‘Feisty as hell beneath a blizzard of white hair, the painter Ashley Jackson is a pent-up ball of artistic expression. On a promise with a land he knows intimately, a force of nature, you might say…’ – so starts one section of a new book I’ve just read called Slouching Towards Blubberhouses by talented writer Tony Hannan. The chapter mirrors numerous conversations I had with Ashley during my time as editor of Dalesman. Above my computer is one of his prints showing an overcast sky at Choppard’s (Holmfirth) – a generous gift from Ashley when I retired. His work is unique and special; as a person he is down to earth and forthright yet fair minded. He has an artistic gift but he’s also a typical Yorkshireman – so no surprise he features in Tony’s book which light-heartedly tries to unravel what this Yorkshireness is all about and asks how much of an influence it has today. A great read. Published by Scratching Shed, £13.99.