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Difficult to imagine even a few weeks ago that we'd be outside exhibiting our paintings. But I spent the weekend at Cley doing a painting exhibition with three other painters and a potter, all doing very different things. Or maybe similar but different styles, with mine being a total contrast. As one woman commented, she'd never seen so much talent in one car park!

Although it was actually a car park it's in a very nice setting on the coast and it's full name is Cley next the Sea. It was good to be outside (in perfect weather) and able to show my paintings. There were a fair few people and although sales weren’t phenomenal I was pleased to sell a couple of paintings. Plenty of oohs and ahs but not all translate into actually buying.

There is no telling who buys what and why. I thought that everyone would be desperate to spend money after being away from the shops for so long. Women are definitely the lead shoppers, with the men mostly trailing in their wake but looked to for approval.

There are two more weekends there and we have a week’s pop up shop in Holt in a couple of weeks time. Lockdown seemed distant; there were very few masks although as it was outside that may account for it. Although we had enough visitors to make it worthwhile there was a definite sense that it was much quieter than usual. I think some people are still very wary of going anywhere. And I guess the holiday season isn't yet in full swing, if it ever will be this year.

Last week was grim; chilly, grey and wet but we now have a run of good weather to enjoy again. The garden is still coming to life and I’m pleased to have a couple of dahlias to add to the crocosmia which has now spread it’s bright orange nicely across one corner. I love the little allium heads too. I have a few of these pompom dahlias but I've planted some of the less blousy ones which haven't made an appearance yet.

We got rid of the purple sprouting broccoli as it went to seed (not sure what we did wrong but we got a couple of meals worth of lovely tender broccoli) so I’ve put in some Cavolo Nero, aubergines, and some pink speckled lettuce.

I am itching to get into the garden and to do some painting after doing neither all weekend. I though of doing some fish this week thinking people might be tempted by the seaside theme. Apart from me the other three painters showing all had land and seascapes which were popular. But I don't want to start painting what I think people will like as I'll end up doing chocolate box pictures. When in fact I'm moving in the opposite direction:

So it's a short blog today as I am distracted by wanting to get on with things. I'm forgetting about our dash to London last week for haircuts. Apart from not having had a hair cut for 7 months I thought the sooner we went there the less likely the virus would be circulating and my reasoning went on to think that we should go before it gets going again and we're back in lockdown.

We drove in, had a delicious lunch at ROVI, the Ottolenghi place in Fitzrovia, on it's first day re-opening, had our hair cut and went home. I missed my chance to get a selfie with Yotam who was there. I particularly liked the tempura shoots and leaves with fig and something vinegar and the fermented butter beans with aioli.

I like these abstracts by Julius BIssier that look like still life to me, and although painted in the sixties could easily pass for contemporary art:

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