Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Wednesday, 29th April 2020 - Mist

With May Day looming there is much preparation on how to provide the annual entertainment of The Weald of Kent Morris virtually. Zoom seems to be the way to go.  Even on our walk our discussion turned to what the difference is between hawthorn and blackthorn. Hawthorn or May is worn in a Morris mans hat as a gesture to fertility. Thank goodness we have worked out which is which or a years fertility could be in jeopardy.


Tuesday, 28th April 2020 - Cat on a Mat

A day of rain made me stay inside. This morning it was back exercises and yoga, this afternoon I was in my studio until Herbie came and found me. Rice makes an excellent material for digging with your digger on the kitchen floor.

Tim and I braved the rain and tramped round Benenden while our cauliflower cheese cooked in the oven.

Our cat has been outside apart from eating for the last five weeks. The rain has brought her inside for now.

Cat on a Mat

Monday, 27 April 2020

Monday, 27th April 2020 - Five Years Waiting

I woke up and got up after 8am today. It makes me feel like a lazy lummox. I have a plan for today forwards - "early to bed, early to rise". I am not bothered about being a man but wouldn't mind the healthy, wealthy and wise bit though.

I did my NHS back exercises this morning. They were much harder than I anticipated. I really have very little flexibility. I am looking forward to being able to bend.

The solenoid on the washing machine has broken stopping the washing getting washed. An engineer came to fix it today. She didn't have the right parts. Someone is coming back on Friday.

I planted a tree peony years ago. This year it is the first time it has flowered. It is like a huge buttercup.

Five Years Waiting
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Sunday, 26th April 2020 - Pizza Making in the Garden

I found a great podcast called Blackout. Rami Malek has a gorgeous voice and helped me for an hour or so with the ivy removal in the garden.

We had a pizza party with The Evans in the garden. Tim made the pizzas and the mozzarella while I drank Chapel Down Rose and watched the grandchildren.

Pizza Making in the Garden
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Thursday, 23rd April 2020 - Coffee

The roof on our hen house had rotted. Tim has made a new one. The chickens will no longer have rain dripping on them whilst roosting. Not that we have had any rain.

We had a many multi Zoom for a family birthday. It was good to see everyone even if it was very brief.


Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020 - Gone Broody

It has been an emotional day for Herbie. You know how it feels when you are just out of sorts and there aren't any fat balls to put in the feeder - tears. We found a bit of peace sitting by the pond watching the fish playing hide and seek under the lily pads.

I am working on another collagraph. Or reading books about collagraph. Or looking at the work of collagraph artists. What a great time for research.

Gone Broody
Charcoal and Watercolour

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Tuesday, 21st April 2020 - Primrose Collagraph

I have planted my chickpeas, peas and mangetout. They are covered in netting to prevent the pheasant and chickens dust bathing them out of the ground.

Our neighbour had her 80th birthday today. We stood at a social distance in their garden to wish her happy birthday. It was a fine opportunity to hone my collagraph skills into a present.


Monday, 20 April 2020

Monday, 20th April 2020 - French Lesson

We have a broody hen. We have managed to procure four fertile eggs for her to nurture. She is a bit scatty so I doubt she will make it to hatch date of 21 days.

Hetty and Bella's parents are doing a fine job of homeschooling.

French Lesson
Pen and Watercolour

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Sunday, 19th April 2020 - Jack-by-the-Hedge

I have a gift of plants. I now have chickpea, fava beans. tomatoes, beetroot and gherkins to tend and nurture. The chickpea plants are a things of ferny beauty. I may paint one for you.

Tim cooked pizza in the garden shared with The Evans. At 6.30pm following pizza and wine I would have happily gone to bed. I dragged myself into the countryside for a walk. An hour later and holding a mug of tea I felt revived.


Saturday, 18 April 2020

Saturday, 18th April 2020 - English Bluebells

After a fitful night under the duvet. My bloody back is keeping me awake. I woke to the thought of a mug of restorative tea. I had lumps floating in my tea. The milk had gone off. A phone call the nextdoor and within minutes Bella is on my door step with fresh, unlumpy milk. Thank you sooo much. My day is ok again.

Whilst weeding I listened to Body Horrors on BBC Sounds. Excellent entertainment.

Another 6.30pm Zoom this time reaching friends in France. It reconnects me with the outside world. I am nearly out of gin.

English Bluebells
Charcoal and Watercolour

Friday, 17 April 2020

Friday, 17th April 2020 - Falling Snake

Due to an overstretched hamstring I cannot do HIIT. I did some yoga with Adriene. It is the first time I have attempted yoga - I think I like it very much. I cannot sit cross legged but I can do the deep breathing. 

We had a Zoom cocktail night. Ok forty minutes. Over my Blue Lagoon we caught up with lovely friends. You are all gorgeous. I miss you very much. Take care keep safe.

I have been meaning to paint the Fritillaria in our garden. I found the last one left standing. As I held it to paint it the petals fell off.

Falling Snake
Charcoal and Watercolour

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Thursday, 16th April 2020 - Collagraph

So ..... another three weeks in lock down. Good plan.

I have recently found the wonders of WhatsApp video messaging. I like being able to see my friends even if I can't hug them.

Collagraph diary. The button polish on my plates has dried. I mixed up some printing ink. Inked and polished the plate. This reminded me of the therapeutic technique Sumi-e painting. You cannot rush.
Hetty helped me with the printing.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Wednesday, 15th April 2020 - Recycling Aids

The runner bean seeds I saved from last year are now in pots warming in the greenhouse.

Most of the day I have spent nurturing a sour dough starter into a loaf of bread. After eight hours of attention it plonked out of the tin. We ate some with left over curry. It was nice but I am going to havde to find a less intensive method. I have had to feed my depleted starter ready for my next baking experience.

My collagraph plate has been button polished. I can print tomorrow.

Our four white hens are garbage bins. They love a pile of vegetable peelings. Then turn them into eggs.

The news on Coronavirus is ferocious.

Recycling Aids
Pen and Watercolour

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Tuesday, 14th April 2020 - Sibling Zoom

This afternoon I was in my studio. My collagraph print is still work in progress.

Whilst I was cooking curry Tim was chatting with his brother and sister. They cannot meet due to the lockdown. These video systems are fantastic for keeping in touch.

Sibling Zoom
Pen and Watercolour

Monday, 13 April 2020

Monday, 13th April 2020 - Hot Pink

Well that was a surprisingly bitter wind that whipped me in the garden this morning.

Happy 60th Birthday to the gorgeous Mike. We will celebrate with aplomb when the pubs are open again.

Hetty and Bella are speeding there way through their piano books. It will be time for another home concert soon. Well done girls. Herbie gave me a yoga lesson. Some of his moves were beyond me but I still got awarded a star sticker.

Hot Pink

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Sunday, 12th April 2020 - Egg Hunt

I am full of Lindt chocolate bunny as I type. I have left its bottom for tomorrow.

I wound 500 metres of ribbon round the trees in the garden. I like to make my grandchildren work for their chocolate. Tim made many paper chicks that adorned the ribbon. There were chocolate eggs interspersed along the way. We took it at Herbie's speed which made it enjoyably sedate as he kept stopping to get Grandad to provide an egg snack. The more melted by the sun the better.

I spent a leisurely few hours sitting playing with water bombs and watching Herbie in the 'watering' pool - his term.

I have been reading up on how to make and print a collagraph. Just get on with it!!!

Egg Hunt
Pen and Watercolour

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Saturday, 11th April 2020 - Social Distancing

Tim and I walked into the village to post some letters. It was bizarre to see the queue outside the village shop with everyone sticking to the two metre rule. Well done people.

I bought sausages and burgers from the butchers who were behind screens.

We Zoomed with Mike, Pippa, Ray and Linda over a glass of Campari. It was so good to see everyone and hear their stories. Everyone seems to be safe and well. Keep it up guys.

Social Distancing
Pen, Charcoal and Watercolour

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Wednesday, 8th April 2020 - Swiss cheese

Today it is my birthday. I am 56. I won't be going out celebrating as the pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres are closed.

I whooped it up at home. Tim has got me a Sizzix press for my collagraph projects. I need to do a bit more reading up on how to construct my plate, inking up and how to print. I am thrilled.

On a birthday wander through our woods I found another gift. It is an incinerator. I have always had a deep want for such an item. I am anticipating many an hour burning brambles. How exciting.

This afternoon we gathered with The Evans (we are of one household so this is allowed). My profiteroles were speared with candles for a choir of happy birthday. I am now in possession of a cheese plant and a sour dough starter.

We had fish, chips and mushy peas with sparkling rose. I very much enjoyed my day.

Swiss cheese

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Tuesday, 7th April 2020 - Supermoon Rising

My mangetout and peas are emerging beautifully. Tim has frazzled his lettuce seeds. Being inside a heated propagator inside the green house was too much for them - I did warn him the heat would be too much.

There is a surge of female energy in the air tonight. There will be a baby boom in nine months time. More likely due to being locked down.

Supermoon Rising

Monday, 6th April 2020 - Benenden Girls School

Tim and I took our daily exercise through the footpaths of the private school opposite us. The building is beautiful. It could be from a film set.

Boris is in intensive care this evening. Nearly every country in the world has Coronavirus. It would make an unbelievable film.

Benenden Girls School

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Sunday, 5th April 2020 - Tulip in Isolation

I have been working on our rose garden. There is one yellow tulip doing social distancing. The slugs and snails have eaten all the others.

It has been a glorious day for weather.

The world is in a mess.

I am going to bed.

Tulip in Isolation

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Saturday, 4th April 2020 - Five Minutes Peace

It has been a day of gardening, reading books, piano practise x 2, cooking with what was at the bottom of the fridge and a day off alcohol.

I should have potted up my Ranunculus. A job for tomorrow. 

The weatherman told me it is going to be sunny enough tomorrow for the paddling pool to come out.

Five Minutes Peace
Pen and Watercolour

Friday, 3rd April 2020 - The Evans

Happy birthday to my glorious daughter Harriet.

Lock down prevented me getting birthday cake ingredients and decorations. I melted chocolate sprouts left over from Christmas over a squidgy log. I had two candles that were threes. Tim fashioned one into a five. We now had '35' to decorate the cake with primroses and forget-me-nots from the garden. Perfect.

We had a video birthday call with Tom. Hetty and Bella's theatrical performance went without scenery mishaps. It involved a lot of cardboard, glue and string. Excellent girls.

This evening we had a virtual visit to the pub using Zoom. Si, Lesley, Nick, Alli, June and Barry were there too. It was so good to see and chat with everyone while drinking G&T on the sofa. Nearly as good as going out.

The Evans
Pen and Watercolour

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thursday, 2nd April 2020 - Birthday Preparations

Tea was the first thing on my mind this morning as I woke. Then I remembered what a crisis we are in. We are very fortunate with our home situation but it doesn't stop those negative threads weaving their way through.

So I did a HIIT with Joe. I laughed at my burpee efforts. The sideways plank!!! I just laid on my side for 30 seconds feeling perplexed. There was no way that was going to happen. Onto my left side. Yeeeeessss.

Hetty and Bella came over for a bit of crafting this afternoon. I had tissue paper at the ready for them to make pictures for their Mum's birthday tomorrow. They had other ideas. They made cards with lots of glue, ribbons and pens. Decorated a couple of unicorns. Then made the most amazing scene set and wrote a script for a play tomorrow. Tim got involved in the engineering of how to get the divers to move. Oh and we made a cake. I didn't listen to the news or look at my phone for the whole time. Just the best therapy.

Birthday Preparations
Pen and Watercolour

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Wednesday, 1st April 2020 - Birthday Zoom

I have had a very entertaining interval to the film I was watching. Tim had a Zoom meeting/get together with some of his Morris side. It was Steve's birthday and needed to be celebrated with friends. The only way while in Lock Down is virtual. It worked. Happy birthday Steve.

Watching a great film Late Night. Really, really recommend it.

Birthday Zoon
Pen and Watercolour