Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Last week, for the first time, I went to a creative writing group, that has just started to meet here in Truro. I found the prospect of going along quite daunting, because I thought I would be out of my depth. I was a bit.

I didn't know what to expect, but thought I would go because for years I have dreamt about writing something; a novel.

It felt a bit like being back at school, and I hated school. One of the reasons I didn't get on well at school is because my handwriting is awful and I was ashamed of it, so I didn't go very often.

The creative writing group leaders informed us that during the evening we would be attempting to write various things. I had taken a notebook and pencil with me in case they were needed. We did three exercises during the evening, and although I didn't fully understand what was expected, I had a go. I was relieved because I was the only one who was going to have to read my handwriting. In the end I enjoyed the evening, even the bits where we were asked to read out some of what we had written. I think I learned from it and I will attend the next meeting.

Anyway, this is rather a long introduction; lets get to the point of this post. At the group we were asked to do some homework. One thing we were asked to do was to sit down and write something for ten minutes every day; it doesn't matter what we write, as long as we write. So far I've managed it. What follows is the piece I wrote today. It is some of my thoughts about Depression. I hope it is not too gloomy. It's just me reflecting on the subject:

Depression is strange thing; it seems to me that once you’ve got it, it never goes away, not completely.
The doctor prescribes anti-depressants, you take them for a few months; you feel much better, and the future is looking bright.
Doctor says maybe its time to come off the pills, so starts a reduction program.
Eventually, with the future still looking bright, you are pill free.
‘Voila’, end of depression; not so, there it is lurking in the background waiting to pounce, like a cat on an unsuspecting mouse.
Then it suddenly jumps on you.
But, it has changed its tactics, it comes now, not during a dark, gloomy and stressful time, as when it first appeared.
Now its comes out of the shadows and pounces on you when you are walking in the light; when things are going well.
Again it has changed its tactics; now its jumps on you and beats you up a bit, leaves you with some bruises and walks away.
It hasn’t moved in with you like it did when it first appeared.
These days it just tries to wear you down gradually with irregular, unexpected visits.
It stalks you.
Some attacks are more violent than others, at times the attacks are quite brutal, on other occasions it’s just a light slap around the face.
It knows there is no point seeing the doctor again, because by the time you get into the surgery, depression is skulking in the shadows again and cannot be seen.

What to do?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Pete's Green Man

This is what I put at the end of my last blog post:

I am currently working on a relief carving of a Green Man on an old pine log, but I haven't got far and there are no photos of it yet.

But this is a picture of a Green Man by Master Carver Chris Pye which I am trying to copy:

If I am half as successful as that I will put a picture here eventually.

I have now finished the carving of the Green Man, so here's the story:

I have always been fascinated by the image of the Green Man, I'm not sure why, its just something that touches me. Since I have been doing this carving quite a few people have asked me what the origins are, of the image. Well I don't really know, it speaks to me of growth, springtime and new life. But if you want to know more, Mike Harding (DJ, Writer, Folk Singer) has a web site dedicated to the subject called Mike Harding - The Mystery of the Green Man (if you click on the blue writing it will take you there). 

Davina bought me a small Green Man Plaque which has been hanging in the garden for a couple of years. But, one of the reasons for taking up wood carving was so that I could create a Green Man which I had made.

My carving tutor (DJ) and I decided that the image above was a good one to try and copy, but on a curved surface, not a flat one. He, DJ, also found me a piece of old pine (we think), to do it on:

So I stuck on an outline drawing of the Green Man and started to carve (slowly):

You can see that the wood is quite stained, some of it had rotted and broke away as I carved,    so that gave me what DJ calls design opportunities, which meant I had to change it as I went along.

You may not realise it, but the image is made up of six leaves (three on each side of the face).  The two bottom leave are supposed to be emerging from his mouth, but after many attempts I decided it was easier to make them as extensions of his moustache.

When I finished the carving and some sanding, I decided to treat the wood with some Boiled Linseed oil, to preserve it and give it some colour. The end result was a bit darker that I wanted, but its too late now:
This was the first picture of the finished sculpture

I wasn't very pleased with that picture, because it doesn't show some of the detail. so I asked my friend MC, to take some for me. These are MC's pictures:

These pictures are all good but, my favourite is the last one.

I hope you like my first effort of a Green Man, I want him to be the first of many.