Wherever does the time go?

Another week has simply flown past, and I do sometimes wonder wherever does the time go?!  It seems that the last five years have passed in the flash of a whisker and the wag of a tail as Rufus celebrated his fifth birthday earlier this week, growing from the tiny young puppy (seen on the left with his adopted mum, Daisy) to the handsome labrador now in his prime on the right enjoying his special birthday walk.  And whoever says dogs don’t have facial expressions, I must beg to differ. I don’t think his face could be any happier – perhaps he’d heard us say that he would be having a battered sausage from the fish and chip shop for his special birthday tea! (I hasten to add this is a special one-off birthday treat, not a regular occurrence).

And time passes quickly too when you’re busy – which I most certainly have been lately both with stitching and looking after our shepherd’s huts, Rhubarb and Custard. I’ve completed the first of this year’s Christmas patterns, working on it on and off over a few weeks.  I began in May, in a warm and sunny garden, then retreated back to the sofa when the weather turned cold, wet and windy this month….

I have also completed another miniature Italian landscape for the July Magazine – Sicilian Lemons is a companion piece to the Tuscan Landscape design.  Both these landscapes are small in scale and form quite a contrast to one another.  The first is misty and soft-hued with the Tuscan hills in the background and in the foreground a line of green cypresses rising against a cluster of whitewashed buildings.  The second is stitched in sharp, bright colours – acid yellow lemons against the cloudless Mediterranean sky…

Both these hoops bring back memories for me of happy Italian holidays, beginning when I was a child of just five or six (wherever have those decades gone?!) when my dad, who was a very adventurous soul, decided to drive his family across Europe, over the Alps, and down into Italy.  That first holiday we spent a couple of weeks in an old whitewashed villa, surrounded by a garden. I remember seeing my first-ever parrot flowers in that garden, as well as what seemed to be hundreds of tiny green lizards living in the old tumbledown garden wall.  This would have been only about 20 years or so after the end of the war, well before the advent of mass tourism and so we were definitely the focus of attention when we ventured into the town on market days.

I recently came across a new print by the artist Claire Fletcher of Made in Hastings which really brought back memories of my dad (who loved his cars!).  It’s currently on the shelf above my desk awaiting a frame….

The father rabbit completely captures my dad’s expression as he gripped the wheel tightly and set off for his next adventure taking his whole family along for the ride!

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