Tuesday 14 April 2020

Tuesday 14th April - What day is it?

That was a question posed on twitter (humouroursly, I hasten to add) this morning.

Every day seems like 'today' at the moment...

Although today has already had its moments. We both felt a bit 'hustled through a hedge backwards' by the end of the morning;

The catflap has been playing up for a couple of days. New battery time? No, that didn't sort it. The latch was operating at random intervals regardless of whether there was a cat anywhere near.

Himself spent a gruelling half hour changing batteries, doing factory resets and generally fiddling about with the contraption - uncomfortable work when you are crouched down at cat-flap level. Then we both spent a hectic time trying to re-programme the catflap. The cats are microchipped, and it is this that unlocks the door. So we have to catch a cat (easy, the frst time, just nab it while it is asleep) and then feed it through the flap several times in each direction to register the chip. This gets trickier as you go on. At least He had removed the contraption from the back door so we could contain the cats in the sitting room and work in the warm.

This process proved unsatisfactory. Well, to be blunt, it didn't work - replacement catflap time. Luckily the nearest pet shop had something that would do the job in stock. so He nipped out and returned in triumph.

'Right', he said, a short while later, 'just grap a cat and we'll get this sorted.'

Yeah, well, I'd just started a pre-scheduled zoom session. The first participant was greeted to the sound of extrememly cross cat and both of us making 'persuasive noises' of the 'oh just go through you stupid animal' type. Then, with one hand on the screen and another on the cat the phone went, because the other participant had lost the email with the password for access...

Oh well, we got it done - everything - catflap now installed, zoom call accomplished and password re-emailed.

First thing this morning, when I was still at the breakfast-in-bed stage, and all these excitements where yet to arrive, I watched this tutorial


and thought - 'that looks easy enough'

and it is;

I drew that while I was waiting for Himself to pause from fixing the new catflap and work out why my connection to the zoom meeting had dropped, and how to restore it.

Later this afternoon, I added to my collection of learing to draw figures

and I'm pretty chuffed with this too. Especially as several art teachers at several schools informed my that I was no good at 'art', and I believed them. I rather think this comes into the same bracket as telling people that they are 'no good at music'. Sure, some people are 'naturals', 'pre-wired' to be able to do it. Like some people (most, actually) can sing in tune, just like that.

Drawing, for me has just been a case of learning how to do it, and then being accepting of the results.

Singing - to an ordinary, everyday standard, is first and foremost about listening to the sound you are making, properly, which often needs to be taught. I'm coming to the conclusion that drawing, to an everyday, ordinary standard, is first and foremost about learing to look at what you are doing, properly.

Like cooking. Read the recipe and do what it says? Learn enough technique to be able to get along?

I'm 'cooking' supper tonight - baked beans on toast, reasonably within my current capabilities. I've also put the last egg to good use - it was a bit too elderly for me to want to eat it boiled or fried, but baked in a cake for an hour and a quarter should render it harmless enough.


  1. I love that boiled fruit cake recipe- its the one from my BeRo book, and I make it whenever we go away for a holiday. I would have made one on Saturday - but we have not gone away, obviously. Maybe I shall make one anyway! Zoom meetings are an interesting experience!

  2. I got the recipe from a woman's magazine back in about 1977. The original article was about a single parent father - revolutionary for the time - who made this cake using white sugar, no spices, and marg, every week, along with an apple crumple using pie filling and crumble mix. The writer gently suggested how he could improve on both recipes... I've been making the cake ever since, often using 'dried mixed fruits'- dried apples, pears etc, or 'tropical mix' - pieapple, papaya, mango - instead of the used cake fruits. Excellent in every way!

  3. I sniggered so much visualising all the cat flap shenigans and bemused student in the background! My husband asked me what I was laughing at and I read your description and he sniggered a lot too! Glad it worked out in the end.
    Well done on using the egg!
    Your art is really progressing.
    My sister was told something similar about her art at school. I introduced her to card making by doing collaging (it all started with making a Valentines card out of a Costa coffee cup and old violin strings from the Luthier's workshop at the RAM I used to work in) and she was so happy to finally find HER art medium!
    I agree about singing. Kids really need to listen to themselves and it really is a struggle sometimes- some of them are reeaaaally stubborn about it and just won't try! In year 5, when we compose our own Medieval plainchant, some of them finally start to listen to themselves more!