Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When the Boat Comes In

Yesterday was largely taken up with paying my eldest daughter a visit. She has not been feeling too well of late. It is a recurrent problem she has and when it goes acute it really floors her. She's managed to stay out of hospital this time, but only just. I will not go into any detail here on the blogosphere but we are both nurses, or leastways she is, I have retired so that makes me an ex-nurse. Sufficient to say we are both fully aware of what's going on. Consequently the studio and everything else was put on "hold" for the day. I can happily report she is starting to improve a little. These things take time.
Today I got back to the studio. The walk across town was a cold and draughty affair. February can be a strange month and can catch you out. One day it feels as though winter has relaxed its icy grip and fools you into thinking spring is nearly here then, like today, a gale sets in with a chill factor of -5°C even though the real temperature is a couple of degrees above freezing. I have felt chilled right through all day.
Winslow Homer, a 19th century American painter from Connecticut did a residency in Northumberland and painted this watercolour, "Tynemouth". Everything in this picture says what today has been like.
As a matter of interest, the boats in the background are traditional Northumbrian cobles, pronounced "cobbles". These boats have a distinctive deep bow after the style of Viking longships and designed to cut through the big waves of the North Sea. The stern is higher than usual for a rowing boat; it prevents the boat being pooped by the unforgiving breakers that roll in. Despite the deep bow, these boats are flat bottomed amidships, they need to be to ride the tidal shallows of the Tyne. This design of boat is still in use on the North-east coast today though they usually have an engine to power them.


CrazyCath said...

And it was good to see you too dad! I love this picture. Very Roker / Seahouses.

CrazyCath said...

Hey dad - Just noticed your list of links properly.
Fancy linking to your daughter?


It's a bad job when a girl has to SPELL IT OUT!

I linked to you... *creep creep*


Norman said...

Hadn't gotten round to it. Sorted.

CrazyCath said...

Thank you!
(About time....) *sigh*

rilly super said...

crikey, you don't have to be related to visit this blog do you?

I think that painter has missed off the anglers in immersion suits at the end of the breakwater Norman, still, artistic licence and everything...

CrazyCath said...

Related? My goodness am I related to him? aaaaaarrrghhh!

And anglers in immersion suits... would that be my hubby then?

I guess we're all blog related anyway!

Norman said...

Being related to me is not a requirement Rilly Super. Being related to me may well be something of a mixed blessing.
But glad to have you aboard.