Sunday, November 05, 2006

Getting on my bike.

This time of the year brings out all the colds and sniffles and I haven't been able to get out as much as I'd like. I'm hoping to get out and about tomorrow (Monday 6th November) and go to Forty Hall. If the weather forecast is good and I've rid myself of this headache, then I'll be on my bike first thing. The first call will be to the Post Office where I will be posting three paintings. One is going to Seattle, the others to Holloway Road in London.

I'm hoping that conditions will be right for some of those really nice deep forest shots where the sun is breaking through the forest canopy and creating beams of light down to the forest floor. I'd like to make some paintings like that if I can. I'll be taking my sketch book too. If I feel up to it I'll do some sketching otherwise the camera will be well used.

On a cycling note, I used to wear one of those flourescent yellow vest type things to make sure that I can be seen in traffic. I bought mine and got my wife to alter it to my own specification so it doesn't look quite so workman-like. I had it shortened to reduce wind resistance too. (Snigger). Anyway, I have just bought a new coat for winter cycling. It's a longish big flourescent yellow jacket with reflective strips on the arms and body. It's got a padded lining, big pockets and a hood. It's just the job. It will keep me warm and very highly visible. I hope

I have also invented another little gizzmo that my fellow cyclists may like to know about. I wear a cycling helmet called a "Spiky Jack". Don't ask why it's called that, I don't know. Anyway, I have fitted it with lights. I bought one of those "head" lights, (you must know what I mean) and fitted it to my helmet by way of the elasticated headband, and I've got a red light that is attached at the back. Boy! when those babies are flashing you can see me coming for miles. I also have a "wind-up" torch that I fit on my handlebars. One minute of winding provides a half hour of power to three really bright LED type bulbs. Just the job. If you want, I'll post some pics of these if you are interested or just want to humour me.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures that I painted recently from photographs when I couldn't get out and about. Once again they are both 7 x 5 inch watercolours and probably sold by now on eBay.

Salmons Brook, Blakesware Gardens, looking East.

Turkey Brook, Forty Hall.


  1. Nice little watercolours as usual, John. Great to hear about the cycling too and the high visibility vest and lights. I don't ride on the roads too much; I've had enough run-ins with cars. Last time I visited family in the UK I took my bike and hopped on it at Gatwick and rode bike paths and traffic calmed areas over to Ashford in Kent; a system of routes was being developed all over the UK. There were some gaps in the routes around Tunbridge Wells which where blood curdling to cross on a Saturday. You've got more cars but more initiatives on the safe cycling front than we do here. One day bicyclists will rule the world. Ooops, I meant to say roads.

  2. woww really beautiful updates John I really love your illumination and landscapes wishe me want to be in :)

  3. Please keep safe and enjoy,congrants for the sales :) !!!

  4. John:
    I also ride a bicycle and would like to see your lights/helmet.


  5. Clive. Yes, our current Mayor of London is very pro-bike and has tried to encourage cycling as much as poss. We've got a brilliant tow path along the River Lea which has been resurfaced for cyclists. You can cycle from Hertfordshire into central London along an almost countryside route all the way. It's very peaceful and a great ride. We have a lot of Public Information broadcasts too, that promote cycling etc. Mind you, there is still a lot more that could be done, but we are lucky really that someone cares.

  6. Whoops. Thanks Virginia, lelisblogspot and Tim. Nice of you to drop in.


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