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After a break...

This dahlia is still going strong; in fact it somehow copied itself into another part of the garden. Not quite sure how as they’re tubers. I’ve planted lots of tulip bulbs so that will be great when they come up next year as they will all be a surprise as I never keep the bags or remember what they are. It always feels like a chore at the time but I just have to make myself look ahead and think how pleased I'll be)

It seems a long time since I last did my blog; probably about three weeks. No real reason why just seem to buzz about being busy. It’s hard to remember exactly what I’ve been doing; I know we had the Cley exhibition which saw these paintings off to new homes (I had a sudden thought that I've posted this before but I'm oddly reluctant to revisit previous posts so haven't checked!):

Of course we had no idea then that another lockdown would be imposed and we were planning our Xmas one, although having said that it’s been obvious for weeks that something was going to have to happen. With the spectacular failure (although not so spectacular as who’s calling them out for it? Apart from the Good Law Project which has my admiration) of test and trace there was no surprise.

The only glimmer of hope is the US election result but what should have been a huge celebration seems strangely muted. Perhaps there is still the anxiety over what he will do before he leaves office or refuses to leave at all. He still hasn’t conceded. Terrible to think of what more destruction he may want to create.

Or maybe it’s the lockdown that makes it feel less momentous. Or really what is there to celebrate about the close run election and the thought of his millions of supporters still, and how such a person was able to get to the position of President of the USA and remain there destroying everything decent he could for four years.

I do hope that it will bring benefits to us. At the very least we don’t have to worry so much about BJ and Trump forming some unholy alliance after B****t. And it does make the whole world feel a lot safer.

I got my oil paints out a couple of weeks ago as I wanted to paint some landscapes and wasn’t getting results from acrylic. I always found oils a bit daunting largely because of the mess but actually I’m finding them ok. Such great texture and colours. This is the view of the field from the kitchen window after the barley harvest:

The vegetable patch has only some cavolo nero and some Treviso left. M cleared the whole bed on Saturday when he weather was perfect for being outside. We had some of the Treviso at the weekend in a salad with a delicious cheese tart from a recipe by Rowley Leigh. Used some unbleached flour that M got from the bakery for the crispy pastry.

So good. I used some unknown award winning Swiss cheese and a bit of older (ie had been hanging around in the fridge for a couple of weeks so had a nice strong flavour) pecorino sardo. I love it as an eating cheese which is what it’s meant for rather than the ordinary one that compares to Parmesan. 

I’ve had more bloods done so I’m waiting to hear whether the results show an increase in white blood cells. Fingers crossed. I am though pretty sure I’ve now got diabetes (probably steroid related) and I’m waiting for that result too. Apart from that I still get excruciating back pain from time to time and my hamstrings are so tight they could snap. that has driven me to start some online pilates while my session is locked down. I've done it two days in a row now so that's a start.

Just thinking there is so much I've missed not logging for a few weeks; the double lung transplant on telly in Papworth Surgeons at the Edge had my main surgeon doing it. I thought it was fascinating.

On the upside my eyes have both settled down after the cataract op and I have an appt with the optician this week for a check. Opticians are apparently allowed to open so I hope he does. My hair cut will be sacrificed this weekend so who knows when we’ll be able to get hair cuts again.

My sister Pen and niece Clare visited just before lockdown. We decided that although there was a small risk it was worth taking so I’m pleased we did. The weather was so foul we didn’t venture outside but we cooked some nice vegan food -both vegans - and Clare had brought a lovely babka, a yeasted bread with chocolate and nuts that I must make as it is so nice.

Coming up for Xmas and our usual stir up Sunday is denied us by lockdown. I normally do our Xmas puddings with friends so that’s a little depressing. We were supposed to be going to Scotland for Xmas but it seems unlikely we will be able to go anywhere. A zoom Xmas I suppose, which is a bit gloomy.

My sister Lucy has just got a sweet little cavapoo puppy called Bertie. It is tiny and looks like a dog doll:

Not to put Bertie in the star spot by overlooking Ralph, here is his lovely winter stomach; he’s grown some thicker fur underneath like a snow leopard.

Here are some paintings by a local artist Alice Wilton whose work I admire (we have mutual liking on Instagram):

One thing is certain, that we’ll all be locked down next week. Let’s hope BJ’s perversity doesn’t mean that we’re also in an even worse position.

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