Sunday 21 July 2013


Down at the harbour its possible to hire canoes, small boats and jetskis and over the last year we've noticed one or two guys trying to 'walk on water' - usually unsuccessfully

Yesterday we saw this one who seems to have mastered the art of flyboarding which involves balancing on special boots  with a water powered jet pack attached by tube to a jet ski ....  one has to ask why????    but, boys and toys etc

these are what the boots look like when not in use ...

Saturday 20 July 2013


Well, what can I say ..... some parts of the UK have hotter weather than we are experiencing in the Canaries although we have a lovely sea breeze here on Corralejo (its known as the windy island).      Our house-sitters in England report that temperatures in Whitstable are much lower than those we keep reading about in the rest of the UK - the East Coast is much cooler.

This last week has been noisy and busy in Corralejo.    Fiestas del Carmen celebrates the town's patron saint and there have been all sorts of games/processions/fireworks taking place each day including an all night dance locally which we didn't attend (being old and boring) but which we could hear from our house and finally stopped at 6am.

Tuesday was the day that the statue of 'Our Lady Carmen' was carried through the streets then taken out on a boat to sea where the procession followed in whatever would float on water - all sorts of small boats and inflatables were dressed up with flags and flowers and filled with as much beer and and as many people as they could safely carry it seems.    Total mayhem with music blasting all day and fireworks going off - to hell with Health & Safety !!    We watched the fun from the comfort of a beach bar with a nice jug of champagne sangria ... tough life

a few photos ... I did take some short videos which capture the atmosphere better but I can't get the sound to work - may just be the travel computer playing up but I won't know till we get home.

too much excitement for this local


Saturday 13 July 2013

13/07: SLIP SLIDIN AWAY .....

Its been a hectic week fitting in visits to the Mums and extra time at our voluntary jobs with Pilgrims Hospice (to cover for Volunteers' holidays) and helping out at a bit tournament at our Bowls Club today.  So although I'm pleased to report that all the recent commissions arrived safely - Sussex and Singapore, I've got no new arty work to show at the moment ... may have to resort to posting some oldies to fill the gaps over the next couple of weeks LOL

Anyway, we got everything done in the nick of time and we're off early tomorrow for our flight to Fuerte.   I got some housework done - just enough so the house-sitters don't think I'm a total slob LOL

Living at the coast we get a lot of gulls in the area - they are very noisy birds!   They tend to gather on a neighbour's roof, seeming to like it as its the tallest house around ... but I had to laugh at this one's attempts to walk along the edge of ours tonight:

Those webbed feet just aren't built for tightrope walking

hence the title of this post, and now I can't stop humming Paul Simon's song

Monday 8 July 2013


where does the time go?      I'm pleased to say I've just about got over my cold, just an irritating cough left but that is gradually disappearing

Here's my week in a nutshell (in no particular order of events)

Portraits all finished, here are the last four all in cellophane protectors awaiting packing and despatch.   Actually the Springer Spaniel has been despatched today for delivery tomorrow to Sussex.

The horse, labrador retriever and KC Spaniel are being collected tomorrow for delivery in Singapore on Friday morning.      I will be making a post about the shipping agent soon but its too long and rambling to write tonight

 My studio is looking a bit less cluttered now but I'll miss looking at these faces :-)     Over the next few days I'll get the coloured pencil works framed ready for exhibition at Patchings Art Centre in August/September.

I've bowled in a couple of matches and have another match tomorrow morning.    On Saturday I ended up making gallons of tea/coffee for the men in Saturday morning's knock out game.    I'd only intended to drop David off and go home to do something useful.   But the weather was glorious on Saturday and the club is in such a beautiful setting, overlooked by Whitstable Castle, that I really didn't mind hanging around for a few hours. 

I also managed to get a bit of tidying work done in the garden but disaster struck when I dumped some weeds in one of our plastic compost bins.    I haven't used this particular bin for months.    As I dropped the weeds in the bin I heard a loud buzzing noise and looked down to see a bee crawling out from under my armpit - where it had stung me in retaliation for being trapped by my arm.     Wow! it hurt!! 
I thought I'd been stung by a wasp at first but later when all the activity in the bin had calmed down and the buzzing was less angry I photographed the insects from a safe distance - they are definitely bees.

Ironic really, we planted a bee friendly bed in our garden as bee numbers are on the decline and we need them to pollinate our fruit trees.     Obviously we did a good job!!!   Bless!!

Despite the fuzzy picture, I think you can see how much pollen this one is carrying in its 'pollen basket' on its leg.     David was keen to know whether we had a honeycomb in the bin - ie was there any honey to be had ... but I'm not brave enough to investigate too closely

and these little caterpillars are quite spectacular

but seems they turn into very boring brown moths (Mullein Moths)

and, despite not really being a tennis fan, I watched the del Potro -v- Djokovic on Friday afternoon and was glued to the screen.   I had to stop watching halfway through and play in a Bowls match but recorded the rest of the match so I could watch it on Friday evening.    What a brilliant match.

Yesterday morning we visited our Mums and set out early so we could be home by 1pm for David to watch the German Grand Prix on the TV and me to watch Wimbledon on my computer at 2pm.      Best laid plans and all that .... because the weather was good the roads to our seaside towns were busier than usual and an accident closed the motorway.   We took the back routes (along with about a million other drivers it seems) and didn't get home till 2.30.      But we'd recorded the sports so all wasn't lost and we did stop off at a cherry orchard to buy some cherries freshly picked from the trees.    The Kent cherries are nearly 3 weeks late this year because of the late start to Summer.

I should have photographed the cherry pickers - with their traditional ladders but I forgot I had my camera with me.   I think we'd been sitting in the car for so long stuck in traffic my brain had gone to sleep (to say nothing of my backside) LOL

 Kentish cherries - complete with tiny caterpillar that emerged from the plastic box I was holding in my lap and crawled up my arm.  I spent the last half hour of the journey trying to divert it away from me and back into the box till we got home and I could release it in the garden.  

David set up one of the laptops in the garden for me so I could sit in the sunshine to watch the Wimbledon Finals .... He 'buried' the laptop in an upturned plastic box surrounded by various box lids and chair cushions to shield the screen from the bright light.  A bit precarious as it was quite breezy in the garden.   Here on the Kent coast our weather has not been as still/hot as London/Wimbledon - but nice all the same.

One of our resident blackbirds was so pleased to have an audience he sang and whistled his little heart out all the time I was in the garden (had to turn the sound up on the computer at times)!  I did make some mini-videos on my camera but can't work out how to upload them to Blogger just now so you'll have to imagine the scene. 

Today David had to go to hospital.    He has annual endoscopy tests to keep track of a 'problem' he has.  His last test was in April and although he got the all-clear from the Consultant at the time, biopsy results necessitated a call-back for further tests today.    So he has to take it easy for a couple of days, no driving etc and we'll get the results in about 3 weeks.     I don't think the Consultant is unduly worried so just a case of catching any changes in time and adjusting medication I think .... these treatments get done at a private hospital (paid for by the NHS) which is rather nice ... so we get to wait in a private bedroom, and he has excellent attention from an army of nurses and assistants plus a light meal once he wakes from the anaesthetic ...  I just sit around waiting for him as I have to do the chauffering! 

 Just made him an 'invalid's supper' and he's being spoiled tonight!  Make the most of it David - back to normal on Wednesday  LOL!

Tuesday 2 July 2013

02/07: NEARLY THERE ....

Just had approval from my clients for the Labrador/Retriever (Scout) and the Springer Spaniel (Jake) so they will get their 'final tidy up' and fixative spray ready for shipping.  

Jake (the slimmer version)


and another couple of updates on Spice, the King Charles Spaniel  - memorial portrait

More background colour in place here - the lines round the edge are masking tape.    Yet again, its raining this afternoon so I'm struggling to photograph the progress pics.    

I've used lots of blues and mauves to 'lift' the black coat.   In reality the colours are much more subtle than they appear here

So, just waiting to hear what my client thinks so far.   

I'm doing my usual volunteer job at Pilgrims Hospice eBay office tomorrow but hope to finish this portrait on Thursday and then I can really have a proper springclean and get rid of the pastel dust that is coating everything in my studio at the moment.   Once I have a clean working area again I'll put the finishing touches to the coloured pencil drawings ready to be shipped next month to Patching Art Centre (UKCPS Annual International Exhibition).

Monday 1 July 2013


It is only 7pm but the sky is overcast and the house gloomy.   Whatever happened to sitting outside with a glass of wine and enjoying the warm balmy evenings in June/July ??     Thankfully the weather has been quite kind for Wimbledon (Andy Murray just won his match I see) so perhaps I shouldn't complain.   

I have too many portraits here awaiting approval/despatch - the golden retriever (Scout) will go to Singapore with the horse I completed a few weeks ago, and this King Charles Spaniel which is 'on the easel' at the moment.   They are going to different clients but the ladies are friends and are happy for me to ship all 3 together to reduce costs.    Scout hasn't been approved yet, client is in Bali (lucky lady) so can't receive 'big' photo files.

I was asked to slim down the Springer Spaniel a little.   In the ref photo the dog is sitting sideways to the camera but I didn't define the bib area enough so the effect was to make him look a bit too chubby and in reality he is a working dog and very slender.     Just waiting to hear if I've slimmed him too much/little.  Will post the final version when done.

This is early stage for the King Charles Spaniel.

I'm working in Pastel on Fisher 400 sanded paper (again) and at this point I've worked on his eyes and generally started blocking in the base colours.  The portrait is approx A3 size