Tag Archives: Mick Burton photo.

Sod’s Law tempered by Nature in Action

I have been improving the lawn.  A bit of filling a deeper area with soil and re-seeding.  It took a few weeks and the green grass had appeared and it looked good.

At this point, the roofer came to re-cover the top of the back bedroom bay window.  We first asked a builder friend of ours to do the job last autumn and he said that his business partner was a roofer and he would do it.  We had to get rid of the wasps first.  Then there were delays due to the frost – the resin reacts badly to frost.  We kept chasing and then a third person was now going to do the job.  Finally I rang my friend, who was upset at his associates for letting us down.  Later that day the third person rang and he would do the job in two days, and actually arrived (I found out later the gist of the conversation that had taken place, builder to builder ! ).

He brought two young blokes who actually did the job.  They had not been up on the roof long when I noticed a white plastic lid spinning down from the roof.  It landed slap bang in the middle of my newly seeded grass, which was about 10 yards from the house, inside downwards.  I told the lads and one dashed down the ladder to grab the lid back, saying that “everything would be ok”.  They completed the job and went.

Three days later we looked out of the bedroom window and saw a round white patch in the middle of the newly seeded area of lawn.  The grass blades had all turned white.

White patch on newly seeded area of lawn, caused by resin from roof.  Mick Burton photo.

White patch on newly seeded area of lawn, caused by resin from roof. Mick Burton photo.

We realised that although the resin may be vulnerable to frost it could be lethal to grass.  At the time I was reading a book entitled “Sod’s Law”, sub-titled “Why life always lands butter side down”.  I was also reading a book I had borrowed called “Time” by the nature and landscape sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.  He sets up sculptures in natural surroundings and watches how they cope with the elements.  In his early days it might be a “frost shadow” or a continuous line drawn with a stick on the beach.  I wondered whether Sod’s Law or nature would win in the battle for my new grass.

“Sod’s Law” by Sam Leith, Atlantic Books.

Two days later, Joan called me to the window.  Standing in the middle of the white patch on the lawn was our local blackbird.  It had brought a piece of bread and had dropped it.  He spent 10 minutes on the patch pecking away.  Had the resin lured all sorts of bugs and worms to the surface?  Could I class this as another of my Black and White creations?

Blackbird standing in white patch for 10 minutes, finding all sorts of treats.  Mick Burton photo.

Blackbird standing in white patch for 10 minutes, finding all sorts of treats. Mick Burton photo.

The blackbirds have been busy recently. They built a nest behind the small willow under the eves of the garage 10 feet from the kitchen window.  We were looking forward to the view of the chicks, but next door’s cat kept sitting on the garage roof just above the nest.  So they built another nest in the holly bush higher up the garden.

The blackbirds always provide much entertainment.   Last year we saw one fill its mouth full of worms in the front garden.

Blackbird last summer with a mouth full of worms.  Mick Burton photo.

Blackbird last summer with a mouth full of worms. Mick Burton photo.

Salvador Dali continuous line drawing

Dali continuous line drawing in pen and ink, guitar player on horse, dated 1948.

Dali continuous line drawing in pen and ink, guitar player on horse, dated 1948.

 This is an original pen and ink drawing on paper and is dated 1948 and signed Dali.  I have referred to One Line drawings by Picasso in a previous post, but this drawing is virtually a continuous line drawing.

When I say virtually, I mean that the artist has used a series of lines throughout the drawing which could be connected up.  I presume that using a dip pen meant that as ink ran out he took the pen off the paper to dip the nib and then continued from a point nearby. 

In effect, he has drawn all the key areas in single lines, which is the initial stage in my drawings, but presumably with no intention of connecting them up or reviewing them further.  I have little doubt that the whole drawing would have been completed relatively quickly in one session.

I bought the drawing “in the manner of Salvador Dali”, as there was no provenance with it, but my first glance convinced me that I had to have it if possible.  It was the continuous line drawing effect, with an added bonus when I saw the signature.  Whoever did the drawing greatly impressed me and my researches into Dali pictures of around that time confirmed that he was producing drawings similar to this, with several elements the same. 

Many of these elements appear in “50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship” by Salvador Dali published in 1948.  In fact he seems to have done a quick drawing inside the front cover of  some of the original edition copies.