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.