Friday, 30 September 2011

More Guilt

The stuff I ordered from Gudrun came. Trouble is, it was so nice that this morning I ordered two more things. I am definitely trying to chase winter away by wearing red and green, rather successfully so far, I have to say.

This is the Gudrun 35th Anniversary. The little bits of collaged fabric are in very pretty cotton organdie, a stiff, translucent cotton. I now have a bright pink skirt in this fabric with three layers of zigzag frill along the bottom which is fun.

Cats Ahoy!

Just felt like looking at some cats. Nibby arriving on Saturday, plus Bear and partner and Olivia, my great-niece. Place a tip, though, so a bit of a clear-out today.

Chat with Dorothy, who is of course very busy. I forgot to ask him to come and help me turn my mattress over but maybe I will ask Bear, who is a strapping young man.

Booked for lunch using my Groupon for Sunday to find they had no spaces before 4pm, so looks like a late lunch with Nibs.

Bit of a frantic last minute rush at work to try and sort out bank accounts. Very boring task for Romy and me, but needed to be done and the results not so dire as anticipated. Will arrange to go to the bank and sort stuff out on my return.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tuesday Evening Again

This was taken from a fake flower. Red and black are back again.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tuesday Evening Rose Tattoo

This looked a bit like an old fashioned sailor's rose tattoo. I thought I could have one, then realised that, apart from my advancing years, my weight is slowly reducing so that in a while it would look a bit shrivelled, so perhaps not.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday evening flowers

Dear me, I also have a red obsession.

Annoyingly, I arrived home to find a couple of cards instead of deliveries, so will have to stay at home awaiting stuff. Seems if I miss three deliveries the stuff goes straight back to Sweden, so I shall have to await it. Unusual for nobody to be in to receive the stuff, but perhaps the delivery people didn't try my neighbours. Damn nuisance.

Romy has offered to turn my mattress which is very kind of her.

I arrived back last night to bump into Julian, who had fed Kook, and was collecting some earth from the garden for a pot plant.

Yesterday Romy and I had lunch at the tapas place. We sat outside in the unseasonal sun, which was very pleasant. Seems that her holiday went very well indeed, which is good news. We made a detour on the way home to Sensational in the E & C shopping centre, where Romy found some rather good clothes.

Monday Flowers

I am getting a bit of a thing about black.

Monday 26 October

The flowers are doing well, though the ferny bits are dropping a lot.

Managed to collect a prescription, purchase some more tomato puree - good for the soup season, collect newspapers and a crime novel on offer with it and get another Lithuanian rye loaf - so addicted to this bread.

After a quick green curry at Lye Torng, went to my hairdresser at Debenhams who restreaked and cut my hair (so expensive) and spent the evening vegging out in front of the TV. And sketched some flowers.

Monday, 26 September 2011

And another thing

playing with a stencil.


This was later and distracting me from Downton Abbey which is hard to put up with.

Dorothy rang to say they were back in Blighty,and had managed to sort out various problems, though unfortunately, not the electricity bills. I can see a trip looming up in the New Year as I shall be too busy before then. Dreading it.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

pot plant

This is a bit crap but it was good to sit outside in the sun.

GP has recommended some good exercises for my back and gave me a referral for osteopathy which I immediately lost. Tragic. The back pain is much worse because my mattress needs turning and I can't do it. Have tried several times but it's as heavy as lead. Maybe I should sleep the other way up. Or invest in a lighter mattress. We shall see.

Sunday 24 September

Sunday evening now. Found a gigantic bra in M & S, quite pretty - navy with purple lace along top, so rapidly purchased it with matching briefs. Found some quite good prawns and salad for lunch. Later I fried a couple of onions, sliced some chorizo and chucked in, added some wine, chicken stock, bay leaves, garlic, rosemary etc. and cooked before adding three courgettes sliced small and cooking some more. Added some broad beans and frozen peas. Hearty stew should last for a few days.

I then sat in the garden and did a couple of bad drawings - one (above of some fruit on a chair).

Flower pattern

This is taken from the flowers Kate gave me, like the previous bunch. I may do another one or two from these, then it's the fruit again, and then maybe the pot of basil in the kitchen. We shall see.

Saturday Night

Madeleine dropped in this afternoon. We enjoyed a glass of wine in the garden, I showed her all my recent purchases and she tried on the blonde winge, which I thought looked rather good. Should have taken a snap.

Quiet evening and early night.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

On My Table Later

May well have a go at the flowers Kate gave me soon. I have a habit of sketching any old bit of rubbish around me, and there's plenty of that.

My Table

I was just thinking about Dorothy. I found that as I got older, I became rather closer to my mother, but maybe that was because I felt she was a little distant when I was a child, though always there, but she very much led her own life. Maybe my need to speak to my mother later in life was because of this, and she seemed to appreciate more contact. Dorothy on the other hand was very central in my life when a child. Perhaps so much so that Dorothy is now relieved at being free of such a 'smother mother', and finds me rather a nuisance, which is probably quite healthy when you think about it. Kids, eh!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Friday 23 September

Things went the way I wanted at the meeting, and hope will continue so. However, the chairman rang me very early this morning to say that our candidate is on holiday for two weeks so the interview has been fixed for a time while I am on leave, but I will have returned from Macclesfield that day. I shall feed Kook when I get back and go in for the evening to take notes etc. Escape from London Bridge beckons.

Today, as usual Evon let us down, so Kate and I discussed our work and had some lunch. Kate brought me these lovely flowers, so kind.

We have decided to plod on with our current projects and meet again, probably some time in October, as we will both be going away for a bit soon.

I seem to have mislaid my red winge, which is rather a nuisance. However the other winges and bits have arrived to make up for it.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Let This Be A Lesson

to quit when you make a complete hash of something. I did this sketch, but started messing around with a brush until the whole thing was a grey mush. A sensible woman would have torn the page out of the sketchbook and thrown it away at this point, but oh no, not me - I blotted it a bit and carried on sketching and applying lurid colour. I include it to show how far wrong you can go if you persist. Quit while you are ahead, or better, don't start.

Wednesday 21

Wrote this yesterday. I spoke too soon. Kook appeared, whingeing outside at 5.30am. So unpredictable.

The dreaded meeting tonight.If only I could retire as from yesterday. Oh well.

I have noticed that the worse I feel, the more I spend. Purchased more garments from Gudrun Sjoden yesterday, and noticed Daniel Hersheson had a sale. I have now purchased three more winges, two reduced to £9.99. They are in platinum, pale pink and purple. Also a couple of blonde clip-on hair bows in two sizes and a plaited headband, all in the sales. I had to restrain myself from also ordering another lot from Gudrun in the evening, since she has yet another collection out, and just bought another mulberry coloured long sleeved nightdress from M & S online. This must stop.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Last Old Card motifs

I did these even longer ago. The 'Fairy', is of course, me with dolly red cheeks. Again, the card motifs were surrounded by either 'gold' frames or masses of tiny glass beads. May see if I can find a couple of the originals somewhere.

My cards this year are very different. As you will see if I send you one. I have to say, though I have finished a few, I am still looking for inspiration. I do tend to go into production before I have properly formulated my ideas. Oh well. I suppose I am 'Tame and Tired' as the old Time and Tide mag used to be known. That's my excuse in advance.

Yet More Cards

More Barcelona cards, and the only 'abject' motif I still have. These were absolutely awful decs from the old Gibraltar pub (now Lye Torng). There were lots of hollow plastic cheap Santas etc, and I have since been told that they came free from some soap company in the 'fifties.

More old designs

Here's some more old designs. The cat Leticia was the pet of my Hammersmith friends, Christophe and Victorine. She was a splendid, if rather fierce, animal, and very beautiful. I did the fat fairy ages ago. She was much improved in the actual cards by being surrounded with a 'frame' of glittering glass miniature beads. I used to flog these to American Retro, the ICA bookshop and several other places in Soho, can't remember their names.

Tuesday 20 September

Absolutely foul email awaiting me in the office. Retirement beckons! otherwise not too bad a day. Trouble is that this kind of thing is such a time waster, so it was all I could do to concoct a job description, ad, etc. Anyway, an unwelcome week at work, generally, with a late meeting on Thursday. I have a GP appointment first thing on Friday and a meet of the Londonistas at my flat later, which may be the only bright spot this week - if they turn up.

Anyway here's a couple of designs for Christmas cards I did previously. These are mounted on brightly coloured card. I don't think I ever used the one on the left, since I had returned from Barcelona, and 'Merry Christmas' in Catalan seemed less current.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Last night's sketch

Not only very wobbly but tending towards the lurid. I suspect this is not unrelated to the bright red and very colourful winge, hat and clothing recently purchased by me.

Must calm down, dear.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Red Winge Red Hat

OK this is the last one of me in a hat for today.

Monday Later On

Here's me in my red hat and blonde winge. I am considering actually wearing a hat instead of a wig if my psoriasis gets really bad. We shall see.

Text from Dorothy who has just boarded the plane, back on Saturday and Julian due back on Thursday, the evening when I have a meeting.

Must get on with Christmas cards. Not much success so far.

Monday 19 Afternoon

This morning I sallied forth to the Elephant & Castle to collect my coat and deposit this book on a bench downstairs. Probably got thrown into a bin, who knows? Bumped into a voracious reader in the form of a punter, who was unfortunately not keen on Irish novels. Mind you, he then revealed that he had read over 50 Terry Pratchett books, so I suppose it was hardly surprising.

My red coat looks excellent so I confirmed my clothes extravagance by purchasing a bright red and pink striped boiled wool unlined jacket at Sensational. It sounds vile, but actually looks quite good on, in that the stripes are wide and few, and the cut is quite flattering. Reduced from £110 to £59. Will look good as one of this years' jewel colours.

Lunch at Lye Torng. Had a go at Andrew about the disgusting state of the wooden stools which need repainting and recovering. He says they might do this, and I suggested that customers were turning away at the door when they saw these, making the assumption that the rest of the place was filthy too. We shall see if the penny drops.
My house is also rather a tip, so I shall stow away more unwanted clothes and see if this reveals some of the furniture underneath the huge piles of unwise purchases and overlarge things. I suppose I should be pleased: now down to size 22 from size 34, and 13 stone from about 18 stone. Only another six stone to get down to my ideal weight.

Sunday Night

Well, I did another dodgy sketch and started to get some ideas for Christmas cards which will not be revealed (they are too crap just now) until much nearer the event. Those whose details I have will receive one (you know who you are).

Using the chicken stock, and adding half a chorizo sliced thinly, onion, garlic, bay leaves and rosemary, plus a little parsley, I have started a soup. I also stuck some nettles in from the garden - good thing I don't use fertilisers, weedkillers etc. Inspecting this, I may add some pulses, maybe beans of various kinds or lentils, and a little tomato puree to beef it up, but I have to say it tastes fine as it is. With some Lithuanian black bread from the new shop in E & C, it will make a substantial meal.

Anyway, Dorothy rang rather crossly to complain about my texting and suggesting I may need psychiatric help with this. Admittedly I did text twice. Then Dorothy was so cross that I actually forgot what I meant to say. Never mind, Dorothy is going to Spain today for some much needed R & R. Having worked as a medical secretary to leading psychiatrists in most of the London teaching hospitals in my youth, I somehow doubt whether most are able to tie their shoelaces, let alone deal with any very complex issues I may or may not have. Anyway...... onwards and upwards.

This morning I shall purchase some more black bread, and possibly leave a book at the Elephant & Castle - I have chosen 'The Stray Sod Country' by Patrick McCabe. It's a bit hard for an Englishwoman to get into all that Irishness, (I was for a while a convent girl in Torquay, full of Irish nuns, so that helped,) but I persisted and it is very rewarding, if a tad dark. I would venture to say that it is a great book, even. I shall stick my Observer book sticker on this one, and then stick my own ones on future books I leave around.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sunday again

Well, here's the chicken, cooked. Actually I now see it was described as rotisserie style rather than barbecue. Kook is already overexcited. Awful, I just found out that moon cakes are around 800 to 1000 calories, so I devoured at least 400 cals the other day. Dear me.

Dorothy is going to Barcelona tomorrow apparently. I shall see if Dorothy wants any chicken and salad as I may have some difficulty eating it all - though it could go in the freezer. Masses of stock which will make an excellent soup base, or cheatingly, diluted, form the liquid for a cup of soup. I have found that water from vegetables does improve these instant soups, particularly nettle and asparagus water.
Don't forget, if you too would like to receive a Christmas card, just leave your details and comment, ta. Must get back to these. Had a comment, and it's good to know that someone who is not a close relative is actually reading this!

I am reading 'Walden' at the moment. Just seen in my Observer that there is some kind of national scheme thingy to leave books about. I thought of this ages ago but have only just got down to it, only to be pipped at the post by the papers. Oh well.

Almost forgot to mention: lost 2lb, despite the half moon cake, which is gratifying, though there's another six or seven stone to go.

Sunday Lunchtime

Well, after taking my new red coat in, went home and my NBF texted to ask if I would be in at midday, as she would like to pop in after her bout at the gym at London Bridge. Agreed, but no sign of her by 1pm so texted to say I would be at Lye Torng, where I had an excellent green curry. At about 2pm she texted again,she had been held up and was it OK to turn up still? I texted that it was fine and went back home for a coffee. She turned up absolutely worn out with the effort of walking from London Bridge after a couple of hours at the gym, and absolutely starving, so after coffee and biscuits I made her a cheese toastie.

Seems she had been visiting friends in Devon and it had not gone well. Particularly since her ex was off on a wonderful holiday with his new partner, which upset her, as she seems not to have come to terms with their separation, though it was some time ago. I pointed out that she had less reason to feel glum than most of us. She is very highly qualified, much younger looking than her years, has delightful grown-up children and is the owner of quite a few properties. She perked up a bit, then told me she is planning to go abroad to one of her properties for a couple of weeks, so the hot weather may make things seem better.

Completely forgot to collect my coat, so hope they are open on Monday. Went to Marks today and bought the bargain dinner for two, which included a rather good chicken in a barbecue style. I know these are very good as I have cooked one before. I added a salad, and rather wickedly calorifically, two lemon mousse things - mainly because of the cute ceramic containers, of which I can never get enough. Some sparkling SA pink Zinfandel, normally £7.50 completed this bargain buy.

Had a long chat with my friend Catriona who lives in Northampton. It does sound a very nice place and I may heave myself up there at some stage. Her daughter is heavily pregnant and she is coming down for the birth soon, which will be exciting. Nibby is due soon. I have organised tickets for Dame Myra Hess Day lunchtime with Patricia Routledge and Nib's friend, Piers Lane, so that will be a start.

Saturday, 17 September 2011


These are a bit feeble, but have spent most of my time attempting to do a few original Christmas cards, again rather weak, but things may improve. Otherwise expect a weak and feeble Christmas card this year, always providing you are on my list. Get on my list by commenting on this post, making sure you leave your name and address preferably snailmail since I am rather computer illiterate. Ha ha.

Friday 16 September

Shopping at Elephant - my red coat will be ready by today.

Found a book about Percyval Tudor Hart, who seems to have been the great grandfather of my NBF. It is a bit rambling, to put it mildly, and very much of its time, with plenty of political incorrectness, but nevertheless a good read. Very much out of print it was discarded by a lending library before I saw it in a secondhand bookshop.

I have done some thumbnail sketches of slightly crappy bookplates to put in the fronts of books I shall leave lying about.

Last night I played with my new toy as you can see here. So childish. Also managed to have a short chat with Dorothy, which was reassuring.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thursday 15 September

Finally managed to have a chat with Madeleine, who is sensibly departing for a week in Cornwall. Dorothy seems a bit stressed, as am I, what with office changes etc.
I think these sketches are deteriorating. This is either a sign to stop, or a sign to persevere, not sure which. Excellent chicken Penang in Lye Torng. Bought some black rye bread and sent my new red winter coat to have the sleeves shortened, to pick up tomorrow. I am considering wearing bright colours, such as red and green this winter, to try and defy the weather. Postcard from Romy who is having a great time, well deserved. Nibby also very busy creating her new home. She will come down at the end of the month for a few days and I will then go up to see her for a few days. At last, a holiday!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wednesday 14

Still doing my wonky sketches. I am hoping to get bored with these soon. Madeleine made a feeble attempt to ring my mobile from a bus, but I couldn't hear much and she was intent on watching something on the telly later. I just finished this sketch and had an early night.

The day was spent, instead of getting on with what needed to be done, in attempting to organise a Special Meeting of trustees to deal with my successor. I shall organise the catering today. This will be one of several days leave I have had to cancel this year. My stay in Macclesfield is also threatened, as I may have to hang around in October. Oh well, I shall be even happier to leave, since the job is becoming almost full time in effect.

Tuesday 13 September

Managed to achieve a bit at work, some more to do involving visiting the bank etc and sending out forms, but today I shall send our report to the Charity Commission, a dreary task but fortunately finally finished.

It is becoming slightly autumnal, and less warm, though not time for warm coats yet. Already thinking about Christmas. Must do some cards.

This sketch of a corner of my room is a bit wonky as usual, particularly the lamp which is lurching to the left. This kind of thing used to annoy me a lot, but no more.

- and here's the staircase repair by Southwark Council

They 'mended' this several years ago. I foolishly imagined that it was a temporary measure but it is still there. Pathetic.

Really Makes you Sick

This is the house next door, with joined outside stairs. Note the huge plant and the cladding which has fallen away from the stair side. I have reported this to Southwark Council who say they will inspect.

If their work on the stairtop is anything to go by (done several years ago, presumably by cowboys) I am not filled with confidence.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Monday 12

I can't face standing up to draw, but have now realised that everything is out of proportion because I sit and draw with the book flat on the table. The jar is the most suspect item, though the pickled cucumbers are nice to eat. What I need is a small table easel. May look out for one of these. If I can be bothered, though I do rather like wonky things. Must be part of the quirkiness of getting old.

Books Books Books

I am thinking about buying some 'ex libris' book plates. I may also design some myself. In fact I may design some 'read me' bookplates to stick in unwanted books and distribute them about the capital. We shall see. The above (may snap it again in focus) is at the front of my works of Rabelais. Rather fine I think (as are also the works of Rabelais). Found out a bit more about the man, (Robert George Morton, if you can't read it). He was the first person to start a circulating library, and donated his book collection (apart from these, which I bought secondhand in a bookshop) to Liverpool university. He retired to the Isle of Man, after donating his land to the local council.

Half Moon Day

In celebration of the Thai Moon Festival, and in deference to my diet I was presented with half a Moon Cake by Andrew and Tiri at the Lye Torng. Somehow managed to eat it after consuming a chicken Penang curry.

Must try harder, as my school reports all used to say.

Chair Again

My newish chair, being rapidly demolished by Kook, and my games table - must get the legs fixed soon.

More Sunday Evening

here's an old chair I am hoping to swap for a smaller one, and the usual mess on my table plus a lamp with a shade I made. The shade was a metal base which I covered in glass and pearl beads threaded on silver wire. Though you can't tell from this sketch.

sunday 11

I am rather fond of this kitschy green fifties type fruit bowl. I'm also rather fond of oranges.

More Saturday

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

This was taken before we went for it and ate and drank for England, etc. etc.

Dear me, started with white wine and nibbles, then on to rich mushroom soup with more white wine, then spinach and salmon crepes with white wine sauce,with my Puilly Fuisse, then bread and butter pud with creme fraiche and something like Vin Santo, then cheeses and more wine. No wonder, what with my neurotic Wednesday overconsumption, I have gained 1lb this morning. Just not good enough. Or rather, too good to resist.

It was good to see Alison and meet the others again. A very congenial crowd, so a great evening.I shall have to starve for a week.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Saturday daytime

Sod the chocolates for tonight, I am sure a decent bottle of Pouilly Fuisse will meet the case. Today Ocado delivered, plus I picked some bits up at the Elephant & Castle. Bought paper, had coffee, then repaired to the Lye Torng for a green curry. When I arrived home there were two parcels from Marks - one contained four gigantic lace bras in turquoise and pink which actually fitted, and a nightshirt and two vest thingies, all excellent. One of the vests was a kind of stretch mesh thing which holds most of the lumps and bumps in - rather essential after losing weight at such an advanced age. Well pleased. May recommend one of these to my sister in Newton Abbot, who was complaining about lumps - but then she may have been being sympathetic about my lumps as I didn't notice that she had any. Oh well.

Have found some Waitrose smoked German ham which is a bit cheaper than their Brunswick ham. Kook adores it, so he had three slices for lunch - a change from cat food.

I shall take it easy for the afternoon before the SE1 dinner party, to which I am looking forward.

Last Night Sketch Tonight

Night sketch with pear and glass

Night sketch with sorbet and sellotape

Friday, 9 September 2011

Retro Images

Still some flowers

Jungle Overtaking my garden

Friday 9 September

Above is what I did today.

I always thought my blog was very Pooterish, but have now come to the conclusion that my life is not only totally insignificant but that I am documenting my decline into dementia. I wonder when I will completely forget how to type - already my typing, once very fast and accurate, is rather a mess. Terry Pratchett said that was one of the first signs for him. Some things are harder to estimate - I repeat myself a lot but have always been inclined to do this.

Perhaps doing a blog is a good way of reminding myself of things meanwhile - like I am due to be at dinner at Alison's at 7.30 for 8, and must remember to take the wine, and maybe purchase some chocs tomorrow.