My 2022 calendar is now ready – you can order calendars and prints of the artwork here.
Another book from a charity shop in Austria. I love how incredibly cack-handed some of the cakes are. Most themed cake books are impossibly professional, these ones actually look like the result you’d realistically get.
Fertöd is also home to Eszterhazy Castle, a baroque palace often called “The Versailles of Hungary”. The Eszterhazy family were the ultra-rich landowners in western Hungary and eastern Austria, and have palaces and castles dotted all over the place. This wasn’t even their main palace. It’s now a museum with guided tours. The tour was all in Hungarian, but luckily with an English crib sheet.
I’m working in Austria for the next few weeks. I’ve been visiting for the last ten years to run school workshops. You spend a week in a local school running drama, creative writing, and sometimes art or cookery classes as an English immersion programme. Every week you’re at a different school.
I normally take my DSLR, and sort out the photos afterwards, but I couldn’t find what I’d done with the charger. My phone has a very decent camera though, so I’m going to use that and post them as I go. I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the way the FB and Instagram algorithms decide what people see and in what order. Everything’s jumbled up and got no context or order, and it makes seeing travel photos particularly frustrating. So they’re just going here, where they stay in chronological order and in context.
So here’s the last of my pictures from Croatia. This time of Trogir, a town up the coast from Split. I went there on the bus, on a whim really, and was glad I did.
At the end of May I went on a last-minute trip to Italy by myself. I had given up my tenancy in London, because I was fed up of paying a small fortune to a landlord who was unwilling to fix the serious leak in the ceiling that was probably going to bring the plaster down sometime soon, and a relative asked me to house-sit. The house-sitting date then changed, but it turned out to be cheaper for me to visit friends in Yorkshire, and then go on holiday for a week than it was to extend my tenancy, which shows how ridiculous the prices are in London now. As it was a last minute thing, I had to go on my own. I don’t mind travelling solo though, I used to do it regularly for work, and travelling alone is better than going on holiday with someone who doesn’t want to do any of the same things as you. (In my case, wandering aimlessly for hours and hours, taking hundreds of photographs and eating a lot). I also got to re-read The Name of the Rose in peace.
I went to Mont St Michel last week for the first time in years. It’s a medieval abbey on an island on the border between Normandy and Brittany, about an hour’s drive from my mum’s house in France. We went there a few times when I was a kid, and the last time I was there was in the late 90s on a school trip. It has dramatically changed since then.
There was something a bit seedy and cynical about the place in the 90s despite the spectacular town itself. Buses and cars drove over the causeway to the island, and parked in a decrepit carpark on the shore, which had a tendency to flood. As you made your way up through the snaking medieval street to the abbey at the top of the peak, there were endless shops selling cheap replica hunting knives, saucy postcards and boxes of firecrackers. It must have been a nightmare for teachers supervising school groups.
On the way from Niederösterreich to Vorarlberg I stopped off alone in Salzburg along the way. I had to change trains in Vienna, and after a week of hearty, dairy-laden alpine food I was very, very thankful to eat some dhal and chapattis at the station. I really, really liked Salzburg and would gladly return there. I don’t know what it is about the city, but it just had a really nice atmosphere. I arrived at about 5pm, found the hotel really easily, and dumped my stuff and went for a wander. It’s an old university town, with a castle perched on an outcrop of the mountain looking down. There is a stereotype in Austria that people in Salzburg are snobby, but I found them friendly enough.
I drew this castle that you can cut out and fold. There are two pdf versions for A4 paper and US Letter. By the way, it’s deliberately trapeze shaped rather than rectangular, so if you make it, don’t worry about one side being longer.
Seeing as I’m meant to be an art student, I thought it was time I did some drawing. I feel rusty at drawing. Here’s a drawing I made earlier sitting in the Castle Gardens after I signed on at the dole. Signing on always puts me in a foul mood, there’s just something about Chatham dole office, but drawing in the sunshine made me feel a little better. I think the drawing’s a little bland though. I think I should’ve made the left tree black shaded too, for better composition, but I was just drawing what I saw, one deciduous tree, and one evergreen.
My ex-boyfriend’s family used to go to Cornwall every summer, and we used to join them, me usually lugging a whole load of photo stuff on the train down. These were taken at Tintagel.