Monday, July 15, 2024

Summer break

Dear friends,

I am taking a few weeks break from the blog, but I will be back…probably in the second half of August.

In the meantime I wanted to tell you that I was mentioning badminton in an email today and couldn’t remember the word for shuttlecock. Imagine. I had to Google it. That’s what my brain is like these days.

Secondly, and randomly, I don’t know if you’re Call the Midwife fans, but I am devoted to it. I have a quibble, though. I want to know why Matthew insisted on carrying on with business when he was no good at it. When Trixie met him he was a barrister. Why on earth did he not go back to working at that? Actually I don’t like him much. He was impossibly high handed in that last episode of the last series (series 13). Comments welcome.

Wishing you lovely weather,

Love Sue

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

All new

I have never been to Pembrokeshire before and I’m loving it. 

Yesterday’s weather was drizzly and dull so we went to St Davids, which is a city, on account of St David’s cathedral, 

but St David’s is a settlement smaller than Bakewell. There is only one supermarket, for example, and they’ve been campaigning to stop the surgery being closed down. Perhaps the new government will keep it open: they are promising more GPs, after  all.

We looked round the cathedral and I was taken with this quote from St David:

Also with the needlework on this tapestry:

…look at the beautiful crows!

And this panel in another part of the cathedral:

Which brought me back to thoughts of Gaza.

And in another part of the cathedral I learned about the Armenian genocide in 2015, which I had known nothing about. Why are there STILL genocides?

I saw this tweet last night:

We must not let the world turn its eyes away from what’s happening in Gaza.

Monday, July 08, 2024


 This is the official selfie for this year’s holiday with Liz.

Photo by Liz

We’ve had two beach days with hot sunshine now. Yesterday I managed to get up to my waist, and today it was total immersion in the cold, cold Atlantic. I feel very pleased with myself. I have nothing left to prove now. Can you spot me?

Photo by Liz

I managed to squirm into my tight cossie under a towel on the beach without embarrassment, and then noticed my pants hadn’t come off with my jeans, so I had to do it all over again, while not letting my falsie fall out and get coated in sand. All part of the holiday fun when the sun is warm and the sea and sky are a deep deep blue. We’ve been so lucky with the weather. Rain is expected tomorrow so we’re going to St Davids.

The wild flowers and grasses here are sublime but I find it difficult to take a good photo. 

Liz is better at it.

Photo by Liz

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Picture postcards from Pembrokeshire

We are staying in a lovely little cottage very near Porthgain. I’ve never been to Pembrokeshire but Liz has been coming for 50 years so she is showing me all her favourite places. It’s beautiful. 

The journey was a long one and made longer by three significant diversions caused by roadworks or accidents. Once the satnav took us on a vicious circle down a single track road.

Liz said “We may be lost but we’re making good time.”*

But we got here. Liz is an excellent and patient driver. 

On our first day we had beautiful blue skies - which have been so rare this year - and a strong cold wind.

Here are some pictures:no writing today.

Walk to the harbour
Photo by Liz

Look at that lush vegetation!
Photo by Liz

Porthgain beach

On the coastal path

Coastal path
Photo by Liz

Coastal path
Photo by Liz

Liz’s first paddle 

Caerfai Bay

Colours on the beach

Colours at the harbour

* borrowed from her brother in law.

Friday, July 05, 2024

Things I am happy about

Things I am happy about:

The Tories are toast.

Jeremy Corbyn has won and will be Father of the House.

Diane Abbott has won and will be Mother of the House.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has lost.

The Greens - the party of the left - have won 4 seats, up from 1. They’re on the way up.

I am going on holiday with Liz today! 

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

The truth about the art trail

I know that at least one member of my family would say I shouldn’t admit to this, but the highlight of the Art Trail for me was MsX coming to visit on the Sunday afternoon.

This is MsX:

I hadn’t seen her for three weeks and I shan’t see her for another three weeks, and that’s too long a gap for me.

It reminded me of when I was publishing BUT I TOLD YOU LAST YEAR THAT I LOVED  YOU, and Isaac was producing the cover. He lived in San Francisco then. The cover proofs arrived in the post via FEDEX and in the same parcel were some unexpected photos of Lux, my eldest granddaughter, who was 9 months old.

I was so excited to be getting the cover for my book, and I ripped open the envelope, but then I spotted the photos of Lux and was even more excited, and I drooled over those first.

I wrote a blog post about this and how it made me realise that I was a grandmother before a writer. I think it’s the same now but with painting. And it still amazes me, because I was never one of those women who desperately wanted grandchildren. But now they are here I am besotted (as you’ve probably gathered.)

The other highlights of the trail were

1/ Chrissie buying a painting on the eve of it so I could add a red dot 🔴 to one of my paintings. This was a huge encouragement. This is the painting…

Our blue shed

2/ three good friends coming to visit for extended conversations - one of whom I hadn’t seen since before Covid.

3/ the positive feedback and interesting conversations I had with some of the visitors.

I sold plenty of cards, and none of my paintings. But the prices mean they are not an impulse buy.

So would I do it again?

I’m not sure. It was well organised and well attended and successful. I’m sure the punters enjoyed it. But I’m not sure if it was worth it for me. It’s not free.

I enjoyed last year’s exhibition at home for friends and family so much more, so I think I’m going to do that again in August. We had tea and cake and people sat in the garden talking to people they didn’t know and it felt like a party.

If you’re a regular blog reader you’d be welcome to come.

The profits from my cards will go to Medical Aid for Palestinians. 

Link here