Shadows and Surprises

After a week of cloud, rain and miserable weather, my young friend and I decided to visit Clivedon on Sunday afternoon. However when we got there it seemed the whole population of England had had the same idea. Absolutely full. So we threaded our way through fields of parked cars to the exit and drove on to Runnymede – the site of King John sealing the Magna Carta in 1215. There in comparative tranquillity we walked  along by the river for an hour or so. And for the first time my young friend appears on my blog. Here we are:

Elongated in the late afternoon sunlight are our shadows. The willow tree is just beginning to bud so maybe spring has nearly sprung. 

As we walked back to the car the shadows lengthened and the river shone like diamonds.

For the past couple of weeks. Louisa, my niece, has been coordinating the plans for a surprise party to celebrate her mother’s 75th birthday. It’s not often we can arrange for all the family to be together at the same time. But on Saturday all twenty-one of us made our way to Louisa and Guy’s home in Marlow. Here’s Louisa and her daughter Kate

A few of Val’s best friends were there as well, and by a bit of clever subterfuge, granddaughter Becky, arranged to drive Val to Marlow on the understanding that she and Louisa would be taking her out for a posh lunch. The secret was well-kept as Val was completely surprised. Here she is as the door was opened to reveal the waiting throng.

Everyone contributed with all sorts of food, and the whole day was a great success. The cake:

And the family in the garden, followed by a few random shots.

Little Kate demonstrated her Power-Point presentation on the subject of “My Great Uncle Bill – the Artist”. I was mightily impressed. She will be giving the presentation to the entire school next week. (Also flattered because I believe I just pipped her kitten, Muppet, as the subject! of her talk.)

The proofs for my painting ‘When the Queen came to Henley’ arrived the other day. Just a small tweak needed and I should be receiving the final limited edition prints next week. Quite a few people have expressed an interest in buying a copy - especially those depicted in the painting on their boats. Now I’m hard at work on another  ‘river’ painting. This one includes the Queen so I’ll keep the image confidential until May when I plan to finish it.
The final stages of Max’s sculpture head are underway. Here he is last Friday, covered with a couple of heavy coats of thixotropic rubber.