Good turns all round

First, a big thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who rallied round and ordered cards after my little winge...I was overwhelmed by your kindness, and especially from other artists who I know are in the same leaky old freelance boat as myself. Thanks to you all, I will be able to get a new range of cards printed next year, hopefully without any silly mistakes. Nelliephant arrived and I have re-ordered a couple of designs which to my utter amazement sold out. I am now re-stocked and having a final push, capturing unwary friends and villagers with the cry 'have you bought your Christmas cards yet??"

I've been bunkered down, sorting out dreary admin-thingys and sorting out the small stuff of life. Waiting, like Billy Bunter, for a mythical publishing cheque (or in his case, a postal order) which only arrived last Friday. Thankfully we were given a generous load of wood by some kindly souls, who heard we were rummaging about in the forest for wood ends. A couple of weeks ago they turned up with smiling faces and a few sackloads of logs, leaving me quite speechless and on the verge of tears at such generosity.

After being given two brace of pheasant (shot this time, not roadkill) we were able to repay the good turn. We made them casserole ready - plucked, drawn, quartered and cleaned. Imagine us on a darkening, chilly November evening, reverting to caveman regime - Andy doing the macho, yukky business in the yard, me at the sink doing the womanly titivating and cleaning and Clover hovering in the dark, yellow owl eyes aglow, waiting for the main organs to be tossed her way, like a true cave-clan cat. So I was able to take a box of jointed pheasant and a jar of chutney to our good neighbours.

Eventually and in the nick of time, another illustration job has come in which will tide me over Christmas. Drawing is like any activity, if you don't do it for a while, you get rusty. For the last 3 weeks I have been sorting out Red Flannel Elephant amongst other things, and very little art work has been done. Getting going again, especially with a tight deadline, was like exercising lazy muscles. The first day I was in despair, convinced that I'd lost it forever. The next day I hid myself in research, always a good way to procrastinate with a clear conscience. I was getting a bit down in the dumps at my feebleness, and in the end, I bit the bullet, scribbled rubbish for a day and dragged my inner draughtsman out kicking and screaming. It's going ok so far.

My unexpected reward for perseverance was darling Andy buying me the dvd set of 'Planet Earth'. - he'd noticed my glumness and thought it would inspire me. Not having a television, we had no idea of what to expect, and I sat throught the first episode with my mouth literally open, stunned at the sheer magnificent glory of it all. I adore nature programmes, and it is the only drawback to not having a 'gogglebox' as my old dad used to call them. I am indeed inspired, and how lucky I am to have such a kind partner who notices when the grey clouds set in.

Tomorrow I am being visited by a fellow blogger, so I will have to fish out my best corduroys, brush my hair and try to remember the art of civilised conversation. We may go to the woods and there might be cake...


Joanna said...

I know what you mean, I'm trying to get back down to the painting. I like planet earth its a real nature program all gentle and carming no chasing animals around the desert. Have fun with a fellow blogger tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You just have to love those dark clouds with silver linings...similar to your last photo on this post! I'm glad things have picked up for you and with wood on the fire and pheasant in the belly, the creative juices will start flowing again.

natural attrill said...

Hi G, hope you enjoy your dvds.
I have booked an xmas treat for me, Laurence and Toby, to go to the MEN Arena, later in December, to see Blue Planet, on a huge screen with 70 piece live orchestra, really looking forward to it.
Glad to hear you have another illustration job, keep at it, sending out promotional material and follow up calls, your work is beautiful, you just have to make sure that everyone sees it!

Anonymous said...

There you go your doing brilliantly again, enjoy your DVDs & enjoy you day off with a fellow blogger.

joanna said...

And a very lovely day it was too! Thank you for making me feel so welcome - I will descend on you again, cake in hand, in the New Year!!

tlawwife said...

So glad you got more work. I completely understand the not knowing. You are so resourceful though.

Anonymous said...

Ugh...beta..beta, ate-a my comment!

Anyhow, I was saying, that your life out there in the country and your talents as an artistcould come together and create a really special book (s)....whenever I pop over here to your blog there is something very real and beautiful to see or read about...Have you thought about writing a book?

Soozcat said...

I just wanted to say I love this phrase:

We may go to the woods and there might be cake...

In my mind's eye I am imagining you two strolling comfortably through the woods and coming unexpectedly upon a lovely cake, having come up with the dew, set out on a flat rock... all fairylike or Heisenbergian, take your pick.

My eyes are doing much better and if I can just get my computer working, there will be foties of goodies that came, very non-Heisenbergian, in the post! (Millions of thanks!)

Anonymous said...

My cards arrived the other day, I so love and adore them!!(thank you for the extra bits too)
I think your life sounds like a movie on BBC - Monarch of the Cotswolds!!
I too liked the last line of your post....it sounds to me like the start of a poem.
Happy to know people do such kind things for one another!
oh and of course your drawing is AMAZING!

lettuce said...

i love the image of that cake in the woods! like a photograph from the Wild Food book.

I love the lines of that goose too - hope it continues ok and better.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for your lovely Andy, what a great present, I think my own lovely Andy might be getting me the same pressie for Xmas too.

Love the dapper duck and well done for biting the bullet, hope you had great fun yesterday,

Anonymous said...

Ha! The 'gogglebox' - my Dad uses that term too!
Hope you had a wonderful time with your blogger friend! Did you eat cake?!

fp said...

Gretel, thankyou so much for the feathers! I promise to post you some pics on my blog :-)