Tuesday, 31 July 2012

All Present and Correct?

My brain cells, I mean. I am definitely becoming more absent-minded, but can still play Scrabble quite well. However my niece keeps publicising me in Facebook as her 'Mad aunt Sue' which is rather worrying, as, if I have dementia, no-one else has suggested it yet. Having had a first husband diagnosed with schizophrenia, and having worked in NHS psychiatric wards I have always been rather worried by any kind of mental illness, so this is now concerning me a bit. And is rather unpleasant. Oh well. On my way to Toulouse Lautrec jam session last night, I saw the Lye Torng had discarded some chairs outside, so I decided to collect a couple on the way home. Had a good evening with Romy and Bernie, and did some fairly rough sketches (below) but the chairs were gone when I got home. I had texted Andrew about them, and he texted back to say he had taken them in. I am now trying to find out when I can collect them. These are in fact very sturdy little chairs. I wanted to replace the large chairs I had bought on Ebay as they are too big for my tiny rooms, though very cute. I already have one of the little ones which I painted and have drawn, as well. Missing lunch at Lye Torng already. Made a cheese toastie and overindulged on my home concoction of delicious coffee ice cream. Remind me not to make any more. Though I may swirl a bit more Camp coffee into the remainder. Dear me.
I think this may be a bit better:

Monday, 30 July 2012

Blimey - selling like hot cakes

Just had a call from a keen purchaser so will have to sell another painting within the next week or two, in addition to all the current interest in the cards. Sketched upstairs in the Elephant & Castle. I have been fascinated by the people silhouetted at the front where all the light floods in, so had a go at this today. I may make several more attempts at this, we shall see.
Met Alice for lunch. She tells me she saw a lot of Africa, but that the group dynamic when camping, etc. led to some problems. Seems most of the happy campers were actually students. We had a good lunch at Mamuska. Then bumped into Luba, who wants to come to some Meetups with me. There was an excellent one yesterday at EV, where I had a very good Turkish lunch with a glass of wine. I had coffee with David in the morning. He had purchased a very good corduroy jacket. This looked excellent, paired with a duck-egg blue shirt and khaki pants. The corduroy was a kind of creamy colour, very attractive. I took a snap of this and my sketch today.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Weak Flesh

Spent £20 on a new waistcoat/jacket/sleeveless thingy in linen from my new favourite stall. The young guy there asked me if I could find him a job! Fell further - after coffee and toast with David, I purchased two Bristol board sketchbooks, some envelopes and other art bits and pieces and ended up spending nearly £40 altogether. Such is the cost of art materials. Oh well. Made a few more cards. Then Dorothy bought me a water ice at the gelato place at Borough Market. I think he was a bit fed up because I kept him talking for a couple of hours and he is very busy. Mind you, staying so late enabled me to buy a Poilane loaf for £1.12, half price. Had some of this for toast this morning before I weighed myself to find a gain of 3lb, hardly surprising. Kook keeps attacking me and my right arm looks as though I am in some kind of abusive relationship. Dear me. Went to the Lye Torng last night private party which was great fun, Andrew and Tiri letting everyone help themselves to booze. I have never seen so many people behind the bar. Ray and I had a good chat and I promised to email the sketch I did of him a few days ago. Andrew and Ray were promoting my cards, so I sold plenty - enough to replenish the coffers for several days. This will pay for my Turkish Delight lunch at Ev with Ken's Events later today. Andrew and Tiri provided masses of food at the party too, and Tiri handed around some very good chocolate. He sent some young relatives to see me home when I left, which was very kind. The only significant person missing was Louise, but she had been ill recently and was probably not feeling well enough to come, which was a shame because she missed an excellent party. Oh, and earlier I fitted in a short sketch of a passion flower in a po on the garden table, which is all a bit wonky, but that's me:

Friday, 27 July 2012

Blimey - life moves on apace

Looking up the weather in Macca while chatting with Nibby on my phone, a text appeared to ask if Nils could move in next Wednesday. Fab! Later on, while putting together a few postcards for my exhibition in Brixton, a call came from Romy offering me a day's work in Broadstairs, so agreed with alacrity. The next day we took a coach to Broadstairs managing to avoid the Olympic torch road closures. Crowds were already gathering in the Old Kent Road at around 10.15 so we waved graciously to the populace as we passed. Broadstairs is a gorgeous old place, very unspoiled and full of lovely little shops and houses. The beach is sandy and there's a little port area with a small pub where we had a superb lunch, thanks to Romy. It was good to see the punters again, who politely said they had missed me. Arriving back I had to dash home and change and feed the beast before setting off for Brixton. Found the gallery all ready to receive guests and met one or two people. I felt rather out of place as an oldie among such young people, but fortunately Dorothy and Julian arrived to keep me company. Julian suggested picking up jerk chicken and oxtail from a Jamaican shop and taking it home to my place for dinner, so we did this. It was very good indeed and Dorothy kindly paid, so I was taken out twice in the same day. I somehow doubt if I will sell any work, but left a small folder and some cards, as well as the two larger framed works. Since then I have been making up more cards and prints of Lye Torng which I will offer for sale at the last night party on Saturday. I also did two more sketches in the Lye Torng - one is quite similar to my larger one, but smaller than A4 and the other is of the last lunch customers today, the last full day. Needless to say I felt obliged to have a chicken Panang curry.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wednesday Morning

After coffee and a chat with David, took my A3 and A4 folders and my framed pieces to Brixton. The gallery was quite hard to find but used my iphone and got there. It is about the size of my bathroom and was in the middle of being painted and decorated. I deposited my stuff and was persuaded to leave my whole A3 folder to be looked at, though they had originally just wanted one of my A3 unframed pieces. I shall probably pick it up on Thursday at the opening as I am suffering from separation anxiety about it! It was suggested to me that my work would do very well as prints, if I only knew how to set about this. Must consult Julian, who is the fount of all wisdom in this direction. When I get a new computer I may also need a scanner and printer. If I sell my flat and buy something smaller and cheaper, this could be done. We shall see. It was terribly hot yesterday, so after Brixton and refreshment (which I could not really afford) at Lye Torng, came back to find my snaps from Snapfish had been delivered. Some of these were OK so I shall mount them on card and pack them with envelopes to sell. A few of the sketches look rather jolly as small cards. Later, I did small sketches of the strange plant Evon kindly brought from Colombia Road when she came to dinner the other night. Clockwise, below, I think the most successful is the last one (bottom left). Today I shall see if I can afford some Spraymount to make my cards and put them in bags with envelopes.

Tuesday Morning

Coffee with David again. He had spent a good weekend visiting the East End and enjoying the unusual sunshine. Looking very tanned. Met with Julian briefly and we had a tea and sat in the garden for a short while, Julian picking a couple of handfuls of the blackberries which are ripening, and we shared these. After lunch I decided to force myself towards the War Museum. Sat in the shade and attempted a sketch, which did not go all that well, but buildings are always a bit of a challenge to me. And foliage, etc etc. On the way back I walked down Gladstone Street, envious of the pretty cottages there. Oh well. Since I can't afford the upkeep on this flat, quite apart from the capital outlay for one of these, it is probably just as well that I don't own one. They are very pretty though, and with Colnbrook Street, the houses are the nicest around here. Apart from the very good Georgian houses in St. George's Road and the very pretty West Square and surrounds. Had an email from an old friend, inviting me to stay in the country and very kindly offering me the rail fare. Though I would love to go, I somehow can't tear myself away. And there's the usual Kookster problem, now worse since the separation of Julian and Dorothy. Finances are dire, and of course Romy's kind suggestion of wandering about a building in Greenwich for £50 for a day was totally oversubscribed, naturally. My upstairs neighbour told me that friends had cats which needed feeding, so I rushed around, only to discover that they had already booked with CDPOM. If Lye Torng was not closing imminently, I should offer to do their cleaning, though those who have visited my house will know that cleaning is hardly my forte, so I have to pay someone to do my floors once a fortnight. My reader will remember that in the past I attempted to donate my body for medical science in order to avoid paying for a funeral, but this turned out to be so convoluted, depending on where and when I actually died, and involving body removal costs etc. that I gave up. Seems I can't sell myself alive or dead. Well, at least the sun is shining outside. Reading the above makes me giggle, thinking of my last husband, who always said that I should engage in yellow journalism - he said if I described a party we had both attended to friends, he did not recognise it, with all my exaggerations. Well I shall just go into the garden and pick the stinging nettles to make some soup for later, and finish framing my sketches. Cheerio!

Monday, 23 July 2012

The latest

cross I have to bear is a semipermanent nosebleed. In my left nostril. Several times a day if I even touch that side of the nose. Very tiresome, but it would need cauterising to stop and I cannot face the thought. So I will now shut up about it. Sat in the garden and did a smallish sketch, followed by a postcard sized one of a hydrangea. Must try to rise to the challenge of the passion flowers and soon, I shall attack the blackberries coming over from the wilderness next door. Saw Julian this morning who will pop in for a cup of tea and to play with the Beast.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sun's Day

Yesterday quite busy. Toast and jam for breakfast at Mamuska with a coffee. Discovered a distinct lack of funds after I paid for a gelato at Borough Market where I had a brief meeting with Dorothy, who purchased a very good strawberry and pear sorbet for me, too. I had spent money on art materials and a vast bill arrived, rather sooner than expected, from the plumber. I may have to sit on this for a week or so before paying. Sketched Ray who was texting at the Lye Torng,and it definitely felt like the end of an era for the place is to be demolished soon. I first went there 20 years ago when it was a pub called the Gibraltar. After being sold and redecorated it became Bedlam, where students flocked at lunchtime from LCC and in its final 12 years it has been Lye Torng. Romy kindly sent me a thing about some experimental walking about in a building in Greenwich needing volunteers which will pay £50 for a day. I shall investigate, but even if I am accepted it is not for weeks. I shall soon have to find the money to pay for the WAC gallery for November too, with no prospect of extra income. Nibby told me off for spending £1 on breakfast at Mamuska: 'that would have bought a loaf of bread' she declared. Dear me, and I lashed out £5 on dinner there last night, since Evon was kind enough to buy the drinks. I have never been there in the evening before. It was good to see Evon and Kate again though.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Saturday Again

Dear me, woke to go to the loo at about 3am. Strange miaouws from Kookster. Went to loo and Kookster came in clutching a dead mouse which he dropped by my bare feet. It's always a bit of a rude awakening with Kookster. Anyway had a couple of quietish days but girded my loins to visit the Family Division office in High Holborn. I filled in the forms and paid £60. After a short while they reappeared and told me that in fact my first divorce had been in Croydon, not Kingston and I should receive a copy of the decree nisi within a week or so, and then can write to Kingston and ask for a refund of the original £40 I had paid. Then I went home and looked at all the forms again and was still completely nonplussed by them. I think Dorothy will need to deal with them when the decree thing arrives. If it arrives. Feeling distinctly uncreative I attempted a couple of postcard sized sketches:
I shall attempt some more today. Evon and Kate due to arrive this evening for a drink before dinner at Mamuska. The weather is apparently due to be fine. We shall see.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

And here's the others:

Can't get at my snaps at the moment, dammit. Will have to reboot my laptop. Again

Theatre Treat and Stuff

Had a great evening with Madeleine at the first night of Timon of Athens with Simon Russell Beale, who was superb. We enjoyed some food and wine at the party afterwards along with the celebs and starving actors. I do hope Madeleine arrived home all right. I had offered my spare bed but she wanted to get home. Of course Waterloo Bridge was closed, presumably something to do with the sodding Olympics. I walked to Waterloo and managed to get a bus quite quickly. Met David yesterday. I had breakfast at Mamuska - basically toast, butter and jam for £1 only! The toast was hot and good bread and there was about half a pot of jam on the plate which I did not manage to attack very successfully. May do it again as I rather prefer to have breakfast later. Met Romy for lunch for a catch-up and she bought some clothes from my newly found place. Spoke to the Brixton people who will let me know which painting I should bring for the exhibition which is on for about a week with an opening and a closing evening. I have been asked to produce some smaller bits so yesterday did some little drawings on watercolour postcards. I was also told of a printer who has a large scanner and can produce some prints of work for sale, and expressed an interest in this possibility. I don't know whether they would also do postcards. I collected my first Vistaprint postcard, a detail of Romy's Spanish cat, from the Mandela Way depot. Another card is due but not until 28th July, unfortunately. I did a few little sketches last night. Here they are:

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

stay-at-home Tuesday

Dominic appeared clutching some huge implements. However, on examining the place we established that I do not have a manhole, front or back anywhere in the house, unlike my neighbours. Dom and I lifted the plant: Dom: 'I can't get it up!' Me: 'Missis!'but in the end we managed to remove slates and bricks from underneath to lower it to a point where Dom could roll it on its side, whereupon one side of the pot broke, dammit. Anyway after this we managed to move everything off the two huge flagstones. Dom used a crowbar to lift the sides of these and slipped a brick underneath, where unfortunately there was no manhole. Then I remembered that in the past, finding no other manhole in the garden, I had mistakenly assumed it was under the flagstones, but no such luck. The garden now looks as though a bomb has hit it - bricks and slates everywhere and my mother's huge old heavy firebasket on its side. I have righted what is left of the plant but suspect this will die at the first sign of cold weather. I carried on with the hot water treatment and Dom went off to another job. We were deciding what to do next when Romy sent a text to say she thought Thames Water could tell us who we shared a drain with. Rang them, and they are sending a van to look at the drains and try and work it out. Dom then returned, and set to with a giant plunger, which finally unblocked the loo, hopefully permanently. In the middle of this Madeleine rang to say she might have tickets for a first night tonight. I shall go to this. Then the post came. One letter from Kingston County court to say they could not find my decree absolute. They said I should apply to some central Family Division and said they enclosed an application (none was enclosed). Telling me a fee was payable for this application, they did not offer to refund the £40 I had sent them and told me it would be refunded only if the Family Court could confirm the divorce with a case number - this means I have to pay twice for one service with no guarantee that they have not all lost the information! I rang back about the form but their letter had an incorrect phone number on it. I rang the Family Division who were not answering their phone and then hung up on me. Jarndyce & Jarndyce I suppose. Give me patience! Consequently no sketching today and still waiting for Thames Water.

Plumbing the Depths

Dear me, the plumbing problem gets worse. In desperation I got a telephone number of a guy who promised to come and have a look at my problem and give a free estimate. He was supposed to appear tonight but turned up unexpectedly last night. I asked for a card which I noted gave no address but he kept saying I was in 'safe hands' which for some reason worried me even more. It took him about ten minutes to get the inspection hatch off by the loo. He then said there was no access to the waste pipe. He then discovered that all the visible pipes outside were water pipes and said the loo would drain through the basement. He agreed that the problem was beyond him and left. I rang Dom, my plumber who had fitted the loo. He agreed to come and have a look today but felt that I should maybe call in the 'big boys' such as Dynorod, and that the work would cost quite a bit. Trouble is that I think the manhole outside is underneath a potted (very heavy) plant, probably needing two or three men to move it, and itself standing on a pile of slates on top of three or four huge flagstones. I am not even sure that there is a manhole there either. Oh dear, my hopes of having a lodger are definitely blown. Consoled myself with a diet coke and a bit of sketching at Toulouse Lautrec and was not in bed until 1.30am. Kook was outside in the street and came mewing in welcome so we went in together and I gave him an extra snack.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Rainy Day

Decided to forego Barnes Fair, and reluctantly, Drawing London on Location because of the very wet weather. Had a coffee in Nova. Bumped into David briefly, who was on his way back home after an early shopping trip. Had lunch at Lye Torng and departed for some kind of street festival, but the rain intervened and I could not find the place, so retired to Lye Torng to do a sketch from the window. Not sure if this is finished and may have to draw into it a bit, but will leave for now. A message from Brixton to say they have changed their arrangements and asking for two more smaller works instead of the ones I had sent. Trouble is, I am not very good at working small and not sure what kind of thing they want, so sent very bad snaps of two pairs of images. The first two are conventional sketches around London and the others, rather brighter in colour, are photographic images painted in acrylic paint, one of an old fashioned bath full of water and bubbles, and the other is a fairground in Leicester Square. I have always been rather keen on the fairground image, which was nearly purchased by a coke sniffing club owner in Barcelona to print as a flyer for the club. Pity the club folded as he had offered me quite a lot of money. Oh well. Eating too much. I blame the rain.

Less and less happening

Trying to deal with my current loo problems led me to investigate recycling loos. Mostly these are dry dunnies in little huts, but the clever Scandinavians have rather smart looking house models. Not that I have anywhere to put one, and replacing my current arrangement might bring the house value down. And apparently human poo, though quite possible to recycle in a composter, takes one to two years before it can be used, though seemingly worms do help! However, I was very surprised to read that human pee makes excellent garden fertiliser. Apparently pee is bug free and only smells vile after 24 hours when ammonia is released. If quickly diluted with water, probably 3
or more to 1 it can be used immediately on the garden and is apparently the most excellent fertiliser. For pot plants more dilution is required. I may purchase a suitable lidded container for collection and an even larger watering can. Of course this also saves a large amount of water despite the dilution, because there is no need to flush the loo when peeing. Worth Googling about. Seems that experiments have shown a fantastic increase in crops when this is used etc. Certainly worth considering even if it seems distinctly unappealing. Enough about pee. Oh well. Had coffee, missed the arrival of my postcards so will have to collect on Monday from the post office. Lunch at Mamuska and sketched the diners. Spoke to Evon and she will speak to Kate. We may have lunch or dinner together at Mamuska some day next week. The weather is due to be vile today. I am unenthusiastic about Barnes Fair partly because of this and partly because the people I alerted about it have shown no inclination to go. Alternatives today are Sketching on Location, which I would normally like, but it is in Hyde Park and the V & A if it rains. The amount of walking is a deterrent, and last time I went to the V & A on a Saturday there were swarms of children, so not a peaceful place to try and draw. I think I will remain here. I do need to contact Nilu, who is a very nice girl, and may soon need somewhere to stay, and I could do with the money. Also there is a little local fair on somewhere called County Street near the Elephant, which I could look around. Mind you, I keep looking out and the weather is fine so far. Old age has made me even more indecisive.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Very Quiet Day

Coffee with David who is reading Life of Pi. Said I was still reading Turgenev. Lunch at Mamuska then coffee at Lye Torng. Saw a strange magazine called Carplife with a cover snap of a man holding what looked like an incredibly large fish. Maybe it should be called Carpdeath. Did not feel like drawing today,and missed delivery of my postcards so will have to collect on Monday from Mandela Way. Must do some drawing tomorrow. An email arrived to say that a piece of my work will be shown in an exhibition in Brixton on 26 July. We shall see. Early night after my late one last night. Actually I was wrong - it was Carpworld, not Carplife. Not a healthy looking fish though. Text from Romy today saying all well in Hereford.

Unexpected happening

Just had a coffee with David. He was reading Turgenev and waxing enthusiastic about Gogol so I decided to have another look at Turgenev myself. After we went out separate ways I noticed a dance performance thingy going on in an empty shop. Public House by Hiru seemed to be the name, so I was invited to come in. This was a chance to have a good sketch, which I proceeded to do. The victims were mainly the audience seated on an old Chesterfield opposite me. The dancers screamed and spoke and had rather stilted and off 'conversations' which were completely beyond me.I am definitely a female Pooter here. However the dancers were all over the place and really impossible to draw as they never stood still, so I drew bits of them, mainly heads, here and there. There were also people looking in through the windows so I included bits of them. The whole thing is a bit of a mishmash, trying to catch a general impression of weirdness and rush with the audience sitting stolidly in the middle. Anyway. A member of the audience passed me his email and asked me to email him the drawing later which I did. I had an excellent lunch at Mamuska: roast pork with a creamy herb sauce, mash and green beans. A quick coffee in Lye Torng before contemplating the domestic problems for a few minutes, then abandoning all hope. So later, in the spirit of escapism, went to Toulouse Lautrec to draw the singer Lauren Casey and the audience, and a good time was had by all, despite the crap weather.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Crap weather, innit?

Thinking of Romy, looks as though Hereford is as wet, and even colder than London. Oh well. David did not appear yesterday, so after my customary coffee I legged it to the Lye Torng. There I sat outside until it became too cold and wet, and sketched St. George's Buildings, which were very awkward to draw at such an extreme angle. The tree I painted far too bright, and had to wash it off and just use ink to define it. I am rubbish at foliage. Nibby has done yet another excellent painting. The sky in particular is very good. She is going to paint some skies, which I am sure will be very effective. I can imagine some absolutely huge ones all around a gallery. I am still tackling the loo, as I am now afraid to use it. Nibby suggesting transferring the kettle to nearer the loo. I wish I had thought of that before. I am on my ninth kettle and shall go up to 20 this time as it is a bit easier. The water level is normal but I am distinctly unhappy about it still. If I had several hundred pounds I would get a plumber, but I suspect the problem may be in the outside drains, and can't even contemplate the money that would involve. Oh well. I may go to the Toulouse Lautrec tonight and do a bit of sketching. This weather, the loo, the shower and the leaking bath drain are all getting me down a bit. I think Kook has left a dead mouse somewhere inaccessible. There is a vile smell just outside the kitchen door despite the back door being open all day. Can't find the body though. He attacked me a bit more this morning, when demanding more Dreamy cat treats. I suspect there is some kind of addictive drug in these. On the plus side it is not actually raining yet this morning, and I am quite enjoying spending my time getting some sketching done.

A bit of a result- then struck by darkness

Enjoyed my usual matinal coffee with David, who confirmed that my multiple pearl necklaces looked OK, and after a brief lunch at Lye Torng, set off for my interview at Gudrun Sjoden. Nibby had persuaded me to take my sketchbook to do drawings while I waited to be seen. However, this proved to be totally unnecesary as I seemed to be the only one being interviewed, unless they were staging interviews throughout the afternoon. Anyway it was all very easy and pleasant and I had taken a couple of my favourite Gudrun items. The interview was in the shop window at a little table and I was offered tea. Very civilized. Then they asked to see my sketchbook and were very complimentary, asking if I had considered book illustration, and took some snaps. They seemed keen to possibly provide goodie bags at my opening but this may just have been chat. We shall see. Anyway I was able to chose £50 worth of clothes or receive a cheque in a couple of weeks. I decided to have a look around, and when I had chosen something, discovered that my past purchases had given me some bonus points which entitled me to another £50 of clothes, so I picked up a matching jacket and some pairs of tights. I had been wearing my Gudrun black and white clothes, and to my joy, my purchases were placed in a black and white bag, with a smaller white bag dotted with black thrown in. Bouoyed by this experience I sailed home happily, planning to watch the soaps and have a quiet evening. I had just rung Nibby about everything when the electricity was suddenly cut in the street. With no light, no TV, no computer, my ipad not working etc etc I sallied forth to the Lye Torng. Andrew rang the leccie company who were expecting no reconnection for a couple of hours. There were two other refugees from this disaster so we stayed for dinner and chatted a bit. I drew them sitting at the bar. Not one of my best, but all good practise.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Very Quiet Sunday

At least WH Smith in the Elephant & Castle had The Times today. I purchased this and had some coffee in Mamuska. Decided to do a sketch of the customers at lunch. I read my papers and had a diet coke, then some lunch for a fiver, which consisted of stuffed chicken breast with mash and a carrot salad, very substantial. Then I sketched customers sitting in the window. I am finding the colours a bit dull and may revert to the Greenwich shades of grey to wash over the people, which can give a more heavy sculptural feel, and keep the lighter shades for the highlights and other stuff. We shall see. Spoke to Dorothy about the loo. Dorothy's recommendation was to pour boiling water down without flushing for up to 20 times which apparently always works. I set about putting every pot in the house on the hob and boiling the kettle. This was a bit tiring as the bathroom is up a small flight of stairs, but good exercise. After the eighth kettleful, the water level went right down, but I carried on to fifteen for good measure. Thanks Dorothy, this really does work! All I need now is for the other faults in the house to be fixed. Dorothy tells me that the cupboard hinges in IKEA are absolutely standard, but I still don't seem to be able to refix them. Oh well. Anyway here's the snap of today's sketch:

Saturn's Day

Coffee with David and did yet another bad sketch, this time of the Nova coffee area. I have tarted it up a bit since taking the snap as I had inadvertently given one guy a withered arm and miserable expressions to everyone. Blame the artist. I have now improved it but can't be bothered to do another snap. Loo still blocked. Kitchen cupboard door still off hinges. Water in shower still cold. Shower holder still broken. Overhead shower spray thing still broken. Boiler making odd noises. Plaster coming off walls in living room. Apart from this my place is just perfect. Julian had his hair dyed aubergine which apparently looks fantastic and went off to enjoy his birthday with friends. Dorothy back from Paris and frantically busy as usual. Romy off to a week of paradise with the punters in Herefordshire in the rain. A typical British summer. David always has bananas for breakfast. Nibby gave me a recipe from Mornie Alexander from the Wirral years ago. This involves chopping up bananas to an inch in length, putting cocktail sticks in, dipping in melted chocolate, then chopped nuts, then freezing. Home made ice lollies. Apparently they are really good. Mornie was an excellent cook, though I particularly remember Mrs. Totty's lardy cake from those days with great affection. Fat city! Will meet David on Monday (he suggested Tuesday, when I am rich!)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Last Night

feeling good having done a sketch of some blocks of flats etc in St. George's Road, I sallied forth to Toulouse Lautrec where Les Gavroches were playing French stuff. And other stuff from other countries. Anyway it turned out to be a very jolly evening With Nolan's papa jiving with a customer at the end to loud clapping from the rest of us. He really can jive very well indeed. I then looked at my sketch, only to discover I had done it on the other side of my day sketch. Durrr... Nolan would not take any money for the diet coke I had consumed which was very kind. Walked out to go home and saw the Shard all lit up with green laser beams sweeping the night sky. This morning I discovered the loo had blocked. Great. Have tried caustic soda to little effect and may well buy some more. Andrew from Lye Torng lent me a long piece of flexible wire which would not go down, then got caught, so I managed to get it out and gave up on things. Then a hinge broke off the kitchen cupboard. Such are modern hinges that it looks fairly unfixable. My flat is decaying as fast as my body, almost. Met David for coffee. Apparently he had been there yesterday and just missed me. Started a sketch of the Nova coffee bar area, but this did not go well so will continue it at another sitting. An unexpected call from Gudrun who wants London customers to be interviewed at her shop on Monday, for which I will get £50 so am quite pleased. Must make sure I wear my Gudrun clothes. Still reading the Return of the Native. David tells me Alexei Sayle has written some good books, so may investigate.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Tired Again

Forgot to mention that the Kookster stormed in at 4am the night before last and absolutely soaked me, so I had to get up and towel him dry. I cannot think why he hangs around outside in the pouring rain. Perhaps he was having a confrontation with another cat. Last night I heard him wailing at 4.15 outside the front of the house, so had to get up and let him in. At least he wasn't soaking wet. Yesterday I had coffee with David and lunch at Lye Torng. Julian had asked me to accompany him to Peckham to deal with some people about housing, so I did not get any drawing done. I cooked a rack of ribs from Tesco in the evening as it was two days past the use by date. David tells me the library have purchased a whole lot of P.G. Wodehouse, so he has started on those, having finished the Mapp and Lucia novels. I am reading the Return of the Native, having finished Wessex Tales. David and I were saying we should try and find another place to meet, just for a change, so I am wracking my tiny brain. Trouble is, the weather has been too vile to rely upon finding a place to sit outside, which we would prefer. Oh well.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Wodin's Day

today. It is still pissing with rain like yesterday. I had to change my antibiotics since the Flucloxacillin made me feel quite untoward, so am taking some I purchased in Spain some years ago: Klacid Unidia 500mg. This is basically clarithromycin, also used for soft tissue infections. It may be somewhat out of date but worth a try to bring the swelling down on my toe, and maybe I can eventually wear normal shoes. Dear me. Anyway, just painted a corner of my room, which is rather wonky. Did most of the actual painting in the evening so the colours are a bit vile and livid. More restraint needed I suspect. I also found a very good browny beige linen dress in the market. Quite stylish and eventually paid only £20 for it after a bit of a haggle. I had previously purchased a jacket in the same colour so I am very happy about this. Dorothy went to Paris last night. She had a lunchtime business meeting yesterday while still somewhat hungover from the night before, so I hope she managed to cope. She is due back tomorrow I think and has some kind of club night to run on Friday. Dear me. When we met for coffee yesterday, David very kindly gave me some 'lamb fillet steak' reduced from £4 to £2 in Iceland. He usually cooks it with soya sauce, but I did not have any so found some liquid smoke and stuck a few drops in. The house smelled like a barbecue for the rest of the evening, but the meat was delicious. Have found a way of using boil in the bag kippers which are cheaper than tinned, in that there are three kippers in the container. First empty the lot into a takeaway food container, removing the butter and cover. Make some tea and toast, and while the toast is cooking remove one kipper and put in another food container, leaving the cover loose on top. Microwave for around two minutes. Butter and marmalade on the toast and kipper on top of that. If using Danish bread and low fat spread, around 250 calories at most. I remove the skin from the kipper fillet first. The rest can go in the fridge and cooked when needed over the next couple of days. Anyway, here's the dressing table:

Tuesday Morning

Found Hawksmoor in Spitalfields, Dorothy's preferred dining option. Looks a bit like a dingy pub, and completely full of noisy carnivores. Julian and Dorothy joined me and we had a very good dinner indeed. As we had saved money by Dorothy providing the wine, we rather pushed the boat out and Julian and I had a surf and turf of half a lobster each with what turned out to be a very large fillet steak. Dorothy opted for a more modest simple steak. Vegetables were extra and I just had spring greens, Julian gravy and mash, and mushrooms for Dorothy which we all shared. In celebratory mood, we all drank too much so ordered pudding: Rhubarb trifle for Julian, sticky toffee sundae for Dorothy, and to my shame, peanut butter shortcake and salted caramel ice cream, which came with the shortcake warm and runny. Totally evil and delicious. Coffees were needed after this, and Julian became rather tired and emotional so we took a cab home. Apparently the steak was the best Dorothy had ever eaten. Seems they get their steaks from Ginger Pig in Borough Market, so now I know where to purchase a good steak. After last weeks excessive consumption I shall have to practise starvation for a few days. Dear me.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Moon Day

46 years ago today, I gave birth to Dorothy. In Chipping Norton War Memorial Cottage Hospital. I was so happy. This morning I went to the shopping centre after doing a sketch from bed. No specs on so I inadvertently took about 40 years and five stone off my size. As someone pointed out 'the place looks very tidy'. This is because of artistic license. The only place my flat looks tidy is in a sketch where I have edited out all the vile mess. Also this morning, Kook brought in a mouse which he proceeded to torture and which I could not save. I hate to think where he has left the corpse. No doubt my nose will lead me to it. Spoke to Nibby about my infected corn and she recommended a visit to the quack. I managed to get an urgent appointment and am provided with some very indigestible antibiotics to take, and a referral to a podiatrist, which will probably take weeks to come about. I was going to fax the referral (4 pages) to speed things up until I discovered the cost was £1 a page, but Andrew at Lye torng kindly faxed it for me. I met David for coffee again and showed him my latest efforts. Tonight Dorothy and I (not sure about Julian) will dine at the Spitalfields branch of Hawksmoor, where we will probably have a steak. Found out you can take your own wine though the corkage is £25, apart from on a Monday (tonight, hurrah!) when it is £5. Seems Dorothy has a bottle of something decent to bring. Dinner will have to be my birthday present since I have failed to find an interesting gift. I would offer to do a portrait, but no one can make people look worse than I can when I draw them.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Strange Day

Went to the Elephant to collect the paper, and the Sunday Times had not been delivered so my voucher was useless. Then I sought out the frozen yoghurt from Tesco which turned out not to exist, nor was there any in Iceland. Then I found out that Mamuska had no capuccino as the machine was broken. Not very lucky. So I went to Marks & Spencer who naturally had the paper. Must stick to Marks on a Sunday. Bought a bit of food and came back for coffee at home and spent the rest of the day loafing about. Did a sketch of my bedroom with Kook on the bed.