Activity since my absence

Just to let you know that I have been busy during the time that my Blog has languished sad, forlorn, forgotten and unnourished pending the arrival of a Bluetooth keyboard and my newfound ability to touch type on my iPad.

George, Goosey and I have spent a lot of time housesitting.  Looking after some lovely properties and even lovelier pets.  Indeed we now find that we spend longer housesitting than we do at home. This does mean that we have to cram all other activities into the time we are at home – doctors and dentists  appointments and other boring things.  The garden looks sad – what is the point of planting anything when we are not here to look after it?  The lawn gets cut and the shrubs trimmed back – soon I think it may be Green Asphalt!

I`ve given quite a few demonstrations to art groups within a 70 mile radius of our home but, again, if we are housesitting this sometimes means a longer journey and so an overnight stay in bed and breakfast accommodation for me while George holds the fort.  I`ve been very fortunate with the b & bs and had some really nice accommodation.  Back in the summer I drove from Hampstead, London to Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.  Booked into my overnight stay, put my feet up for a while and then drove off to the venue.  Over 50 – mainly women – crowded into a hot hall.  Chatting to each other full pelt as I began to set up my easel.  I looked round for my paints and the prepared board with the sketched subject.  Nothing!  Panic.  Surely I hadn`t left it behind.  What to do?  Sneak  out the door quickly hoping they don`t notice?  Apologise profusely and offer a refund on my fee?  Speak about art for 2 hours?  Quiet moment of reflection then I went to the car, looked in the black lined boot and found my black art case containing the missing items.  Sauntered casually back into the hall and continued to set up.  I was ready in good time for the demonstration to begin.  I said not a word!!!!!

Have you ever gently fanned a tortoise the size of a 50p piece with a piece of lettuce to check he is still alive?  George (the tortoise) spends most of his time totally immobile under his sun lamp (don`t tortoises worry about skin cancer?) and hardly ever moves.  Perhaps he cavorts around whilst we are asleep but I do worry that he`s going to still be there when his  owners return.

I am now something of an expert at giving dogs insulin injections, cats asthma inhalers with masks and dogs pills crushed in a mini pestle and mortar.

We`ve had no major incidents or traumas whilst housesitting – we`ve been doing it for seven years now so feel perhaps we have met most situations.

Goosey enjoys the gardens and was particularly pleased when one place had a heated outdoor swimming pool that we were given permission to use.

As for my own painting – again housesitting means I am relieved from nagging household duties – there is usually a cleaner.  I quickly find a spot I can call my own and set up my easel where I can paint uninterrupted.  I`ve been working mainly in pastels lately and think, if I were to express a preference, then pastels would win.  Here is the latest off the easel –

Ooooh it`s come up really big – perhaps it will size down when I post it.  If not I shall have to find out how to edit it

Goosey is curled up by my feet whilst I type.  I think the soft plink of the keyboard has lulled him into a deep sleep.  He`s getting on in years (aren`t we all?)  George is happily watching tv.  I`ve got to root around and find materials for a workshop tomorrow.

Yours aye,


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