Tuesday, June 28, 2005


After Germany Joshua and I flew home to England. The last time my parents saw Joshua he was 4 years old! Ken joined us the following week.

Ken, just off the train from Scotland with Dad, Mum and Joshua. It was cheaper to fly from Frankfurt to Glasgow and get the train down to Chorley than to fly into Manchester. Posted by Hello

Now where's that Saxon hoard!?

Another one of my many hobbies is metal detecting. I only got into it about 3 years ago and I've been champing at the bit to get over to England where all the "good stuff" is!

With the increased security measures now in effect at the airports I decided to leave my detector at home and purchase a reasonably priced one over there. This is a Viking model that's actually manufactured in a town not far from my parents house. Dad drove me over to the factory to pick it up the day after we arrived in country.

Mr. Woodcock the farmer who delivers his milk and produce to the people in my home village of Coppull gave us permission to search one of his maize fields. Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello Aaah, it's nice to be standing in some good English muck!

Ken was less than impressed

Here he is wearing his Prince Charles expression. "Really my dear, if Cromwell and the Roundheads had passed this way one would think we would have stumbled across some evidence of the expedition by now don't you think? I could be playing polo!" Posted by Hello

Someone else who moves a lot!

This is cousin Ronnie. The government classes him as "homeless" but I think he has a pretty neat "home". He lives on his narrowboat Dream Drifter on the canal. On this particular day he was tied up at Red Rock near Wigan. Posted by Hello

Tiller Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Looking Down the Tow Path

Posted by Hello

England has hundreds of miles of canals. Before the railways were built everything was transported by these narrowboats. Back then the boat would have been towed by a rope attached to a horse that was lead down the towpath. When a tunnel was encountered the horse was un-hitched and lead over the top while those on the boat would lay on their back on top of the cabin with their feet on the roof of the tunnel. They would then proceed to "walk" the tunnel's roof until they reached the other end. I think the longest tunnel on the canal system is over two miles! A long way to walk on your back.

Ken was stationed in Germany once before in the early nineties at Baumholder. One of the local villages had an "adopt a soldier" program and he decided to participate. Now, this little village is like a home from home! Friends Manne and Sonja have been renovating an old house. This is their wood burning fireplace. One of the men in the village built it for them. I wish we could afford to bring him over here and have him build us one! Besides being beautiful it puts out a lot of heat. Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Frieze on the side of a house in Germany Posted by Hello

Red roofs Posted by Hello

Not far from Dexheim Posted by Hello

Life On The Move

Thought I would write a little about how we got here. We've been on the move for almost 12 months!

Back in August 2002 Ken left North Carolina where we'd been stationed for 6 years to take up a position at the army base in Dexheim, Germany. He was supposed to be stationed there for 2 years but he was only there 6 months before being deployed to Iraq. We had a feeling that's what would happen and had made the decision for me and Joshua to stay in the states. Germany's beautiful but I just didn't want to be left there in a third floor apartment twiddling my thumbs when I could stay home and continue to enjoy our little homestead and animals. It turned out to be the best decision.

In August last year, after his 16 months in Iraq, Ken came home to the states on leave for a month. We spent the time in Virginia and West Virginia looking for a farm. All the places that looked so wonderful in pictures turned out to be nothing of the sort in real life! But we at least realized that we liked south west Virginia more than anywhere else and decided to focus our search on this area.

In September Ken had to return to Dexheim to finish up his time. We had people renting our house since we knew we would be moving again soon so we bought an old Winnebago for me and Joshua to live in in the mean time! The renters had offered to take care of our animals and that left me free to be able to go over to Germany with Josh to stay with Ken for a few weeks and then on to England to stay with my parents in Lancashire.

On October 17th Ken finished up his tour in Germany and joined us in England for a few days before we all left to return to the States together.

Today I was looking through some of the pictures taken in Germany and England and thought I would post them on here.

Here's an eraser carving inspired by the timber framed houses in the little village of Kongernheim Germany. Posted by Hello

Map of the village Posted by Hello

I love half timbered houses! Posted by Hello

As I was about to take this picture an older man came walking across the road pushing a wheelbarrow full of flowers. We exchanged smiles and he stopped and pointed to the house and then to his chest: "My house!" he said. He beckoned me to follow him through an archway in the stone wall behind me and into the courtyard of a winery. He shouted for a young woman who was busy around the huge stainless steel vats. She spoke a little English and was able to tell me that it was his house and that it was built in the 1700's. The man was very proud and pleased that I wanted to take a picture of his house. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

Sunset over our little farm. Posted by Hello

While I should be unpacking boxes... I've been building little stone walls by the back porch. It will look better once I get some bedding plants in there. I would like to develop it further into a potager or kitchen garden. Posted by Hello

The gang's all here!

We finally have the goats home! Ken went for them last weekend.

From left to right they are Mahogany, Perdita, and Persephone.

I thought they would be stressed and upset after the long trip in the horse trailer but they acted like they traveled the country all the time!

For now they are in a temporary pen we built on the front of the barn. Eventually we'll fence in some land that they can browse. Now I need to find a good buck to breed Perdita to so that we can have nice fresh milk next spring. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Posted by Hello
I so much wanted to participate in this week's Illustration Friday theme but didn't have any eraser carvings at hand that would work. Yesterday, I unpacked a box and there was this painting!

It's an 8 x 10 acrylic painted in July last year if I remember rightly. There's thunder in the distance and the pigeons are circling the church tower - I'm not real thrilled with the church tower actually.

I think it has a nice late summer feel to it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The People You Meet!

I've never been one to keep a diary - though I've tried many times. And I'm not really sure what possesed me to start this blog. I think it was after I discovered Illustration Friday and needed a place to post pictures of my work in order to participate. I hate writing about myself and would much prefer to be reclusive and anonymous. But it's getting a little easier as time goes on. It still amazes me that people actually come by on a regular basis! So I really want to thank you all. Knowing that people come looking for any new carvings I may have posted is making me produce much more than I normally would.

This week I was elated to find a comment on here from a much admired artist Andy English! See the link to his website in the side bar.

I stumbled across his site well over a year ago and fell in love with his work. His extremely detailed wood engravings send shivers down my spine!

But guess what! Now he has a blog! http://studiodiary.blogspot.com/ And I'm thrilled to bits to be able to keep up on all his latest work too.

So thanks to blogging I'm meeting all these neat people and even found our dream home!

Guess I'll stick with it for a while.

Ben Posted by Hello
I haven't had a chance to do any new eraser carvings since we moved but I do have a few already up loaded to Picasa. Here's one of a dog. It's from my imagination but looks a lot like my Dad's crazy dog Ben who can put bruises on your shins with his wagging tail!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Two Bottles In A Tree

Posted by Hello Every day between rain showers I go off exploring our property. Here's what I found down in the little pasture in front of the old country store!

I wonder how long they've been there. When did Mountian Dew come in glass bottles? I can't believe these have sat for years through hail, rain , snow storms and hurricanes.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Posted by Hello
Ken's Dad in North Carolina gave us a rooster and two hens to bring back with us last week. They laid two eggs and that was it. Yesterday I decided to let them free range. I was a little worried that they might wander off but they spent the day scratching around the foundation of the barn and went back into their pen as soon as it started to get dark.

This afternoon as we were headed out to the barn to feed the rabbits I recognised the familiar clucking of a chicken about to lay an egg. Joshua ran on ahead to investigate. Sure enough she was in the nest box!

So we are calling this our first egg. We fried it and each had half an egg buttie for tea! ( 'supper' for you yanks!)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Here At Last!

A view from the back Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 04, 2005

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that we are now in our new home. Still surrounded by boxes that need to be unpacked but it'll all get sorted out eventually.

I'll try to post a little every day but without eraser carvings for now. I know where my stuff is but I need to get the house straight before I can concentrate on any artwork. So for now here are a couple of photos of the farm. I just can't tell you how happy I am to be here. It's absolutely beautiful!

Our new home Posted by Hello