Saturday, 31 January 2015

Saturday, 31st Janaury 2015 - Puffed Up Blue Tits

I purged us of a volvo boot full of rubbish into the refuse lorry this morning.

We have had transient snow. It seems to bring many many birds to the feeders.

A bit of a headache has followed me around today possibly due to me being over indulgent with wine last night.

Puffed Up Blue Tits
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday, 30th January 2015 - Dinner at Wenhams

During a little bit of sunshine Hetty and I did a bit of gardening potting up some heavily rooted polyanthus interspersed with some dangly aubretia. My little helper has lost her bounce today.

I have caught up with my ironing pile and daytime television. Tomasz Schafernaker keeps promising me snow.

I should have finished converting Tom's room into mine (ours) but I can't get past sorting the piles of stuff, mine, Tim's, Tom's, and my Dad's. I miss Dad.

Tim and I went out for dinner with Jo and Tony. It was good to be squeezed like a tube of toothpaste by the very enthusiastic Tony. It was filled with emotional tales and funny stories to accompany some very tasty food. Thank you for a great evening my lovely Lindsey.

Dinner at Wenhams
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Thursday, 29th January 2015 - Great Grandma and Great Granddaughters

Tim's delayed plane from Chicago must have had a good wind behind it to make up for lost time. Now home with paint, stickers and Frozen tattoos for Hetty and Bella. I have got twice dipped nuts - feeling a bit unsettled now I have eaten rather a large portion. I am trying to quell the feeling with a pint of fizzy water. Tim seems to be watching a film with his eyes closed.

I took Mum to Benenden Hospital for laser treatment on her eye. What a warren that place is. All done remarkably painlessly (physical and mental) without any funny spells. She says she has 'ticker trouble". Could have fooled me. Anyone who can talk non stop while walking up a hill has no heart condition. After many, many mugs of pale tea with sweeteners I took her back to Winchelsea. I got to drive through a blizzard. Very exciting. It stopped Mum talking.

Great Grandma and Great Granddaughters
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wednesday, 28th January 2015 - Cup, Saucer and Snowdrops

I have been watching the amazing Wolf Hall. I wonder when buttons were invented?

Bella and I can do a great duet to the Frozen songs. The 'crazy' one is our favourite.

To reduce the amount of clutter in our house the easy solution is to pass to our neighbours. Excellent plan.

Paul Hollywood instructed me on how to make Focaccia. It looks good. I think we make a good pairing.

I have eager anticipation of snow as do the snowdrops coming up in the garden.

Cup, Saucer and Snowdrops
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tuesday, 27th January 2015 - Chimney Lining, Vermiculite and John

The Evans Family have installed and now working, word burning stove - only at low capacity to burn off any excess production materials. Thank you very much to John for inserting all the necessary equipment through our chimney opening. Hopefully, with the addition of Brett spending the day underground inserting insulation between the floor joists, they will be feeling warm and toasty. It has been a bit on the chilly side on the north face of The Holt.

Chimney Lining, Vermiculite and John
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 26th January 2015 - Cake and More Cake

Early rise, not so early to bed.

Pippa hosted an amazing birthday tea this afternoon. Happy birthday to you my gorgeous friend.

It was a very jolly occasion everyone is looking rather serious. I must learn to do expressions.

This evening I had my art class. I had been thinking and preparing for days. I forgot my bloody paper!!!. Bugger. But I am sure it was subconciously intended as I have revised my final picture once again.

Cake and More Cake
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday, 25th January 2015 - Should Be Gold Plated

I have done lots of bits of things today. I am a bit of the way through a glass of rose wine.

We had naked hanging baskets. These gorgeous primula acaulis have filled them beautifully but at a price.

Should Be Gold Plated
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Saturday, 24th January 2015 - Quality Street Rejects

I am being broken gently into this working malarky for 2015 by some very gentle guests. Morris chewed on the breakfast sausages during the night - luckily I keep plenty of spares. Damn sneaky cat.

I have produced very little today. Is it called my 'mojo' I am missing? I blame it on a bit of January blues which seems to be causing a mild infection. Chicago would be a nice place to visit.

Quality Street Rejects
Pen with Windsor & Newton Inks
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday, 23rd January 2015 - Spotty Mug and Grapes

Another secretly cold day. One without colour in my sky.

Our frozen Fiat managed splendidly to get to Staplehurst station where Tim furthered his journey to Chicago. I could have gone. I have been before and it is beautiful. Still divided at to whether I should be here or there.

For my art class I have been researching artists presented to us by our tutor. I am getting a little more than intrigued by Emma Dunbar. Today's painting is inspired by her beautiful work.

Spotty Mug and Grapes
Clairfontaine Cloud Texture Paper

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Thursday, 22nd January 2015 - Vintage Duplo

It has been deceptively damn cold today. Looking out the window it was blue skies and sunshine. Get out in it and it was bitter and evil. I have evacuated mountains of chicken poo into the compost heap. I am expecting a luscious summer garden after the fermentation.

I popped round to Little Holt for a Grandaughter 'hit' and got a bit engrossed in the building bricks that used to be Harriet and Tom's. They are probably about 28 years old. Fantastic fun until I needed to go to the pub...........

..........Tim and I had farewell drinks in The Bull. We managed to get two in during their cheap workman's 4-6pm slot. Tim is a man and I have been working - fair exchange I think. Tim is abandoning me for Chicago for a week.

Vintage Duplo
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wednesday, 21st January 2015 - Tom Twyman

I had a disturbed night so am not feeling on top of anything today. Even copious quantities of tea and coffee did not do much to invigorate me.

My highlight of the day was finding that Coco and The Butterfields had posted a rather charming song on Facebook.

Tom Twyman
Pen and Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Tuesday, 20th January 2015 - Little Holt After Dark

I was up and working for my lovely guests before the sun had risen and the snow had fallen.

A goddess of cleaning I have been today.

Tim and I did our twenty minute of obesity preventing leaf clearing this afternoon. Hetty came and joined us. We all discussed birthdays and what we all would like our cakes decorated with.

We had delivery of apple crumble and cream from The Evans kitchen this evening.

Little Holt After Dark
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 19 January 2015

Monday, 19th January 2015 - Surprise Home Delivery

I finished my adding and subtracting today and have handed it over to Tim for the final analysis.

I rewarded myself with time with Hetty watching the birds on the bird table while eating lychees and brazil nuts.

I have had many, many ideas for my art class project. Some have come and gone. I should have written them down. I released a few this evening in a planning frenzy. I did not realise the project should fit into a gift bag? I am using a shopping bag. Whoops.

Harriet popped over with a very tasty meaty, beany, vegetable stew accompanied by a huge piece of cheese bread. Just what I needed when I got home from working so hard at art. Thank you.

Surprise Home Delivery
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday, 18th January 2015 - Saved From The Knife

My health forecast from yesterday was correct. I had a bit of a headache this morning. It was due to to the combination of inhaled woodsmoke and a touch of Pinot Grigio, possibly the high volume of singing made a contribution too. Really no way of escape.

I have started adding, subtracting and multiplying my tax return figures. I do the easy bit then pass it over to Tim for the final maths. Tomorrow, I will finish it tomorrow.

I cooked egg (we are having a bit of a glut) and wrinkly vegetable curry for dinner this evening. My ginger seems to have decided to sprout. I plan to plant it and grow a ginger tree.

Saved From The Knife
Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Saturday, 17th January 2015 - Moist Crittall Window

It was damn chilly last night. The garden had turned white. Hetty decided that Elsa had been using her magical powers.

Some of our stuff has been shifted about since doing the work on Little Holt. Most of it does not matter and can be unearthed at some point. But when you have an imminent tax return to do it is not a fun game. Tim and I spent an obscene amount of time looking for my tax return folder. Eventually (after nearly getting divorced - good thing we are not married) I found it in the loft of the garage.

I greeted my single guest and then got ready for a big night out at The Weald of Kent Wassail. Tony and Wendy drove us. Which meant I was in for a possible headache the next day. It was a great evening in the smoky barn at The Bell and Jorrocks in Frittenden. It was a bit on the chilly side but the food, drink and singing overrode any discomfort. A very entertaining evening organised by Nick and Suzy - thanks for all the work you put in.

Moist Crittal Window
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 16 January 2015

Friday, 16th January 2015 - Nearly Bedtime Story

Apart from a bit of gardening I have not been out the house all day.

Nearly Bedtime Story
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Thursday, 15th January 2015 - Grapes and Tomatoes

This evening Lindsey and I went to The Bull in Benenden. Just to catch up. Living ten minutes away does not seem to make it any more frequent in our getting together. The wine was good, the next glass was even better as it was bigger, followed by a very good coffee. Lindsey started with a half of Black Pig, then a spicy tomato, finishing off with tea. We like to have variety in our lives. Thank you for a lovely evening.

Still no snow.

Grapes and Tomatoes
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wednesday, 14th January 2015 - Good Burgers but No Coffee

This morning I cleaned.

At 1pm I collected Hetty from Playgroup - she had had a happy time but keep it a mystery as to what she had done and eaten.

This afternoon us four girls took to Tenterden. New Frozen wellingtons for one little one to accompany a new bump on the head. Lots of funny ways of walking made the journey back to the carpark entertaining.

This evening I had a long over due book group with Sarah, Pippa and Kath at The Woolpack where we all have burgers and chips. Pleased that the price included a glass of wine. Not so pleased that the coffee machine had been turned off. So we had coffee at Cafe Rouge before heading home through the wild wind and wet. I gave the girls a choice of books. Tuesdays with Morrie was very appropriate at the time with the ice bucket challenge as the character in the book suffers from the same condition. Both good thought provoking reads.

Good Burgers but No Coffee
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday, 13th January 2015 - One and Five Eighths of a Pomegranate

I am hoping for a little snow. I have been told we may have a flurry tonight.

I spent just over £2 in the butchers on three various sausages and a chicken leg chosen by Hetty following her first full day at her new playgroup in the village. She held tightly onto my hand on the walk home each time a car passed. There were many. Looks good for my future care when I am old and infirm.

I have had a few hours cleaning in readiness for the future onslaught of guests. I possibly am considering the need for new single beds. They don't need to be replaced but I quite fancy a buying spree - even if it is only the once.

One and Five Eighths of a Pomegranate
Pen and Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 12 January 2015

Monday, 12th January 2015 - Headcorn Art Class

At long last I get to meet Sarah for a coffee (and a cheese scone). Thank you for purchasing these for me and the charming company and conversation.  I am very much looking forward to receiving a homemade fabric basket that she will be making me from the book I bought her for her birthday.

It was a keep your head down and hood up weather today.

I had a great evening at my art class. We are preparing for a future painting. I have nearly finished mine. I am quite excited with the result. I have hidden it from Tim's critical eye until I am feeling stronger.

Headcorn Art Class
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sunday, 11th January 2015 - Curtain Ingredients

I have not got very far with anything today. I started making curtains but have not even started sewing yet.

One advantage of having a dinner party is that the next day there are leftovers to eat. A small slice of apple tart is very good company for a wobbly piece of custard tart - along with a splash of cream - yum.

Curtain Ingredients
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Saturday, 10th January 2015 - Red Chopping Board

I have a chilled glass of Pouilly Fume as I type - it helps the keys flow.The dinner is cooking for Steve Adams (who is over for the boat show in London), Si, Lesley and possibly Harriet and Brett.

It has been an on and off day so far. Not really been able to concentrate on one thing at a time. It could be the terrible wind we have in Benenden blowing my thoughts about.

Just in case you would be interested we are having leek soup with French stick (ballooning in the oven at present), a big old trout from Bewlwater with various vegetable delights, an apple pie and custard tart - got to use the eggs one way or another. Oh and a bit of reduced Stilton from our local shop.

I made a lovely mess in the kitchen today.

Red Chopping Board
Pen with Scarlet Watercolour
Very Rough Watercolour Paper

Friday, 9 January 2015

Friday, 9th January 2015 - Watch That Hose!!!

I am sipping a G&T while I write and dinner is cooking. Great end to the week.

It has been a busy day. The chickens have poo free houses. Harriet and Hetty cleaned the cars. I could not help but laugh when I told them I was turning the hose on and saw Hetty looking down the hosepipe to see. It was cold and I took refuge in greenhouse to do some potting up. I am not sure the lavender seeds will emerge from their rather over enthusiastic watering - such a shame the rose fell off the watering can Hetty. But the vintage Huckleberry and its fruit and flowers are looking fine.

Happy birthday to Sarah. Even though she bombed me out on the offer of a birthday coffee for someone better. You can't avoid my company for long. See you Monday :-) And possibly Wednesday.

This afternoon we had a bonfire. Tim said it had been far too wet for it to light. It did and it was big and hot and orange. Then we had the fireworks my brother bought for Harriet's Christmas present in 2013 - yep, he is very odd.

Now for a quiet evening with Tim, a good programme, maybe another little G&T and my paints. Perfect.

Watch That Hose!!!
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Thursday, 8th January 2015 - Neglected Success

We are a bit water logged in Benenden. Bit like I am feeling with a cold.

I have ironed sheets during the day. This evening while eating yesterdays chickpea curry we watched Broadchurch after much pressure from the advertising - not quite got the hang of what is going on.

I was given an orchid in flower about two and a half years ago. It has been sitting on the toilet windowsill not doing much but growing prehistoric looking aerial roots. A couple of weeks ago it sent out a flower shoot. I wait in anticipation for a sprig of blooms.

Neglected Success
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Wednesday, 7th January 2015 - Expressive Self Portrait

Damn cold and windy to be painting garage doors today. I knotted and undercoated four. I was supplied with tea and biscuits by my very charming daughter in-between her looking after her girls.

This evening Harriet and I had an art session. We are taking it in turns to choose our project. This week Harriet decided on self portraits. I have not laughed so much in a long time.

Expressive Self Portrait
Cartridge Paper

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Tuesday, 6th January 2015 - Spoilt x Fifteen

Back to work and it was dark when I emerged from my warm bed. It would have been productive for my piggy bank apart from washing all the white bedding with a new pair of my new jeans. Bum, bum, bum.

We were expecting (possibly hoping) that the Fiat was beyond repair. John has done a great job of sealing the exhaust, repairing some oil thingy and an removing air lock. We are back to full capactiy. In celebration we took both cars to The Bull for a couple of celebratory drinks. 4-6pm and you get a reduced rate on your pint (but not your medium glass of Pinot Blush).

Tim returned from work with a bunch of gorgeous roses for me. And I so deserve them!!!

Spoilt x Fifteen
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 5 January 2015

Monday, 5th January 2015 - Sooo Disappointed

Monday, it is always Mondays that the bookings come flooding in and filling my blank diary.

We confused the Tescos delivery man this morning. Harriet had an order an hour before mine. We had to gently force him to let us have both lots of shopping.

Hetty started her new playgroup. She was very brave and very happy.

I have a guest this evening. The house now sparkles (where he can see it).

The Fiat is at the garage. We await a diagnosis. It could be its final few days on the road.

Final Chapter
The bookcase has two top coats
The End

I tidied my art bags and set off in the high hopes of an evening of inspiration. It was shut, both gates. Someone has got the date wrong.

Sooo Disappointed
Watercolour and Ink
Paper with Woodchips

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sunday, 4th January 2015 - Interminable Fog

The story of the bookcase :- one undercoat done this morning. Tim snuck in and did a second.

The rabbit has had vegetables and prunes added. Very popular with Hetty and Bella.

The Fiat has spat all its oil onto its engine. Off to see the garage tomorrow. It could be a head gasket.

This evening we joined about 150 people at Kell and Pat's New Years drinks party. There were plenty of nibble bits and conversation too. A most enjoyable way to finish the Christmas festivities.

We have had a total day of fog. This evening it had settled and turned into ice.

Interminable Fog
Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Saturday, 3rd January 2015 - Never Too Cold For A Lolly

A rather late night last night meant a bit of a late start to the morning. It was Tom's last morning with us so we all had breakfast together. Bella liked the smoked salmon very much. Hetty enjoyed the venison sausages wrapped in bacon. Tom liked it all.

I have prepared a bookcase for painting.

Tom has gone back to Birmingham. That is sad, I am sad. I regret not spending more time together. The Fiat is in a poorly state (overheating, smelly and quite noisy) but managed to take Hetty and me to Adam and Eve's Farmshop to get a fur free rabbit, apples and pears. If you are small you get a free apple. Then to Hartley Farmshop to look for flowers but they were all sold out, we managed to find some animal pasta. Finally to Hartley Dyke Farmshop where we found flowers, a mighty large cheese straw and a potato dog (the sweets are waiting for a return visit). We delivered the tulips to Sarah whose Mother died a couple of days ago - so sorry Sarah. Nigel's fake cream multi bun was good with tea.

The house seems strangely quiet in the evenings. I found a white Toblerone that Father Christmas forgot to put in Tim's stocking which was a comfort.

Never Too Cold For A Lolly
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 2 January 2015

Friday, 2nd January 2015 - Caxton Cottage

There was constant movement in, out and around our house today. Inside Harriet made two banana cakes, only one remains, the dolls house has had an airing and major play after being usurped by Christmas and presents, all the decorations are now back under our bed and I did not paint a bookcase. Outside the trampoline from Uncle Tom was bounced and watered and Hetty revived a bumble bee with sugar water.

This evening Tim and I walked to the Woolpack with Mike and Pippa. We returned to their house for a luxury monk fish pie. Back home feeling very sleepy and full.

Caxton Cottage
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Thursday, 1st January 2015 - Bolly Darling

A touch of champagne took us into the New Year.

The Evans family have taken full time residence as of a couple of weeks ago. Still quite a bit of work to be done but much more liveable than some of the building sites Tim and I raised Harriet and Tom in.

Today the crispy green decorations have been taken down and are awaiting ignition of the bonfire. A few baubles still need to find their way back into boxes along with a random fairy.

I had a great, if rather competitive, game of (vintage) Mousetrap with my duelling partner Thomas, his two brothers, Winnie and Tom. Just need to mention that Thomas and I won. It was great to see the boys and their Dad Mark. And we were all grateful that Tom retrieved his drone (a rather charming Christmas present from his parents).

Left over champagne and a little slice of smoked chicken and duck (good Christmas present Chris) to end a rather lovely start to 2015.

Happy New Year

Bolly Darling
Pen with Watercolour