There’s a small stand of poplars that I pass twice a day when I’m walking the two Jack Russell Terriers, sometimes I pass when I’m on the way home or when I’m setting off on the walk, sometimes from both ways so you see I get to see the small group of trees from all angles and in all weather conditions. There are stands of poplars all over the West Norfolk Fenland and they’ve been planted as windbreaks, because they are fast growing, and as a crop too because they were the favoured wood for use in the match-making industry. I like a bit of poplar as firewood, well seasoned it burns bright and leaves little ash, is generous with heat but it does burn very quickly. Anyway I digress, I’ve taken photographs of this stand in all weathers but never tried a linocut and in truth I’ve probably chickened out because of the complexity of the cutting, but this time I’ve decided to give it a go. So far there is better than nine hours of cutting on the block and there’s a lot more cutting to do yet. The plan is ambitious, well I think it is. This block is the key block and it will be used on three very different prints in different ways so you’ll have to watch the work in progress develop towards the first finished print and those used in each version, so watch this space over the next few weeks. I can tell the suspense is already killing all three of my readers. The photograph shows the work-in-progress with a little way to go to the first proof. Watch this space for the next instalment.