I feel the need to begin with a bit of an apology this week. You see, every week I go through most, if not all, of the responses to the Diva Challenge and leave comments if appropriate. However, I do not have Flickr or Instagram accounts, so I never leave comments for people who publish there. I feel that it is rude to seem to ignore them, which I don’t, I look whenever I can, but I never leave the encouragement or admiration that I feel. So, if it’s YOU, I’m sorry. I almost certainly admire your work and I enjoy going to look at it.
I’ll say thank you to all the people who leave kind and generous comments on here. It’s surprising how encouraged I feel when I see them. And I know a few of the names by now, we seem to speak briefly most weeks and I feel as though I am making friends in all sorts of places. So Thank You, your words are appreciated.
I feel better for that.
So Ben is here, the house is upside down; there are cold feet on my back at an ungodly hour of the morning; there is nowhere to walk because the floor is full of toys he’s not playing with (because he’s playing with the pans or Grandad’s toolkit) and the TV is on constantly with brightly coloured, whiny brats squeaking on endlessly in politically correct platitudes.
We’ve made the gingerbread house, which I’m hoping won’t fall down before we are ready to eat it. It’s glued together with equal quantities of purple icing and Ben’s spit, where he kept licking his fingers. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. My grandad used to say, in a broad Yorkshire accent, of course: “You’ll eat a peck o’ muck afore ya die.” and it may be true, I just hadn’t planned on having it all at once.
Having seen all the Autumn inspired art over the past week or two, I went onto the garden this morning, in the pouring rain, of course, and picked up a few leaves for inspiration. What am I going to do with them? I haven’t a clue but they’re ready for when I do. Oddly, the most impressive leaves come from a sycamore tree which I hate with a passion. For some reason the firm that built our houses planted a couple of trees in each garden.
For the most part, they were ornamental cherries, almond blossom or small shrubs but, every now and then, they stuck in a perishing great sycamore. Now this is not an appropriate tree for a small garden on a suburban estate. They grow to something like 80 – 100 feet high and this one is no more than 30 feet from the houses in any direction. It isn’t that big yet but one thing is certain, it ain’t going to get no smaller of its own accord.
I’ve got my second wind with the Christmas cards. It had occurred to me that I had lots of toppers made but none built into cards, so I made a push and now have about 20 finished cards, with stickers on for who they are intended for. I’ve included pictures of some of them scattered throughout this week’s post. Still about a dozen to go but I’ve also got a few ideas in my head so I’m on a roll.
Rather bravely, I feel, I have entered a card swap on Facebook. Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap. I’ll be sent a list of names and addresses to send to and I have to have them all done by a given date. November’s challenge is to use only black and white on Zentangle size tiles. I’ve started by drawing out the squares on a big piece of card and am planning a do a string across the lot and then make it into individual tiles. I hope I can meet the deadline. Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on.
And then next week, after a couple of days to recover from the invasion, we’re off to Majorca again. According to our friends who live there, the weather is mild and we will still be able to swim in the pool. Bliss. Our older daughter is currently on the Costa Del Sol having a lazy week by the pool and loving most of it. For some reason, she seems to be blaming the Spanish for supplying large quantities of good food and cheap wine, so she’s putting on weight, falling down a lot and has a constant headache. That’s my girl.
Yesterday evening, the five of us – the loved one, Ben, Rachel, the techspert and I – went to a local pub for a meal. It was quite busy, many people, like us, having reserved tables, and, while we were eating, a group of five or six people arrived, not having booked a table, and were told they would be served as soon as a table became free. They came and sat at an empty table for two next to ours, borrowing empty chairs from around the room, bumping and pushing against the backs of our chairs and knocking my coat on the floor without apology. They then discussed the fact that it wouldn’t be long before our table was free, casting meaningful looks in our direction. I slowed down the mastication process and we ordered more drinks. More meaningful looks. We ordered dessert. (Hadn’t even wanted dessert until that point.) Took photos of each other. Pushed back our chairs and relaxed, describing to each other in mouth watering detail the best parts of our various meals. Had quite a discussion about whether to have more drinks. Tea or coffee, perhaps. A table in the corner was vacated; they moved; we left. Such fun. Told you I wasn’t a nice person.
And now I’m awaiting the Diva Challenge with happy expectation. What will it be? Different media? Specific patterns? UMT? Doesn’t matter, I’m ready, Laura, bring it on.
And it’s a good ‘un.
I immediately thought of the dry stone walls that abound in the countryside around us. Monumental? No. But they represent a tradition that still continues in the hills of the north of England and I love them.