Wednesday 22nd April

It’s another glorious sunny day, warm enough to dispense with coats and jackets and even cardis in the right sheltered spot, but I am in my shed. As one of the retired and after many years in education I love the lack of a timetable knowing that a cosy lie in can be compensated for by staying up late. During term time I can hear the chatter of boys heading for “my” school and wonder how I ever managed to get up, shower and hair wash, dry and style hair then get to school and have a coffee and a half hour of art room peace before my sixth form came in for registration, and so on. For a while I missed the routine and the boys several of whom are still in touch. Teaching was the most satisfying experience of my working life and although I love the making of my art there is a special magic in recognising a gift in others and helping to nurture it.

But back to today. I spent some time working on a watercolour of Mercat which is NOT a misspelling of meerkat but a hybrid creature from the five years old imagination of granddaughter Marnie whose dressing up mermaid costume has been loved and worn with touching regularity. I will publish my version when it’s done but meanwhile here is the artist’s original.

Mercat is a combination of Leopard or Cheetah, not sure which, and a mermaid. It’s an appealing combination of two of her current favourites. My original plan was for a stitched panel and that might still happen but later in the year when slow stitching is the perfect accompaniment to darker evenings and log fires. But that is some way into the year which is proving to be one in which plans for future projects may have to be put on hold. But back to today and the delight which is our town garden.

Like many mid Victorian town houses ours is tall and narrow with a longish back garden which faces North. It’s saving grace is that its length means that the South facing end is a delight and it’s where I am right now looking at the beautiful fresh colour that characterises this time of year. For some years after my early retirement we took Spring breaks to take advantage of not having to conform to school holidays, but the garden was always at its best on our return. The period from mid April to mid June is always quite spectacular with little help from ourselves and right now we are enjoying the bluebells, campanula and celandine which have happily colonised patches of gravel. My favourite tulips, Spring Green and Queen of the Night, are not quite at their best yet but our acers are spectacular as they dance in the strong breezes which swirl around between high fences.

These stunning acers are a joy as they dance in the breeze illuminated by bright sunshine.
Beautiful combination of bluebell blue and the acidic yellow of this euphoria

Spring Green and Purple Parrot with an anonymous but beautiful vermillion flower

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