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That was a happy holiday that was …

August 30, 2016

Yellow flowerOh dear,  I had so much planned for this extended bank holiday weekend.  After a few weeks of workshops and courses,I decided to stay at home and finish a few tasks and practice a some new found skills. The only date, was one with my brother who has recently returned home from hospital after the lower part of his left leg amputated.

So with a full 4 days  of ‘work’ planned I began on Friday morning, a couple of hours in, I found myself not being creative.   The the joys of being at home with some music, a couple of books and tea was far more inviting.

When I did attempt to set some letterpress in  chase, I failed when I discovered I didn’t have enough spacing; I found writing yet another shopping list, a delight and vital if I do want to continue printing as I hoped.

I did manage to finish some tasks but again once that was done; being down the garden enjoying the joys of my previous hard work was far more rewarding.  

The highlight of the weekend was being with my brother, finding  him not yet recovered but very positive about future and looking forward to returning to the activities he had enjoyed before and bravely more beside.  

So while I bemoan my lack of hair and motivation, he boosted me ; not back to sped but to enjoy the break.  While I am not inclined towards being busy at the moment;  in  a week or two, there will be no choices. More courses, exhibitions and shopping lists to be fulfilled.  

So back to tea and Steven King  and a happy holiday.  

The view from my studio …. now can I see yours?

August 29, 2016

The view from my upstairs studio is no great shakes.  Facing southeast,I do get a chance to imagine the sunrise although there is often no real concrete evidence of this.  Until she does burn of the cloud then I have to pull the blinds completely  until her spiteful rays no longer interfere with my work.

If my view were a cinema screen then the sky holds the  top righthand corner  and a little further  right a distance roof and the sound of crows and magpies.  These are the only evidence of wildlife; bar a mangy cat that sleeps a while on a flat roofed garage at centre stage.  On the left is a terrace row of tiny Victorian houses  and their grey tiled roofs some with a plastic newness; a mirror image of those on my side.  

I often wonder in times of distraction,  (why else would I look out on such a god forsaken place) if those opposite are slightly wider and grander; but short of counting bricks and I have tried that in desperate times or going over with   tape measure then the jury remains out.      

I think this is quite beautiful!Neither side of the road has a front garden just a narrow stripe that serves no purpose and requires a cosmetic wall and gate; most have fallen in bad repair or removed for the income of modernity indoors and not replaced. In some cases there are chequed tiles, a  ‘path’ leading to door that has long since been Victorian.

So at my eye level, I see a TV aerials and the new round alternative  and a giant cobweb of  trailing cables that seem to come from nowhere and go somewhere else that doesn’t bear logic.  

My attention is drawn down and now squinting through the now opened blinds and more interesting than the job in hand, is the debate between new doors and windows having experienced the new placements in the 1970s  and those more recent.  Why should I not be an expert?  

I can see Nos. 2, 4 and 6 and leaning out a little I can see the cleaner come and go at no. 8; does it really take that long to clean throughout? She takes longer to light her ciggy, touch up her lippy and check her mobile.  I see quite clearly the comings and goings; the bumps and scrapes of the cars as they maneuver from precious parking spaces.  

Then there are the wheelie bins, finding no space in the front garden, not the luxury of a side entrance, are left on the road side each decorated with number and rendered unique almost as creatively as the aforementioned draped   communication cables.   

Not a pretty sight, but it is home and it serves a pleasant backdrop when life on the other side is less comfortable.  

Playing my vinyl …

August 27, 2016

viviengoldmanSaturday morning; pleasantly cool enjoying listening to Vivien Goldman and painting.  I have to be careful not rush about and remember to change sides.  Takes me back a few years and  feels just as exciting. Have a good Saturday.  


August 26, 2016

sunsetToday is a holiday for me; the University is closed. This year the University of Reading celebrates its 90th Anniversary.  While the last months haven’t all been joyous; with cuts in spending, redundancies, job losses and more difficulties ahead, we have welcomed this day tacked onto the Bank Holiday to make an extended weekend.  

Some of my colleagues will go away; Reading Festival bring hoards of dishevelled and noisy teenagers to the town, a getaway is a good plan. I, on the other hand am staying at home to enjoy some time to myself.

Since returning from Brazil  4 weeks ago I have been busy pleasing myself alongside which they’re have been some demanding factors that have taken me to a dark and lonely place.  Try as I might to be a good parent or strong dependable big sister I didn’t always make it.  

Each day I have faced  a mirror from which reflected a head of decreasing hair; a tuft or two are struggling as we speak.  Yes! I have been here before and don’t need reminding  … but it is complicated. Grief is.  

However, it can be your friend, like joy, anger and regret, if we greet it from a balanced or best, in the true place then it can strengthen, motivate, inspire and even catapult us to a stable and more comfortable place.  

So while my bald head is not such a pretty sight; injuries do repair, relationships mend and hope remains … Good wishes to those who understand depression and complicated grief.

Silent Sunday …

August 14, 2016

Rising Sun Art Centre

a humble Namaste …

August 13, 2016

for PaulComing back from Brazil didn’t work out as planned … ideas and dreams didn’t materialise as I hoped. Funny that; why didn’t I suspect? How can we? I, for one am aware of impermanence but that is what we read in books. It ain’t real?

During our stay and the weeks before, my daughter and her dear partner decided to separate. No matter how amicable we try to  be there is always a sore place and we found ourselves there from time to time, struggling in a muddle of blame, guilt and shame. However, it didn’t spoil our holiday; family get-togethers are never perfect events … but families are human far from perfect.  We survived, the hurt remains and this affects us more deeply now we are home and no longer able to give them both a hug.   

During our holiday we were given another blow below the belt.  My only brother was involved in a road accident and as a result had a lower leg amputated. This was horrible as it is only 2 years since my daughter and partner were hit by a car and had badly broken legs. This was terrible for us but for my brother a tragedy a huge shock … I won’t dwell on this as he is recovering well; a brave man coping admirably although I understand the darkness at times is beyond compare.  

These past events, more importantly those with my brother have affected me and my sisters differently … for me my hair fell as it does in times of real despair so as I sit here clutching my spiky remains bemoaning my lack of motivation on the blogging front and he …

Leaves hospital on crutches to face the world seemingly so cruel; I send love to those who really do have a right to be at a loss … yet go on to be braver, more courageous and better beings … namaste

Silent Sunday …

August 7, 2016

A likeness ...


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