Monday, 29 August 2011

The Blog is Back

The blog is officially revived. Much like the basil, that was brown and dry when we came back from holiday, it is flourishing once more, (though admittedly it - the basil- might take time to return to its former glory).

I have had a very creative summer. I think I really needed this break from working. I have started all kinds of projects. One of the most time consuming was the building up of a portfolio for my photography. I have renewed my enthusiasm for learning to knit via youtube vids and have accomplished two scarves with one more in the pipeline. I have resurrected my German, been dreaming in French and regenerated my English (I was starting to sound a bit odd).

I also got my beautiful friend Em to pose for me again and let me take another portrait of her. This is the finished result.







It's a fairly large painting (for me) on canvas in acrylics so please do click on it to get a better view. I am really pleased with it. I have painted her before, (unfortunately no photo available), but this time I really feel like I got a good likeness. Except of course she still looks better in real life. Hey ho.

All this artwork has reminded me of my survey that I put up on my blog to learn more about what direction people thought I should go... It was... oh a good few months ago. So far only six people have voted, and one of them was myself. I voted for more art by the way, so I'm obviously on the right track. If I exclude myself from the results, the result is a tie so I'd like to take this opportunity to ask you, if you haven't already, to vote yourself. The survey is over on the right hand side of the page under my profile. You can vote for multiple options if you so desire.

You have until midday October 1st!

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

From the freezing North to the sweltering South.

How do you go about beating the heat in Milan in August? We all know it's hot but I started to feel concerned when friends advised that I "prepare" before coming back.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm still not exactly sure how one prepares for heat such as this. My only idea was to wear plenty of layers while still in the UK so that I could simulate it and then feel less overwhelmed on arrival. That plan was pretty quickly scuppered.

Firstly I had just spent a week in the highlands of Scotland, where when it wasn't raining it looked mostly like this.


Not that that was bad for the photos, but it did mean by the time I made it back to 18c I put on shorts to celebrate. 

Secondly it was a bad idea because I ended up carrying my coat all around the airport and it was a bit of an encumbrance because I spent a long time looking for my lost luggage (somebody had taken it off the conveyor belt and left it behind some chairs but I only saw it after I had queued to report it missing).

So as I am totally unprepared for this stuff A. has been sharing his top tips with me. Namely not eating a dish of steaming polenta washed down with mulled wine.

I've taken his advice and here are my own top tips.

1) Move to the seaside or don't go outside.

2) Don't put the cooker on. Salads only. If you're lucky you will get some fruit that will ripen quickly.

3)Stay still in front of the fan. Stay very still. Sleep.

4) Blog.

Off for a nap.

Stay cool. x