Monday, 23 March 2009

Another beautiful sunny week - had a great day at City and Guilds working with Fibre DK aka Lutrador, and sheer fabrics- AND I've been working on my homework ever since.
On Thursday I got my oven fixed, so there'll be no stopping me now. Apparently the element needed to be replaced, and the Mr Fixer who sorted it suggested that it was lack of use that was the problem. Oh really, I'll bear that in mind. If it goes again, I'll give up on the whole 'oven' business and it can become another kitchen cupboard. In the afternoon, I decided to cycle to Stapleford to my beading class. I allowed an hour, and arranged a couple of pitstops if needed, but I obviously grossly underestimated my level of fitness, as I got there in half an hour. Maybe I should put my name down for one of the cycling events in 2012??? Anyway, I whiled away the extra half hour by riding along the footpath by the river.
Friday I was pottering in the garden, and gave my lawn the first cut. Was pleasantly surprised when my lawnmower started on the first pull - previously I have had to resort to the Basil Fawlty method, by speaking to it very sternly and kicking it.
Today, we went for a lovely walk along the river, in the sunshine, and without a coat!
And to think that only a few weeks ago we were knee deep in snow. Ok, maybe not knee deep...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Sunshine and slippers

Hasn't the unexpected and unseasonal sunshine been lovely?
Maybe it'll stay like this until about September or October. What do you mean? I can't help it, I'm an optimist. Even in the face of adversity - like when my cooker blew up on Friday night just as I was going to prepare a sumptuous feast. Ok, so I was cooking frozen cheesey pancakes, but one man's meat is another man's poison, and I LIKE cheesey pancakes. I had no power, except for the lights, and at first I thought it was the television, which would have been a bit of a pain, then I thought it was the PC - which would have been a disaster, but fortunately, a foray into the meter cupboard to inspect the RCD thingy revealed that it was in fact, just the cooker, which is obviously an optional extra in my house, and not worth worrying about. So I didn't. And I still haven't. It's nearly summer and everyone knows you only eat salads in the summer, don't you. I do think, though that it should still be under guarantee - I've only had it for about four years, and in vintagerockchick years, that means it's only about 3 months old, given the number of times I've used it. My Dad reckons it's caked up with dust.
You wouldn't think I'd still be prepared to sit for another art class would you?? Well, clearly I just don't learn, so that's just what I did on Saturday. It was lovely to meet up with a group who I used to paint with - I haven't seen them for ages. I'm only going to put one rendition on here - Dave said he would make me look 20 years younger - and I think he has! Look what my friend Jane has bought me! I'm not really a slipper wearer, I think my aversion to indoor footwear dates back to when my Mum sewed black elastic across my slippers when I was a child, to stop me kicking them off - but these are the most beautiful specimens. Leopardskin ballet pumps with pink ribbons and real pink diamonds on the front. Jane says she got them because she was fed up with my indoor boots (the closest I get to slippers) leaving black marks on her kitchen floor. To be honest though, after an hour of my pirouetting around her kitchen in these little beauties, I think she would welcome the odd black mark.

Sunday was a beautiful day, and so we went for a lovely walk to the Woodman - where we had scampi and chips. Obviously, under normal circumstances I would have cooked a Sunday roast, but what with having no oven or anything .............

Finally, sorry if I'm becoming a bit of an ornithological bore, but look at the latest visitors to my bird feeder - I saw a bird I'd never seen before a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday I managed to get a photo of not one, but a pair of nuthatches. Bill Oddy, eat your heart out.

Aren't they lovely. And such an original excuse for being a bit late for work - "Sorry, but I was taking pictures of the nuthatches on my bird feeder". It worked for me.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

So many jobs, so little time

Goodness, nearly two weeks - it HAS been really busy. Just a quick run through of what I've been up to - last Friday I saw "Whole Lotta Led", a great tribute band , with my two friends Tony (I described it as a Two Tone evening, but they groaned, so I won't bother mentioning that on here). Saturday I went to Flatford Mill and Dedham for a walk and lunch - recognise this?

It's the location for Constable's Haywain. Maybe I could paint my own version - and it could be ex-Constable's Haywain???

Then I became a domestic goddess for a day on Monday and did a thorough spring clean and made lemon curd. Yeah me! - made lemon curd. It's edible and everything!!!

Tuesday I sat for a local art class (fully clothed, I hasten to add!) - the students produced what can only be described as "varied" renditions of me. Some I think are very flattering, and those artists will continue to be on my Christmas card list .....

And then there were the rest; I think it's always interesting to see how others see you .....

Hmmmm. I appear to have many and varied personas, ranging from Eliza Doolittle through to an old hag from a Grimms Fairytale, via a bashed-in crab. And in one I bore more than a passing resemblance to Little Steven from Bruce Springsteen's East Street Band (and The Sopranos) Nice.
Anyway, to continue - Wednesday I worked at Art Van Go - obviously I need to earn some cash to pay for the urgently required facial surgery and then on Thursday, I braved the art class for a second time (some people never learn, and after the counselling, and then booking the facelift, and nose job, I'm actually starting to feel much better about myself).

In the afternoon I went up to town, and had a walk in the sunshine in St James Park

This is one of my favourite views - I love the contrast of the old and new architecture - The London Eye seen above the roofs at Wellington Barracks.

Then I went on to the Mall Galleries to see the work of the Prism group at the exhibition entitled "Headlines". Really beautiful and varied work, including beautiful graphic stitched pieces from Gina Ferrari - (see her photos of her exhibits at and also Ruth Issett, who just happened to be coming in as I was leaving, so I went back and had a coffee with her and talked her into having her photo taken with her work - as always such great zingy colour

And, talking of colour, it's time I went down to my studio and did some work ....