Monday 18 January 2021

2020 Highlights

Favourite double page spreads from  daily drawing sketchbooks

I  didn't do  been  much sewing  in 2020 (apart from  about 110 fabric masks made for family and friends which made no impression on my stash).  However,  I   did some  daily art projects, mainly drawing,    starting with the annual #30daysketchbookchallenge and  keeping going .  At the beginning of the year, a local artist set up a ‘Small Reflections’ Facebook page to post daily Black and white photos.  As one of the  The ‘Hot Tin Girls’  ( named after the venue  we used to meet regularly) we took it in turns to set daily drawing prompts continuing to Day 169 before things started opening up . The ‘Drawing Tuesday ‘ group  is still active, sketching at home rather than London museums but missing the catch-ups over lunch afterwards

The most memorable thing that happened , a day of wonder,  was the visit of the bees.  We like to think our garden is wildlife friendly  with lots of herbs and have many bees and hoverflies visiting.  But to have a swarm of about 5000 arrive was magical and we felt so privileged for them to choose us. I'd seen what I thought were wasps around a crack in an upturned trug over some compost (Ian had emptied and sifted one of our compost bins earlier in the year). But when we saw a huge cloud descend we knew it was bees not wasps and contacted the local beekeepers association. ‘ Steve Bees’ came with a portable hive loaded with sugar to tempt them ( we had an excellent view as it was just outside the kitchen French doors) and left it for a couple of days before he came back for it. There were about 100 girls who were out on a ‘cleansing flight’ when it was collected and came back to find everyone gone. Felt a bit sorry for them but at least they had plenty of food.                                                                       

We had a very fruity summer,  discovering all the local produce in the area on my cycle rides.  At the beginning of the cherry season, hand painted signs began to appear along the road directing down a bumpy track, past a small holding, through orchards to ‘Terrys Cherries’ (Sound Horn for Service). I’d ring my bicycle bell to summon him from the incredibly tall cherry-picker ladders.  Terry is quite a character (and a bit of a celebrity – he’s featured in foody articles in the Telegraph). We tried about 8 or so different varieties, many of which aren’t available in the shops as they bruise easily. When the cherry season was coming to an end, in a field further down the road, a series of enormous wooden crates stacked against the hedge were transformed into a fruit stall. We bought raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, loganberries, and then later in the season, so many varieties of plums and then the first of the apples. 

Ian’s office  was the major project of the  year. Months in the planning, Ian had his computer set up in the dining room which wasn’t ideal but we somehow managed to squeeze in the decoration and then construction of the bespoke bookshelves / built-in wardrobe  by a local carpenter in between lockdowns!