Saturday, March 6, 2021

Shedcast 9 on 05 03 2021 - Let's Talk About Books

Hello Blogwatcher,

It has been a bit 'parky' this week, as they say in Yorkshire. In fact when David and I went out for our daily stroll, and wearing fingerless mitts, my finger ends went a waxy shade of pale and I thought how easy it must be to get frostbite. Luckily a bit of clenching and unclenching of the fist did the trick, but I was very glad to get home and into the warm. When we went up Pilley Hill a few days later it was a glorious day, the daffodils are coming out and there is a resplendent show of crocuses on a council verge just past Aldi's.

I have been doing a bit of poeting this week, I have writen a couple for the Shortland's Poetry Circle on the subject of trees, and I was inspired by the Lawrence Ferlanghetti poem, 'Waiting' to produce one of my own, 'Not Waiting'.

Painting: My painting of the week is 3 Men in a Cave (see it below). This week's subject is 'Open Choice' so I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do for that. And I hope the shed is a little warmer, though there is a splendid heater in there should I wish to be toasty.

So, here is the Shedcast from last night, would you believe I was drinking tonic water and not cider because I've had a bit of a dicky tummy of late. I went a whole week without alcohol, no wonder I'm not feeling up to par.

We decided to eat in the house last night where we could sit and watch the Grayson Perry Art Club show, I do love Grayson and Philippa Perry.
This is what I made for dinner but unfortunately I couldn't eat any of it. Never mind there is plenty left for the week ahead.
Friday Night Home Made Pizza

And David says these were the best scones I've ever made, well he would wouldn't he?

And this is my painting of the week, make of it what you will.

3 Men in a Cave

Thursday was World Book Day, so I am making a special effort to read at least one book before the end of March. I have embarked on The Daemon by Anthony Peake, A guide to your extraordinary secret self. So far it has definitely hooked me in. My only complaint is that the type is very small for my ageing eyes, I might have to get a magnifying glass. Anyway let's see how it goes.
The only other exciting thing that happened this week, apart from buying a new top on the internet, which was a surprisingly satisfying experience, it fits well and was a speedy delivery, was a flock of gold finches descending on our tree. There must have been at least 30 of them, flitting about, flashing bits of yellow, while we watched on from the bedroom window which is about tree top height.
You can see we are not living in the fast lane. Is anybody? Schools go back on Monday so we shall see how that affects the spread of the virus. I am full of hope for the summer.

That's all from us this week. Keep well, and keep smiling,
Love and hugs, 
Jane and David xx

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Shedcast 8 on 26 02 2021 - Had The Jab!

Hello Everyone, 

I am writing this blog from the comfort of my bed, it is Saturday morning and I'm having a bit of a lie in. The sun is shining but the rooftops are wet and I can feel that dampness in my knees. I've had a bit of trouble this past week with painful knees put down to the weather because we do go out for a walk most days. Anyway, that's my excuse for not getting out of bed.
I can't believe we are nearly into March but here we are and still in lockdown. But things are looking up and the Covid-19 figures are going down. I went for my vaccine last Monday, an emotional, and painless experience at Sheffield Arena. Well take a look at the Shedcast for our update, and then see below my artwork of the week, and other pics.

Greek Mandinadas - Rhyming couplets of 15 syllables in each line, most often set to Greek music and performed on occassions such a fiestas, weddings and the like. 

Artwork of the Week - Transport
I chose the coal wagon as my 'transport' and carried on the theme of my 3 Men. This week I am going to practice my figure drawing again, so wish me luck!
3 Men in a Mine

Sheffield was eerily baron on Monday. We walked from the Arena to Meadowhall where we caught the bus home, and these are the pics:
no people...

no cars...

And this was the Arena where I had my Covid-19 vaccination.

Back home Spring has sprung in our garden and the birds are singing.

That's my cue to get out of bed and have a slice of toast, so I'll say bye for now. And if you have bad knees, like me, try rubbing in Volterol, it seems to work a treat. Have a good week, keep well and keep smiling.

Love from Jane and David xx

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Shedcast 7 on 19 02 2021 at 18 17 From pancakes to 'Perseverance'

Hello Everybody,

I hope you are all well and looking forward to the week ahead. I know I am because it will start on Monday with my Covid-19 vaccination, a good start to the week. As usual we enjoyed a lovely evening in our shed last night, ringing round family and friends, and making our little Shedcast, and here it is:

Painting project of the week - 'A Book Title' I chose 3 Men in a Boat, and this is what I produced:

3 Men in a Boat

I must say that I am pleased with the result, and again I learned such a lot in the painting of it. Another little success this week was the acceptance of 3 poems by the Hear My Voice organisation of Barnsley. One for the upcoming Anthology of Covid Poems, and a couple for an extended work to be available in the archives. So that put a smile on my face.

Tuesday was pancake day, hurray! I quickly beat up a batter for a tasty lunch, tossed pancakes with honey and lemon. I would normally have freshly squeezed orange juice on my pancakes, but our only option was lemon this year. Still, they were scrumptious, a real treat. 

The main news of the week, I think, is the landing of 'Perseverance' on Mars. It is a large vehicle that will drill into the surface of Mars and look for signs of microscopic life. It will also take loads of photos, some of which are already being sent back to Earth as we speak. What a great achievement! It has taken a month to reach Mars.

Royal News: Unfortunately, Prince Phillip has been taken into hospital, and as he is almost 100 years old, I am sure he is not too good. But, a world that can land on Mars, can surely keep Prince Philip from pain. I hope so and wish him well.

It was also announced this week that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will no longer perform Royal Duties as they have opted to exit the family, and make an independent life of their own. On the one hand it is very sad to lose the young royals, but I am sure it is right for them, and I can't help thinking this is all a result of Princess Diana's death. For someone who lost their mother at an early age, I know full well that that pain never goes away.

But let's not get maudlin, the day is bright, and I've got a busy day ahead, plus I have got the joyous task of shopping on line for something new to wear - always a bit of a booster.

So, I'll finish here and get on with the day. As ever, David and I wish you all the best,
Keep smiling,
Love Jane and David x

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Shedcast 6/21 - Chinese New Year

Hello lovely blog watcher, 

I do hope you are well and not too cold in this icy weather. We are cosy in our little house and no complaints. David had his vaccine this week, he travelled to Sheffield on the bus (a big trip out) but he was soon back, and apart from that we have done our regular walks around Birdwell. Yes, it is cold out but it is February, hello, it is winter.

I don't think my friend will mind me showing you this picture she painted this week, it is perfect for Valentine's Day, which, being tomorrow I thought was perfect for this week's blog. Will there be roses in our house? I suspect not, but I'm sure there will be a little romance, I remember my mother's words so well, 'never stop courting' she told me, wisdom indeed.

So, off we go with this week's Shedcast: and a new little song about 'Jackie Weaver' I hope you like it.

We are all still in 'lockdown' but it won't last for ever. Again our thanks to all the people who are working to keep the wheels of the world turning, let's hope the Chinese Year of the Ox will be a strong one. 

My painting of the week, subject, a song title, is 'Moon River' - Moon river, wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style some day, you dream maker, heart breaker... such a lot of world to see... two drifters off to see the world... It is our signature tune, the one that reminds us of our adventures.

That's it for this week, have a good week everybody, keep busy, keep healthy, and keep smiling!
Jane and David xx

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Shedcast 5/21 The Shed Shanty

Painting of the week - Genetically Modified (The Last Pea)

Hi Everybody,

I'm trying a different format for the blog this week because people had trouble seeing the Shedcast on their phones last week. Hopefully this works.

Most of our news is on the blog so I'll not bore you with repetition. 

Here is my Sestina from last week:

Have as good a week as you can,
Keep safe and keep smiling
Jane and David xx

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Shedcast 4 and other jokes!

Hello Everyone,

Knock, Kock, 
Whose there?
Gladys who?
Gladys Shednight!

Go on smile, we're trying our best to keep cheerful in these times of constant bad news. Anyway, we had a lovely shed night, talked to our friends on the phone, and survived another week.
Here is my artwork of the week, the subject being Marine/Nautical.

I think you can tell my inner mood from these two paintings. Anyway, next week the subject is 'food' so shouldn't be so depressing.

Generally we manage to stave off the blues and keep each other going, plus I had two Zoom sessions with my poet friends this week and that was very pleasurable. 

Our Shedcast was a little crazy, but it was what it was: 


We don't eat caviar every day you know!

Keep safe and keep smiling

Love and hugs

Jane and David xx


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Shedcast 3:21 22 January 2021

Hello everyone, 
Well the snow went and the rain came, storm Christof brought high winds and flooding to some parts of Yorkshire, but luckily we live on a hill and apart from the ground being a bit waterlogged we were not affected. Today we have blue skies though there are a few clouds about and it is still very cold.

The Covid virus is still raging through Britain and the hospitals are now under great stress. People are dying at a rate of well over 1000 per day, and still there are reports of large gatherings for weddings, parties, and even funerals. The police are now handing out heavy fines whenever they happen on these events.

The vaccine is being rolled out at a fast rate, up to date 5 million people have received their injection. So, we hope and pray that this will begin to show results in the next few weeks.

David and I have kept ourselves busy this week with our respective projects, my art and music and David's reading and gardening. I did catch him up his ladder pruning the tree with his old saw and I was glad when he'd finished that little job, the last thing we need now is a fall. But he's safe and sound (well almost sound) and the tree looks much better.

I did a bit of baking yesterday, making bread is a very earthy thing to do, and it tasted delish too. My tin is full of chocolate tray bake so we are all set for the week ahead.

The art project went well, 'Childhood Memories' it was good to revisit a time, long ago, when I used to work the bellows for my granddad, Joe Royston, who was a blacksmith. I remember my mum once saying, if Jane had been a boy she would have been a blacksmith. That would not have mattered these days would it?

Down the pub - The Art House

All together in The Art House

Garlic Bread a la Jane

Childhood Memories

We will be back next week, God willing, so until then,
Keep safe and keep smiling!
Jane and David xx

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Shedcast 2:21 15 01 2021 at 16 43 - SURVIVE!

Still Life and Draft Score 

Hello Everyone,

Well, it's been a very creative week what with painting, song writing, an afternoon poetry workshop on Zoom, a bit of reading, and, what seemed like, a lot of cooking, so today I am going to try to relax and hopefully play my cello.

The heavy snowfall we had a couple of days ago is still on the footpaths, but the road is clear. Today we have blue skies, so fingers crossed there will be no more snow. It is very cold outside, however the house is toasty warm.

I think the best news of the week is the vaccine roll out, already more than 3 million people have had the jab. David should get his in a couple of weeks. Of course the bad news is the terrible rise in deaths, last week saw over 1,000 people a day taken by this terrible virus, and word is that the next ten days will be even worse. So, the message is to stay at home unless you have to go to the supermarket, doctor's, or for exercise. Of course some people have to work, they can't all work from home, they are heroes, the NHS workers, the supermarket workers, dustbin people, delivery drivers, police men and women, teachers of Keyworkers' children, etc. May they all keep safe. 

So, with one eye on keeping alive, and the other on the developing events in America with the inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden coming up next week, and the National Guard standing ready after Trump followers ran riot and stormed the Capitol building, it should prove to be an interesting week.

Here's our shedcast: 

Keep safe, and keep smiling!
Bye for now,
Jane and David xx

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Shedcast 1/21 08 01 2021 at 18 18

Hi Everyone!

A big HUG from us both. Well, it's been a week what with Covid-19 going off the scale, and Trump whipping up his mob to storm the Capitol Building in Washington, not to mention a few hold ups at Dover due to new Brexit paperwork. It's enough to drive you to drink. We were just on the verge of cancelling our monthly wine order when things began to look a bit grim again. 1,325 deaths in the UK during the last 24 hours, that's over a thousand a day for the past three days and the word is that it will get worse during the next two weeks. Heaven help the hospital staff.

Good news! The vaccine is being rolled out at a good pace and we should all look forward to better days come the summer. I say well done to Boris and his team, they have all had a lot of criticism but who knows who could have handled this crisis any better. At least the opposition have backed him up and put aside their Boris bashing on the point of a lockdown. 

Painting project of the week this week was 'The Year Ahead' here is my interpretation:

An imaginary highland scene

The Year Ahead - is it sucking us in, or spewing us out?

And this is us about to head out into the snow for our daily walk. 

So to our weekly Shedcast - it really is just our way of getting through the loneliness of lockdown,

We shall be back in the shed next week, God willing and a good supply of bevvy. Till then, keep safe and keep smiling.

Bye for now,
Jane and David xx

Friday, January 1, 2021

Shedmonay 31 12 2020 at 18 29

So now let's just get on with it and make 2021 the best year ever. It's up to us after all to choose to be happy and not grumpy, but sometimes 'grumpy' feels so good. The main thing is that we don't allow it to last very long. On that note I am beginning this 'New' year with special optimism. There is food in the larder, we have a lovely warm house, and our very special shed, plus family and friends whom we love and know love us. And the icing on the cake - the birds are singing in our garden!

Happy New Year to everyone! 

My art project this week is - The Year Ahead so that's a challenge to keep me occupied. Last week I produced a painting of our son, David Jnr, I am quite pleased with it, though I know it could do with more work, but I am learning all the time, and really enjoy splashing the paint about. 

Meanwhile, David is already on his third book since Christmas.

We shall be taking a breath of air today, before settling down to watch The Greatest Showman on TV.

Keep safe and keep smiling,
Love Jane and David xx

Tears From The Sun - The Story