Monday, 13 February 2012
Kerala - Sketches and Sniffles...
Despite never having smoked a single cigarette in my life, on Friday I woke up with a real hacking smoker's cough. By the evening knew I was in for another cold. And the school-visit season has barely started!
I needed to get better fast, as I had to travel to Sunderland this morning, so I spent the weekend mostly trying to force myself to rest. I'm not much good at that. After a bit, I figured that scanning in sketchbooks was not particularly onerous, so I tackled more of the Kerala drawings.
One of my favourite places we visited during our Kerala adventures was Fort Cochin, famed for the Chinese fishing nets above. I'd never seen anything quite like them. They're constructed from wooden shafts lashed together and counter-balanced by boulders hanging from ropes. Apparently the locals have been plucking passing fish from the estuary in the same way for hundreds of years.
I loved the little, square park immediately in front of our hotel. I would get up slightly early and dash out to watch the community waking up, and get a few sketches in before breakfast.
The park was dotted with these massive trees. They are known locally as 'Sleeping Rain Trees' - great eh?
Fort Cochin is very much a fishing community and, every morning when the catch was brought in, men loaded fish into crates which they put onto the back of motorbikes, to take out to the surrounding villages to sell. Cats appeared from nowhere to gobble up tit-bits and occasionally steal whole sardines when a back was turned!
There were so many different things going on in the park and along the adjacent river front, I hardly knew what to draw next! I drew lots of the traders and, before I left, managed to find somewhere to take photocopies of my sketches to give to them. As usual, the drawing provided a lovely means of communicating with everyday people; so much more respectful than taking a photo.
If you want to read more about my trip, these are all the posts so far. You can see more sketches from Kerala and from my various other adventures on the sketchbook section of my website. There's also a short film of me talking about why and how I keep sketchbooks.