26 March 1999

Verse that is just like it is

MARY Sheepshanks has the lightest of touches. She is funny, sad, caring. She laughs, she understands, and the result is a beautiful book of verse*. A slim volume that you want to take out and read over and over again. A book this reviewer will not want to part with. A book that most people – and particularly older people – will respond to saying, "Yes, its just like that".

Those moments with a small child which are sparks of spontaneity. Those memories of a loved one packaged with humour and admiration. Dreadful items of national news are reviewed with love, with sympathy and words that reach deep to the heart of the matter with a laser-like beam. AR

* Kingfisher Days by Mary Sheepshanks Fighting Cock Press, 2 Vernon Road, Heck-monwike, West Yorks WF16 9LU (£5.50 inc p&p).

Clear about glass painting

PAINTING on glass is becoming more and more popular, and there are lots of new product ranges coming on to the market, making this exciting craft easily accessible to everyone.

Judy Balchins book Classic Glass Painting* is ideal for beginners and enthusiasts alike. It is clearly written, well illustrated and packed with interesting ideas inspired by the Egyptian, Celtic, Greek and Roman, Chinese and Japanese, Art Nouveau and Victorian styles.

Techniques, which can be used on acetate as well as glass, are detailed for projects such as panels, bookmarks, plates, mobiles, mirrors, tiles and greetings cards with easy-to-follow instructions and colour photographs. Patterns are provided, and these can be photocopied or traced, so its not necessary to be particularly skilled at drawing to recreate some of the highly unusual objects in this book.

A separate pack of 60 patterns, including those featured, is also available in a convenient A4 loose-leaf format. MP

* Classic Glass Painting by Judy Balchin, Search Press, credit card orders Freephone 0800-146860 (£9.95).

Keen eye for countryside

BROTHERS Chris and Paul Roe have a keen eye and a love of the countryside which they express in words and pictures in two booklets of verse. Chris, who is responsible for the words, is a head pigman, while Paul, who works as an estate plumber, illustrates his brothers verse with fine drawings. Their work will find an echo in the thoughts of many Farmlife readers. We quote Chris:

To Dream of Spring

(From Kindred Spirit)

Harvest is gathered

Fields lay bare,

Already turned to the plough.

Pheasant and partridge

Lose their cover.

Grain piled high in the barn,

Straw stacked for winter use.

The evening breeze, sharper, cooler,

Colours, dancing on the autumn wind,

Trees in winter silhouette,

An early morning frost,

A dusting of snow,

Cold, dark winter evenings.

A glowing fire in the grate,

Another log brightens the flame,

A warm drink,

A comfortable chair,

Time to rest,

To sleep,

To dream of spring.

AR

* Kindred Spirits and Journey to the Fireside by Chris Roe illustrated by Paul Roe, Word Pictures Publications. Available from Chris Roe, 13 Church Road, Bergh Apton, Norwich, Norfolk NR15 1BP (£1.50 each inc p&p).