Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Wednesday, 28th February 2018 - Before Storm Emma

Mum called me. It seems a glass half full is now half empty. I wait in anticipation of her next ailment. Oh blimey.

The snowfall was so mighty overnight that it has blanked out the eyes on our snow pyramids. The house is growing icicles.

We took a glorious walk through the snowy landscape. It was damn chilly on our faces.

I have got a bit obsessed with the weather forecast. I have an app on my phone, I listen to Radio 2 and 4, intermingle it with Radio Kent and am now watching the news where I get to see it twice.

Before Storm Emma
Mixed Media
140lb Torchon
35cm x 26cm

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Tuesday, 27th February 2018 - Woozles

That was quite a snowfall to wake up to. I had suggested my guest parked up by the church just in case of an undriveable drive. Which it was. Which was good. Which meant he could get to work. Which meant I didn't have to help dig him an exit.

I find watching the snow fall mesmerising.

Tim walked to The Bull for a pint with Tony and Wendy. I stayed at home to let my pulled rib (own home diagnosis) to recover. It was better enough to join Hetty, Bella and Harriet on a woozle hunt in the garden. We didn't find any heffalumps either. We did make snow pyramids with nut features.

Clairefontaine 140lb Torchon
26cm x 16cm

Monday, 26 February 2018

Monday, 26th February 2018 - In Anticipation of Snow

Strangely, the threatening cold Siberian blast has brought an influx of bed and breakfast enquiries. The cat prevented one due to allergies. I wonder if people are hunkered up in the warm surfing on their computers.

I tried to enthuse a smile out of Herbie. None for Grandma today. Something over my shoulder got one.

I got a message from Chris saying Mum was feeling glum. I took a trip through exciting snow flurries to see her. She was in a thoroughly good mood and kept her eyes open for the majority of my visit. She even seemed up to having Hetty and Bella going to see her. Possibly Chris is getting the backlash for leaving her and going on holiday.

My art class has been cancelled this evening. I am terribly miffed. I should shut myself away in my studio for a couple of hours and work on my project but I don't want to miss out on the events happening in the kitchen.

In Anticipation of Snow
140lb Clairefontaine Torchon
25cm x 17cm

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunday, 25th February 2018 - Time to Leave

Blimey. I wasn't expecting that. The Archers was sadly dramatic.

I am sad about Emma Chambers. Alice Tinker made many more than just myself laugh.

I have nearly finished painting the panelling in the bathroom. Snow Patrol is an excellent painting companion.

Tim and I headed to The Bell and Jorrocks this afternoon. I was disappointed to have missed The Trunkles Invicta Velum Banjo Band but the singing led by Michael was fun.

The temperature is dropping. We found a nasty bit of ice in the dip on Chapel Lane.

Time to Leave
Pen and Watercolour
140lb Clairefontaine
22cm x 16cm

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Saturday, 24th February 2018 - Sow in the Woods

Herbie met Fizz for the first time today. He seems to be a morning person and wakes up full of coos and smiles. Not like his grandma. Fizz visited Mum who is still feeling positively chirpy and reducing her drugs. I find this sudden turnabout quite astounding.

While brushing my teeth and balancing my Kindle I felt sad. Actually, no not sad, more nostalgic. It got me thinking about the library I used to go to as a child on a Saturday and during the holidays. I think it was in Hayes. The atmosphere of a library is a unique phenomenon. And then there were one's own cardboard tickets with handwriting on. I liked to see when the book had been last taken out and how long for. I don't think there is anything that equates to that feeling anymore. Will the next generation suffer for not having the peace and quiet in their minds? Will their brains have the capacity to cope with the instant stimulation that the constantly updating world forces upon them?

An afternoon walk was not as ferocious with cold as the weather forecast told me. There were loads of people and dogs braving the elements before the big freeze comes. And a pig.

Sow in the Woods
140lb NOT

Friday, 23 February 2018

Friday, 23rd February 2018 - Shape Assembly

I got a break in decorating the bathroom to go and see Hetty being a triangle in her class assembly. Seeing one of the girls help a boy reading his lines was adorable. Hetty's performance was a triumph. Well done Hetty.

Shape Assembly
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
20cm x 15cm

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Thursday, 22nd February 2018 - Six Weeks to Sixty Years

Tim's brother called in today with a few family members. I met eight month old Frances for the first time. She gets worried when not in her mum's arms. Her nearly three year old brother Ethan came too. The black pen he got on his face is washable I think. The kitchen was filled with four grandparents, five grandchildren, four mothers, four brothers, seven sisters, eleven cousins, five first cousins once removed, two husbands and four wives. There were only eleven people here. The bigger the families expand the harder it is to get together. Tim's Mum is planning a lunch in June instead of meeting up at Christmas when everyone is busy, the sun is diminished in appearance and cold bugs are prevalent. A jolly fine plan.

A text message told me Mum is happy and fluffy. I presume she has had her hair washed.

Six Weeks to Sixty Years
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
22cm x 15cm

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wednesday, 21st February 2018 - Primula vulgaris

It has been a foggy day. The glow of tiny primroses emitted at the verge of our woods.

Reports from Oakside are that Mum is topnotch today. Woohoo. Her three wheeler was proving to be a too speedy a mode of transport so she now has a zimmer in her bedroom and one in the lounge. She has zimmers galore. Getting old sucks.

If you ask me to do something I will if I can (and want to). Sometimes I may unwittingly forget. Mention it too many times and I wittingly forget. So what if I am feeling bloody minded.

Primula vulgaris
Pen and Watercolour
320gsm Khadi Paper
21cm x 15cm

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Tuesday, 20th February 2018 - Lambs Tails

Herbie held my hand in the back of the car on our trip to see Mum. This is the first time he has met his great grandmother and slept happily in her arms. We discussed painkillers (cut back on the morphine), nursing homes (not necessary she doesn't need a hoist) and exercise (walking to and from the toilet is possibly not enough).

A walk in the rain cleared my head. Blimey the mozzarella in the village shop is expensive.

We have found The X-Files on Netflix. My love for Fox has been rekindled. I am in for some nervous night toilet trips.

Lambs Tails
Watercolour and Ink
140lb Smooth
28cm x 20cm

Monday, 19 February 2018

Monday, 19th February 2018 - Snowdrops

What is that song by Savage Garden? Santa Monica - "on the telephone line I am wouldn't know the difference, Or would you?" This was my Mum on the phone this morning. Her story was in complete contradiction to the staff. I think she may need occupying so I am going on a search for codeword books tomorrow.

Back to class for me this evening. A new project is providing me with a furrowed brow. I have an idea and need to turn the words into a sketch followed by a picture. An absorbing evening.

Acrylic Ink and Watercolour
140lb CP
29cm x 21cm

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sunday, 18th February 2018 - Walking in Ewhurst

What a cracker of a day. It is a joy, when not wanting to leave the warmth of my bed, a ferocious sunrise was there to greet mw. Good morning world. I will listen but cannot speak until I have imbibed a mug of tea.

Tim and I collected Tony and Wendy. We walked near Bodiam Castle for a couple of hours finishing with a drink at The Castle Inn. Tony and I discussed the turbulence of mothers, the disappointment of eating out and joys of cooking.

If Mum doesn't start moving her legs she may never get to go back to her own home. That is dispiriting and sad.

Walking in Ewhurst
140lb NOT
25cm x 18cm

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Saturday, 17th February 2018 - Eighteen Warm Eggs

Blimey it turned out hot today. I escaped the house after looking after guests. We all got a good dose of vitamin D. I weeded with the company of my escapee hens. Hetty and Bella played intricate games involving sticks, stones and flowers. The sun made Herbie corrugate his brow. Even the bees found it hot enough to leave their hive. Michael, the bee guru, confirmed it is time to started feeding the bees syrup.

Have you every tried a Toffifee? They are delicious little morsels of toffee, hazelnut, topped with a chocolate button. Great little treats for the weekend.

We are six episodes into a series called Hard Sun. It is getting very convoluted. It is a non traditional murder mystery with a touch of science fiction. I am loving it. I was loving it! Apparently that was it. Finished. The finale. But I have so many unanswered questions. How frustrating.

Eighteen Warm Eggs
140lb NOT
30cm x 20cm

Friday, 16 February 2018

Friday, 16th February 2018 - Oakside at 17:50

Some days, today is one of them, a few irritating, and probably irrational, little things accumulate into one big bloody 'hack-off'. And the sun is shining and the sky is blue and everyone around me are good and happy. But let me just wallow. For a little while, in my world of irritability. I will be out of it soon and back with you.

Here I am.

This afternoon I visited Mum. The heat of the home is stifling. I discarded my scarf, coat and jumper before I could concentrate on what Mum was talking about. An hour later and I still was not sure what I had heard. She has the worst pain she has ever had but I am not sure where it is now or is she. Added to her spasming back is coccyx (this needs to be x-rayed for possible cancer) and ribs. I think she is confused on her opiates. I am confused without them but left feeling inclined to find some. I got chips instead.

Oakside at 17:50
Charcoal and Watercolour
140lb NOT
22cm x 18cm

Thursday, 15th February 2018 - After The Mercy

A phone call in the night informed us Mum was in hospital. This morning she is back at Oakside and recovering in her room. Things are improving in many ways.

I have returned the clothing that did not fit myself, Bella, Hetty and Herbie's duplicates. So many mistaken double buys just shows my enthusiasm with the 'add to basket' button.

Weald of Kent Art Society had a great talk this afternoon by Sue Scullard. A lady of intricate patience. She demonstrated inking and printing a couple of boxwood woodcuts. They are tiny and beautiful. A very inspiring couple of hours.

We popped over to Si and Lesley's, along with Nick, Alli, June, Barry, Nick and Suzy, for a pre cinema pasta and lasagna (two ways) and pizza (many ways) and salads and garlic bread and fruit salad before heading to the Odeon. The Mercy I found to be a rather heart squeezing film about a man's failure to circumnavigate the globe in his homemade sailing boat. Being based on a true story makes it even more painful. Colin Firth was surprisingly attractive. Jamie Pope played his part with gusto.

After The Mercy
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
20cm x 15cm

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Wednesday, 14th February 2018 - Mysterious Flowers

I got a Valentine card from a mystery man. It was "created with love by Tim 2018'. I may have clue as to whom this is from.

LeeLee and I were working on our number skills. We were cutting some picture mounts. The math gets confusing when it is so simple.

Sophie from Astilbe & Sorrel turned up on my back door step behind a glorious bouquet of flowers. Another mystery for me to solve. The card reads 'I love you more than the finest wine. Will you be my teetotal Valentine?' I wonder? Thank you my mystery man they are beautiful and very much appreciated.

Mysterious Flowers
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
26cm x 18cm

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Tuesday, 13th February 2018 - Tom's Biscotti Recipe

I have found this guy called Emil on Facebook. He keeps sending me video. I have about a dozen stored away in my saved folder. I watched one today while I was sewing up Herbie's hat. It was very informative.

Ironing shirts is mind numbingly boring, monotonous, tedious....and they just get worn and have to be done again and again.

I was meant to be going out with a friend today but husbands and car repairs got in the way. Bugger.

Mum, my dear Mum. Her lost phone book and mobile phone charger have turned up. She had them all along. She is still waiting for the District Nurse to do her deed. A conversation with Lucy revealed Mum is not happy with her new ensuite room. There are no grab rails by the bed. She doesn't have these at home. The bed is not a hospital bed. She doesn't have this at home. She couldn't possible use the armchair as once she got in would not be able to get out. Fair enough. She told the staff she couldn't walk, not knowing any better they have been wheeling her around in a wheelchair. Oh Mum that is naughty.

I have refilled our Kilner jar with biscotti.

Tom's Biscotti Recipe
Charcoal and Watercolour
140lb NOT
28cm x 20cm

Monday, 12 February 2018

Monday, 12th February 2018 - Breakout at The Holt

I used to dream of men and flying. Last night I dreamt I drank a glass of wine!!!

Hetty and Bella are enjoying the freedom of half term as much as our hens. Three have escaped over the electric fence to wreck the garden.

Sarah and I revisited Cocolicious to confirm that the bacon roll and chilli jam is a notch above Arthur's. We had important matters to discuss. My tasks were thwarted by the jewellery shop being shut, the fabric shop being understocked and the sale in Phillips Mans Shop had bargain gloves for people with very short fingers but they were only a £1 a pair. They have two boxes left if you get down there quick. I decided to get the girls a couple of art magazines. I found one in Pages but left it on the shelf as one is no good when you are buying for two. I rummaged amongst the racks in Coop unearthing one there. This I purchased. Now I only have one. I needed to return to Pages at great speed to buy the other one before someone else got it. A brisk walk was my reward.

Mum is being sorted out tomorrow by the District Nurse. I think I will give it a day or two for the air to clear before I visit again.

Breakout at The Holt
140lb NOT
28cm x 20cm

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Sunday, 11th February 2018 - Mum at Oakside

Mum was pleased to see photos of her great grandchildren but not much else pleased her. A Sunday Mail (her favourite reading material), cakes and biscuits were all rejected. She will be fine hopefully by this time tomorrow. No more details are necessary. The staff are awesome and made of stronger stuff than I.

I have been knitting a hat for Herbie. He has grown. A bigger one is on the way Herbs.

Hetty and Bella read to me. Then decided to read the books backwards causing much merriment. What a delightful pair.

Tim and I heaved our wellies through muddy woods and fields. We watched the weather fronts collide in the sky.

Mum at Oakside
140lb NOT
26cm x 18cm

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Saturday, 10th February 2018 - Elements of Soup

The fixed leaking shower left a ceiling stain. We have a can of this marvellous paint that stops the stain coming through the emulsion. It smells good and solventy too. I finished the ceiling today. A rubbish job was made bearable with the companionship of Savage Gardens.

I am mourning the end of a book. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is over 800 pages of beautiful engrossment.

Mum has moved into a care home to recover before going home. We hope. She is not happy for umpteen reasons. Nor would I be. Not even the morphine would entice me. Or would it?

Elements of Soup
Watercolour and Charcoal
140lb NOT
28cm x 18cm

Friday, 9 February 2018

Friday, 9th February 2018 - Sharing Twiglets

Hetty and her french group entertained us with a rendition of Alouette. I have just checked the spelling on Google. I also found out the song is about plucking feathers, beak, eyes from a lark in retribution for being woken by its song or it could be preparing the lark to be eaten. I don't think I will pass this information onto Hetty.

A couple of campanologists tried to recruit Tim. He resisted. For now.

There were a couple of phone messages on our return. One from Social Adult Care. They have found a place for Mum in a care home in Northiam. This is great. A message from a very fed up, drugged up mother. They have worked quickly to help her. A faster pace than Mum can cope with.

At 6pm we went for a quick drink at Larkins in Cranbrook. Sarah and Nigel kept us company. It was 9.10pm when we left to find the chip shop shut. I love a bowl of rice crispies with cold milk. They taste soooo good.

Sharing Twiglets
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
22cm x 18cm

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Thursday, 8th February 2018 - Double Berets

Pippa, Linda and Mandi the founders of the Three French Hens held 'Romantic Evening Brocante' in a barn at Silcocks. There was wine, raspberries, beer, french inspired food and lots of home and garden items to buy. It was incredibly busy. I wont say anything about June dropping a glass jar. I had a lovely time and came away wishing I had bought the bird bath to hang in a tree.

Mum is in hospital having morphine, codeine and tramadol or was it diazepam? She was taken by ambulance early this morning. I didn't know until her neighbour phoned to say she couldn't find her. Harriet tracked her down with a couple of phone calls. She is being well looked after and should be home very soon.

Why aren't there any brazil nuts in my mixed nuts?

Double Berets
Watercolour and Charcoal
140lb NOT
25cm x 19cm

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wednesday, 7th February 2018 - Woman in the Snow

Good luck keeping up with this one....

I phoned Mum to tell her that Herbie smiled for the first time today. At Bella, Hetty and the beam in the ceiling. We are very proud. Surely is had not been that long since I had last spoken to Mum? Two days at the most. In the meantime she has hurt her back hanging up her dressing gown. The pain was excruciating. That little red button around her neck came in handy and two 'very kind' paramedics were soon at her side. Quite reasonably they wanted to take her into hospital. She said she had been and wasn't going back. They left her with advice to take ibuprofen. Luckily her neighbour had some very very strong ones. 400 mg and you only need to take one. The normal dose is two 200mg tablets is it not? Unfortunately, they did not work. The Practice Nurse, who is not a Practice Nurse, she only used to be a paramedic, came for a home visit too. She can't prescribe. Terrible. Mum thinks the surgery are making cutbacks. At this point I realise I should stop holding my breath. She was 'very kind' and told Mum she could take paracetamol at the same time as ibuprofen!!!! I have been telling her this for years and years and years - she knows this - but was delighted with this wonderful piece of new advice. A letter has arrived from Mr Walker. He has a lot of letters after his name making him marvellous. I am sure he is. He advises she does not have a pacemaker and treats her condition with medication. This seemed a good plan. She is going to hold onto her appointment for a pacemaker for a while. I left her as she was just about to ring Whitewings care home. She feels she needs a week of respite as she is exhausted.

I put the phone down so befuddled and bewildered I could not think for the life of me what I had called her about in the first place.

Woman in the Snow
140lb NOT
24cm x 18cm

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Tuesday, 6th February 2018 - Thankyou Emmeline

My Grandson and a hot water bottle gave me great comfort today.

Guidelines tell us we should be eating ten pieces of fruit and vegetables a day. Also that 10,000 steps a day is not doing us much good and should be replaced with three sessions of ten minutes of high  activity. Strenuous enough that you can still talk but not sing. I have never been able to sing so I am doing excellently.

Arrived in the post today was a box filled mammoth balls of wool. I am replacing the quilts on the ends of the beds for knitted ones. Tim asked if I had gone potty. I blame Steph. I need to find a YouTube tutorial to teach me how now. But not now now as I am going to bed to read my book.

Thankyou Emmeline
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
25cm x 18cm

Monday, 5 February 2018

Monday, 5th February 2018 - After The Snow

We are all bursting with excitement at the two inches of fallen snow.

Cold top, hot bottom - that radiator needs bleeding. I find this a satisfying job.

Mum phoned in a most jubilant mood. She has a date for her pacemaker. I will be by her side. Let's hope that this is the answer to her malaise.

Four weeks I have been working on a painting in my art class. To conclude I have ruined a rather expensive piece of watercolour paper. Bloody marvellous. I have learnt an awful lot from an awful lot of mistakes. I may rip it up and just write about my progress in my visual diary.

After the Snow
140lb NOT
22cm x 16cm

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Sunday, 4th February 2018 - Good Looking Trio

Tim and I watched a brief snow flurry from the warmth of our bed. I had to get up for tea.

Fully ladened down with shopping from Aldi we visited Grandma-by-the-Seaside. She had a tutorial from Tim on her tablet. 52 emails were moved from the draft folder to their rightful place. Going home we made a detour via Ewan and Kath's to find out what they have been up. We haven't seen them since before Christmas which is terrible on all our parts.

Tomasz Schafernaker has promised me more snow tonight.

Travel Companions
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
23cm x 16cm

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Saturday, 3rd February 2018 - Travel Companions

I made another batch of biscotti to fill our empty jar. They are really a diet food as you cannot eat them until dipped and softened by a hot drink. The amount of tea one biscotti can absorb means you either have copious mugs of tea or very few biscotti.

Have you heard of Kate Tempest? She is a rapper and poet. Go and find her reading her poem 'the new ancients'. I felt incredibly moved when listening to her.

At The Halfway House we met Si, Lesley, Nick and Alli for a couple of early evening drinks.

Thank you for the carrots Alli. My coleslaw would just have been shredded cabbage without.

Travel Companions
Pen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
23cm x 16cm

Friday, 2 February 2018

Friday, 2nd February 2018 - Small and Exuberant

I cleared up my greenhouse. The chickens have been using it to dustbath in, upturning pots and plants. Messy beasts.

Twenty broadbeans, twenty french beans and fourteen sweetpeas are nestled into pots of compost. I love this time of year. I feel I have control. The garden has not got aggressive with growth.

Herbie and I had a bonding session while Harriet was having a treatment from 'the girl with the magic hands' Anneli. I read him articles from my Artist and Illustrator magazine. Lots of tone to engage a one month old baby.

Tim and I got our Friday afternoon check up from Tom.

Small and Exuberant
Khadi Paper 320 gsm
22cm x 16cm

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Thursday, 1st February 2018 - Green Jug

The pink playdough was thoroughly kneaded by my granddaughters. Well worth making it. I bought two mice from them. I think I have been had.

This jug sits on the kitchen table where I do my painting. It is glorious.

Tonight the Weald of Kent Art Society had a demonstration by Pat Lock about printing without a press. I was on tea and coffee duty. How peeved was I not to get much time printing. Jenny I miss you so much.

I need to investigate my tea bags as to whether they contain plastic. Tim is using loose leaf tea in the interim.

Green Jug
Rotring Artpen and Watercolour
140lb NOT
29cm x 20cm