East Neuk Open Studios

Today we went up to Fife for the East Neuk Open Studios event. The main draw (sorry, no pun intended!) for me was my old tutor from college, Jill Calder. Here is one of her cards. Jill is a superstar of the illustration world. You will know her work without even knowing you know it. She’s worked for pretty much everyone who’s worth working for and her work is outstanding. Sadly she’s no longer lecturing at Edinburgh College of Art and we miss her loads. What Jill doesn’t know about illustration you could fit on a pin head.

The trip was going well until I remembered the soup we’d left on the hob at home just as we were about to cross the Forth Road Bridge. Big Dreamer assured me he’d turned it down low but he’d put it on the temperamental ring on the hob…the one that sometimes doesn’t turn down even though you’ve turned the switch. Half an hour of circling then ensued where we turned round for home, sure that the house must be burning down, only to turn back round because we were half way there and of course it would be fine. Eventually we compromised by deciding we would hurry to Jill’s studio and have some lunch then go straight home again.

So what was supposed to be delightful saunter to see the best and brightest of the East Neuk art world turned into a vastly condensed affair. We rapidly enjoyed our award winning fish and chips in Anstruther. We raced to Jill’s studio to see her looking fine and well. She has a gorgeous place amongst the quaint stone fishing cottages on one of the winding Cellardyke streets. Her studio is light, bright and full of snippets of inspiration. We ran down to the beach where I noticed lots of pock marked stones where agates would have been (I learnt that at Countryfile!). Big Dreamer thought he was hilarious when he picked up one of those red bricks with the holes in the middle and commented that there must have been a massive agate in there. We then revved our way all the way home.

And of course, it was fine. There were no fire engines there to douse our blazing home. There was no blackened ceiling from smoke damage. There was no burnt saucepan. And do you know the name of the soup? It was Madhur Jaffrey’s Fireman’s soup.

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