We will have the usual row….

We have not long returned from our holiday in Polzeath.  We hired a very old caravan on a site in the valley which was far from the shops and bars and very peaceful.  The rooks woke us up early every day, so we went surfing whilst it was quiet.  One morning, we were the only ones in the sea for a good while. We stayed in for three hours and felt smug walking back through the site as everyone was emerging, blinking from their tents. The beach in the middle of the day was a buzz of surf schools, body boards and bathers, so we headed off to The Rumps, passing by the spot where ‘For the Fallen’ was composed. The amount of wildlife we saw was amazing – beautiful beetles, many skylarks and butterflies and a huge clump of harebells.

Coming back from a holiday is always a bit flat.  We dread looking through the post in case there are any bills we’ve missed.  Luckily we escaped this time and all seems well. Paul’s Summer sessions have begun and most people are settled into their classes. A group of beginners – three generations of the same family! – joined yesterday and enjoyed their first session. We are grateful that Paul’s classes continue to be as popular as this is regular income for us.

I cheered myself up by swimming in the rain with my Tinside swimming chums.

Paul is well into Exhibition mode now, preparing for this weekend’s event in aid of the Plymouth Branch of the RNLI.  We will  have the usual row about where to hang paintings and how many – I say ‘less is more’ – Paul wants to get them all out there. I expect we’ll be speaking to each other by Saturday morning.  Please come along to see our cheery faces and support our local RNLI.  Details here!

Here is a photo of a coffee & walnut cake instead!

Huge thanks to all who supported our recent exhibition in aid of St Luke’s Hospice.  The final figure is just over £971 – the most we have ever raised.  Someone from St Luke’s Fundraising team took photos of a big cheque at the Studio when we had a Christmas Social for our students, but they haven’t appeared yet, so here is a photo of a coffee & walnut cake instead!

Paul and I have managed to get out and about as usual – crucial to our health and well-being, especially in the dark December weeks.  I was encouraged to see chamomile in flower on the cliff:

I’ve had my usual frequent swims off Tinside with my cherished chums:

We have to wrap up well after our winter swims.  The Terrace Cafe have blankets and hot water bottles for us.  We have been a couple of times to Rhodes at the Dome, but we’re not that impressed!

We have also ventured out to Dartmoor for a walk near Cadover.  Lucie and I couldn’t resist dipping in the river.  It’s a bit chilly this time of year!

Paul & I are looking forward to spending Christmas with family. I do hope all who read this post will have a good Christmas – it can be a strange time.  Often there is a mixture of sadness and happiness. Either way, Paul & I would like to wish everyone happiness for the coming year, and hope to see you at the Studio during 2015.

We managed to resist having a pint in the Dolphin!

Drink more wine!  Liquid sunshine!  This is what we need in these gales and rainstorms!  I have decided to hold a ‘Crochet Knit Sew with Wine’ evening on Wednesday 12th November at Studio 99.  I have been holding regular morning sessions (with chocolate biscuits) since April and they have been going very well, so I decided that an evening session was called for.  If you would like to join in, bring along any Works In Progress if you have any.  If not, I will have hooks, yarn, needles and a sewing machine for you to borrow.  There will also be wine and posh crisps (and tea).  Cost is £7.50 including wine. Let me know if you’re coming along, or would like details of the morning sessions.

Crochet Knit Sew

Despite the awful autumn weather, Paul & I have been managing a few trips to the beach – we had a great bellyboard surf in the sunshine at Bovisand on Sunday morning.  We were working up an appetite for our roast dinner which we had booked at Cafe Bovisands.  Just as we crossed the threshold of the cosy cafe, the heavens opened.  Thank goodness we missed it!  We ate our dinner watching the wild wind and waves.

Looking out from Cafe Bovisands

Paul’s next exhibition is coming up!  We spent this morning handing out posters to many businesses on the Barbican.  We were forced to call in at Monty’s for a cup of coffee and a read of the papers.  We managed to resist having a pint in the Dolphin!

Paul's exhibition at Studio 99

There will be delicious cakes

Nearly half term already.  Our summer went on for ages and now it is a shock to be plunged into autumn storminess. Before the storms, I managed to complete the Breakwater Swim in aid of the Chestnut Appeal, (click here for my Just Giving page) swimming from near the Fort just off the Breakwater into Tinside Beach East along with around 179 other swimmers.  The day was fine and calm – perfect conditions.  I really enjoyed the swim – it is marvellous to swim so close to the big buoys and navigation beacons in the Sound.  I completed the swim in about 1 hour 30 minutes – it wasn’t a race so I wasn’t swimming to gain a place, just to enjoy the view.

Paul and I have started the autumn with coughs and colds which have decided they like us a lot and are refusing to slink off.  Paul has steadfastly continued to teach and paint producing some beautiful monochrome work:

I’ve been presenting some Crochet, Knit & Sew mornings at Studio 99 – informal meetings over 3 hours where we bring along any works in progress and encourage each other and enjoy the company.  Usually taking place on a Thursday morning, there may also be evening sessions starting up soon.  With wine!

We are also planning our annual St Luke’s Hospice Exhibition.  This will take place at Studio 99 on the weekend of November 22nd/23rd from 11am – 4pm. There will be the usual delicious cakes and a free draw to win one of Paul’s unique paintings.  All welcome.  More details will be published soon.