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Tuesday 12th October 2021Blog from the Edge - 15

Alison’s Blog from the Edge- 15 relates our latest explorations of the island and some new discoveries.


Poncha, Potatoes and Pool - Life in Madeira


This last lovely week was spent seeing Madeira anew with family again.  Suffice to say, my niece Emily has left already planning her next visit with her friends, and mapping out Levada walks and hikes!


We had one gentle meandering day walking the streets of Funchal, and then Emily (plus her parents and Paul and I) took the obligatory cable car up to Monte and raced down via the toboggan. On another day, we went out on a little boat, aiming to land on the secluded beach of Calhau da Lapa (the only access). Sadly, the sea was too choppy (I had already slipped getting on and bruised my thigh 😳) but we enjoyed sailing along the coast and had a swimming stop later for those who dared! 


A very memorable day was a trip out with Paulo, who took us around the north and east of the island, visiting Cabo Girao glass viewpoint (the highest in Europe) then down to pretty Camara de Lobos (famous for the Churchill connection).  Next, we travelled high through Curral das Freitas - or Nuns’ Valley: nuns took refuge there during the French privateer attacks from 1492-7.  From there we went on to the highest point on the island - Mount Pico at 2351m. The weather was perfect so we got stunning photos! We dropped down a little to Santana and had a lovely meal: we girls had the local Scabbard fish (found only in Madeira) with banana - delicious 😋! We all continued on around Sao Vicente, Ponta Delgado and finished at a local Poncha bar at the top end of Ribeira Brava - a long but unforgettable day!


Gilbert, our taxi driver, picked us up one night from Ribeira Brava then stopped at his home in Tabua on the way home and persuaded Paul to go in with him. They arrived back in the taxi with two huge bags of potatoes - they’d just dug them up from Gilbert’s potato patch in a cave in the dark! Gilbert then took us higher up to a little isolated Poncha bar, probably just frequented by locals - it had a real feeling of the ‘Wild West’ to it🤣


My sister’s pool was a big draw for us all - the weather was glorious all week. At this time of year it starts to get a bit mixed and cooler.  We had a fantastic last evening meal at Muralha’s in Ribeira Brava, accompanied by a stunning sunset.


Our next visitors could well be my daughter and family again for school half term week (at the end of this month) but flights have rocketed in price. It’s so unfair that airlines do this! If they do arrive, I’ll be blogging about it! Thank you for the lovely feedback for my earlier blogs.

Posted on October 12th 2021 on 01:02pm

Tuesday 25th August 2020Madeira Move

 This article in the Tyne Valley Express tells of our move to Madeira and my latest painting, 'Homage to Riddlehamhope'. We hope to arrive in Madeira in time for the island's flower festival in September. We will be working on a new gallery there this autumn, and I have a separate studio to paint from, looking over the sea. For anyone wishing to visit the gallery, there is a small hotel just five minutes' walk away.

Posted on August 25th 2020 on 10:50am

Tuesday 21st July 2020Prudhoe Gallery in Kingfisher Northumberland Guide

You may spot the gallery in the latest Kingfisher hardback guide to Northumberland, which is full of information on galleries, restaurants, country houses and more to visit in our area.

Posted on July 21st 2020 on 03:15pm

Tuesday 21st July 2020Moor House Farm Feature

Thank you to the Tyne Valley Express magazine for this feature about my pair of Moor House Farm paintings. I enjoy painting abandoned buidlings which are fragile and fading, so that I can capture their fleeting beauty.

Posted on July 21st 2020 on 02:52pm

Wednesday 17th June 2020Gallery Open by Appointment

The gallery is now open by individual appointment if you would like to browse the prints and paintings. Just email me via the website's contact area to make an appointment. 

Teaching is on hold, sadly, until we have further guidelines of what’s safe and practical. The situation will change in due course. 

Take care and very best wishes from myself and Alison. 









Posted on June 17th 2020 on 02:00pm

Wednesday 11th March 2020Madeira - Tyne Valley Express Feature

 Thank you, Tyne Valley Express magazine for this article about my work and time in Madeira, and the painting of the same name - 'Madeira' - such a beautiful island. Prints are available online or from my Prudhoe gallery.

Posted on March 11th 2020 on 03:36pm

Thursday 03rd May 2018Lifestyle Article - Where Do They Eat?

Lifestyle magazine have interviewed me about where I eat - my first foodie article! It was good to be able to mention the local restaurants and suppliers who feed us so well - as well as eating in France and the Himalayas and growing my own food in the garden.

Posted on May 03rd 2018 on 01:13pm

Friday 22nd September 2017Look North Video

I enjoyed my experience of filming for Look North. Follow this link to see the clip.
Fellow Prudhoe resident Paul Mooney asked me to go on the show to judge the Look North calendar page, alongside students and friends Carol and Richard. Paul made the experience quite relaxing for me - considering he was pointing a camera my way! 

Posted on September 22nd 2017 on 12:09pm

Friday 30th June 2017Ruffside Farm

 I'd like to share this painting, 'Ruffside Farm' and the first part of the poem accompanying it, written by my friend and poet, Noel Connor, for 'In the Pause of Passing.' It seems to be a poem partly about adapting to and surviving difficult times...

I Grew to Love

I grew to love that tree,
solitary, thick skinned,
clenching itself
to the stony ridge
behind the house,
muscling into the wall.

Young whippersnapper
it defied each winter,
leaned when to bend, to lean away
when the wind demanded,
to grow slow and hard-hearted,
a gnarled knowledge
shaping to survive,
knotting itself to the landscape...



Thursday 09th February 2017An Inspiring Weardale Farmhouse

I painted both 'Window' and 'Tree House' after discovering this derelict farmhouse in Weardale, near St John's Chapel - the two windows are upstairs. 'Treehouse' is the window on the farmhouse's left and 'Window' is on the right. You can see the photos I took originally of the farmhouse below in the collage, and the actual paintings above. 
If you look to the top of 'Window' you will see that it has its very own natural Velux feature! It's one of the watercolours that I enjoyed painting most. And I also like the poem that Noel Connor wrote to accompany 'Tree House' in 'In the Pause of Passing'.  I have copied a short extract below. If you look closely at the painting, you will see the details he is describing:
'...Jam jars on a window-sill
preserved in watercolour,
no more than berry-stains on paper,
a still life ripening
on his autumn easel.'

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