Alston, Cumbria, May 03, 2018


 Zelazowa Wola – Chopin’s birthplace

Miejsce urodzenia Fryderyka Chopina.


Chopin was born here in early 1810, but his family moved to Warsaw a few months later. However they visited from time to time.

Now it is a museum in beautiful parkland. You’ll have to wait for a moment for the link to load after the photo of Warsaw with its stadium!!

This drawing was done from a photo. I sketched the scene when we were there last month, on a magical day with perfect weather, but I did this drawing at home yesterday.

East Norton

This small village lies just north of the A47 Uppingham to Leicester road. It has a hall, almost hidden from the road,  and several old buildings which are now houses – once a police station, a pub and an old post office.

The church is quite small, and was quite golden in the winter sunlight.


There are many bigger trees in the churchyard than there were in 1793.img_2826

Inside is a memorial window and a small plaque announcing that East Norton is a ‘thankful village’, one of 54 in England which saw all their men return safely from World War 1.


There is a brass plaque in memory of two brothers who died on Active Service in the Great War. They are Captain John B. Matthews M.C. and Captain William F. Matthews, the sons of Major and Mrs Matthews. Neither of these brothers ever lived in East Norton.

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And here is my version of the church.

Valparaiso – quick sketches

All of these are a bit scrappy looking, but they remind me of the general atmosphere and layout of the place.

img_2959This was really a warm up, get into the swing of things sketch – steep downhill street near one the huge central cemeteries on Calle Cumming in Valparaíso.

A complicated view from near one of the funiculars.




This was a bizarre shack. We were looking across one of the ravines, and towards the cemeteries and the cultural park. Lots of rusty corrugated iron in evidence.

Finally another steep street going down toward the flat part of the town, nearer the central shopping area.



Coastal jottings

We stayed for several days at La Serena . . .

This is a decorated restaurant on the beach, telling the tale of a shipwrecked mariner, whose boat was seized and dragged under by a giant octopus. The sailor was carried away by a mermaid and woke on a distant tropical beach . . .

We drove about 100 kilometres to the Punto de Choros, a shellfishing community and on outlying islands a colony of Humboldt’s penguins. We didn’t visit the islands, but the trip was worth it for the scenery, and the end-of-the-world impression.  We saw a group of wild guanacos browsing on the local cactus!

Near the boats was an enormous pile of shells, and some fresher ones being picked over by local gulls and turkey vultures.
Just along the Avenida del Mar from la Serena is Peñuelas. A short bicycle ride and more boats caught our eye, with the Cruz del Tercer Millenio in Coquimbo in the background, across the bay.