Monday, 16 July 2018


I had a walk in the woods this weekend. Are these orchids? They grow every year in the same place on a meadow in a shady spot.  I don't know really what they are, they only lasted a week - when I returned to show a friend, they were withered.   They always grow in the same spot.  It's times when you see something beautiful like this that you just need to stop for a moment and appreciate - there was a time I would have wanted to pick them all but not any more - they are more beautiful where they grow than anywhere else.  Update: thank you for your comments, I think you are right, this is toadflax - very pretty and similar to snapdragons, not orchids. 

See how many there are - and tall thistles too - red admiral butterflies love them.

There were huge dragonflies as fat as cigars swooping over us but it was impossible to capture them on camera as they were so fast.

A neighbour has hollyhocks I wanted to paint them, then I found some in a magazine, which inspired this watercolour.  I think I am a silk painter mostly, but I have been trying hard with the watercolour, I can see my shortcomings.  How do you prevent these 'cauliflowers' as they are called? they happen when you try to cover large expanses, like sky, you can't have a picture without the sky so it's got to be mastered  - Should I wet the paper first perhaps? who knows.  Despite grandparents who painted I never asked the right questions, or showed any interest when they were there to help, too late now as they are gone.  Isn't that the way with life in general, we don't appreciate the knowledge and experience of the old and wise and yet they could make things so much quicker and easier if only we bothered to spend time with them.  When I am old - which is soon - I will be bursting with advice whether asked for or not methinks!

The UK is in a drought situation.  My lawns are dead and so are most of the bushes in my borders.  Only a few plants in pots are surviving as I water them daily from a can - I don't think we have a hosepipe ban but I haven't used mine anyway just in case and on principal.  Ambercat is very hot and bothered and is spending a lot of time lying on the dirt under a bush,  she loves it when I put sheets out over the garden chairs to dry as she can sneak underneath them like a soggy tent.  The whole country is drying up - it's unusual and worrying as the forecast is for another month or more of these temperatures with no rain,.

I took a day trip by train to Brighton and lay on the beach all afternoon dozing.  There was a rowing club out on the water with brightly coloured boats and many people swimming and paddling.  I went down The Lanes exploring and had an ice cream.

I had lunch at Leon (again) ... look how delicous there veggie meatless balls still are,
second visit in a month:

I also went to the pub close behind our house, it's such an easy short walk. I met an old friend and we chatted then strolled the woods which took us home.

I have absolutely nothing else to tell you, have been very idle lately and just wanted to say hello.  Thanks for stopping by and for being a follower.  Bye for now :)


  1. The plants look like toadflax (linaria vulgaris) - the flowers look a bit like a snapdragon. Really pretty.
    Best wishes

  2. The yellow flowers look like snap dragons to me.

  3. I don't think that is an orchid Betty. I am not sure what it is but orchid flowers usually last for weeks & weeks & weeks. I think your hollyhocks are so lovely - they are one of my favourite flowers ever. Sorry to read you are in a drought ... we worry here when we have summers with droughts. It affects so much, especially when you are dairy farming. Lovely that you could have a day at the beach.

  4. Betty, I think it is a wild flower known as Toadflax.

  5. Beautiful painting chuck!
    I'd love to eat at a Leon restaurant, must have a look for one when Im down South x

  6. Oh, the hollyhock painting is gorgeous, Betty! Wow. I love it. I was thinking about how tasty the Brighton Rock you sent me was and I was telling my daughter about my tooth mishap. The dentist fixed it for free but said not to eat it again. Ha! I wish the beach was close to me. I'll go whale watching in August when I go up to visit my mom and sibs. That'll be very fun.
    Keep painting, good artist! I pray it rains soon. xoxoxo

  7. Ambercat sounds exactly like our two, they've been lying under bushes and coming home filth.
    Your painting is gorgeous.
    Totally selfish, I know but I want this weather to last forever. I'm glad we took advantage of our hideous winter and kept the water butts topped up, my tomatoes are flourishing. xxx

  8. Lovely artwork, Wood Fairy!

  9. I enjoyed your post.
    In this too hot summer UK weather your picture of Brighton beach looks so cooling.

    All the best Jan

  10. Like that painting. Like you said...... "I never asked the right questions, or showed any interest when they were there to help"........ very true. We take things for granted.

  11. beautiful catch up on your blog today...thanks for your comment...loving your artwork. hope you had a lovely summer and enjoying the start to autumn x

  12. A trip to Brighton beach sounds wonderful. I know drought is bad, but I guiltily (is that a word?) enjoy droughts as I love sunshine and heat.

    Your meatless ball dish looks good. There is a restaurant near me that serves "veggie buffalo wings" - they use cauliflower in place of chicken wings. It is DELICIOUS!

    I love your painting. How wonderful to have such talent!


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