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Sunday, 31 December 2006

The last day of a difficult year

So it's the last day of a very difficult year. Edward is still suffering with some mystery skin complaint and so the trip to see his grandparents has been cancelled. I am trying to persuade them to come here instead as then I won't have to take any time off work. Ian can pick them up from home, he's got precious little else to do. When they are here he can sleep at his mother's house and let's hope he likes it! I intend to start off the New Year as I mean to go on, and work on a whole new series of paintings and an illustrated book. I hope to produce a local calendar as well and I think that should go down well at the 10 parishes art festival in September. I shall only produce limited numbered prints from now on, and sign each one. I will have to continue with my other job as well so I can make some sort of dent in the debts that Ian is piling up. He must have gone completely mad. I can't think of anything else that would make someone behave in the way he is. I don't waste emotion on it, I'm too busy trying to think of an escape route. Today I shall continue working on my business plan, and of course the washing and ironing!

Saturday, 30 December 2006

A day at home

It's pouring with rain outside, Ian and Edward are watching 'My name is Earl' and I am blogging, obviously, and bored out of my brains! I have been invited to Paris for a New Year party and guess what, I can't go. I can't spend money on trips or anything else for that matter until the errant husband gets some paid employment. Anyhow, I was supposed to be taking Edward to see his grandparents this weekend but his eczema is so bad he doesn't want to travel. I shall ask them to come here instead. They can see the shop then. I have a grand plan for my paintings in and out of the shop for 2007. I only hope the chilli I cooked for my business partner will butter him up enough to fund some of my ideas. I think we could both make a bit of cash with what I've got in mind. This is the first day I've spent at home for ages and I wish I'd opened the shop. At least in there I have the chance to talk to other humans!

Friday, 29 December 2006

loathsome reptile

My husband is a loathsome reptile. He has just been having an in depth discussion with my son about sex offenders, following a news item on radio 4 that they are to be considered for drug therapy. He, who thinks looking at pictures of children being abused doesn't lead to offending, thinks that human rights issues are more important than the control of these persons. I didn't join in, as I don't agree with his views on most things. I am really leaving this time. I shall put the house back on the market in the New Year. I know that most people don't think I'll do it (you know who you are) but even I have a tipping point.

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Boxing Day Hunt

Have just returned from photographing the Hunt leaving from Wivey Square. What a magnificent sight. I took 42 pictures at least half of which are really good. I shall be able to paint a lovely pic of Sue and her friends for her 40th birthday. I have the definitive view of the Master leaving with hounds from just by the Christmas tree, so that will make a fabulous card for next year. There were loads of people there and not a single anit-hunt person. Saw Pauline and her husband along with Barbara and her daughter visiting from Spain. Not much hunting to hounds there I suspect. It makes it even more difficult coming home having been outside with friendly people. Ian's mother and brother haven't been to the house or wished us a Merry Christmas. Why is it that I have to suffer because of their shortcomings? Pauline said next time someone tries to fix me up with a date I should seriously consider it! Maybe I should. I wouldn't mind a bit of happiness for myself before it's too late.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Weird brother in law

Christmas Day, massive great turkey plus all other related turkey bollocks, no guests. Yesterday the errant husband phoned Ma and weird brother to see what time they were coming over. She said she didn't know anything about it and that she was doing Christmas lunch for her and weird brother only. This after she had phoned me about a month ago to say she'd do lamb on boxing day if I did the turkey on Crimbo day. THEN, she said she would come over but weird said he didn't want to, gave no reason, and plans to sulk on own, presumably with only festive pot noodle for lunch. Yesterday Sue and Abbied came over for a visit. As luck would have it, just in time to help me peel the chestnuts. What a disgusting job that is. I shall roast them with squash and bacon a la Jamie Oliver, coil up the chipolatas to resemble dog poo, to make Edward laugh, and have a big scoff up. Poop to the other miserable blighters. Come - don't come - I shall have a lovely day and then veg out in front of the soaps on telly. Merry Christmas to anyone who reads this.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Henry VIII and dead dogs

The shop was fairly busy today. Carousel Pig was heaving with customers, again! You'd think that all the right on green blighters round here would want to by locally produced goods, wouldn't you? Well you'd be wrong! They want cheap tat! Never mind that it's probably been produced in a sweatshop by a Chinese foetus! I'm down to the last print of Wiveliscombe Square. I shall paint it again in the New Year and have some more prints done. As long as people want to buy them, I shall paint them. The last dead dog painting went off as soon as the shop opened. That's the thing, our customers are loyal. It's getting through to the zillions that plod as if in a trance to Carousel Pig without even glancing over the road. Then there are the ones who look in the window and seem afraid to come in. When we do get them over the threshold they ooh and aah at everything and then bog off to the pig! The M in L tottered over the road to bring me a poinsettia. I haven't bought them anything this year. I've given up on spending on them. I'll give them a good scoff up and that will have to do. Off to the shop again tomorrow. Working on a picture of Henry VIII at the moment. I'm going to do a series of portraits of my favourite people for the sitting room walls. Well that is until the next batch of dead dogs come along!

Friday, 22 December 2006

Dead dogs all done

The last commissioned painting of a deceased dog is finished! Yipee! If people want paintings of their dogs, I wish they'd either, have them done whilst still living or at least take some decent photographs of the blighters before they snuff it! The last one, some kind of collie dog, was expected to be painted from three ancient snap shots taken from what looks like two miles away! And one of them was from the back! Anyhow it's done now and I've just got two more days to work in the shop before I can start clearing up at home and cooking for everyone. Then, a brief three hundred mile dash to see ageing P's and begin it all again! Ian's mother will have to come over and feed the morbidly obese felines. Let's hope she can get them to go outside instead of pooing in the cellar. (The cats that is - not the M in L) but, come to think of it, that wouldn't surprise me! Have already had a lovely hamper as a gift from Annie. She is too generous. She's a struggling single mother and has spent all her hard earned cash on everyone else. I've got her and Charly some nice little china bears. I wonder if the errant spouse has bought me anything. If he has, it's with money I've earned!!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

What a cheek

I have just awoken from a deep sleep! Last evening I had a phone call from Bryn, a friend of mine, who prints some of my paintings to sell in the shop. He said someone had asked him to print some for them to give away as Christmas presents. I was busy with something else at the time and just agreed without thinking about it. However, I'm pretty sure it's the person who came into the shop last Saturday and asked to buy some from me. I told her I had plenty and I'd bring some in from home for her. She has bypassed me and thinks she can take prints from my work! I am FURIOUS. Those images belong to me. Incidentally, she's the wife of a hotelier in the town who hangs my master paintings in his restaurant - for free, I might add! I shall head this little debacle off at the pass first thing tomorrow morning, and if they are difficult they can get free paintings in the restaurant from The Chapel Gallery. They won't EVER need replacements because no one ever wants to buy any of them! What a cheek!!!!!

Saturday, 16 December 2006

A really good day in the shop!

At last people have begun to throw caution to the wind and start buying Christmas presents. We had a really good day in the shop. I sold two original watercolours and three prints! The male of the species is buying it's mate necklaces this year. The village postmaster had been shooed into the shop by his lady wife to acquire some of 'Annies Beads'. He spent ages trawling through stuff for a woman who I happen to know is a lover of the colour pink, like me, and chose a vomit green one that looked like it had been fashioned from squashed bogies with mould growing on them! Still, the thought was there! I don't suppose my reptile will get me anything! Anyhow, I wrapped it up nicely for him, as I did with all the chaps who came in. Men are not capable of wrapping presents. I'm supposed to charge for the wrapping, but it seems so mean, especially when I fully intend to pinch what's left of the paper to wrap up my presents!

Friday, 15 December 2006

vile husband

I was just thinking today about what a fool I must have been to get married. These thoughts were prompted by the occasion of my anniversary on 13th December. I was thinking back to when my son was born. I was in hospital for over a week. Looking back, they must have thought there was something wrong with him even then as they stashed me away in a private room which was regularly visited by different doctors in white coats who had concerned looks on their faces. I didn't have any cards or flowers at all. Ian didn't bring me anything. All the other women had balloons, flowers and cards all around them. Not me. It was only when I got back to the flat in Hampstead that I saw everything had been delivered there and just left there! All my friends were desperate to get in touch but he hadn't told me anything. I actually experienced a chill down my spine! That man is not normal! He didn't even register that I should have all these things brought to me in Hospital. And that's not the best bit. He brought HIS MOTHER with him when he collected me and Edward from the hospital, and she sulked because I wouldn't let her carry him out to the car. She also expected me to climb into the back of an XJS, my having just had major surgery, whilst she sat in the front with MY baby! It was also my birthday that day, and that was conveniently ignored as well. So I suppose it's my own stupid fault to be stuck with a parasite of a husband who doesn't seem to want to contribute to our family in any way. Neither financially or otherwise! Ho Hum, off to the Art Shop.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

it's my wedding aniversary

Well then, 13th December, married for four years. It was actually Friday 13th when we got married. I thought it would be a wizard wheeze. In fact, it was tempting fate! Another hard morning at the 'pie face' and an afternoon in the shop. I was mumbling incantations about people who were only visiting the shop over the road, Carousel Pig, and not us, when I realised a customer was standing next to me listening to my wish that some old bint got knocked over by a tractor! Painted a collie dog and a jackdaw this afternoon. That's a bit of dosh at the weekend for me and the shop. People are buying the Christmas cards again, but I shall have to do some more for next year. I can't get them out three years in a row. Errant husband not in yet. Poorly son on sofa, having been 'minded' by my delightful M in L. You could grease cake tins with her head! Yuk! Po faced old moo! Wonder what my anniversary present will be? Another bombshell no doubt.

Monday, 11 December 2006

in which the husband demands respect

Having come back from the shop after moving around the displays to fit in more stuff for Paula, I had the temerity to enquire whether the husband had been looking for a job. He demanded that I show him some respect and that he would look for a job in his own time. I told him that respect had to be earned, and that I was rather knackered, what with the two jobs and all the shopping and housework, and so I thought perhaps it would be better if we went our separate ways. After Christmas, which incidentally will NOT be spent cooking for and running around after his Mother, I shall be putting the house on the market, and he can, frankly, BOG OFF!

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Sunday in the shop

The weather was grim! About twenty people came into the shop, mostly to get out of the rain! I left the sign out and it did get some people sniggering. I managed to get two commissions done. People are always asking me to paint pictures of their houses. That's fine if it's a cute cottage, or something interesting but yesterday I was required to make a 1960's 'slab' house look good! I did a bit of a sneaky painting as well. I painted a picture of Church street featuring Bobtail Cottage and I know the girl who lives there is an admirer of my work. So, hopefully, she won't be able to resist buying it! I worked all day - again - and when I got in the lazy blighters hadn't even tidied up. I tell you, I need a wife, not a husband. What is it with men? Why can't they see when something in the house needs doing? If Ian ever does anything, he 'tells' me about it in the form of a running commentary. I think he expects a star chart on the wall like the one Edward used to have. Special stars for picking up clothes and putting them in the laundry basket, and a really biggie for taking out the rubbish. Anyway, today is Monday and I'm hoping he's going to start looking for a job. I think four years with no earnings is quite enough. I'd be embarrassed if I were him. I don't think he's actually lazy, just not of this planet. Why the hell did I marry the git!

Saturday in the shop

For once I slept through the night, so yesterday's events are being recorded at a time when other humans walk the earth! I put the chalkboard outside the shop yesterday to try and lure customers in. It read ' Claire Rice, in the shop all day. Fat, Old, worn out. Come in and cheer me up.' And they did! I didn't sell any of my paintings though. I sold some small embroideries and a couple of textile art pieces. I am currently working on the last of my Christmas commissions. I still have three dead dogs to paint, a deer, a jackdaw and a house in the next village. I was starving by the time Ian finally brought me a couple of miserable cheese and pickle sandwiches for lunch, and I sent him to the shop for some sparkling water. Oh the excitement of it all! My lovely friend
Christina came in to see me and we arranged for me to go to her farmhouse in Devon for lunch before Christmas. I shall enjoy that! I am currently trying to persuade her to join the art and craft co-operative as her flower paintings are really good! Anyhow, I think she'd enjoy being in the shop and talking to the customers. I'm opening up today, as the shop on the other side of the road is also open, so I can't let them get all the shoppers on the way back from Church!!

Friday, 8 December 2006

friday 8th

a very strange day indeed. Ian has decided not to apply for jobs that he hasn't done before, in case there's another applicant who might get the job instead of him! That about covers any job! I can't work any more hours, unless of course, someone has invented gainful employment that can be entered into whilst asleep.
The shop wasn't very busy today. Raamy the 'Egyptian Potter' was on duty this morning. We usually put a board outside to say who's in on any given day as people like to come in and chat about the things we make. Raamy 'doesn't like' putting the board out, or having the door open and I bet he sits in there with a face like a wet weekend! He's actually really good at selling his own stuff and customers like his stories about creating his smoke fired pots etc.
I always put the sign out and leave the door open. 'Claire Rice Watercolours in the shop all day' usually brings in a few people. I'm really quite well known now, at least in deepest West Somerset, anyhow! It's really satisfying knowing that at least twenty people will be getting one of my pictures for Christmas.
The cards are selling really well again this year. The local postman, who features in one of them, as 'Christmas Postie' really loves all the attention he gets! It's nice to involve everyone, as the arts community round here seem to be separate from 'everyone else.' Anyhow, I still consider myself a jobbing painter rather than an artist, so it suits me.
I don't suppose Beryl Cook's got a part time job making sandwiches to make ends meet.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Today, another bombshell was dropped. My husband, having taken out a loan to fund a new business venture, has dumped the idea. Well I cant meet our outgoings now unless someone invents a job you can do whilst asleep! Not that I get much of that.
Prozac is a wonderful thing. Were I not medicated, I think I'd be plotting to murder him, but when under the influence of the little helper, I find I can't be bothered.
So now, the situation is, I have two jobs, an unemployed husband, an autistic son, and two morbidly obese cats to feed.
I am, actually, a professional painter. Not bad at all. Collected in these parts in fact. I bet my customers don't know I'm up at 6.00am every morning on my way to the 'pie mine' a catering unit, where I make sandwiches for four hours before I come back home to start painting.
Oh, and there's the art and craft co-operative I set up, I work there as well. There are three new members this week! It's proving something of a success at last. What a wonderful way this is of getting angst out of one's system. Instead of boring the tits off one's chums! Will anyone read it? Do I give a kipper's dick?