Friday 31 March 2017

Battling on.

Doing my exercises.  Is it a good sign my back is in agony ?  Hey ho.  

This morning the DP was off on one of his bird watching jaunts.  Apparently they were too far away to identify.  He then asked me when he last had an eye test.....

As the weather was not that good I thought I would go to Tesco and buy a paper and do some walking up and down the aisles.  Some ££ lighter I drove to the beach and did the .59 of a mile in drizzle and fairly warmish wind.

As I had gone before lunch the tide was coming in and there were all the sea birds, masses of them, hence the wobbly video.. It is wobbly as at the end I am trying to locate the stop recording button.....

After lunch down to the shedudio.  More painting.

The suspicious cat.

The cockerel.

Varnishing.  Took me ages to unstick my fingers.

And more sorting.

After seeing how much stuff had come out of 2 drawers, a lot to go to my Art Group for anyone to use, but still lots to keep, I may have to re think recycling the chest of drawers.  Only emptied 2 drawers so far, and one of them has had stuff put back as I know not where else to put it.  I have finally pinned down a joiner to come and discuss insulating and lining the shedudio - perhaps he will have some inspirational ideas.  

The weekend we have planned to sort and tidy the garden.  This will probably be me saying do this and do that as until I work out what to get off the internet to aid my being able to do anything other than use the chariot and hack at something with me new secateurs is just causing me stress.  And despite me being a total control freak I draw the line at ordering the DP around !  As does he.  

Thursday 30 March 2017

I can be saved.

Not exactly a morning of pleasure. But progress definitely.  Physiotherapist was lovely.  

Lots of questions.  Lots of me moving to see what I could do and could not (lots of swearing.) (From me not the physio.)

The fracture is no longer a problem but the compressed vertebrae are causing the pain now and the core muscles either side of the spine are poor.  So exercises to do and then back in April.  Core muscles?  No idea what they are, will have to Google it.

Walking was approved of so this afternoon I went on my own and loaded the chariot behind the passenger seat which was given the ok.  No way was I going to miss this glorious weather day.  Even the breeze was warm.

Fraserburgh wall to wall sunshine.


High tide again.  Had to stand well back !

Down the shedudio after the walk and a sketch of a cat I intend to paint.

Poor quality photo as it is just sketched.  He is a rescue cat and looks suspicious, nearly caught him but not quite.

Bird watching.

The Lesser Redpolls have returned.  Thrilled.



Right am now off to do some exercises.  If you listen hard you may hear me swear or scream.

Ah I forget, one of the Physios first questions was "What helps."  My answer, "Red wine"  We got along really well after that.

Wednesday 29 March 2017

What did I do wrong?

Yesterday I was thinking I am getting better.  No pain, a few niggles here and there.  I am healing.

Today?  Woke up, stood up, agony.  But not in my spine , to the right of the spine, and in the buttock (bum.)  Possibly the compressed vertebrae?  Whatever it hurt.  

Off to the Wednesday Art Group.  The chairs at Dalrymple Hall were not helpful.  May take a cushion next week.

On the 20 cm canvases prepared with a ground to facilitate watercolour on canvas, I started these two and finished them - well almost - this afternoon.

I went on my own in the morning and managed to load up the chariot and unload and load and unload.  Instead of lifting into the boot and lifting out again, which probably started all this destruction of the spine, I do a bit of lifting into the rear of the passenger seat, tip, which means my pink hooter squeals but I dont.  No pain on so doing.  Just if I tried to walk without the chariot....

After lunch off to the Esplanade and a walk hoping the walk would loosen me up.  The DP insisted on coming with me to do the loading/unloading....for which I was truly grateful.

It was a very high tide.

Breezy and cool.

But as always - a surfer.  And today a good one.  Well he only fell off once.

I didnt do the full .59 of a mile which I aim for. But there is always tomorrow.

Then it was back home.  The DP shot off to the Ythan Nature Reserve to see some birds.  

I continued the sorting of the shedudio and not being able to bend just threw things out of a drawer in the direction of this portfolio effort I had found down the side of the drawers.  Never been used.  So theres a plus. No cost.   Though what I do with it now I know not but the stuff that I threw in to it was paintings, sketches, drawings from years back - well since 2011 when I started painting.  I wasnt that bad then, which was nice to see, although there were quite a few went straight into the bin.

Here is the chest of drawers.  With the portfolio carrier thing hanging off a knob.  I now have one empty drawer.  

The chest of drawers I got from freecycle many years ago.  Isnt it beautiful.  But it does take up a lot of space.  Once I investigate the other drawers and hopefully empty them - watch this space - I shall freecycle it as it is taking up wall space which I hope to utilise for hanging/displaying paintings.

As always while waiting for paint to dry, or waiting for the back to stop hurting I bird watch.  


One of the bully boys a Starling.

Ever hopeful - tomorrow I have an appointment with the Physiotherapy department who and I quote "will discuss your symptoms and agree with you the best way to manage your problem."  Sounds interesting.  

They will presumably tell me what I did wrong.

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.