Friday, 22 September 2017

What have you done today?

Great song by Heather Small.

However the answer is "Not a lot."

Every so often I have a day like today where I crash.  As I am retired and had nothing planned other than the list in my diary of things to do......I could go with the flow.  Realise I am old, tired, doing NEOS for 9 days and the FASE meeting yesterday has flattened me.

I managed to email the cooncil and book the room for the next meeting.

Managed to get washed and dressed.  Had lunch. Boiled egg the easy option with a Ryvita and pate.

Drove to the beach.  Watched people walking past the car with their hair blowing, trousers blowing, and thought shall I?  Should I?  But then I had got this far so I did.

Looks lovely doesn't it.  Aye but it was a struggle to get this far.

The tide was very high, Autumn Equinox and all that.  There was this thing coming in with the tide.  

I think it was wood, I think its come off a boat.  No doubt tomorrow, when it is even windier, so fingers crossed for the walk, I will see it cast up on the shore and be able to more identify it.

Home again jiggety jig.  

Shedudio.  Carried on doing nothing but watching the birds.  3 swoops from the Sparrow Hawk so there's the energy from the Autumn Equinox which bypassed me, so not much to see.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Thursday and witterings.

I do read all the frugal life blogs, well ,not all as some get me rather annoyed.  The DP and I have lived a frugal life from necessity for the 37 years + we have been together.  The habits learnt then remain.  We do not have to be so frugal anymore as we retired both with local government pensions we had paid into and the state pensions we had also paid into. But we still are frugal.

 For the first time in our lives we can afford to have things like the garage roof, which despite our best efforts still leaks big time,  replaced.  It is asbestos and will still be down to us to take the removed asbestos to the tip as it would have added an extortionate amount to our bill for the roofers to take it to the tip, they have to pay to tip, we do not.   So that is next.

We just had our oil central heating boiler serviced.  It was an emergency as fumes were coming out of it and threatening my health.  You cannot get a plumber for anything but an emergency as they are so busy.  Waiting on the bill.  Which may increase as..
Tonight I realised that despite the heating and hot water not being on there was the sound of the hot water boiling from upstairs where the water tank is.  I ran the hot water taps, which gave out boiling hot water,  but the noise continued.  Then I found another on/off switch beneath the central heating controls and turned it off and the noise stopped.  (Should point out that the DP is out at his Photography Society evening).  I havent the faintest idea whether I have done right or wrong but all is quiet.  Hey ho. 

So today.  Meeting of the FASE 4 committee.  I think we are all heading for the strait jackets.  

Our Community Challenge was to put a picture on a pennant "My Town."  The pennants have been given out to schools, community groups et al.  With great success.  As they come back in we are not sure where the heck we are going to hang them all!

I, as secretary, have sent out entry forms to all the artists I know and so many are going to exhibit, again we are panicking about the space so to do.  But this is all good isnt it!  

I have to choose my exhibits.  Nothing is allowed that has been exhibited before, there are some who churn out the same every year.....So I did a bit of a survey on my facebook page Buchan Birds and Beasts.  And these came up with more likes.

So they are in for the exhibition.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Our Plumber has just left.  8.30 p.m.  On Sunday morning I woke to foul fume smells.  Eventually worked out it was from our central heating boiler in the garage.  So it was all turned off.  Hot water we can get from the electric immersion heater which we have never used, but thankfully it worked.  Keeping warm however has been a struggle.  As the mornings are now Autumnal and if the weather is overcast and wet so is the rest of the day.  Evenings are ok as thats when we light the wood burner.  Down the shed is cosy with the electric fire on the lowest setting.  But tonight was the earliest he could come.  Its all done now.  Serviced and cleaned and we are signed up for an annual visit.  Phew.  Survived.

This morning I visited the art group I used to attend.  The Group is part of our annual exhibition which is on the 21st October.  So I was taking in hard copy of the entry forms and trying to fill in the rota for helpers during the exhibition.  I spent an hour listening to each person's woes.  I felt like a sin eater by the time I was ready to go /had enough.  Hopefully some will put entries in and even more hopefully will sign up to assist during the exhibition.  Survived.

After lunch the therapy.  For me.

Calm sea.  Breeze was warm?  Weird. Spitty rain.

The shape of this washed up fishing net was a bit worrying.  Could almost see a body in there.

Bit hazy, but this is a Gannet hunting.  They then lift up then down like an arrow, which there was no way I could catch.

Black Headed Gull in winter plumage (no black head)  Dont you just love the red legs and beak?

Three of them having a bath at the Kessock Burn Spa.

And a Redshank.

Another swathe of clerical work inviting artists and photographers to enter in to the FASE4 exhibition.  Fighting with modern technology.  Aaaaargh.  I survived.  Though I do sometimes wonder why I do this.  

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Its the taking part not the winning.

Now getting to grips with our annual exhibition at Dalrymple Hall.  21st - 23rd October.

The first of much bunting.  Each pennant portrays someones idea of "My Town."  i.e. Fraserburgh.  Our Community Challenge involves everyone from nursery age upwards.  Glad someone else is doing sterling work on this one.

I spent the morning on basic clerical stuff, minutes, agendas etc for the next meeting on Thursday.  Later I emailed round all the artists I know and Photographers.  Inviting them to exhibit.

Then after lunch off to have my hair cut.  Most of the clippings went down my back.  I had to completely strip off on my return and change my clothes.....Itching like mad.

In between I managed a plod along the Prom.  Bit further today but still not built up to the .59 of a mile.

The sea was much calmer.  The sun was out and there was little wind.

Two hopeful Surfers.

This was the ONLY member of the Gull Gang.  A Blackheaded which couldnt decide whether to bathe or not to bathe.

And this very poor picture (through a mucky window from the shedudio) is a Siskin.  The DP was concerned he hadnt seen any.  

The other failure was my camera was on charge when we saw a Spotted Flycatcher on the fence and neither of us managed a photo.  It was the first time I had seen one too.  Hey ho you cant win them all.  

Swamped with secretarial duties for FASE4 not winning anything much at all.  

Monday, 18 September 2017

What is life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare.

This morning - no pressure.  Lovely.  After lunch I was off to the local hospital for my physiotherapy check up and all was good.  

After that I was off back to the Prom.  Oh -so good.  No rain, no wind.

Hi Guys.  Quite a rough sea outside the bay.



Oyster Catchers.

Black Headed Gull.

Bath time.  A Linnet and a House Sparrow, the latter having a bath and the Linnet thinking about it.

S0 good to be able to walk and no pressure on getting back to meet and greet.  

When I did come home I went down to the shedudio and did a bit of painting and some bird watching.  All good for the soul.

We open studio peeps were asked to get email addresses from our visitors.  For a survey.  Which I did.  I downloaded the form so to do.  Now NEOS want me to type all the email addresses as they can't read the filled in form sent in as a scanned document.  So why send me a form?  So yet more time out of my life to ensure my visitors stand a chance of winning a voucher to spend for filling in said form.  Never again.  Never again.

I will do it.  From here on in I stand and stare.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Just enjoying life.

I closed the doors on the shedudio today.  4.40 p.m. Told the DP I was taking early retirement!  He went down and cleared up the cake the remaining short bread, plates, cake forks, and spoons, milk and sugar.  Had anyone turned up as last night at 10 to 5 I would have killed/ignored them.  Really had enough.

I spent many years in child care.  Child minder, ran various Playgroups, working with behaviourally challenged kids, then Inspector of Childrens Day Care, I havent lost the knack.. Just the energy.  So delightful to have the children this NEOS week.  

I will not do NEOS again.  I shall have open shedudio at weekends when I feel like it.  Who knows how successful that will be ?  But if people know they can come along and have a cup of and a piece and just chat, have a go at some painting, see mine, who knows.  I am in there anyway.  But not for 9 days on the trot.  And no signage.  No.  NEOS committee has not been helpful.

Tomorrow whatever the weather I am off to the Prom.  I have my physio check up in the afternoon. Either before or after I will be ploughing up and down the Esplanade.

Back to normal. Hah.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

One more day of NEOS.

This morning I managed to wash my hair and the rest and get in the car and drive to the Prom.  Before lunch time.  Quite an achievement.  Having gone more than a week without driving was weird.  And not seeing the sea.   I was on withdrawal symptoms big time.

I sat in the car.  The odd walker was obviously fighting the wind as they went past me.  So no way was I getting out.  7 stone and 4 feet 10 ?  I would have been blown a few miles .  Just to commune quietly and look at the sea was enough for me.

Then it was back to the current day job.

These two delightful young artists (and their Mum who also had a go,) really enjoyed experimenting with Brusho.  You sprinkle it on and then wet it and - wow.  The colour explodes.

And look behind them.  The shedudio door is open.  No wind, no rain.  Wowee.

I also had a visit from a photographer who has kindly agreed for me to do a painting from his photograph of 2 Razorbills.  Obviously checking out how I was going to wreck it or otherwise.

Just wait and see.....But he was impressed with what he could see....

After that it was 4.45p.m. I close the shedudio at 5 so I tootled off up to the house and 

And someone walked past the front of the house so I had to charge off with the chariot and be all smiley and welcoming again.  Finally locked the door at 5.20.p.m.  The first glass went down quickly.

One more day to go.

Friday, 15 September 2017

NEOS Two days to go.

Exhausted from speaking, welcoming, demonstrating..

But it has been good.

These two lovely people were persuaded to have a go at putting paint onto paper  and then enjoyed it.

An exciting time.   The pink footed geese begin to return here for the Winter.

And among them is this Snow Goose.  Which was enough reason for the DP to shoot off  and photograph it.  My comment as to how it looked like a domestic goose did not go down well.

I look forward to the weekend being over.  Then I can get back onto the Prom.  The forecast for Monday is better....

Thursday, 14 September 2017

NEOS Day 6.

Well I had a few visitors.  Enough to not let me take photos of the paintings I was doing in between visitors!

This lady came to visit.

A fellow NEOS exhibitor, as a potter.  I kept thinking I know this woman from somewhere.  Sith cat was tootling down from the house and I warned this lady and my other visitor at the time and asked if they were bothered about cats.  No they both said and this lady went to open the door for Sith cat.  Well, Sith poked his nose in and then backed off, most unusual, and then went back to the house....  What?  Most unusual.

It subsequently turned out that this lady was one of the vets where we go.  And therefore one presumes Sith recognised her and was no way coming in to the shedudio with her there!!

Anyway she had great fun creating some art.  

Some answers to questions.  We have had tourists visiting. In fact September is the time for the silver tourists to visit.  Schools back etc.  But they have struggled to find me with the lack of signage.  

The NEOS hierarchy telling me to take the signs down.... Has not helped.  

My visitors recently have told me about the plethora of signs on junctions which I was told was a no no. Hmmm.  I was the idiot who posted on facebook the pictures of my signs which NEOS had asked us to do.  And then told me to take them all down.

Mouse painting - funnily enough I have started a mouse painting.  Harvest mouse.  Quite happy to post to abroad.  Mounted but not framed as that involves glass.  But not sure about how payment would proceed?  Will think about it.  Once NEOS is over I am going to concentrate a bit more on my Buchan Birds and Beasts facebook page shop and how to do the transfer of money.  So watch this space.

Ah well three more days to go.  Weather still windy and wet so I do not feel too bad at not being able to walk the prom.  But I miss it terribly.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

North East Open Studios Day 5.

My fellow artists opening their own working studios are all in agreement.  This NEOS has been - well - not very good.  

The punters/visitors are obviously preferring visiting where there are a horde of artists all in one place.  

However, this bodes well for FASE our open exhibition at the end of October.  Which will be in Dalrymple Hall, arts centre in Fraserburgh.  So once NEOS is over I will be rounding up all the artists to exhibit there.

Sith cat waiting patiently for the visitors to arrive..

Perhaps I should just open a cafe.

But Sith was happy.

These ladies are all friends.  So I do not think there was one painting looked at.  But we all had a laugh.  Which is what friends are for after all.

Earlier I had three other visitors.  Sold one mug.  And the gentleman who called in is bringing his daughter/daughter in law ?  to view as he reckoned "It was just up her street."

Appreciation of my work is quite sufficient to put me on cloud 9.

Then after our dinner I was ramping up the sound on the 2 Cellos when lo and behold....

Right outside the dining room patio doors.  Cloud 10 I think.


Hopefully more visitors tomorrow.  Both Sith and I live in hope.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

NEOS - Day 4.

You have to laugh - there is always one.  Just waiting for my lunch time egg to boil the knock at the door.  "I've come for the art exhibition."  On explaining I was not open til one p.m. the DP came to the rescue.  And took the chap down to the shedudio.  

At 1 p.m. I went down and opened the tin of shortbread, unwrapped the fruit cake and started to play with my new Walnut Ink.

From then on the shedudio was full of people.

Some had a go at creating.  Most had a fly cup and a piece.  Shortbread going down a storm.  The DP may have to make his famous Chocolate Cake after all.  Though there is still one fruit cake to start on.

One person who really is enjoying NEOS and getting so much fuss he (and I) is totally exhausted.

Sith cat - whacked.  He was at the vets this morning for  check up after his antibiotic jab a couple of weeks ago after he had another sneezing episode.  All well.  Although she still hasnt been able to check his heart as he purrs so loudly.

It is most definitely Autumn.  Darker nights and mornings and the wood burner on in the evenings.

The weather has been better today.  Still the wind but only a little rain.  My car is back having passed it's MOT and had a service.  So I might go look at the sea tomorrow.  Then it is back on NEOS duty at 1 p.m. 5 days to go.  Oh and today I sold a painting.  Tired but happy.