As the title suggests, I send a heart felt apology to all those who wrote to me following the loss of Mum and Jasper. I’ve been in a bad place this past year – grief is all consuming and I couldn’t talk or write about my losses without buckets of tears, so it was best to lay low for a while. Thank you all for your messages of sympathy and words of comfort, they were very much appreciated even though I didn’t say so at the time.

So, it’s been a year this week since Mum’s funeral and the loss of Jasper. It still hurts – I miss them both so much and miss my ‘old life’ desperately. I’ve been lost without them both, but my friends and family have been wonderful and very tolerant at times, as I know my doldrums haven’t been easy to live with.

I had lost all heart in keeping up with this blog, the fact that my working life intermingles with my private life made it difficult for me to continue writing, but a year on and it’s time to pick up the pieces and resume where I left off. So, where did I leave off?

I did the only thing I knew how to do when there was a gaping great hole in my life – I worked. This past year has seen an unprecedented amount of change and (hopefully) progress and hard slog – heck things couldn’t have gotten much worse could they? More about my work later.

Jasper’s stable is empty; I can’t bring myself to do anything with it, but I paid tribute to him by using some of his manure to fill a rusty old barrow and planting it with bedding plants. It stands outside his stable and makes the place look more cheerful. I think he’d approve (and eat them).

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Jasper’s field is not empty. In June it looked like a jungle; overgrown with grass and the weeds were setting in thick and fast too. I now have 24 sheep in residence and they are doing a great job in munching down the wilderness. In the autumn I’ll see about getting it back to looking respectable and take things from there.

I have just taken on a part loan of a little horse. I miss my equestrian life very much and there will never be another Jasper, but a part share seems an ideal way to ease back into things and I do need something other than work in my life. I’m riding a couple of times a week and enjoying it. It’s been 15 years since I rode a different horse , so I was nervous and self-conscious about my ability, as Jasper and I knew each other so well and the relationship was effortless, but it’s a bit like riding a bike and some of my old ability is lurking in there… somewhere… I think?

So, back to work. God I’ve worked some long hours. Each time I tried to sit and do ‘normal’ things such as watch TV I cried, so I’ve thrown myself into painting. The concentration takes my mind off things and it is very therapeutic. I work in pastels, watercolour and acrylics. The designs/paintings are used for a variety of things from the drawer knobs through to greetings cards. It’s our aim to start selling to trade next year, when I’ve amassed enough designs to create a decent range of products.

I think that’s enough writing for one day don’t you? if you made it this far, well done, it’s now time to sit back and see what I’ve been doing during my time out from blogging:

this one isn't for sale - I painted it for myself

this one isn’t for sale – I painted it for myself

pastel and watercolour artworks on knobs

pastel and watercolour artworks on knobs

Jenny Wren watercolour

Jenny Wren watercolour

Frankel. SOLD

Frankel. SOLD

horse racing watercolour

horse racing watercolour

Jack Russell

Jack Russell

Some of my watercolour paintings on greetings cards

Some of my watercolour paintings on greetings cards

A pastel artwork of Tweeters

A pastel artwork of Tweeters

Hope you like them and will stay tuned.

Jackie

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