Wool, Wandering and Wildlife


Newlands, towards Robinson

This week I’ve been doing a lot of wandering and thinking and wishing I was a landscape painter. Yesterday, I realised that I’ve probably never spent such long periods of time alone and I have to be very careful not to get too used to it. I could easily become a bearded hermit, muttering at passing hikers ( and sheep), especially now that my dear friends are so far away (we had pledged to keep each other’s old lady whiskers and grey roots in check as we dash towards decrepitude). It is a strange contradiction that finds me sometimes pining for the days of dancing in a crowd of smokey, loved up strangers; with thumping bass and ecstatic breaks still ringing in my ears as the sun comes up…. whilst at the same time finding peace and contentment by total immersion in an empty landscape with only birdsong to dance to.

Herdwick sheep on Robinson

I met this friendly soul yesterday as I paused for breath, she seemed to think I needed to work on my fitness but was happy to chat for a while and pose at a jaunty angle to the rock face. In the evenings I’ve been doing a bit more needle felting and by accident this bear emerged, looking so terribly sad and serious that I had to give him a beaded necklace to cheer him up. I’m hoping to visit an exhibition of Herdwick Sheep photography before it ends next month and also The Wool Clip for more woolly inspiration.

Needlefelted Brown Bear Kim Tillyer

Meanwhile, as well as sitting about like a contemplative hermit I’ve also been having wildly exhausting weekends when Rupert comes home. Last weekend we went to Seascale where an old school friend I hadn’t seen for nearly 30 years had told me about a Beach Clean event she was organising. I’d never been to the Cumbrian coast except when cycling for Greenpeace as a protest against the nuclear power station at Sellafield in the 80s! It was actually really beautiful…. except for the rubbish. Why do we do this to our precious planet? These pictures show the more savoury debris but stuff like this, known as “ghost gear” can cause all sorts of problems for wildlife, while what we thought were lolly sticks turned out to be ear-bud sticks (eugh) that silly people had flushed instead of binning ( I won’t go on but you can imagine) .

Seascale Beach Clean

I took some pictures and collected a few pieces to help Sara with her final project at university. Her illustration work is based on the pollution of the oceans and plastics in particular, how it affects marine life and even enters the food chain.

Drawing by Sara Tillyer Smith

I’m really looking forward to seeing her exhibition in London’s Truman Brewery later this year , but first the group need to raise some money to pay for it so here is a link if you have some spare pennies:-   Degree Show Fundraising

Seascale Beach Clean

Oh there is so much to tell you ; there’s a woodpecker outside on the sycamore stump, the hens are laying like mad, I saw a red squirrel yesterday ( bright red in a field of purple crocuses), all my post including my bank card has gone to an empty holiday cottage miles away… and so much more good and bad. But for once it isn’t raining so I promised I would walk and try to draw (my lovely friend Jane sent a miniature sketching kit including woolly mittens so I just need to make a flask of something). So I will leave you with this picture from Saturday (after the beach) which is Great Gable from Yewbarrow (Yewbarrow is one of those walks that makes your arms ache too as both ends are protected by steep rocky crags that needed scaling and scared the s*** out of me!)

Great Gable from Yewbarrow

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12 responses to “Wool, Wandering and Wildlife

  1. I love your blog 🙂

  2. Wonderful post~ beautiful photos, lovely bear and especially love the inquisitive little sheep~ she looks as if she might be inviting you to stay for tea as she looks so friendly. Excellent too, that your daughter is doing work on the problem of plastics in the environment~ it is a terrible problem and needs to be aggressively addressed~ more people need to be made aware of it and where all this plastic ends up~ Seems you are adapting and enjoying more and more where you are~ all good news. Hope it just increases with time. Happy Spring.

  3. Fabulous atmospheric pics Kim. I love it when there’s a mist and its peaceful
    Lynn x

  4. Your blog is very interesting and quite apart from the fantastic photos….I get to see and hear about places I have no hope of going to. You sound better than in a long time and I wish I could have been with you at the ‘clean up’ of the beach. We have them here too, it’s sad what ends up in the sea……….good on your daughter for putting her time into this issue.

    I so love the photo of that sheep, she really does look friendly and interested in you, and the landscape behind her is magnificent. What a dear little bear, he doesn’t look so sad to me, just contemplative……..a bit like where you are. Had to laugh at your memories of the days of…..not so much ‘wine and roses’ more like rock and beer……(I used to drink Guinness ‘because of the nutrition’) I’ve been thinking back to those days myself and just as well I did them when young ‘coz I just couldn’t stand that level of sound now. I’m more the wind in the trees and bird song girl now.

  5. Being scared is good! Sheep are good. Beach cleaning is good. Impending hermit-ness is very good. Enjoy 😉 xx

  6. So much beauty! And a mighty fine bear too (which is always a bonus !!) Take care from TheBigForestx

  7. carolinedevine

    lovley new post i finaly reached a laptop to type…
    looks like your staring to settle in i find it slightly colder on the western side but you seem to fins the right thing for that (wool).
    About 2 year ago me and the family went to the lake via the train and the beach looked horrible. Ive just manage to get the council to put a barrier so there no more fly tipping down the beach but you wouldent think there 2 local recycle centers. Anyway eh good 2 here you on the up wishing Sarah all the luck with saving and buld up for the degree show brings back memories…

  8. How would you feel about me using one of your beach combing plastics photos on my blog about encouraging people to buy cotton buds with paper sticks instead of plastic? I am hugely passionate about it and I’m off to a conference where an oceans expert will be & I’ve arranged to give out free cotton buds to inspire the 140 strong audience to do something differently…

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