Ooh la la! 😂
Such a fancy mask😄, ours are the bog standard blue medical ones. Lol.
We haven't been to Giverny, I will look it up and see where that is.
I haven't got round to making the croissants yet, seem to have been more busy than I expected. We have opened the last pot of strawberry jam, I need to make some more.
Hope you are enjoying your day in the cooler temperatures.
I’m not sure if this forum is still up & running ... I suppose the summer period isn’t as “ creative” since we’re outside more. That’s been true for me so I’ve been less “ productive “ than usual.
My chemotherapy sessions have finally finished after a long hard year. I’m now starting a 2 year course of chemo pills, hopefully no more vile side effects...
So, I’ve managed to paint a few pebbles during the summer & just done a little series of cats for various cat-loving friends. I was running out of good flat stones until last weekend when we managed to go to the Mediterranean coast so I collected about 50 & my poor husband Peter kindly carried them to the car.
Im trying not to get disheartened about losing light & entering autumn- which I love when the weather’s fine. We’re lucky in Toulouse as it often can still be quite warm for a while. And then of course we have the build up to Christmas which I love & which makes me feel creative. We’ve officially entered autumn so allowed to use the C word now ! 🎄
Take care, Ali xx
Lovely to hear from you, and it is very good news you have reached the end of chemotherapy. It has been a very long road for you through it, now I hope the tablet meds will be easier to tolerate. It must be very nice to be able to do some 'normal' things without having to keep one eye on the calendar waiting for the next round of chemo.
I am so glad you finally managed to get away for a little while for a short break in the Med. I am sure it was beautiful, relaxing and warm. Lovely that you all, including Chili got to enjoy it.
I love the latest pebbles, they look fabulous, and are so pretty. Yes you are right, things do seem to slow down during the summer holiday season. I have spent most of it in the garden, my painting is sitting on the dining table, waiting patiently! In the last week since we returned from Cornwall I have picked up my cross stitch to do in the early mornings while chatting with Hannah over breakfast.
Today the weather has turned, and as you say 'autumnal' weather arriving. I know it means C can get underway, but I am not ready in my head to make the adjustment yet! haha! Not sure I will be baking much, I have several cakes still stored from last year. I will have to unwrap them and see how they are.
This afternoon, I have spent a couple of hours sorting through family tree stuff, it has been littering the table for far too long. But now I am in a quandary about how to file it all, so many tangents. I recently made a huge breakthrough in Mark's family tree, which was very exciting for me, although he isn't bothered! lol!
I hope you have a good evening, chat soon,
Hi Ali. It must be a relief to have finally finished your chemotherapy sessions and in the circumstances, you are perfectly entitled to look forward to Christmas and to tasting all the goodies. I am sure that Peter didn’t mind taking the pebbles to the car. Your cat paintings are lovely and well worth his exertions. Mary and I will not be able to visit her family this year and so we have written a little Christmas ditty which I am hoping to put to music. I have added it below.
Hi Lou. It is lovely that you are able to keep in touch with Hannah via video link. How did we ever used to manage without that technology?
Mary and I traced her Mum’s family tree back four hundred years. We got lucky because we knew her Mum was born in Leitir Móir, a little island in Connemara, Galway and we went there and found several relatives. Mary’s Mum was the only one who left so the others were still living there and the Catholic Church on the Island had records of all the births, marriages and deaths. It was quite exciting and so we decided to trace some of my Dad’s history. His father was born at Crackpot Hall (yes really) in Swaledale. Here it is, or what’s left of it looking down the Dale. Imagine what that was like in Winter.
We’d love to be home for Christmas
Sharing it with you
Doing all those little things that families always do
The Christmas tree we’d decorate together as before
With silver bells and tinsel, and a wreath on our front door
But this year we know it cannot be, we’ll be so far away
Next year though I’ll be home with the ones I hold so dear
We‘ll have the best ever Christmas and an even better new year .
Love the song Rob !!! 🎄
Good afternoon everyone,
Another beautiful, bright weekend, although somewhat windy. The sunshine has been glorious and the colours magnificent.
Rob, that is a brilliant song, I am sure everyone else will resonate with the words and sentiment too.
Wow!, that is an awesome view, does your family still own the property? It is exciting tracing family back that far, I have done more of it today, concentrating on one person. I managed to find even more info. I do think it is sad that the ones who were alive in my lifetime we never got to meet or spend time with. Their stories that I have been able to unravel are so interesting. I am trying to make contact with the ones who are alive and who are connected to me. It is brilliant how I can do this via the family tree websites, if I see we have the same people.
Good afternoon all,
Chilly today but dry and Mary and I have been out and about -just got home. We are still hunting for furniture we don't have to wait three months plus for delivery but nothing doing yet.
I have started writing the music for the song and I will try and post it when I have finished. Hope I can get it done in time for Christmas.
No Lou, the family never actually owned the property, my grandfather was one of the 'Downstairs' people. I'm not sure who owns it now, but it is actually derelict as there is a lot of subsidence caused by old abandoned copper mines. Crackpot is actually an old Viking term for a cave and the nearby villages of Keld and Muker are also Viking names. I once told the story when I was on a presentation course and everyone thought I had made the name up. It sounds as if you have found some interesting ancestors. Any Royalty, murderers, politicians?
It is really interesting to hear the history of places our ancestors once lived at. I discovered yesterday whilst searching for some details of my great grandmother that she worked at Clarence House as a kitchen maid and lived in one of the servant's quarters houses there! I couldn't find her in a census search with the other family members, but then stumbled across a fact. I do love puzzles! lol.
A cloudy start here, but the early morning light was an eerie orange glow with no visible sunlight. The colours of the garden had an orange hue about them.
Yesterday Phoebe and I rearranged all the kitchen cupboards (food ones), so it is more organised, not sure what is on today's plan..lol.
Hope everyone has a good day too, chat later no doubt.
It's turned cloudy, rainy & cold here today & due to last all next week so I suppose we’ll be stuck inside. Good idea to clean out kitchen cupboards Lou, I’m not courageous/courageous /bored enough yet !
Storm Alex is hitting the Brittany coast tonight, I’m not sure how much well get here in Toulouse. Maybe you’ll get it in Jersey Rob. Batten down the hatches !
I’m really interested in your family tree search Lou, could you advise me on a good website please ? A lovely photo of Swaledale Rob & Crackpot - ha ha ! Vivent les Vikings !
I haven’t done much this last week except cook, a lot of medical appointments ( I need physio 3x a week for my neuropathy), & started chemo pills & steroids on Monday. So far I feel ok, we’ll see what happens when the steroids stop.
I made a huge batch of couscous last weekend so the freezer is full. I love the vegetables & sauce & often have it for lunch as a soup. I’m really trying to eat lots of good things to boost my immunity which is still quite low. At least with the colder weather there’s an incentive to cook nice soups etc & I love all the autumn vegetables. Peter’s making his garlic soup tomorrow which is very tasty & should keep the vampires (& everyone else) away !
Have a good evening, Ali xx
Good morning everyone,
Welcome to a wet, very wet Friday, thank you Alex! Although, for the moment we have a reprieve here, just for a minute anyway 😀.
Ali, love the sheep, very comical and amusing expressions. I love the black slate they are displayed on too, you could start up your own cottage industry there doing these pebbles?
Soups sounds like a great idea, especially when you are still recovering and getting stronger, I haven't actually made or eaten couscous before, I don't know why though!
I hope the physio is proving beneficial for you in reducing the neuropathy, although a hassle going several times a week which must be tiring in itself.
I have been searching our family tree for 5 years now, I have tried several sites, paid membership on all of them then whittled down the ones that I found gave me the most access to records.
I also found free websites, the best one of those is FamilySearch. I also just googled names, literally, with some info I had, and this proved very worthwhile. However I have spent hours upon hours trawling through pages to find information.
I don't know how much you have done, or how far you have discovered, if you enjoy history you will love it!
Have a good day,
Good evening friends. Well, it is good if you are indoors and enjoying a glass of wine in front of the TV. Storm Alex certainly gave us a battering last night and it is just as well that we took our balcony furniture inside before we went to bed. Apparently, it is not over yet and he will be back again with a bang tomorrow. We do miss our old home, but our apartment is triple glazed and we feel safe and snug here.
I am pleased that you are feeling well Ali notwithstanding all the treatments you are still subjected to. There is a Moroccan restaurant in Malaga and couscous and dates figure on the menu in a big way. I would go to Malaga just to visit that restaurant again. I love the sheep too - they are fun.
Hi Lou. How interesting to know that your great grandmother worked at Clarence House. If you are having similar weather to ours, you will have plenty of time indoors tomorrow and maybe you will find some more interesting facts about your ancestors.
I have been doing more painting the last few days, in an effort to relax on purpose 😊 .
I am currently doing a snowy winter picture, which is extreme detailed with minute areas. Methinks it will take a while!
I finished the Monet some time ago, but what with family stuff and Christmas things hadn’t found time to do much.
Here is the completed Monet, I still haven’t found frames for any of the finished ones yet, that will be another project!
Picture quality not the greatest though! Haha.
What other art/craft/ creative thing is anyone else doing?
On the cooking creative front, I now have a soup maker, and made cauliflower soup the other day. It was delicious, only took 19 minutes to cook!!
I love Monet and I think that you have done a lovely job. What with that and the complex jigsaws you do, you must have a lot of patience and a steady hand.
Unfortunately, I have absolutely no talent for making or painting anything intricate or detailed and even Mary has finally accepted that I have no aptitude for DIY either. I love watching the Repair Shop on TV though and gasp in astonishment at the things they restore.
One possible exception for me was cars. My father was a marine engineer by trade and he taught me how to service and fix engines and I was keen to understand how to do that as I loved cars but had no money. Back in the 60s and 70s they were not computerised of course, and it was not too difficult once you understood the principles. Scrapyards were a great source of parts and I still remember my joy at finding an unmarked bumper on a wrecked car which I bough for five shillings. it belonged to a Singer Gazelle and fitted my Hillman Minx perfectly.
Sometime in the late 90s, I bought a classic 60s Riley 1.5 and Mary and I t-cutted and polished it. Mary took the woodwork out, sanded it down, recoloured and lacquered it, and I restored the leather seats. Rather stupidly, I bought a leather colouring from a local shoe shop and too late realised that the seats were a lot bigger than a pair of shoes and the pot was empty in no time. I kept going back for more, much to the astonishment of the saleslady in the shoe shop. Eventually I told her what I was up to and we had a good laugh. The car attracted a lot of attention and we got lots of serious offers for it but I had bought it because I had a sports car and needed a four door for family, shopping and airport trips. Eventually we did sell it and repeated the process with a number of other old cars including a Rolls Royce, but that is another story.
Just thought I’d check in here and see what everyone has been up to lately.
I know most of us have been in some degree of lockdown for a long time now. Creative activities may have taken a back seat at the end of the year with Christmas and other celebrations and the new year brought further restrictions for many.
As many of us know going through cancer and subsequent treatment can make it difficult to concentrate on things, regular hobbies and pastimes have to be suspended for a while until strength has improved. It is a big deal to be able to return to something afterwards and experience the joy of being able to do so. If you are in this part of cancer treatment, I hope that you will soon see better days ahead where you are able and can allow yourself to do the things you once enjoyed or try something new.
I managed to retrieve my cross stitching project and have been finishing it off with the back stitching overlay. Almost done, will post a pic when finished.
I am getting on with my latest painting which is thoroughly relaxing and absorbing.
Has anyone begun any new creative projects, turned their hand at something completely different?
It would be lovely to see and hear about what you have been doing.
Wishing you all a peaceful evening,
Good morning everyone 😀,
A chilly but sunny start here, yesterday we had sun, snow, hail and rain then sun! 🥶😎❄️👋☀️.
I have been doing another painting, since January. Finished it yesterday, I am really pleased with how it has turned out.
My next one is a summer one, something to remind me of sunnier days...
Looking forward to doing this one!
Have a great day, chat later.
Sorry I have been absent for so long. It’s been difficult to concentrate on small writing on my phone due to covid and the extreme tiredness I experienced. I was sent to hospital by Ambulance twice with chest pains and breathing difficulty, the GP sent me, but at last I’m turning the corner! Actually started planting shrubs in the garden last week. They seem to be coping with the recent cold snap.I had to get new specs as my vision had deteriorated a bit so I feel up to reading and just started another paint by numbers, a beautiful cow’s head! My hare turned out well and is hanging in my bedroom. Norm says it’s eyes keep following him haha. I love your latest painting it is really beautiful. The summer one makes you really look forward to the summer and thought of summer holidays!
Really pleased to see that Hannah is home and went to get bread for lunch! Well done to her and hope the good work continues for her.
I hope you are all keeping well and was glad to hear you had your vaccine. Norm and I had our first ones and are hoping for second ones in May. Had a recent cancer scan, blood test and fecal occult test and am pleased to say no evidence of cancer. Whoo hoo!!!!
Love Jackie xxxx🙋♀️
It is lovely to hear from you. Please don’t apologise for not being here.
I am so very sorry to hear you have been having such a tough time recently. I can imagine how worrying it has been requiring emergency care. Thank goodness the GP acted quickly for you and it is good that it wasn’t anything more serious, and it is good you are turning the corner at last.
Wow! Brave to plant out this early 😀, I bought some dianthus but they are sat in the greenhouse still. Mark and Phoebe put a trough together for me which I am going to plant some veggies in.
Today the sun popped its head out and I thought I’d be able to do some today, but then I stepped outside and thought NO!
Instead I have begun my new painting, lol! Watching a gritty crime drama on Netflix called Seven Seconds. Brilliant!
I think your cow will look fabulous, I can imagine the finished picture if in the same style as the hare which is brilliant! Well done for actually getting it up on the wall, I still have to sort mine out for putting up, haha.
I have had my first jab, hope it won’t be long to get the second one. It is just Phoebs in our house waiting for her first. Hannah had hers in hospital. She is trying her best, is still going as a day patient during the week. It will take a long time, but she still says she wants to be free of it, so that is positive.
Did you manage to see the family over Easter, I think it is still the holidays isn’t it?
Fantastic news about your recent scans and tests, so pleased for you! Always worth celebrating 😀😀👋🍾.
I hope the rest of your week goes well, chat again soon.
Love Lou xx
What a gorgeous painting and no wonder you are pleased with it. It has a lovely Christmas look to it which reminds me that I eventually finished my Christmas song too late for Christmas. Ah well, I’ll use it this year - only eight months to go. 🤣.
It is great to hear that Hannah is still working so hard to find a way through. It must be lovely to have her home in the evenings and at weekends.
I am sorry to hear that you have been having such a tough time Jackie, and thank goodness you are turning the corner. Terrific to know that there is no evidence of cancer.
I have been working on how to accompany a singer/soloist on the piano without music and to that end I have memorised a number of progressions and popular patterns. I have been surprised and pleased to realise how many different songs work with so few progressions and I have learned an awful lot from free lessons posted on YouTube.
I really admire both of you for having the patience and skill to do the painting. I am still on matchstalk men, but hey, if it’s good enough for Lowery. 😉
Hi Lou and Rob,
Thank you for your replies yesterday. Was lovely to read them. I am just going for another stint of painting lounge walls. Norman has holiday to decorate so I am helping him a bit! I will reply properly later on.
I went to our post box and saw these lovely little bees on top of it! Brought a big smile to my face! Hope it does to you.
Hello Michelle, Ali and Margy been catching up on all the news!
Have a good day all.
Good morning everyone😀,
A beautiful day here so far, I love seeing the sunshine.
Ahhh Jackie that post box is so lovely, looks like someone put a hat on it as well as the bees! I hope the decorating is going well, I said to Mark the other day our bedroom is next on the hit list, but I am being very flexible in that decision. Feel like we have enough on our plates at the moment. Haha.
Rob it is brilliant you have finished the song, will you record it? And you have been studying too in how to accompany others. Impressive!
Painting is a real escape for me, sat here with coffee, gearing myself up to get in the greenhouse and finish preparing my new trough, but my painting is sat in front of me and keep looking at what I could do next on it. Lol!
I hope everyone has a good day,
Good evening everyone.
Yes Lou, I will record the song but there is plenty of time and I may tweak it a bit before I do. I am planning to score it properly and I have found a really good app which I can use. I just connect my keyboard to the computer, open the app and play. The app recognises the notes and automatically creates a score as I play. The best bit is that I can later correct any mistakes by using the mouse to move wrong notes without having to start again. I know it is cheating, but it does save time 😂. I guess you can’t really cheat with your painting, but isn’t it lovely that you have the ability to do something which gives you and other people such pleasure.
Oh Jackie. Those bees are fab. It is great to know that someone has put them there for people to enjoy and also that no one has taken them.
Rob, I don't blame you using technology to help you, its a great idea. I am sure many good songwriters and musicians use the technology these days.
I think some would say I am cheating in the painting, but I don't think so, I want to do some customised ones too, Mary took a photo I think that would look fabulous as a painting.
I started the new one, it has even more detail than the others, but it is so relaxing.
I hope you've had a good day,
Oh, I wonder which one of Mary’s photographs you liked.
My youngest sister is quite a talented artist, as far as I know anything.😁 She joined Mary and I in Malaga a couple of years ago and took us to the Museo Picasso there. I was struck by the variety of styles Picasso used during his career.
I love Malaga, it has everything, shops, cathedral, museums, beaches and fab restaurants. My favourite museums are the Automobile and Fashion Museum and the Interactive Music Museum. The latter is fantastic housing over 1,000 different instruments. It is different from most museums which have messages prohibiting us from touching the exhibits inasmuch as the motto is just the opposite, "please play them".
Here we have John Lennon’s Rolls Royce and a selection of musical instruments.
Good morning Rob,
Wow, that is a stunning Rolls Royce! How amazing there is a museum encouraging people to interact and have a play on instruments. I can’t imagine that happening here for a second, I can just see the damage now!
I have a very old zither here, I did used to have a go playing it when I was younger, but not seriously. I perhaps should go on a treasure hunt in the garage to find it and get it out again! Haha. 😀
@Anneb @RobertA @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles @Lesley @JerseyBob @jacksprat_x1 @Jimjam
I had been a while since we have chatted on our creativity spot! 😀
I have recently finished another painting, will post a picture. The lovely warm weather slowed my progress for a while as I concentrated on being in the garden as much as possible.
Has anyone got any creations to share?
I hope you are all doing well, I know some are in treatment which is very gruelling.
Hope to chat soon,
@Sunshinedaff @RobertA, @Nixster , @Chilali1531 , @jacksprat_x1
Good morning all,
I hope everyone is doing ok and Ali, that you are recovering from your stay in hospital and treatment. I have had to rest up quite a bit as my joints have been really playing up, particularly my right wrist which is a nuisance but slowly improving.
I thought you might like to see my latest oil painting. During lockdown an artist/tutor called Bob Ross has been on TV doing demonstrations so this is my take on his style which I thought would be easy - nothing ever is as easy as you think though is it! He usually puts trees in the foreground but I decided against it on this one. The mountains and rocks were done with a palette knife which was quite fun.
Lou, how are you getting on with your latest work of art?
Jackie, well done on the stones, looking good!
Love to all
@Sunshinedaff @RobertA, @Nixster , @Chilali1531 , @jacksprat_x1
Good morning everyone
First, let me apologise for not being in touch for so long! I have been having real problems with my rheumatoid arthritis and have been up and down with various doses and types of steroids which have made me have several adrenal crises. I have now had a ‘global’ steroid injection and am waiting for that to properly kick in and relieve the swollen ankles etc - I have one pair of shoes I can wear!! Anyway, I should not complain as I have recently had my 6 monthly PeT scans and there is now no cancer to find (whoopee) although my Oncologist says that it is likely it will come back at some point in the future so will move onto CT scans 6 monthly so will not need to have the radioactive injections for the PeTs which always made me feel peculiar afterwards.
The previous note was done some weeks ago but for some reason I didn’t post it so have done so now.
I have been skimming through all the posts from you lovely people and admiring your paintings and photos which are super. I particularly like your winter picture Lou. When our daughter lived in Pennsylvania, I loved the cardinal birds which came into the garden - they are so pretty. It seems like we have all had our problems over the last months with the pandemic not helping any of us and I do hope that we all have better times ahead.
We have been to Norfolk on a cottage break for a week and more recently to Devon but I have never seen so many people there considering it was before the schools broke up. Other than that we have been keeping on top of the house and garden which was beginning to look like a jungle (!!) and not much else as I have had such little energy. However, have now started an oil painting of a bluebell wood which I am doing in short stints and enjoying. I did manage to get another cardigan knitted for Alice, the 4 year old granddaughter which was in random wool, mostly pink and white, which she loved. Our son and family went to Suffolk on holiday and our weeks overlapped so we were able to need meet up with them (at Bressingham Gardens) for the first time since Christmas 2019. Geoff and I waited for them in the cafe and when Alice saw me she came running with her arms out for a big hug saying “Nana, nana, nana!” It was a very special moment. Our little grandson, Thomas, who was 20 months obviously did not remember us at all and was very shy but after another visit down to London to see them he is gradually getting used to us now.
Rob, I know Swaledale as used to live in Nidderdale and had days out in that direction. It is very picturesque there with some snow but soooo cold and I could not imagine living there in winter. We did a lovely walk from Muker several years ago when staying in Askrigg (another Viking name?) and just love that whole area - for a holiday!! Geoff’s favourite memory of that holiday was our visit to Hawes and trying out the various Wensleydale cheeses!
@LouiseJ @NanaBubbles @jacksprat_x1 @Chilali1531 @Anneb @Sunshinedaff @Lesley
Good evening dear friends.
A zither Lou! I remember an Australian lady called Shirley Abicair who used to sing and accompany herself on a zither. I seem to recall that you play an instrument. Was it the flute or maybe the Violin? Next stop, the zither.😀
I love your painting. It is really vibrant and reminds me of Estepona Old Town and how much I would like to get back there and to Malaga which is a fascinating City with something for everyone. I am still plugging away with my Spanish studies and the prospect of going back to Spain is keeping me going.
Oh Michele. I am so sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your rheumatoid arthritis and steroids. Unfortunately, the steroids come with a price and I also have just one pair of shoes I can wear, along with compression socks. I am now on a biological treatment and I self inject weekly. The plan is that I can reduce the steroids proportionally. Is that an option for you?
Your oil painting is absolutely wonderful and Bob Ross would be proud if he had painted it himself.
How lovely that you were able to see your son and the family after nearly two years apart. It must have been a very special moment when you finally got together again.
Haha, no wonder you are good at knitting as you would certainly need plenty of cardigans and sweaters for winters in Nidderdale. Yes, as I understand it, Muker, Keld and Askrigg are all Viking names.
Well, I cannot paint a wall much less anything else but I am an enthusiastic amateur film maker. Mary is a gifted photographer and we have in the past filmed weddings, birthdays and other special occasions, mostly for family and friends. I have attached the opening credits for the film I made of a wonderful trip round New Zealand which Mary and I made a few years ago.
New Zealand 2014 Intr
IM IN...After so long. I cant work it out. I never log out but it rejects me for weeks and wont register my email or password.
Maybe it is covid.
I loved reading all the letters. You are all so talented. Great to pass time when you are not well and struggling to get by each day.
Sorry i couldnt put in your names to contact you all in my letter.
It wouldn't let me😲😲😲
The boys have been craftly and adding to our deck. Ill send photos after if i can get in. So at least they are good with their hands.
Does cooking count💖💖💖im good at that🥞🍞🍔🍗🍳🥗🍲🌯🍦🍡🍰🍮☕☕☕
I am into my 3rd week of being full time....what did i do....🤣🤣
I must admit when i got breast cancer i only had 2 weeks off. 2 operations you see.
I worked full time thru all the treatments.must have had rocks in my head.
But i was the Manager of a Newspaper, so didnt have a choice .
It did keep my mind off being sick, then i would get home after treatments at night and die
Get up 5 days a week and do it all over again🤣🤣
As i said, had rocks in my head.
Well i hope you are all surviving and being crafty
@Blanka_C @Anneb @jacksprat_x1
Good evening Margy,
I am so sorry you are having problems getting in, Jackie mentioned she too had difficulties. Blanka, has something changed since the changeover that would cause this problem?
Margy, of course cooking counts! That is very creative, the bonus is you can eat your creations!! take some photos and show us next time! Yes, Pete and Beau are very creative in the home renovations department! 😁
I can imagine you are feeling fatigued with the new hours, bless you. But are you now more Mon-Fri, and get weekends off now? How is Pete's new job going, is he still enjoying it?
Wow! There is no way I would have been able to cope with working throughout my treatments etc, you are Superwoman!👸🧙♀️ I know though what strength of character you have, and determination! 😀.
I do hope you are having a good weekend, look forward to chatting soon,
If you'd like to know more, please email [email protected] with any questions or suggestions