Friday, 20 October 2017

Day Twenty

Photo of the Day:

Prompt for today:  Witch Fashion

A pretty quick sketch, I don't really do witches and Halloween, so a lot of the themes for this month I've struggled with a bit.  

This morning I fancied making some fresh bread for lunch so put some in the bread maker

Soup and bread for lunch which was the perfect lunch for a chilly day.  

I took this the other day but forgot to upload it.  The pretty colours in our Maple Tree.

Out in the garden today:

Looks like the Fuchsia wants to flower again

Time and temperature

Some late Dalmatian beans.

More flowers!  I wonder if these will get a chance to turn into beans.

A bit of blue sky this late afternoon.

A shelf with some fairy lights I put in my glass bowl.  I might revamp this shelf tomorrow.

I have had a busy week and I think it caught up with me today as although I had plans to get quite a bit done, in reality I got very little done and ended up having to have a sleep this afternoon as I was just plain exhausted.  Three trips into London to see various specialists, one of them unexpected yesterday has really taken its toll.  However, I feel more positive about going in the right direction now, and have some treatment plans underway, so hopefully things will improve.  I have BOTH tennis elbow AND golfers elbow in BOTH elbows, which is very unusual.  That would be right!  It appears my muscles aren't working like they should, so I will be undergoing some extensive and long term physiotherapy and acupuncture treatments to see if this can be sorted out.  I had the first acupuncture treatment yesterday, they were able to fit me in.  Incredibly I was able to bend and straighten my right arm after the treatment without pain.  This leaves me with hope, even though it has reverted back to how it was by about mid-day today.  The problems with my elbows I have had since April, so it is not going to cured immediately.  The other pain of course I have had sooo much longer!  Of course my medical insurance doesn't pay for any of this either. I am starting to wonder what they actually do pay for!  Still it will be worth it, if I can start to resume living a more productive and pain free life again.   Looks like I will have to find some more things to sell - still that will also help with the de-cluttering!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Day Eighteen - Death of a Tree

Photo of the Day:

'Death of a Tree'

The road looked sadly bare this morning when we headed off to my next hospital appointment.

On the way back home we stopped and I took a few more photos of the result of the stupidity. (I'm afraid I have far worse words I could use, and certainly none better, as it just makes no sense to me as to why they would cut this beautiful tree down.

Some of the leaves hadn't even fallen yet and were still on the verge of turning...

All that remains.  

This makes me feel so incredibly sad.

This is one of the others.  The tree that was cut down looked just like this only a day ago.

This is the other Oak with very few leaves left on now.

We are going to look into getting Preservation Orders put onto the remaining trees on our street.


I will add my two pieces of art work on the yesterday's and today's posts tomorrow - I am a little bit behind with those are two days in London having tests and seeing specialists.


Prompt for today:  A Member of the Addams Family

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Day Seventeen

Photo of the Day: 

'Wanton Destruction'

Our horror when we walked down the road to discover they weren't 'trimming' the trees, but totally removing the beautiful Oak tree that was probably planted when the street was first established in the late forties.  There had been no consultation period, the 'permit' number, wasn't searchable and the tree people apparently didn't even know it was an Oak!  One even said he thought it was a Silver Birch tree....I waved a handful of Oak leaves in his face and said, well what do you think these are then?  Are people really that uneducated who work with trees, that they don't even know what an Oak tree is??  Of course you couldn't contact anyone either and they didn't know who had given the order to have it removed!  Hertfordshire/Hertsmere Borough Council and Highway Maintenance ought be ashamed of themselves.  Of course with our experience, this disgraceful type of behaviour isn't at all surprising.  This was one of three beautiful healthy Oak trees in our road.  I hope the remaining two aren't destined for the same treatment!  Why they just couldn't have pruned it a bit is anyone's guess.  So very sad indeed to see this beautiful tree destroyed.  They didn't even use the wood, it was turned into wood chips!  


If I'd know this was what was happening I would have gone down the road first thing this morning and refused to move from underneath the tree in protest.  Unfortunately we didn't realise (as I say, I thought they were just pruning the trees) until we were on the way to the hospital for my tests.  


Prompt for today was Tarantula, but I did Spider:

Sketching from a photo of the spider I took a photo of the other day.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Day Sixteen: Strange Sky and Sun

Outside the garden this afternoon it is all a glow with a strange yellow and red kind of light.  The sun was rather interesting.  I dashed outside to take a couple of photos of it.

The photo below is my photo of the day.

Apparently this red sun phenomenon which is similar to an eclipse is caused by Hurricane Ophelia dragging dust particles from either the Sahara or from forest fires in Portugal and Spain, depending on which reports you believe.    Whatever the cause, it is pretty amazing.  The force of nature really is quite incredible.  It is rather windy outside, it has definitely picked up since I took these photos just over an hour ago.  We have hopefully put away all things that could be caught up in winds should they get worse.  

It has got eerily dark quite early this afternoon, which reminded me of a piece of music I composed in 2004 for wind quintet called 'Eerie'.  I thought I upload it onto my blog, but have discovered the CD that I recorded it onto, must have deteriorated over the last few years, and it is unfortunately all distorted which is a real shame and very disappointing. I hope my other music recordings haven't gone the same way, I will have to find them and have a listen.  

Prompt for today:  Toffee Apple/s

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Day Fourteen

 Prompt for today:  Cardigan

For this I chose a slightly different take on the theme...a 'Cardigan Welsh Corgi'.

Photo of the day:

My lunch.  

Friday, 13 October 2017

Day Thirteen

Prompt for the Day: Farmers Market

Photo of the Day:

A lovely conker I picked up on the way home from the train station today with some leaves from our Maple tree.

We were back home by mid-day today after my appointment in London for the CT Angiogram and Chest Xray.  It was one of the easiest journeys we have had recently there and back.  We opted not to stay in London, but to come straight home instead and so went out to a local garden centre cafe for lunch.    I had a little rest when we got home from lunch and then popped down the road to do a little grocery shopping for the weekend.  

I always have a little wander around the charity shops and rarely see anything nowadays, but did pick up two large mugs for 49p each - I must have been feeling thirsty! 

I also bought a pair of light weight trousers which I will use in the spring and summer.  These will replace a pair that I had worn out last year

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Day Twelve

Prompt for today - Baking Goods

I drew a cookie jar from a photo I took a few months ago.

I am quite enjoying these daily challenges, they are getting me thinking more rather than just settling with the same thing.  I am finding some of them very challenging, but that is good.  'Without Challenge, There is No Achievement'.  

I finally gave my 'Legless' Kiwi legs today.

Photo for today:

Yup another picture of our resident spider. My intended photo for today was some moss, but I wasn't happy with the photo and while out I had also taken a photo of this spider, who I am sure has grown significantly since I first started taking photos of it.


I am in London first thing tomorrow morning for a CT Angiogram and a chest xray.  Apparently I am not allowed to eat for four hours beforehand so will get up extra early to have some toast, otherwise I know I will be feeling nauseous by the time I get into London, having gone all night without eating.  I don't do well without breakfast.  Next Tuesday I have an Arterial Duplex Scan and the follow up consultation with the Vascular Surgeon to get the results, and finally on the Wednesday I get to see a Rheumatologist who I am hoping will be able arrange ultrasounds scans on at least my elbows the same day, even if it means chasing across London to get them done.    

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Day Eleven

Prompt for today was Squirrel

This is my attempt.  He is peeking round a tree.

Photo of the Day:

I've finally got round to sorting through the pile of books from the other day and now have them in the following categories:

Already read - there were five in this pile, all of which I want to keep, so they have been put in the books shelves.  I have enjoyed several of the Temple Sutherland books, although this is the only one I have.  Ngaio Marsh is another New Zealand author whom I quite enjoy reading.

Those I had started reading - not sure why I have so many I have started, and then not finished, this is most unlike me, so perhaps it was because I found them slow going.  I am going to tackle this pile first, in order to sort out perhaps books I wasn't enjoying.  I know several of the books were recommended to me by a friend with whom I usually have similar tastes, so hopefully I just stopped reading them because I got distracted for some reason or another.  

Non-fiction books - this pile I will read as and when the mood takes me.  Some of them I can dip in and out of, others I will read fully.  I think I may have read the Romany Muriel and Doris book, I know I have read several of these books, but for some reason don't have them recorded as having read any!  Perhaps it was before I started taking note of the books I have read in recent years.

Novels - this pile I am certain I will enjoy most of these.  Not sure about the Vince Flynn book, some of these can be a bit 'hit and miss'.  A couple are new authors to me as well, so it will be interesting to read those.  

Misc:  Two I think I will probably be giving up on, shortly after I start them.  If I remember rightly the Fern Britton book in this pile is the one I consider 'soap opera' like, and I can't really be bothered with that kind of story, I will have another look at this, but won't waste time over it.   I am pretty sure I have read the Dick Francis book years ago, but if so that should be a quick read to refresh my memory.  The last two books on the bottom of the pile I am going to have sitting beside my chair in the lounge to dip into when I am sitting with a cup of tea.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Day Ten

Today's prompt was scarecrow

Not sure mine is doing much 'scaring'

Photo of the day:

My beloved clarinet and music

It is appearing just as difficult to get an appointment to see a Rheumatologist privately as it is on the NHS.  I wonder if this is indicative of the state the NHS is in, particularly in our area, that more people are having to go privately and hence there are now waiting lists to see someone that way?  Feeling exhausted, fed up and thinking I have wasted a day on the telephone, or waiting for calls back to actually get somewhere and no progress made.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Day Nine

Prompt = Skeleton

My sketch of a dinosaur skull.

My picture yesterday was too 'white' but I wasn't quite sure what to do about the background.

Someone on the art group suggested this:

I tried to take a "stab" at manipulating the background by using PS to "try it out"! It's not really successful, but may show the possibilities of considering the background as an important component in your drawing! See the attempt below,...PS I also brightened the contrast a little bit!

Now I couldn't do this, but I did try sponging in a bit of a back ground and came up with this:

which probably looks better than just being on stark white.

I have also done a couple of pen sketches the last couple of days - trying these to stop myself being afraid of 'making mistakes' and rubbing out all the time.

The first was this - taken from a photograph of a castle in Scotland.

The second a sparrow.

I've been working on the kitchen today, trying to clear up the almighty mess - the work surfaces and table had become somewhat of a dumping ground.  Most of it belonging to DH I must add!  A load of papers into the recycling, some shredded and a few other things put into the 'cardboard and plastics'.  It is all looking a lot tidier now, and I can almost breath in there again.

I stopped for some afternoon tea.  Still eating 2016 Christmas Cake in October - not bad!  I am the only one who has been eating this delicious cake made by my MIL's partner, so I have been able to make it last.

I picked some roses from the garden.  

There are actually two different varieties here, even though they look so similar.  They have the most amazing scent.

The maple tree is looking redder. 

Leaves are starting to fall.

The dogs are keen to see what I am up to in the garden.

Bailey wonders if I have any food for them.  Will be back soon with some goodies Bailey, I just wanted to get a photo of you.   (This is my photo for the day)

This morning I had to take six parcels to the post office.  I put loads of listings on Ebay last night, and have made some sales already which I am very pleased about.  The funds will go a little way to helping pay for my medical fees.