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Christmas is coming....

Christmas puddings done on Stir up Sunday yesterday. It is usually a team effort with friends but this year we zoomed and stirred, reluctant to be denied that ritual. Although I have used the same Jane Grigson recipe for years some vintages are undoubtedly better than others.

The variations in fruit and bread (quality of) and in the alcohol used make the differences. I have used Marsala or a medium Sherry and I’m sure it was an Oloroso that produced an especially fine pudding a couple of years ago.

I guess it is good to go through the festivities as though everything was normal but I am already incensed by the plans to unlock everybody so they can have family gatherings even though it’s acknowledged that that will lead to more contagion and further, stricter lockdown measures in the new year.

The problem is it’s difficult staying infuriated about so many different things all at the same time. I can’t imagine what the people who work in Pritti Patel’s department must be feeling knowing that she has just been given free reign (or rein?! hmmmm) to bully them and has already got away with breaking the ministerial code (again).

We’re still unsure of whether we will be able to travel to Scotland for Christmas but I like to know what I’ll be doing. Each of our 4 households has now ordered turkeys and chickens, hams and cheeses so I don’t know what we’ll do with it all if we do end up going!

I would love to go to Scotland to Saddel Castle past Campbeltown near the Mull of Kintyre, but on the other hand I would be happier staying in lockdown as that is clearly what’s needed. Given the seriousness of the pandemic why on earth are they playing sop to families who surveys have shown don’t want a Christmas under those circumstances?

Anyway, we know that they can’t do anything right so I’ll leave it there.


am sitting at home (where else!) waiting for Kwik fit to replace yet another tyre which has given way to the country lanes. M’s land rover is the only solution but my back can’t cope with the heaviness of it right now.

I am hoping that we will be able to have another art exhibition at Cley mid December, all depending on lockdown or not. I have still been labouring away with oils and have some some flowers that I’m quite pleased with:

Also delighted to have donated a a small painting which was bid for as part of an environmental charity fundraiser so this little one is going to a new home in Brooklyn, New York:

Not surprisingly not a great deal has happened. I have resorted to comfy track suits most days, even I can’t see the point in buying clothes that you can’t go out in. But that does mean I could do with a greater variety of slippers/ house shoes and jogging pants. No fun in wearing the same things day in day out.

There's not a lot happening the garden although I managed to capture these in paint:

My painter this week is so obvious being Van Gogh. Sometimes I think we stop looking at the more well known in our quest for the new and latest. But Van Gogh can’t be surpassed for his genius flowers and other subject but here are some flowers:

Although there are so many wonderful flower painters too I wouldn't want to discount them and it's perhaps a bit pointless to compare and suggest there must be one best. Perhaps we know such a lot about Van Gogh that we think we know something about the man and therefore about his painting I don't know, just that there is some quality to his art that comes through in the fabulous colours and what he saw.

On a more serious note Ralph is determined to join my Pilates practise and annoyingly gets in the way:

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