Thursday, 20 November 2014

Brancaster Paint Out

Haidee and I decided it was about time we had another meet up in Brancaster. We agreed on Monday 17th November and put the info on the Plein Air Uk Facebook page.
We weren't quite expecting the response we got. Well over twenty people said that they would be coming so I phoned the pub, The Jolly Sailors to reserve a couple of their large tables.
Things get in the way and other things crop up so in the end fifteen artists convened at Brancaster.
As I still can't drive, Frank dropped me off after a lovely relaxing weekend at our cottage on the N Norfolk coast (Haidee was taking me home).

Although I am not in a wheelchair anymore, I didn't think it was wise to stand for too long so had to sit to paint

I did two paintings from this position. I would have preferred to move but the effort was too much to think about

Time flew by - time for the pub!!

Lunch at the Jolly Sailors

We had a great time getting to know all the newbies and chatting about painting. I was impressed at far some people had traveled. We had people from Brighton, Grantham, Cambridge, Lincoln, London and Bungay 
After lunch some of us went and painted from the common. Why had I never been there before? The views were stunning and the light was just right. Clouds casting shadows with bursts of sunlight.
We didn't have long as the light was fading so managed this quicky.

Cloud Shadows over Brancaster

 There was a fantastic sunset but we had to hit the road and admire it whilst driving. I am looking forward to the next meet up. I'm sure most of the group will return too

Thursday, 13 November 2014

One Step Forward........

I am pleased to report that the acupuncture is working very well. The swelling has reduced dramatically and Paula is manipulating the foot and giving gentle massage. It feels much stronger and am able to put a bit more weight on it.

The downside is that, now the swelling has gone down a bit, one of the pins is causing such pain, I can feel it just under the surface and my walking boot puts pressure on it.

I don't get to see the doctor another 11 days then he'll have to set up an appointment to have the pins removed. Goodness knows how long that will be!
I finally have my appointment from the hospital for physio with them - end of next week. Over three weeks since the cast was removed.
I may just consider going private with this one.

Monday, 10 November 2014


Nine weeks now since 'the fall'. I finally feel that I am making progress. Two weeks ago I had the cast removed - not a pretty sight., withered leg and dry skin also, surprised to see I was still sporting a rather handsome bruise on my calf and ankle. The doctor said he would send an appointment for physiotherapy. (Two weeks later - I am still waiting!!!!!!)

First job for me was to soak the offending foot and exfoliate, bit painful as still very stiff and swollen. was pleased with the results though.

Next job, get on to the internet and research exercises for broken ankle. I knew I had to be careful so started with some gentle flexing.
I realised I needed more professional advice so I booked an appointment with Paula at Aspire in Spalding. After initial consultation we decided to try a course of acupuncture, gentle manipulation and a course of exercises.
Acupuncture was interesting, never had it before (I've a bit of a phobia about needles). Paula carefully placed six needles, OK so far, she then asked if I felt any thing. I couldn't feel a thing, so she asked me to wiggle my toes - flippin heck!!! I felt that! An area where one of the needles was hurt like mad, apparently that was good. I sat like that for 15 minutes by which time some of the other needles were either tingling or itching, also good apparently.
I didn't feel any immediate difference but was pleased to note the next day that the swelling had reduced. It feels stronger and I now have confidence to put a bit more weight on it.
Trouble is, if I do too much I suffer for it, the foot swells quickly and I am getting quite a bit of pain where the pins are holding the bone on in my ankle. I think they are aggravating the tissues inside when I move them. I will ask to have those removed next time I see the doctor in two weeks time.

I am under strict instructions from Frank to rest today as i did a lot of walking yesterday and it has swollen and gone purple again. So much to do, it's very frustrating but I must be patient.

the height of fashion 

Meanwhile I have another appointment with the lovely Paula this Wednesday.
I wonder if I will ever get an appointment from the hospital??

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Paint Out Norwich

Wednesday 22nd -Thursday 23rd October 2014

Paint Out Norwich is a 2-day en Plein Air painting competition during the October  Norwich Cathedral Hostry festival.
28 artists were selected to paint at seven selected prominent Norwich city venues.
I was lucky to be one of those selected.

Haidee-Jo picked me up Tuesday afternoon and we drove to Norwich Cathedral to meet all the artists and organisers. We were given hoodies and hats bearing the Paint Out logo and told where we would be painting.
We were allocated one venue in the morning and given three hours to complete our picture and hand it in, then our canvas for the afternoon session was stamped and we went off to a different venue for the next three hour session.

Now this all sounds fine but do bear in mind I am still in a wheelchair after breaking my ankle in France. My dear friend Haidee was staying with me and drove us in each morning, there started the first problem - Norwich morning traffic. Needless to say we were late. Next obstacle was getting to the allocated venue. The organisers were brilliant and had volunteers to push me, (do you know how many cobbled street there are in Norwich???)

My first subject was Norwich Market

 The finished painting was done in less than two and a half hours as not not only was I late but I spent so much time talking to interested passers by (including the local alcoholics). Then, just when I had only ten minutes for the final details, a bin lorry parked in front of me. Oh the joys of Plein Air!

Flower Stall, Norwich Market 14" x 18"

In the afternoon we were sent off to Elm Hill. A popular spot for artists, unfortunately scaffolding had gone up overnight obliterating one of the best views. This didn't put Haidee off - she painted it and won first prize for her painting, clever girl. I went slightly further down, drawn by the splash of sunlight. Late again I had just two and a half hours. Fortunately it was a lot quieter there than the market and I was able to crack on.

Sunlight at Elm Hill 18" x 14"

The second day we were predictably late again but getting more laid back about it. We had to paint the Catholic Cathedral,of St John's a subject we were not excited about. I chose a smaller canvas as I had even less time today but in the end when I'd found a spot out of the biting wind, I really enjoyed my subject

St John's Cathedral

The afternoon - yes, late again, we went to Pull's Ferry. I'd seen paintings of it but never knew where it was. Bit of a chocolate box subject but I think I managed to rough it up a bit.

Pull's Ferry

Painting at Pull's Ferry

After handing in our final paintings Frank came to meet me and we went for a welcome meal and drink before heading back to the Hostry for the opening of the exhibition and auction. The auctioneer chose one painting from each artist to auction. There was such a buzz in the place and paintings went for a lot of money and sales were good too.
I spent Friday with my swollen foot elevated and a smile on my face. The organisers were brilliant and I met so many good artists that I can now call friends. I am looking forward to next year's event which will I'm sure, be bigger and better.

Monday, 27 October 2014

A Reunion


13th October18 artists checked in to the Blakeney Manor Hotel to paint the North Norfolk coast and surroundings.
Why you may ask- well, for many years I organised a life painting week up at Holt Hall. We had so much fun and intensive painting and the odd glass of wine but, like all good things, it had to come to an end, prices were going up and it could be rather stressful at times sorting out menus, models, poses, bedrooms, monies etc.
I did miss the group though so hence the get together in Blakeney.
This was organised way back before I had any thoughts of breaking my ankle. How was I going to manage. Frank did even question whether or not I should even go. Wild horses wouldn't have kept me away and I had plenty of offers of help.

I managed to pare the oil kit down to a minimum so that if fitted on the back of the wheelchair

Sun at Blakeney

High Tide Blakeney

It was a bit colder the next day at Cromer. There was no way I was going down the steep ramp to paint on the front so chose a vantage point from the top.

Frozen at Cromer

View from Wiveton Hall

 A good spot to go have lunch and paint was Wiveton Hall Farm. Quite a group of us decided to paint there as it was sheltered from the wind a bit. The painting below was a quickie as I was waiting for everyone to pack up. I enjoyed this one

Salthouse is a favorite spot and these two were painted on two consecutive days. There were some amazing skies but you had to be so quick to capture them, either that or have a photographic memory


Dun Cow, Salthouse

It really was a fantastic week and I am indebted to Ted, Corry Kooy's husband, for taking my wheelchair to all the locations in his car and for pushing me around. I will definitely be organising another reunion of the Holt Hall gang.
This was all very good preparation for the following week when I am taking part in Paint out Norwich. A two day painting competition with 27 other selected artists in the city of Norwich.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Good News, Friends & a Birthday

The first bit of good news
Last week my good friend Michael Richardson kindly took six of my paintings down to London for for the Society of United Artists' Candidates Days. I am really pleased to say that they liked my work and I am now elected as an associate member. Woo Hoo, letters after my name Mo Teeuw IEA AUA
(The IEA is the Institute of East Anglian Artists) I now need to prepare paintings for the next exhibition which is at Bankside Gallery (next to Tate Modern)
Second bit of good news is that I had a painting accepted for the Eastern Open. Submissions were high this year and only 80 were selected out of over 400 so, very pleased about that.
Third bit of arty news is, I am one of 30 artists chosen to take part in the first Paint Out in Norwich. Seven locations to paint in and around Norwich allocated randomly. The one that worries me most is being picked to paint on the roof of the Forum. Don't think I'll manage that with crutches or wheelchair. To be honest I don't know how I AM going to manage but I am determined to give it my best. Very good friend Helen has offered her assistance.

Last Saturday was my birthday (don't they come round quickly now?)
I'm blessed with wonderful family and friends, So many cards, lunch out on Friday with Mandy, Sunday Lunch with friends Sally and Jerry in Nettleham, flowers from Adam & Wanda, lovely presents from all the family, lunch today with daughter in law Jo and promises of more from Sue and Jane.
I was taken out yesterday by my mate Ann, I was going to treat her to lunch for taking me to the hospital (cast check) Poor girl arrived to find me hardly able to speak. An hour earlier I'd had had three teeth extracted, including two wisdom teeth and my mouth was packed with wadding to try and stem the bleeding. Needless to say I didn't feel like eating much. In fact all I had for the rest of the day was a banana and a bowl of soup.  I did buy her a coffee at the hospital though.

Why did I have three teeth out? well, all of a sudden I have lost my 'bite'. Very embarassing when you bite into a sanwich and the filling is left hanging out of your mouth! It seems things have moved around and as they are crowded anyway the Orthodontist recommended the removal of one front bottom tooth and two top wisdom teeth
Next step teeth wise is to have a brace fitted - at my age!!! This will be on for at least six months.
My crooked teeth have never bothered me but I am looking forward to having them straight at last

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Pain in the Neck

Oh Lordy, now what have I done?
Woke up in the night with a pain in my neck and shoulder now, today, I can hardly move it. Well at least it takes the mind off the shooting pains in my ankle!!

Frank has got my Mum's old mobility scooter going and I'm using it to whizz around the house. It's great and I'm getting very good at maneuvering. There is one tight doorway which I now have sussed (might need a touch of paint later).
I have ventured out on it once but don't feel very safe on it. It's very light weight. I'm pleased that Dad bought himself a sturdy one. He used to come and see me on Mum's . You could see him belting along the pavement almost taking off at the curbs. I nearly had heart failure watching him.

A great advantage of the scooter is being able to move stuff around. If I drive carefully I can even take a coffee through to the sitting room. The best thing tho is moving things around in the studio so - on a very positive side - yesterday I painted!!!

in the studio at last

Of course, as soon as I think I've got set up I realise that I've left a vital bit of kit at the other side of the room but at least I'm getting there.
Today, I'll just have to make sure that every thing is in front of me so that I don't need to turn my head - ouch

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Positives vs negatives

It's three weeks today that I broke my ankle in France, it is also today that I should be flying to Venice to paint with friends Felicity, Haidee, Penny and also meeting up with Wyllis & Ann the lovely American artists we met in Morocco. I am still trying to stay positive but I'm thinking the balance may be tipped on the negative side so I shall make a list


1. Three weeks with broken ankle
2. Not going to Venice painting today
3. Missed out on 4 days painting on the Broads with friends and fellow artists
4. Pulled muscle in left leg trying to get up off floor after going upstairs on bum.
5. Ditto right arm
6. Can't get into the shower
7. Can't tend the garden and my pots
8. Can't put weight on foot therefore can't stand
9. Am rubbish with the crutches
10. Turning into couch potato and putting on weight


1. Got the best husband in the world
2. Best husband can cook
3. Friends and family have been to visit
4. Worked out how to set up easel to paint with leg up
5. Swelling gone down
6. Bruise on upper leg now fading
7. Taken myself off pain killers
8. Can now sleep on my side
9. Going shopping today
10. Can read loads of books on IPad
11. Meeting up with Holt Hall painting gang in two weeks
12. Corry has offered Ted's services to help me set up and paint in Norfolk (Ted is more than happy)
13. Have been one of 30 artists chosen to paint plein air in Norwich
14. Three weeks of healing under my belt

Ok - looks like the positives win. I will have to keep reminding myself of that. Especially when I think of Venice. Just tell George Cloony "Sorry I couldn't make it"

Friday, 26 September 2014

A Treat and a Visitor

Wednesday 24th

Oh Goody, it's Gill day.

Gill is my treasure, she's been coming to help me out in the house for quite a few years now. Never was she needed more than now. The state of the house after a weekend with 14 adults, 9 children and a dog - well I'll leave you to imagine that. Yes, the girls and Frank had tidied the kitchen but it was crumbs on and under chairs. Dried mud where there'd been a circuit through the garden and house.

The first thing I asked Gill to do was take me to my second treasure - Beryl.
I had an appointment for a pedicure and facial.
Beryl used to run her own mobile beauty salon in London and has now retired to Holbeach and runs her business from home. Now I bet you're wondering if it was half price with one foot out of action, no, she carefully washed all exposed bits of toe, trimmed and polished them.
I then lay back for my treat, first she waxed my eyebrows and and used electrolysis on the stray eyebrows (the ones that pop out of your chin). Ok - that bit isn't so pleasant but then she gives a full neck and face massage, skin exfoliation, face mask - pure bliss.
I'm there for an hour and a half and she charges, wait for it - £20. Needless to say she usually gets a tip.

Back home, to a lovely clean house, feeling more human I tackled the the evening meal, curry. It didn't take too long as I didn't want to repeat yesterday's agony of having foot down for too long.

Then a welcome visit from daughter in law, Jo and baby Effie. I had a lovely cuddle with Effie as Jo made us coffee then, as she left to collect Lilah from school my friend Ann arrived so I spent a lovely afternoon with my leg up enjoying her company

Little Effie - so cute, cuddly and smiley

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Delivering Paintings and a Shopping trip

Last Friday and Saturday were 'hand in' days for the Eastern Open. An open exhibition for artists living here in the East. There are a lot of submissions and you are lucky to have work accepted. Non the less, I keep trying with the occasional success. I'd filled in the forms and sent money off before I went to France. Of course I hadn't planned on not being able to drive and hadn't taken into account Dad's birthday celebrations. I thought "well. I'll just have to miss out this year" but hang on - I paid £36 (£12 per painting). On Monday I phoned to see if I could put them on a carrier. Yes, that would be fine as long as they were there by Thursday. Next call was to Frank, he dispatches orders daily via their carrier. No one had known about my dilemma as I do hate asking for help and people doing things for me . So when Frank knew he said he'd take me and the paintings over to King's Lynn - what a star. Finding the labels was a bit of a challenge as Frank had 'tidied up' but eventually they were unearthed from the bottom of a 'to do' pile. Paintings duly wrapped and labelled, off we went.
Frank drove my car as it's easy to get in and out. it was lovely to be outside again. I have to say I am a bit of a back seat (or in this case, front seat) driver, which is a bit of a problem when it is your braking foot that is broken, shall I just say 'OUCH'

Paintings delivered I asked Frank if he'd mind calling in at Tesco. I had to convince him that they would have wheel chairs, his way of saying that he wasn't really keen on going. Once inside we headed for a stand of wines on offer. He asked me which one I wanted and how much was it to which my reply was "Don't know, I've got my back to it all" Some wheel chair driving lessons are in order I think. Vital supplies having been tracked down we headed for the check out, credit card in hand I was pushed straight through and out so he had to make payment.

We got home to the welcome smell of braised steak in the slow cooker. That morning was my first attempt at cooking. I managed quite well hopping round the kitchen and kneeling pot leg on a stool but the combination of that and being in a car with leg down for so long had taken it's toll.
I retired to the settee with a rather swollen throbbing foot and purple toes and a very large glass of Tesco's best white wine. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Progress so Far

Yea! I'm plastered. All feels a bit more secure - let the itching begin.

It's almost a week now since I arrived back from France and it's 16 days since I broke my ankle.

At Stansted with nurse Brian

I am getting very good at lassoing my foot with a knicker leg also at going up and down stairs on my bottom. Things I am not good at are crutches. Main problem is that the leg taking all my weight is in need of a new hip. Yep - more metal work. My arms are getting stronger, for the first couple of days they felt bruised as if I'd had a work out at the gym. The other difficulty is getting down to and up off the floor to go down the stairs.
I can't get into our bathroom with steps down as there is nothing to pull myself up on, also they are cold tiles. I tried it once, not a pleasant experience. So it's a strip wash in the spare room.
We have the decorators here painting the outside at the moment so have to be up early as they're here by 8am and you never know which window they will appear at.

I have had to cancel so much, the main thing being a painting trip to Venice with two dear friends. We were staying in Ken Howard's Venice studio. Can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am about that one. Painting friends will understand.
Yesterday I found out that I had been selected as one of only 30 artists to take part in plein air event in Norwich. A great honor but fear i may have to turn it down as I would have to rely too heavily on someone to help me.
I have had to let my friend Linda down too. I was one of the demonstrators for A Brush with the Broads, something else I was looking forward to .

One thing I refuse  to miss out on is a reunion I have organised for the painting group that came to Holt Hall, Norfolk. Twenty or so of the best painters and loveliest of people I know. Some are coming from Holland. We are all staying in Blakeney and painting the North Norfolk coast. Haven't worked out how I will get about let alone paint but wild horses won't keep me away from that reunion.

Food wise we have been coping well. or should I say Frank has. He has been a star and produced some fantastic meals. I have been online Tesco shopping and the little man that brings it has been good enough to put it all in the kitchen for me. I have borrowed a zimmer/trolley from dad so I can move stuff around.

Today I have asked Frank to leave some ingredients out and i am going to attempt to cook. I've found the if I kneel on a stool with pot leg then I can stand a bit longer. Trouble is, the leg and ankle are still very swollen and if it isn't elevated it does start to throb rather. The bruise shows above the cast and is giong some wonderful colours. No - I am not going to paint it.

Haven't worked out yet how to paint. I do prefer to stand but that isn't going to happen. I'll let you know how I get on with that when I get into the studio again.

Meanwhile I'm trying to decide how to decorate 'the pot'

All suggestions welcome. Please note painted toenails. I couldn't manage them myself so waited for my daughter in laws, surely one of them would help????? No way. Aparently they don't 'do' feet. Fortunately my friend Sandra came to the rescue.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Dad's 90th & a Family Weekend

Well my Dad hit the 90's on Friday and to celebrate on his birthday I took him to the local where some his friend s were waiting for us

Dad, Pam, Noel, Betty & Mo

A great time was had by all and he thought that was it! Nope - another surprise was installed for Saturday.
He walked into my lounge Saturday lunchtime to be surprised by all of his Great Grandchildren popping up from behind the settee. Poor chap, glad his heart isn't too weak. The look on his face was a picture


It was great to have all our boys, their wives, & children plus My brother Peter, wife Jill, Daughter Rachel & Granddaughter Paige. Also Aunty Jonnie, Steve, cousins Lisa & Sean and their children Molly & Grace. In all 16 adults and 9 children. There were a lot of helpers with the presents

I have to say my daughter in laws were brilliant. I am out of action with a broken ankle and only managed to get home from France on the Tuesday. I'd been a bit worried as to how I was going to manage but everything was sorted. The food was very good and Rohan made the most amazing cakes and puddings - what stars. I didn't set my good foot inside the kitchen once.
Mind you , those that know me will know how frustrating that was.

Then we attempted the impossible - getting all the grandchildren together for a photo.
I think it went very well, we even managed to get Summer in the picture for the first time.

Summer, Stephen holding Effie, Ivor, Ishobel, Dad, Grace, Rufus, Molly and Lilah

With Rachel & Paige

Rohan, Steve, Adam, Wanda, Rachel, Nathan & Jo

Pete, Dad, Jill, Frank & Mo

All in all a brilliant day. He received some lovely presents including rather a lot of whiskey, We have decided, he won't be preserved - just pickled. Frank walked back with him at the end of the day as he drove home on his mobility scooter. Thanks again all that came and that helped to make Dad's 90th birthday such a good one.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A week in a French hospital

This September I flew out to the Limosin area of France to run my second painting holiday at Les Marronniers near Crozant. Our hosts are Susie and Chris Richards,  a lovely, hospitable couple that moved out to France a few years ago. The setting is ideal with it's own studio and a swimming pool to cool off in at the end of a hard day's painting.  To see pics go to their web site The Forgotten France
The group this time were all from Norfolk and most kmew each other. I knew as soon as we met that it was going to be a good week.

A welcoming glass of champagne

 Things went along really well for the first few days going to Argenton, painting by the River Sedelle, La Celle-Dunoise, Gargilesse, (home town of George Sand)

 Sunday 7th September

Then disaster struck. I slipped going down the wet bank and..........

Four Pomiers

The things I do for attention!
Broke my ankle so was to be stuck in a French hospital for a week. I was having a great time with the group, they had been wonderful. Whilst indisposed they pressed on happily without me. Just so frustrating - and - I wish I spoke French

Monday 8th September

I had an op but doctor wouldn't put a cast on until the weekend. Had all my students in today as they fly home tomorrow . They all brought their work in to show me. I was very impressed by their output. They made me a card with lovely comments, it made me a bit teary. All are coming back next year which is great news.
I do have to say that the food here is appalling. Breakfast was a soup bowl of Luke warm milky coffee plus a bread roll, lunch was two slices of very rare beef with carrots and bread roll and tonight it was soggy pizza. Also they do not serve tea or coffee all day, not even a hot drink at night!

 Tuesday 9th September

Now I do have to say, I like my food and wouldn't you think if in hospital then France was a good place to be - wrong!!!

A good hearty breakfast

 There's nothing like a good hearty continental breakfast. and this was nothing like a .............!
On a point of etiquette, I wasn't sure if I should drink my tea with the spoon?

Pasta and ?????

No idea what the second dish was. It wasn't even pretending to be a sausage. It was just bland and tasted of nothing. Once I got almost raw beef with a pile of carrots. Soup was offered each day but the twice I tried it - eeew. Consistency of wallpaper paste and no flavour. They certainly didn't use salt and I wondered if they'd actually heard of garlic

Wednesday 10th

The group fly home today and of course I should have been with them. I can't get a cup of tea or coffee. My bowl of tea at breakfast is the only hot drink of the day. My lifesaver Chris, my host, brought in a travel kettle today after he'd dropped the group off at the airport plus some delicious fruit cake from Susie.
I didn't expect Chris and Susie to visit as I know they are so busy getting ready for the next group. This time it's photography plus, they are 40 mins from the hospital at Gueret

Thursday 11th 

Stiff upper lip getting a bit thin today!insurance company have sent forms to fill in to secretary and no one seems to know any thing about it. Can't book flight until sorted.
On a lighter note, I had a delicious piece of boiled fish today which went so well with the boiled rice and to accompany this , there was a salade verte (read, two leaves of Iceburg). Can't wait for tonight's treat
So far I have read five books and just downloaded two more. Have got 20 games of scrabble going on with friends and getting very good at Sudoku.

Friday 12th 

Rations running low. I've long ago eaten the slices of fruit cake Susie gave me. One of the group left me some Tuc biscuits, I have worked out that if I only have three a day, they should last. On the up side I now get a yogurt with my breakfast, well, Fromage Frais and they know I don't like the soggy flans so, I also get cheese with meals. It's straight from the fridge so I thaw it out on the hot lid of my main course. Yesterday's delight was pasta with a spoonful of boiled mince. Haven't the French heard of garlic?
I have also thawed out some of the nurses. A lot are fine and we just smile at each other or they jabber on in French and I just nod. One though just cannot crack a smile ( it's my challenge of the day) mind you, when the doc is around she turns into a simpering school girl.
Hygiene here is exemplary, when they change and wash my dressing everything touched only with sterile tweezers, one set for removing and one for applying.
Had a good look yesterday and am slightly mystified by a neat square inch above my ankle where they have removed some skin for no apparent reason. The bruise has now crept up to my knee and I will spare you the photos of the incisions on the inside of my leg. The outside though is a neat cut with 24 stitches - sorry are you having your breakfast? They come round here at 5.45am to take your temperature .

Saturday 13th 

Had a major incident today! My internet password expired.
Fortunately a young nurse with a couples of nice tattoos answered my call button.
When I had explained that 'moi mot de passé expirer' she realised that this was a real emergency and immediately rushed off and got me a new one. The old bat I mentioned it to this morning obviously couldn't give a toss.

Sunday 14th 

Pretty uneventful day (again.)
The doc did his round at 8am as usual. You could tell it was the w/e as he hadn't shaved. Must say he was a very nice chap, had a little English. Think he was part of the furniture, must have been there since the place opened, very laid back, longish grey hair and about 70. Also the same chap that straightened my foot (which was at a right angle to my leg) BEFORE I'd had any pain killers!!!!

Monday 15th

New development, I spoke with the insurance company who said it's very important to have split cast put on as many aircraft will refuse for you to fly with new cast. I managed to get this over to the doc this morning when he did his round (complete with simpering bat). He then decided it would be best to travel as I am and have cast put on at home. Does this mean I could have gone home days ago??? - I am NOT going to think about it
I could have risked it couldn't risk Mr Jobsworth being on duty. Met him last time I was at Limoges when not only took fig jam and cheese from my group but also took Trish's lunch

 Had phone call from a French lady who spoke NO English. I grasped something about me leaving hospital aujourd'hui.
Me - non, demain
Her - Jabber Jabber...... departe aujourd'hui
Me - me ne parlays pas Francais
Her - Jabber Jabber..........
Me -je non comprend
Her-Jabber Jabber
Me- pardon
Her - silence.... Hangs up

Not sure if she was telling me to leave today or asking if I was

Well we got that one sorted, said lady came to see me with an interpreter. It was about my discharge papers.

I do have to say I am very impressed with my travel insurance. I was moaning earlier on in the year because it had gone up. I think it's about £170.
Well, I have a male nurse flying out today to accompany me home. They've booked three seats so I can keep my leg up and have dealt with all travel arrangements.
They don't normally send a nurse but because of the "complexity and severity" of my injury they feel I need medical attention
One thing slightly concerns me is 'what if I need the loo?' It's one thing having a bed bath by a male nurse in hospital (yes, it happened) but........? It doesn't seem right when you've got proper clothes on

Tuesday 16th


Merde! Nearly 1am here and the old codger a few doors down is kicking off. He's a real pain for the staff during the day, calls them all the time. When I say calls, the rest of us use our call buttons - he shouts. He's obviously in some kind of pain but really, does he have to scream and swear that loud. I can hear the staff shhing him to no avail and now some other chap has joined in shouting for him to shut up cos he can't sleep - hello!!!
Thought I'd turn in early tonight as I'm up in 5 hours


 He's here, my knight in shining armour . Not a George Cloony lookalike but a very cuddly, smiley Welshman called Brian ( in combats)
We had an taxi ride to Limoges airport where I direct Brian straight to the cafe for a cafe creme and a croissant - never has coffee tasted so good. All was going smoothly but unfortunately , no lift into plane so mounted the steps on my bottom
 Brian was a star, and for those that need to know, there was a loo stop in which Brian parked the wheelchair next to the loo and stood guard outside. Crisis avoided!

It was so good to see hubby Frank waiting for me at the airport. He'd taken a taxi to Stansted to drive me home in my car that was there - happeeeeeee.

Called in at P'boro hospital enroute home. They took more Exrays (sharp intakes of breath) and will send me an appointment to get plastered. 

Amazing that, the French doc said how important to get plastered straight away and P'boro are going "yeah, whenever" plus my prescription was dismissed "nah, we don't think you need that" what about pain killers - nurse puts 4 paracetamol in envelope. They were still offering morphine in France (didn't take it tho')


Finally, I'm home. I'm put on the settee with a glass of chilled white wine (yes, I know it's early) while darling Frank cooks Steak, asparagus, chips and more wine. It was cooked to perfection and tasted delicious.  So happy to be back and in the arms of the the one I love.

Frank is now talking of tagging me so that I can't leave the country!!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Teaching at Dedham

26th July - 2nd August I find myself once more back at the lovely venue of Dedham Hall. I come here every year for a week and love it. Many of the students are regulars and have become friends now but it is always good to meet new people. This year I had 7 new students.
We get to meet and introduce ourselves over tea & cake at 4pm on the Saturday, then after a bit of unpacking and putting art gear into the studio we meet in the bar for pre dinner drinks. Dinner is a three course meal of a very high standard. After which we convene in the studio where I run through the proposed programme for the week. Nothing is set in stone at Dedham as it depends on the weather and the mix of students.

Brook Street, Dedham. Oil demo on first evening

Sunday is spent in the grounds for two reasons, one, it is very busy in the area on a Sunday and two, it is useful for me to see what medium everyone is working in, to see the equipment they have and where they may need help.
I gave a watercolour demonstration in the garden and a few decided to try the same subject

Greenhouse watercolour demo

I chose to stay in the immediate area on the Monday too as I wanted to work in the studio with a couple of the group that needed a bit more guidance before we went out . First task was to make a grid colour chart to show different mixes of a limited pallet. I set the challenge of only working with three colours for those that wanted to try. The results were very good and people were surprised the range of colours they could mix.

Tuesday we went to Pin Mill, a favorite spot with many artists. I got there early and was able to do a quick painting before people were set up

The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill 12" x !0" oil on board

In the evening after dinner I gave a couple of demos on putting people into a painting and how to paint boats

drawing boats & adding tone to give form

Figures and shadows in a painting

On Wednesday we went to the river. It is a half day for me so I always nip off to get some of my own painting in. In the evening we eat in the main restaurant unfortunately not all the group were eating with us as some had family nearby.

Wednesday evening meeting for drinks

Watercolour demo on reflections

Rowing boats for hire

Thursday we took off for Woodbridge. It was an extremely hot day and some chose to stay in the studio so I split my day. I did manage to paint this quickly in-between helping those that came before I went back to the studio.


During the week I like to cover oil, watercolour and acrylic. Here is a demo using the Atelier Interactive acrylics

Limited pallet, acrylics. 10" x 14"

Friday we stayed close to base as people wanted to finish off work started earlier in the week. The studio was cleared by 4pm so that i could set up the final exhibition. Jim & Wendy come over at 6.30 with drinks and nibbles. After supper we have a last gathering in the studio and i give each person a critique 

Yet again it was a brilliant week and I'm already looking forward to a return visit next year