I haven’t tweeted or blogged much recently – I find the very cold weather depressing and can’t rouse myself from apathy. Except to rant about Gardeners’ World, of course. The garden has been abandoned for the past few weeks, in a listlessness borne of shortening days. As nights grow longer, I withdraw deeper into my shell.
One thing that has been taking up my time as I hide in the house waiting for longer days is grappling with garden design principles. I’ve mentioned previously that I was starting a shortish garden design course, and I have been really enjoying it. So far, I have:
- bored SomeBeans and my father rigid with talk of unity and progressive realisation in various garden design periods;
- tried to distil this into a short (3000 word) assignment – writing the essay wasn’t difficult, but getting the word count down from 6000 to 3000 was excruciating;
- traipsed around some very forgiving people’s garden, with 10 or so classmates, tripping over each others’ survey lines;
- done battle with a scale rule to produce a pretty accurate base drawing.
The biggest challenge so far, however, was something I’d kept quiet in class about until this week. At the start of term, we’d all splashed out on various bits of equipment, as keen students do. Because of the theory we had to initially cover, this equipment stayed on a shelf at home, until last week.
It’s a strange feeling to be worried about pens. I’ve been using pens for many, many years now. You learn how to use pens at school, and since then, I’ve probably used one every day. So it was rather embarrassing to be in possession of some pens which I was too frightened to use, even if I had known how to fill them up with ink. Oh, the ignominy.
But it turned out that nearly everyone else had had the same worry and the same sense of foolishness at not knowing how to fill them up. We had all bought them, looked at them, looked at the instructions, looked at the ink bottle, looked at the pens again and quietly put the lid back on.
However, after our lesson on Monday, and a patient tutor, I have discovered the joy of ‘inking’. It makes feeble pencil drawings look almost good. It will take quite a lot of practice to become proficient, to produce graphics that look like they should, to make sure that I don’t smudge and to make sure that I keep the pen at the right angle, but I have conquered my fear of the Rotring pen. Hurrah!
Next week we’ll be learning ‘colouring in’ as SomeBeans calls it – another return to basics!