Tuesday, March 30, 2010

List no ? and a lovely surprise.

1. Make List.
2. Post hares to Suffolk.
3. Take dragons and snowleopards to cathedral
4. Paint windows.
5. Sketch running dog for Iris.
6. Draw hares.
7. Finish Christmas
8. Order 70 dragons and 30 seals.

Heard yesterday that the blog is in the running for the author blog awards so if you haven't voted yet and like what you see please click through from this link to vote.

Working away upstairs, painting the windows when the dogs began to bark. I went downstairs, opened the door and found the biggest box filling the porch. Brought it into the house and up to the studio to unpack. And inside the wonderfully intricate box was the most beautiful bunch of flowers.


 They were from my gorgeous friend Vivian French. I met Viv at Swansea Wordplay Festival years back and she has always been the most generous friend, full of encouragement and overflowing with story. Some years back we began working on a book, Singing to the Sun, together. The story is wondrous, the cover is not and I fear the sale of the book has suffered for reasons a little beyond our control. Anyway, even at a very early stage of the book when Viv saw the roughs she said " I want that painting. Can I buy it off you?" " No, sorry, I am giving it to a friend of mine, " I replied, but then had to say to Viv that I had decided that I would have to give the painting to her, couldn't sell it, so funny that she had chosen it too. Anyway, if you look at the page for Singing to the Sun on my website you can see that the picture didn't have an easy birth. Viv's text is so beautiful for this book and I couldn't do it justice, but managed, eventualy. And then Viv bought a piece from Snow Leopard, and they sat in my house and waited. She lives in Edinburough, a long way from here.
Long story cut short, as the lovely Anji Spangle came to stay and then drove to Edinburough with the paintings and by hook and by crook they made their way to Viv, and then she, wonderful woman, sent me flowers.
She has another story lurking and now and again torments me with it. It has a bear in it, and an archer, and a woman, and love, and joy and sorrow. And I so look forward to reading it for I know that it will make pictures dance in my head.
And the flowers now sit on the kitchen table so that they are in the heart of my house, and they have made me realise how lovely my house is. Outside the March wind is all raindancing cold. This time last year I was crunched into a corner of my bedroom painting. Last year I had half a house with no roof, no bathroom, too much work, chaos. Now what was my bedroom is the kitchen. I have a beautiful red cooker. The log burner heats the house. I have the best studio space I have ever had ( a huge mortgage, there has to be a down side to everything!) I am lucky.
And Viv, well, she is just a joy to know and a wonderful friend as well as being a word wizard or extraordinary power.


  1. How is it you make your lists sound so interesting, mine always look so mundane in comparison? I particularly liked 'take dragons and snowleopards to cathedral' - it conjured up all kinds of idiotic imagery in my head!

  2. We love your blog, so we voted :)
    Ginger Miu and Beetle x

  3. Is it me or does posting hares to Suffolk sound like taking coals to Newcastle. Husband's going to our local cathedral next week, he says he'd love to take snowleopards with him!

  4. I tried to vote, will try again. Your house looks fantastic. So calm and tasteful. And you ordered 60 dragons and 30 seals? What? Books I guess.

  5. I ordered 70 dragons in the end Fiona and 30 seals. And took 6 snowleopards and 6 dragons to the cathedral. They can be very unruly and are difficult to get into the car sometimes, especialy when you have three dogs in there!

  6. Hi Jackie,
    What lovely flowers!
    Just a quick one to say (a bit nervously)that I have finally decided to go for it and do a blog of my own about art, writing etc...
    If you found time to take a peek I'd be ever so chuffed...


    Hope you don't mind me pestering!

  7. Your home is you-beautiful-thank you for sharing it with us. Happy Spring from New England. Angie