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Thursday, 26 January 2017

On the road again.....

At last the heaving chest has subsided; I've been able to get to the hospital for my eye checkup, following my problematic cataract operation - very thorough tests today reveal there's a cataract in the other eye, but it's in its infancy and neither the surgeon nor I need worry about it for a good few years if we're lucky.  I've had checks on the retina, the macula, eye pressure, and the next step is to go back to my optician for a new prescription to take account of the improved sight in my right eye and balance the spectacle lenses.

I've painted nothing for around a month now - either couldn't see properly, or felt too ill to approach a canvas in anger.  I shall be making up for this very soon, and intend to flood the blog with new work - even though, if you neglect them, skills deteriorate; but working on them anew brings them back.  You don't forget the veriest basics, but a fallow period invariably means that you have to work hard to regain the level of ability you had before.  I wish I knew why this was, but I don't - however, it's been observed by many others; hence Constable's advice to paint a sky a day (which I wish I'd taken) - it does help to keep your hand in; And it hurts you if you don't - I wish that weren't true, but all the experience I've gained over 50 odd years of doing this suggests that it is.

But never mind: fish and chip day tomorrow!  I told the fish and chip van proprietor that this was the highlight of my week - he looked at me oddly, and shook his head - "if that's true," he said, "I feel sorry for you."

But - if you live for the satisfaction of your stomach, as I fear I do, it IS a highlight.  And anyway - I like fish.  And batter.  Crunchy batter.  And chips..... come on, you've got to love SOMETHING!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The sold painting

This is the painting I sold to Australia - from a walk along the old Blackgang Road, painted in 2015 in watercolour.


What a few weeks this has been....

First my eye operation goes wrong, and I have to have a second procedure - though not painful.

Then, my landlady's family - three grandsons, daughter, sort-of-son-in-law - arrive from Australia; very nice to see them all, and they bought a painting too.

But either I caught an infection from one of the boys, which he had picked up on the 'plane, or (and quite possibly) he had nothing to do with it and I caught it from Chris the landlord who nursed it lovingly at the hospital and brought it back just for me.

Wherever it came from, I've had to postpone my scheduled eye inspection, could hardly eat anything - thank goodness for my neighbour who brought me a tray of cooked meats: I couldn't have swallowed anything else - and for a week now I've been unable to go to bed at all, because the moment I lay down, my chest banged and wheezed and heaved - it was like listening to a couple of elderly cats having a row.  So I've slept in my office chair - oddly enough, not uncomfortably.

I can't imagine that uncontrollable coughing is exactly good for you when you've had a cataract replaced and pressure in the eye, but I'll find out about that at the end of the month now.

So no painting has been possible - I was having trouble with a picture anyway: it's gone so wrong I've had to gesso over it and start again; I'm not at all sure I can save it - the  Ampersand board, which worked so well for an oil painting, has been disastrous for my sort of acrylic painting; but in any event I haven't the strength to stand up to it just now.

On the plus side, Pat, my landlady, has come home at last after 16 weeks in the stroke unit, with more drugs to take than she's ever taken in her life before.  Of course this is good in nearly every respect, except that the real tasks now begin - of managing at home, accessing full and continuing support, providing some relief for Chris my landlord; things that are generally beyond my power, although perhaps I can help with Charley, the small but ubiquitous and lively dog.

Fed totally up would summarize the mood here at the Batcave right now.....!