Archive for the Family and Friends Category

And Back Again…

Posted in Australia, Drawing and Painting, Embroidery, Family and Friends, out and about with tags , , , on October 16, 2016 by suetortoise

Well, I’ve been home for a whole week and I’m wishing I was still in Australia.

It was a good holiday, although the weather could have been kinder to us. It was great to meet up with KRin again at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Melbourne, and go with her to L’Uccello, The Kimono House and Maria’s Beads and Trims. When Kevon and I returned from a few days in Hobart, I got to meet Megan for the first time, in her brand new flat. I enjoyed seeing the originals of embroideries on her Emsley Rose blog and met Tommy the cat. Thanks for the Anzac biscuits, Megan, they were smashing!

cake-spotting

KRin and I choosing cakes at the Tea Rooms

Also on the needlework theme, I went to the excellent Annemieke Mein exhibition at Brighton Town Hall, and an equally wonderful quilt exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Add in a fair bit of sightseeing, visits to friends, great meals, fresh air and exercise and you can guess that I have come home very happy.

I’ll write a little more about the holiday once I’ve got my photos edited and my thoughts in order. This may take a while as I’m busy getting pictures ready for the annual art show at Novacon next month. I’m currently inspired by 19th century printers’ ornaments. Here’s a sample of what I’m doing:

strictly-veg-mini

Wishes

Posted in Christmas, Digital Art and Fractals, Family and Friends on December 23, 2015 by suetortoise

christmas2015tree

Time to send my readers and friends, new and old, my good wishes for the coming year. But wishes, thoughts, prayers, dreams are only the start, however heartfelt. Let’s make sure that we act on our annual wishes, and work towards bringing more peace and happiness into the world in 2016.

Eric Lindsay Jones, May 1920 to June 2015

Posted in Family and Friends with tags , , on June 21, 2015 by suetortoise

Eric Jones - 90th Birthday Portrait I had a wonderful father.

Eric, who was born in Swansea in 1920, died last week, aged 95, in Hereford County Hospital. I shall miss him tremendously: his dry sense of humour and fondness for silly rhymes and bad puns; his kindness to everyone, his honesty, his optimism and patience; his ingenuity at solving problems, making and mending things and interest in everything. He loved music, played piano and organ and was an accomplished photographer. He was an electronic design engineer by profession, having worked for Standard Telephones and Cables for over 25 years, and then specialised in bespoke electronic church organs until he retired. After moving to Bucknell in 1976, he got involved in the life of the village: providing music, sound effects and posters for the panto society, joining the choir and being reserve organist at St Mary’s Church, helping people, fixing things.

He was married to my mother for 60 years, and they worked well as a team: Eric took photos and Barbara painted pictures from the slides. When my mother’s health failed, he cared for her, patiently and lovingly.

His own health had been gradually failing for the last year, despite making a very good recovery from a stroke last January, but his mind stayed clear and he still enjoyed programming his computer, doing Sudoku puzzles and reading. Just recently, he was starting to get frustrated by his lack of energy and difficulty in talking clearly. His heart was failing. He was in hospital for three days, while the doctors made every effort to stabilise him so he could go back home for the end. But his kidneys were failing too, and they could only keep him comfortable. He died peacefully in his sleep and my sister was with him.

(The picture above is one I took on his 90th birthday.)

It’s been quite a while!

Posted in Embroidery, everyday life, Family and Friends with tags , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2015 by suetortoise

30 sitches to the inchI didn’t mean to stay silent for so long, but life has had other plans. Let me start with a quick update on my father’s health. Dad came home from hospital in March. He’s not so mobile now – he can’t walk – but he’s recently got an oxygen machine, which helps with his breathing, and he’s started working on his computer programming again, and showing some interest in life. My sister has been staying with him to help him. I took over for ten days at Easter, to give her a brief break, and I am usually there on Saturdays, so she can go out, but Frances has done the lion’s share of the caring and I don’t know how I’d have coped without her.

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Slightly Out of Touch

Posted in everyday life, Family and Friends with tags , , on February 5, 2015 by suetortoise

Firstly, apologies for a lack of postings/comments lately. I’ve been a bit tied up with the rest of life lately, and I don’t even have home internet or phone right now – waiting for a repairman.
Dad had some further health setbacks last month, but has made great progress in the last 10 days – he’s still convalescent in Ludlow Hospital, but if all goes well, he should be back home before too long.
And the days are getting longer, the sun has been shining a bit and I saw my first crocus of the year a few days ago – and came home and tried to capture it.
stitch sketch - Crocus
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Not Bad News

Posted in Christmas, everyday life, Family and Friends with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by suetortoise

Dad in hospital, eating a banana
Dad and I had an ‘interesting’ Christmas and New Year. He was very happy and alert for the first few days of my visit. He got to the village church on Christmas morning, which he had been looking forward to, and enjoyed his Christmas lunch of chicken curry (his request) and opening the presents. All was well.

By New Year’s Eve he was not quite as good, and over the next couple of days his condition worsened. By the Saturday morning, it was clear he needed urgent attention. The local First Responders turned up, provided oxygen and other treatment and he was soon off to hospital in an ambulance.

To my relief, he went to the RSH in Shrewsbury, which is much easier for visiting than Hereford. He was in a poor way when he got there, but here he is less than a week later, out of  bed and eating a banana. (My sister took the picture. She bought him those elegant pyjamas for Christmas, too.) Next week, Dad should be well enough to go to Ludlow Community Hospital until he is well enough to return home, where my sister will be waiting to look after him.

The hospital doctor said she’s never known anyone of his age recover from full-blown pneumonia quite so quickly.

“Well, I’ve had plenty of practice.” said the Amazing Eric.

Not Good News

Posted in everyday life, Family and Friends on December 13, 2014 by suetortoise

Just to let everyone know that my father is coming to the very end of his life now: he’s at home, he’s comfortable and happy and being well cared for, but obviously this means I’m not going to be doing much online (or offline) for a while. So accept my good wishes for the festive season. I will be back!

A Long-Delayed Update

Posted in Embroidery, everyday life, Family and Friends, science fiction with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2014 by suetortoise

Dreams of Empire Stitched Box

My apologies for so long a gap between blog posts. My Dad went into Hereford County Hospital at the beginning of October, came out a week later, was doing well, and then ended up rushed back there again on the 8th of November. So I’ve been doing too much tearing around and organising things to do a coherent post.

Anyway, he’s making a good recovery at present, and yesterday he moved to Ludlow Community Hospital. He’ll be there for a few days, until he’s quite ready to go home. My sister is now taking over phone and visiting duties for a while, as I am off to Nottingham this morning for a weekend at Novacon 44 – the annual science fiction convention there. The box in the picture is one for the art show, as is my version of Tanya’s dragon. I’m quite pleased with the finished result now he’s mounted on a board.Tempest, a Sea Dragon

I hope life will get back to somewhere near normal soon, but I’m not counting on it….

I am still around!

Posted in Drawing and Painting, everyday life, Family and Friends, science fiction with tags , , , on June 30, 2014 by suetortoise

My apologies for a long delay since the last post. Life’s been a bit busy.

4-leaf clover

My father’s health started deteriorating in April. By Easter he seemed to be failing fast. We thought it was something connected with his stroke at the end of January – the stroke he seemed to have survived so well. It wasn’t. While he was in Hereford, the hospital doctor had stopped one of his usual medications. Once his GP restarted the tablets, he started improving mentally and physically. He’s pretty much back to where he was before the stroke now, and keeping busy with various projects. But April and May were a bit of a blur as a result. I also had a few hospital visits of my own, so my spare time has been a bit limited.

No further news of the death watch beetle (no more click-click-clicks in the quiet, as the mating season is over), and no more news of getting the leak in the ceiling by the window fixed. So that side of the living room is decorated with my hi-fi speakers in a tower, topped by a piece of chipboard, topped by a spare plastic washing up bowl. Not an elegant piece of sculpture, but effective. Fortunately, there hasn’t been enough heavy rain to start the leak again recently. I will be very glad when something is done about the roof.

Hungry Martian

Thank you for your comments on choosing a third flower for my set of silk pictures. I am definitely planning to do daisies now. I haven’t done more than look at daisies very carefully, make a few sketches and do a couple of small samples of petals to see how to go about them. That project is on hold. I’m trying to get work done for the art show at the World Science Fiction Convention, Loncon 3, in August. The deadline for finalising what I will put in the show is fast approaching, so I dare not start any other embroidery projects until I’ve got the show pieces done and mounted. I’ve made a start – you can see a couple of the coloured drawings here.

Pink Ray-Gun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d never found a four-leaf clover before this summer, but I have found a clump of white clover, quite near where I work, which has a tendency to put out the occasional quatrefoil leaf among the usual three-leaflet ones. In fact I’ve found four of them on that group of plants so far. I picked a few of the dead flower heads this week, and I have put them into some soil in my Dad’s garden – in the hope that some of the heads have viable seeds and that some of the seeds carry the four-leaf trait and one or two of them will germinate. You never know, I might be lucky!

Dots, Stripes and Good News

Posted in Embroidery, everyday life, Family and Friends with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2014 by suetortoise

Primrose in silk, 5 - leaves started

Let’s start with the very good news: my father is home from hospital, and is doing very well indeed. Apart from a slight slurring of his speech when tired – and he gets tired very easily – along with a slight slowing down, his recent stroke has left little evidence. He’s still not able to write very legibly yet, but he was working on his computer program within three hours of being home. Not bad for nearly 94!

Getting his house ready for his return was a chore as the central heating boiler needed repair, but that was fixed just in time to warm things up before he arrived. And his friends and neighbours and carers have been brilliant. A huge thank-you to Hereford hospital for their marvellous work in getting him through this. He is truly grateful to them, and they looked after him well, but oh, he is so very pleased to be out of there and back in his own home!
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