Posted on June 20, 2017
Wow, I think I’m actually melting.
It is so hot, (in the 30s again!) and so difficult to do anything productive at all. I have to make a birthday cake, so cycled up to the supermarket on my bike, and spent quite a lot of time standing next to the chiller cabinet.
I would have got in, if I could.
Outside, at the bike rack, I had a long discussion with an old man about my bicycle panniers. (Lidl, £10). The sweat was dripping off his nose onto the ground as he bent over to inspect them.
The little children in the precinct were whooping and shrieking, running in and out of the fountains in their pants.
The mothers sat watching, in sunglasses, with legs stretched out.
The guy who used to sweep our street raised a languid arm to wave as I pedalled past, and only just managed a smile, which is unlike him.
I tried to get home expending as little energy and yet creating as much breeze as possible. I sang maroon 5 songs all the way.
Don’t judge me. It’s the heat.*
*It’s actually not. Maroon 5 are cool.
** This drawing was from life class yesterday. I like it a lot.
Posted on June 19, 2017
I don’t mean possessions, I’m not at all materialistic. I find money and things get in the way of the real stuff.
What I mean is the people you love, the habits you’ve formed together. The smiles you share and the games you play.
The odds and ends of life always turn out to be the best bits.
Alex and me have a thing for curling up on the sofa to watch some TV at the end of a long day – and busy evenings with the kids and their friends and everything else going on after work – we don’t usually get there until 10pm. If we’re not watching something together (and at the moment it’s The Handmaid’s Tale – which is another blog post entirely), Alex is so patient and will watch any sort of thing I choose, though he draws the line at hospital emergencies, and so I have to watch them from behind a cushion. Or sometimes I’ll draw and doodle while some film is going on. I’m very annoying – I ask too many questions about the plot, so that’s why I doodle instead.
I usually just draw whatever I can see; all the tiny, familiar but worthless objects that make a world cosy.
It’s nice. It’s boring. It’s love. It’s home.
Hold onto it tightly, and let all the rubbish fall away.
Posted on June 17, 2017
i made some biscuits
wrapped in paper
tied up with string
to the cake stall
at the church fete
i forgot to take them
i left them on the
i blame Holger
he got me so tipsy
and found it so funny
i am going to blame him for everything now
though i love him dearly
would you like to come over
for tea and biscuits
i have lots
Posted on June 13, 2017
What beautiful things they are.
I love drawing them, and I love watching them move and dance and play and sleep. I love what they can do, how strong they can be and yet how tender; how they grow and change and reflect our selves* and the weirdness and beauty of living inside one.
I’m so good at admiring the beauty of bodies, and yet still not always comfortable in my own. Sound familiar? The kindness and encouragement we bestow on our friends we often fail to apply to ourselves. Though I am really learning to be kind to myself – being suddenly ill taught me that. There’s always a silver lining.
But being ill also got me involved with doctors and hospitals, who were skilled at getting me better in a scary emergency. Now the alarm has passed, but they’ve been giving me continuing tests to investigate further.
And now I fear I have a decision to make, and one I do not want.
I wish it would go away. There are no good options, to my mind.
And my body is not their property.
*Especially eyes. I love eyes.
Posted on June 12, 2017
Is there anything more surprising than a bird where a bird should not be?
Take the time I found a fat pigeon in the hall, for example. Surprised? I’ll say. It was pootling around, pecking at bits of fluff. It must have walked in through the open back door, and come right through the house to the front. I backed cautiously into the kitchen, as it regarded me suspiciously, head on one side, cooing.
I climbed out of the kitchen window and re-entered the house through the front door, effectively cornering it behind the door. I was 7 months pregnant, and the window box was never quite the same again, but that was simply collateral damage.
I gathered up the pigeon in a coat – surprisingly heavy and very alive – and carried it out onto the street. Away it went at last, flapping and cooing.
Then there was the robin in the living room. Poor wee thing – terrified and panicky – it flew into the window, fell to the floor, and hopped crazily under the sofa. I ran out onto the street for help. The postman, who was passing at the time, took the other end of the sofa and the robin staggered out, and… straight through the front door. The postman and I high-fived (we actually did!).
And last week, there was a dead crow on the pavement. I scooped it onto a piece of cardboard and slid it over the fence – whooomph – into a heap of leaves on the railway siding. It was huge, and only had one eye; a fallen warrior from some ancient battle. But it felt quite different close up – soft and downy – and vulnerable. The weight of its beak pulled its head down onto its breast in a final lament.
Just this morning, at 7am, a dearly departed thrush lay dead on the back doormat, wrinkled and ruffled, its feathers swirling all over the kitchen. The cats sat one on each side, waiting for applause. Alex dealt with the body, and in my pyjamas, I fetched the hoover. Those pesky cats – Natural born killers! Fearsome predators! – are petrified of the hoover, so I chased them round the kitchen with it, their claws scrabbling for purchase on the tiles.
It makes me sad when they kill birds.
If only I could disabuse the rest of the world of its murderous intent by waving the hoover around.
Posted on June 9, 2017
Do you remember I was making some huge 3D letters as a bit of fun for the Open Studio event? Well, I’ve been slowly plodding onwards, a little bit every day, in amongst everything else.
Here’s where I’m at – nearly there! Still a little (or maybe a lot) to do. The R is held up with my crutches (nice not to need them anymore), which I might change. I’m not sure they are bold enough, though I love the sentiment.
I made another T first, but it fell apart and I got mad and stamped on it. Attempt #2 is stronger!
It’s all made from recycled bits and pieces, papier mache and cardboard boxes, and painted with odds and ends of house paint, mixed with dried up acrylic paint which I did a spell on to bring it back to life.
I plaited the braids for the R from old shirts, and material from my cupboard of scraps, then I weaved the plaits together onto chickenwire using a chopstick as a needle.
It’s all a bit homespun, but then I’ve been making it up as I went along. It’s like a poem.
I really like the way there’s a shape on the A that looks like a pair of pants! I might exaggerate that some more. I didn’t see it until I took the photo, which incidentally is a good way to spot things – through a lens.
The next thing I’m going to do ( I only thought of this today, I told you I was inventing stuff as I go), is to write down all the names of all the people who’ve ever sent me an email, encouraged me, bought my work, commissioned me, sent me happy messages, chatted about my blog, asked about paintings, sent me love, brought me stuff to make art with, sent me photos of my paintings on their walls – all of you. Yes, dear lovely reader, you’re probably on the list. I am grateful for you all, and it will be a long long list. I’m going to post all those names right into a slot in one of these 3D letters and then seal it up, like a time capsule.
I do hope it will all still be standing for the party on the evening of the 23rd because tears and champagne don’t mix.
Posted on June 8, 2017
It’s easy to forget that kissing in the long grass is a thing, delicious as it is.
It’s the sort of blue skies Summer afternoon lazy lying in the park love that you get away with now and then. Warm skin and cold ice cream. It turns golden in your memory.
I want some more of it.
Take me kissing in the long grass again.
Disclaimer: I don’t know who the man in my illustrative romantic fantasy is. If it looks like you,
call me* I’m sorry, no likeness intended.
*Mr M. is away again, but he’s very protective and of fierce Scottish blood. He has a kilt, and he’s not afraid to use it. On second thoughts, don’t call me 🙂
Addendum: he’s quite sexy though, that guy in my picture. And young. Gosh, whatever has come over me. Perhaps he’s one of those guys from the Greek island. Perhaps he’s the gardener from the end of the road. Perhaps I’ll have a cold shower.
Hello! I hope you enjoy my blog.