Looking across the Calder valley over Horbury Bridge with Smithy
Brook valley and Thornhill Edge in the distance.
There are flakes of snow at breakfast-time. A heron
settles on top of a densely clipped evergreen shrub in next door's
garden and looks around as if it's assessing the possibilities
of a raid on our neighbour's well-stocked garden pond. It stalks
awkwardly across the top of the hedge, like a pantomime villain
tiptoeing across the stage. When I go to fill up the kettle at
the kitchen sink, it spots me and flies off up the valley. My
neighbours carp are safe for this morning.
walk across the valley to wish my niece Hannah a happy birthday - my brother's
upstairs flat has views south across the Calder valley; part of the valley
that includes Addingford, Hartley Bank and the entrance to Coxley Valley.
These are the places I wandered as a boy and explored with a sketchbook
as a student and struggling artist.
I've never quite got beyond the struggling artist stage but I still sketch
the valley when I've got the time, such as while we're sitting chatting
with my sister-in-law Michelle over a mug of tea.
Love it or loath it (and it's more the former, despite all my grumbles
about what's happening to it), it's my home patch and I have my roots
Richard Bell, email@example.com