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Friday 1.2.13 Its already the first of February - a twelfth of the way through the year! and this is a short month. The sun is shining, giving good light. Invitation from Women in Racing to the studio visit on Ladies Day where we are serving Bucks Fizz and canapés at 9.30 in the morning till 11 when they all go off to the Racecourse. Saturday 2.2.13 Off to Bristol in the evening to attend Martin Kiszko(the composer and green poet)’s party with its theme of Rock. When we arrive Martin’s looking very cool with his shades and jeans two sizes too small and transferred tattoos on his arms. Richard, in his John Travolta Saturday Night Fever, white suit and black shirt, takes over stirring a huge pan of curry that has been delivered by Martin’s favourite restaurant n Bristol. Two of his friends who we had met a couple of years ago recognise us but we didn’t recognise them as she has an orange bobbed wig, blue shades whilst his are oval. I compliment him on his John Lennon glasses which is rather silly as he’s actually wearing a black wig tied back in a pony tail and he enlightens me to the fact that it an Ozzy Osbourn look. People have really entered into the spirit of it including Nick Park who’s come with the lovely Sarah (Pickles) (who runs the Smiling Eyes charity) dressed as Cher whilst Nick is dressed as Sonny in a leopard skin waistcoat and black curly wig. Martin asks me to help him judge the fancy dress competition after which I have to call out numbers between 1 and 47 for them to form two four person rock bands and then two further numbers for the judges The last one I call by chance is Richard’s so he and Duncan judge the performances of air guitar. Its a fun evening and we give three of his guests a lift back o the bottom of Park Street en route home. Sunday 3.2.13 Work in top studio until early evening when my sister Gill comes to supper with my Mum after bringing her back from Bedfordshire where she had been staying with her for the week. Later in the studio I listen to the episodes of George Orwell’s ‘Down and out in Paris and London’ that I had missed during the week on the iPlayer. A fascinating man, I love his writings Monday 4.2.13 Gary and Silja call in to do a short visit and see the studios. Tuesday 5.2.13 Up to London for a private view at the Alpha. Very nice surprise to meet Isabelle and Richard Bacon. Collect a painting that had been on long term loan to the Dover Street Arts Club where they were very helpful. Wednesday 6.2.13 To Madame Butterfly at the Everyman performed by a touring company from Belorussia an early Birthday treat for Richard. Thursday 7.2.13 E mail from Isabelle Gibeault Bacon French friend and collector who will be in Paris tomorrow and has offered to go to the frame shop on the Left Bank to pick me up some plain circular wooden frames and needs the address. Friday 8.2.13 R goes over to te Brian Sinfield Gallery to deliver two paintings. Whilst he’s away and I’m working in the studio, call from Isabelle who photographs the little frames they have and sends them to me. She’s an angel as will have to carry them all back on the train next week. Saturday 9.2.13 I was going up to London with Richard this weekend to help look after the little boys on Saturday evening and take them out on Sunday but unfortunately have come down with another virus. So R is going on his own taking with him an early birthday cake he’s made for Isaac. We pack the presents we’ve got for the two little boys keeping a few back for when I see them. R leaves early afternoon to drop off another tiny painting before going on to Blackheath. I flounder around over the weekend trying to start new things but for the most part work on a painting started mid January. R plays chess with the little boys and various other board games Samuel gets out wanting to play, before Henrietta gets them into bed just before the taxi arrives. They are going out to dinner at a smart restaurant in Clerkenwell to celebrate one of her friends’ birthdays. Sunday 10.2.13 Slow progress again today. R gets back about 8.30 after hitting snow just outside London. In the afternoon I hear the first instalment of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four on Radio 4 who have been doing a series of plays and reading from the books. I also particularly enjoyed Animal Farm a couple of weeks ago and Homage to Catalonia last weekend Monday 11.2.13 Fascinating e mail from Michael telling me about an article he had just read in the New York Review of Books where the diplomat Brian Urquhart had written about his father the painter Murray Urquhart who rode off on his bicycle with his easel when Brian was six (in 1928) and never came home again, pursuing the rest of his life as an artist, leaving his mother to bring he and his brother up single handedly, supporting them by her teaching. An interesting collection of Murray Urquhart’s paintings can be seen on the BBC website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/murray-mcneel-caird-urquhart/paintings/slideshow#/0 Tuesday 12.2.13 Call from Peter Richmond who’s a trustee of the Tithe Barn and on the committee for the Summer Street Fair in June - this year entitled ‘All the fun of the Fair’. He’s asking if I would open it and whether I might exhibit some paintings in the newly extended Tithe Barn. Wednesday 13.2.13 Trying to follow the muse as ideas begin to glimmer after winter ‘s after gloom. Thursday 14.2.13 Ditto Friday 15.2.13 Ditto Saturday 16.2.13 Henrietta, Kev and the boys are away skiing in Isla; my sister is also skiing in France and Nathan and Ruth are in Thailand. So I always see it as a challenge to try and get more work done and am working on several medium sized canvases as one idea grows out of another. Sunday 17.2.13 Ditto Monday 18.2.13 Ditto Tuesday 19.3.13 Tuesday 19.2.13 Ditto We had been looking forward to our visit to the Linc centres in Cheltenham and Gloucester but die to both still recovering from the virus we have postponed it. Wednesday 20.2.13 Wednesday 20.2.13 Sun is shining and makes it more conducive to work. Thursday 21.2.13 Thursday 21.2.13 Ditto Friday 22.2.13 Ditto Saturday 23.2.13 Phone call from Henrietta on their way back from the airport - they’ve just spent the day in Nice at the Flower Festival, following a week’s skiing in Isla where Isaac whose first time it was, learned enough to ski down a red run and came top of his group. Sunday 24.2.13 Sunday 24.2.13 Ditto Working in the studio. Richard takes my Mum shopping to Waitrose whilst unbeknown to him I’m working on his birthday painting. Monday 25.2.13 Its Richard’s birthday. When I get down he’s already very organised having prepared the birthday supper and cup cakes. Whilst I’m having my breakfast he opens the presents I’m giving him including the little painting “The Printmaker” of which he is the subject and a waterolour card in which he is wearing his dark brown trilby and new raincoat and scarf (titled 006). My Mum comes round for a cup of tea and cup cakes and to give him his card and present. She’s decided not to stay for supper as it would probably be a bit late for her, so I walk her home afterwards and do a bit of gardening. When I get back R looks very pleased as his Red Wing boots I ordered for him have just arrived. Professor Ken and Nancy ring to wish him Happy Birthday too and a little later Henrietta and the boys. I’ve just lit the log fire and am putting the salad on the plates to accompany the starter when Daphne and Michael arrive, looking bright and well, followed shortly by Richard and Lesley then Jane and David who are just back from Australia. Its a lovely evening with a lot of laughter and exchanging of news and stories. Tuesday 26.2.13 We’re both feeling slightly put out as the laptop is in for repairs which means that we have to go up to the big computer or do things on our Blackberrys. I’m always keen to get it repaired rather than buying a new one as I think we dispose of IT equipment too easily, especially as you could probably be constantly upgrading. and as Richard points out, we’re probably saving time whilst its away as there are some things we only do on that. Wednesday 27.2.13 E mail from Silja at the Alpha Gallery; they have just sold Urban Grapevine to a very nice collector called Brian and Sabine who works for the Gallery is buying “The Visitation” to celebrate her forth coming birthday. Thursday 28.2.13 Nice e mail from Kate Green at the National Star College saying that “our fabulous Star Bistro students wowed the judges with their Pims Fruit Jelly in the regional round of Food Glorious Food last night” but unfortunately we won’t be able to watch it till the laptop comes back. But I’d recommend everyone else to as food and service in the Star Bistro is brilliant and such a good training ground for the students. https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/food-glorious-food/series-1/episode-1 GUESS WHO WON!!! Just had an e mail from Toyah in reply to mine congratulating her on how good she sounded on BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding, walking the parkland of Croome Court by the great Capability Brown. Saturday 2.2.13 Off to Bristol in the evening to attend Martin Kiszko(the composer and green poet)’s party with its theme of Rock. When we arrive Martin’s looking very cool with his shades and jeans two sizes too small and transferred tattoos on his arms. Richard, in his John Travolta Saturday Night Fever, white suit and black shirt, takes over stirring a huge pan of curry that has been delivered by Martin’s favourite restaurant in Bristol. Two of his friends who we had met a couple of years ago recognise us but we didn’t recognise them as she has an orange bobbed wig, blue shades whilst his are oval. I compliment him on his John Lennon glasses which is rather silly as he’s actually wearing a black wig tied back in a pony tail and he enlightens me to the fact that it an Ozzy Osbourn look. People have really entered into the spirit of it including Nick Park who’s come with the lovely Sarah (Pickles) (who runs the Smiling Eyes charity) dressed as Cher whilst Nick is dressed as Sonny in a leopard skin waistcoat and black curly wig. Martin asks me to help him judge the fancy dress competition after which I have to call out numbers between 1 and 47 for them to form two four person rock bands and then two further numbers for the judges The last one I call by chance is Richard’s so he and Duncan judge the performances of air guitar. Its a fun evening and we give three of his guests a lift back o the bottom of Park Street en route home. Sunday 3.2.13 Work in top studio until early evening when my sister Gill comes to supper with my Mum after bringing her back from Bedfordshire where she had been staying with her for the week. Later in the studio I listen to the episodes of George Orwell’s ‘Down and out in Paris and London’ that I had missed during the week on the iPlayer. A fascinating man, I love his writings Monday 4.2.13 Gary and Silja call in to do a short visit and see the studios. Tuesday 5.2.13 Up to London for a private view at the Alpha. Very nice surprise to meet Isabelle and Richard Bacon. Collect a painting that had been on long term loan to the Dover Street Arts Club where they were very helpful. Wednesday 6.2.13 To Madame Butterfly at the Everyman performed by a touring company from Belorussia an early Birthday treat for Richard. Thursday 7.2.13 E mail from Isabelle Gibeault Bacon French friend and collector who will be in Paris tomorrow and has offered to go to the frame shop on the Left Bank to pick me up some plain circular wooden frames and needs the address. Friday 8.2.13 R goes over to te Brian Sinfield Gallery to deliver two paintings. Whilst he’s away and I’m working in the studio, call from Isabelle who photographs the little frames they have and sends them to me. She’s an angel as will have to carry them all back on the train next week. Saturday 9.2.13 I was going up to London with Richard this weekend to help look after the little boys on Saturday evening and take them out on Sunday but unfortunately have come down with another virus. So R is going on his own taking with him an early birthday cake he’s made for Isaac. We pack the presents we’ve got for the two little boys keeping a few back for when I see them. R leaves early afternoon to drop off another tiny painting before going on to Blackheath. I flounder around over the weekend trying to start new things but for the most part work on a painting started mid January. R plays chess with the little boys and various other board games Samuel gets out wanting to play, before Henrietta gets them into bed just before the taxi arrives. They are going out to dinner at a smart restaurant in Clerkenwell to celebrate one of her friends’ birthdays. Sunday 10.2.13 Slow progress again today. R gets back about 8.30 after hitting snow just outside London. In the afternoon I hear the first instalment of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four on Radio 4 who have been doing a series of plays and reading from the books. I also particularly enjoyed Animal Farm a couple of weeks ago and Homage to Catalonia last weekend Monday 11.2.13 Fascinating e mail from Michael telling me about an article he had just read in the New York Review of Books where the diplomat Brian Urquhart had written about his father the painter Murray Urquhart who rode off on his bicycle with his easel when Brian was six (in 1928) and never came home again, pursuing the rest of his life as an artist, leaving his mother to bring he and his brother up single handedly, supporting them by her teaching. An interesting collection of Murray Urquhart’s paintings can be seen on the BBC website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/murray-mcneel-caird-urquhart/paintings/slideshow#/0 Tuesday 12.2.13 Call from Peter Richmond who’s a trustee of the Tithe Barn and on the committee for the Summer Street Fair in June - this year entitled ‘All the fun of the Fair’. He’s asking if I would open it and whether I might exhibit some paintings in the newly extended Tithe Barn. Wednesday 13.2.13 Trying to follow the muse as ideas begin to glimmer after winter ‘s after gloom. Thursday 14.2.13 Ditto Friday 15.2.13 Ditto Saturday 16.2.13 Henrietta, Kev and the boys are away skiing in Isla; my sister is also skiing in France and Nathan and Ruth are in Thailand. So I always see it as a challenge to try and get more work done and am working on several medium sized canvases as one idea grows out of another. Sunday Ditto Tuesday 19.3.13 We had been looking forward to our visit to the Linc centres in Cheltenham and Gloucester but die to both still recovering from the virus we have postponed it. Wednesday 20.2.13 Sun is shining and makes it more conducive to work. Thursday 21.2.13 Ditto Friday 22.2.13 Ditto Saturday 23.2.13 Phone call from Henrietta on their way back from the airport - they’ve just spent the day in Nice at the Flower Festival, following a week’s skiing in Isla where Isaac whose first time it was, learned enough to ski down a red run and came top of his group. Sunday 24.2.13 Working in the studio. Richard takes my Mum shopping to Waitrose whilst unbeknown to him I’m working on his birthday painting. Monday 25.2.13 Its Richard’s birthday. When I get down he’s already very organised having prepared the birthday supper and cup cakes. Whilst I’m having my breakfast he opens the presents I’m giving him including the little painting “The Printmaker” of which he is the subject and a waterolour card in which he is wearing his dark brown trilby and new raincoat and scarf (titled 006). My Mum comes round for a cup of tea and cup cakes and to give him his card and present. She’s decided not to stay for supper as it would probably be a bit late for her, so I walk her home afterwards and do a bit of gardening. When I get back R looks very pleased as his Red Wing boots I ordered for him have just arrived. Professor Ken and Nancy ring to wish him Happy Birthday too and a little later Henrietta and the boys. I’ve just lit the log fire and am putting the salad on the plates to accompany the starter when Daphne and Michael arrive, looking bright and well, followed shortly by Richard and Lesley then Jane and David who are just back from Australia. Its a lovely evening with a lot of laughter and exchanging of news and stories. Tuesday 26.2.13 We’re both feeling slightly put out as the laptop is in for repairs which means that we have to go up to the big computer or do things on our Blackberrys. I’m always keen to get it repaired rather than buying a new one as I think we dispose of IT equipment too easily, especially as you could probably be constantly upgrading. and as Richard points out, we’re probably saving time whilst its away as there are some things we only do on that. Wednesday 27.2.13 E mail from Silja at the Alpha Gallery; they have just sold Urban Grapevine to a very nice collector called Brian and Sabine who works for the Gallery is buying “The Visitation” to celebrate her forth coming birthday. Thursday 28.2.13 Nice e mail from Kate Green at the National Star College saying that “our fabulous Star Bistro students wowed the judges with their Pims Fruit Jelly in the regional round of Food Glorious Food last night” but unfortunately we won’t be able to watch it till the laptop comes back. But I’d recommend everyone else to as food and service in the Star Bistro is brilliant and such a good training ground for the students. https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/food-glorious-food/series-1/episode-1 GUESS WHO WON!!! Just had an e mail from Toyah in reply to mine congratulating her on how good she sounded on BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding, walking the parkland of Croome Court by the great Capability Brown.