As, of course, I face backwards to row, and as the backwater is narrow and twisting in parts, branches and overgrown tree-trunks cause a bit of a hazard, but ‘Marsh Midget’ is used to the occasional bump. On the way upstream I stopped briefly at Vince and Annie Hill’s house to drink one of the cans of Pimms I’d brought with me, then on to have another one at the end of Paul and Debbie’s garden across the river. They were not there, but ‘The Lovely Debbie McGee’ was moored by the creek
Later in the afternoon I started a new painting of a girl wearing a turquoise-coloured cheongsam. I love painting exotic materials, and as yet haven’t decided on the background. It might be a Chinese brush-painting scene or an intricately carved wooden fan depicting a pair of exotic birds.
In the evening I joined Jane, my second cousin twice removed, and her mother Mollie for dinner at the Orangery at Phyllis Court (Third night in a row at Phyllis Court!). As I’m now a member of the snooker section and as Jane told me how she learned to play snooker at her father’s knee, so to speak, we booked the snooker room at 8.30 and played till 10. Mollie ‘advised’ us on almost every shot, usually with the words “ Too hard” or “Wrong angle”. Great fun. Jane is a good player and beat me. But only just!
Earlier in the week I photographed a decorated and robed member of a London Livery Company. This was to give me reference for a commissioned miniature portrait of the gentleman. I love painting medals, decorations and any sort of insignia or regalia, so will really enjoy painting the portrait – and have already started it.
Talking of miniatures, I finished the eighteenth miniature of my great niece Becky last week. Here she is.
I’m giving my first award to Jill Keppens. She is an exquisite miniature portrait painter, lives in Belgium and in fact was the recipient of The Mundy Sovereign Award last year at the Royal Society of Miniature Painters annual exhibition. Jill is also very young. My other award may mean that I’m breaking Mona’s rules, however I’m nominating Sydney Shorthouse. Sydney very sadly died recently – he was a wonderful miniature portrait painter and was a long-standing member of the RMS.
My all-time favourite films are: Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Titanic, Doctor Zhivago. and Atonement.
Finally I’m adding two videos. (It seems I can only add videos at the end of my blog.) One was when I was drifting down Hennerton Backwater last Sunday. The other is of our swan in the garden yesterday as she rearranges her eggs – I think she has nine. Hopefully when the cygnets hatch I’ll be able to make another video .