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Friday 9th October 2015

Debby Faulkner-Stevens

So ... it’s a dismal afternoon in October, I have finished working for the day, all the windows are open as the house smells of fresh paint after the amazing efforts of Dave the Painter who is full of the best conversation ever and still manages to work non stop, and I am attempting to write a blog.

I’m a pen and paper person generally: a letter writer and inconsistent diary keeper who always uses traditional writing implements, so here goes with a keyboard and edit facility, which is something my letters and diaries could do with I have no doubt.

I have just received an e mail from the RMS to inform me that my six entries to this year’s exhibition at the Mall Galleries have all been accepted, so I am highly delighted. It’s always an anxious wait. The exhibition was my last major commitment of the year so I have had a short while to sit back and take stock, recharge the batteries and plan new work for 2016. It has also been a chance to do some pieces as gifts for friends and family, and the last few weeks have been special as they have seen the arrival of twins to Amy and Damion, and a seventh wedding anniversary for daughter Chloe and her husband, Simon.

I found some lovely frames in a local interiors shop which were perfect for the babies, and after Googling anniversary gifts ( copper for 7th apparently, or wool, but copper seemed more appealing ) I produced a miniature on vellum for the occasion. Poor Chloe and family. They have drawers full of the things – miniatures for birthdays, for Christmas, anniversary’s, you name it – but she’s far too polite to say, ‘Please Mum, no more!’. At least they are tiny ....

Alan and myself are both nursing colds, punishment no doubt for having four days off in Suffolk last month. Oh, the guilt of the self employed when we have time off. As Dave the Painter says, everyone leaving school should be made to go self employed for two years then they’d understand what working was really about. Dave should be writing a blog ...
Anyway, Suffolk was wonderful. A much needed break after a very difficult year which continues to be hard on all. We stayed in a village tucked away a mile or two from the A12. Quiet, laid back, very few people, the sea twenty minutes away, and I could hardly believe my luck when I was able to book a small Tudor cottage with beams, beams, more beams and a wood burner, so I was in seventh Heaven. A little taste of it popped up in Chloe and Simon’s anniversary miniature.

We do have a beam in our sitting room, but as it’s a plastered over RSG in a rather architecturally uninspiring 1980’s house, it’s not quite the same. Never mind, I can dream, and inside the house is looking fresh and different with it’s newly painted hall and stairs and waiting for us to re hang the curtains and put back our bits and pieces.

Izabella, our granddaughter, had to have time off school this week as she had developed a small patch of impetigo – well on the mend now. She seemed to find it all quite exciting and was keen to tell everybody she had ‘Infa Tigers’. The plus side of this was that I got to spend a whole day with her and we had a lovely day just bumbling about; visiting the printers by the canal in Old Wolverton, waving to a large barge as it slid by, spelling out the name of the pub – she wants to read everything - then to an old school friend of mine who lives just over the road from there in a delightful old cottage full of Interesting Things with a picture book cottage garden, acrobatic squirrels in the apple tree and hoards of great and blue tits swinging on the bird feeders. The house and garden, and my friend, was a great delight for Izabella, especially when she met Bob the Cat with No Tail. Bob was no so impressed with Izabella and left for a secret spot in the garden.

Our apples have all been picked and dropped off to the cider press in Old Wolverton, and Izabella and I planted lots of bulbs in readiness for Spring. Try as I might to explain how long things take to grow, she is convinced they will all be in flower by next week. The grandchildren’s enthusiasm and sheer joy in the simplest of things never ceases to delight and I have the best excuse for being silly, having fun and slipping off in to another world for a few hours when I’m with them. Bliss!

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