After a not so bright and early start, it was still dark when I reluctantly exited my bed this morning, I headed over to Canterbury. A lovely afternoon I had too. Hetty showed me her new ballet moves. You have to watch those toes very closely.
I am very happy and very tired. Perfect end to a day.
Harriet, Brett, Hetty and Arabella came to play with homemade birthday shortbread for Tim. We fed the chickens and collected pretty leaves.
Even before the predicted storm, which has not arrived as I blog, we had a power cut. It has been off for about eight hours and I painted my picture by candlelight. Back on now or you would not be receiving me.
Following a morning of work Tim and I went to Smarden and admired Elizabeth's pottery in The West End House Gallery with other pots. I bought Lindsey her Christmas present.
Next to Canterbury where Tim filled the car with wood to repair the rotten roof of the chicken house and I filled a couple of bags with fruit and goodies for Harriet.
Next stop to see Harriet, Hetty and Arabella. The weather was fine enough for a marvelous trip to Toddlers Cove and many happy goes on the swings and seesaw. Hetty and Tim played on the adult exercise equipment.
Home via a stop at The Woolpack to meet with Mike and Pippa and an indian takeaway back at Caxton Cottage to celebrate Tim's birthday of yesterday.
Is the weather going to be as bad as they forecast for Sunday and Monday?
I was too late yesterday to do a Tesco delivery for today so I had to take the car and go shopping. What an adventure. No, it wasn't at all. On the way home I got some apples from a farm in Rolvenden and some sausages and bacon from Wards. Not a terribly exciting day as days go but rather satisfying.
I have been cleaning out my studio to accommodate my plan chest but found that I need to do some painting before it is installed. I have sugar soaped the woodwork in preparation for paint application tomorrow.
Tim is home. I have gummy bears - yum. Hetty has glitter glue. Arabella has penguin biscuits.
I have been wanting and needing a plan chest for many years but they are ridiculously expensive. Mike did not need his. I did. So a little money exchanged palma and I am now the proud owner of a mighty fine chest. Just need to find a little space for it.
Happy birthday to Si - hope you have a lovely day.
After a late night knitting I was woken by the phone. Harriet and family came to play. The girls helped me with my bnb rooms, Brett did a bit of gardening. And I have my camera back with yesterdays photos so have spent a happy couple of hours this evening with paper and charcoal. Very, very difficult.
I have spent a charming afternoon with Harriet, Hetty (with cold and teething) and Arabella (with cold and teething). Considering their ailments the girls were very happy to entertain their Grandma.
I had planned to have a go at a charcoal portrait of one or maybe both my granddaughers and took many many photos in preparation. I left my camera at Riverbend Cottages so had to have a change of plan. I am knitting matching cardigans for the girls.
I found an old digital camera that should tide me over until I get mine back. i just hope the battery lasts as I cannot locate the charger.
Mark has done as much as a man can do with our house and left but may return in March.
Tim has left and gone to Atlanta but should return at the beginning of the week.
Si came and returned my floriforous teapots and went home to Lesley and his cows.
Lindsey came and left as I was off to an amazing demonstration by the artist Juliette Dodd - three portraits from the audience in one evening was stunning to see. I may have picked up enough tips to have a go at a full frontal but not today. I had to go alone as Sarah was occupied elsewhere.
I have a dilema - I am two thirds of the way through watching the GBBO on iplayer but should really go to bed as I have guests to look after in the morning. That Paul Hollywood is so tempting with his piercing blue eyes when a woman is home alone.
The secret event was Si and Lesley's 25th wedding anniversary dinner/party/wonderful celebration at Hever Castle. Si had managed to keep it a secret from Lesley. Amazing - well done Si. Some of us were there already hiding in the Music Room when Si brought Lesley in. I think one of Lesley's biggest surprises was seeing Jamie wearing a shirt. The drinks flowed. So many people to chat with. It was lovely to see Caroline and Sarah. We ate dinner in the Astor Wing which was delightful. The cottage pie made with Si's beef was very tasty. Lindsey made a beautiful cake. I filled teapots with flowers to adorn the tables. Does it all make sense now?
It was a fantastic evening. I think everyone is feeling a little tired and/or delicate today.
It was a bit of a shock to be working this morning but having the delightful Dame Anstee and her driver as a guests made it ok to get up at 6am on a Saturday.
It was the annual Apple Fair. We gathered in Cranbrook with many other Weald of Kent Morris. The weather was surprisingly warm and sunny compared to the torrential rain of yesterday. The Morris danced gloriously as ever. I fell in love the singer of a band (his voice of course) - if only I was 30 plus years younger.
This evening I made a blonde pizza. Tim does not enjoy Strictly Come Dancing so I will be saving that to watch while ironing tomorrow.
We have had Mark rebuilding our rotting steps and putting up new weather board on the last bit that remains of the old Colt house. His likes to keep things in order. It is so good to have someone to tidy up all those fiddly bits. He does a mighty good job too. I would like to keep him on for a bit longer if I can persuade Tim that my need is great and justworthy.
I am at home alone waiting for Sarah, with her cough, to come and collect me and take me to The Honeymoon for book group. Tim has gone to The Woolpack (and then to The Bull for dinner) for a drink with Steve and Mike (from France) and Mike (from Tenterden).
Mark's Tidy Tools
Pen with Watercolour
I have evicted a multitude of spiders from every crook, cranny and crevice.
Tim alerted to me to an amazing sunset. Great I could practice the techniques shown to me by Bill Newton last night. As always what was in my mind I was unable to transfer to paper. I partly can blame having to let a guest in when I was at a crucial wet-in-wet moment that ended wet-on-dry. Hey ho.
I have been a domestic demon today. My cold is receding.
This evening a reluctant Sarah and I fought our way through rain and lightening to see a demonstration by the very talented artist Bill Newton. He painted a watercolour marinescape in about an hour and a half - why can't we produce such work in our two hour art class is a mystery now we have seen how easy it is.