The Empty Nest , Sketch by Kim Tillyer

Let me begin by apologising to all you lovely, loyal blog subscribers who got a wordless, randomly titled version last time ( I panicked and pressed the wrong button which is why I’m not in charge of anything important) . Anyway some recent events made me think wordless was the way forward …but maybe more of that later.

I uploaded the images for this post last Thursday just after I had been to vote in the most scenic polling station in the country; the sun was shining and it felt exciting and optimistic. The fact that it’s rained ever since says it all really but I’m not going to rant on about politics because last week some lovely things happened too and they are things which make the world seem a kinder, more generous and caring place than the cold hearted, money orientated one we seem to be living in day to day.

Polling Staation at Newlands Church

The first thing was a surprise parcel from my virtual friends in the Big Forest, Benjamin and Michael. I’ve never met them in the real world but I’ve loved their bears for a few years now and Benjamin has been so helpful with advice on Etsy selling, as well as being a great promoter of other people’s work on his Facebook page. I had to drive in to Keswick to collect the mystery box which turned out to contain this little chap ( as well as a card and “woodsman ” brooch which I have been wearing on my jumper) …

The Big Forest Bear

So after work and voting we skipped off up the hill to look at the view and chat to the sheep about EU farming policies and the joys of mountain landscapes. I’m not sure but I think the sheep was hoping for a different election result too.

Herdwick sheep on High Snab Bank

So the other good thing that happened was that the divine trinity of Facebook-Etsy-Twitter actually worked for me for the first time ever and a polar bear I’d been struggling to finish ( his feet just wouldn’t behave) and eventually managed to list in my shop, sold before I could even close the page! I wish everything would work so smoothly as it would make the whole process of making so much more satisfying and meaningful…I mean, I love making things but when you have a cupboard full of unsold sheep and bears shouting to get out it can make you think it might be better and more useful to do the hoovering instead.

Needlefelt Polar Bear

Well its nearly time to go, I am preparing things for Art in The Shed again… Jane Thorniley-Walker’s  annual fundraiser for Street Child Africa. It will be the first time back in North Yorkshire since the eviction and while I’m looking forward to the exhibition and seeing friends and family again I’m worried that it will be upsetting.

Polar Bear Print

I recently found out that my totally unfair eviction and my writing a blog post about it, had directly lead to a close family member being refused a tenancy by another landowner in the North York Moors … because they didn’t want “that type of person” living there. Excuse me? What type of person? A family who lived, worked and loved their home and did nothing wrong?

At first I felt devastated by the news, delivered rather tactlessly, and questioned whether I should ever write from the heart again. I felt guilty and dismayed by the way my plight and my words about it had been misrepresented. After much soul searching my fury at fat cat landlords and bigotted cronyism amongst some very unpleasant people, won over and I will not be silenced like a guilty secret.

I told this crowd and they totally agreed…never be afraid to speak out against meanness and unfairness wherever you find it.

The "Alpacaly ever after" alpacas

(These alpacas are part of Alpacaly ever after’s “woolly army” and they are celebrating because they got their Kickstarter project funded, hurray! I was feeding them last week while their proper parents were away at a fair (selling stuff not going on the waltzers) and I want to thank them all for not savaging me and for helping me feel a bit more Cumbrian)

Finally (because I haven’t even got space to describe PrintFest, meeting more artists at the Northern Lights Gallery, battling with stoats or admiring bluebells)  if you’re in London, my dad’s exhibition continues until the end of the month at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery on Duke Street ( near Fortnums) Here is a Lake District watercolour from a few years back…

William Tillyer

Reading:- The Fortress by Hugh Walpole ( god its a long book!) Listening To:- London Grammar “Wasting My Young Years”

7 responses to “Animals

  1. Really lovely to see this latest post and especially great news about selling your excellent little bear~ Hopefully you will have many more of your little creatures winging their way to new homes. Also loved the watercolour of the polar bear ~ In regard to recent events connected to you speaking out truthfully about the circs. of your eviction , and that in turn then affecting another family member … I understand your feelings of guilt, but honestly you know you have absolutely nothing to reproach yourself for. I think in this world it is both vitally important and critical that when injustice is obvious , that we have to speak up and volubly or otherwise nothing ever changes, when people of that caliber run roughshod over those with less or little power , it only continues the awful cycle of oppression and no chance of garnering the necessary attention that is instrumental in either bringing about changes or at the very least to forewarn others . People like the landlords are used to and even expect still in this day and age ,obiscience and that anyone on the receiving end of their dealings will just keep quiet and accept whatever is dictated Even when it makes life difficult for us , better for our souls and self worth to speak the truth than let the bullies continue their ‘business as usual’ without any repercussions . Hope the Art in the Shed is really successful for everyone involved. All the best to you and yours.(lovely photos too!)

    • Thank you Val, sometimes you just need to hear someone else confirm what you already believed and you’re right it’s better for the soul to speak out against injustice particularly when the perpetrators have louder more powerful voices.x

  2. Namaste and peace to you Kim. Stay strong ~ you are brave even if you do not feel you are.xo

  3. Another lovely little peep into your world……..I really do enjoy it……those alpacas are delightful……as are your bears, I will try to save up so I can have one move to Australia, I’m sure they would love it here!

    The other business……..about feeling guilty that your stand for truth bounced onto others…….like Val said……..don’t take on any of that at all……you did the right thing and lots of people stood by you because they believed in that. I still think Karma is going to work out something for those who are so unfeeling towards others.

    Love your Dad’s art too.

  4. lovely how an outing to vote turns into a beautiful day of exploration. i do hope you find a home that feels wonderful to you. renting is so risky in this way and owning has it’s own different set of challenges.

    i so enjoyed all the art in your post. all the dear bears and then reading that you live where there are no longer any bears. i live where there are bears and feel surprised that they have not appeared yet this year.

    i agree, we shall not be silenced when we are guided to speak. being understood is not always accomplished whether writing or speaking. darn and drat.

    • Thank you Tammie, I hope that this place can be home for a while; it feels like somewhere I would like to stay …but after recent events I know how dangerous it is to put down roots too deeply. Fingers crossed you see some bears soon…let me know x

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