Most of the week has been spent painting a miniature portrait for a new client. Just a couple more days and it should be finished. Not every piece of vellum I use reacts the same way to watercolour. In this case the surface was slightly more absorbent than usual so I needed to paint even faster than usual. When it’s done I can get back to the larger size painting I’m working on. It’s a river scene of a collection of traditional boats nestling in the corner of the gardens of Ivy Cottage at Wargrave – the venue of the annual breakfast and AGM of the Hennerton Backwater Association. This is a photograph of some of the canoes, skiffs and other craft I might include in the final picture.
I go every year, and it’s always sunny. Last week was no exception and at about 9.30 about 50 of us munched our way through a variety of sausages and bacon in baps or rolls. There’s nothing like an alfresco breakfast to start the day. To add a bit of human interest to my painting I collared Richard Butler and a beautiful cream-coloured dog called Custard and had them pose for me, as I want to include them in the foreground.
The bowling season has started again. It is good to be back in full health as last year I had to abandon the game when I became too weak to pick up the woods. On Monday, as a competition took up most of the green, only two of us were there for coaching. Which was great because John the coach was able, for a couple of hours, to give us his total attention. I learned a lot that day and feel that I'm definitely beginning to improve. Earlier in the afternoon I was in Reading to hear from the consultant the results from my latest CT scan and was very glad to hear that all is well.
I wrote the other week about my nephew Neil nearly drowning when the tide rushed in while he was night fishing. At the very last moment he managed to find the toggle which inflated his life-jacket. A few days after he recovered from his ordeal he wrote to the manufacturers of the lifejacket thanking them for saving his life. They, in turn, very kindly not only sent him a replacement canister of gas, but gave him, free of charge, a new life-jacket which automatically inflates when submerged in water.
A young friend and I are becoming increasingly competitive on my Nintendo Wii. She beats me hollow on power boating and skydiving; we’re about level with archery and golf, and I’m ahead with bowling and – until yesterday – basketball. Maybe I’ll practice secretly on my own over the next few days. I do love the Wii.
Horizon Gallery have just produced limited editions in two sizes of my painting “The Olympians”. The quality is really excellent and they are hoping to sell quite a few during the coming Henley Royal Regatta.
On a final note I read the other day that the Science Museum in London recently conducted research which reveals the top ten lies told by both sexes. Here they are:
1. I didn’t have that much to drink
2. Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine
3. I had no signal
4. It wasn’t that expensive
5. I’m on my way
6. I’m stuck in traffic
7. No, your bum doesn’t look big in that
8. Sorry, I missed your call
9. You’ve lost weight
10. It’s what I’ve always wanted
1. Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine
2. I don’t know where it is, I haven’t touched it
3. It wasn’t that expensive
4. I didn’t have that much to drink
5. I’ve got a headache
6. It was in the sale
7. I’m on my way
8. Oh, I’ve had this ages
9. No, I didn’t throw it away
10. It’s what I’ve always wanted