Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tuesday, 31st March 2015 - Peppers and Aubergine

We had to have another Tescos delivery this morning or we would have lost the buy 6 bottles of wine (we got the half price ones) and get 25% off offer that ended today.

I have made enough lasagne to feed about 50. We could have up to 30 coming on Sunday - how we are going to bloody seat everyone I am slightly concerned about but Tim is confident that it will be fine. Ok I will put the bows on the glasses he can sort out the tables and chairs.

Harriet has been busy at Little Holt making roulades, by the look of Bella's chocolate face I think they taste very good. I feel a little guilty (I was feeling guilty yesterday too) that she is making food for her own party. Her freezer is filling up with garlic bread she has made too.

This afternoon we visited Lesley's huge flock of Jacob sheep. We briefly looked at it had turned cold, wet and windy. Si, Lesley, Tim and I had a very good value pizza (BOGOF) at a pub near them that I cannot remember the name of. It will come to me later possibly.

Peppers and Aubergine
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 30 March 2015

Monday, 30th March 2015 - Discarded Delights

I have potted up another 71 (one casualty) microscopic plants. In anticipation of the many hot sunny days to come I planted sweet peas (again, my October sowing was not too successful), runner beans and French beans.

I had an evening Tesco delivery in readiness for tomorrows lasagne preparation. Instead of red peppers I was sent green. So I go online to complain and find there is a live 'Chat' facility. Very new to me but perfect for getting a refund on my peppers.

These little charmers I found growing in a bucket of water. I must have needed their pot after flowering last year and chucked them aside. I feel a little guilty.

Discarded Delights
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sunday, 29th March 2015 - Thimbleweed

I had 'Thank You 'cards and a gift of a book about chickens from my long stay guests. I was very delighted that they had had such a lovely time.

Hetty, Bella and I played at squidging out Playdoh worms and snakes. The machine has not changed since I was a child all those many many years ago.

Bit of cleaning and ironing done. I was sad to watch the last of the Painting Challenge. It was a mistake that the painters poet did not win. Poldark was excellent but I can feel a dark cloud above those hills he keeps riding back and forth and back and forth along.

Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Saturday, 28th March 2015 - LED Bulb

A day of stuff. Harriet is painting some stunning pictures on the girls bedrooms walls. Tigger and Roo seem very at home with Sven and Olaf.

It was back on with our wellies for our walk this afternoon.

I have had a chance to catch up with Indian Summer this evening while eating pizza.

LED Bulb
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 28th March 2015 - View From Mike's House

I am very proud of Bella who had a trial morning at playgroup. She was very brave and was very pleased to see her Mum and Harriet after. I was a bit of a weepy wreck. She seems such a confident little soul but is also very vulnerable. What an emotional Grandma.

This afternoon we made a trip to see Tim's Mum and then onto view Mike's latest house build in Hythe. We found a pub for a couple of drinks nearby and ended up having quite a bit more in The Woolpack in Tenterden. A bit of a boozy end to my day.

View From Mike's House
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Thursday, 26th March 2015 - Defraction

I have been spat at twice today. Once as I turned my sausages. The second time was when I dropped my eggs into their frying pan. I vicious start to my day. I verbally abused them in retaliation. Very quietly so the guests did not hear.

As the sun was setting on the mountains when we were on holiday in France Steve, Zoe, Tim and I discussed whether the colour in the sky was caused by refraction or defraction. Now we know. We had a bit of defraction on our walk this afternoon.

Watercolour Paper

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Tuesday, 24th March 2015 - Two Lives

Harriet, Bella and I made it into Tenterden by about midday. What happened to the morning? Time took it. In between Harriet trying on Barbour jackets (shhh it is a birthday surprise) we had a fortifying tiny but amazing chocolate each. Strength regained we made it to Hunny Beez for coffee and cake. Not sure why we felt so strange after.

This evening I spent a very intense couple of hours trying to draw a couple of life models. Each time I ran out of feet space. Thank goodness Harriet was there to prove that there is an artistic talent shining in the family. Thank goodness I made the woman's head too small or there may been bodiless too.

Two Lives
Quink Ink
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 23 March 2015

Monday. 23rd March 2015 - Ice House

Following attending to my guests needs I spent a lovely time playing with Bella. A boat, stickers and a bit of singing along to Frozen were involved. I was entertained watching her with the chickens and reindeer. I am not sure she should really be eating their bread.

After a day of guilty abstinance yesterday Tim and I walked around Benenden Girls School. On the designated footpaths (mostly).

Thompson and Morgan have tempted us with post-it Petunias which are guaranteed to fill our garden with colour throughout the summer. It is a hard woman that can resist a money off voucher.

Ice House
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sunday, 22nd March 2015 - English Tea

I have worked my little fingers to the bone today. I have had lots of helpful help from old, young and even younger family members.

My new guests were delighted with a cream tea. Scones are still not my best bake.

I am devastated that there is only one remaining Painting Challenge to go. Maybe Poldark will make up for my despair. Well, he sure did. Sweet dreams.

English Tea
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Saturday, 21st March 2015 - A Murder of Crows and Nests

We had lots of plans to do various delightful things today and ended up doing very little. Sometimes one needs a day of nothing.

We did manage to drag ourselves out for a speedy walk. There are 'parcels' of crows on the way to(or it could be from depending on your direction) the village. I was interested it could also be a 'horde', - ok I can get that one but a 'storytelling'? I wonder where that one originated. I do love the internet.

A Murder of Crows and Nests
Acrylic Paper

Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday, 20th March 2015 - Shower Buddy

The solar eclipse decided to hide behind a damp grey cloudy sky this morning. Until the next time.

I am very proud of little Bella. Who according to her 2 year check this morning is taller than average and very intelligent. It was suggested she is ready for playgroup. Harriet and I are not so sure. Such a big step for a mother and grandmother to take.

Thank you for all those who offered to do my ironing. Done it.

Tim returned from a brief trip to London with a box piled high with fruit, vegetables and either a duck or pheasant (difficult to tell in its frozen state) from the farm shop. We marched our way to good health and fitness. The Walkhurst Road hill still causes heavy breathing.

I was rather relieved that my guests declined tea and cake this afternoon. I seemed to have rather a burnt topping to my Dorset Apple Cake.

This little fellow was in the shower with me this morning.

Shower Buddy
Acrylic Paper

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Thursday, 19th March 2015 - Yards of Sheep

Anyone want to do my piles of ironing? I won't pay you but I would be very grateful. I cannot get back into the routine of ironing all the bnb bedding. Have my days got shorter?

Tim and I had a mind cleansing walk this afternoon. The wind was so cold it blew right through my head. The sheep in the field opposite us had just had a load of fruit dumped. They were very pleased. I could tell by the high volume of baaing and a sedate stampede.

Why is it when I go to charge any of my huge variety of electronic devices the charger does not fit first time, turn it over, it still does not fit, turn it round again and it does?

Yards of Sheep
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wednesday, 18th March 2015 - Severed Ivy

I have dusted off my Henry and unfolded my roller iron. Most people can tell spring is on its way from the daffodils bathing in the sun. I can tell by the influx of guests and more frequent visits from Tescos to keep me stocked up with mushrooms.

I was listening to John Humphries telling me the BBC has had complaints about the naked scene in Poldark was not long enough or close enough. I was quite happy Sunday evening when I watched. Now I feel diddled. Mum would have had the full exposure when she watched the original series 40 years ago.

On our fat busting walk today we were wondering if we should get a new - newer - car and what it might be. Later on Tim mentioned that an Emu was for sale in Benenden. I thought it was a type of car. I suppose the price of £200 should have been a bit of hint. And how often do you see an emu for sale?!?

The trees along our road have been rather harshly trimmed along with the ivy.

Severed Ivy
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Tuesday, 17th March 2015 - Balloon and Trees

We had a first for book club holding it at lunchtime at Hunny Beez in Tenterden. Very decadent I found. We have just read Elizabeth is Missing - an amazing book. So very very sad but with some funny touches. We all enjoyed this one. Now we are reading the mammoth book I am Pilgrim - Sarah and I have a head start. My Kindle tells me I have 10 hours and 42 mins remaining!!!

Tim and I went for our mind cleansing walk as the sun was setting.

Brett has made a hole in our bedroom wall. We now have a double entry ensuite.

Balloon and Trees
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 16 March 2015

Monday, 16th March 2015 - The Day After Mothers Day

Nathalie, Harriet and I all being mothers celebrated our status at Cocolicious this morning with coffee and cake. Thank you for the treat Brett. Bella was delighted with her teddy bear biscuit and hot chocolate with cream and marshmallow.

I returned to prepare a room for my bladder man - he is a consultant at Benenden hospital who stays every now and again. He is most charming.

I enjoyed my art class immensely and have started a Klimt style portrait of Tom. He no facial hair or head hair or eyebrows as well as missing pupils - rather frighteneing at present but now I have moved my easel into the house I can progress swimmingly. My tutor gave me many many many necessary tips.

The Day After Mothers Day
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday, 15th March 2015 - Lindsey, Mouse and Arabs in Coats

I have been avalanched with gifts today. Harriet spoiled me with a decadent magazine, some very pretty nail varnish and my favourite zero drink. Tom got me a daylight bulb for my studio. Tim had advised him not to spoil me with flowers from Sophie.

We visited Brenda and had 99p chocolate eclairs I found reduced in Coop with coffee. Then we briefly hit home where I found the most gorgeous bunch of flowers from Tom on the doorstep. So pleased he did not take his fathers advice on this one.

We headed out to to Benton Cottage for a brief walk to The Woodcock. It was nice and warm with tasty cider. We finished with another brief walk to find the weather had not improved. As well as us having to wear coats so were the horses and dog.

While I was importantly watching the Painting Challenge programme Tim recycled my excess french sticks into pizza and pizzaledier, pissaledier, - oh bugger the spelling the one with the onions on.

Harriet and Tom thank you very much for my delightful presents.

Lindsey, Mouse and Arabs in Coats
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Saturday, 14th March 2015 - Animal Antics

Tim gave the grass its first trim of the year in readiness of lots of little ones with parents descending for Bella's party.

What a great party. Organised totally by Harriet. Well done my lovely. Harriet made all the food including animal shaped sandwiches. Organsied Animal Antics to come and entertain the children (oh and Grandma). Tom the girl would have frightened you as she was the Snow Queen on the steam railway a couple of years ago. There was singing and music and a giant snail, a tortoise, a rabbit, a hedgehog and a beautiful soft chinchilla for the children to stroke. Harriet made an amazing Winnie-the-Pooh cake with rainbow sponge and Smartie filling. Pass the parcel and planting sunflowers seeds to take home interspersed with trampolining and terrorising the chickens made for an excellent day.

Tim and our exercised our legs while being blasted by a cold wind. What has happened to our delightful sunny weather.

Animal Antics
Pen with Waterolour
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday, 13th March 2015 - Vintage Fair

Sarah and I visited June in the Town Hall in Tenterden where she was selling her vintage bits and pieces along with some other stall holders. I did not buy anything but like the red spotty jug very much.

June and Barry called in for tea, cake and sparkling wine (I abstained) and an update of all their news.

Vintage Fair
Pen with Watrcolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Thursday, 12th March 2015 - 72 Mini Plugs

Thompson and Morgan have delivered 144 mini mini plug plants. I potted up 72 while the sun shone.

Mike and Pippa came over for a bite to eat and far too much wine.

72 Mini Plugs
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Tuesday, 10th March 2015 - Ice-cream Tuesday

A hot and sunny morning drew us into the garden. I was still in my PJs sorting a large mug of tea at 8.15am - so good not to be working ... it all starts next week.

Tescos has filled my fridge and cupboards with many coloured jellies for a little persons birthday tomorrow.

Harriet, Bella and I met Hetty from playgroup for ice-creams. We ate them on the bench by the village green. Hetty rather liked the choice that Bella had made and there was a fair bit of swapping and sharing for a while.

The trampoline has been well bounced, hopped and rolled on today. Good present Uncle Tom. The card Hetty received from Tom made me produce a couple of tears.

A walk Tim and I took seemed to take me through every available puddle in the woods of Benenden. The mud leaked through the breathable parts of my trainers.

Ice-cream Tuesday
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Monday, 9 March 2015

Monday, 9th March 2015 - Pond Divided by Duck Weed

The sun and its warmth have snuck away today.

I have started an order for 30 greetings cards. So good to be able to spread out in my studio. I got a bit side tracked being surrounded by all those painting materials is just wonderful.

Bella came round with a gift for Granddad. A white chocolate cow that she had just had a tiny lick of. She has great self control to have not eaten it. It is in the fridge waiting to be shared with Hetty.

We went for a walk over the fields and far away this afternoon. Apparently I walk like a duck when I am cold. It was very wet and muddy underfoot so I think I was very sensible.

I am doing a portrait of Tom in my art class. I am trying for an abstract sort of Klimt style painting. The planning is going well with the help of many photos from Tom of his possessions to inspire me.

Pond Divided by Duck Weed
Watercolour Paper

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sunday, 8th March 2015 - Poppy Seed Skeleton

I have been rejuvinated by my holiday. I feel full of the joys of spring.

It was so good to see Hetty and Bella. I have missed them so much. They were delighted with their Chamois and Marmot as well as the purple pasta and four salamis. A cheese one, another flavoured with nuts, as well as a peppered one to go with the herby flavour. We caught up on news over coffee and yummy pancakes made by Brett.

I have done some weeding in the sun and pruned my roses - they are much more compact now.

Tim has replaced the control panel on the boiler. It decided to give up working a couple of days into our holiday which meant a rather chilly upstairs at Little Holt. I think the wood burner prevented any frost bite.

I watched the painting programme while I did some ironing - I love it - what a great bunch of artists.

We finished the evening by watching Poldark - I will be watching that again next Sunday. I don't know who the actor is but he is rather gorgeous.

Poppy Seed Skeleton

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Saturday, 7th March 2015 - Adams Mountain

What another glorious sunny day in Bairet. Our last day. Tim managed to squeeze in a couple of runs before we started our journey home.

We may drive next time due to the following.

We left the chalet at 1pm and drove to the carpark, left our hire car and got a shuttle bus to the airport. Then queued for at least an hour snaking our way to the Easyjet check-in, then walked across the length of Geneva to gate D84, got a bus to the plane. Flew to Gatwick, walked the length of London to  wait and wait for a shuttle bus to take us to the carpark to collect our Volvo, Lastly, we drove home. Hours of wasted time on buses and waiting. Very frustrating.

We returned home to find the wood burner alight and a very welcome dinner prepared by our wonderful Harriet. Harriet, thank you so much for all you have done while we have been away, mostly, keeping up with the massive egg production.

Adams Mountain
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Friday, 6 March 2015

Friday, 6th March 2015 - €4 A Little Beer

What a hot and sunny day.

The ski party said the snow was good but a bit on the busy side.

I walked down to Sixt for a bit of painting. Tim met me at the bar for a beer. I think Steve could smell the yeasty fumes as he passed by in the car and joined us with Zoe and Lizzie.

Lizzie showed me the delights of Tiffani, a newly opened patisserie. We bought individual lemon meringue, a chocolate hedgehog, tarte au citron, a walnut tart, a sort of bake well and a seedy pain - we shared them later in the evening apart from the muffin that Lizzie consumed herself.

This evening we order pizza from the local village. Zoe and I went to collect them along with sachets of picante sauce. We ate them while watching The Imitation Game - brilliant film. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend you do but get the tissues ready. Or was that just me?

€4 A Little Beer
Pen with Watercolour
Watercolour Paper

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Thursday, 5th March 2015 - Disappearing Sun

What a glorious day to have a birthday. Happy birthday Zoe.

The intrepid ones went off to the mountains but a lot of the lifts were shut due to high winds. Tim battled on while the others took to the car and went intoChamonix for a bit of retail enjoyment.

I decided to don boots and ski trousers and head over the back of the chalet to find a waterfall to paint. I got about 50 feet. Each step took me up to and sometimes beyond my knees in snow. Bloody hard going, impossible and not much fun. So, I carefully turned around and headed up the road. Tarmac is a much easier to wander along. How can it be so hot when you are sounded by deep snow. Off came my hat, my gloves, my scarf, I undid my coat then that had to be removed. All stuffed into my pink backpack. All the better to enjoy the stunning scenery. I watched the sun go down behind the mountains. Beautiful.

This evening we celebrate Zoe's birthday with a bottle of local sparkling wine then headed into Sameons for dinner at a fusion restaurant. The brandy, sparkling wine and apple juice cocktail was rather lovely. The food unusual and most delicious. My sushi inspired tempura king prawn was very good looking as well as tasty.

If you are ever fancy some cuisine gourmands et creative while  in Sameons I recommend Le Monde a L'Envers by Boogie & Ko for an enjoyable night out. 

I slept well.

Disappearing Sun
Watercolour Paper

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wednesday, 4th March 2015 - Snow Capped Village

I am writing my blog with a view of snow, blue skies and mountains.

The rain turned to snow loads of non stop snow. The skiers did not hit the slopes until the afternoon and only Steve and Zoe ventured into what were unpleasant conditions. Zoe sustained a slight back and thumb injury.

This morning we drove up to the Fer a Cheval. I borrowed some ski trousers (even now the rustle of the fabric as you walk brings back stomach churning memories). We set off in the snow. It was stunning. It was deep. Just lovely again. We had lunch in the restaurant with the rotating wood burner. Only a light meal of steak and frites and a splash of wine. 

Later we went into Sameons for a wander. Back to the chalet via the supermarket for wine, cider and fizzy water accompanied by a bit of bread. The staples of holidays in France.

Steve made a tasty mushroom risotto to settle us before heading up to bed.

Snow capped Village
Pen with Watercolour
Cloud Textured Paper 140lb

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Tuesday, 3rd March 2015 - Yes, The Sky Is This Blue

It was a fine sunny day. Perfect for a wander with paint, paper, brushes, a cheese sandwich (consumed by the duck pond in Sixt) and the opportunity to soak up the charming eps of being on holiday Lovely, just lovely.

The skiers returned with sweet treats. A bit of relaxing with computers, books a touch of wine in front of the wood burner in the afternoon. Val and Neil, previous boat rental people, came for Raclette. I like this type of meal very much as long as no one pinches your potato and cheese you have been carefully  nurturing to perfection.

Yes, The Sky Is This Blue
Pen with Watercolour
Cloud Textured Paper 140lb

Monday, 2 March 2015

Monday, 2nd March 2015 - Misty Mountains

 The weather has been grey and wet. I was expecting to be alone but as the skiing conditions are not ideal we all went out together. A short drive up to Fer a Cheval to have a hot chocolate by an amazing rotating wood burner. Then off to La Reposette for a very good goats cheese salad with a little wine. Watching the skiers going up and down in the bubble lift had very little appeal. Into Sameons for a bit of shopping. I got a lift (in a car you wouldn't get me in a ski lift) into Sixt where I painted while it sleeted. Tim, Steve and Zoe went for a ski - mad fools. I walked back up to the chalet where we all converged for wine and dinner.

Misty Mountains
Cloud Texture 140lb

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sunday, 1st March 2015 - Tom and Harriet Were Here

Hetty gave us both a hug before we left. Just a small tear from grandma - silly old fool. I don't think anyone noticed.

We have been travelling.

First, a drive to Heathrow to park, next a bus to the airport. A bit of a snack and a read in the BA lounge. Onto the plane with champagne, smoked salmon sandwiches, scones with clotted cream to Geneva. Another bus to collect our rather larger than anticipated hire car with interesting sliding doors. Followed by a drive to Brairet. Then a walk to the chalet through a bit of snow to be greeted by Steve, Zoe and Lizzie for pasta and salmon and a touch of wine. What an excellent way to start our holiday.