Friday, 31 July 2009



imageHow cute is this? Yes, I have at last embraced the portable music fad but, with a very sensible purpose – honest.

It occurred to me one morning whilst laying in bed checking my e-mails(!) that if I heard any music with a strong beat – especially Rock & Roll tunes from the 1950’s I found it impossible to keep still. I wanted to take to the floor and jive away as I used to when I was in my teens.


Sadly, not only would this look ridiculous I would probably collapse after the first verse.

BUT ……………………………….

I could listen to this music secretly on an IPod and I would then be able to dance around the house to Jailhouse Rock or Twist & Shout without attracting the attention of the white coat brigade and I might even loose a couple of ounces.

This is still very much a work in progress though. It took me 15 minutes to open the box which was covered in a type of cling film which was virtually invisible.

Then I read the instructions which, for some unknown reason are as minute as the IPod itself. Glasses on; glasses off – which was easier?

Eventually plugged this dear little pink thing into my computer, an orange light flashed on & off which I assumed meant it was charging and after several hours the light turned green. Mission accomplished I guessed.

Next step to find the music I want & transfer it to this teeny weeny device. To think we thought transistor radios were small!

That is enough technology for one day – I will let you know when I am up and (Running) – dancing.


Summer In England 31/07/09

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Summer In England - 30/07/09


They promised us a BBQ summer. Mike NEARLY got it out of the cellar but, after the last two summers, he decided to leave it to the spiders & mice.

Anyway, IF we got a nice day we could always use the George Foreman.

Have we needed it? No! Apart from the last week of June and the first week of July ( when I was stuck indoors watching Wimbledon) there hasn't been any summer.The beach hut has been up since the beginning of April but has remained locked and alone.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Baby Girls = PINK!

phoebePRM This is a card I made for Phoebe ( our grand daughter) .

Of course, I did her Christening invitations



Finally a computer drawing of this little beauty aged 4 months

phe phe2

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


All of these were painted on the computer using a conventional mouse or, in later times, the integrated mouse on my laptop. I did buy

a tablet but found it more difficult trying to use a mouse on a flat plane and look at the monitor.

I use various programmes; I started with Microsoft Publisher. Then Adobe Elements and currently Serif DrawPlus and PhotoPlus.

boatat sunset

Coming home. This is the theme of many of my pictures; I must have been a sailor in a previous life.


here is another.

I love the sea having lived near it most of my life so it is not surprising that it features heavily in my work.

beach copy


castleby sea copy

Angry skies are another passion

Gallery 055

Storm copy

I hope you enjoy looking at these and I will post more another day. Still to come, abstracts, sunsets and…………………… COLOUR!


Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday Precious Sunday

Sunday is family day – no arrangements made until we know whether the family are coming.

Today was quite unusual – completely out of normal routine.

Toby slept over last night ( got up at  5.46 I might add) but I went back to bed and did not get up until after nine when our daughter’s partner, Paul  arrived. The reason for the early call was that yesterday I smelt gas. I had smelt it on & off for months but his Lordship said that he couldn’t smell  it – it must be me!

Right, Don’t argue JJ just accept, as always,  you must be wrong. However, this time his lordship did ask Paul to come check it & guess what????? Yep, we had a leak. BTW, Paul is a plumber and a damned good one too.

paul So, this morning he arrived to sort the leak and I got up to cook full English breakfast for him & Toby & Mike and I got the leftovers.

The kitchen was in turmoil but he soon found the leak and started to rectify the situation. Toby and I wandered down to the  fish pond and weeded out the weed so that we could actually see the fish. The golden Orf are huge – big enough to eat ------- if you could eat your own babies that is.

pond Then we went to the secret garden the other side of the hedge. This is quite wild as there is a steep drop into the woods and a small area has been cultivated to deter the wood spreading into our garden. A very special spot – sheltered from the wind and very quiet it is also usually extremely warm but, not today – freezing for July. Toby found an ants nest which engrossed us for quite a while;

 ants we watched the ants transporting eggs to the nest and the interaction between the ants and woodlice which also appeared to live there.

ants 1  Toby reckoned they spoke to each other as the woodlice allowed the ant to crawl over him! The joys of innocent youth! We also saw some bramble flowers – we must remember where they are and check for blackberries in September.

brambles By the time we got back to the house, the leak had been found, plugged and everything was being put back to normal. Then Emma arrived with Oli & Phoebe and the boys washed and hoovered Mike’s car for pocket money. Oli has a girlfriend! She is high maintenance! He has spent £15 on texts this week alone – nightmare.

They returned home for lunch but came back at 1.30 as they were all going to see the latest Harry Potter movie  and we were babysitting Phoebe.

Harry-Potter-6-pic3 She had fallen asleep in the car, Paul carried her in & put her on her duvet and Mike taxied the others to the cinema.When he returned Phoebe woke up, he picked her up and she promptly fell back to sleep in his arms.  Now don’t tell Emma but she slept for over 2 hours – easy peasy baby sitting that eh?

During her sleep I managed to cook our dinner in the  new Halogen oven

product-6615372 but when she woke up she wanted to sit at the table and watch me. She enjoyed some cooked bacon and then asked for cheese which I was grating for the cauliflower cheese and she actually refused chocolate buttons. That’s my girl!

They all got back from the cinema after a good film if a bit long and picked up Phoebe and went home. All, that is except Toby who asked to stay for a second night. Fine, I said, love to have you but ------------------- you take a clock to bed with you and you don’t get up until after 7.30!

We’ll see. We have had dinner and he is now in the shower – children especially grand children are such a Blessing.


Friday, 17 July 2009



BOUGANVILIA So pretty and delicate I wish I could grow it on our deck in Torbay.

This photo was taken in the mountains of Spain and of course we had to stop and investigate. It was a wonderful traditional bar miles from anywhere and we approached with some trepidation as our Spanish is not good!

A man appeared, I started to speak when I heard him say – in a strong Birmingham (UK) accent - “WOT CAN I GIT YUU?” LOL.

A lovely lazy afternoon was spent on the terrace, with a carafe or two of wine, enjoying the views to the valley below.

This beautiful flower was growing up the wall.


That evening we watched a pretty pink sunset in Calpe


Followed by an even prettier sunrise next day

Sunrise - 9 Oct @ 8.23 a.mAdios from JJ

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A Day On Dartmoor

It seemed strange to be on the Moor without a dog bounding around which is why I suppose it has been so long since we last went. For many years it was our favourite place to take the dogs who loved the freedom to roam and dive in and out of the river Dart.
This time we went with two good friends and I chose a relatively easy walk for this first time.

We parked at Dartmeet and started off up the cart track into the wood. On our right was a pond covered in white flowers.

imageI have never seen them before and assume they are wild water lilies but I could not get close enough to really see them clearly. They had very pointed petals and probably only 3 – not sure. Here is a photo which looks like white butterflies sitting on the water.

image On leaving the pond we crossed over a common and into a small woodland. I was delighted to find some late bluebells still flowering and the smell was simply lovely.The path led us on to the river which was flowing very fast over the boulders and crashing onto the pebble beaches.


The trees were coming into bud, little bright green shoots promising full cover in a few weeks time. From here the path became very uneven and I had difficulty walking despite having resurrected my Timberland walking boots from the bottom of my cupboard. Problem solved quite easily by finding a stout stick which gave me confidence to carry on. For some reason I have this idiotic fear of falling and, at times, find it very difficult to take that next step. Stupid! However, when the path disappeared up an almost vertical bank I suggested we make our way back to civilisation.
This is a circular route and we followed the river bank back to the common.


We passed some ponies grazing leisurely completely oblivious of our presence and they didn’t mind sharing their paddock with loads of moles by the look of it!
We passed a man with two dogs – one a pointer, who loved the water and a red setter – who didn’t. That brought back so many memories of our dogs as we also had one who loved the water and another who was very wary. Sophie would bound off as soon as we opened the car boot, heading for the nearest stretch of water whereas Sam was happy to walk beside us.

P1000640 Sam on the moor in August 2006. His last visit.

I remember one day when Sophie took off; we weren’t worried until we got to the river bank and saw how fast the water was flowing. Fabulous if you had a canoe and a crash helmet but extremely dangerous otherwise. She was nowhere to be seen and we did fear the worse. We ran down the river calling her and looking anxiously in every nook & cranny & then we spotted her – letting the current take her into the bank where the water flowed more slowly and she scrambled out to safety. One of many times that she gave us cause for concern.

We made it back to the car, took our lunch out of the boot and picnicked by the river. Nothing special but very enjoyable out in the fresh air and the sun warming our bodies.

After lunch a short drive on to Widdecombe and we stopped at The Rugglestone Inn.

image What a fabulous pub made all the better (according to Mike & Barry) because they sell Real Ale. I loved the setting, a gentle stream runs through the property and the walls were covered with wisteria.

imageMany years ago there was not really a bar, just an open window where you asked for your drinks. It isn’t much bigger now inside but the landlord has made the best of the outside with ample seating for those wanting to eat and there were cockerels, ducks and geese walking around enjoying the scraps.
A home cooked menu of locally sourced produce is extensive and offers a broad range for all tastes. Examples include filled jacket potatoes from £3.25 and fresh fish and meat dishes from £7.95.
The bar is well stocked with real ales, farm cider and a comprehensive wine list. The real ales are served straight from the barrel and include a different guest beer every weekend.
After a lovely day on the moor we set off for home vowing to return as soon as possible.

Friday, 10 July 2009

PINK SATURDAY - number 2

I cannot resist posting my grand daughter’s favourite items of clothing -


Yes her pink wellies. She even insisted ( at 12 months old!) that she would wear them to her friends birthday party. They looked lovely with her party dress.


These are her favourite shoes with little pink flowers on them.Can you believe that at such a young age she has a shoe fetish. I only hope JimmyChoo doesn’t do pink.

phoebe pink copy IMGP0004

I cannot resist posting a photo or two of the little madam – in PINK of course.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Early Photos

My venture into art really started when I got my first digital camera and started taking photos of flowers. Yes, I painted at school and I have always loved Art and colour but during the years of working and looking after my family there never was enough time to indulge my artistic feelings. 

Lilies – one of my favourite flowersGallery 043 











Gallery 033

Camellias another favourite   and I have several different species in my garden










Who can ignore beautiful roses











A sunflower

Gallery 030 

And a Tulip open to the sun

Gallery 031


Friday, 3 July 2009


My first Pink Saturday post is my pastel drawing of a rose. I am new to pastels but was quite pleased with the result.

pink sat 1I initially drew one rose and then copied it on my computer to make the actual picture.

A blend of traditional and new techniques.


Wednesday, 1 July 2009


It is two years tomorrow that we had to take that one way trip to the vet that all pet owners dread.

Sam had been failing for several weeks despite umpteen trips to the vet and loads of dosh and we knew that we could not watch him suffer any longer.

I stayed and cuddled him whilst he went to sleep but Mike was too upset. We walked out feeling bereft and that dreadful sorrow stayed with us for months.
Get another dog we were told and I would have got one like a shot ( still would) but Mike said that pets are too much of a tie, we are not getting any younger and mobility is an issue for both of us. I know he's right but we have had pets all our married life. I certainly don't miss the mess, hair everywhere and the "smell" but I would happily have that if we could have Sam back.

A wonderful dog. The best ever. He was clever, obedient, handsome and great with everyone. what more could you ask?

This poem was written by a friend at the Spiritualist Church and I love it even though it is sad.

If it should be that I grow weak
 and pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you must do what must be done
for this last battle cant be won

You will be sad--I understand
 don’t let your grief then stay your hand
for this day more than all the rest
your love for me must stand the test

We've had so many happy years
what is to come can hold no fears
you'd not want me to suffer so,
 the time has come, please let me go

Take me where my needs they'll tend
and please stay with me to the end
hold me firm and speak to me
until my eyes no longer see

I know in time that you will see
 the kindness that you did for me
although my tail its last has waved,
 from pain and suffering I’ve been saved

Please do grieve it must be you
 who has this painful thing to do
we’ve been so close all these years
don’t let your heart hold back its tears.
D Howard