Sunday, 28 March 2010

Palm Sunday

A lovely day for our Palm Sunday service, with a visit from our very own donkey Noah seen in the middle of the picture - just above his head is the entrance to our drive - that is how close we are to the church. We all progressed round the church clutching our palm crosses and singing, the choir leading the way are usually about three verses ahead of us by the time we get back into church ! We left straight after communion to drive to Banbury for lunch in this delightful pub, lovely scenery all the way with the trees just bursting with buds and blossom, everywhere looking so fresh and green. Banbury Cross isn't a cross at all - I took this picture through the front windscreen of the moving car - not bad, eh? I am not sure whether it is one of the 'Eleanor' crosses (I shall have to look that up) but I do know that the original one was destroyed in 1602 and that this is a replica. I stitched all the way there and slept some of the way home!
We went out to dinner last night and were pretty late home so it was rather hard to get up this morning an hour earlier than usual - and isn't it amazing just how many clocks there are to alter in the house? I counted 10 clocks, then there is the cooker and microwave (I always have to look at the instruction book to find out how to alter the time) not to mention watches and the cars. My car is so difficult that it often just stays the same throughout the year and I have to make the necessary adjustment in my head. Keeps me on my toes.
Busy week this week, with the exhibition being set up on Wednesday - I hope to goodness my framing is ready in time - and the preview on Thursday then the family for Easter, church flowers and so on. Oh, and the lovely friend Sandra is coming up for the opening. I had better get in an early night whilst I can.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


I have often sewn Elvis, with varying success and mostly on postcards - but isn't it always the same, when you really want something to come out well it just does not go right? This is how it is looking, the cleft in the chin is all wrong and if I try to unpick it the satin will mark. Bother and double bother.
This is the sketch I am working towards. I've a good mind to put sunglasses on him then I won't have to wrestle with the eyes! Some years ago I did a series of six pieces based on music and they all sold except one, so I thought if I did another musical picture they would make a pair, hence the Elvis idea.

Maybe Beethoven or Chopin would have been a better bet!
My lovely friend Sandra came for the weekend and we had such a good time, especially on Monday when we went into Cambridge and had a bit of retail therapy. I bought a really nice linen skirt and jumper which I really, really needed and two T-shirts in a sale. She came up to see George Meliniotis's exhibition at The Tavern Gallery and then in the evening George and Brenda came in for supper so we had a very arty weekend. Sandra is a botanical artist and does delightful paintings of flowers and vegetables - if I were a bit more clever I would be able to give you a link to her photos - maybe when the grandsons are here at Easter I shall pick their brains!
Speaking of grandchildren, I have just been talking to Junior Grandson who linked me to the Facebook of Senior Grandson where I saw photographs of him with a green face and a bright green colander on his head??? Master's degree in Engineering? Funny way of going about it!
It has been a beautiful day today, the garden is full of buds now and we can really imagine spring is on the way. Daffodils, hyacinths, hellebores, snowdrops and crocus, even the pulmonaria is in bloom now. As soon as this exhibition is launched, I must get out there with a trowel.
Hey ho, back to Elvis.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday - and a rather sad one for me as I didn't see either of my daughters - well, one of them IS up in Market Drayton and you can't exactly just pop in for tea. The poor girls must have an awful struggle buying a card for me, because they know that I would throw a wobbly if the card said 'MUM' ! On the odd occasion over the years they have had to resort to inserting '-MY' in biro. We went to church in the morning and the little children had, as usual, made these pretty nosegays and after they had presented them to their mothers they then ran round the church giving them to all the other ladies. For some reason I got very tearful, because it seems only yesterday that my two girls were doing that! Where have those years gone? We usually ask friends back for a drink after church but of course everyone was rushing off to have lunch with their families so we came home and had a stiff gin and then we had a second one! It was a drown your sorrows moment.
This morning we went to NADFAS in Churchill College - a very good lecture on Delacroix, Chopin and George Sand, three great Romantics of the 19th century. Fascinating. And this afternoon it was our book group when we discussed Vows of Silence by Susan Hill (we have just done a run of crime books) but we only gave it a seven - there seemed to be so many sub plots going on and so many dead bodies it was worse than Midsomer. The next one is Shattered by Dick Francis which should be a quick gallop of a read and then we go on to three historical novels. I have also just read The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru - an absolutely delightful book about an Anglo/Indian boy. It is funny and sad and very thought provoking, I loved it.
What WOULD we do without books?

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Snowdrops and Vincent

Until last year I had a veritable carpet of snowdrops, a delicious spread of brave little white heads in the grass under the trees where I could see them from the kitchen window. The -----squirrels have systematically rooted them up in their quest for the nuts they buried in the autumn. They have NO idea where they put the nuts, they just roam all over the garden digging here, there and everywhere in the hope that somewhere along the line they might unearth something. In the process they dig up all the bulbs and leave them lying on top of the soil, with their poor little green tips of shoots going nowhere. Stupid animals - rats with fluffy tails and good publicity, Beatrix Potter has a lot to anwer for So now I do not have a carpet, nor even a rug, but I do have clumps here and there and I still have a nice variety of flowers, open, closed, double, spotted, tall and short - what a joy they are.
And the hellebores too, are doing well - it is amazing just how much there is in the garden at the moment even though it is still so cold.

GUESS WHERE WE'VE BEEN !!! That's right - yesterday we went up to London to see the wonderful, magnificent, superb Vincent Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy. What a feast for the eyes - it took us over two hours to go round, there is so much to see and read, for of course his letters to his brother Theo are all there with delightful little sketches of the paintings he had just done. Little works of art on their own. It was quite overwhelming to see so much of his work all gathered together and so well displayed -we enjoyed it so much, despite the crowds. My lovely friend Sandra works at the RA as a volunteer and we met up with her after
we had been round and went off for a much needed pot of tea with scones! Sandra says that every time she goes on duty she goes back to gaze at her favourite canvases. Which to choose though, if you could take just one home with you! Anyway, I bought the catalogue and I cannot wait to sit down and have a good old read. We then went on to have a very good Chinese meal and finally got home at about ten o'clock exhausted but very happy! I do love a day in London but I am always so happy to get back home!
Now then, Vintage Rock Chick, you said I could upload the new version of Blogger but I am such a wimp that although I have searched I cannot find this 'ere facility. What do I do? Where is it hiding?

Thursday, 4 March 2010

So much to do, so little time

We have just come back from the Preview evening of George Meliniotis's exhibition at The Tavern - and a very nice exhibitionit is too! I am accustomed to seeing his paintings as they evolve when I pop next door, but seeing them in a gallery situation is quite a different thing.Most impressive. Now my feet are getting even colder as I anticipate our MESCH Preview in one month's time! Here is MaryLou, or SherriLee as I think she will be, complete with freckles and the shadow of my camera -ooops. Not very professional. And this is another thing I have been working on - a Matisse-type portrait. This is stage one
and oh dear, even less professional, she is sideways on. And if I delete it and go back to my camera and turn it round, when I download it it will go to the top of the page and not here where I want it. PERLEEESE can someone tell me how to get the download where I want it in the text !!!

Anyway, you can see where it is going (sideways). I am in too much of a hurry to get the post done and get on with the Community Hall accounts, as we have a meeting tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Then Gardening Club AGM which I was going to give a miss, but have just had a telephone call urging me to go. Then a 'cinema evening' when we are going to watch The Time Traveller's Wife' at a friend's house with a takeaway. Friends coming to dinner on Saturday - cooking all day - and another friend's birthday lunch on Sunday.
And our exhibition opens on 1st April...........

Monday, 1 March 2010

Well, it was a funny old week, last week. I feel quite wrung out ! I was thoroughly fed up by Thursday, and then on Friday we had to brave the M25 to go to a funeral in Surrey which turned out to be a very odd affair - I understand that the will had upset the applecart. Honestly, families !!! But then things started to get better, on Saturday we drove up to Birmingham to hear Will play in another concert - an interesting programme of brass music, including Tam O'Shanter's ride by Dennis Wright and Glasnost by Dizzy Stratford, neither of which I knew, but both of which I enjoyed. All the family were there and Will had booked a table at a Nepalese restaurant where we had a very nice meal. Then we had to drive back to Cambridge through thick fog. Ugh. No chance of a lie-in as we had to be up early for church on Sunday morning, after which some friends came back to the house to sample our damson vodka and sloe gin. A little nap after lunch seemed a good idea. Then the lovely Brenda, who knew I had had a rough week, rang to ask us to join them for supper (which was roast pork) so Sunday was a good day as well.
Here are some of the bottles of Carlini wine - a lousy photograph but the wine is a lovely clear colour and actually tastes good. Brenda has designed some labels which we had a look at over dinner and we reckon we might be drinking it in a couple of months! What an achievement.
It has been a glorious day here - lovely sun shining on all the snowdrops and aconites blooming in the garden. I actually put sheets on the line and they dried - I do hate having to use the tumble dryer. I went out to lunch with some of the church ladies, we go and have a meal every time someone has a birthday, and now the husbands have decided they are not going to sit at home with baked beans so they meet up at another pub at the other end of the village. That's brilliant 'cos I didn't have to cook this evening!
I did some sewing this afternoon - I think the clue is 'Yee-haaa'
She has turned out to be quite a sturdy lass and is probably called MaryLou or SherriLee! I cannot decide whether to leave her as she is or paint her, like the old lady with the parrot. I quite like the simplicity of the brown stitch on the cream calico. I shall sleep on it.
Well, here we are in March already - I cannot believe it. One day of sunshine and you really do feel that spring might be in the air.