Last week I went with my family to a peaceful little village in Germany called Dießen, just by the lake Ammersee. We were visiting my cousin's new baby for the first time! He was lovely.
Rather than otherwise seeing the trip as a holiday, I tried my best to make most of the time there useful for my work. It was a perfect location for 'sense of place' research (for the setting of Little Red Riding Hood), as my aunt's house is a short walk away from some woods. The bizarre weather we've been experiencing this month in England has been equally as strange abroad. The cold weather had lead to snowfall: and although the sunshine gradually melted what blanketed the garden when we first arrived, the woods remained a strange, unseasonal winter wonderland.
[The view from my auntie's window]
It was such a quiet day when I went wandering on my own. I didn't see any people, bar a few cars driving past as I crossed the main roads. I was even lucky enough to encounter three fawns as I made my way up towards the hill entering the woods. I only just managed to get my camera out in time to snap them as they dashed out in front of me.
Walking up the slope, I was stepping over sledge tracks, and I suddenly realised this was where we had been sledging as children years before, and the nostalgia spurred me on (as I struggled not to slip during the climb!) Once I got into the trees I sat down a while to enjoy the scenery (leading to grass-stained jeans), and got out the camera again. I'm the first to admit that my photography skills unfortunately don't do justice to what I could see that day, but the pictures will no doubt be helpful. I also gathered together some of the odd loose branches and twigs I could find on the ground, as I've decided I would like to use some natural found materials to help build up the scenes for some of my illustrations. In my mind it felt more special using twigs from these woods than any old trees back in Manchester (yet my bundle of German sticks remains at home in York with my parents, when I realised I couldn't manage them on top of the rest of my luggage on the train. Hopefully I will be reunited with them in time to put them to use still...)