The cold is seeping in….

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This is the first day of spring, but it feels like mid winter. Our house isn’t that well insulated and if it gets cold it stays cold, high ceilings means that the heat rises and warms the upper part of the room before it gets to us down here on the floor. The wind is gusting from the north and whistling through the gap round the seal in the front window and kitchen. We had new windows put in, but I guess they were cheap, all we could afford. The front door slams when you go through it because they measured it wrongly, so the top sticks out more than the bottom, giving it a very strange cant.

The North Wind cools the house, rubs the heat away as it pushes past the walls. Out kitchen bathroom extention only has thin walls. It really needs an insulating layer outside, but instead ivy is taking over and a wisteria has been planted at the end. Plants don’t keep us warm, but the blackbirds like to nest in it.

Now I’m cooking our evening meal, the heat from the oven adds a little to the warmth. I could microwave the food, but the gas cooker gives a bit of extra heat.

One day it will be warm outside, the leaves will grow, and we shall have spring and summer. X

Today’s drawings

Those of you who follow my blog know I’ve been drawing my surroundings from the safety of my own home.

Today’s challenge was gardening. I chose to draw some pots and a flower bed in a sparkly amathyst colour brush pen. It includes cyclamen, tete-a-tete narcissi and foliage from geraniums and poppy plants. The sun was shining again today, but there was a bitterly cold wind, not helped by the neighbours behind us that had cut down two trees that had acted as a windbreak.

The second drawing is a quick sketch of the stray cat, Woody, who is doing fine sleeping in the shed and roaming the garden by day.

Thanks USK Stoke-on-Trent for the challenge x

Robin

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Robin painting from November.

I was reading about Robins on Facebook today where I read this that a friend had posted:

She  I looked up ‘what does it mean if a Robin visits?’

Meaning found: If a robin keeps visiting you in indicates good luck. According to myths and legends, Robins appear once a loved one has died, Allegedly, it’s a simple message from heaven; that this loved one is watching over you. Robins also appear spiritually, to remind you to uncover the happiness.
Robins are also associated with the end of an old phase and the entering of a new one. To see Robin means you need to let go of what no longer serves you and find something else to bring you joy and happiness. The Robin bird is encouraging you to be brave again.

I don’t set much store in old wives tales, but this is sweet. In such a difficult world its good to remember the nice things. We have at least one Robin in the garden, bustling around, finding food. He’s very welcome along with blackbirds and blue tits. I must make an effort and try and get some photos….

Dorothy Clive garden

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Just had an email from the Dorothy Clive Garden, explaining that they are closing due to government advice.

It’s a lovely place on the border with Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. It is a magical garden on a steep slope. If you get a chance when things have calmed down do go.

This is what I wrote back to them…

We visit to come and see the wonderful rhododendrons in the quarry garden every year, and have been enjoying watching the ecology section being created. Then the rest of it is just wonderful when it’s in full bloom. I love sitting outside the cafe and drawing the view, or walking down the steep slope towards the pond. Watching goldfish as they quietly go about their lives under the surface. 

Ive been visiting over several years. When I was fit I used to cycle over with my husband.

I have a very overgrown small garden with lots of trees, but we have some amazing geraniums that have spread everywhere. We got them from you a few years ago.

Hoping for a speedy resolution to the current situation.
Sincerely

 

Hydrangea

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New plant for the garden, although its really too cold to go directly into the garden at the moment. Hydrangeas change colour depending on the acidity of your soil. I don’t remember which way it is, but they either turn blue or red depending if the soil is acid or alkaline. You can do a pH test if you want to. The flowers appear as florets, lots of little flower heads spread across the bloom. There are different sorts, some with small flowers which looks like lace, others are chunkier, some are flat headed, others have rounded bunches of flowers. Leaves are large and usually mid to dark green with serrated edges to the leaves.

I remember the pink hydrangea in my Grans garden, it was pink with huge heads of flowers. I did a painting of her in front of the plant. I will have to try and find a photo of it.

X

Fruit

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Just found out I have been offered an exhibition at the Waiting room gallery in April. The theme will be gardening, green men and women and spring, but I also want to do colourful work. I’ve been going around looking for subjects in the house as the garden isn’t growing yet, just a few buds.

The light was streaming in through the kitchen window and illuminating all the fruit my hubby bought yesterday. So I took a photo of it.

I will try and get some more interesting shots later. At the moment a neighbour is cutting down a tree, so I’m staying out the way. The sound of chainsawing doesn’t fill me with confidence!

Broccoli

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It’s a particular type, but I can’t remember what it is called. Something like romancero…? Not sure. Anyway I think its spirals are based on fibonacci numbers. You see the same pattern in flower petals or the seeds on a sunflower head. These remind me of fractal patterns and apparently there is computer code you can use to draw patterns like the Mandelbrot set. A attern out of chaotic numbers. Nature is amazing!