Five (good) things on Friday

Hello again!  I’m so sorry to have been absent again for a while.  Still gradually recovering from the long-lasting bout of flu, which has left me with a wheezy cough and depleted energy levels.  But fortunately still able to enjoy what energy I have (mainly in the morning through till mid-afternoon, when I slump rather) – and it’s getting better, so no real complaints.

I promise I will catch up with replying to your comments, which I really truly do love to receive, and catch up with dropping by and visiting your blogs and commenting.  In the meantime, I do hope you’ll bear with me.

So, another ‘Five (good) things” post feels like an easy way back in.

  1. Two really interesting talks – first of all, a talk in the local (council owned) Victoria Art Gallery linked to a most beautiful exhibition of prints by Howard Hodgkin.  The talk was by Andrew Smith, a printmaker who worked very closely with Hodgkin to produce the prints to his exact requirements.  So very interesting, and such a fascinating insight into both the painstaking process of making the prints, and also the way Hodgkin himself worked.  Then on another evening at another gallery (the Martin Parr Foundation, at the Paintworks in Bristol), a talk by Martin Parr himself outlining his life and work, illustrated with fascinating slides and delivered with great humour. If you live in the UK you’re probably familiar with his work even if you don’t realise – he’s made a series of interesting BBC1 ident films that I’m sure you’ll have seen, and there are more to come in 2018.
  2. Time to go out on the allotment and do some jobs I should have done last month but didn’t.  In particular I’ve cut down and thinned out all the autumn-fruiting raspberry canes, and saved some spares to pass on to fellow allotmenters.  I’ll offer any surplus on Freegle.  I was cold and tired but very satisfied when I finally finished and came back indoors.
  3. Exchanged an unwanted Christmas gift for something I really do want.  Well, to be fair the gift wasn’t at all unwanted, in fact quite the reverse.  I gave a short list of some things I would enjoy to close family, thinking they might perhaps talk to each other….  Well no, and both sons and partners gave me the same book.  So – I took the duplicate book to one of the independent bookshops we’re fortunate to have here in Bath, explained the problem to them (including making it clear that the book hadn’t been bought from them), and they kindly agreed to do a swap.  So now I have two inspiring allotment/garden books, and will enjoy both.
  4. Enjoyed watching the garden birds on the new (squirrel-proof) feeder oldest son and his partner gave Malcolm for Christmas, as well as the two broken feeders I mended, refilled, and put out again.  Such a pleasure to see!  And helped by Malcolm’s photos and the bird book we’ve had for ages, we’re learning to recognise new-to-us species.
  5. A much-loved regular circuit walk around Bristol docks, including a stop for a flask and snack, then a cafe stop for a delicious light lunch and coffee.  So beautiful in the muted January light. 

About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
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8 Responses to Five (good) things on Friday

  1. Sharon says:

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. You have lovely views to enjoy when energy levels permit, and such lovely people in the bookshop too.


  2. Marian says:

    So I’m not sure if this is a duplicate comment or not (I’m having trouble with wordpress today, it seems) —

    It’s lovely to see a post from you, Deborah, although unfortunate to hear your illness has been lingering so long. (No worries on the delay in responding to comments or commenting elsewhere; I hope I speak for all when I say we completely understand.)
    Your mention of taking in talks on artwork has reminded me of something I “resolved” to do after receiving a piece of locally-made art from my son this Christmas: I’d like to find a way to get more art or art-appreciation in my life. My son’s girlfriend probably helped my son pick the gift, and she is *quite* the artist herself. She’s given my son several paintings, all gorgeous, and talking with her over Christmas reminded me how much I used to enjoy drawing. I’m not sure I want or need to get back to it myself, but it would be nice to find some way to support it in others. (And I’ll share this with you here, because my son probably wouldn’t want me to share it on my blog: this December, after coming home from exams, he built her a wooden birdhouse; I love that HER artistry has brought out the creative side in HIM!)
    That looks like a lovely book your sons bought you 🙂 . And what a colourful hillside of housing!
    Wishing you a continuing recovery, Deborah.


    • Oh thank you Marian. No, not a duplicate comment, so the earlier one must have just evaporated (or whatever they do….).
      Like you, I resolved a couple of years back to make better use of all the amazing art and talks etc we have available here in Bath (and nearby Bristol). I’ve found my monthly card reminders to be a useful memory job to look out for something every month. And yes, it’s lovely to see our children grow and blossom as they find different (positive) influences in their lives. With our youngest son, the very fussiest of eaters, it was fun seeing how each new girlfriend made it her mission to get him to extend his range of foods – we could tell the ‘keepers’ by how successful they were! (though D-i-L has run out of steam on that one, and she’s without doubt a keeper!).
      Thankfully the flu has completely gone now, such a relief.


  3. kim says:

    Glad you’re feeling better. I can’t believe I’ve lived in this area most of my life, was born in Bath, and yet have still not visited the Victoria Art Gallery. You’ve inspired me to make the effort later this year, so thank you for the lovely post!


    • Oh you should definitely go there! worth checking out their website for travelling exhibitions going there, they seem to manage to attract some really good ones. And the permanent exhibition upstairs (free) is worth a look too.


  4. Am really enjoying your Five Things posts – please carry on writing them. Glad to hear you’re slowly getting better and you enjoyed the Howard Hodgkin talk xx


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