Wednesday, 2 January 2013

So long since I posted

It's been over to months since I wrote anything on this blog, though I haven't been idle, but ill for most of the time, and struggling to complete tasks and assignments that needed, and still need, attention - even so, not all have got done. And even today, I am working in bed on my laptop. Those of you who kindly follow me on Facebook will have heard much of the story. Only those to whom Raymond and I send our four-page Xmas newsletter ill have more detail than has been posted already. So to update you (and my apologies for my absence, and not even following blogs I love, here are the first paragraphs from the printed version.

Truly showing its age - cracks appearing everywhere
"It has been a frenetic and fractious year, almost an ‘annus horribilis’ for us both in different ways, or as Charles Dickens wrote, “It has been the best of times, it has been the worst of times”.  Glancing through my daily journal, written each morning in bed whilst drinking a hot mug of tea, I discovered both – for Raymond had just reminded me that it was time for our usual Christmas newsletter. At which point I inconveniently had one of those ‘senior moments’ and could only remember that we seem to be continually busy without achieving anything memorable! Two hours and reading the journal from cover to cover, and I had re-acquainted myself with what we have actually accomplished. Certainly a lot of problem-solving.

Raymond tackles one of the first leaking roof
The house is now truly showing it’s age – beyond its years! Continual heavy traffic is causing cracking and subsidence, and so many of the materials that we have used over the years in the conversion of what was once a derelict 16thC farmhouse are now showing signs of wear and tear. Flat roofs (our additions) are bad news. Both developed serious leaks; one over the kitchen, the other over the hall, with the ceiling collapsing one day onto Raymond’s beloved (open) piano; plasterboard everywhere and water in it and all over the floor. The repairs are still ongoing; temporary roof covers are in place, but it’s not as easy for him to be clambering up ladders lifting heavy stones as it was years ago when we bought the place. The piano still needs some t.l.c.

Poor old greenhouse, too - such neglect (I have actually started to clear the mess
Advancing years do not make it any easier – we both celebrated special birthdays this year – Raymond was 80 in August and I reached 75 in October. In January and not having been too well for a while, Raymond was diagnosed with type-two diabetes, and I seem to have been checking my blood pressure for most of the year, and spent a day in hospital. Coming to terms with a total change in lifestyle has not been trouble-free for either of us; but the good news is that we are both now ‘signed off’ for twelve months and can concentrate on progress in the house and garden." And so were were, and then after writing that I took sick again and was told to stay in bed and rest.

In the caravan (studio) for Warwickshire Art Week
It isn't all gloom and darkness however, and I have found time (or made it) to progress my sketching and mixed-media paper and textile creations. I was pleasantly surprised at the reception to my work when I exhibited in my caravan studio in July (Raymond's suggestion to use it) and want to participate again this year. So I need to create lots of new stuff to show and sell and started yesterday, spending a full day on the first pages of a 'Quilted Garden' textile book. My sketchbook notes are already scanned but the journal notes await paint; and whilst I can laptap in bed, jars of water and coloured inks are not quite so easy. When ready, I'll update my Journaling blog, and I plan (hope?) to keep all of my blogs updated at least once a month. Happy New Year and here's to good times in 2013.