I’m hopelessly out of date with artists materials. In ‘my day’, all those years ago, art classes at school consisted of working with lurid poster paints in massive bottles, coupled with very stiff and fat, bristle brushes, or bits of magazines, which were cut up to make very dodgy looking collages. The only state of the art thing I can remember was the bolt on pencil sharpener with a handle, which was attached to teacher’s desk, and you could use it only if you’d been very, very good. I seldom got to use it (well actually never, which gives you some idea of my school ethic), but drawing with a blunt pencil wasn’t so bad:-)

I use acrylic hobby paints for the arty bits that I do now, but they’re not exactly good at precision work (or perhaps it’s just me that’s not so good at precision work). So I’ve just invested in a set of watercolour pencils, which I’m told are fab:

watercolour pencils

watercolour pencils

Some while back I had the idea of doing a set of British wildlife designs, but didn’t think the acrylic paints were quite right for the task; hopefully the pencils will offer a bit more control for the nitty gritty bits of detail. I don’t suppose the wildlife will be started/finished for many months, but at least the pencils are there for when the mood takes me. I find that I have to be ‘in the mood’ to sit and do anything arty and if I try and force myself, it all just goes to pot.

Earlier today I took a trip down memory lane, when I sat looking at my wedding snaps. We had some ‘proper’ photographs taken, but they never see the light of day due to the fact that the photographer took all the pics at a lower angle than me, so I ended up looking a bit like a resident of Royston Vasey:

royston vasey


So I prefer to look at the informal pictures taken by family and friends:

Me, bossy!???

Me, bossy!???

I’m not the one wearing a skirt:-)

My little Jack Russell ‘Sophie’ was bridesmaid and completely by chance I’d made her a tartan bow that matched the tartan of the piper’s kilt.  All the wedding plans were made blindly over the phone as we got married at Gretna Green. There was no internet back then. It was 20th December and FREEZING. Please tell me I’m not the only bride to have spent her wedding night wearing long johns?

Anyway, I wanted the photographs to clip to a sample wedding garland that I’d put together, hence the bells and whistles in the above photo.

Jasper had an MOT last week. He was due a tetanus jab, so a few other bits and bobs were looked at by the vet during the visit. His runny eye is just a runny eye, with no ulcer or infection. Then there’s his swollen sheath… A swab was sent off for testing and he’s got a bacterial infection called Citro Bacter (or is it all one word ‘Citrobacter’?). Unfortunately there is no ‘off the shelf’ product to treat the infection, so I’m spending my evenings squirting mastitis concoction where the sun doesn’t shine, then massaging it in gently. Jasper’s enjoying it immensely; I’m not so keen. But I am immensely relieved that he’s not objecting – I’m quite vulnerable squatting in between a heavy horse’s back legs, getting up close and personal with his ‘bits’. There’s only two more days of treatment left to do; not that I’m counting… much!

I managed to clear the backlog of work today and hope to have this weekend off, or at least one day. Just recently I’ve felt very tired – I think it’s the long, hard slog of winter that’s taken its toll. Battling with a muddy paddock and a muddy horse and the endless rain just seemed to knock the wind out of my sails. A bit of spring sunshine will soon perk me up I think.

And lastly… Little Cat. Hubby wanted her back, I wasn’t sure. We discussed her and I said I’d no objection to her return if he looked after her, with the feeding, grooming, worming, de-fleaing etc. Hubby hasn’t mentioned her since, so I take it he had second thoughts. I know quite a few of you were keen for us to have her back, but I’ve got my hands full with Jasper and the associated vets bills take some paying.

It’s 11.30pm and His Lordship has just appeared at the dining room window to remind that it’s time for his lemon curd butty. Strictly for medicinal purposes you understand:



Who needs a landscaped back garden anyway?