This weekend has gone really well. I spent Saturday morning getting my tax return submitted and off my mind, as it’s been nagging at me since the end of the tax year. The colouring books have done slightly less well this year, but that’s possibly because there have been fewer of them and I’ve not been promoting them well. I’ve also been spending my pennies on books and tools for pottery, which I’ve counted as expenses. One hobby can pay for the other, it’s only fair, and I am hoping the pottery will eventually be an extension of the drawing.

Saturday afternoon was spent combining the soggy clay from my last play on the wheel with the too-stiff clay out of the bag, then eight more attempts at throwing a decent pot. One of the eight was good enough to keep and practice trimming, but I forgot to take a photo of it before breaking it up. I’ve kept the very first successful cup/cylinder from last weekend, as it’s my very first success. It is actually very slightly wonky, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. I forgot to smooth off the lines too, but I quite like that. firstcup

Yesterday (Sunday) Mark and I went round to Mum’s to continue working on her garden. The hottest day of the year so far – we had to send out for the factor 50. I really need to take a photo for you, as the garden looks really nice now. We went over on her birthday last Thursday with all three children to give the garden a good makeover, but there are still a few areas that need finishing and are just the two of us to work on it now, with Mum’s help weeding wherever she can reach while sitting down. While Dad was ill and confined to his bed/chair my mum wasn’t allowed out of his sight without him becoming anxious, but he passed away a few weeks ago so we thought a garden makeover would fill her birthday without too much space for sadness. Now I’ve just got to get over there in the evening whenever it doesn’t rain, to water all of her borders and pots. Another reason to reduce my number of rats. It feels really bad when I can’t get over there to keep her company in the evening, but sometimes I’m just so shattered when I get in from work that I don’t feel safe to drive.

Dad was ill for a long time and although they say no-one should need to suffer in this day and age, it’s simply not true; pain and confusion were a huge part of his last months and I have no idea how Mum coped with his constant needs and with all the carers coming in every day. So while his passing leaves the world a poorer place for his absence, it was very much a blessing for him to go and he managed to spend all but his last three weeks at home with Mum. I think we all did most of our grieving while he was still with us (in body if not in mind). The prime concern now is to look after Mum. She seems very small and old these days.

Today I made a plaster block so I can recycle my clay more easily, as I’m getting an ever fuller bucket of slip from washing, trimming and throwing. I’ve been puddling the bucket with a potato masher and it’s lovely and smooth, but it will probably be dry before the plaster block is ready for use. Maybe it will help with the next batch.

I’ve also had eight more attempts at throwing pots. Five of them are decent enough to trim later, I think, before they are recycled. Of the other three, one collapsed, one was a very odd shape, and one lump of clay didn’t stick to the bat properly and came adrift while I was trying to centre it. Never mind, it’s keeping me out of mischief. Once I can get a higher success rate I may even try branching out into bowls.

Take care

Annette x