Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I Haven't Drawn For Ages ....sigh! ...and I ramble a lot...

People who know me will tell you that all I ever talk about is my granddaughters  - I have four (aged 27, 24, 21 and 3) - and that I talk in  particular about the third one, Giselle, who is 21 in 6 weeks time. Well that's not strictly true! When my kids left home, their kids moved in here!

Anyway, to get back to the subject of drawing, or the lack of it. The problem has become one of space. I share my art-room with my best friend, who just happens to be....... my granddaughter, Giselle. The art-room is an attic/loft conversion I built over my two workshops ... I've got a photo somewhere, oh yes there it is.

The greenhouse (glasshouse) to the left, then the two workshops and you can just see the art-room window on the roof on the right, through the leaves. We don't call it an art room, by the way, we call it the 'hutch!' Like most things I build, inside the 'hutch' things end up a bit boat-like.

We spent a lot of time in there, for, when Giselle was 15, she began to suffer badly with ill-health, and so we had to begin home education. I tutored her until she was accepted into the University of Gloucestershire. She completed the first year there, but ill health put her back in the hutch with me tutoring, on Open University Distance Learning courses - she should get her BA (Hons.) at the end of this year.

Over the years we wrote plays together - and saw them performed which is a heck of a buzz! These days she edits and  critiques my work ... she's a great writer.  But then came Max, Giselle's Australian boyfriend, a student, over here for a few years. Don't ask why, because I'm not sure why ... but I'm now tutoring Max in Maths and Physics.

 We were starting to get cramped in the hutch.

I mean to say, that isn't my desk to the right, it's my drawing board

I should add at this point that we are an unusually cosmopolitan family. Pat and I are both British, but she is English and I am Welsh - I can trace my family back to 1690 in West Wales. Yet one of my grandmothers was Irish and the other Italian ... can you see where this is going.....?
 ....... Besides the English/Welsh/Irish/Italian/ and Australian connections, there is Reiko, my Japanese daughter-in-law, then there's Djaffar, my French Algerian son-in-law. Not to mention Carl the all American boy from Denver, my daughter's boyfriend, who has gone back to Colorado after a long vacation here - who fitted in wonderfully.... then there's 87 year old Anti Daftknee (Auntie Daphne) who is a widow, we couldn't leave her on her own, 100s of miles away .... so you can see we are a cross between the United Nations and Noah's Ark. 

With all this going on, I haven't been drawing. Then Pat had a great idea and I am relocating to the conservatory (sun-room US wise?) I built a few years ago, which hardly gets used.

I told you everything I build ends up looking like a boat didn't I?

There is masses of light in there, as you can see.  I built it North facing so I won't get 'cooked in there'. All I need now is to move my stuff. The drawing board is on a hydraulic ram and weighs tons, that's going to be the biggest problem.

I bought the drawing board in Roermond, in Holland, in 1980 and it's part of me.

 Going to try the move tomorrow.

.....by the way did I tell you that my youngest granddaughter was born on my birthday?



  1. My goodness! I am exhausted reading this! What a fascinating family you have - and John, is there nothing you can not do??? My art room is the North facing summer house at the bottom of the garden. My hubby put some velux windows in the roof to flood it with light. Just one thing missing - running water! But I am hoping one day...? :0)

  2. I'm driven, Sandra. I just want to have a go at everything :0) It must be the genes ...I follow wherever they take me.

    Hose pipe with a tap on it?

  3. John, WHAT a delightful read! You seem to live in a bit of a whirlwind of grand-daughters and their significant others. And I will ask what Sandra asked - is there nothing you can't do?
    I wish you well on your "hutch" move later this week.

  4. What a wonderful family you have! And like the others I am in awe of what you can build! You have to tell me about Roermond one day, I lived near by in the 70's.

  5. Glad you enjoyed it, Kathryn. I didn't mention the Canadian branch :0) My cousin lives in Nova Scotia (3rd generation Canadian) his daughter lives over there in Vancouver.

    I like to try everything :0)

    The move is complete piccies later

    Thanks for dropping in.

  6. Judy, I will tell you all about Roermond in a future post... we loved it.

    Family is what this family is all about ... although I may run away to sea one day :0)

  7. John, what a fascinating post! Your talents seem boundless! What a blessing you are to your family. Love the photos and will be back to visit often!

    1. Rosemary, how kind you are. I don't know about talents, but Pat reckons I can't get all my toys in my play pen. I will be over to view your site the second I can sort out my broadband