Category Archives: Hobbies

Another Year, Another Show

I cannot believe we are midway through May, if only the weather would improve too. Here in the UK it has been a very windy and breezy Spring, today being the first true warm day when we could go outside without coats and gloves, the heating indoors switched off, hopefully now until Autumn, and the sun shining enough to encourage Dave and me out for a drive, taking in four garden centres – a record for us. We only came home when we did because we couldn’t fit any more plants into the car, and ours is no small vehicle, that’s for sure. The next few days will find us busy in the garden.

4 Garden Centres = busy planting week!

It was good to be out, relaxing together as the last few months have seen me working in my office-studio-workroom most days, either writing/editing or painting. It has been the time of year when my art takes over as exhibition season loomed again. This year, I decided to exhibit at two shows, one run by my art club, the other an open exhibition in a nearby town. A total of twelve paintings needed to be chosen, framed and made ready for hanging. Choosing which ones is always difficult, as is deciding the sale price, especially this year considering the current financial crisis. Would people want to buy? How much would they want to spend?

All artworks were delivered on time, and I could breathe a sigh of relief. But there was still more to do. As I am on the club committee responsible for public relations and the group website, I needed to put out plenty of advertisements in art magazines and local press, put posts up on social media, and various websites to entice the public to come. The show is always in aid of our chosen charity, and with two paintings donated by professional artists for our raffle, the more that heard about us, the better.

Preview Night at Frome Valley Art Exhibition

The first exhibition was over this weekend just gone, the preview night having taken place Friday evening; a busy 3 days for all of us volunteers who help put the show together. The preview was well attended, a jolly social event in which several sales were made (not mine, I hasten to add). Saturday was exceptionally busy despite there being numerous other public events on in the region. My day was spent manning the entry and sales desk. It was lovely to see a fellow writing friend arrive whom I had not seen for what must be 5 years or more. As we have a refreshments area in situ, I took time out to enjoy a catch-up with her over coffee and cake. My day was further heightened when one of my paintings sold, one that I nearly did not put in. Isn’t that always the way?

“A Host of Golden Daffodils” – SOLD!

Sunday was unusually quiet so we decided to close the show early, which was a pity because the quality and skill of all the framed artwork there, a total of 232 pictures with 41 being sold, was excellent. In the 5 years I have been a member the standard from everyone has gone up and up. Many of our visitors commented on the talent exhibited, but it became clear people were buying the less expensive, smaller paintings, few of the larger framed, such as most of mine, were sold. This came as no surprise. Most are cautious about how they spend their money at the moment, many worrying about meeting food and heating bills, and buying art can seem a frivolity when other things are more important.

But I do not paint to sell, I paint because I enjoy it; having someone like my work enough to purchase it is a bonus, so I am not disappointed that this year I only made one sale. Many in the group sold nothing, but that does not matter to any of us. We enjoy what we do, we have a great club with lovely people, some who come for the social aspect, others who wish to learn to be better artists, and those who simply want to bring joy and colour into the world. I like to think I am one of the latter.

Moving on to the second exhibition… The preview night was yesterday, in a town about a half-hour’s drive from my home. The venue itself is a small museum, or “heritage centre”, as they call themselves, with little room to show many paintings. Four of us from my group put in several exhibits, about half of the 30 in total on show. This preview night was exclusively for exhibitors (few of whom came), the town mayor and relevant local councillors and venue staff, about 12 of us there in total! Running for 3 weeks, the centre hopes and expects many visitors to the exhibition as in other years, so it will be interesting to see the outcome.

Slideshow of a few of my other paintings at the two exhibitions:

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

Going Back

I can hardly believe we are almost a third of the way through 2023. It’s scary when I consider what I have or haven’t achieved so far this year. With all that has gone on (nursing and worrying over my 97-year-old mum, looking after Dave pre and post his hip replacement, weeks without a washing machine, and so on) I’ve surprised myself by finally getting back into editing mode with my novel, two successful paintings completed, with another in progress, and one not so complete but will be soon.

What I have had problems with is reading. Considering how much I used to read, even known on Amazon as “AvidReader”, no matter what I started, I could not finish, either losing interest, the story didn’t engage me, or I was too tired to read anything. Most unlike me, normally having 2 if not 3 books on the go: 1 for reading in bed; another when there’s nothing decent on television, which is often; and in the summer, 1 in the garden. But for the past few months I can hold my hand up and say nothing I pick up inspires me to continue.

Truth is, I missed reading and determined to retrieve my lost mojo. Like my music tastes, I enjoy many genres but autobiographies are not ones I generally turn to. I can count on my hand the few that I have read: The Moon’s a Balloon, and Bring on the Empty Horses by David Niven; one about the composer Claude Debussy; and 2 years ago the autobiography of a close childhood friend, Peter Beaven, Director of Music at the Royal Military Chapel, Sandhurst, who sadly passed away suddenly this January.

Chance would have it, good old Amazon flashed up an autobiography on special offer. It was for Not Dead Yet, by Phil Collins, the singer/songwriter/drummer/actor. I enjoy his music and singing, and knew Phil came from my home town in West London. But apart from his music, that’s all I did know about him. Curious, I bought the book.

Although I am still reading it (I’m half-way through), I am so pleased I did. I learned that Phil, 2 years older than me, grew up a few streets away, his mother worked in a toy shop I knew well (I was probably served by her), and that teenage Phil frequented the same clubs, pubs bars and nightclubs I did. It is quite possible we were there at the same time on occasion.

Reading about familiar places and haunts, streets, cafes, incidents I remember came to life again, going back in time. He talks about the background to many of his songs and albums, the highs and lows of touring, his marriages and divorces, his children including the actress Lily Collins, how the music industry has changed since the 1970s, the concerts, the other bands and musicians he’s played with. His part in the film Buster, about the 1960s Great Train Robbery. His writing style is relaxed and full of humour, wit and sometimes with a sadness. In reading, it is his voice you hear, speaking as he would directly to you in normal conversation. I’m loving it. So much so, each night this week I’ve gone to bed early in order to delve into the world of music and rock&roll and visit memory lane.

My reading mojo has returned. Yay!

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

Back in the Swing

It’s hard to believe we are already in the middle of February, the last two months for me having gone by in a blur of family health and other matters. It’s been a hard, difficult time. One that has seen little work, either in writing or painting, produced by me, and even less housework done. But a corner has been turned and life is returning to normal. I hate winter at the best of times; spring cannot come soon enough, and it’s definitely on the horizon; that alone gives me hope and joy. Here in the south west of England, the weather is mild although the nights are still cold, little rain, and joy of joys, dawn is arriving earlier each day, meaning before long I can enjoy my early morning coffee outside in the garden. Plus the evenings are getting lighter each day. Hoorah!

Soon Dave and I can get back to our joint passion: gardening. We are itching to be outside as there is a lot to do: dead leaves, stems and plants to remove, spring pruning to be done, flowers and vegetables to be planted. I’m particularly looking forward to planting up my new flowerbed, the one where we filled in the koi pond last year. The front lawn at present is a mass of snowdrops and crocus, before long the daffodils and hyacinths will be in flower too, giving pleasure not just to us but to passers-by, especially the children coming home from school. Most amusing of all is one particular dog, a gorgeous red setter, one of a pair walking with their owner by the house every morning. The dog always stops at our drive to have a look at the garden before he will walk on, no matter how much the owner tries to pull him away.

In the back garden, everything is budding into leaf including all the clematis. I have a large collection of hellebores currently in bloom providing lots of colour around the beds; they are one of my many favourite flowers.

I am finally back into the swing of working on my current novel, the editing going well, if slowly, and as you may have seen already, produced a lovely painting of a squirrel, one I am pleased with. The trouble with painting and art is that everyone (me included) expects every piece to be a masterpiece. It is rarely like that. For each “good” painting, there are possibly 4 or 5 bad ones, ones thrown or hidden away, never to be shown to anyone. I thought this only happened to me, but recently reading an art magazine the other day, I learnt this happens to many artists. We all reach for perfection and too often cannot see beyond our mistakes, things that others do not notice.

“Nutty the Squirrel”

It is the same with our writing. We angst and strive to make each word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, book, the best it can possibly be often, to the extent of losing the spontaneity and life we have given our work. It’s the knowing when to stop and let it loose on the world.

And on that note, I shall stop here to allow this post to take flight.

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

Nanovember

Winter draws ever nearer here in the UK and the exceptionally mild weather we have enjoyed slowly creeps down the thermometer to normal temps for November. Five days ago, the back garden was bathed in warm sunshine. We took advantage to be out there tidying, weeding, putting pots to bed, mowing the lawn and pruning a few shrubs. This was followed by mid-morning coffee enjoyed on the patio – a first in November for us. Today, the difference is apparent. The sun has reached a low in the sky meaning the back garden is now in permenant shade until next March. I try to keep smiling and keep busy. It is the only way I can cope as I hate winter and the cold.

And busy is what this past month has been as with no excuse to spend time outside, I keep writing. Writing, writing, writing for NaNo (I’ve decided to call this month Nanovember!) a 10-week writing comp, and other items including blogs, reviews and next week an article for my art group’s website. And, of course, painting, with my latest effort framed and hanging on the wall at my art group’s venue. I am pleased with it and have begun a larger version, although at present that is not going well and I will have to start again. As long as it is ready for next year’s exhibition, I am in no rush. Called “Clifton Autumn” it is of the famous Bristol landmark Clifton Suspension Bridge.

It is also the time of year when things have a habit of going wrong for us. Two weeks ago, our new large-screen TV broke down yet again, the second time in less than twelve months. As you can imagine, Dave was not happy. It was taken away to be repaired a week ago on the promise they will give it priority. We are still awaiting its return. I would rather the supplier replace it, Dave wants to give it a second chance. As he is the one who watches it most, he is a huge sports fan especially cricket and rugby, it is his decision. Meanwhile the bedroom TV, small screen, half the size of the other, is assigned to the lounge so we are not without. Unless we hear today, I feel a rather irate phone call will take place.

Yesterday evening Dave was in a rare mood to go non-food shopping, which we did. Among other items, we purchased a set of 3 stoneware casserole dishes of different sizes. Not cheap but needed in order I can stock the freezer with ready-cooked meals for over the Christmas holiday as I have taken to bulk cooking with my Instant Pot, which I love. Back home, I took the packaging off to find the largest dish had a long crack along the bottom which was not apparent when we took it off the shelf. This morning, Dave is back at the mall to get a refund.

We are waiting for the next thing to happen. It always comes in threes for us. My money is on the heating boiler, his on the tumble dryer or washing machine breaking down. I hope it is none of these but all three are getting on in years, a bit like the two of us!

Did I mention Christmas? Yes, it is all around us already. Shops full of festive food and Christmas ornaments. Television advertisements full on. And near to us, a house has its outside decorations up and lit at night already. And why not. It brings delight and cheer to the people to see, it is something to look forward to in the dark and dreary days. My mother has said she wants to come to us for the holiday. We would love this as she has not been here for 2 years but I fear our stairs will be too much for her. Dave has said if she comes, he will buy a Santa outfit to wear when we go and collect her. She would love that.

Meanwhile, I wait with bated breath for the carols to start, and whilst waiting, I must get on and paint this year’s Christmas card. I hope I haven’t left it too late to get it to the printers in time. Wish me luck.

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

October Round-Up

Mid October, and here in the UK autumnal colours are filling the trees, hedgerows and gardens, a distinct chill in the air although the days are often sunny and out of the wind, mild. But I do miss the summer heat. Whilst we enjoyed the high temperatures, the garden suffered. Our vegetables were a disaster except, surprisingly, our potato crop and most flowers in the front beds perished due to lack of water. Dave pulled out the majority of them, leaving only the dahlias in-situ even though they were failing too. What a difference to them now. Thanks to plenty of rain showers and cooler weather, they have come into their own and look lovely.

You might notice in the background of the photo in front of the wheelbarrow a flush of yellow that should not be there. These are wallflowers that should not be blooming until next March/April. For some unknown reason they are in flower now and thus too late to move into their proper position around the drive. Hey ho, win some, lose some. Good job we have a plan B.

We kept the pots and baskets watered as well as we could, and by using grey water on the rear garden, but they all struggled to thrive despite all loving the sun and warmth. To our joy, most have only recently come into full flush, as are many things in the back, thanks to the rain. I still even have honeysuckle, clematis and a climbing fuschia in bloom. The Californian poppy by the bird-bath, a survivor from last year, has been in flower since May and is still going strong. We are just hoping the first frosts keep away as long as possible. Oh, the wonders and vagaries of Mother Nature.


And what of our pond? Last week, we called in a waste contractor to remove the remaining rubble as was too much for Dave to clear on his own. Glad we did, the work was done within an hour. Now we can order in the topsoil and, fingers crossed, have a lovely flowerbed by next spring. What we can plant here is limited as this area is in full shade most of the day, one of the reasons why the koi pond was placed here. The first thing I shall be planting is bluebells – you know how much I love them!

The past month saw me running another acrylic art workshop. A small group this time which worked better because I was able to give them much more individual attention. At the end of the day it was lovely to see finished paintings, and each one different. I do not like seeing a group of virtually identical artwork all the same as mine; I encourage individuality. They obviously love it and already champing at the bit for another workshop. That won’t be until early next year, giving me plenty of time to work on what to do, and get my book finished! Yes, I’m still working on it, having made a few changes to the ending.

Talking of painting, you are honoured to be the first to see my newly completed piece. Called simply “Yport”, it was inspired by a collection of photos taken in Yport, France by a friend who is a brilliant photographer who gives me free reign to use any of her pictures. I would be lost for ideas without her work.

Enjoy your month whatever and wherever you may be.

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

August Musings

Here we are already in the middle of August. It seems unbelievable to think in a few weeks’ time we will be in the ’ember months of the year. Before you know it Christmas will be upon us again. It has already arrived in some of the stores here in the UK, and the children haven’t even returned to school yet from their summer break. But enough of that.

I missed posting last month; my apologies – major meltdown due to extreme heat! Heat that has only today started to climb back down the thermometer, and we have rain. Not a lot, admittedly. We do need plenty here as, like many countries, we are in a drought situation. Keeping the flowers and plants alive in the back garden has been hard work, but we’ve made the most of our grey water from the kitchen, about the only real exercise I’ve had, backwards and forwards several times a day. The vegetable garden and annual flowerbed at the front has, I’m sad to say, been a failure because of lack of rain; we have avoided using the hosepipe. As a consequence, we’ve written this year off on the gardening front and back, because the back garden will be given another make over.

The reason being, we have demolished our large koi pond and intend turning the area into another flowerbed. Whilst we both had a lot of pleasure from the fish, which had grown huge, it was becoming increasingly hard work for Dave to keep it going despite so-say modern filters and UV lamps and fitting a new pump each year – not cheap. We were plagued with pond weed, the water never clear. The fish loved it; we didn’t. We agreed back last October that we would run the pond down as each winter we invariably lost a fish or two. Needless to say, this past winter they all survived.

One of the koi (28lbs)

We gave the fish, some as long as 2-3 ft and weighing many lbs, to a local koi keeper so we know they would be going to a good home. Catching them was another matter. All three of us got soaked! Then
began the fun part, demolition of the pond walls. The pond was/is over 8ft deep, with half of it above ground, so we were hoping the bricks and blocks would fill that below ground level. Miscalculation. We now have to dispose of a lot of rubble. This Dave will do in the autumn when the weather is a lot cooler.

Before
After
Demolition begins

The extreme heat here has meant I have not done a lot of art. A special request for a contemporary flower painting was completed and I began working up one for my students to copy at my next workshop at the end of September. They had requested a waterfall, so waterfalls I did. Several of them. It became clear to me that each one was a little too adventurous for some of my group, but I finally came up with a much simpler version that hopefully will stretch them without any duress.

“Pastel Pastures”
“Autumn Waterfall”

Other than these efforts, I have to admit nothing has been done. Hardly any writing because my office was too hot even with a fan running. No housework other than the basics – no point with all the doors and windows open; little laundry to wash – thank goodness for kaftans to lounge about it in all day. On the plus side, we’ve spent most days and long into the evenings in the garden. Our patio is in shade from midday so it has been comfortable, and I have been able to enjoy uninterrupted reading, getting through 5 books, unusual for me in a short space of time.

We treated the month as a long holiday, being exceedingly lazy and relaxed. It was fun while it lasted; now it’s back to normality. I hope your month has been good too.

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

What A Show!

The last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy but in a delightful way leading up to my art group’s 26th annual art exhibition. First came the conundrum of deciding which paintings to put in, then the pricing (always a problem). Because of the current economic crisis, one didn’t want to set them too high as people might think twice about a frivolous purchase when they have worries over fuel and food bills. Our exhibitions have always proved popular but the usual concerns as to whether anyone would come let alone buy anything are constantly there. Then came the hassle of obtaining frames and mounts etc, not normally an issue but stores here supplying these, like many outlets, are struggling to obtain stocks or have limited choice. Finally having everything I needed, I set to work preparing my paintings for hanging, only to discover one had a damaged frame, necessitating another trawl of the art suppliers locally.

My 7 paintings duly delivered. I hoped they would be grouped together particularly as 4 of them were on the same topic: water. I wasn’t disappointed. They had a wall all to themselves right by the entrance. I was a happy bunny, which reminds me, I must paint one of those before long; I love bunnies.

Kit’s wall of paintings, and some of our many guests on preview night

The standard of work on display from everyone was exceptionally high, leading to an exhibition that surpassed previous years. From the moment the preview evening’s doors opened the room was packed, and to my complete surprise, one of mine sold within half-an-hour. The purchaser was even more delighted to be introduced to me. A second joy came when another couple sought me out to chat about one of my works they had purchased in late 2021. It is lovely meeting and talking with people who love your work, often more so than the satisfaction that comes from selling one. I was thrilled, and if nothing else of mine sold over the weekend I did not care. There were many smiling faces as we locked up that night because 9 other paintings also sold.

Some of the many works on show

Arriving for my stewarding duty on the Saturday afternoon, I was greeted with news that 2 more of my paintings had sold that morning. Wow! I never expected that. With a total of 22 paintings sold that day, the club was close to breaking last year’s record of 27 sales.

On Sunday, arriving to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea and cake from the refreshment table before the raffle was pulled and the event closed, I didn’t notice at first a fourth painting of mine had gone. Double WOW!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, and successful show for everyone involved, if tiring. I do not have the total figures yet but the club surpassed its record with 40, yes 40! paintings sold, not including those from the mounted tables (7+). A quick calculation put the total at well over £1,500.00 (another record). A percentage of sales plus money from donations, the raffle, admission fees, and the refreshments table will be donated to our chosen charity, this year being the Ukrainian Red Cross. Many members who sold have also donated their full sales to the charity, including myself, as has one member who ran a table in the foyer selling her bespoke, hand-crafted and beautiful individual greeting cards.

What a weekend!

My Sold Paintings

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs

Coming Out of the Closet

Not a lot of people know this, but I am a closet keyboard player, and despite my electric keyboard being stored away in a cupboard for the past few years, this week I took the decision to bring it back out of hiding and start playing again.

It all started way back when as a child I wanted to play the piano. My grandparents had an upright in their lounge. My uncles played a little and my father could bash out a fair rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 in B minor, but us grandchildren were never allowed to touch it. It was always kept locked, although we would lie underneath it and hit the strings till Nan appeared and we’d all run like hell into the garden, each blaming each other. Happy days.

Still the urge to play gnawed at me but my parents could not afford for me to have lessons, let alone buy a piano. To them, my weekly dance classes (ballroom and Latin American) were enough. A friend from infant and junior school, Peter, had a grand piano in the lounge at his house, I was always envious of such a highly-polished and large instrument. A few years ago, Peter and I found each other through Facebook. He has gone on to greater things with music – he’s Organist and Director of Music of the Royal Memorial Chapel, at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in England as well as an accomplished accompanist, arranger, composer, conductor, and opera singer, with works performed on stage and radio. Oh, what I might have achieved too had I been able to play.

Over the years the urge never left me. In the 1980s, at home full time through long-term illness, I was determined to learn to play so purchased an old wreck of an upright from a dealer. It sat in our dining room, often out of tune but good enough for practice. I found a piano teacher and began to learn, this was necessary as I couldn’t even read music. She doubted I would be able to master the instrument as I have small hands and hand span but I managed. I wasn’t keen on the type of music she taught, after all who wants to play The Merry Widow all day long? Soon she thought I was ready to take my Grade 1 exam. For this she wanted me to sing. Why, I have no idea but that was a big no no. I cannot sing. Never could, never can and no one will ever be able to teach me. After that, I never went back.

A short while after, I overheard a conversation with a lady I knew vaguely talking about an electric piano she had bought. We chatted, and invited me to see it. I was hooked. I wanted one, and she offered to help me play. After several months, I went out and bought my own. Not an electric piano, I couldn’t afford that, but a six octave electric, all singing, all dancing (well not quite), multi instrument and tempo keyboard. And thank goodness for headphones. I could now play at my heart’s content without disturbing Dave or the neighbours. I was never brilliant at it, had no intention of playing for anyone but I enjoyed it, which was and is the main thing.

So now it is sitting back in the office/art studio/Kit’s cave/spare room where it belongs and I am starting over learning again by going back to basics with the help of online lessons on YouTube. Just need to buy some new headphones now. Who knows, I could be playing at a venue near you some day. No, I doubt it either.

Sewing Memories

So, with spring in the air and the clocks going forward an hour here in the UK, we decided to start clearing/decluttering our home from the top down.

The attic was first on the list. It didn’t take long as we tend to shove everything we don’t need into the garage keeping the loft relatively free, but there were several discoveries. Mostly it was old suitcases of holiday clothes (a bikini, size 12 if you please! – was that really once mine?) and equipment like snorkels, waterproof footwear for pebbly beaches, old beach mats and towels, and broken tennis and squash rackets.

The best discovery was a small case containing a real blast from the past. Loads of dressmaking patterns! I was once a very keen sewer and loved making my own clothes. I loved choosing a pattern, then the fabric, matching the thread precisely to the material – often, if I liked the style, I’d make the outfit in different fabrics. I couldn’t get enough of dressmaking back in the day and got a real buzz from it.

Pre-marriage we were keen ballroom dancers and went every week for classes (AJ loves to remind me that he once was given an award for student with the fanciest footwork!) Every Saturday we attended the dance school’s social where we could practice what we’d learned that week as well as learn a new group dance. Heck, it was fun! During the week, I’d often make a new dress specifically to wear to the Saturday dance. Yes, I was a make-a-dress-in-a-week girl. If only I could say the same about my life as a writer – imagine being a create-a-book-in a-week author!

I even found some fabric in that case in the loft so maybe one of these days I’ll turn my hand to dressmaking again – maybe a simple strappy summer shift dress? Oh, if you look closely at the bottom of the photo you’ll see the pattern I used for my wedding dress. I can only dream of the size pattern I used for it back then *sigh*

Spring Has Sprung

It is the middle of March, and spring has definitely arrived in the UK. That was my feeling yesterday when the day dawned bright and clear and sunny, if a little cold but once the sun had risen high enough and chased away the thin covering of frost, we turned off the central heating, changed into t-shirts and jeans, and disappeared into the garden. There is much to do here, Dave busy in his veg plot tilling and raking and planting out potatoes and leeks, me in the back garden picking up bucket-loads of brown and wizened oak leaves. Considering we do not have any trees in the garden, let alone oaks, these were the result of gale-force winds last autumn which blew in masses of leaves from a stand of trees several streets away. All good for the compost though, and I had purposely left them to help protect the garden from winter.

The next task was erecting a new obelisk I had recently purchased to house a rampant, beautifully-perfumed honeysuckle rather than let it scramble through the flowerbed as it has in other years. The morning turned decidedly warm, so once this job was complete, we enjoyed sitting around the patio table enjoying our mid-morning coffee. Such bliss after being trapped indoors for so long. It gave me time to look around the flowerbeds, appreciate the spring displays, and plan my attack for the next few weeks.

Everything is growing and shooting well and over the past few months we have been treated to a fabulous display of crocus and snowdrops on the front lawn, as have all the neighbours and local children on their way to and from the school at the bottom of our road. Now the delights there are hyacinths in full bloom along the forsythia hedge, also coming into flower, and the tulips in full bud waiting their turn. The perfume from the hyacinths is intoxicating as you walk around. We love them. Grown indoors each Christmas to so scent the house, they are then planted outside where they thrive.

What I am most thrilled with this year is the clumps of miniature daffodils scattered around the back garden. I buy several pots of them from the supermarket each year, let them flower indoors and then plant them outside. The past few years the show has not been good as they have succumbed to being eaten by tiny slugs. This year we were prepared and the critters didn’t stand a chance, the displays of them scattered around are so bright and cheerful it was worth the effort.

The wall baskets and a few pots are looking good too. I love this time of year, as it heralds the end of winter with so much to look forward to and enjoy.

I said at the beginning that spring had finally arrived here. Today it is returned to winter in some respects. The day dawned grey and shrouded in heavy mist which has now turned into incessant rain. Good for the garden but not for those outside in it, so we are staying indoors, the heating is on and I am back in a thick sweater. Tomorrow is promised to be warmer and drier, with a good week forecast. Hooray!

Kit Domino’s websites and blogs