It’s not that I’ve been idle in the past couple of weeks.
Far from it. But as my strength increases and the pain diminishes – even though
over 30 pills a day are rattling around inside of me – it’s time to get back to
blogging.. There’s still at least a month to go before I’m allowed to drive
again, but every day things get a bit easier. And it’s so good to be painting
again – even though I can only manage about seven hours a day before I fall
asleep. Especially as the next time I go back to London to see the surgeon who
performed my operation I wanted to paint his miniature and to give it to him as
a present. He’s not aware that I’m doing this so if anyone reading my blog
knows who he is, please don’t let on! His secretary sent me a (not very clear)
image to work from and here is the result.
Last week the Swan Uppers launched their exhibition at the
River and Rowing Museum in Henley. It’s really good, and extremely informative.
Well worth visiting. Five of my paintings are included – two painted only last
month. You learn something new every day I find. For example did you know that
the collective noun for swans while on the ground is a ‘bevy’ whereas when in
the air they are called a ‘wedge’.
It took two ‘sit-downs’ before my young friend and I reached
home after leaving the museum and walking along the towpath. On the way the
‘New Orleans’ glided by looking lovely in the warm spring sunshine.
And this little collection of water birds seemed to have
found a handy raft to float on.
Last Saturday my young friend drove me over to Suffolk where
we stayed with her family for the night. In the morning we walked along the
seafront past row upon row of colourful beach huts.
Wooden jigsaws of my painting ‘When the Queen came to
Henley’ have just been published. It really is an exciting puzzle to do, and as
the publishers, Wentworth, include what they call ‘whimsy’ pieces, they really
are unique. For example, because this particular painting depicts all sorts of
river life these pieces are cut into the shapes of boats, frogs, herons, fish,
etc. I took one of the puzzles over to Wallingford on Saturday afternoon for a
lady who loves the river – and it seems, wooden jigsaw puzzles.
Yesterday, after a marathon shop at John Lewis in High
Wycombe with my young friend where she’s beginning to get ready for the move to
her new house, Jane joined us, and in the afternoon we looked around the
almshouses and church in Ewelme.
These cloisters are the original thirteen almshouses, and
were completed in 1455. Built around a quiet central quadrangle, and
immediately adjacent to the church, they were modified internally in the 1970’s
into eight self-contained flats. It was blowing a gale yesterday (Hey, when is
summer a’coming in?) as we walked up to the church via a very steep track. But
it was well worth it. This is St. Mary the Virgin in Ewelme.
In the St John’s Chapel, built on the south side of the
existing church contains the Duchess of Sussex’s remarkable tomb. This is a
very rare example of a cadaver tomb, and the only one in existence of a woman.
If you lay on the floor in the chapel and look up under the
tomb you suddenly become aware of a painting somewhere above you. I wasn’t able
to do this yesterday but Jane managed to. Also all around the tomb are a series
of little carvings like this one.
At the far end of the chapel is a golden mural with several
exquisite figures painted against a holly berried background, and as we left
the church we walked past a number of brass figures buried in large slabs of
I think I’ll have a little snooze now as I can hardly keep
my eyes from cloing!