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I love the wild straggly pink dahlia here, although they're all lovely. I have ordered some for next years well as the big dark red starry one.

The week has flown by although the only event I can recall is the boiler being serviced. More excitement this week with a blood test on Wednesday.

We seem to be in a state of semi lockdown with no option for making plans which makes life a bit dull. But fortunately I have my painting to stimulate me. I made huge progress by getting the energy to tidy my studio which then gave way to getting my oil paints out. 

I wasn’t that happy with how my landscapes were going in gouache and oil let’s you do much looser painting which I think lends itself more for landscapes..

Maybe I’ll try some flowers or fruit in oil and see what comes of that. Of course it’s pear season which are perfect for painting. Talking of pears my week wasn’t absent of all pleasure as I cooked lunch for friends yesterday with a pear and blackberry cake for pudding. M braved the cold to put a chicken in the wood oven which we had with lots of roasted root veg, labneh and walnut sauce. Scrumptious.

Today I have two psych calls one with the psychologist and the other with the psychiatrist. Rachel the psychologist is going to make me a relaxation tape and Thursa the psychiatrist will talk about my meds reduction, which is going well so far. It was all very well getting started on them by the palliative care doctor but another thing trying to come off them now.

I am feeling slightly less sluggish though having reduced one of them significantly. I now have to decide when to make the final step of stopping altogher, but as Thursa says I can always start again although I wouldn’t want to do that.

Not much new is going on art wise. We have the next Cley weekend at the end of this month (must not think about covid) and the exhibition in Norwich coming to a close next weekend, so still hoping for some sales from that. I was pleased to get a photo from someone who had bought a painting from me and had it framed:

I’ve been approached by a few people on Instagram but mainly sites who charge a bit eg $39 to get featured and promise a couple of hundred new followers. But I don’t just want a load of followers. There is one though who features well known (mostly dead) artists and a small selection of contemporary artists and does work to promote them. So I’m approaching with caution.

Oh, there was one burst of activity last week when we had to take Ralph to the vet (again!). He was suffering  from very painful ears and had been bitten quite nastily on his leg. He had a bad infection in his ears and the bite had gone down to the bone so he need antibiotics for both. Now he’s as right as rain and back to being a happy cat.

I’m still painting flowers though ,still the joy of dahlias which have such nice shapes and colours for painting:

I have finally sent a letter to my donor family whoever that may be. One of the difficulties is not knowing who you’re writing to and what are their circumstances, never mind not knowing how to thank an anonymous somebody or their family for donating their lungs. Not something most people ever have to think about. Anyway I think I made a reasonable job of it and wrote in a nice card:

The transplant team send it on for you and let you know if you have a response or not. Not sure how I feel about that; I think it would be nice to know if they’ve appreciated hearing from the recipient (ie me). It must be equally strange and difficult from their end.

I’m picking this up here from last week as some technicality meant I couldn’t post it. I’ve been working on a larger oil which is taking days longer than I normally spend on a painting, due both to the size and the oil. My framer gets really put out when I paint anything other than flowers, as those are what she likes best.

No great excitement last week; my white blood cells remain low so I’ll have another test in three weeks to look at what’s happening with them.

We did go for a nice lunch at the weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary. A place called the Leaping Hare at Wyken Vineyard in a lovely old converted barn. Food very nice and I particularly enjoyed my lemon verbena creme brûlée with madeleines. The wine that they do is also very nice. It did actually feel fairly normal ie no sitting in plastic bubbles; tables nicely spaced and staff very relaxed.

I like these very abstract landscapes by Keith Roper showing our local gallery:

I hope I'll have a large oil to post next week. Almost forgot: I've been watching Papworth or I think it's called Surgeons at the edge or some such but this week they are showing a double lung transplant which I think I will find fascinating. It's on one of the BBC channels.

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