Saturday 26 April 2008

Lonesome dove with fieldmouse and flowers

We spent most of the week feeling a great lack of energy and doing things that had to be done. I finished the final touches to the prints and prepared to post them off.

We had intended to go to the Chelsea Art Fair as usual, but could not muster up the energy to do it, but hopefully we will next year.
wood or field mouse
While having breakfast we discovered that a field mouse had moved into our window box and had made a small hole behind the geraniums. We watched it running about very fast for a while, and were pleased to see it.

As we have been feeling at a bit of a low ebb we have been watching old cowboy films, and one that we both really enjoy called Lonesome Dove which was serialised on TV. There is one amazing scene where steers are being driven through a storm, and the lightening travels through them, running along all their horns and lighting them up in the darkness.

Joan sent me these lovely pictures from Ontario woods; spring has come at last!

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Biding my time with butterflies

On Saturday I received a parcel of prints from my printers which I did not have time to look at until later. We went off shopping, had a quick lunch.

On returning to the house I found I had received a piece of mail from the hospital which contained two letters; one said I had been placed on a waiting list, and I could be waiting for 20 weeks, and the other letter said I was to be admitted to hospital on the 29th, but would have to check on the day to see if there was an available bed. Feeling somewhat dispirited we spent the rest of the day moping about doing things to pass the time as well as possible till I could check with the hospital on Monday.

On Sunday I looked at the prints of my pictures as there were several that I needed to hand finish, adding gold and silver where appropriate. I also caught up with correspondence and household chores. Toby phoned and we had a long chat about things which was cheering.

On Monday the weather seemed very sunny. I confirmed with the hospital that I had received their letter offering an appointment for the 29th; I did not mention the other letter as I thought it would confuse them further. I spent more time finishing the prints. Mas finished making a support for the roses and clematis in the garden.

The Common Blue Butterfly

Later I went into the garden and saw one of our small trees which is in flower covered with a myriad of flies of various kinds feeding on the nectar. One type of fly I had not seen before; it looked rather like a wasp, but had a black shiny body. I also saw a Common Blue butterfly; the first this year.

On Tuesday we went shopping in the morning and had a quick pub lunch. Diane came over in the evening for dinner as planned, bringing a bottle of very nice French wine which complemented the chicken Mas had roasted, perfectly. Diane had a new hairstyle and was looking glamorous and healthy, but all of us were feeling rather tired and we made an early night of it.

Friday 18 April 2008

An enjoyable evening out.

I received all the prints I had ordered from my printers which was a minor miracle as it had been so difficult to sen

On Friday Monika drove over with the children and Oktay's neice in law. Monika told me the children were asleep, so as she didn't want to wake them she would sit in the car with them till they woke up. Our next door neighbours found this rather odd and kept a careful eye on them.

After a while Oktay arrived, and the children woke up and we soon went off to a Turkish restaurant for dinner. This was a real treat, and we really enjoyed the meal and the conversations and we had some soft fruity Turkish wine that complemented the meal perfectly. We were taken home later, and were sad to see them all leave, but it had been great fun.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Thai lunch and walking with Pete

I spent a few days seeing a few friends and neighbours, but felt that I could not settle down and concentrate as I seem to be in waiting mode all the time.

On Tuesday for want of anything better to do I took a bus ride through Mill Hill and off to North Finchley and back again. Later I caught up with my emails and watched something on TV with Mas.

On wednesday we went as usual to St. Albans; the countryside is coming back to life and looking very fresh. We met Tania and Robert for lunch at the Thai restaurant, and caught up with all the news, our friendly restaurant owner gave us a huge dish of complimentary banana fritters on scoops of icecream. We were so full afterwards that we did not feel like buying much fruit and vegetables from the market.

Thursday morning I was lucky enough to be able to see a doctor as I had got an eye infection, and got some antibiotic drops. Before too long Pete arrived and we had lunch together before leaving Mas to do his tax returns.

We went off for a walk from Elstree across fields, round the golf course and eventually came out in Butterfly Lane. There was a cold wind, but the air was scented as lots of the trees were in blossom. We saw a stately Heron standing beside a small pool, but before I could photograph him he flew off into another field. We did not walk for too long as Pete had to go off to London for dinner.

There are new paths on the golf couse which are made of sea shells instead of gravel. Bluebells are begining to flower too.

Sunday 13 April 2008

Resting , recharging and relaxing

Yesterday we were still feeling really tired. Mas went off and bought things to make an arch in the garden for our roses to hold onto. I spent time receiving phone calls, emails, cards, Woody Allan films, and will soon have a good book to read! In the evening we watched a new sitcom called Pushing Daisies, bur neither of us cared for this much.

Stand Alone socks.

Today Mas set about chaining back some other climbing roses, but was interrupted by heavy April showers which also contained hail and claps of thunder. I made some rock cakes, and finished another pair of 'stand alone' socks.

Friday 11 April 2008

Royal Free hospital visit and relief

Mas and I went to the hospital in the morning, waited a short time, then saw the consultant. The news was good, however I will still need an operation soon.

We left the hospital, and went across the road to a cafe bar called Icons where we had a light lunch. This place has only been opened for two weeks. The first time Mas invited me out to dinner, this is the place we came to. It was called Bunny's at that time, and the restaurant was in the cellar; a candlelit place with classical music. Their speciality was a dessert called Refrigerator Cake, and I always wanted the recipe for this. Mas asked about the cook, thinking as he was so good he must be French, but in fact he came from Liverpool.

After lunch I returned to the hospital for pre admittance procedures, with blood tests, heart assessment and various health history questionnaires to go through. Everyone was very helpful and kind.

When finished with this I went back to Icons where Mas had been waiting for me, and we had a glass of wine to celebrate before going home.

Once home we had a quick nap, then Jana called from Czech, and Monika, then I set about telling people the good news. Afterwards Mas and I had an early night as we both felt exhausted by relief.

Thursday 10 April 2008

Gardening and Pan's Labyrinth

Yesterday was so spring like that we went out and got shopping, then had lunch at The Man in the Moon. Later I did a little tidying up in the garden, and looked at how all the plants were coming along; it is such a pleasure pottering in the garden.

In the evening we watched a very strange Spanish film called 'Pan's Labyrinth' which was very violent, interesting and rather disturbing, but at least we had not seen it before.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Looking like a cat

Today I had a phone call from Monika who was walking and going to pick up her son from nursery.

She told me that her mother had visited a hairdresser who had cut her hair very short( she has had long hair for years), styled it,and coloured it in a lighter colour. In Czech there is an expression that is used when someone looks pretty, they say "she looks like a cat."

Monika's mother had phoned and told them of the hair style, but when she spoke to her grandson, little Milan, she told him she had changed and looked like a cat. Milan began to cry, and said he wanted her the same as before; very confusing for a little chap that loves fairy stories!

I spoke to Diane who was just about to go to her cycle club, and Pete called too.

Mason had been shopping, and was trying to get another lock for the door when he realised that the lock measurements were now in metric measurements and that is why nothing would fit properly. Very frustrating! In the evening we watched a rerun of a TV series, Pie in the Sky.

Monday 7 April 2008

Surprises and scans

On Monday morning the postman bought a surprise parcel from Romy and Toby which contained all kinds of pampering goodies, skin creams, chocolates and lots of special Yogi herbal teas. What a nice way to start the week!

I also received an order for eleven different prints of some of my paintings; the largest order I have had so far!

In the afternoon I went back to the hospital for a scan. The other ladies in the waiting room were all looking nervous and depressed, and some drinking orange liquid. My litre of orange drink was given to me; I asked the lady next to me what it was like, and she said it was OK. I began to drink mine and was surprised when it tasted like orange squash. The lady I had spoken to asked me what I thought of it, and when I replied I would rather have a G&T everyone laughed and agreed, and became more relaxed. I left the hospital feeling weirdly cheerful.

Mas had spent the day trying to change a mortise lock, but none of them seemed to fit properly, and what he had thought would be an easy job was not.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Flying visits, phone calls and snow.

Yesterday Poppy and Ben paid us a flying visit, sadly we could not spend much time together as they had been unexpectedly delayed. Poppy did have time to tell me her good news; she is expecting a baby! Mas took them off to the station in plenty of time for them to catch their plane, and we hope it will not be too long before we see them again.
Monika phoned and we spent almost an hour talking! I did some cooking and made a soup with broccoli, tomato, garlic and sweet potato which was very filling. By mistake we began to eat the nougat (which tastes rather too nice)that Poppy and Ben had given us, while we watched a spooky film (that made no sense at all) on TV. Later I spoke to Diane who has just spent a week away visiting her family.
This morning we woke up to find it snowing.

Friday 4 April 2008

Spring cleaning and spring flowers

I have been doing some spring cleaning, which was very overdue, as well as the usual things. The weather has been lovely today, and for a break I took these pictures :

Years ago we liked these Celandine flowers, and put a few into a strategic place in the garden, but they have spread and grow everywhere now, despite our efforts to control them. I always liked Laurel flowers when I was a child, because they can easily be overlooked, and I thought no one else saw them except me.
We saw bumble bees in our window boxes while we were having our morning coffee; they draw attention to themselves by bumping their heads on the window which seems to be one of the sounds of summer at our house. We also saw a pair of chaffinches in the garden, the female in much more subdued and modest colours.

It is hard to believe that the forecast for the weekend is snow showers.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

St. Albans clock tower and shopping.

Today we went up to St. Albans as usual, but our friends could not meet us for lunch today. The weather was grey and dreary, but the market was bustling as usual. We were rather late so we went to Sazio's for a nice lunch before we collected the fruit and vegetables.
The Clock Tower, St. Albans.

Isis, an interesting shop that sells stones, crystals and fossils. Once we bought a fish, fruit and vegetables we drove home.

Tuesday 1 April 2008

Cut grass, kindness and cat naps

Today has been bright and sunny, and I cut the grass for the first time this year. It is really nice to be able to potter about in the garden again.

I am so lucky with friends and family who have been in touch; it feels as if it is my birthday
I have been getting so much attention! With so many phone calls, flowers, cards, advice and emails I will soon need a secretary! Thank you all.

Joan sent me this picture of Baxter who is soaking up heat on the mantelpiece above the fire; I have adopted him as my guru and will try to be this relaxed.