Friday, 19 August 2011


I've almost finished the current graphite portrait - needs another couple of hours and then I'll email it to my client for approval and find out whether I can post a picture here.   Then its on to a black cat portrait which will be in pastel. 

We're off to a Garden Party now.   David and I are part-time volunteers for Pilgrims Hospice charity.  We help to sell donated items on eBay - photographing, describing, weighing the items etc.   Its fun to do and helps to raise £100,000+ per year towards the £9million it takes to run the 3 East Kent hospices.  This Garden Party is a get-together and thank you for the volunteers so I'm looking forward to meeting some of the other 'behind the scene' peeps.   Fingers crossed for good weather.

As well as having the beach/sea within walking distance we are lucky to live within half-hour's drive to some fantastic historical sites of interest (comes in handy when entertaining guests).   Here are a couple of pictures I took in Rochester earlier in the week.

Rochester Cathedral is the 2nd oldest cathedral in England - it started out as a Saxon place of worship on land donated by Kind Ethelbert in 604AD (but obviously didn't look much like this when built).   The oldest cathedral is Canterbury - 20 minutes drive from our home.

I wasn't drunk when taking these photographs ... it is built on a slope honest! 

and the remains of Rochester Castle - I believe this is the Keep built of Kentish Ragstone in 1127.  I think its amazing that so much remains intact

But for me the most interesting places are those made famous by Charles Dickens who lived/worked nearby.

This is Eastgate House which is an Elizabethan Town House built in the 1590s and featured as the Westgate Seminary for Young Ladies in Pickwick Papers and Miss Twinkerton's School for Young Ladies in the mystery of Edwin Drood (which I haven't read ... must find a copy).   I just love the building.

This building in Rochester High Street was home to Dicken's character  Mr Pumblechook from Great Expectations and Pip (the hero) had a room in the attic.

don't want to overdose on Dickens ... but I found this sign fascinating

so when I got home I 'Googled' the story and its true ... downside is I came across a photo of a letter opener owned by Charles Dickens - it was capped with the preserved paw from his favourite cat, Bob!    Yuk!   I'm not one for saving bits of my pets ... although I appreciate that many people find it comforting to do so


  1. Some wonderful buildings in there Sue. Nothing like a bit of history. The castle looks pretty intact, sadly there isn't a lot left of the one in Bridgnorth but we do have some great buildings...we are a long way from the sea though!

  2. i love old buildings like that, they have such character that you don't find in house now :)

  3. What beautiful old buildings! There's nothing like those buildings here in the States, of course, so thank you for posting for us to enjoy!

  4. Great the East Gate House. I see a painting here!!

  5. I think it did us good to have visitors last week - made us go out and really look at some of the things we take for granted.

    We drive past Canterbury Cathedral every week and barely glance at it!

    Thanks Hmuxo, but although I love looking at them, I'm never inspired to draw buildings, landscapes or seascapes ... I leave those to others :o)


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