After many hours of careful corrections I’ve managed to save my painting of the Royal Flueologist, or at least disguise the mini-disaster I mentioned on my last blog. There’s still probably around 100 hours to go before I finish it completely but here’s a close up of his face. It’s life-size, by the way.

On Saturday morning my young friend and I called in to see Rolf and Alwen on our way to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gardens at Wisley. Rolf’s exhibition “Can You Tell What It Is Yet?” opens this coming Saturday at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and runs until the 12th of August. This retrospective exhibition covers not only Rolf’s paintings but a large amount of memorabilia, from his paint spattered jeans and Stylophones, to swimming trophies from his days as junior champion in Australia. Rolf told us that at the entrance to the exhibition there would be a full size cutout portrait of him standing next to a kangaroo. Visitors will be able to pose with him by sitting in the kangaroo’s pouch.

So on to Wisley. For a change it was a lovely warm spring day. As we expected the RHS gardens were immaculate. I’d forgotten how extensive they are. We spent several hours wandering around – with a short stop for a sausage and bacon lunch break at one of the garden restaurants. At the top of one of the grass walkways we came across this enormous statue by Henry Moore.

About three years ago Her Majesty the Queen opened this beautiful new glasshouse.

Inside the glasshouse it was as if we were back in tropical Singapore and strolling round the Orchid Gardens there.

Such a lovely day. I’ll put a few of the photographs I took as we wandered around, (The first one is a close-up of a robin singing merrily away and was taken by my young friend).

On Sunday we drove to Goring where I go every year to pick asparagus from one of the fields there. However when we got there we saw a sign suggesting we come back on Tuesday as the asparagus ‘was all picked out’. Much to my friends disgust I did pick a few spears and promised her I’d go back there next week and pay for them. In the opposite field swathes of vibrant rape dominated the landscape.

On Monday I was invited to the Mayor Making Ceremony at the Town Hall in Henley. Elizabeth Hodgkin was to be elected Mayor. I’ve known Liz for a number of years and in fact will be painting a miniature portrait of her dressed in all her regalia in the next few months. Here she is with her husband, Richard, and Vince Hill.