Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The things you see when you're out without your gun

(post title taken from The Untouchables)

What a day I have had! I have thought long and hard about how to represent it to you. I did not have my camera, and I have been to one end of the world and back with nothing to show for it.

Finally I decided to represent it all to you in drawings, done with the Little Lattes' finest pencil crayons.
Did I mention what a stunning artist I am?

When I set off this morning for a work day involving lots of driving, the weather was grey. Drizzly. Cold. Wet. My first trip was an hour-long motorway drive through the Cumbrian mountains; a wonderful drive on a clear day.

The Cumbrian mountains are not so hot on a drizzly wet cold day.

I have made this trip many times before, and I know how often it rains there. I also know that these pesky Cumbrian mountains block out any radio reception. So I popped into the library and borrowed an audio book to cheer the journey up a bit.

And off I went, listening to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, the story of a man and his young son trying to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic America, where biting cold and starving hunger are among the very least of their problems.

I would like to present the book - so far - to you in my arresting pictoral style.

Thankfully, the day began to brighten. My next destination was the coast, and by the time I reached it the sun had broken through and the sky was clear. I had two places to visit which were at either end of the seafront, so I parked at one end and walked.

It was beautiful. The sea was blue, the mountains on the other side of the Bay were visible in the distance, and a small child and her mother were on the beach, exploring the edges of the water for probably the first time this year. It seemed possible that Spring was on its way, and trips to the beach were once more becoming an option.

I used to walk this path before the Little Lattes were born, usually on Sunday mornings. The ocean and the Bay were fascinating and ever-changing - but it was best to keep my eye on the far horizon. To look back at the seafront shops was disheartening - boarded up shopfronts, or tacky shops selling all manner of depressing items. But now, with the restoration of the town's finest hotel, some pockets of hope have started to spring up along the seafront - coffee shops you'd want to go in, shops selling attractive items you might want to buy.

To round off this impressive World Tour - from rainy mountains, through a burnt-out future America, to sunny seaside, I went for a blast of complete Englishness with a scone at the Brief Encounter Tearooms - a scone so delicious that it could have been made by a fairy handmaiden to Enid Blyton.

Enough with the drawings.

I was here.


  1. I loved that movie when I was an anguished, lovelorn ├╝ber-dramatic teenager (who wanted to be a Serious Actress someday).

    It was delightful to ride along with you today, even if the Lakeland weather was crappy. Your illustrations were fab -- who needs a stinky ol' camera anyway? Oh, and let me know if I should read that book or just look forward to the real thing...

  2. wonderful illustrations, you captured that cumbriam mist perfectly, although last time I drove on that motorway I think you would have needed a garker grey pencil.

  3. Wow.

    You have some mad crayon skills, m'dear. Makes me wonder if we should have a contest of sorts...a "Draw-Off" maybe.

    We choose a subject--maybe ourselves--maybe our homes--our pets--and draw them to the best of our abilities.

    How awesome would that be?

    I DARE you to meet me in the "Draw-Off Ring." I'll have you screaming "uncle" in no time.

  4. You have broken new ground in Blogland with your Mad Crayon Skillz. I am proud to know you.

  5. I could have sworn you lived round the corner from me, in Hackney. How odd.

    I saw Brief Encounter for the first time in my life last week and LOVED it. I am now serving people cups of tea with a teaspoonful of sugar on the side.

  6. The Road is awesome, though fun and smiles it is not. Your picture captures the essence of the reading experience...

  7. We went to Carnforth when we were up your way last summer (though summer weather it was NOT). Emily took some fab photos.

  8. Hello Lady Coffee
    I've been meaning to come and say hello for a while, I've really appreciated your visits/comments on my blog of late, thank you.
    Inspiring to read your day, oh I am desperate for the sea, so desperate! I am hoping to persuade the Attic family to jaunt with me on Sunday, we were thinking of Morecombe too, or maybe Heysham?? Never been to Heysham is it OK??? Ish??
    anyways, I would love it no matter what I am THAT desperate.
    have a lovely weeeknd


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