Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Samuel Whiskers I hate you.

When a child I was introduced to Beatrix Potter.  The words, the illustrations I loved.  But there was one book which gave me nightmares.

Samuel Whiskers.  The Roly - Poly Pudding.

Some decades later I was training for the Diploma in Nursery Nursing, NNEB. (Which I gained with distinction.)  Part of the course were various placements.  I was a nanny, worked in a Social Services establishment, as a classroom assistant, etc.  It was the last mentioned placement when I came across Samuel Whiskers again.  

The class had two rats and a large fishtank.  I just couldnt do it.  I could clean the fish tank out, with my tongue if necessary, but no way could I care for those rats.

Once I had qualified, that together with a previously obtained Legal qualification, led to me being a Childrens Day Care Inspector.  Part of this job I had to train and inspect Childrens Day Care providers.  

I had no problems with the Childminder who's husband had a locked room in which were snakes, lizards, Tarantulas etc. I was happy to handle them all.   Had he had rats it would have been difficult.

More decades and we found ourselves in the North East of Scotland running a b&b.  

We had rescued hens and ducks.  And rats.  One of which the DP despatched by using a bit of 4x4 pushing it back into the loo it had appeared from. 

Now here we are in retirement.  Feeding the birds. Then, after 6 years here, Samuel Whiskers has found me again.

Right.  We do not want to kill the rats.  

So - the bird feeders are to be moved and altered. The places where Samuel, and his family, hide will be removed.  The log pile is to be relocated.

Rats dont like open spaces.  

They have to drink a lot so the water provided for the birds to bath in will go for a while.  

On the plus side I have plans for remodelling the garden and providing a new patio, more human presence which rats dont like either. 

The feeling is mutual.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Weather chaos.

It snowed.  Proper snow.  We live so near the sea, and not on high ground it is vary rare we have snow.  But today we did.

After lunch I went off for my walk.

The sea was a bit rough.  There was not much wind.  I was well dressed for the cold.

There were few people around.

As I was heading for the Path of Doom it began to hail.  No one had mentioned hail !  As I turned to return to the car I fast realised that the wind had increased and was horizontal so the hail was straight into my face.  Not good.  Painful.  Struggling to breathe and taking shelter where I could I got back to the car.


Home and fed the birds.

Filled the feeders hanging from the Cherry Tree and scattered seed on the ground as there were so many hungry beaks.

A few hours later the sun came out, blue skies and white fluffy clouds and the wind dropped.  Confused dotcom.

No longer believe in weather forecasts.

Fraserburgh beach this morning.

Weather chaos.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Trying to slow down.

The DP having gone off on one of his bird watching jaunts AGAIN and so early I had to make my own breakfast.  Realised I need to ease the back into being upright .  Convinced I was given the chariot by Occupational Health to SLOW ME DOWN.  It is just in my nature to charge about!  Back agony as swiftly hit me.

I went for a walk later but very short one.  Very painful.  Why did I not take painkillers before?  Because I am stupid.  Hey ho.

Back home and down the shedudio.  

Ah good news I finally got a quote from the joiner who is to transform the interior.  Quite acceptable.  He is to phone me at the end of the week as to when he can do it.  So still a bit of holding breath.

I have begun to play about with Brusho.  A new facet to the watercolour products.

These sad Leverets were totally swamped with my attempt to use Brusho.  I had to be able to sprinkle them - lightly.  One can purchase lids with holes to enable sprinkling but I hadnt got them and didnt want to wait - charging about again.

So I came up with an idea - and it worked.

Brusho.  This is what you get and the lid is way too tough to put small holes into it.

So this is what I did after some - slow - thought.
Remove lid. Add kitchen foil, snip to fit, fasten with sellotape, prick with tooth pick.


The bottom of the paper shows the different colours, gently sprinkled,  tho you can mix them or whatever you want.  But I now have more control.  It works slowing down does. ....Thinking.  

In between doing this, which took some time.... I watched the birds.

Goldfinches.  Above.

And below.  We do have a lot!

Male Siskin.

Two male Siskin and male Lesser Redpoll.

Female Siskin.

When the birds suddenly disappear this has appeared.  To be fair I only have to make it disappear too after two goes.  I then rammed a bit of our last Christmas's tree in the hole. Which gave me a lot of satisfaction but set me back off again.

Must slow down.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

We live in hope.

This is my preview of my entry into the NEOS catalogue this year.  NEOS (North East Open Studios) commences on September 10th.  Hope the joiners get their act together.  So far not doing so.  Sat in for two hours today waiting for one lot.  And the other still has not provided me with a quote for the interior of the shedudio.

Jill Chandler

Image for Jill Chandler

Contact Details

t: 01346 531103
e: justjill_uk@yahoo.co.uk

About Artist

My favourite media is watercolour. Closely followed by pen and ink. My subjects are often sea birds, together with the other birds and beasts of Buchan. I hope my work has a humorous slant and visitors enjoy seeing my work as much as I enjoyed the painting.

Thats my entry followed by dates open and times.  
Opening Times
Sat 10thSun 11thMon 12thTue 13thWed 14thThu 15thFri 16thSat 17thSun 18th

Friday, 21 April 2017

Not particularly a good Friday.

Very windy.  30 mph gusts.  No way was I walking.

So - bit of painting.

Two begun, almost makes you want to pack in at this stage !

The Ram and Puffin are done.  

I am now fed up of small paintings and planning something completely different.

When I get fed up I birdwatch.

New visitors to the feeding station - a pair of Jackdaws.

Report on the back.  I am now completely pain free.  Just very stiff in a morning til I get moving.  
And of course the buttock clenching, the tummy flattening ?  

After 4 kids including a section, no way.  

I have an appointment for the end of May for Bone Density Measurement.  Quite what happens after this I am unsure and to be honest I really dont want to know.  

I do not like being old and having bits drop off, seize up. stop working.  

I shall try very hard to be grateful for the bits that do work. 

Oh forgot, I have one bionic eye.  20/20 vision and ok to drive, thank goodness.

I have been waiting for 6 months for the call up for the other one to have the cataract  be sorted.  But then that would not have been easy lying flat with a fractured spine.  Hey ho.

Onwards and upwards. Saturday tomorrow !!

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Its a good job we are not 'precious' about our lawn.

Whilst having our evening meal we watched the construction of these mole hills.  Never did see the perpetrator of course!  And all will be gathered up and put in a pot for some plant or another.

I did the .59 despite the strong wind.  Which nearly did blow me over.  Me and the chariot went in a direction I had never thought of or intended - sideways.


Towards the end of the video you can see where I get blown.

Otherwise it was warm, 17 degrees.

A deserted beach.  

The DP finally got to see the Stork.

For which I am truly grateful.  Hope to see more of him, until the next rare bird appears on his phone.  I dread the pings.

Still clenching the buttock

Tomorrow I move on to drawing the lower tummy in.  

It says, "if you are struggling you can visualise you are trying to pull two bony bits/fingertips close together (what?!)

 OR like you are tying the top button on your jeans.  "  

Well who doesnt remember that !!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday witterings.

The Dawn Patroller receives text messages on his mobile of rare birds appearing in our area.  Today we had a stork, crane, nuthatch reported.  So that was him gone for the rest of the day.  Did he see them?  NO.  I am fast becoming a grass widow, or should I say bird widow.

This is the Stork he didnt see.

I did my walk.

One man and his dog.

Masses of sea birds.

Just love all the different attitudes.

Did not do the full .59 walk as I had to go for my physio.

I was put through the exercises I had been doing for a month.  Lie with knees bent and then move the knees to one side and another. Tick.

Standing, move arms as far left then right til it hurts. Tick.  

She then asked me to stand and then bend forward as far as I could, so I did that and had hands on the floor.  Didnt even know I could do that.  

But then we came to the tests for bum muscles.  Apparently I havent got any.  So why I dont fall off a chair I know not.  I now have to clench the buttocks 12 times once a day.

Also no muscles, core muscles in my abdomen.  Excuse me I have had four children including a section.  So what do you expect.  I did my pelvic floor exercises diligently so I do not pee myself.

Right.  I have to - without using chest or upper tummy muscles (where are they?) draw the lower tummy in and feel a small bit of activity.  What?  Tape worm wriggling?  

I shall do these exercises diligently as the previous ones do appear to be working.

To end the Wednesday Witterings, I think Sith has gone deaf.  Havent we all.

Trying to get a photo of him I was calling.  Explains a lot.  Hey ho.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tuesdays twittering.

Bit creaky today.  Havering about a walk.  But knew it would quiet the creaks so off I went.

It was chilly, but little wind.

The Gulls were gathering as the tide was coming in.  

Then as I headed for the Path of Doom, and do my .59 of a mile, I spotted this.

Not much room for the chariot.  As we do have a lot of wind up here sand from the dunes encroaches onto the Path of Doom.  Every so often the Cooncil (not a misprint its Doric), clear the sand and put it back onto said dunes.  The chariot struggles with sand.... so not too bothered at not being able to do the full walk today.  Tomorrow I can smoothly go upwards.  (Great coming back tho !)

Another result of the winds

The gardeners were here yesterday cutting the grass.  The Leaning Tower of Lonmay revealed itself after having a short, back and sides.  Apparently the left post is broken, but we think..... the ivy might hold it up a bit longer.  The birds hide in here before checking its safe to visit the bird feeders outside the kitchen window.

I do love it when the gardeners have been and shaved the grass.  Our wee spinney looks good.  As does the new fence.

Problem is I get terribly frustrated as I want to be tweaking, pruning and weeding, and planting and ohhhhhhhhhhhhh............

Monday, 17 April 2017

Mixed Monday.

This could become boring but as the weather was against me for a walk, sleety rain just as I was about to set off, so more sorting of the shedudio.

I got a new chair!  The old one was given to me by a friend,,,,. Despite numerous cushions it did not give any support to the damaged back. So-

It is very like the one I bought for working on the computer in the house, which is black and does not have arms.  Both came from Argos.   The only 'fault' with them is that when I throw myself onto either I shoot backwards!  Which to be honest is quite good fun.   

They have a curved back so support the spine better.

The chest of drawers.  Well, like an old friend, I cannot get rid of it.  There are many gouges, (hope its not ivory round the keyholes), but I love it.  So no matter what it is staying.  

I moved and bubble wrapped the framed paintings which were on the top.
Discovered the stereo !  Have yet to check whether it still works, no reason why not.  So you visit my studio and in the background peaceful music.  Ahhhhh.

I moved the small IKEA drawers onto the shelf/seat below the windows.  These contain very important things like ribbons, hooks, plant labels, seeds, sewing stuff - I do still have a sewing machine, stored underneath the shelf/seat at the other side of the shedudio.

I also watched the birds.  On the ground here are Chaffinch, male and female and Goldfinches.  Lots of activity in our garden.  Tree Sparrows nesting.  Their nest box unfortunately blew off a couple of days ago.  The DP put another one up for them and they are back in building a nest.  We think the Blue Tits are nested and brooding as we only see one at a time who selects a seed and flies off.  This will be for him/her .  Despite warnings about feeding peanuts we now know from experience of watching that once the babies are hatched the parents seek grubs etc for their babies and grab a peanut or whatever for themselves and to boost their energy levels.  So please do not stop feeding your birds in the garden.

As I have been feeling better re the back and the chest infection got nipped in the bud I have sent off for this offer in our local newspaper. 72 perennial plants for £19.99p.  Amazing. All the ones I want.  They come in plugs.  Over the moon with this offer.  Just hope the back will bend and whatever I can find to make it work to get these into the ground.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Sunny Sunday.

A beautiful sunny day, little wind, but a bit nippy.

At last I could go for a walk.

There were not many people on the beach.  Must have been digesting their chocolate.

So the Gulls could get their ablutions done.

As I was coming back down the Path of Doom I noticed lots of new 'paths' up the dunes to my left.  Recently flattened grass.  Totally puzzled as to who or what would do this.

Once the walk was over and back at home I continued the sorting in the shedudio.

Look ! Empty shelves and a bag of recycling paper, mainly art magazines going back to 2015.  I can't life the bag of !

Meanwhile, outside, seeding goes on.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Sunday too.