Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Greetings and Salutations from 2018

I won't start with an apology, give the reasons why I stopped blogging. The words left. Simple as that and I'm not sorry they did. I didn't miss blogging or I would have done it sooner...or would I? I don't know. All I know is that I didn't blog. I'm not entirely sure the words are back, they could be just visiting. Passing through on the way to a better conduit and to have a last hurrah with me before they go on their merry way.

I like the idea words look for their hosts. There are a lot of words that seem to make do with poor hosts and I suspect I was one of them. I didn't indulge their endless rambling at 3 am, I wasn't quick enough to refill their glasses with wine after dinner. I think I only offered them discount supermarket sherry and port from the discount bin. Such meagre fare indeed.

And yet...and yet here I am. A whim whispered to me and I thought I'd go with it, see if there were more adventures to share, worth sharing.

It's been a busy time. 

I am an artist. 

Did I tell you this? Oh yes. I'm an artist. 

Keep the evening of Thursday 10th October 2018 free. I've got my first exhibition at Anteros Arts in Norwich. I'm working with Chris Grimmer, an astrophotographer. He's showcasing his amazing photographs and I am creating work out and around what he does. Exciting stuff. I'm pretending I'm a snowball rolling down a mountainside, gathering momentum as I go.

It's led to me expanding my horizons somewhat as I'm doing several courses to better understand my subject matter. I did no science for my GCSEs, the lack of which I am feeling every time I step up to my easel. That's okay. I'm best when slightly overwhelmed with lots of stuff to do and learn. October is ages away; I keep telling myself. I've a few more months to go before I'm officially allowed to panic at my lack of paintings.

See, here's the thing: the painting is the very last thing in the artistic process and for me, if I don't get the process right, it doesn't end well. I'm trying to start well, to mean to go on well, to finish on time with minimal stressing. Bwahahahaha! That's a road to nowhere if ever I've seen one. Yeah, right.

Anyway, in the meantime...

What I feared most came to pass. Dave's cancer came back and then some. He was accepted on to a ground-breaking treatment trialing two immunotherapy drugs. There was a rigorous selection process and when he began treatment we feared the delay would be costly. Nothing has gone according to Plan. There have been hiccoughs and surprises and detours which have meant I now consider myself an expert on hospital catering. The people around me leaned in and held me up since that awful day in mid-June.

At the moment, Dave seems to be doing much better. When he does better, I do better. Bad news crushes me, good news sends me soaring. This is a helluva ride. I won't say more than that, it's not about me; which quite frankly, is just as well. I would not be as physically or emotionally strong as Dave. I say to him I hope something like that never happens to me, my friends and loved ones would fight to hold the pillow over my face because I'd be whinging, whimpering and complaining so much. I'd be the most high-maintenance patient ever. 

Back at the ranch: in the autumn the pheasants and George the Herring Gull came back to demand breakfast. I've taken a mortgage out to pay for the tons of bird food I go through every month. It's worth it. Yes, I grumble on grey, damp days, or when the wind is blowing an absolute hoolie as it was early last week. I wouldn't be without my creatures. Thanks to a broadened menu, one platter does at least three sittings, starting with George and the pheasants. After they've gone the crows, magpies and blackbirds move in and finally, the partridges, robins and other small birds and a couple of very fat pigeons and a few collared doves come a-munching. 

George the Herring Gull and the Pheasants
(I wonder if they take requests?)

My flock of velociraptors are well, though not particularly happy with me as I'm keeping them mostly in due to the bad weather and the fact that I re-seeded my lawn in November. Happily, it's coming on well.

From left to right: Polly, Jenga, Canasta and Scrabble

I spent the summer in the garden freeing it from the clutches of the perennial weeds, planting, plotting and re-arranging. Gardening was my tiny act of rebellion. I created something for the future: colour for the spring. It's hard to be a cynic and garden. When I planted I wasn't thinking of the Present or even next month. I plant for five years' time. It's good to see the bulbs rising to my challenge as they poke through the cold ground. It won't be something a magazine will come to photograph, not if I do it right. I want it to be a scruffy, sensual place to be home for chickens, creatures, cats and creepy crawlies.

This is Chip
Haven't had him long and I've broken him already

Speaking of cats, Rummy now has a room mate Chip, which he is not best pleased about. And if Rummy isn't best pleased, Eloise the cat is downright furious at the intrusion of her territory. Let's not forget she is the Queen of All She Surveys and while she might see herself as Rummy's little sister, she'd rather Chip jumped off a cliff. Chip for the most part is fairly pleased with his change of circumstances. There's a lot to see and people to interact with if he fancies it, which he doesn't very much, it has to be said. He's established himself as head honcho and Rummy doesn't seem to mind too much as long as he still gets unfettered access to me. 

Herb planter by the kitchen door

Artist, gardener, creature lover, mad chicken & cat lady, me.

Anything else, I'll let you know.



  1. Happy new year oh awesome one! I am so looking forward to your exhibition.

    1. Happy New Year to you too! 2018 is going to rock for you!

      I'm looking forward to our next coffee and cake more. I'm hoping we'll meet well before the exhibition.

    2. Yes it would be so lovely to see you - it's been too long!

  2. Roses! Lovely to see you sprinkling words again. I think my mojo left, taking my OED and my Roget...
    Hugs to The Man and yourself. (( ))

    1. Thank you for welcoming me back so warmly.

      Hopefully, your mojo will return soonest!

  3. I know what you mean about the words, but this entry is phenomenal! I see you all the time on that other social media site, so I'm, like, in the know already. ;~) xoxox

    p.s. you KNOW we love you!!

    1. I KNOW I love you back too!

      And that other social media site isn't quite the same as blogging. It's nice having a proper catch up. Not just a fleeting glimpse of you waving on the street as I hurry past.


  4. I always consider blogging as a fun hobby, not an obligation. Write or don't write as you see fit. That said, thank you for the update.

    Congrats on the art project, new cat, and wildlife expo!

    As always, best wishes to Dave.

    1. Good point, well made. And yes, I'll take your advice.

      Thank you darling. Hope you and yours are well too.


  5. Big wishes for a Happy New Year for you and your man!! I'm sure your garden will be glorious once everything comes up. The cats will get sorted, at least to the point of tolerance, in time. Your little flock of dinobirds is lovely. Can't wait to see your art (unfortunately, it will be online unless I win the lottery) when this exhibit goes up. That is so exciting for you!! Much love and massive hugs to you and Dave. xoxoxo

    1. Thank you for your good wishes and you know we send them back to you...with interest! Hopefully, that lottery ticket will land.

      I'm hoping the cats do settle down, it can get quite annoying when they do "ball of spitting cat", rolling around the floor at 3am.

      Lots of love darling

  6. I'm sorry to hear about Dave's illness. I wish him a speedy recovery and will keep sending positive thoughts your way.

    I'm excited for your show! And it is lovely how you care for those fowl creatures! I'm currently upset with the ones that like to hang out in the tree under which I park--bird poop! Had to wash the car again!

    The new cat sounds like a wonderful addition, and your chickens look healthy. I love your plants blooming in the planter. I imagine your garden will do well.

    Thank you for updating us. Write when you can. We support you. Best wishes and good health, good luck, and much strength to you and Dave!

    1. Thank you honey. All positive thoughts and gin accepted gratefully ;-)

      I don't wash my car very often at all, so yes I can understand your grumbles, especially as bird poo if left can corrode the paintwork. What a pain for you! Ugh.

      I was out in the garden earlier and there are a lot of brown sticks at the moment. I'm hoping most of them survived this very odd winter we seem to be having.

      Massive hugs to you darling.

      Thank you for popping by to see me.

  7. Anonymous8:58 am

    October ? Ah bah, deadlines ... :)
    Great to read you again. I hope the betterness stays with Dave and You.

    1. I know, right?

      So far I have one completed painting and another, probably half way done. Given that I will need to have finished at least 20 pieces by August, I bet your proud at the way I'm not panicking at all. Not in the slightest.

      Hugs to you darling.

    2. Anonymous7:55 pm

      20 by August ... so circa all three weeks one work ... what means that picture one should be ready by now and sit drying in your atelier - it surely does, doesn't it ?

  8. Yay, a blog post!

    *waves enthusiastically at fellow bloggers*

    There are so few of us left blogging and I cannot claim to be a regular blogger myself anymore.

    I follow your adventures in hospital catering via Facebook and I keep everything crossed for Dave. And you. xx

    1. Hey honey.

      Yep an actual blog post and actual replies. Don't keel over.

      Perhaps I should do a proper blog post about hospital catering with pix? for thought (see what I did there?)


  9. Good to see you pop up in my reader! I hope 2018 will be a much better year for you and Dave, and that it will be kind and generous. Good luck with the paintings and the exhibitions - have fun!

    1. Thank you lovely lady for the welcome and your good wishes.

      I will certainly try to bother you more on your blog *and* have fun with the art.

      But we all know what the road to hell is paved with....

  10. Your blog was absolutely fantastic!
    Great deal of great information & this can be useful some or maybe the other way.
    Keep updating your blog,anticipating to get more detailed contents.

  11. Anonymous9:57 pm

    Darling - are you hung already ?

  12. Anonymous11:53 am

    Roses, darling - if you keep on commenting on this neck-breaking speed your next post will be around January '19 ...
    How's your picture producing process pervading ? How are you ?
    Best greetings to Dave.

  13. Anonymous11:54 am

    This is mago - the former comment is also by me. I tried to use the "name / url" field, but it did not work, so I used the anonymous-option, sorry.

  14. Anonymous8:39 pm

    Just peeping in, darling. And of course I hope that all is well with Dave and you.

    And of course you have finished those twenty-something paintings ... ?

    Kick me if you like ! :)

    And of course this is MAGO - all this commenting stuff does not work, sorry, I had to choose the anony mouse option, sorry.


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