Books and Does

Friday, 5th January 2006

rabbitsRough Patch'What a fantastic book to dip in and out of,' writes William Armitage of Armitage's Garden Centre, in an e-mail to me, and, he adds, '(I have trouble with next door's hens as well).'

Barbara and I are here at Armitages Pennine Garden Centre at Shelley, to deliver copies of Rough Patch. This is the first garden centre we've supplied but it seems an obvious place to have the book for sale; what keen gardeners will make of my movie celebrity mini-beasts and my lovingly drawn studies of weeds, I'm not sure but all sorts of people visit garden centres, not just those aiming at immaculate lawns and pest-free flower beds; there are more and more gardeners who enjoy making a space for nature.

Bored Boars

Beyond the range of bird tables, nest boxes, hedgehog homes and bee boxes, in the pet department there's a notice:

'Why do we sell our pets in twos?'

The short answer is that rabbits and guinea pigs thrive on companionship so it follows that during the times when you're not there to give your pet some attention, they need company. I can hear you saying 'but aren't there obvious problems in leaving two rabbits together?' I noticed that the guinea pigs for sale were two boars.

Boar seems an over-the-top term for a boy guinea pig, but it makes sense.


The View from 1842

I'm an unofficial artist-in-residence at Armitage's: Barbara and I generally try, but often don't succeed because it's so busy these days, to get a window seat in the conservatory Café 1842. The poplars in the mist and the solitary crow (right) were drawn yesterday. The pastures on the hill above Shepley (top left) this afternoon and the ivy-clad trees on a misty day of low cloud were drawn on the 7th January.

Supplying books to Armitage's is costing us a fortune in cups of coffee!



Rough PatchIf you can't get to Armitage's you can order a copy of Rough Patch from me right now by going to my Willow Island Editions website and pressing the 'add to basket' button. Don't forget to send me an e-mail at the same time, if you'd like me to sign it.

There's a modest charge for postage and 3 or more copies are post free anywhere in the world, so why not treat a friend or two?! Next Page

Richard Bell,