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Finding a good supply of tools without using the internet is getting increasingly difficult. I try to keep my carbon footprint as low as I possibly can and I also support local businesses as much as possible too, but it's not easy, especially in the current climate.

I actually had to give in last week because my local stationer is closed, due to the pandemic. There is only one, the next one is possibly 25 miles away, if not more. I don't want to get too bogged down in politics but really, how are they expecting the whole climate change thing to work? Or keep unemployment from becoming an all time low? Or feed the thousands who have no income through no fault of their own? Just lately I have been turning the radio off (I have no TV) holding my hands over my ears and refusing to listen. It's easy out here, to pretend it's not happening, which is wrong, I know but sometimes you just have to crack on or it will just drag you down.

Anyway, this isn't about politics, it's about tools. Most of mine is inherited, or I've had it since I was in university, or I pick it up in a charity shop (not often - but sometimes you can get a large haul). Obviously sometimes I have to buy it first hand, these businesses need to keep going too, otherwise where will we be. Procreate I expect. While digital artwork is amazing and you can create some wonderful masterpieces on some of the programmes available, I still like the feel of pen and ink on paper. It fills the senses, the smell (especially some of the old stuff - phew!), the texture of good watercolour paper, the scratching of the nib, the flow of the ink. Ok, it's a pain sometimes, you can't just undo an ink mark in the wrong place, but sometimes that can lead you somewhere else and sometimes to a better piece than you originally envisaged.

I also like to be surrounded by my tools, they inspire me, encourage me to try new techniques, different paper, different colours, new ideas. Do you get that from a computer programme?

Maybe I'm just getting old. An old woman with a cluttered house, a wild garden and hippy inclinations (I wasn't a hippy - I'm not THAT old!).

Nah! I refuse to believe it.

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