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this and that

I’ve only produced 3 paintings this week. Oil is so much slower than acrylic or gouache due to drying time as well as painting method. I’ve now gone back to flowers although started a still life with clementines yesterday.

There have been some problems with the notifications and messaging on my blog but I hope now that's been resolved.

I have been gradually squirrelling away for Xmas. Made my mince meat yesterday although started on Saturday as it is a 2 day job. And took delivery of a Panettone this morning. I love that for breakfast. I also like the Pandorro but thought I shouldn’t have both. I think I have also managed to get pretty much all my shopping done which usually means I spend from now until Xmas getting even more. It's strange how Christmas cards endure as we rarely send anything anymore apart from online shopping. I send birthday cards when I remember but otherwise it's all done on social media. I wonder if it's now an old persons thing though.

I hope we can get a tree; there is some general panic apparently about a tree shortage as everyone is getting one this year and everyone is getting them early. A bit brainless to get all Christmas done now; the tree will be dead by the time it comes and I’d be past festive. Apparently cats and Xmas trees don’t always mix but putting orange peel around the base of the tree can deter them. I’m not convinced but I guess we’ll find out. I do like a largish tree laden with decorations.

Hoping to be able to do Cley exhibition the weekend after next; deciding which of my newer ones to take to the framers tomorrow:

This week we are travelling to Rye for M’s mum’s 100th birthday. It will feel strange to be going somewhere although we won’t see much of the world from the M25. All the rules allow us to go down there, to stay in accommodation and to eat in a restaurant but not to go into M’s mother’s house. So I’m still not sure how we’ll get around that one.

It does seem important to go though, and to see her regardless of what the rules are. Any reasonable person would assess the risk as being negligible (to her or to us) and being 100 must surely have to be celebrated in however small a way. M hasn’t been able to visit for months now. There has to be room for humanness in all of this.

Everything is grey and wet today, which is ok as I don’t have to go out, although I did just have to go into the garden to rescue Ralph who had managed to get on the top of the pergola but couldn’t get down. M stood on a garden chair and lifted him off. He has brought some of the outside in with his soggy coat. I’m surprised that the wet doesn’t seem to bother him. His favourite thing at the moment is a paper bag which he likes getting into

He provides most of the drama in our lockdown lives with his mouse catching and local cat relationships. I chatted to our neighbour yesterday who said that she had seen Ralph lying in wait and attacking the big cat Henry, so it seems that he is the aggressor.

Our family WhatsApp group competes for pet cuteness with the new Cavapoo puppy in his jumpers and sweatshirts playing with the floppy eared rabbits, and Ralph with his furriness and big paws. There is also an antisocial cat and a loved older dog but although much loved they have trouble with being cute.

I still have another week or so until my next blood test to find out what is happening with my white blood cells. Other than that I feel that I am getting more and more through the recovery. You might think that it was over a year ago now but it is such a huge operation to go through plus the onslaught of drugs it does take a fair while to get back to feeling like yourself.

If you ever do I suppose what with the immunosuppressants and antibiotics and sometimes feeling like you've been kicked in the ribs. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It's the experience of a new life that's difficult to explain. I know I'm by no means the only person to have been on the way out and to be given another chance but it's not something most people can easily understand I think.

Somewhat different to last week’s Van Gogh this is an artist Daisy Cook whose collages are lovely. I got M a small one as part of the Artists Support Pledge

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