Today I gave the Youngest a lift to Bowes so that she could picnic with friends. As I also had to pick her up afterwards I passed the interlude 4 miles away down the road from her in Barnard Castle. It was an appropriate destination at a time when I continue to follow the Future Learn course on England in the time of Richard III, for the castle there was one of his main residences for some 10 years or more and he was also a great benefactor of the town's Parish Church.
To pass the time I took my sketch book and made some rather rough drawings of the castle moving to a point close to where Turner himself sketched and then painted the bridge and castle. It's been a long time since I drew for pleasure and I confess that I am rather rusty but practice makes perfect as they say and retirement is now affording the time and opportunity for improvement. It was certainly a good way to fill in a couple of hours, although the passing visitors craning to peer at my artistic efforts were somewhat disconcerting.
With the castle as well as the 18th century Buttermarket, 19th century Bowes Museum, the market town layout and numerous antique shops, Barnard Castle remains an attractive place for a visitor and in today's sunshine there seemed to be plenty of tourists.
It's said that William Wordsworth, Daniel Defoe and more recently Bill Bryson have all visited and, of course, it is there that Charles Dickens stayed whilst researching and writing Nicholas Nickleby. Perhaps it's as well I was only there for an afternoon, otherwise creative impulses might have encouraged me to try my hand at writing a novel rather than drawing a few lines in a sketch book.