Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten...

No, she's not gone gone...just gone. My mother in law has been at Hatzfeld House for a week now, yet I still find myself instinctively wanting to make breakfast for her. She is coping more than we are by all accounts. I know it isn't cool to say so, but I'm quite looking forward to visiting her tonight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lord Help Us

After working and paying into the system all our lives, this is what one of our privileged peers has to contribute. My blood temperature rises and is in danger of erupting. Lord, help us...because this one won't.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Missing You

I miss having a rant about life and, if I'm honest, keeping a journal. It's also very difficult to keep in touch with fellow bloggers from this site if I'm never here.

I'm thinking of returning to write once a week to maintain a record of my life away from painting.

I've been doing odd jobs around the place that I know will put a smile on Bev's face.  Nothing drastic...just clearing stuff that was destined for a car boot into the loft, wiring a light switch, a little plasterboarding, and making the spare room accessible. Yes, the spare room which is always the first space to be abused.

Oops, I've just remembered I should phone Martin to say we can't make it tonight to the party.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


As I paint most of the day now (as well as contend with the millions of things that seem to fill my life) I've opted to freeze this blog and use it for reference only as I never really have time to use it as a journal...Facebook, DPW and my art blog seem to satisfy me.
I'll attempt to transfer my favourite links from here to my art blog so that I can keep in touch.

My art

Friday, May 18, 2012

Now I'm ready

Over the past few weeks I've been working on remodelling our bathroom. Once I started, I had to carry on to the bitter end even though I became ill half-way through.

The first job was to build a temporary stud wall into the adjoining bedroom to contain all the dust while the brick wall came out.
The cast iron bath was so heavy I had to have my son's help to remove it. We had to smash it in the end.
 Floorboards up and replacing and relocating the radiator...this was a lot cleaner by the time the new boards were fitted
Lots of piping to move...
Now that we have the bath, more accurate measurements can be made regarding the wall.
Ceiling had to be plastered along with walls, stud wall properly constructed, insulated and sound proofed, tiled, floor replaced, window cill replaced, pipes all done, shower screen shower yet.
 Toilet and sink repositioned, taps replaced and tiled shelf created by boxing the pipes...
 I only had two  bits of tiles after all the tiling was done.

Very pleased now that all the painting is finished and fully functioning again...apart from the back of the door which needs sanding and painting.

For just 18" encroaching into the bedroom we've managed to have the bath to the right and open the bathroom considerably. It's still small...but perfectly formed and a pleasure to be in.

I feel relaxed now and ready for the holiday...after a good bath!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Break Time

Looking forward to being in France this weekend and cutting myself off from all the negative talk about the economy and the looming euro crisis. Our main concern will be cutting up all the trees in our garden that blew down during the storms at the end of last listening to radio, watching TV or going online. It's time for good old fashioned work rest and play as per a bygone age. Can't wait! I love the feeling that I always have when visiting going back to a more tranquil time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Centre Stage

The film crew arrived just as MIL came back totally confused. She went to catch a bus for her hospital appointment but returned within 10 minutes wondering why she had my house keys and where she was going. I calmed her down while the crew prepared to film. After they are gone I'll drive her to the hospital. I guess this marks the time when she no longer can travel on her own. She'll be upset at losing this part of her independence.

The crew are here to film one of their delivery and collection procedures (Currys Knowhow). It's a mock scenario for TV and training which I agreed to because it was my son who organised it.

Poor MIL is crying inside while they are buzzing around's a surreal situation.

She's okay now although feeling acutely aware that she is centre stage again and not liking the experience one little bit. Ash tried to convince her that he was the star of the show today, but she's not convinced.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Munch Ado About Nothing

What can I say? Edward would turn in his grave to know some madman paid over $100 million for one of his pastels ahead of what good such millions could do. It's enough to make you...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

There is no end.

I used to find time to write about my life. The reason I don't now is because I've found time for everything else.  My life is too full and busy with many things not of my choosing. I'm yearning for something I don't comprehend. When I've found it I'll be as busy as ever. Is there no end?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Moving now that Amber's parents in USA are in the know.

Sunderland move on to the next round of the FA Cup. England move on without Fabio and we move on to our 10th Grandchild, Finley James Devine who was born 12:50am and weighed in at 9lbs.

Well done, Sunderland, England and especially Amber.

Oh, and well done you too, Ash!

On a separate note...was Amber and I the only ones who couldn't sleep last night? Actually, I must have, because the dreams were so unbelievably vivid. In all my life I've never had such dreams. I wonder if I should have left the chocolates in the box before retiring? Rather the chocolates and dreams than what Amber had to go through, eh?

Happy days!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Looking bright here in Newark

It's random, I know...but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed sitting and chatting with Norwich supporters as we watched Sunderland play sublime football to win the game 3-0. Its been quite an eventful time since Martin O'Neil took over and the transformation has been a joy to see. From relegation to 8th slot is no mean feat in such a short time.

Okay, I know!  Yes, the world is reported to be in turmoil and tragedies are in abundance...but I take my comfort from whatever and whenever. Today it's sport and the bright sunshine on a cold, crisp and gloriously bright and optimistic morning.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the deep and loving it.

Bev made the right choice in taking photos of Liliya rather than me and the gala...Martin was thrown in free of charge virtue of the fact he was the one holding the baby:)

I was worn out by the end of the evening, but it was a great night (as usual) and well attended.

Well done Martin Cox for whipping up enthusiasm in was all worth it at they ended the evening as overall winners. Thanks also to Nigel and Jan, Sarah, Chris, David, Peter and everyone else that helped us out and made it an event to remember.

Had the pool officials not stopped Bev from taking photos, there'd be more to show. C'est la vie!

Calm before the storm...

 M&L making an early start in the little pool...
 David, Eileen and Bobby...for once, David isn't the baby:)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My goals...

  1. Landscape back garden.
  2. Have 4 Plein Air expeditions lasting two or three days each outing.
  3. Self-publish a 'DailyPainting' book.
  4. Extend and re-fit bathroom...including a new tank in the loft.
  5. Make 12 videos for Youtube.
We've already demolished the outbuilding and shed in the back garden, cut dead trees well as others, erected, relocated and stocked another shed, replaced old posts and fitted newer fence panels.

I'm really pleased that I haven't over committed myself this year because (as you know) there will always be children, friends and acquaintances to help out...not to mention the odd emergency and the list of jobs waiting for me in France.

We also have unspoken making certain we have a well balanced lifestyle and maintaining good habits.

Bev has her own personal goals, two of which we are doing together.

We are ready!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm still standing

I sit here wondering what this year will bring.
I sit here wondering about my apparent diminishing capacity to cope with what seemed quite easy last year.
I sit here hoping for little change, but for everything to change.
I sit here fearing an invasion of my world...for the robbers of time and stagnation born of apathy.
I'm standing now and want to make a difference capacity has just increased and I want to slay my demons of which there are a few...none of which are sitting.

What I'd like to do in 2012...
Try some things I've never experienced before.
Windsurf the English Channel (something I've wanted to do for years)

What I have to do in 2012...
Be realistic...It'll take more than this year to prepare to windsurf the English Channel. I think it will have more impact if I wait until I draw my pension:) Extend the upstairs bathroom instead, and for an encore landscape the back garden.
I also have to stop over-committing myself.

That'll do for now.

Friday, January 06, 2012


I've got that feeling again. You know...the one that you get when you've done something wrong and you know you'll be found out.

Do I come clean straight away and take it on the chin or choose my moment carefully?