Friday, 10 August 2012

Quiet Times before our Visitor arrives...

For the next few days we are having quiet times before Hazel arrives with us.  She and I have been friends for more years than I care to remember and if anyone asked me to sum her up in a couple of words then 'pink and purple ra-ra skirt' springs to mind - but that is another story!!!  We met when she was a teacher in Hackney and would come down to Yeovil to visit her parents and we would go out together - Hazel's fashion sense, being influenced by London, was always streets ahead of rural Yeovil so she introduced me to all sorts of trends - good and bad - the ra-ra skirt being a case in point!!  I am guessing there will be some reminiscing done next week!!

I set off down to Sheila and Klaus's where I finally finished my Clematis picture this morning.  It is a bitter sweet moment - I have so enjoyed creating this picture that I was almost sad to see it completed!  I will most definitely be getting this one framed - in fact I have an existing frame in mind so I just need to get a suitable mount made.  When I look at it I cannot quite believe that I have managed to produce something which looks pretty close to the original - who would have thought it!!  If any of you reading this blog get a chance to try using pastel pencils then go for it because they are a fantastic medium for creating pictures because they blend so beautifully and unlike water colours are forgiving if you make a mistake!  Sheila has sprayed the final picture to preserve it and I shall keep it safe until I have it under glass.  Of course finishing this picture meant that I had to embark on a new project...


As I have two matching picture frames I want to fill I wanted to choose a subject for my next picture that would complement the clematis flowers so this time I am doing the fuchsia pink morning glory - yet another plant which was flowering in Sheila and Klaus's garden (and thanks to them also flowering in ours).  The process for starting a picture is to take a black and white photocopy and using carbon paper trace around the key elements just to give you some guidelines.  I then start at the top and work down - that way I can ensure, as far as possible, that I don't smudge the work that I have done and will ensure that the bottom of the picture where the flower is clearly in the foreground will be crisper.  This picture is going to be a bit more of a challenge for me as there are lots of shadows to try and recreate which the previous picture did not have.  I shall be going to art again next week, as Hazel doesn't arrive until late in the evening so you can see how I progress next week.

My Greek lesson went pretty well although I thought I had struggled to learn all the new vocabulary from the previous week but I even surprised myself although remembering things from weeks previous to that might prove a greater challenge!  This week we are concentrating on directions and destinations so I will be able to ask for the police and whether they are far - this could prove essential at some point you never know!

On returning home I found John looking something like a Mediterranean Storm Trooper!!  He has borrowed a man-sized strimmer from Cycling Alistair and is determined to give the gardens of the various empty houses around us a bit of a hair cut.  Nothing too much but enough to tidy up the general area.  At the moment on our side all the gardens apart from Paul's next door are reasonably neat and tidy, then there are the ones opposite which never get touched - it just makes the place look messy and unloved so with time on our hands and pride in where we live we are going to do something.  Cutting stuff down isn't really the issue - getting rid of the rubbish is!!  I was on sweeping and raking duty but even late in the afternoon it was really too hot for such strenuous activities!!!  So we did what we could and then gratefully cooled down in the pool - bliss!!  This job will have to continue tomorrow and the next day and the next...


Chivers finds the whole thing very boring!!!  He is never a million miles away these days either sleeping on the tiled floor with his head on the hearth or (as we have just found out) asleep under our bed.  At night he likes to sleep on either my feet or John's feet until he gets too hot and then he escapes to the cool of the floor and then out for a little wander coming back to the bedroom covered in burrs which he noisily removes and then spits across the bed!  His day is punctuated by regular feeding (he would eat all day given the chance) and trips to the bathroom to watch the water disappear down the plughole!  It's a hard life...

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