Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Wednesday, 29th January 2020 - Burgeoning Bud

It is always a slight joy when my husband says he is going out for the evening. I can eat baked beans out the can if I want. Not so much of a joy when he says he will be returning after 10pm and only going for a drink not a meal. Hmmmmm. Soup it is then.

I have filled in my form for South East Open Studios. I have been debating back and forth about whether to enter this year. My doubt was that I have not got a full year of paintings. There are a few gaps in last year. But. Sarah told me that was all part of the process - or words to that effect - and it didn't matter. I haven't confirmed with payment yet so I still have a few hours for deliberation.

An inspection of the greenhouse revealed my sweetpeas, that were growing beautifully, have been decapitated!!! Dammit. This happened last year too and I cannot remember who the culprit was. I am mightily pissed off. I have moved them hoping they will recover.

Burgeoning Bud
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Tuesday, 28th January 2020 - Morning Blues

I was in charge of Herbie for a few hours this morning. We had an extremely enjoyable time. We had an extremely busy time. We read cookery books and named the vegetables. We had snacks and fed the green monster. We received the present of a pheasant from Tony. We read a book with sounds. We made bread. We played cutting up Playdoh worms. Harriet came home. I am so proud of Harriet. She has an amazing strength.

My cold is frustratingly productive. I have been snorting Sudafed to ease my symptoms.

I have been eating ginger biscuits after reading they are one of the top ten biscuits to dip in your tea. This is due to the molasses content which gives one a reasonable percentage of your recommended daily iron intake. I have been eating them on false pretenses. They contain no molasses. I am really disappointed. Harriet heard of my trauma. She made me some fully infused with health giving black strap molasses and they are delicious.

Silent Witness Part II is very good this evening.

Morning Blues

Monday, 27 January 2020

Monday, 27th January 2020 - Transcription

The playdoh came out for Herbie to extrude and poke.

I dosed myself up with Lemsip and headed off to art class. We are copying artists who have painted weather. I choose a Georgia O'Keefe.


Sunday, 26 January 2020

Sunday, 26th January 2020 - Synchronizing Diaries

Following toast and coffee with Steve and Zoe I headed into Tenterden.

It was an open day at the hall our art society holds its events. We had our table and drank coffee while watching the children dance and listening to the ukulele band. Quite a bizarre event. I was surprised that it was thoroughly enjoyable,

I got back home to have pheasant casserole and dumplings with Steve, Zoe and a tired looking Tom. I worried myself about Tom driving home until I got a text reassuring me of his safe arrival.

I read a bit of my book and learnt a new word. Avarice. Good word.

Dr Who was very entertaining this evening. I am in anticipation of the future arrival of the cybermen.

Synchronizing Diaries
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 25th January 2020 - Beautiful Pippa

Tim finished cutting the hedge. I finished clearing the cuttings. It was a very satisfying couple of hours.

Chapel Down provided with a bottle of sparkling wine for a birthday gift.

Steve and Zoe flew in and we all headed off to Pippa's 60th birthday party. There were many many people. There was dancing and cake and jelly babies. A great evening. Happy Birthday Pippa.

Being the designated driver I have a clear memory of the evenings events. Back home with Steve and Zoe and we discussed the advancing Coronavirus over cheese and biscuits before heading bed at an indecent hour.

Beautiful Pippa
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 24 January 2020

Friday, 24th January 2020 - Breaking Buds

I was chatting with Harriet this morning and mentioned that I forgot to set my alarm. She said she has three that don't need setting. I thought that was funny but I don't think she does at 5.30am.

I had a gift of daffodils from my daughter. Only £1 from Tesco but twice as many as a week ago. Thank you my lovely.

I had another gift. Tony dropped off two pheasant, prepared and ready for the pot. I braised them with apple juice from Malcolm. Nearly a free meal. We have enough to feed us for a few days.

I ordered some swimming costumes from M&S ready for swimming with the grandchildren in Efteling. I really should not have bought 'plunge', I have quite enough natural plunge and definitely don't need enhancement. Four are being returned. I am keeping the one with most coverage.

Breaking Buds

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Thursday, 23rd January 2020 - Recuperating

Bella has been unwell and needing a couple of days off school to recover. She found a quiet spot on my sofa with Paddington Bear books. Perfect when you are feeling fragile.

I have done my sums for my tax return. Now I can hand it over to Tim who has returned from lecturing to ship builders in Glasgow.

Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 - Trees in a Mist

I have had to clear my spreading habit and put the twin and dining room back into order for guests.

A visit to the GP was productive. An x-ray showed I have perfect hips and pelvis. Next step for the pain in my left leg is a bit physio. He also gave me a flu jab and took my blood pressure. He suggested a 24 hour monitor. What a comprehensive session.

I am heading off to bed with my book The Salt Path. Great book to read but I am so pleased it is not me doing the walking and wild camping.

Trees in a Mist

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Monday, 20 January 2020

Monday, 20th January 2020 - Awaiting Critique

What an amazing sunrise.

I have reinforced and papered over the hole in the dining room ceiling. Now I have to root around in our stack of paint tins to try and find the right off white for the ceiling.

I am thoroughly enjoying learning about tone at my evening class. The discussion at the end was enlightening. Yellow surprised us all with its lack of tone.

Awaiting Critique
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Sunday, 19th January 2020 - Pett Level

It was bright and frosty as I dragged myself from under my duvet. A mug of tea sort of made it worthwhile.

Tim and I had lunch at his Mum's. Her homemade soup is always tasty. She had made us apple pie too. There was a bit of electronic updating to do following the redecoration of her lounge. Amazing lady.

We planned to go for a walk on the beach but forgot out walking boots. I stopped to take a few photos of the sea which was teeming with people brought out by the sun. The cold wind made me retreat back to car pretty swiftly.

Bella and Tim have nearly go the hang of a piano/concertina duet of Mary had a Little Lamb. There are a few timing issues.

This evening we had bargain Waitrose curry.

Pett Level
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 18th January 2020 - Cellarhead Brewery

Before our hedge bursts into bud Tim cut the top and sides. I was clearing the debris. The rose and brambles are vicious. I have put them on the bonfire.

Leelee persuaded me to go to the Weald Beekeepers meeting this afternoon. I think I may join. They were very encouraging even when I admitted to having two hives but no bees.

This evening we headed over to Pillory Corner and met Si and Lesley for a drink and cheese. We swung by Waitrose on our journey home and filled our bags with many reduced items. I find it very satisfying finding a bargain. I have enough of Prince Charles' chicken breasts to last a couple of weeks.

Cellarhead Brewery

Friday, 17th January 2020 - Bombay Clear

It's Friday evening and I am nearly at the bottom of a bottle of Bombay gin made with eight botanicals infused in a copper basket. It is delicious with Franklin & Son Elderflower and Cucumber tonic.

Clear Bombay Gin

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Thursday, 16th January 2020 - A Jug of Snowdrops

Thank goodness I don't have any paying guests. We have had a leak in our shower which is above the guests dining room. Now the ceiling has a biggish hole so the replacement plumbing bit can be replaced. Whoops.

We did a bit of duo gardening. Tim was on leaf raking and bonfire moving. I was tidying the sodden, bedraggled bracon. I found some snowdrops.

Herbie and I spent a lovely time looking at the pictures in my Fast Food cookery book. Some of it was very hot, some of it tasty and the best delicious. Listening to a two year old chatting is adorable.  A six word sentence and he gets a clap from his sisters.

A Jug of Snowdrops
Oil on Board

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Wednesday, 15th January 2020 - Winter Bloom

Brendon's wind took out our power. No power shower for us this morning.

Brendon has also flattened the fence that I grow my sweetpeas up. I need to find another vertical surface for them.

Kath, Pippa, Sarah and I met in the little Italian for coffee. I left with bags of clothes from Kath's not so little ones Chloe and Martha for Hetty and Bella. They are delighted with their new wardrobe.

Winter Bloom
Pen and Ink

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Tuesday, 14th January 2020 - Rico Baby

Brendon has blown over my bird table.

This evening I started my knitting therapy. It is all in relaxing garter stitch.

Rico Baby
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 13 January 2020

Monday, 13th January 2020 - Unfinished Abstract

The list I wrote this morning remains the same this evening.

At art class we had a still life, continuous line drawing, rub out the unwanted bits then fill it in using different colours with the same tone. We all became a bit zoned out. It was a very relaxing evening.

Unfinished Abstract

Sunday, 12th January 2020 - Church and The Moon

My day has been a quiet one. Apart from popping in to see The Evans where it is not so quiet.  Herbie was keen to show me the glue gun was plugged in and had a light on it. Bella came and did a bit on the piano and was brave enough to alternate hands. Brilliant stuff. What I call 'messing around'  Tom says is 'improvising'. I am trying to let her 'improvise' without telling her I am going to take her home if she messes with the foot peddle one more time.

Our neighbours were celebrating their sons 50th birthday. We popped in to wish him a happy birthday.

I like Keanu Reeves so anticipated the film John Wick Chapter 2, we couldn't find Chapter 1, to be highly entertaining. It was thoroughly disappointing I gave up watching it and went to bed with my book.

Church and The Moon

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Saturday, 11th January 2020 - Last Orders

We met June and Barry at The Cellarhead Brewery. We arrived outside the enormous corrugated iron barn and had to enter through a small door. It looked like we were entering a den of iniquity. Inside it was warm and cosy. The Bacchus was lovely.

Last Orders
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 10 January 2020

Friday, 10th January 2020 - From Bud to Flower

The garden has had another rake and I got some vitamin D.

Bella has been learning the piano for less than a week. Under her grandmothers tuition she held a concert for family playing B, C and D with both hands. We celebrated with Christmas cake with candles. Well done Bella.

Mike and Pippa came for salmon and wine this evening. So good to see them.

We are watching The Great Pottery Throwdown - I am so pleased that young Kit got through with the skin of his teeth.

From Bud to Flower
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Thursday, 9th January 2020 - Work in Progress

Herbie came with daffodils for me and a white chocolate rabbit for Tim. He had to borrow the rabbit when he found out it was chocolate. He sat down for the job of unwrapping it and taste testing. Apparently it was 'nice'.

This afternoon Weald of Kent Art Society had an afternoon of painting whatever you felt like. I haven't quite finished by still life. A bit of adjustments needed tomorrow. Leelee and I caught up on family news.

Tonight Alli, Lesley and I ate at The Halfway House. We discussed The Christmas Carol. It did not get very high reviews. Mostly we discussed news, family and world.

Work in Progress

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Wednesday, 8th January 2020 - Olive Relation

The postman told me it is going to snow next week. I thought it a good idea to tidy the garden beforehand. Three acres is quite a lot to tackle. I have raked leaves and cut back soggy ferns in about 5% and now the proud owner of a burst blister. I have a skin coloured plaster on my wound. I don't know anybody who has skin that colour.

I picked some yellow flowers from the garden. I had to look them up to find out what they were. Of course I knew it was forsythia. They have a meaning - 'anticipation of an exciting moment'. I am waiting.

Olive Relation

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Tuesday, 7th January 2020 - Priceless Cards

Sarah and I needed to meet up to share our news. I suggested Frankie's near Staplehurst. We had Huevos and coffee. We didn't know what Huevos was but described on the menu as poached eggs on a muffin with salsa and avocado. It was delicious. I have done some research and found it means 'testicles' - oh Sarah if only we have known what we were eating. Happy birthday my lovely friend.

After a brief weeding frenzy I retired to the warmth of my studio for a tutorial with Roisin O'Farrell - I have lots of homework to do.

I am going to start doing some bilateral rhythmic psychosocial intervention. Radio 4 told me yesterday it would be good for my mental health.

We are watching the new episode of Silent Witness. I will be following the progress of Dr Hodgson extremely closely whilst sipping the last of my Christmas Baileys.

Priceless Cards
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 6 January 2020

Monday, 6th January 2020 - Hooded Musician

Hetty and Bella started back at school. Bella has begun piano lessons. They don't have a piano so she came to practice on ours. She needs a book called Little Fingers. This stirred a recollection deep in my memory. After a rummage through the piano stool I found a copy.  It belonged to Tom when he began to learn. He is 32 now. How lovely that she can use it.

This evening it was back to art class for me. We furrowed our brows whilst learning about tone and colour.

Hooded Musician
Pen and Watercolour

Class Exercises

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Sunday, 5th January 2020 - Christine Keeler and Friends

I opened a new jar of tahini. It has a grub of some kind in it. Even worse than that it was alive. I decided not to add any tahini to our meal.

My damn hip has been playing up today. I have tried to control my bad temper.

I did a bit of rapid sketching whilst watching The Trail of Christine Keeler.

Christine Keeler and Friends

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Saturday, 4th January 2020 - Adam's Temptation

I was just about to head off to the greenhouse to plant some sweet pea seeds when Harriet dropped by. She noticed that Thompson and Morgan recommend an overnight soak before planting. That ended my gardening for the day.

There is an apple orchard we walk past where the fruit hasn't been picked. The smell reminds me of the apple ice lollies I ate as a child.

How horrific are the fires in Australia.

Adam's Temptation

Friday, 3 January 2020

Friday, 3rd January 2020 - Lap Dog

I sat writing out a healthy eating shopping list while eating the last few Christmas chocolates.

After a day in the house a gin and tonic or two with Mike and Pippa's in front of their woodburner.

Back home we continued watching The Crown. I have tears watching Phillip build the wall at Gordonstoun.

Lap Dog
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Thursday, 2nd January 2020 - Tom's Gone

Amazon delivered me a new art book. I am intrigued by abstract realism and hoping this will guide me.

A friend phoned me today just to catch up. It was just what I needed.

The roast potatoes are done to perfection. And where is 'the husband'? In the pub!!!

Tom has packed up and back in his home. He is very charming to have around.

Tom's Gone
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Wednesday, 1st January 2020 - Fairy Blush

Welcome to 2020.

Our decorations have begun to go a bit crispy. By the end of the afternoon they were on the bonfire. On my trip into the woods I found a dwarf camellia flowering.

I have been turfing out my drawers to transfer into a much smaller space. This has unearthed clothes that I have put by for when I am thinner. I would need to have to lose about three stone so they are off the the charity shop. I used to have a pair of size 10 jeans hanging on my wardrobe. I thought it would inspired me to eat less. Instead I felt guilty. They are in the charity bag.

A bonus today is to have Tom for another evening. He is recovering from a night in Tenterden.

Fairy Blush