Christmas Fairyland

The Magic Eye for my TV stopped working last week, and being lazy, I didn’t feel like getting up to walk to the Sky box every time I wanted to change channels or pause the picture in both rooms where I have a television set. At the time I hadn’t realised it was the eye buttons that had ceased functioning, but my young friend spent well over an hour sorting out all the many cables surrounding the Sky box and finally came to the conclusion that it must be a faulty connection. So she bought a new booster box. Still didn’t solve the problem. So I called Oxford Aerials. As soon as the repair man arrived he knew exactly what the problem was. Myf was right and a new box was needed – but with an infra-red facility. Luckily he had one in his van. So about five minutes later all was working once more. I calculated that with call-out charge, plus new box and VAT It cost me about £35 a minute!

Every year Lady McAlpine puts on a pair of lavish Christmas parties at Fawley Hill. I’m always amazed at the decorations – about 9 or 10 rooms become Christmas fairy lands. This is just a corner of one of them.

We were invited to last Saturday’s party, and as myf was going to her Office Christmas party on that evening, I invited our good friend, Norika, to come with me. With well over a hundred people at the party that evening she did really well to park the car right outside the front door. On the big table above a large model electric train was set up to make its way round avoiding the many plates of sweets and other little delicacies dotted everywhere. As we mingled with the other guests it was good to meet with old friends. Several people I’d painted were there too – including Lennox Cato from the Antique Road Show, David Barber – The Queen’s Swanmarker, and Sir John Madejski. It’s always interesting to see who’s there. Norika knew Mike Hurst (Dusty Springfield’s record producer). Adventurer Bear Grylls and Mary Berry were there too. Here’s more pictures.

And real candles everywhere

As we left I realised that the back of my jacket was sopping wet and discovered that somewhere in the crowd as we wended our way to the front door a glass of wine was the culprit. Luckily it was white wine.

My book is selling well – over 50 in the first week of publication.

I’ve sent quite a few overseas, and always worry till I hear they’ve arrived OK. Especially those sent to America as the postage costs are so high.

Just finished three interesting portrait miniature commissions – one of a front bench cabinet minister, who arrived here to pose (surprisingly in the middle of the recent general election hustings) and the other two for a very important art collector.

Nothing more to say except to wish my blog friends a very happy Christmas accompanied by a painting I made over 30 years ago.

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