Monthly Archives: March 2017

It’s a Friday post again – two week gap this time

So tomorrow is my first Craft fair and trying to sell my work to people at a formal event. If you read this on Saturday – Rempstone Road, Swanage- St Edwards Catholic Church hall from 10 am to 4 pm. Come by and say hi.

This week has been busy with a visit to see my Dad in Kent. It included a trip to Langdon Cliff above Dover Western docks. A sunny day but slightly breezy so we had lunch inside. Then a coastal drive back theough Kingsdown, Deal and Sandwich. Then ice cream sundaes for three adults at Morellis, it was fun.

Traffic to and from Kent included congestion and alternative routes through the northern New Forest on route to and the SouthDowns returning. The visit to IKEA in Southampton, although useful was probably a bit too much. So Wednesday was a tired day.

Acrylics workshop this week included the mixing of coffee grounds and paint- it will be interesting to see if the pieces smell of coffee once dry next week. A disappointing survey on the property we are/we’re looking to buy so some replanning needed. In the evening a social gathering linked to my support group included a range of songs live by Emily Maguire, the niece of our host – a very touching range of pieces.

Thursday I built several items – wire frame carousel and put cards in it,Alex drawer unit for art supplies from IKEA that includes new full range of promarkers colours. Also have browser for fine art prints. Finished bathroom unit that Charlie had started but became stuck on- a bit more force and problem solving but took hint and volunteered to try. Inevening rowed for first time since Three rivers on 4th March. Rowing at 2 onstrokeside was different, only one crab and a quick pin change showed how practice drills help.

Today a variety of retail visits and preparation for craft fair tomorrow – I will report back on this.

It’s sunny today, what to do?


It is Friday 17th March. Last week’s post was foggy as the last few days have been, but today the sun shines. First reason to welcome the sun is to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday today – 95, a very good reason to celebrate. Lunch out later as a family, those that are here in Dorset.

In the last few days news that the next art printing order will be ready to collect next week. More details about that on http://AndyKnillArt.wordpress.com where I am onto my second weekly newsletter.

Too many friends are leaving teaching from both the classroom and leadership and a fear that many more will too with the impending funding dilemma. When will we start to value the individuals (pupils / students) who will lead in the future? What value a teacher with experience?

Each day has offered a few walks taking in the wildlife and shoots on the plants, watching the sheep and birds out on Swyre Head and Houns Tout. Whenever we venture out the changing views of Corfe Castle, a great privilege to live near and sketch at the other morning.

Walks at Swanage and Studland Bay. A key aspect of our new life is definitely taking in the fresh air on offer.

Greetings to friends celebrating their patron saint St Patrick (Noeleen please note) and the rest looking for a reason to raise a glass.

Wishing all my readers a great day and a weekend where some time at least is used for what you choose.

It’s foggy all morning, what shall I do today?

So it’s Friday 10 March and this more relaxed start to the day means that when awake just after 7 am I am not in a classroom, or commuting to a classroom. Instead a cup of tea in bed watching a hare and a squirrel feeding outside in the garden – there’s a great start to the day. So the weather forecast is foggy and I don’t really need to go anywhere today, what should I do?

Yesterday was an adventure as we bought our first ever petrol lawnmower after years of using small to medium flymows. When we got home I did a first cut on the grass areas by the drive and our roundabout. So this morning, up out and more cutting. The fuel ran out about 1/3 of the way into the main lawn. So a trip out to local petrol station and a paper too. On returning I finished the lawn and then trimmed some of the rougher grass areas. 

After came coffee and a cleaning task before the mower could be put away. Then I enlisted Charlie’s help (youngest son) to wash down some of the walls in the building I will use as a temporary art studio for Purbeck Arts Week ( PAW2017). I cleaned the windows the other day and transformed them from a green mist to being able to see through. Clearly progress is being made as I start to plan how I will use the building. 

Now I am rewarding myself with a lunch break. This afternoon…not decided yet but the freedom to have a choice in my routine is very welcome.

Living a dream …

For those of you who read and support a bit of an update. GOB is now 61 days, on the 12 March my first journal will be full. I attended Teachmeet Poole last week (Thursday 23 Feb) and as a presenter received a nice notebook which I shall use to continue the GOB journey.

Those who know my background and change in circumstance might well challenge, why is Andy at a teachmeet? It’s a fair question. I had looked up to see if Jenna Lucas’ TMBournemouth would be on and found details of the event in Poole on Differentiation. I immediately thought what about a piece on Solo Taxonomy, whose enthusiasm has not left me. I offered my services and settled to participate in the break marketplace and fill any other gaps that arose. I ended up in a mock classroom in the corner of the school theatre presenting to the entire teachmeet. Not what I had expected but I just got on with it. I loved talking about Solo. As I finished I made the point, from the chap in shorts and polo shirt, that this was my first time in a school building since November when I had a nervous breakdown and left teaching. It was a great evening to see the enthusiasm of young staff. There was repetition of many familiar ideas I have seen previously but I was left to wonder how long they would stay in teaching and knew it was unlikely to be as long as I had managed and that still upsets me.

Anyway apart from that I have been sketching with other artists for PAW (Purbeck Arts Week) at The Etches Collection – fossils of Kimmeridge. I liked the setting, found the number of experienced artists quite intimidating tbh. However it was a link back to degree days with Jo Angseesing my palaeontology lecturer. In fact my eyes were drawn a lot to the architecture after the urban sketching trips I have attended with both London and Cambridge groups previously. I have taken some photos to allow follow up on this.

Yesterday, March 2nd, I had a conversation with a mental health professional about a local programme Steps to Wellbeing, and after being very open and honest about what the last six months have been like – a range of triggers, it was felt and I agree that I am doing all that I can to recover and don’t need additional input outside what I am doing already for myself which overall is working. Yes there are slips and dips but that is the nature of depression and anxiety. In fact after the phone talk I went out on an standee walk from the house along the SW Coast path. T-shirt, shorts, walking boots and a sweatshirt for when I stopped plus camera. In the end I walked about 8 miles, took over 200 pictures (the advantage of digital) many of landscape and waves, enjoyed fresh air and sunshine, got muddy but felt great.

Today the weather is back to cloud, wind, rain and more time indoors I suspect.

A rambling post, not pre planned as usual but flowing from my thoughts. I live in a wonderful place, I have an active lifestyle. I share delights of hares, deer, numerous birds with most of my family. I live a sort of semi-retired status and it suits me.

Our friend Morris the Mad March hare who may mean we have ravaged lavender bushes, but it’s a price worth paying.