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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

New Baby Arrives, Paint Workshops, Creative Writing & our latest collection

Hello from
Arundel Eccentrics.

England is still WET.
Ha Ha 
Not too bad today.

Interesting couple of weeks.
Firstly, and most importantly, my son Jay

and his lovely wife Krista 

who live in California, where he is a menswear designer,
had their first baby last week

She is of course the most beautiful baby.
Everly Harper Borley.

Great name and Krista told  me it's old  English.
It  means grazing meadow amongst other things.

Congratulations to you both.


Here are the details of our next workshops.

We had a great workshop yesterday.
Two  friends who have known each other for years.
One, Nicky, also a friend of mine, lives near Toulouse in France.
It's funny all the different ways we meet people and make friends isn't it?

Nicky came to see me many years ago when a piece of
my Victorian Bamboo was in House and Garden Magazine.

She had several items of bamboo she wanted restored
and asked if I would do them.

Over the following months we worked through her collection
By the time they were all finished
 we were close friends and have been ever since.

This is her gorgeous garden in France.
 My camera was in overdrive when we visited.

Her Jan friend lives near Bristol in England.

They have known each other for years
 but they don't get to see each other very often.

So...they decided to meet up for a day on one of our workshops.

They were so excited and said they had a wonderful day.
I found them great company.
They enjoyed the painting and learning all new techniques.
Over lunch they had a glass of wine.

 I don't think we stopped talking all day.
It was amazing we managed to get everything finished.

It was great fun.
Looking forward to them coming again.

Creative Writing

I told you about the creative writing group?

I love it.
They are such a great collection of people.
 I've grown extremely fond of them all.
We can all see a change in our creative writing since we started about 18 months ago.

Some of us were invited to record one of our short stories for a magazine for the blind.

I know I've still a very long way to go, but here was the story

Metrodeco Cafe

By Brenda Nassarian

She could feel the tension as soon as she walked in.  When Rod looked up from their favourite table she noticed dark circles under his eyes and beads of sweat on his forehead. She gave him a questioning look but his only response was,
He went to the counter.

Ellie took off her coat and sat down with a tight, nervous feeling in her stomach. As she glanced around she recalled  the first time she'd found the Metrodeco cafe.

It was two years ago almost to the day. She'd been walking along the prom at Kemp Town and a raging storm had blown up as if from no-where. The icy rain had  stung her face and she'd pulled  the brim of her felt hat down over her eyes. She could barely see where she was going and  struggled along bracing herself against gale force winds. The steamed up windows of the cafe were a welcome sight and she was almost catapulted through the door.

Dragging  off her saturated coat and hat she  exhaled deeply with relief, sinking into the one vacant chair. She had looked around the quirky high room decorated mostly in an Art Deco style. A seemingly random collection of chandeliers , some heavy wooden, some fading gilt, hung from the once grandly ornamented ceiling, now crumbling plaster. In the corner of the room stood a 1950's gauche looking teenage mannequin. Sporting a black felt 1960's floppy hat her modesty barely covered by a minuscule bright orange scarf .

The tables were relatively uniform, but the chairs were a motley grouping.  Gilt and leopard print at one table, gold faux bamboo with gaudy fabric seats at another. Ellie sat on chrome with woven jelly-like plastic seats which she thought surprising comfortable if not exactly aesthetically pleasing.

Across the black painted floorboards stood an elaborate cabinet piled high with decorative tea packets. Intrigued, Ellie had picked up the menu and looking at the teas and quietly chuckled over "Devil is a Woman," "Iron Godess of Mercy" and " Graham Green and Chocolate"alongside the more traditional Lapsang Soochong and Earl Grey.  There were black teas, oolong teas and green teas before even starting on the coffees.

Having at last decided and ordered, she had casually glanced at the man sharing her table. His appearance as eccentric as the surroundings.  He was reading an art book, his head bowed, his forehead furrowed in concentration. Ellie's assumption that he was an art student wasn't too far off beam. As it turned out he was a fine art tutor from the local Art College.

A clap of thunder and a heavy gust of wind, lashing the rain against the  building  made the man look up. He had caught Ellie's eye and smiled.
"Think we'll be here for some time"
Ellie had smiled back and her eyes lingered longer than she intended. He wasn't her usual type. Her preference was for the neatly coiffed, lean smart clothes horse  attired in expensive designer suits. Rod had blond shoulder length, floppy hair , that he constantly pushed from his face. When he had gone to the counter for a refill her eyes had followed him with interest.
A suit, granted. But burnt orange?  With DMs?
He had caught her looking him up and down and by way of an explanation,
"Been to a wedding, well the Registry Office, at least  "

And that was it. For the next two hours they talked, laughed, tasted the teas and arranged to meet by the pier in the evening. They had been together ever since.

Her life changed  in a big way. It was now filled with visits to art galleries and obscure cinema venues where they watched subtitled films into the night. Dinner at  restaurants in interesting remote locations and late night walks along the beach.

Their  relationship had gone from strength to strength and she had thought them ecstatically happy. Until a few weeks ago, when something shifted. Rod appeared worried  and wouldn't discuss it. He was constantly distracted. Then he disappeared for several days without explanation.
Ellie felt sick when she received the text
"Meet me ....usual cafe  4pm"

She looked up now watching him buying the coffees. As he turned around she could see he was frowning.
"I'm sorry Ellie. I didn't know how to tell you. I'm being made redundant "
"Oh no that's awful"
"They've given me a couple of months .....I was trying to find a new job."
"Why didn't you say?"
"Didn't  want to worry you. I've found something though.......just heard I got the's in Edinburgh."
"Rod that's so far away. I would never see you"
"That's what I wanted to talk you about......that's why I'm feeling such a bag of nerves"
She glanced down at the small black box he had put on the table
"Come with me.......marry me? "


and heres the link to the recording

Well ....can't sit here chatting all day
back to the studio at the end of the garden.
 Victorian Bamboo to clean.......

Here is a little glimpse into our showroom at the moment

Have a great day.

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