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Big Houses



This is where we all gathered for the 3 day wedding. The most beautiful house and fabulous gardens full of perfect flowers and shrubs. The weather just about accommodated us with the sun appearing bang on time for the wedding ceremony and cake and champagne in the garden.


Being so unused to socialising it was an exhausting weekend! Amanda looked stunning in her Molly Goddard dress and I enjoyed the chance to dress up.

We were at another pile last week, this time for a garden party with old friends of M’s from London who acquired a massive country house to split their time between places. Pimms and cake on the menu.

Strangely I now feel the need to isolate again as so called ‘freedom day’ just means increased risk to me. Majority of people on immunosuppressants don’t produce antibodies in response to the vaccine so I have to behave as though I am unprotected. What a farce this is.

I went to Papworth for some oesophageal manometry and PH studies. That involved travelling there on Thursday for a catheter to be put into my nose for 24 hours and travelling back there again on Friday for it to be removed. Something to do with testing for stomach acid. The whole thing was pretty unpleasant, but after a sleep I rallied enough to go to our new local restaurant Meadowsweet to be spoiled with a superb 7 course menu and wine flight. Faultless, so we've booked again for my birthday.

I am otherwise trundling along with everything behaving as it should lung wise as far as I know. I really wanted to start swimming last week but the pool has closed again for some reason.

It is such a long few weeks since I’ve managed to get a blog written and posted - I’ve started a few and not followed through with them for some reason. Feeling a bit demotivated I guess. It’s been a bit more enervating to have been out socialising but I’m now back to lockdown!

Luckily I still have my painting to keep me busy. I’m still enjoying using oils at the moment. I think it’s fairly equal in terms of selling them. It doesn’t seem as though either oil or acrylic is more popular than the other, although that’s not what drives to to do one or the other. I was very pleased with open studios this year - there’s another in September- and we are exhibiting at Cley every month through to December.



And another big house- Mannington Hall near Corpusty ; we will be part of a charity sale there also in September. So lots to look forward to art wise. The woman who has been doing my frames is retiring so I’ve found another one in Norwich who is really sympathetic to my paintings and uses recycled and sustainable wood which is great.






I’ve been thinking about getting a ‘lung’ tattoo for a while and finally got round to contacting a couple of tattooists. Disappointingly they won’t tattoo anybody on immunosuppressants for fear of infection. I suggested M have the tattoo for me but I think I’d resent him for having ‘my’ tattoo! I’m going to continue to search but without much hope.

The garden was at its loveliest in June but tipping into July is still joyful. Apart from what appears to be a dahlia disaster with at least two being destroyed completely by something unknown eating their leaves off. No sign of the usual snail and slug suspects either. In addition several dahlia bulbs have failed to grow at all which is a massive blow to my planned spectacular display. All in the life of a gardener I suppose.


The first batch of lettuce I grew was too bitter for M so I replaced it with some sweeter Batavia but that has been a bit slow to grow. The spring cabbage has produces enormous leaves but no heart and some creature has tunnelled under the raised bed and eaten all the beans. M’s tomatoes are starting to appear but I don’t think will live up to last year’s winners.


The barley field outside the kitchen window looked lovely on the few sunny days we've had:


The spring was just so cold and wet; it was good for some things eg my ferns and I have never had so many invasive and prolific weeds everywhere. Fingers crossed the weather has just slowed down the dahlias.

I love those flower paintings by Ivan Hitchens


Ralph has been enjoying the sun: