I have just returned from Vietnam and what a wonderful country: beautiful scenery, lovely people, great food especially pho and astonishing traffic. I was told there were 5million motorbikes in Hanoi for 7 million people. There are no discernible traffic rules. Imagine one of those motor cycle stunt teams with maybe a dozen members. They criss cross with great precision. Now multiply that by 100 and imagine maybe 1000 or 1200 motorbikes and remember that they have not practised and you have an idea.
However once I had overcome that overwhelming noise of them all beeping and travelling in all directions, from all directions the man in my life and I had a great experience.
I have spent a lovely 4 days painting outside in Norfolk. This is the best painting I did of the lighthouse at Southwold which is in someone’s back garden. I was in a group run by Denise Allen You can find out about her by clicking on her name. What fun!
These all have expiry dates, I have just discovered so if you have some, check them now and spend as soon as you can. Don’t risk them running out as the HTA Horticultural Trades Association is totally inflexible on this point. If you give them as gifts, and I would not after my recent experience, make sure the person you give them to is aware of the expiry date.
It is worth checking any other gift vouchers you have, just in case they have dates.
We all thought spring had sprung and it has but you might have been forgiven for wondering this weekend. Last Friday the temperature here was 26º and this weekend it is 6º! However the warmth of last week has brought all the spring flowers out. This is my favourite narcissus, variety unknown as we inherited it. It smells lovely too.
Gosh I am behind! I had a lovely week in Wales with a group of people who were on a landscape photography tour. We stayed in a wonderful converted chapel near Llanberis. It is in the Snowdonia National Park and is in slate country. I was the cook so it was my job to keep everyone well fed and to produce meals at the right time. As ever I enjoyed meeting new people and learned a little more about photography. My purpose in taking pictures is to us them as reference material for paintings. Having spent years using pastels I am trying out acrylics with varying success. I will post a painting when I have one I think is finished.
Today on the radio we talked though a Christmas list of beautiful books to give as gifts. It is difficult to choose as there are so many I could have filled a three hour slot by myself!
Those of you who follow this blog will realise that I have a son, daughter in law and two little grandchildren in Melbourne Australia. Those of you who listen to the Nick Coffer show will know I got back from a visit on October 25th. It was so lovely to spend time with the children and so hard to leave but strangely nice to get home. The flights are just interminable but a good time for getting stuck into a good book. Weather in Melbourne in Spring is much like here in spring but warmer. This little fellow was in the Wildlife Sanctuary in Healesville. We had a great day there.
Off to Wales tomorrow to cook for a landscape photography course for a week. Good fun and in a lovely part of the UK.
I mention because I have recently joined this organisation.
We have an exhibition coming up on May 13th at Basing House in Rickmansworth. I expect to have a painting in this exhibition. I am very much an amateur artist and there are some very talented artists in this group. If you are in Rickmansworth on that Sunday pop in and take a look. Entry is free.
One of the members, Andrew Schofield, has an exhibition at Chenies Manor in May, from this Bank Holiday Monday onwards.
is Andrews website.