Sunday, 30 December 2018

Sunday, 30th December 2018 - Fallen Angel

The green decorations were getting droopy. They are now on the bonfire.

Fallen Angel
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Saturday, 29th December 2018 - The Last Stand

I am watching The ABC Murders eating Christmas Smarties. Brilliant bit of drama with a twist.

The Last Stand
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 28 December 2018

Friday, 28th December 2018 - Shooting Clays

Tom left us this morning. It was a short but very sweet stay. Exciting times Dr Dwyer.

The weather was perfect for a touch of clay pigeon shooting at The Joys. We were thoroughly entertained and gorgeously fed. I think the Hendricks and Cointreau in my hip flask helped me with my shooting but sent me to sleep when I got home.

 A bit of Agatha Christie was a good way to end the day.

I am considering Minimalism.

Shooting Clays
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Thursday, 27th December 2018 - Mist Near Hartley

What a lovely way to spend a morning at Little Holt. Brett made proper from scratch waffles and coffee while we opened our presents. I am very delighted with the present from my children. They are taking me to see the Full Monty in Canterbury. How spoilt am I .... but I deserve it.

We had a sibling meeting this afternoon with Mum. It must be lovely to have us altogether. I wonder if she feels this?

Sarah and Nigel entertained us this afternoon with exercise followed by refreshments. This was a delay in previous arrangeent due to Sarah having some nasty virus/bug I didn't want to share with her.

Tonight it is Tom's last night with us. It has been too too short and I will miss him terribly. I don't think he understands this attachment.

Mist Near Hartley
Charcoal and Watercolour

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Wednesday, 26th December 2018 - Cake Smash

After lunch with a few extra family members we watched Bella attack a cake made by Hetty. The fruity bottom was well fed with brandy and kirsch. She then made an igloo from white chocolate and filled it with a polar bear family which was only revealed with Bella and her hammer.

We popped into see Mum.

Yes, Bella and Harriet do have pink hair.

Cake Smash
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Tuesday, 25th December 2018 - A Deer and A Unicorn

Father Christmas left us all stockings and presents under the tree.

The weather for perfect for a Treasure Hunt from house to garden to woods.

The sprouts were perfectly cooked.

A Deer and A Unicorn
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 24 December 2018

Monday, 24th December 2018 - Watching Shaun The Sheep

I fully prepared for Christmas Day. The sprouts are cooking.

Watching Shaun The Sheep
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Sunday, 23rd December 2018 - Christmas Tissues

I rather like Tonbridge. Tim and I strolled the High Street to deliver the last of the Christmas cards before returning the the house by the river for breakfast and copious amounts of rehydrating tea. Thank you for the sleepover.

We hit Tunbridge Wells with a million other shoppers. Our car was there so it was necessary to return. We found what we needed. June and Barry were home so we popped in. We were greeted with bucks fizz, coffee (I needed that) pastries (I really needed them) and toast (I didn't need but really wanted). What a marvelous way to reinvigorate before heading to Sainsburys.

Aroound about 6.35pm I had a Snowball (with a touch of gin) I think these are more of an afternoon drink as they are sweet and would go nicely with a piece of Stollen.

Our kitchen smells of sugar/cider roasted ham.

Harriet knows me so well.

Christmas Tissues
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Saturday, 22nd December 2018 - Nearly Sixty

What a mighty warm day. We had the back door open. Herbie and I took in some vitamin D.

This evening we joined Nigel and celebrated his 60th birthday even though it is tomorrow. We had dinner in the Havana room at Hotel du Vin. I had a tart, sea bass and cheese cake diluted with wine. A very fine way to spend an evening. It was good to catch up with Sam, Harry and the stunning looking Sophie. We got a cab back to Tonbridge and stayed with John and Diane. We hardly ever would do this so it made for an expanding experience. I was disappointed that we did not get a turn down service - no chocolates on the pillow.

Nearly Sixty
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 21 December 2018

Friday, 21st December 2018 - Winter Solstice

Something happened when my alarm went off this morning. I closed my eyes - they may not have even been opened - and went back to sleep. I have spent the rest of the day feeling guilty for being a lummox. I don't think my Solstice paths have lined up yet.

I briefly visited Mum. I could hear her having a major complain about something or other from the corridor. It was a swift visit.

Tony dropped in a duck. A dead duck. Tim did something tasty with it for dinner. I do like duck.

Winter Solstice

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Thursday, 20th December 2018 - Christmas Party

I had a great evening with my arty mates at The Weald of Kent Art Society Christmas party. David Aspinall gave an amazing watercolour demonstration which was divided by mulled wine and nibbles.

Christmas Party

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Wednesday, 19th December 2018 - Mum

I got the rare chance to read to Hetty and Bella. We sat on the sofa under the Christmas tree wrapped in a blanket. A moment to treasure. Then they put the chocolate decorations on the tree. They had to be taste tested so there are a few less than when we started.

I got the rare chance to read to Mum this afternoon. She had a letter from a friend. I was going to write 'news' letter but aren't all letters full of news.

I adore my advent calender from Tom. I am going to be so soft from my body to my hands and well you will have to admire my cuticles and kiss my tender lips.


Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Tuesday, 18th December 2018 - Brussels

It has been a long time since Sarah and I have met for coffee and a shared bacon roll at Cocolicious. We spent a lot of time buying totally unnecessary things in Stoneydale, the DIY shop and COOP but I did need the cloves from Vegetare.

Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 17 December 2018

Monday, 17th December 2018 - Reservation

My Christmas tree lights don't work - all four damn strings.

We have the tree up but it is looking a little naked with just a fairy on top.

We have a most pleasant evening at The Halfway House with Tony, Wendy and Alan. The food was much better than I anticipated. Duck followed by Cappuccino creme brulee was delicious. I am a little concerned for Alan's constitution as he ate the most enormous bowl of crumble and custard.

Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Sunday, 16th December 2018 - Pomander

I am feeling weepy and emotional today. I have an eye infection so am looking charming.

I was meant to be singing carols with the Weald of Kent Morris this evening. This is one of my favourite events of the year but wasn't well enough to go. I was most pissed off. I stayed at home and stuck cloves into an orange and drank ginger wine.


Saturday, 15 December 2018

Saturday, 15th December 2018 - Smart Casual

The house is festooned with greenery - well up the stairs.

Mum is always so delighted to see me that I feel guilty I don't visit more often. She was very pleased with her red cardigan with the gold buttons to wear on Christmas Day.

We went on a search for a Christmas tree. We came home without one. Maybe we wont have one this year.

What a bloody miserable wet, windy and cold afternoon.

This evening we have a delightful evening at The Carters. Linda made us some glorious stroganoff and a rather delicious winter crumble. I love going to their house. It is like walking into the pages of Country Living magazine.

Smart Casual
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 14 December 2018

Friday, 14th December 2018 - Si's Cockerals

Following our sleepover we were again thoroughly spoilt with a delicious breakfast. I forgot to pack my skirt. Either everyone was too polite or they just thought that was my mode of dress for the day as no one mentioned my skirtless attendance at the breakfast table.

Back home I was feeling a tad rough. A walk to Benenden Girls School to help Hetty and Bella spend money at the Christmas market cleared my head a bit.

Si's Cockerels

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Thursday, 13th December 2018 - Black Ties

Rye was surprisingly quiet considering it was market day. We have enormous cauliflowers to adorn with cheese sauce. I found Mum's red cardigan with the gold buttons that she wants to wear Christmas day along with some baubles that took me back to being a child at Christmas. We had lunch with Brenda at The Coastguards cafe. The very amicable waitress made up for the mediocre food.

This evening we celebrated 40ish years of the Christmas dinner party club. Tim and Si being original members the rest of us have joined at various points over the years. It was an evening of Baccus, oysters for the brave, lobster, beef and a flaming pudding. We had a sleepover in the elegance of Albans barnyard cottage.

Black Ties
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Wednesday, 12th December 2018 - Innkeepers

Oh Theresa May!!!

It is the festive season coming up and one has to be looking at their best. So armpits, legs and toes need hair removal. Eyebrows need plucking and shaping plus a few facial furry bits. Private parts need trimming, tidying and a swipe of Immac. Guys get it easy with a shave and at the most a few nose and ear whiskers.

Tim and I walked into the village to see Bella being a tango dancing inn keeper. She was fantastic. There were a lot of t-towels needed. A memorable Nativity.

Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Tuesday, 11th December 2018 - Herbie and I

Herbie has been singing (I couldn't quite make out the words) and dancing to Alexa's choice of Christmas carols. I found it very entertaining.

Today I have been receiving parcels from Hermes which a few will need to be returned.

Tim cut some logs yesterday. It has been a mild day but the need to have the woodburner crackling while we watch Blood was essential.

Herbie and I
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 10 December 2018

Monday, 10th December 2018 - Field of Sheep

Harriet, Herbie and I braved the outskirts of Ashford for a bit of Christmas shopping. We came back not too heavily ladened. The Elves delivered Christmas jumpers to Harriet with motion sensored flashing lights, Hetty has a fluffy lama, Bella has a penguin with a baby on a ribbon, Herbie has a reindeer with bobbles and Brett has festive pants. They all look excellent - I didn't ask to see Brett in his pants.

After a glass of Baccus I felt relaxed enough to tackle my oil paints.

Field of Sheep

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sunday, 9th December 2018 - Blank Canvas

Hetty has been making and building with gingerbread. Not a gingerbread house. It is a bomb shelter. Rather amazing too.

Bella and Hetty helped me put out the recycling. Bella pulled the brown bin. It is bigger than she is but she is a determined little soul. I noticed some of the recycled cardboard got recycled back for junk modelling. Sorry Harriet.

I tried to do an oil painting this evening. I failed and wiped it off ready for another day.

Blank Canvas
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Saturday, 8th December 2018 - Naked Morris Man

My cold has increased in ferocity as the day has gone on. I tried to kill it with a whisky Mac and Gwen's vodka and gin, oh and a cider. We spent a few hours in Marden where The Weald of Kent Morris danced festively.

Naked Morris Man
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 7 December 2018

Friday, 7th December 2018 - Friday Night In

A cold has caused a dip in my usual jolly demeanor. I can recommend three remedies. The first is Lemsip with honey. The second is a play date with Herbie and jam jar lids that are perfect for chasing around the kitchen floor. The third is a parcel in the post from Tom (yes, another one) containing Green and Blacks chocolate.

Friday Night In
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Thursday, 6th December 2018 - Advent Calendar

I got an exciting parcel in the post from The Elves. It was a Cath Kidston advent calendar. It was from a very big Elf called Tom who had noticed my whinge about not having one. How lovely. I am going to smell gorgeous.

It took a while for me to get to see Mum today as Tescos and Waitrose crossed my path first. I now have cranberries stashed in the freezer. Mum is being fortified with antibiotics. She was full of frustrations. I arrived at lunchtime to find her eating pureed food. The nurse refusing to give her this has left. She must have more influence over the new one. It looked pretty unappetising and totally unnecessary. BUT you try telling her she is quite capable of chewing a bit of broccoli.

As I type I am baby sitting my grandchildren. At the moment it is all peaceful and fingers crossed it stays that way I don't think I could cope with all three at once. This is a rare occasion. I hope Mr and Mrs Evans have a good night out.

Advent Calendar
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wednesday, 5th December 2018 - Herbie After His Egg

Herbie dislikes trips out in the car. I had him while Harriet dropped the girls at school. He hadn't had breakfast so I made him a boiled egg and soldiers. He found you can't drink the egg, but bread dipped in the yolk was good, the shell was not such a great success. We had a fine time.

I have work again today inbetween wrapping presents.

This afternoon Hetty and Bella were singing carols with the school at Benenden Hospital. I slipped in. They had a wonderful tree which Herbie and I admired. Dr Hilary Jones (you know the morning TV doctor) tried to engage with us, Herbie gave him a Paddington stare and I wondered about wind blown state. The press people took photos of us - I wish they hadn't. It wasn't my best celebrity moment.

Herbie After His Egg
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Tuesday, 4th December 2018 - Teatime at Little Holt

I am drinking Hendricks and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic water - it looks so pretty and tastes even better.

What a day I have had. It has been a wondrous day and I still have dinner of reduced beetroot felafel to eat with Tim when he has finished webinaring.

My 'buoyant in the morning' husband' woke me with joyous mentions of the sunrise and moon. I couldn't see it from my side of the bed but took his word for it.

We had book group. How fantastic is that!!! It has been seven months since our last one. We are all well and healthy and back to reading. We had coffee and lunch at Little Montalbaniano's in Tenterden. I have missed these get-togethers very much and am delighted we are back. Thank you Sarah for the 'proper' book.

I am listening to Roisin O'Farrell while painting and typing. She is teaching me how to paint in oils and is the most patient and dedicated person to her art. I am being told how to become an the work!!!. Fair enough.

Just a addendum - I love my family being next door. They need more space so I need to make the most of them being there for now.

Teatime at Little Holt
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 3rd December 2018 - Coffee Aftermath

Woohoo I cooked poached eggs and sausages (not my idea of a charming breakfast) for my guest. I was so delightful that I even gave him a lift to Benenden Girls School where he was working. I didn't get a tip!!!

I drove to where the asparagus is sold - now it is Christmas trees and the most beautiful wreaths. I met with Pippa, Lesley and June. I was delighted to see Linda there too. After a wander around The Three French Hens Brocante we descended upon Sissinghurst Gardens. You can get a coffee and a very nice cheese scone with friends where they sell the plants. 

This evening it was our Christmas party at my art class. We painted then ate sausage rolls and tarts off paper plates while discussing our work. It was lovely. I finished my painting of Venice, or so I thought....Caroline suggested I sanded out a rather bright section. Of course she is right and I will.

Coffee Aftermarth
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Sunday, 2nd December 2018 - The Star, Rolvenden

It is Sunday. I set my alarm. Otherwise I am a lazy lummox and will slob around until midday in my dressing gown. At the time of typing I wish I hadn't set my alarm and was still in my pj's. But that would have not been cordial for Tony and Wendy when walking the fields of Rolvenden. We walked from Benenden to Rolvenden surreptitiously passing by The Star to check on the status of the football. There was a free table near the window and away from the big screen which looked too inviting not to take. I had a Magners and a rose wine and feeling most relaxed.

Also the Tescos drivers have seen me too many times in my night attire that it may have been noted on their systems. Today I was fully dressed. Tick to me.

It is Sunday. We have curry tonight. Tim found the recipe and I have cooked it. I just hope that while we eat Dr Who is better entertainment than last week and the week before.

I think I am feeling rather grumpy today.

The Star, Rolvenden
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Saturday, 1st December 2018 - After Show Drinks

Today I was stewarding followed by taking down the pictures from The Weald of Kent Art Society exhibition. Hopefully we broke even. I blame the poor weather on lack of sales. I bought all my paintings home with me but at least I have something for the Sutton Valence show in the spring. We refreshed and revived ourselves in the pub. I met Tim at Mike and Pippa's. Pippa and I had a gin and tonic. It was a momentous moment as she has not had a G&T since April.

I can't find where the elves have left my advent calender?!?

After Show Drinks
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 30 November 2018

Friday, 30th November 2018 - Pink Clouds

After work Harriet and I went and had a decadent coffee at Hartley Dyke without children. Actually I had tea as I had eaten half a bag of fruit liquorice that were full of E numbers and was feeling a bit peculiar.

Pink Clouds

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Thursday, 29th November 2018 - Tom and Paintings

I have had to do proper paid work today. I was due for a scheduled break at 2pm for a walk. I had a surprise to find Tom in my kitchen. What a great son I have. He drove 3 hours just to come and see my paintings in the exhibition. I was so touched by this that I took him out for a bit of lasagne afterwards. He is driving back home as I type. Most importantly he caught up with his sister, nieces and nephew.

Herbie was a little delight today. I built a tower, he knocked it over and repeat. It was the chuckling that was adorable.

I am not sure I can remember how to cook a full English breakfast.

Tom and Paintings
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Wednesday, 28th November 2018 - Reduced Donut

Tim and I were the leaf team today. Good thing we ventured out this morning as the weather was disgusting this afternoon.

Menopause!!! I thought I had been through this. I have coped with my thermostat being too high in the night by getting up in my pj's with bare feet on the cold kitchen tiles to cool me down. Is it not bad enough to know one is shrivelling, drying up and redundant in the body? I should have known my journey was continuing when Barbara Streisand made me cry. Hey ho on we go. 

Reduced Donut
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Tuesday, 27th November 2018 - Solitary Rose

Today I spent quite a lot of time standing by the printer feeding in 60 sheets of card one by one. Good thing I am a patient person. They are going to be crafted into glorious Christmas cards for my dear friends and family.

Blimey. It is like Groundhog day in the garden with the leaf clearing. It was raining too. My work was rewarded by finding a rose amongst all the decay.

Solitary Rose

Monday, 26 November 2018

Monday, 26th November 2018 - Fairy Shelter

I have had a marvelous in my studio doing my art class homework. I took a break to rake leaves which are now falling in great abundance from the trees. There are awful lot of fungi in the garden. That

I took Mum her shopping. She now has a nice new pair of roomy trousers with a useful elastic waistband and a voluminous grey cardigan. I have not been to see her for quite a guilty while. All seems well with flashing Christmas trees adorning the nursing home which is filling up with residents. Mum takes refuge in her room when she has enough of the other inmates.

My tutor Caroline gave an inspirational art class this evening.

Fairy Shelter
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Sunday, 25th November 2018 - Pat and Postcards

The Weald of Art Society Winter Exhibition is up and running and looking wonderful. With a few others I have hung pictures, drank tea and ate doughnuts, set up the bar, drank the wine while mingling with other artists. What a wonderful way to spend a day.

Pat and Postcards
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Saturday, 24th November 2018 - Pond and Trees

We had toast and jam with Steve and Zoe before they headed off in different directions.

I have painted 40 cards and signed my paintings in anticipation of tomorrow. Tim has been sorting out the technical printing/labels/hangers - the boring bits. I should really be packing my cards but get side tracked by trawling the internet for dressing gowns for Hetty and Bella.

We watched a couple of episodes of Luther. I can't decide whether I find him attractive or not. Good series anyway.

Pond and Trees

Friday, 23rd November 2018 - Bella's Assembly

I have designed my Christmas cards. Tim has printed the skeleton which needed a few alterations to come up to my exacting standards. He is a patient man. BUT He did ask me to make any alterations I wanted. Now I just need to get 40 printed, painted and packaged by Sunday for the Weald of Kent Art Society Exhibition. AND You will be pleased to know that during my absence in Brussels with Teresa May, the varnish has dried on my oil paintings. I now just have to get them in the frames, taped and labelled.

Bella had a her class assembly in the church this afternoon. I proudly watched and wept just a little. I think the chocolate we brought home from Brussels was a perfect 'well done' gift. It certainly gave her some bounce. How lucky we are to be able to be part of the growing up of our grandchildren.

Steve and Zoe arrived this afternoon. We joined in the festivities in Tenterden. The lighting of the Christmas tree was a truly magnificent event. I became thoroughly soaked in mulled beverages.

Tonight it is a sketch of the gorgeous Bella as I need to get up early and paint some cards.

Goodnight my lovelies.

Bella's Assembly
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 19 November 2018

Monday, 19th November 2018 - Egg Mayonnaise

My oil paintings have been varnished. I have never done this before and forgot to sign them. BUT I have used retouching varnish and can do it later according to the internet.

I have made bread and egg mayonnaise ready to combine into sandwiches for our trip on the Eurostar tomorrow.

Egg Mayonnaise 

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Sunday, 18th November 2018 - Fungi on the Lawn

I took my sensitive head into the garden to rake leaves managing to dodge the bees on the way to the compost heap.

Fungi on the Lawn

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Saturday, 17th November 2018 - Mountfield Road

I am on the lookout for new boots. As we were heading into Tunbridge Wells for the evening so it seemed sensible to go via the shops. Next, nothing there, TK Max, nothing took my fancy there, Asda had slippers in abundance and cat food for our senior cat.

June and Barry fed us a delicious meal. The fish was particularly tasty. The wine copious. The company of Si, Lesley (thank you for the beautifully wrapped eggs) Nick and Alli made for a wonderful evening.

Mountfield Road
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 16th November 2018 - Talking to the Manager

I have my new work diary for 2019. I am worryingly pleased that it is purple. I have had black or silver for so many year. It is a thrill to have a coloured one.

It was a belated birthday celebration for Tim with Sarah and Nigel at The Great House. Matt Brooks sang beautifully for us while we choose from the menu. I was very impressed with the food being something that I would not cook at home. My Scallops and loin were delicious, oh and the brioche and butter pudding with orange custard. Good choice Sarah.

Talking to the Manager
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Thursday, 15th November 2018 - Trees in the Mist

My nights are being disturbed by a malfunction with my temperature control. 

Trees in the Mist

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Wednesday, 14th November 2018 - Knife and Paint

I have been in my studio oil painting. I am not sure where time has gone and why it takes four hours to paint a four inch square canvas.

Knife and Paint
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Tuesday, 13th November 2018 - Cardigan Shopping

Following a night of battering rain I found the garden surprisingly charming to work in. My hens have stopped laying eggs in preference for moutling. They look very odd without tails.

I spent a couple of hours with Mum this afternoon. She was in a fine mood and rather chatty. I found out that I had a great aunt called Hepzibah. What a great name.  I came home needing tea, copious amounts of tea.

Cardigan Shopping
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 12 November 2018

Monday, 12th November 2018 - WOKAS Committee Meeting

It was a hectic Weald of Kent Art Society meeting around Clive's dining room table with apple cake made by Maggie.

Committee Meeting
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday, 10th November 2018 - Happy Birthday Innis

Walking through the forest with Tony and Wendy was muddy underfoot but pleasant above. We had tea and biscuits in the garden. Who says there is not climate change???

I have another jug painted for an exhibition at the end of the month. I am getting to understand oil paints slowly. Two done, two to go.

This evening we helped Innis celebrate becoming sixty at Chart Hills Golf Club with champagne.

Happy Birthday Innis
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 9 November 2018

Friday, 9th November 2018 - Promenade Along The Grand Parade

We headed down to Mum's house to continue with the clearing. It is great that she has good neighbours keeping a close eye on the place. After a tiring and emotional few hours we headed into St Leonards. There are some beautiful houses with sea views I wouldn't mind living in. We met Ewan and Chris in the relaxed atmosphere of Half Man Half Burger. Guess what I had to eat? If you are passing that way pop in.

Promenade Along The Grand Parade
Pen and Watercolour