This time of year is always filled with smells. The Rayburn is on so there is the smell of smoke and we are cooking more roasts. Basically, winter in our house simply smells good. At the moment there is a bit of beef cooking with roast vegetable and a baked potato… No Yorkshire pudding but there is bread rising on the top.

Everything revolves around the Rayburn.

It’s solid fuel so gives the clothes that dry over it a wonderful wood smoke smell. The side boiler provides all our hot water and it is our main cooker and hob. Without the Rayburn our house doesn’t work.

Every autumn as we turn the Rayburn on I can’t help but smile and when we close her down in the spring it makes me sad. And yes, we do have limited hot water in the summer. I think that the winter is my favourite time of year for one reason only, the fact that the Rayburn is on and makes our lives so comfortable.

Inspired by the daily prompt – Pungent



Everyone gets it… You anticipate a meal or a new dress. You sit at the edge of your seat waiting for the newest movie to start in the cinema. It is the crawling butterfly sensation that leaves you feeling slightly sick and excited.

The anticipation can leave you making a mistake or doing something silly. Take the other day. I was at a posh restaurant with my fella (yes I have one) when the waiter did something really strange. Now I was already filled with anticipation for going and for eating Italian… Something I’ve only done once before and never in this kind of restaurant. So the waiter walks over to the table for two and pulls out a chair.

I smile at him.

He smiles back.

I simile at my fella.

He smiles back.

I walk to the other side of the table and plonk myself into the chair.

“Um…” my fella says.

I look at the waiter who is still holding the chair and I feel my shoulders slump.

“You were holding the chair for me…”

“Yes,” he says and hands me a menu.

I had to laugh… I had been tied up in knots wondering if I was going to enjoy it or do anything wrong. The answer was yes, but do you know what? I made it a wonderful night. The ice was broken… Well, shattered really and I loved the food.

If you are in Buckingham and see a place called Prezzo – go! It was truly wonderful!!!

Inspired from the daily prompt – anticipation

Pet Portraits

I’m offering a few places this year for pet portraits, so if you want your dog, cat, horse, rabbit, snake… Well, your pet drawing or painting then let me know.

I’m also offering digital drawings… These arrive with you as a file that you can have them printed on anything from mugs to canvas.



When I was studying for my degree, a joint in Biology and Art, I had a friend. We didn’t really start hanging out until the second year. By the third year we had rooms next to each other. I was a different person then.

I was naive and people could take advantage of me. I managed to do the whole university experience without getting a boyfriend. I didn’t understand what was wrong. I thought I came across as caring and warm but the reality was different.

I wasn’t diagnosed then but I was suffering under the yoke of dyslexia, Asperger’s and dyspraxia. I couldn’t relate to my peers. I didn’t understand the social interactions. When everyone went to the bar after lectures I didn’t. I thought that by not being directly asked I was being left out. I wasn’t… At lest I don’t think I was. I was just odd.

A weird duck… I stood out. I hung out with the random people I had been placed with in residential halls and they were some lovely people.

But I should have been getting on with those that I was studying with. I have no facial recognition. And it got me into trouble with some people. There was no friend to ground me. Now if I go out I normally have someone who will be there if I have a problem. If I find that I can’t concentrate or there are issues that cause my anxiety to rise, I simply smile and remove myself from the situation. But back then there was no one and I didn’t have the confidence to leave.

Until my friend.


She was strange. Confident. Always wore black. Never got annoyed with me and was supportive.

But like all friendships we lost touch. I moved country. Her letters stopped.

I didn’t think.

And then she was gone. It has been a few years and yet I still think of her. In fact she has made it onto one of my Christmas cards… The lady who went everywhere with a red umbrella. My friend.

I still miss you. I just wish we had been closer at the end. I would have loved one more conversation. One more coffee. One more argument about the use of marmite in cooking.


Inspired by the daily prompt – sincere

Christmas Cards

Am I late? I have a feeling that I am…

But better late than never.

So I have designed three Christmas cards. They are almost in production. I’m awaiting the envelopes but I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak. They are my first digitally designed cards.

Enjoy and message me if you fancy one or two. They are going to retail at £1.20 each or all 3 for £3.30. Free postage and packing.

‘Ruffled feathers’ 7 x 18.5 cm
‘Deer Snow’ 10.5 x 15 cm
‘Never Forgot’ 7 x 18.5 cm


I am working on a series for hares. I love the animal and think they are calming. So as it is almost time to pop some art in the hospital for the Christmas period I decided to start the series that has been playing around in my head. It is actually 5 pieces but the hospital will only take two of them…

So this is the first…

And it is finished! Whoop…

So I showed my Mum…

“It’s a hare.”

“Yes,” I said.

“It’s a sitting hare.”


“Everyone draws hares…” she said. Not evilly, she’s making a valid point. I’m a member of an art group and at one time or another we have all drawn a hare. I saw mine in Northern Ireland… They are much larger than you think they are.

It got me thinking. Is my artwork a bit of a copycat. Am I just jumping on the band wagon? Or , as I hope, am I showcasing my style and saying something about the animal?

I don’t know…

Here is the second piece. It isn’t finished and is a little more unusual.


All in all the five pieces will try to capture what I saw. My own point of view – so they can’t be copycat-like… Can they?

I’m not going to stop though because so far I love them. And I do think they say something else, but it has got me thinking…

Inspiration for this post from the daily prompt – Copycat