Tuesday, 28 March 2017

What I did and what I am going to do.

During my sorting (making a total mess) of the shedudio,  I found some solar powered outdoor lights I purchased for almost nothing from Lidl some time ago.  I followed the instructions until it showed a diagram of the on/off switch.  This is encased in rubber so how you know when it is actually on or off ....?  Anyway I pressed it a few times and then left.

Later that night the DP was watching out for an aurora.  Which everyone else saw.  But we got this.

Well impressed.

This morning I finally got to grips with registering for NEOS.  This stands for North East Open Studios.  An annual event.  

Every year Artists in the North East of Scotland open up their studios.  I have exhibited my work as part of a group for NEOS.  

Then in 2015 I went solo in the shedudio.  It was great fun, although tiring.  With my health issues I never thought I would do it again.  But - I have been talked into doing it again.

Hence the big sort out and the desperate search for a joiner to insulate and board the interior of the shedudio so I have a proper hanging space.

This afternoon saw me visiting my favourite cafe at the Dunes Golf Centre.

Well, any excuse.

I met my fellow artist Marie Buchan.  Do check out her facebook page, Marie Buchan Artist.  Her studio is in St Combs just up the road from me.  St Combs was a fishing village. Marie's studio backs on to the beach.

Mary J Torrance is also in the village of St Combs.  She paints and is also a sculptor. We 3 are the only artists in the Fraserburgh area that are to be part of NEOS this year.  Marie and I were plotting various strategies to get people to visit our studios.  The area we live in is often called 'The Hidden Corner'.  North of Aberdeen ?  Stagecoaches.

So I may bore you over the next few months.  

I just hope no rat appears during that week.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Up and at it.

Here we go.  When you have been ill and lie there in your sick bed you think......

I need to sort the shedudio out.  

As with any sorting one makes more mess than when one began.

Stuff just piles up.  Where it shouldn't be.

An oasis of calm.  For now...

Where do I put the mugs?

Lets take a break.

The makings of a chook (hen).

Cait Sith watching me rather than the birds (or the rat.)

It has been a glorious weather day today.  The DP and I went for a walk.  Until I get the appointment with physiotherapy we have agreed he comes and lifts in the chariot and out of the car.  If they say I can do the lifting myself.... which of course I do when the DP isnt looking.  Ha.

17 degrees centigrade.  "Scotland will be cloudy and cool.."  Yeah.

Tomorrow - up and at it.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Saving the Planet.

Earth Hour.  Tonight 8.30 to 9.30.  10 minutes to go.  The laptop is powered by battery, not sure whether that is cheating....

I have lost a day.  Thursday night around 2a.m.  I was violently sick.  I am never sick.  Quite cross.  Spent the next day lying down.  Knocked out.

Back upright today.  So glad I didnt miss today as it has been beautiful.  T shirt weather for goodness sake !  Quite a shock to be switching central heating off as soon as I got up and it staying off.

The big boat was anchored in the bay.  The DP said it was because Scotland were playing and the crew would all be watching satellite t.v.  I think he made it up.  I think the supply boat had brought the crew in to do the shopping at Lidl.  Either way it has been there all day.

It has been wall to wall sunshine today.  Down the shedudio later in the afternoon I had the door and windows open.  This helped when I saw the rat as I shouted and it shot off.  I havent lost the knack as my kids will tell you.

If Sith cat is not snoring his head off on 'his chair' in the shedudio and sees said rat he chases it.  I am trying to train him to be on guard.  Altho it may necessitate removing his chair outside so I hope this good weather continues.

I have been playing with some new watercolour paints and so far with this quick sketch I am well pleased.

Redshanks.  The pigment in the paints is all natural.  Like in olden days.  All helps to save the planet.  Not sure about the inks for the legs and beaks tho.  

Thursday, 23 March 2017

A Good Day.

Getting later in the day for my walk on the Prom.  The DP and I were down at the beach just after 3 p.m.  But the tide was just coming in. Which I think is the best time.

And so do the Gull Gang. 

The weather was just perfect.  No wind, sunshine, and nice people with time to chat.

My friend and fellow artist, who bikes everywhere in every weather.

Note the new accessories for the chariot.  My Birthday gift from the y0ungest of my kids. Streamers on the handles.

As you can see from this pic, taken yesterday, when the wind was strong they are also a wind direction indicator!

I am sticking to my new make the back better regime.  At the moment, as it has been for months, I crawl in the morning.  I will have taken 2 painkillers before 6 a.m.  Then 2 around 1 p.m. I have half an hour to an hours nap and then walk.  Much later a glass or two of wine.  This carries me through to the next early morning.  I am also doing a lot of stretching of back.  Still waiting for physiotherapy to tell me what I should or should not be doing, but so far I am just ok.

At the end of the afternoon its down the shedudio and some painting.

One of the neighbouring farms has had a new arrival.

As I said - A GOOD DAY.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My 68th and in the sky an Aurora.

68 ? WHAT?

Today is nearly over.  So is my birthday.  

Still can't take proper selfies. (I deleted 7 before deciding to post this one.)

As you can see I am upright.  And Cait Sith, my shadow, is behind me.

This afternoon nap lark appears to be working.  I take 2 of the Co-codamol at around 6a.m.  then around 2.30 after my half hour - to an hour snooze.  I can take 8 a day but really am agin pain killers where possible.  Then its down the shed for painting.  Back up to the house and a few glasses of wine before bed time.  Which so far, altho the pain is still there  it is vastly lessened.  i.e. I neither scream nor swear.

This beautiful bouquet from daughter number 2 arrived with the post.  

I wish I had taken a photo of the packaging!  It was amazing.  A rectangular box which came in through the letter box!  The larger blooms of Alstromeria and Lilies each had an individual sort of envelope.  Once in the water and food added, also supplied, they began to open up.  All totally out of season but hey, beautiful.

Lots of Artist materials, cards, and facebook messages gave me such a warm feeling.  
Capped by a visit from a friend I dont see that often even though we are about 5 minutes away from each other....She rather interrupted my painting jag, but it will all still be there tomorrow.

Another Mute Swan on the drawing board.  

I am missing my walk along the prom but we have had strong winds for the last few days. Perhaps tomorrow?

As regards the deal with this magazine Your Fraserburgh.  They seem happy with one of the pictures supplied for their front page, the ones for the featured artist have all been accepted.  But I am not holding my breath.  No mention of any payment has been made, and to be honest I am not too fussed.  But for it all come to my work being displayed that really would be the icing on the Birthday Cake.  (No, I didnt get one.)(And I wasnt too fussed about that either.  Roast Pork WITH crackling, which the Scottish Butchers do not do but did this time was wonderful.)

Monday, 20 March 2017

Monday Blues.

The Dawn Patroller went off in his car at dawn today.  On a bird watching jaunt with the RSPB, North East.  They were South of Aberdeen today.

I am sure if you check out his blog you will see what they saw.

I like to see what he sees round the corner and up the lane from our house.

One of the first lambs this year.

Ever present Pheasant.

Brown Hare.

And lots of Roe Deer.

As he was away I made my own breakfast.  Went to Tescos for the paper (and some new clothes and a Take That cd.  Which was £2.50. and played for 1 and a half hours.  A bargain!)  It was strong winds outside so I forgo the walk.

Home, made my lunch.  

Had the back healing nap. ?? 

Then down the shedudio.  Intending to do lots of painting.  However a panic phone call from the publishers of "Your Fraserburgh" meant I spent the afternoon trawling through my paintings as the one they had chosen for the front page wasnt working.......  Ye gods.  When do you think I should start discussing payment?  Hey ho.

Glass of wine with a recorded Midsomer Murders returned the equilibrium.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Hopefully a bit of a break (ha ha) through.

Ah - remember the fractured spine and the compressed vertebrae?  I do.  Well the only advice was to keep moving.  Which as I have documented here - I have.

Today was HELL.  I have had days of excruciating pain.  But I battle on.  Keeping moving. But today I just could not do it.  I was hunched, tottering, it hurt to sit to stand, just everything.  Just imagine having a bath, well bathing, perched on a shelf over the bath.  Twisting. Yow.  Washing your hair stood outside of the bath and leaning over. Ouch.  But I did it.

So - instead of a walk, after lunch, I went to bed.  Something that is totally against all my principles.  If that is what life is about going to bed...... I would rather , well we wont go there.

I got up.  I went down to the shedudio.  I hunched and tottered.  Then I suddenly realised my back was not hurting quite so much.  I stood upright.  Straightened the back !  The knife appeared to have gone.

There was one web site I remembered which said to rest,  in bed.  Nothing about hurling chariots into cars and walking and trying to go further each time.  Hmmm.  Probably chancing fate even talking about it.  But I have not needed a pain killer since 9.30 a.m.

So apart from some painting down the shedudio I watched the garden birds.

The Redpolls have returned. (Common Redpoll.)

As have the Greenfinch, although in vastly reduced numbers.  They are susceptible to an Avian disease.

Siskins also returned.  Having a stand off with a Goldfinch... We have many of the latter all year round.

Siskin won that battle.

The shedudio through the looking glass.  The mirror is on the back wall behind the taps of the sink.  I am still waiting for the joiner to come and quote for lining the walls so I can hang paintings....  Also waiting for the fence/hedge people to quote for the boundary hedge/fence.  But thats the North East of Scotland for you.  Manana.

Lets see what manana brings to the back situation.  

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Saturday sundries

Lovely weather.  Little wind, sunny, few rain spots.

I went for my walk on the Prom on my own.  I managed to load up the chariot onto the back seat of the car.  And get it out again.  Slowly.  But I did it.

Some scary waves.

This chap appears to be carrying a fridge door while wearing flippers ??

I didnt walk as far as I should have.  But did manage more steps into Lidl.  I bought some gardening gloves.  Not sure why.  But now I have to find the secateurs and see if I can kill something.  Pain free to self of course.  Well thats the plan. But there are an awful lot of brambles.  Nature rules ok.  Some are now tapping on the shedudio window - I feel a lot like some fairy story character who was surrounded, in a castle of course, by such thorned brambles, tho I doubt theres a prince charming on his way.  

But then when I came home I discovered the DP(my Prince Charming)  had removed the small shed from whence appears the rats.  We are hoping the lack of 'cover'  will put them off charging in and nicking the bird food.  Yesterday one leapt 4 feet, I kid you not, and grabbed a fat ball. 

Here being used by a welcome visitor.

A Goldfinch waits his chance on the seed feeder.

And a Buzzard high in the sky.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Do not ever lose your sense of humour.

Note to self !

Not everyone appreciates my sense of humour.

I blame my Dad.  Many years ago we were watching a news item on t.v.  It was so windy a man was blown under a bus.  My Dad and I howled with laughter.  My Mother disowned the pair of us.  (The man was unhurt.)

Again no-one was hurt.  But I just found the image hilarious.  As you can see from the rest of the photograph the sea was flat with hardly any swells or surf.  Suddenly there was a wee surge and they both went for it.

I am not sure I was finding lots of things to laugh at today as I had taken two of the co-codamol as I was still in agony.  The pain eased but I let the DP drive the car.....  being a bit high possibly.  I dont know, a 67 year old druggie.  Been a while....I tried pot in my twenties, nah, never again.  But thats what you did in the 60s.    

I discovered a way of getting the chariot into the car by opening the rear door and manipulating the chariot onto the back seat.  Note to self again is to put some blanket onto the back seat to stop it getting covered with sand, mud or worse. (dog poo.)  But this new method could mean a return to my independence......i.e. getting out on my ownsome.

Here is a very large fishing boat.  Being escorted out of the harbour by the Pilot Boat.

Pilot Boat returning to harbour.

I did the .59 of a mile today.  Despite their being no mention of rain on the Met Office forecast and it did rain.  

I also met a dog called Fred.  Who barked non stop.  The man who was with him had stopped to ask me if I was ok as I was taking deep breaths leaning over the railings.  

He then informed me that Fred was not his dog, he was looking after him for two weeks. that he slobbered non stop and barked non stop.  I said  "I expect two weeks is enough then."

If random people share these facts with you when you are halfway up the Path of Doom what are you to do but laugh?!

A Great Black Backed Gull.

And some Skurries - Herring Gulls.  The attitudes of the various sea birds I find amusing.  And why I paint them.

This painting was titled "No Room, no room."

"Oh we - don't - like to be beside the seaside."

So there you go.  If you can't laugh that's the time to give in.  Fortunately I can still laugh. (Even if it did upset my Mother.  And some people with extremely permanently pursed lips, and other parts of the anatomy, I have had the misfortune to be with recently.)

So your sense of humour may not be the same as mine.  But if like me you are battling on then whatever makes you laugh I salute you for laughing.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Back off !

Total agony most of the day.  

I phoned the physiotherapy department to see if I could get some advice as to what I should be doing physically, and more importantly what I should not be doing.  All I have been told previously is to keep moving.  Well when moving causes you to scream loudly....... I was advised to ask my gp to refer me as I would get seen a lot sooner than self referral and they would have access to my medical notes which would obviously help them to advise me.  So I contacted the surgery and - well we will see.

Determined to keep moving, particularly walking as it does help, the DP and I went to the beach.

A breezy day.  The beach was deserted of both humans and sea birds.  This could be down to the breeding season looming.  For the birds that is !

Some of the gulls were lurking out at sea.

Once I got moving and the pain did ease I did the .59 of a mile.

This is what I call the Path of Doom.  When I first started walking I used to look up it and think I will never get up there.  Now its a breeze.  Unless there is a strong one.  

Behind me are the sand dunes which is where I turn.  The chariot doesn't do sand.  Then its back to the car.  Using my tablet I measured the distance and that is .59 of a mile.  If I can do more all to the good.  But that has to on a good weather type day and one when I am not in pain.

A fishing boat returning to harbour.  A load of fish on board, you can tell as to how it is 'sitting' on/in the water.  Empty or few fish the bottom bit of the boat would be sat higher.

Late on in the afternoon I received an email from the publishers of the new magazine, Your Fraserburgh, coming out in April.  They are featuring my work and me as an artist.  They want to use one of my pictures on the front cover.

Happy?  I should say so.  A different back - of our Lighthouse through the Keepers Cottage Garden Gate.