My Blog List

Sunday, 21 June 2015


I saw a jigsaw of the city of Barcelona when we were there recently. It had layers of maps and models of buildings and was really attractive.
I love jigsaws so when we got back I "googled" one of London. Amazon obliged.

The joiner was working on the upstairs cloakroom and so I got him to cut me a piece of ply to fit the jigsaw which was an unusual shape and would need to be carted around during its assembly.

The first layer was a map and story of London in 1666, the year of The Great Fire.

The second layer was much more complicated and was made of foam rubber covered with a paper picture layer of the streets in the present day. Some pieces were shaped to fit corners and bridges and buildings.

The models of the buildings were to fit into the spaces in the foam! Like this section of Canary Wharf.

And the last part was very satisfying. Positioning the the buildings to show the skyline.

The completed jigsaw sits well on the board and has pride of lace on the sideboard for a while. It will get dismantled and passed round the family next.

The board was an off-cut from the floor of the new cloakroom on the top floor which is all finished now and waiting for some carpet on Tuesday.

 I came home from Art Class with a picture of York...or mostly York and some invented bits.

It looks quite good in the new cloakroom!

All this is just in time for Summer guests, the first of whom arrive within the week.
Cheers Gillian

Monday, 8 June 2015


I have been to Wales on three brief occasions. Long ago I went to St Davids with a geology field trip from university. Many years later I went to Aberaeron with the family on a trip back from Oz, and then a few years ago, I went to Bodelwyddan, in north Wales with DJ for a "short break".
This time I saw all three in a week. Not only was I surprised and thrilled by all the lovely scenery and pretty places we went through but shocked to realise how big Wales really is when you are driving round it in a motorhome at a fairly leisurely pace.

We started in St Davids, camping at Caerfai Bay. Mick and Diz had joined us and it was a very splendid view from the top of the cliff. It was also a bit windy.
It got windier. And then a lot windier still...terribly windy and raining...and then raining sideways and whipping up a storm. It did that for 24 hours non stop. Many tents got destroyed including Mick and Diz's lovely campervan tent on the right. It was a tragic way to start a holiday.
The next morning with the wind still blowing strong gusts, we walked the cliff path to the city, passing the old ruins of St Non's chapel as well as the new Retreat.
The Cathedral is at the bottom of a valley and hard to find without signposts. It does not stand high and beckoning from the top of a hill but still has been found by many pilgrims over the centuries. A funeral was taking place the day we were there and we viewed from a distance.
The place (seems strange to call it a city when it is so small!) is very pretty and we returned along the cliff path the next day in slightly better weather. Gusty breezes rather than winds...
A brave artist painting "en plein air". Such different conditions from those experienced by Helen and her fellow artists in Florida.
He has to have his easel secured by ropes and how he manages to cart all his gear across the cliff tops to get to this wonderful view is amazing. He was cheerful and busy so we reluctantly left him to it.
In town there was a studio belonging to an artist called Tony Kitchell who used a similar palette and technique so it may have been him. There was a sign on the door saying "back in two minutes" !!!
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you along some magnificent cliffs and the geological processes have left amazing features. The cliffs are often baked, metamorphic slates and have been twisted and folded into remarkable shapes...
...And colours.
We moved north along the coast.
And into the hillier north to stay at Betws y Coed and from there visited  Mount Snowdon...
...up and into the clouds we went on the little train. BUT we will have to go back if we want a view from the top.
We passed the slate mines at Llanberis...
And watched the water at the Swallow Falls...
Smiled at the smallest house in Wales...
And admired the castle at Conwy.
We are home now. The washing has been done, the campervan cleaned , the kitchen painted and the art room tidied up. Tomorrow is a visit to the dentist!
and another blanket is on the knitting needles.
Billy is glad to be home. I miss him when we are away but he has a great cattery to go to and is safe and well looked after.
I hope real summer comes soon.
Cheers for now