Sunday, 23 December 2007

Tangent: Off to Oz

Finally,at last, I'm off to Oz to see the wizard (NOT). There were (lots of) times I never thought we'd get there.
(Did this picture a few weeks ago in preparation for this day!)
I leave tomorrow morning and after circling the globe three times, arrive in Brisbane, something like Christmas night, which is like 4 am in my stomach and 22 past 37 in my head!
Neil is only leaving here on Boxing Day as he still has a temperature, and I will wait for him in Brisbane getting over my jet lag, exploring and buying something to wear for the wedding (been too sick to care).

We will get to Byron Bay just in time for the wedding which is on 29th December at 5pm on the beach.Then we will have the next 12 glorious days to relax, unwind, refresh, recharge our batteries to enable us to face everyday life once more. The last 'real' holiday we had was in Thailand in 1997, so it's our decade anniversary!

I wish you and yours a wonderful festive season, and a very HEALTHY , happy 2008.

I wrote my first post on 6/7/07 and the last 6 months have been an incredible journey as I wend my way to 60. I have made new friends, been able to help a lot of people along the way, and 'grown' myself.

Big hugs to you all till we meet again in 'Blogland'.

Tangent: Upside down Cactus

Before I leave for OZ I had to do a 'quickie' of Senita for Cactus Monday (my seventh and last one for a few weeks).
I decided to draw her upside down to depict the last few weeks/ days in my life.....

Hopefully by 2008 I'll be right side up again and so will she :-)

Happy Cactus Monday everyone, till January.

Tangent: Packing

With less than 24 hours till take off, we have had to make a decision. I (thank heavens) am well now, due to the correct diagnosis and steroid inhaler which has at last given me back an almost normal voice, energy and the desire to travel.

However, Neil is still ill, and had a high fever just 24 hours ago, is very weak with flu.
After lengthy thought and weighing the pros and cons, which is almost more exhausting than travelling itself, we have decided to pack anyway (slowly, to give him time to rest in between) and aim to be ready to leave for Heathrow by 7am tomorrow.
If he succumbs to yet another debilitating temperature, or worsens very suddenly, then all is in place for me to go alone (not my choice, but unaviodable).

When I said 'it ain't over till the fat lady sings', I thought she had sung her last aria for us, but it seems she has still more 'singing' to do.

As you can see, Snuffles is not very happy. She loves messing about in our half packed suitcases but gets this 'hangdog' expression in her eyes, woebegone and mournful. (Now I realise the origin of this expression, very apt.)
She will be staying with Steve (Mr P) and I know they'll have great time together, whether mournful or happy, walking in the park or lolling around at home, as long as she is fed and gets lots of cuddles, they will both benefit. (Confucious said ' he who cuddles, gets cuddles in return').

I'm sure he said that, didn't he?

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Tangent: Horizon

At this time of the year, we are all looking towards the horizon.

What will 2008 bring for us?

My New Year's Resolutions (in no particular order) are:
Make the very most of my trip to OZ (specially after the last few days).
Increase my Charity donations and do more for those in need.
Learn to draw and paint properly.
Appreciate my health even more.
Enjoy my 60th year on this earth.
Learn to say 'No'.
Renew my belief 'life is a journey, not a destination'.
Make more people laugh.
Try to re-unite my sons.

Most of all:
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference!

Happy 2008 to all.
IF: Horizon

Tangent: Top 25 movies

Another one of my new blogging friends, shakymouse, has tagged me to name my best 25 movies of all time.

Here they are in no particular order:
1.) The Piano
2.) Grease
3.) Reservoir Dogs
4.) Silence of the Lambs
5.) Schindler's List
6.) Cry Freedom
7.) Mrs Doubtfire
8.) Some Like it Hot
9.) Dirty Dancing
10.) Charlie Chaplin - Gold Rush
11.) The Pink Panther (1)
12.) Shrek (1)
13.) The Shawshank Redemption
14.) The Godfather
15.) One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
16.) The Green Mile
17.) Doctor Zhivago
18.) L A Confidential
19.) Rainman
20.) ET
21.) Four Weddings and a Funeral
22.) Gone with the Wind
23.) The Wizard of Oz
24.) Singing in the Rain
25.) Dancing with Wolves

I bet a psychologist would have a great time analysing me!

Thursday, 20 December 2007


I have always liked the saying 'it ain't over till the fat lady sings'
We ARE going to Oz.
We HAVE managed to find two tickets on the 24th December.
We WILL be at our son's wedding.
We WILL get well in the sunshine!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Tangent: True Blue Blogging Award

I've been awarded the True Blue Blogging Award by studiololo.
Thank you so much Laurel.

This award is given to people who stick by you in blogland and make it fun to blog, creating a ring of communication and friendship.

The past 6 months have been an incredible adventure for me with my blog. I started it for fun after watching my sons blogging away, and am now totally hooked.

I do so enjoy signing in almost every day and reading what my new friends are up to, marvelling at their artistic talents, giggling at their funny endeavours, crying with them when they are sad. I had never intended to become besotted with blogland, but I am.

I would like to present this award to the following people who have been there for me with consistently encouraging words and feelings. Laurel you are definitely one of them. I salute you.

Here are the others whose comment come straight from their hearts, who lift my spirits, who give me lots of new ideas, and who make me laugh out loud.



lynn-getting my feet wet




Supposed to be only 5, but I am cheating with 6.

You're all a bit nuts, odd, lovely and loving ( 'birds of a feather stick together').

Bingle Jells and Nealthy Yew Hear.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Tangent: Post Viral Bronchial Hyperreactivity

You may wonder why I painted a wishy washy watercolour of an African shepherd for this post.
The reason:
His dogged persistence, his unwavering faith in the weather, his sheep and his usual routine day in and day out.
He asks for no more than what he has.
He is solitary, firm in his beliefs, unchanging and reliable.

With my latest diagnosis (of course it's weird and wonderful, as I am a weird and wonderful person), I now have a steroid inhaler and a vague suggestion from the Doctor that I could (possibly) travel in 10 days time.....

That's too late for the wedding, but there are now 2 new tickets available in 6 days time....if I were preparedto take the risk....hubby is getting stronger, and won't go without me.....aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh

Calm, calm, stay calm, think of that shepherd, breathe in and out calmly (no not like that, you're coughing and hacking again).......... think of the shepherd, one foot in front of foot in front of another................

Monday, 17 December 2007

Tangent: Masks

Masks, masks, masks, everywhere masks.
All around us,
You wear them,
I wear them,
One for mummy, one for daddy, your boss, your friends, colleagues and strangers.

Couldn't we rid ourselves of them, just once, and be who we really are?
Which one are you wearing today?

Tangent: Santa Senita


This is my sixth drawing of Senita, which I did during last week and had planned to post before I left (gulp).

This morning when I went into the back room to open the curtains, Senita looked at me as if to say 'Are you still here?'

I love drawing her every week now Teri, and I like to think she stands a little straighter and prouder every time I do. How do you like the real cottonwool ? Ha ha, she says it tickles her.

She is going to appear in mondayartday as well. She'll be famous now!

So, Happy Cactus Monday and a very Merry Christmas and a very HEALTHY and happy 2008 to all my friends, old and new.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Tangent: Tribute to Bette/Bob

I am a firm believer that when life throws you a 'curved ball' (which it has just done for us), one should look outside one's own world and see what 'curved balls' others have had thrown at them recently, so as to get everything back into perspective once more.

So I sat quietly this afternoon painting this picture as a tribute to Bette/Bob, one of Debra's many snakes that has just died in the big freeze she's experiencing.

I hope you don't mind Debra. It's my way of showing you that I care and understand.
It has also helped me to feel a lot more settled now, and accepting of 'what will be will be'.

Tangent: Snuffles is home

Steve brought Snuffles back this morning, and I feel better already.

She went to stay with him while we were in OZ, but now we don't know what's going to happen, so we've got her home again.

She's happy and so am I.
Thanks Stevie.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Tangent: Hong Kong (NOT)

We did NOT take off an hour ago,,

We did NOT make it to the airport.

We will NOT be landing in Hong Kong at 4 pm tomorrow.

We are both in bed, very ill.
Neil woke up at 3 am with a high temperature and burning throat; I took a turn for the worse on Wednesday.

The wedding is on 29th December in Oz.
Rebooking tickets, rearrange work plans etc - are all almost impossible right now.

If you were religious, you'd say:
Man proposes and God disposes'.

If you were a fatalist, you'd say:
'It's not meant to be' or 'what will be will be'.

I am a fatalist and usually see the glass as half full - not half empty.

Right now, I feel completely empty!

Tangent: Backwards

Life is a tightrope.
Precarious balance.
Nothing is certain.
All can be lost.
Are you going forwards or backwards in your life?

Today I am going backwards.

IF: Backwards

Friday, 14 December 2007

Fifty-nine: Back to letters

I love new projects, new ideas, new challenges and new stimulations.

So, when the heartful blogger offered to exchange REAL handwritten letters with me:
envelopes and stamps, and things that 'plop' through the door delivered by a real live person, called 'the postman', I jumped at the opportunity.

And when the first one arrived this morning I was so thrilled. I realised how much I had missed a good 'down to earth' letter, not something submitted through an elecronic system which has been floating around in cyberspace.

So, my fifty-ninth thing to do before I turn 60, is to reclaim this almost defunct art and start writing lotsa letters again.

Anyone want to get a REAL letter, let me know.

Oh, and by the way, you're all going to have to wait till the New Year for my 60th before 60!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Tangent: Raw cough

After 8 weeks my bronchitis has changed to a raw burning throat, with difficulty in swallowing (since yesterday morning), a worsened cough and persistent laryngitis.

Having had 2 doses of antibiotics, 4 bottles of cough mixture, used an inhaler, dozens of paracetamols, and remedies such as steam inhalations, salt gargles and echinacea, I am worn down and worn out.

In less than 48 hours we take leave for Australia


Tangent: Draw Elvis

The challenge for this week's Please Draw Me is to do a portrait of Elvis.

I have never been an Elvis fan, so this is not very flattering. Too bad!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Fifty-eight: Continue crocheting

I knitted all the pullovers and cardigans for our family for over 20 years. I embroidered table cloths and also completed over 15 tapestries (will post some photos of them ). I then fell under the spell of crossstitching and have loads of these all stuck away in a case somewhere(will post photos of them too).
Crocheting always came second best to my knitting, but nowadays it is all I do when sitting down to relax. Ican't just sit down and do nothing, my hands have to be busy.

I found the Cuddles charity web site about 2 years ago and started making blankets for premature and still born babies, and this is my latest batch. I've probably sent about 60 blankets to them so far.
The fact that they are so small is good for my hands, as large things make them ache nowadays. Also, my eyesight isn't what it used to be either.
I like the thought that a family will be given one of my blankets at a difficult time in their lives, and maybe even keep/ cherish it forever.

A lot of love and care goes into my little cuddles blankets.

If you like crocheting, maybe there is a charity like this near you.

Tangent: Good morning London

This is the sight that greeted me this morning from the back bedroom window (my 'studio'). Isn't it just perfect?
Made me sing the lyrics of :
'Good Morning Starshine' from 'Hair' (for those who remember it!)

So, it's a:
'Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo'
to you all out there in blogland this morning.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Tangent: Pencil cactus

Last week while sitting in the back bedroom -which has become my 'studio' - and 'beavering' away at some pencil sketches, I looked up and saw Senita, serene and statuesque, looking down on me in a somewhat haughty manner, as if to say 'what about me?'
So, I found another piece of paper and sketched her. She is tall, dignified and proud, and I hope this sketch shows some of her qualities.
She has become very much part of that room where all my art 'thingies' lie strewn about, and I enjoy greeting her every day when I go in there to potter around.

Happy Cactus Monday!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Tangent: Xmas quiz

Good morning sunshine(not).

Here's a quick Xmas quiz for you all that I've adapted from Bohemianmom's site.
1.)Egg nog or hot chocolate? (Hot choc for me every time)
2.) Do you hang mistletoe ? (No, we never have, get enough kisses all year round, ha ha)
3.) What is your favourite holiday dish? (Xmas pudding and brandy sauce of course)
4.)What is your favourite holiday memory? (All of us in Northmead, Ma and Dad still alive, before emigration, when kids were all young).
5.)When and how did you learn about Santa? (When my friend's dad dressed up as Santa for the local community party)
6.) Snow, love or dread it? ( Love it falling, dread it thawing)
7.) What was your favourite gift? (The gifts we give now. We all give the amount we would've spent on presents to the person's favourite charity)
8,)Favourite Xmas song? (Silent night, always brings tears to my eyes)

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Tangent: The men in my life

The challenge this week on 'Please Draw Me' is to draw the person/people who are very special in your life.
I painted this today, sitting quietly, listening to 'Jigsaw' by Campbell Armstrong on my ipod.

They are all precious to me, they all give me pain in one way or another, they all mean the world to me!
It's also obvious that they don't have much hair or good eyesight !

Fifty- seven: Let's talk

I'd like us three to get together and really talk.
It's time we did.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Tangent: Little things (IF)

Practising for
Christmas Concert.
Sitting in a row.
Just plain bored!

'little things'
IF: Little Things

Tangent: God only knows

For Steve.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Tangent: Practise again

I tried to copy this interesting man from the 'Please Draw Me' site.

He has a 'Charlton Heston' look about him (for those of you old enough to know who CH is.)

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Tangent: My dream house/s

As I have two sides to my personality, the outgoing, friendly, happy go lucky side and the quiet, introspective, very serious side, I had to design two ' ideal ' houses I would live in for Monday Artday.

My quieter side would love nothing more than to be a million miles from anywhere and anyone, in a cute quaint little cottage, isolated and -just - um -quiet....

My other house would have to be big, bold and probably shaped like a question mark, as I am so curious and interested in everything and everyone around me.

Where I live in London sort of satisfies quite a lot of both.
Although we live in a quiet outer London suburb, and my street is a cul - de - sac, of only one block of houses, I am within 30 minutes by tube to the centre of London.

These days I mostly enjoy coming home, entering my front door, heaving a sigh of relief and shutting the whole world out!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Tangent: City of Houses

The Challenge this week for MondayArtday is to design your own house.

My ideal house would be in this crazy city, rambling, squishy, wobbly, splodgy, topsy-turvy, mushy and comfy- just like my own life.

I will try to draw the actual house later this week. Bet you can't wait!

Fifty-six: Value my friends

This is Lorraine, Hilary, Jamie and me having a good old gossip at work.

Hello girls, thanks for being my friends! Have a great Xmas and a good rest away from Cruella!

(painted a few weeks ago, entitled 'Italian women'....ha ha, that's us girls!!!)

Monday, 3 December 2007

Tangent: Picasso cactus

This is the 'Picasso' version that I promised Teri , and my fourth drawing of Senita.

I did it yesterday, and after a lousy day at school, it was a pleasure coming home and posting this. Feel more relaxed already.

Happy Cactus Monday everyone!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Fifty-five: Practise, practise, practise

I have spent the last eight hours trying to draw and paint these people on the site I've joined, where you put up your own picture, which others draw, and you try to draw them too. I must say in my defense that I'd never done a portrait before two weeks ago!

I am determined to get them to look like themselves eventually, so for now it's apologies all round and practise, practise, practise.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Tangent: Excess (IF)

she looked in the mirror
and wept yet again
still too much excess
when would it end?

(dedicated to those struggling with an ED, or, like me, recovering from one.)

Fifty-four: Calm down

After nearly three weeks off work with bronchitis (and still lingering laryngitis) I have been like a whirlwind this week, rushing, dashing, scurrying, galloping, frrantically catching up with all my school work, getting ready for our Christmas concert, end of term tests, planning work for the January term, AND trying to make lists for our impending trip to Oz where Mark and Carla are getting married on the beach in Byron Bay on the 29th December.

Trying to be as jolly as this 'galloping granny' I once drew, not always succeeding.