that clear either yesterday or today more a dirty grey but I wanted a clear sharp sky so there it is.

During Christmas we played a number of games of Trivial Pursuit and one of the questions was about Fridtjof Nansen. I was particularly interested as my Junior School was named after him.

Nansen was a Norwegian Scientist and Explorer. Born in1861 died May 13, 1930.

He explored the Arctic using dogs and sledges. Nansen and one companion, with thirty days' rations for twenty-eight dogs, three sledges, two kayaks, and a hundred days' rations for themselves, set out in March 1895 to the North Pole. In twenty-three days they travelled 140 miles over oceans of tumbled ice, getting closer to the Pole than anyone had previously been.

Alex and I are fortunate to have travelled in the Arctic Circle and sailed on a sloop around the Lofoten Islands and the West Coast of Norway (yes, I know there is no East Coast). The scenery was spectacular but strangely there was little to be seen in the way of wildlife. There were very few birds and not much evidence of anything else except for dried and salted cod which to be honest must be an acquired taste.

On my second walk today I saw a fox about 50ft away he was in superb condition and had obviously not suffered from the recent cold spell. His coat was all the earth colours and more than spectacular.

Now its time for a cup of tea.

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