Wednesday, 30 January 2013

3BT 29/01/13 Good job, Memories and Dinner

  • When I pick up my laptop, I find that they have not only fixed the problem I sent it away for, but they have also given it a good clean and fixed a couple of wobbly keys.
  • Looking back through all my holiday photos.
  • Coming home and finding supper is nearly ready.

3BT 28/01/13 Picnic, Not missed and Bed

  • Meeting up with Amy in her lunch break. Because it's raining and miserable and she doesn't have much time, we have a picnic in the car.
  • Going back to work and finding that my 2 weeks off didn't upset Shaun as much as we had worried, mostly because he was too busy being upset that school was cancelled because of the snow.
  • Sleeping in our own bed again.

Beautiful things in Morocco

We didn't have any internet access in Morocco, but I kept up my three beautiful things blog for the two weeks we were away, so here it is:

13/01/13 Foresight, Lights and Amazing
  • I'm glad I thought to get something to eat before boarding the plane, because, once again, the airline don't do vegetarian meals.
  • Flying out at night and seeing little dots of light spread out below us. 
  • I'm still amazed by the way aeroplanes stay up, it just seems so wrong!

14/01/13 Sounds, Nicknames and Sun
  • We learn that cous-cous was named after the noise women make to chase chickens away while they are making it.
  • Random Moroccans call Nick Ali Baba and Tarzan.... I did say he should have trimmed his beard!!
  • Feeling the sun on our back's as we eat our lunch on a roof terrace.

15/01/13 Changing landscapes, Food and Oasis
  • As we leave Marrakech, we drive through every colour of landscape, starting with pinkish red hills, then yellowish green, grey, black and orange squares of rock and great big purple rocks.
  • An enormous plate of salad to share: potato, rice, tomato, cucmber, pepper and beetroot, followed by a vegetable tagine, and delicious, fresh oranges.
  • Our first camp in the mountains, is like our own private oasis, full of date palms.

16/01/13 Porridge, Aromatic and Green
  • I'm not a big fan of porridge, but with some strawberry jam stirred in, our breakfast isn't too bad.
  • There aren't a lot of plants in the dried riverbed we are walking along, but the ones that are there, give off wafts of herby lavender smells.
  • Every now and then in the dry, dusty landscape, there are little terraces oasisses of bright green.

17/01/13 Zig zags, Colours and Nomad
  • Being able to see our route zig zagging up the hill ahead of us, and counting off each zig and zag as we walk it.
  • The walls of the canyon are orange, the gravelly stones covering the floor are green, and dotted about are big purple rocks.
  • As we go over the top of the hill, we see a Nomad camp, and a man brings us a freshly made flat bread, filled with onion, tomato and spices.
18/01/13 Cold, Tea and Summit
  • The frozen stream we passed in the morning when it was cold is still frozen, when we come back past it in the heat of the afternoon.
  • Getting into camp to be greeted by tea and delicious, fried doughnutty things with jam.
  • Standing on top of the mountain, with Morocco spread out around us - big sandy, rocky canyons, wide plains and snow capped mountains.
 19/01/13 Rocks, Wind and Sparkles
  • Huge, tall, grand canyon-like rocks suddenly appear as we go over a hill.
  • The wind is so strong, we are nearly blown off the top a few times, but with all the sand blowing around, my skin feels nicely exfoliated!
  • The path goes over a rock full of crystal geodes, so we spend a few minutes hunting for sparkly rocks.
20/01/13 Safe, Trees and Salad
  • During a windy night that rips and collapses tents, we huddle together to stop ourselves being blown away.
  • A little oasis in the dry mountains, with a little stream and white trees, with yellow leaves and almond trees with blossom.
  • The most amazing salad for lunch, with the best bread yet, it is soft, and just a little bit chewy.

21/01/13  Toad, Desert and Accomodation
  • A tiny little toad, hopping around a dried up river bed.
  • Seeing our first glimpse of proper desert.
  • Instead of the wild camp we were expecting tonight, we arrive at a group of little mud huts, complete with plug sockets and hot showers.

22/01/13 Camels, Home and Caterpillars
  • Meeting our camels for the first time, they make the funniest noises as they are being loaded up with all our things.
  • Finally making it into our familiar, welcome camp, after a really long 8 hours of walking.
  • Who would have thought we would see caterpillars in the desert, but there are bushes full of them.

23/01/13 Keeping up, Treasure, Entertainment

  • Even though the group was moving quite fast this morning, I managed to keep up without feeling completely worn out.
  • Spotting the first fossil of the day.
  • Being given tea and pop corn when we get into camp, and watching 4 x 4's racing past.

 24/01/13 Reward, Sketch and Birds

  • Sharing a packet of chocolate animal biscuits after a really long, tough day of walking.
  • Doing a quick little sketch of a camel and the reaction of one of the camel drivers, I've never seen someone looking so excited!
  • Tiny birds hopping in the sand dunes as the sun rises.

25/01/13 Clean, Cooking and Sun
  • Having a really good wash and putting clean clothes on after 9 days of trekking.
  • Being shown, by our cook, how to cook bread by burying it in hot sand with embers of fire on top - it's delicious, and not at all sandy.
  • The most amazing sunset for our last night in the desert, it just keeps getting better and better.

26/01/13 Audience, Calm and Not lost
  • As we drive towards a village, a group of boys stop us to tell us we have a puncture. By the time the tyre is changed, half the village as come out to watch.
  • Walking through the market in Ouarzazate is much calmer and quieter than in Marakech, and no one hassles us to buy anything.
  • 4 x 4s come to pick us up from the desert, but have trouble finding their way out of the sand dunes for a while.

27/01/13 Wake up, Fed and Not too cold

  • The 3:30 am wake up call isn't great, but the hotel has provided a delicious breakfast of croissants and pastries, just for us, so it almost makes it ok.
  • After telling me on the plane that they definitely didn't get my request for a vegetarian meal and there is definitely no vegetarian food on board, I put on my saddest, hungriest face and suddenly they have a spare veggie meal.
  • I was expecting it to be snowy and horribly cold when we got home, but it's not too bad. I do miss the sunshine though!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Mini Pirate activities

Just some quick sketches of the mini pirates going about their business.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Mini Pirate ship

This is the ship where the mini pirates live. 
They share the ship with some big pirates, who have very little idea that their ship has a tiny population on board.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Mini Pirates

One of the projects I have been working on for a while is 'The Mini Pirates'. I came up with the idea quite a long time ago, but have only really got started on working on them recently. The story is finished and I am hoping to get it sent off to publishers later this year. Fingers crossed!! 
Meet the crew:
From left to right: Captain Thunderfoot, Tabernacle, Spinnaker, Scud, Scuttle, Beaufort, Barbette and Finn

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


We had an expedition to Wisley to see their butterfly exhibition. There didn't seem to be as many butterflies as the last couple of years, but I saw more different varieties, than I had before.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

3BT 12/1/13 Zoom, Pink and Toasty

• Testing out the zoom and macro capabilities on my camera, at the butterfly exhibition at Wisley.
• A butterfly with black and green wings has a lovely fuzzy white and pink body.
• Coming home to a roaring log fire.

Friday, 11 January 2013

3BT 11/1/13 Sun, Nice and Mum time

• Packing my bag with things like sun cream and sunglasses.
• At work, I introduced my hamster to the family, when I asked Shaun what he felt like to stroke he said "nice" and with a big grin, gently nuzzled his face into the hamsters fur.
• Having an evening of chattering and silly games with my mum.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

3BT 10/1/13 Tea, In time and Safe

• At the hairdressers they offer me a tiny cup of their special herbal tea.
• I wasn't sure I would have time to run an errand before going to work, but I'm glad I risked it, because no one noticed I was a few minutes late, an now I don't have to do it tomorrow.
• I realised in the shop that my phone wasn't in my bag, and assumed I left it home, when I get back out to the car park, there it is on the ground, beeping at me indignantly, but intact and unstolen!!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

3BT 9/1/13 Chores, Catching up and Planning

• I've done all the cooking today, so I don't have to do any washing up. Hooray!!
• Nick and I have been being very busy today, he's been working in his studio in the garden and I've been upstairs in my art studio, but we've been checking up on each other throughout the day over the phone.
• Over lunch we start making plans for the house. Some are more practical than others, but we decide that it's worth putting lots of effort in, because we're going to be here for a while.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

3BT 8/1/13 Colours, Excited and Organised

• Amy gave me some colour change nail varnish for Christmas and I've been mesmerised by it all day, watching my nails change from dark purple to bright pink as my hands heat up and cool down.
• Watching Nick open his new camera is like watching a small child at Christmas.
• I've written a list of all the things I want to achieve with my art this year, and now it's written down, it doesn't seem completely unmanageable.

Monday, 7 January 2013

3BT 7/1/13 Theories, Fed and Book time

• We have just started watching season 4 of Lost, and we're enjoying trying to work out what on earth is going on!!
• I rang home when I left work, and when I got here, dinner was ready.
• I managed to squeeze in a few minutes with my book this evening.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

3BT 6/1/13 More room, Soak and Birds

• It was sort of sad putting all the Christmas decorations today, but it has made the living room look so much bigger.
• Having a long soak in the bath with some sparkly lush bath goo after our very muddy bike ride.
• We've been in our new house for just over 3 months now, but I still find it strange that we regularly hear seagulls outside, I quite like it.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

3BT 5/1/13 Bike, Beast book and Blogs

• I survived my first outing on my new bicycle (on the day my mum rang to tell me she'd fallen off hers and broken her collar bone, so I wasn't feeling too confident!!)
• Swapping a book I ended up with two copies of for Christmas, for 'the book of barely imagined beings' I spotted it a while ago, so I was pleased to have an excuse to get it.
• Updating our blogs/diaries together, with hot chocolate before bed.

Friday, 4 January 2013

3BT 4/1/13 Pirates, Welcome back and Pudding

• A book I ordered off amazon arrived today, it's a Dorling Kindersley eyewitness guide to pirates. I always liked these books, they have enough information to be interesting, but not long and boring and plenty of pictures. It looks like it'll be really useful for my mini pirates.
• It was my first day back at work after Christmas today, it's always nice going back after a break because Shaun is always so pleased to see me, he is on his best behaviour.
• Digging out the last few chocolate buttons from the sweetie bowl to feed to Nick, who is suffering from over-gymed legs.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

3BT 3/1/13 Humpty Dumpty, Perfect fit and Check.

•Today we got a kohlrabi in our veggie box, I thought it looked like a chubby little alien, with long wispy hair. While I was looking up what to do with it I found a quote from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall saying it was "like Humpty Dumpty hiding in a hedge" I can sort of see what he means.
•We did another training walk for our trekking holiday, and I got to try out my new rucksack properly. It is perfect, It barely felt like it had anything in it.
•I finally thought I'd got the hang of chess, I was getting check after check after check... then I lost spectacularly.

3BT 2/1/13 Tidying, Gobbling, Just one more

•Now we're in a new house, we've decided to have a good old sort out of *stuff* and first on the list of *stuff* to sort out are all the letters and bits of paper that seem to have spread themselves across the house. By the time I finished sorting the rubbish from the useful bits, I was quite pleased to find my rubbish pile was bigger.
•I feel like I really REALLY earned my enormous lunch, after such a tough hour in the gym.
•Staying up til long past our bed time to watch *just one more* episode of lost.

Three Beautiful Things

Ok, so it's been nearly a year since I wrote my last blog post, and that's not good, but I have been pretty busy! We FINALY moved house in September, so I now have my own little art studio to work in, which is very exciting. I have also been busy with lots of arty things, which I will post pictures of soon.
Part of the reason it has taken me so long to write this post is that I just didn't quite know what to write, but this year I really want to get better at it, so I am going to have a go at doing my own three beautiful things, as well as blogging about my art. My cousin Clare started the original three beautiful things blog about 9 years ago and I always enjoy reading about things that have brightened up her day. Her blog is here.

And here are my three beautiful things for the 1st January:

New year, adventuring and bubbles.
•Spending New Year's Eve surrounded by lovely people, I was especially pleased to see Abi, who has recently had brain surgery, and had been unsure if she would be feeling up to going out for a late night party.
•Finding the path we wanted to walk down in the woods had turned into quite a deep stream, but walking down it anyway, because we're adventurers!!
•Celebrating the new year (again) with some left over Christmas fizzy wine, all to ourselves.

P.s. having said I will try to keep this blog up to date, I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks and it is very unlikely I will have any internet access!