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New Year

I wasn’t sure what photo to put here as I’m so out of date but I have so many nice festive ones it seems a shame not to air them. Ralph has been enjoying the tree but finds it so difficult to keep away from it. He has joined in the festivities and agreed to wear his antlers though:

It seems an age since I wrote on my blog and this was partly written as you can see over Xmas. Perhaps due to the run up to Christmas, although I’ve only had to do a bit of online shopping and get enough food for a few days. It’s always the same, that feeling of leading up to a big event. I do enjoy the lights and twinkling and general cosiness of the tree and the decorations:

Today is the last day before limboland to new year. Doesn’t feel anything really happy about it though. I hope I am not sounding too grinch- like but we aren’t allowed to go anywhere and the idea of staying up to Zoom doesn’t seem very attractive. We normally have a big village hall gathering with dinner and I do pudding for 45. I guess the only good thing then is not having to stay up.

We will cook something particularly delicious and celebrate in a quiet way. Of course afterwards it will be back into the same hellishly mundane time of lockdown. Brexit of course which I’m reluctant to mention but we will have to watch to whole sorry show as it reveals itself to be a complete disaster. I can’t believe that we are living through such a tragic event. I feel in some ways it is worse than the coronavirus as although Boris didn’t engineer that and dealt with it badly it was something that wasn’t self inflicted (apart from the number of deaths and spread ; not forgetting the mutation!)

Christmas has been great for all the nice food we’ve had. A lovely hamper from Italy:

...although nothing can beat a good mince pie:

We’re also loaded up with a couple of Panettone and a stollen. I had a delicious Alain Ducasse chocolate Advent calendar so have been spoiled by that. I suppose far from being a huge anticlimactic event it does actually go on for days. We’ll be eating a cheese mountain for some time.

We only had one sofa day on Boxing Day so haven’t been lolling around watching telly. Maybe if you can do it everyday it seems less tempting. I am enjoying The Crown; the way the Charles and Diana thing is portrayed is fascinating and makes Charles look absolutely vile.

I sold a few paintings in the run up to Christmas including these:

And was particularly sorry to see this little one go which is the view from the kitchen window:

One major event before Christmas was M’s Mum's 100th birthday. We went to Rye for a fantastic cake and lovely pink card from the Queen. I can’t conceive of being 100.

I had my **rd birthday in December and that feels old enough, well not exactly but the point is that 100 seems like a very long way off. And what an achievement - if you can call it that as it’s not comparable to climbing Everest in terms of something you set out to do, but I would rather reach 100 than get to the top of a mountain.

We’ve now lapsed back into non- festive lockdown waiting for all the vaccinations that don’t seem to be coming my way very quickly. Apparently we have trashed all our manufacturing capability so while we have scientists that can invent one we can’t make them so don’t have enough. I remember a time when the British used to laugh at their own bumbling but we’ve gone way past that point.

A small break from routine this morning as we had to take Ralph to the vet due to his peeing where he’s not supposed to so we’ve come back with a testing kit. And he has become too overweight! I feel like a very bad parent. Although he seems happy enough:

My lungs have been performing well and I haven’t had any more back from my last blood test so I think that means my white cell count is going in the right direction. I spoke to one of the Papworth psych team yesterday, and felt encouraged by her take on covid and vaccines; she was reassuringly positive about the plan and reckons I should be done by mid - Feb.

I’ve been doing some oil painting which of course is much slower so I’m not producing as much. I like the different effects that you can get and in some ways they are never ending paintings:

I got a beautiful Astier Du Villatte lemon plate for my birthday which I painted although it looks like a giant lemon half unless you know it's a plate I think.

That’s a quick catch up and I’m now going to try to go back to my regular weekly blog.

Happy New Year and some beautiful parrot tulips which I did paint but not finished:

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