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Summer's end

We had dinner outside on Wednesday for M’s birthday. Ralph gave him this self portrait with mouse. He also got some nice paintings and a baking crock so we can have wonderful sourdough. We had a salad with peaches and tomatoes with labneh. Sounds odd but was good in the heat. And then of course something wood roasted; rack of lamb with a Persian mint syrup and home grown runner beans. I made a nice upside down raspberry cake to finish off.

M had an old bottle of Penfolds Shiraz hiding at the bottom of the wine rack which we really enjoyed, not least as it was now equivalent to about £100 a glass. Good to have the perfect occasion to drink it.

It's been bit of a mixture of a week; I’ve never felt so dictated to by the weather. Maybe it’s a country thing. Anyway from 30 degrees to 19 overnight is a bit drastic. My niece Zoe visited for a few days and when my sister Lucy came to collect her yesterday they had to stay the night as it was raining too hard to be able to drive. I suppose that we are nearing summer's end. The weather also put a dampener on our Cley exhibition at the weekend. It was so grey and threatening rain that there were few people about so we spent the day feeling hopeless. Poor Zoe; I had offered a thrilling day selling paintings but she ended up sitting in the car on her phone for most of it. at I hope next weekend will be better. Meanwhile I have three paintings in the Norfolk Summer exhibition in Norwich.I think they are the biggest that I’ve done of the still lives. There is no way of predicting what people will like and even if they do like it whether they will actually buy it.

Apart from that time passes in a whirl and I have to think hard about what the week has held. The garden is past it’s best now and has that August look; a bit shabby as things come to an end. The scabious has been great for a couple of months but is now reduced to a couple of flowers and a lot of brown roots. Something mysterious is eating one variety of my dahlias so they have holes all over their leaves.

Some of the pom-poms are still going strong. We have tons of plums to try to pick as they are all high up and neither of us should be allowed up a ladder. Closer to the ground is my courgette which is growing apace and promising a good few courgettes which M dislikes. We have lots of sweet little orange tomatoes and some huge ones which remain green.

Despite spending time painting I don’t seem to have been very productive:

I was quite pleased with that green glass as glass seems difficult to paint. Despite the flowers coming to an end there is still plenty to paint.

Ralph had a miserable week shut up inside because of his stitched paw. The seven days were up on Saturday so he’s been fine since then and is so much happier being able to come and go. I think he gets bored inside too so needs to go out to do his cat things. I hope he keeps away from his enemy who we think is a large tabby called Henry.

I have to take Ralph back to the vet on Friday to have his stitches out so I hope he has healed up ok and doesn’t get into any more scraps before then at least. This week's paintings are by Ffiona Lewis:

They are quite spare which I like; there are so many painters about producing nice art and I'm always looking for inspiration I have no interest in plagiarising anyone but looking at other people's art can spark off an idea for a colour contrast or a composition for example.

Today I have a painting to finish with 3 wonky old glass bottles from Richard's antique shop but I'm not sure it will work. I often start a painting and have to ward off or paint through feelings of doom, that it's not going to come out right but then there's a point at which it all comes together and I'm amazed that I painted it!

But before then there is Monday's laundry to attend to....

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