Thursday, 18 December 2008

Going South

I really enjoy painting skies, and am now getting good at fluffing up the edges of clouds to get rid of stark straight edges of white paper next to paint. Although I think I need to now work on figures... my person and dog look a little like something out of a children's story book.

I've just visited my daughter and granddaughter on the south coast... child-minding overnight. Despite living there for many years bringing up my four daughters, I now love getting onto the A34 at Winchester, putting my foot down and speeding (not literally) home to West Oxfordshire. I don't miss the vast conurbations or hectic road systems around Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester. I long for the country roads and butter coloured stone of the little villages I've come to love. The one thing that I loved about being down south again, apart from seeing my lovely family that is, is the sound of sea gulls as we strolled through Chichester North Street. They were swooping and diving above us and their calls brought many memories of living by the sea.

I don't mind going south on regular visits, but I wouldn't want to live there again... not unless I could get a very nice cottage along the Dorset coast... yeah, right! Me and the rest of the population!

Back home I love my own bed and awake this morning looking around my bedroom, thinking how lucky I am. Lonely, but lucky!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Yet more artwork

I find I enjoy painting snow scenes more and more... but the chances of having a real life snow scene to paint is pretty remote.

I think this one looks less like a 'paint by numbers' attempt, but what would I know?

I've never like Sundays since he died; being a day of the week in which other couples and families 'do' things. I listen to my neighbours banging their back door, starting up their car with boys, going in and out of the gate and opening and shutting the garage door. Lots of activity and interaction in contrast to my little quiet life. So, I went off to the Gym to swim and lose myself in the pool where I concentrate on achieving more powerful lengths. Not to gain muscle or lean tissue, but just for something to achieve.

I have got into the habit of then sitting in the little food bar, drinking a skinny cappuccino while reading my Sunday newspaper. Again, it's to make me feel part of something. People mingle, come and go, chat and wait for partners to emerge from the changing rooms, while others just sit and read the papers - like me. This week I found only 62 pence in my purse, so when the girl behind the bar, (my dance partner of the last few weeks), happened to ask if I wanted my usual coffee, I had to say that I was broke. I chatted to her for a while, asking how she was and how were her children etc., and she seemed happy to chat back despite suffering with a bad cold. A while later, I was reading my paper at a little table, when she approached carrying a coffee. She coughed, looked around and said, "sorry it's been so long in coming." She smiled and put the coffee on the table. It was such a nice thing to do and filled my heart.

It's the little things that give me such pleasure and make me aware that there are good people around after all. It made me feel visible, warm and fluffy. She is an angel.