Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Tuesday, 31st December 2019 - Time for Reflection

I have a soft spot for a good voice. I overheard a friend talking to her husband on speaker phone. He has a very attractive voice. As does John Sargent but I find appearance not so.

I continued clearing with the help of some muscular men hefting three chests of drawers and a dressing table.

Herbie came to play in a subdued way. It was good to see him a little better. His spirit was definitely present.

I took an outing to Waitrose on search of mozzarella for NYE pizzas and a possible bargain - no bargains to be had. The man in front of me had three items in his basket. Two bottles of Cava and a pregnancy testing kit. He in is for an interesting evening.

Happy New Year to you all and everyone. We are having a quiet restorative one.

Time for Reflection

Monday, 30 December 2019

Monday, 30th December 2019 - Towards Walkhurst

Harriet and Tom have given me a voucher so Anneli who is Woodstock Holistics can use massage and Reiki therapy to put my body back in balance. It is an excellent and great present. Thank you so much I very much look forward to being more on a level. I think my hormones are being tempestuous.

I have been sorting out a chest of drawers today which was Mum's. It has a new home on my landing. It is full of table cloths and memories. I sorted with mixed emotions. I miss Mum very much. It is still her ability to listen that is the hardest to lose. She loved a Christmas with family and food. Being our first Christmas without her, she has been with me for fifty five of them, is probably the hardest. We miss you Mum and Dad. Harriet gives a great hug of support.

A walk with Tim helped to remind me of good times to come. We met Tom in the pub which was a glorious end to a funny day.

I cooked a curry for my boys this evening.

Towards Walkhurst

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Sunday, 29th December 2019 - A Place for Great Grandma and Great Grandad

We have had a vomiting bug circulating the family. Today only one of us took to their bed. I think we are coming through. I am better and needing tea. Not quite up to alcohol yet.

We had another session of present opening. Herbie wobbled home with Harriet. Tom and I took Hetty and Bella for a blast of fresh air - it was a bit fresher than anticipated. Probably good for Tom after a night clubbing in Hastings. They had a climb in the playground followed by an inspection of the graveyard to find a place for Mum and Dad's ashes.

Back home and another round of presents with The Evans. They have some great books and board games. I am hoping that we will get some time to read and play during the remaining holidays.

Still one family member down.

A Place for Great Grandma and Great Grandad
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 16 December 2019

Monday, 16th December 2019 - Painting in Pyjamas

It has been a creative day. I found some very old childrens paints at the back of a drawer. Herbie sat at the table and tried them out on his hands. I found him a huge piece of paper and moved him to the kitchen floor for easier clearing up.

I marzipan and iced the Christmas cake. Hetty, Arabella and Herbie decorated it with Father Christmases, reindeer, carrots, penguins, polar bears, snowmen, a sleigh, trees and two tubs of sprinkles and a siamese cat. It looks glorious. Thank you.

Blimey we have had a lot of rain today.

Painting in Pyjamas
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 9 December 2019

Monday, 9th December 2019 - Scents of Christmas

I had my last paying guest of the year.

I took advantage of a few rays of sun and potted up some bulbs for Christmas presents.

Scents of Christmas
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 8th December 2019 - Hanging Pictures

My kitchen was in chaos when friends called by. Tim invited them and we drank tea amongst bubble wrap, pictures, cards and paintings, oh and bottles for the exhibition preview this evening.

The Weald of Kent Art Society is now exhibiting for the next week in Tenterden. Pop in if you are passing there is some lovely work.

Hanging Pictures
Oil on Board

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Wednesday, 4th December 2019 - Work in Progress

Herbie and I spent an hour or so this morning making sure the teddies had their cars. I have an advent calendar from Hetty and Bella. It has no gifts. It has no chocolate. Herbie and I love the pictures behind the doors. Each previous day needs discussion. I have never had a better advent.

I was in my studio this afternoon working on my oil paintings. At the time they looked fine. A fresh eye tomorrow morning will reveal their real true quality.

Tim bought me a Kenwood for my 50th birthday - and that was five years ago - today I think I may have found that it is rather good at making cakes. We have Nigella's sticky gingerbread cooling.

Work in Progress
Oil on Board

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019 - Held up at The Hub

I helped Harriet out a bit today. It made me realise what a busy life she leads. We did the school run. Hetty and Bella had an assembly in French we watched. Off to The Hub at Bodiam for a very lively Jitterbugs session. We had coffee and snacks while Herbie played. Wow and that was just this morning.

This afternoon I got my pills from the doctors and wandered the festive streets of Cranbrook. At Hartley Dyke I found the perfect white rose sprig for my final oil painting. It will have to wait until tomorrow as I am too tired this evening.

Held up at The Hub
Charcoal and Watercolour

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Sunday, 1st December 2019 - Advent Sky

It is a riot of Advent calendars for our family from Lego to Playmobil to chocolate to open the door and reveal the picture.

Harriet and I went to Tenterden to look at The Tenterdens Artists exhibition. There was some great stuff. Tonights picture is inspired by Emma Dove.

Me and my studio have been working on my oils for next Sunday. Sort of nearly done one with three others well on the way.

Advent Sky

Saturday, 30th November 2019 - Christmas Crafts

Hetty, Bella and Herbie came round to make Christmas cards with the glue gun. I found a pack of Christmas bows, bobbles and bits on Amazon for application. The perfect festive activity. Herbie directed and I stuck until we needed a break and watched Postman Pat.

Christmas Crafts

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Sunday, 24th November 2019 - Cabbages and Roses

I wasted two hours in my studio painting flowers that were diabolical. At least I can wipe off the oil paint and start again. I felt very pissed off.

LeeLee and I fraternised with artists in Battle.

I came home to find a huge bunch of flowers from Harriet, dinner cooked by my husband and a stint of ironing whilst watching The Apprentice made for a charming evening.

Cabbages and Roses
Watercolour Markers

Saturday, 23rd November 2019 - Early Stages

I spent the afternoon in my studio working on. four paintings, The ground is on, colours perfected and shadows and background painted in.

This evening we met Mike and Pippa in front of the fire at The Three Chimneys for one too many glasses of wine.

Early Stages
Oil on Board

Friday, 22 November 2019

Thursday, 21st November 2019 - Hash Akib

We said goodbye to Uncle Bill today. Going back to the crematorium was so sad. The last time I was there was in June for Mum's service. Then there were only the three of us and Mum. Today there were a lot more friends and relatives. The Two Sawyers put on a good spread he would have enjoyed.

This evening the artist Hash demonstrated to WOKAS. In just over two hours he painted a portrait and a landscape. Just amazing. I love his exuberant style.

Hash Akib
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 22nd November 2019 - Mutual Love

I was in charge of Herbie whilst Harriet and Brett sorted out where to put their sockets in their new home. We had a great day eating cranberry and brie sandwiches with LeeLee and Kara in Mr Beans. We wandered to pavements of Tenterden where they were setting up for a Christmas event. The german musicians gave Herbie a tinkling bell after he clapped their performance. He was very pleased to see his Mum.

Mutual Love
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Tuesday, 19th November 2019 - Colour and Composition

Social Media can be so damaging. It can also be a wonderful platform.

I went shopping for Christmas gifts and came home with a new orange corduroy skirt and yellow jumper for myself and a bunch of Gerbera to paint.

Tim was away for the evening so I spent my time composing gerberas into charming arrangements. I have just over a week to get four paintings off the easel.

Colour and Composition

Saturday, 16th November 2019 - Lee and her Art

LeeLee and I went to meet and great the artists at The Powdermills November Art Show. We were two of twenty one artists. It is a great exhibition. It took quite a bit of courage to participate. And I sold an oil painting of a blue jug to a graphic designer. Wow.

We visited B&Q to get some compost. It was in a shopping complex and packed. I found some Dime robins in Tescos for Hetty and Bella

LeeLee and her Art
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 18 November 2019

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Sunday, 17th November 2019 - Boston Fern

My female hormones have gone haywire disturbing my night many times.

To celebrate the excellence of Hetty and Bella's school learning we took round a pack of Hatchimals each. They were thrilled with the little plastic beasts. Well done girls.

I should look in my diary more often. I was looking forward to some time off from cooking bacon. Ah but no. I have guests for a couple of nights before I can wander to the compost heap in my pyjamas.

We are watching a good series called Gold Digger. There must be some horrid twist brewing.

Boston Fern
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Monday, 11th November 2019 - Remembering

I am not sure I like my garden at this time of year. It is cold and soggy. In retribution of it not providing me with anything delightful I hacked at some plants.

My guest said he didn't eat breakfast. Today he didn't but I was lulled into a false sense of laziness. I returned home at 9.30pm, cooked a stir-fry and poodled about thinking I didn't have to get up too early. On retiring to bed I found a breakfast request on the pew. Serves me right for footling about in the evening.


Sunday, 10 November 2019

Sunday, 10th November 2019 - Pay The Toll

It was the perfect day to finish Tom's garden. The soil must be very fertile as the plants grow even through the artificial grass. Inside work was progressing on window frames

Dave and Josie joined us for lunch in The Foundrymans Arms. It was a fully ladened roast. I had lamb and was very full. Diego wanted us to try his lemon meringue pie. We said we would share a piece and were presented with five. I was even fuller. How they can make any profit when they only charge £7.50? I haven't had a popover (my siblings will understand the terminology) for ages.

Time to leave Tom. Thank you for a great weekend.

Back at home and I have a bed and breakfast guest. Harriet let him in and was going to give him chocolate brownie. An earwig had taken residence. It was in the fridge!!!  Hardy little beasts. The chickens will be feasting on that tomorrow.

Pay The Toll

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Thursday, 7th November 2019 - Foraged Hydrangea

I spent the afternoon amongst a colony of artists, ref Wikipedia. We understand each others ways. After a few hours of stimulation I took to the raining streets of Tenterden. Yesterday Hetty introduced me to the world of Hatchimals. They had them half price in M&Co. I dropped them into the girls. A couple of eggs with tiny beasts inside caused a huge amount of delight.

Foraged Hydrangea

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Wednesday, 6th November 2019 - Hetty and Grandad

We collected Hetty from her fine new school in Benenen this afternoon. We wandered the periphery to take photos. Hetty requested a hot sausage roll from the village shop. They had run out!!! I know it was only a small need but I felt quite annoyed they could not meet my granddaughters minor request. 

Wow - David Attenborough I love you.

Hetty and Grandad
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 5th November 2019 - Pink Barn

I have had many bed and breakfast bookings today. I suppose that is good but I am getting used to not having to cook full English breakfasts.

I have a slight concern. On a walk this afternoon we passed a recently trimmed hydrangea hedge. I collected a huge bunch of beautiful flower heads from the road side. Now I am wondering if the owners had just gone in for a break and a cup of tea. When they return all the flowers will have gone. I hope they weren't intending to keep them. They look gorgeous in my kitchen. Buggers to paint probably.

Bloody government. What a mess.

Pink Barn
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 4th November 2019 - Fading Sheep

Tim has returned from Atlanta. I don't seem to be able to find my gift.

I have possibly got over extended ambitions. This sounds exciting but I am referring to 'that' art project. I found a glorious piece of watercolour paper in my plan chest. Being A1 I have a lot of space to fill. Just loving and appreciating the time to be able to spend in my studio.

Fading Sheep

Monday, 4 November 2019

Sunday, 3rd November 2019 - Exercise in Texture

There is a lot of prevaricating going on. I have the project to do for my art class and should be much further along than I am. Whist in my studio looking for watercolour paper I found a few books to study which lead to more experiments. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning listening to The Archers and playing with gesso. The kitchen is covered in my enthusiasm.

Yesterdays windy weather has toppled the bean poles. The bean patch is now cleared, I left the self seeded aquilegia. They are being tested as to their robustness over winter. They will be those with the little purple flowers having reverted from something more glamorous.

Tim is still in Atlanta and I have indulged myself by cooking a chicken. Not one of ours but if they don't start laying I will be tempted.

Exercise in Texture
Gesso, Wool and Watercolour
(in my blue folder)

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Saturday, 2nd November 2019 - Scrumming

I watched the Spingboks beat England to win the World Cup along with millions of others this morning. It may have been a disappointment for some but I found all those thighs thoroughly entertaining.

The weather has been disgusting today.

Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 1st November 2019 - Happy Second Birthday Herbs

Happy second birthday to Herbie. I am so proud of that little man.

Tim and I celebrated with Herbie, Harriet, Brett, Hetty and Bella at 8am before the girls went to school.

Tim has gone to Atlanta for the weekend!!! Such a long way for such a short time. I usually get FOMO when he goes away but this time I am pleased to be staying at home. I have a lot of homework to do for my art class so am looking forward to spreading myself liberally around the house.

I am going to bed to have the protein that has gathered in my brain during the day washed out by my spinal fluid. I heard this on the radio today.

Happy Second Birthday Herbs
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 31st October 2019 - Sophie at Eggs to Apples

Sarah and I are venturing further afield than Cranbrook for our coffee meetings. Today we met at the farm shop in Hurst Green that many people seem to frequent. Sophie has started selling her beautiful flowers. Nice coffee and bacon sandwich. A wonderful selection of high priced delights. Harriet requested a gift. It was Sarah who found it. A bergamot. I thought it was a herby leafy plant. It looks like an oversized lime. We tried it on Herbie first. It made his face contort. Sorry Herbs I couldn't help but laugh. It gave my tongue a numbing tingling effect.

Sophie at Eggs to Apples
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 30th October 2019 - Herbie and Cat

LeeLee came to do some mount cutting for her paintings. We are both partaking in and exhibition at The Powdermills in Battle next month. We are both a bit concerned as the other contributing artists are very accomplished.

Herbie and Cat
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Tuesday, 29th October 2019 - The Last Leaves

I was not so keen to venture out into the grey of today for a walk. I did and it was beautiful outside.

The Last Leaves

Monday, 28th October 2019 - Ink Studies

We took lunch down to Tim's Mum. Uncle Bill is feeling a bit under the weather, he is 86. Tim's Mum is looking after him, she is 90. Wow, I thought that is amazing.

On our way home we dropped by Rye Harbour and looked for seals who weren't there. A cup of tea would have been comforting but the cafe was shut. We came home and had tea.

I did my homework for my art class this evening. Our tutor has given us 'Autumn Tangle' as a three week project. I spent the evening messing around with different textures on paper and ink.

What do you see? I need feedback please.

Ink Studies
Ink and Watercolour

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Sunday, 27th October 2019 - Country Lane

It is good to have an extra hour in one's day. Unless you have children that don't understand the concept of it being 5.30am and not 6.30am. I now three like that.

I haven't had much enthusiasm for gardening of late. The sun prodded me into doing a bit of weeding and pruning.

Seven Continents One Planet is excellent, emotional and funny. I have gone off seals. Not keen on jellyfish even when they get eaten by sea urchins. I adore penguin chicks.

Country Lane
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Saturday, 26th October 2019 - Woodworking with Grandad

I would have liked to have visited Mum today. She would have been interested in how our dinner party went last night. She was a great listener and loved to hear stories about the people and food. Maybe I will tell her anyway.

Tony helped restore our kitchen by heaving the furniture back into place. Thank you.

Herbie popped round, saw the mess and got the hoover out. We were all feeling a bit tired and had restoring books and tea on the sofa.

Woodworking with Granded

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019 - Hold My Hand

The drizzly weather doesn't prevent my rooms being filled with bed and breakfast guests. They are most charming.

We caught a moment in the afternoon for a walk. Tim suggested we take the fields. I don't care how small the bullocks look and really wish Tim wouldn't talk to them. When they start to follow me I can move a little faster and have to hold Tim's hand.

Back home and with an evening by myself. I am watching The Apprentice. They are making electric bikes - good luck. Love it. Tim hates it.

Hold My Hand
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019 - Dog Walker

Tim and I had a gap in our day when we were both free to go for a walk. There was some sun to top up my vitamin D. I had to 'nearly' run home to catch my on-line painting tutorial with Ròisin. Still learning, always learning.

It got to 5.30pm and I hadn't seen my grandchildren. I popped round for a quick fix to find them in fine form after a day at The Rare Breeds Centre with Brett's dad. What a lucky bunch.

I am nervously watching The GBBO. I am beginning to like Rosie. They are making sugar glass cases - how exciting.

Dog Walker

Monday, 21st October 2019 - After The Sun

Apparently the water was not the right temperature for fishing fish so my fishermen have moved to more fishy waters.

The Sarah Raven Christmas catalogue has come through the letter box. It is full of beautiful things I  need so I am going to have to avoid temptation and put it in the recycling. Damn I really needed a Gold Leaved battery operated with timer garland.

I took myself for a walk just gone 5pm. It got dark much sooner than I anticipated but I managed to find my way home.

After The Sun

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Sunday, 20th October 2019 - Moth

What a stunning beast on my salvia. I had to look it up on Google. It is a hummingbird moth. I am so pleased it was out and about today and I could admire its weird beauty.

My guests are here for the fishing. It is a first for me to have fishermen to stay. I will quizz them over their bacon and egg tomorrow as to where they go.

I thought I had the menu for Tim's birthday dinner sorted until he told me he would like a tart for pudding!!! I think I can arrange that one way or another.

Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Saturday, 19th October 2019 - Hemsted Forest

Is it disgusting to wake up and find it is 8.30am? I felt really guilty for sleeping so late. But it felt so good. The weather rewarded me with no rain and even a bit of sun. I tidied a flower bed and pulled brambles in the woods.

I am still working on my diary from Rome and spent a glorious hour or so working on it in the refuge of my studio.

At 2.30pm I took painkillers to dull the pain in my leg in anticipation of a walk with Tony and Wendy. A GP told me I have arthritis in my hip and continue taking painkillers, next step is a steroid injection and when it gets bad enough a hip replacement. I have had no investigation and am feeling rather depressed that there is no better way to manage this. It was a lovely walk and we finished with beer and cider in The Bull.

Hemsted Forest

Friday, 18 October 2019

Friday, 18th October 2019 - Where is Postman Pat? - THERE!!!

Hetty and Herbie came to play for a couple of hours today. They were adorable. They both have strong personalities that makes me proud. Herbie needed a rest from playing so we watched Postman Pat.

Where is Postman Pat? - THERE!!!
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Saturday, 12th October 2019 - Autumn Pears

I can go and see Harriet in my dressing gown. I wont be able to do this when they move to Wickhambreaux. I will miss my morning visits.

We had lovely coffee and with delightful sweet pastries from the Italian deli chez Carters. They have been doing great inspirational work on their house. It is so much better than Grand Designs.

Autumn Pears
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 11th October 2019 - Favourite Mug

Tim's brother, David and his wife (David's wife not Tim's), came for tea and no biscuits even after Herbie presenting them with the biscuit tin. At 4.30pm we had had enough tea so went to The Woodcock to sit on their high chairs and have beer and lager and lime.

Favourite Mug
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Thursday, 10th October 2019 - Bedtime Stories

Two mugs of tea were consumed before walking into the village to watch Hetty's Roman themed school assembly. Well done Hetty you make a fine gladiator.

I have collected flyers advertising an art exhibition I am showing some work at The Powdermills in Battle mid November. I got confused between Water Lane and Stream Lane but managed to get a mug of tea in between my travels and stories from my sister.

Tim called on his way home. The streets of London are strangely quiet due to The Extinction Rebellion protests.

Bedtime Stories
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Wednesday, 9th October 2019 - Here Is Autumn

I am feeling very relaxed after my holiday in Rome.

While away the house has had a deluge of daddy long legs - all the dead ones have gone up the hoover pipe.

It is good to be back home and have coffee and stories with Harriet and biscuits with Herbie.

Here Is Autumn

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Sunday, 29th September 2019 - Gorgeous Trio

The Three French Hens were holding a Brocante in Tenterden this weekend. A very successful event. The poor weather didn't deter the buyers. I visited this afternoon and came home with three cream coloured pots which will be perfect for still life paintings. Well done.

I do miss my Mum. She had endless time for my stories and had some good advice - most of the time. Her love being unconditional was something I never really appreciated. You were a great comfort Mum.

Happy second anniversary to my husband. We opened a bottle of champagne that had been in the fridge was rather too long as it was corked. There was a bottle of Oxney rosé which was very delicious. My reaction to alcohol this evening was to make me very tired. We were in bed before ten. Well it was our anniversary.

Gorgeous Trio
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Saturday, 28th September 2019 - Early Anniversary

Tony dropped in this morning while I was still lummoxing around in my dressing gown drinking tea. He delivered the most gorgeous flowers grown and gathered by Wendy. Thank you they are beautiful.

We have Jamie Olivers new cookery book. We have been experimenting with the recipes. The onion soup was ok but too sweet. The aubergine lasagne was pretty awful. Tonight I tried the mushroom lasagne which was delicious but it did take three hours to make and cook.

We were delighted to see Harriet and Herbie return home. He missed his sisters as much as they missed him. Take care little chap.

I am nearly at the bottom of my Bloom gin bottle. Luckily I have planned ahead and have a couple more litres in the cupboard.

Early Anniversary

Friday, 27th September 2019 - Ashford Hospital from Padua Ward

The GP decided Herbie should go to hospital. He needed a drip after having a stomach bug that has taken its toll. I am so proud of Harriet for being so strong. Herbie was so very brave. After being tested, prodded, blood taken and needles inserted he said 'Thank you" to the nurses and doctor and "Well done" for himself. It broke my heart. Harriet was able to stay with him overnight. He is having fantastic care.

Ashford Hospital from Padua Ward
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Thursday, 26th September 2019 - Passion in the Garden

I am not sure that Tim listens to me sometimes.

Me "Is there any post?"
Tim "It is nice and crunchy"

We had toast for breakfast!!!

Passion in the Garden

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Wednesday, 25th September 2019 - Near Home

After months of hunting I have found a toilet seat to replace a rather old one in a bed and breakfast bathroom. Not only is it soft close it also has quick release for deep cleaning. I am really very pleased with my new purchase which is a bit sad possibly.

I have trimmed some of my box hedge. It looks very smart.

Herbie was feeling a bit better and helped me take apart my Roomba for cleaning out the fluff.

Tim and I are both suffering with back problems but managed to limp around the fields for a bit of exercise.

Near Home