Monday, 31 March 2008


this weekend
memories did flow
of this and other days
where did they all go?

back and back i went
to a time long ago
when life was so hell
and time was so slow.

though i remember
i try hard not to show
where we all went
and how much we know.

what's it all about?
yet still we must grow
the reasons are few
too many are foe.

mind how you live it
before you can know
life is all gone
soon be dust and be woe.

Cactus Monday and Giggles #47

"Miss me?"

I didn't have much time this weekend, so have combined both for today.

Happy Cactus Monday cactuteers.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Giggles #46

Listen to your inner self. Which one?

Homage (IF)

I want to pay homage to (probably) the only person I really admire in this world.
Having been born in South Africa (the same year as Apartheid was born), and lived there for 38 years, I have many (not too happy) memories about growing up there.
Nelson Mandela is the one of the finest statesman ever born, an intelligent, warm, compassionate, friendly man. I've seen him in person but not met him.

Happy 90th birthday in July Madiba.

(I painted this about 4 years ago, and wrote this last year.)

Saturday, 29 March 2008










Giggles #45

"Oh hell, I haven't had my prozac today!"

Friday, 28 March 2008

Giggles #44

We've all been talking about the weather lately. Is it spring or what?
So, I drew this and called it:
'British Weather'

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Breast Cancer

Mary asked us to post a link to a site that has something to do with breast cancer/any cancer, and to tell our stories.

From 1980 to 1984 I lost 12 members of my family, all from some form of cancer or heart problems. None of them reached 60, none died of old age in their beds. I don't know what it's like to have an aging parent, and have (understandably) a fear of death and dying.

I myself have had seven operations in the space of 3 years, (4 in 2003 ),all for joint and tendon problems, and one for a slipped disc. I have high cholesterol and I am tested every six months for impending glaucoma.

So, when I turned 60 last month, it was a HUGE milestone for me. And I celebrated with my family for 2 days, thinking of all those who hadn't made it to this age.

I try to live each day to the full, and to treasure all the fun and laughter that I can. I try not to worry about my lousy genes and I applaud people like Mary who have been to the edge and come back again. Do read her blog, it's entertaining, very insightful, and makes me think.

Please click on this site every single day (as I do) to give a free mammogram to someone less fortunate than you are.

It doesn't take a minute of your time!

Giggles #43

"My parents said.... I could be anything I wanted, so I became an asshole!"

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Animal Wednesday

I painted this while I was teaching out in Kuwait. I like camels. They are such slow and cumbersome creatures, placid, gentle, and reassuringly big. They seem to lumber through life without a care in the world.
And I think they are even good-looking.
Happy Animal Wednesday Mim.

Giggles #42

"I'm confused. No, wait......maybe I'm not!"

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Giggles #41

"Instead of crying, we can program your choice of 200 fun ring tones!"

Word verification (IF)

This is another peeve I have at the moment, the word verifications on blogs.

After writing a very satisfactory comment, filled with bonhomie and good vibes towards all mankind, one is assualted with 'word verifications'.

In order to release one's comment out into cyber space, one is forced to read these ridiculously minute, cramped together, higgledy-piggeldy series of letters and then re-produce them.

Some of them have lines drawn through them, or dots surrounding them, and black letters on black backgrounds; some are in different colours; most have i and j beside each other, v and u together, not to mention q and p.

I understand the necessity for them, of course I do, but they make me growl!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Giggles #40

"You want him tagged, you do it!

Senita and the orchid twins.

HAPPY CACTUS MONDAY friends, and fellow 'cactuteers'....teric, margaret and welcome to our newest member, studiololo.

I have two single stem orchid plants in my bathroom (which is an ideal atomsophere for them). They are both magnificent, and flower twice a year. Every now and then I carry them downstairs to visit Senita. I drew this yesterday (with the snow falling outside in the background).

What is this stuff?

This morning we've had hail, rain, sleet, light snow and sunshine all in the space of one hour.
Snuffles went out there to investigate when the snow started falling...every so softly - it didn't even settle. It was hilarious to see the confusion on her face. She wanted to play with it, but it wasn't really there. She stayed out for quite a while (which she doesn't do in the rain), pondering on the matter. But finally came in again, drenched and bemused/confused, only to be bathed in sunshine about 10 minutes later...
She's not the only one who is fascinated by it all.
'If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.' (that's what the locals say!)
My garden seems to like it, everything's suddenly blooming and turning green.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Giggles #39

"Oh great! Our medical insurance says I'm qualified to apply for a head transplant in 3 year's time!"

Pet Peeve (IF)

My biggest peeve nowadays is having to listen to other people's inane, silly, rubbishy, LOUD clattery, chatter on buses and the underground (tube) in London. And let's not forget the mp3 players (ipods) which are not only causing the owners certain deafness but all those around them too. Politeness and common sense don't even come into it anymore. The world belongs to the young and rude!

There, I've had my rant for this month/year!
(This post is for you, BBC.)
IF: Pet peeve

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Giggles #38

"Which one's yours? with or without?"

Friday, 21 March 2008

One Hundred Ideas

I am still very much involved with my (shared) project with Kirsten and Mim. Here is my next contribution:

5.)Find a piece of poetry you respond to.Rewrite it and glue it into your journal. As I don't have a journal (yet), will do it here and now.
My son showed me this poem many years ago, and I find it very evocative, disturbing and yet brilliantly true (if you are a bit of a cynic like me!).

This Be The Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself. (Philip Larkin)

Here is my (softer) version of it:

This may be the verse
Their lust called love, your mum and dad
Will lead them to a child, it's true.
They bumble about, quite often mad
Making life more shit for you.

They, also abused and fed on gruel
By their own 'bumblers' first
Who all the time were harsh and cruel
Feeling that they too would burst.

If you don't like what parents do
Think really hard and think some more
Nothing changes in life's tasteless stew
You may not want this onerous chore!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Six Word Memoir

Zirelda has tagged me to write a six-word memoir about myself.
The rules:
1.) Write a six-word memoir, post it on your blog (add an illustration if you like).
2.)Link to the person that tagged you in your post.
3.)Tag five more blogs with links. (oops I am going to tag ten).
4.) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

I am tagging the following people as I am interested in what they would have as their six-word memoir:
mary richmond
human being

Here goes......
I gave this quite a lot of thought, very deep and considered thought.
Eventually I remembered this old postcard I've had tucked away for years, which I love:

If a man does not keep pace
with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears
a different drummer'
Let him step to the music
he hears,
however measured or far away.

My six-word memoir would be:








Animal Wednesday

Today is Wednesday and my friend, Mim, has drawn a lovely parrot and started herself on a new project doing an animal a week.
"Oh", I thought. "I'd like to join in, as I like a challenge and hate being left out of anything!"(in other words, I'm a real nosy parker!).
I asked her and she said, "Sure." Thanx Mim.

So, here is my first one, the 'green croc'....done after my holiday in Oz ( I loved the Abo art).Happy Animal Wednesday.

Giggles #36

"So, you didn't get my e - mail!."

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Giggles #35 and Kid's Art


Today I taught a class of 6 year olds. This term I am going to different classes every day to substitute for teachers who are out on courses or ill. I work at only one school and do not move around London (anymore).
Next term (early May) I wll be taking over the Nursery class, which has 26 children in the morning and then another 26 after lunch (all three years old). But that's another story for another day.
Anyway, today I told them the Easter story and all about the Crucifixion of Jesus in the RE (Religious Education) lesson.
I then asked them to design the front cover of an Easter card (not with bunnies and eggs).
These are some of the results. Don't you just adore the innocence of their art.

Wonderful stuff!!

Have a blessed Easter one and all!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Happy Cactus Monday and Giggles#34

Happy Cactus Monday.

Dear fellow 'Cactuteers'.
I designed this little 'button' for us for our (growing) Monday Cactus 'Club'. (Honarary Chairman/oops Chair person, and Founder is Teric. Welcome to our newest member Margaret.
Let me know what you think of it, and, if you like it, we can post it on the side of our blogs to show we 'belong'. If not, please will one of you design a 'button' for us.

Giggles #34- has to be a cactus one today!


Sunday, 16 March 2008

Giggles #33 and Heavy (IF)

This is my second entry for Illustration Friday this week,
Couldn't resist this one....

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Cheer up; think pink.

This morning I decided it was time to cheer myself up after not feeling very happy all week. (I'm a good actress so no one realised at work!)
Off to the hairdresser to see Ajay.
Step One: A good fresh (and deliciously short) haircut
Step Two: Put on the cap and pull bits of grey hair through with a thin crochet hook. 'Ouch, that's my scalp!'

Step three: Paint the bits pink. 'Yikes,did I really ask for that bright colour?'

Step four: Cap off, wash the hair and blowdry.

Step five: Look and feel much much better.

It has renewed my 'pink' highlighted look that I first tried last year.
And yes, you're right, it even matches the pink framed glasses I got last June! I feel much much better and 'brighter'. Can't wait for the kids remarks on Monday:

'Teacher, why did you paint your hair?'

'Teacher, your hair's pink!.' giggle, titter, nudge, grin.

'Teacher you look funny'. giggle titter, giggle chortle.

Snuffles and Giggles # 32

I am pleased to report that Snuffles is much better. The abscess burst and she was in a helleva state for a few days. Thank goodness Neil is very adept at doggie care (as his mom was a vet). So he bathed it and cleaned it gently (one day he bathed it 4 times), which made her feel a lot more comfortable. She looked at him with such gratitude in her eyes, my heart melted. The vet saw her last night and said it is fine. He gave her another antibiotic injection to help with any infection (as she now has a huge hole in her skin), but he doesn't think we'll have any further problems.

Thanx for all your concern and good wishes. I feel worn out, but happy to have my cheerful Snuffs again!

To celebrate, here's another 'giggle' for you all....

'When you get older, the only thing you can get your teeth into is a glass...'

Friday, 14 March 2008


It's been a 'heavy' week, what with my poor dog and her anal gland abscess (which is a lot better now) and work 'things' and marital 'things'.

Some weeks are like that, you feel as though you're balancing on the wires of life!
IF: Heavy

Giggles #31

"If that's Rapunzel again....I'm not in!"

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Giggles #30

"Come in. Helen's just putting on her face."

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Giggles #29

"Throw the trash out on your way down!"

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Poor little girl

Came home from work today to find a very miserable little pooch. She was fine when we left.
So we took her to the vet, who is a jolly old fella, adores dogs and talks to them like they're his kids.
She has an abscess beside her anus, as the anal gland has got blocked and infected.
She is in agony and yelped every time we/he came near her. Each time she did, my heart broke.
He gave her an anti-inflammatory/antibiotic injection and pain killers/ anti-inflammatories for the next 3 days till we see him again.
Here she is looking so sad and woebegone after we returned from the vet.
However, she seems far more comfortable and is asleep now.
Poor little Snuffles, poor little girl..
Our pets are like our, they ARE our family.

Giggles #28

"Say what you want about Susanna, she's a survivor."

Monday, 10 March 2008

Giggles #27

'Humpty, Dumpty. Did he fall or was he pushed?'
P D James.

Senita and Miss Ivy

Senita has been making friends with everyone in the house.
Today she and Miss Ivy are having tea and a chat.
Don't they look comfortable?

Happy Cactus Monday. Wonder what teri has posted today.....

Ps. I see we have a new member. The three musketeers....all for one and one for all...or is it the 'three cactuteers'...I like that....

Welcome Margaret, what an amazing illo.
Let's see who else will join us now.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Modern Garden (IF) and Giggles #26

"Which 'apple' should I pick?" Eve pondered.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Giggles #25

Old age is when it takes you longer to get over a good time than to have it!

Art corner and sky

Steve moved back home four weeks ago as an interim place between his old flat (which he was renting) to possibly buying his own flat. Although it's 18 years since he left home to go to University, it feels like he's been with us all the time. We love having him home again for however long he will be here. I see it as gift after the past 18 years.

So, the second bedroom where I had spread myself out, became his room, and I moved my art stuff to a corner of my own bedroom, and it's really cosy. Neil fixed it up for me with wall shelves and a set of drawers underneath the table, and I really like working here.

Yesterday at about 6.30pm I went upstairs to sit down and draw, looked out of the window and this was the view. A glorious pre-sunset evening (albeit chilly) in London. I adore skies and clouds, as they are never static, always changing. Here are some of my previous posts showing London skies.

Always look upwards, outwards and onwards is my Saturday wish for you all.