Thursday, 31 May 2012

This is the summer that was...

Credit S:  Brodie in her element!

Credit S: And Reuben in his!
So, that's our summer over.  The clouds rolled in yesterday and the weather finally broke last night with the more typical liquid weather that we're used to in Ireland.  Still, we had a whole week of sunny skies which is more than we had over the last few years so mustn't grumble.

Credit S: Wild flowers

Credit S: Busy, busy.
I'm not sure if the news is such a big deal in other parts of the world but over here (well in England) we have a Queen who's about to celebrate 60 years on the throne and it's reached saturation point here along with the Olympics and that damn torch.  I'm not much of a royalist, truth to tell, but am contemplating taking part in a competition I've heard about to paint a portrait of the Queen as the winner gets hung in the National Gallery (the painting, not the painter).  I'll keep you posted if I do. Anyway, in honour of the Queen's Jubilee we get an extra bank holiday meaning we're off Monday AND Tuesday (thanks very much ma'am!)

Credit S: Poppy in my folks' garden

We're celebrating in our own way by heading off to Enniskillen in County Fermanagh for the long weekend on our first caravan trip of the year - it's already June so we're a bit slow on it. I can't wait to get away and the dogs even had their hair professionally clipped today in anticipation of some more warm weather as they weren't too happy with all that fur during the hot spell.

Credit S: peek a boo!

Credit S: The early bird gets the, er, caterpillar

I didn't get near my art studio this week.  We spent a wonderful weekend up at my folks' house in Derry last weekend and made the most of their fabulous south facing completely private back garden! I even managed to get some prickly heat (the bane of my rubbish, fair, Irish skin! - in my next life I'd like to be Eva Mendes please).

Credit S: Brodie trying to cool down in the grass
Credit S: while Reuben just stays in the shade!
Anyway, Monday evening I wasted pottering round the house, Tuesday was my animal care night class and a visit from a bearded dragon, Wednesday was spent packing as Thursday was taken up with trips to the beauticians and the hairdressers and here we are with no art to show.  

So, I'm going to be really cheeky given that Paint Party Friday kinda has the clue in the title and link up anyway just so just because I wanted to show off some of the photos my husband has been taking recently.  He's really gotten into photography and he has a real eye for a good picture.  There's a competition coming up with a TV show called Countryfile for a photo inspired by wildlife in the UK and he's been snapping away to see if he can capture the perfect shot.  So, instead of my art, this post is illustrated with some of my husband's instead!

Credit S: An Irish country garden!
 Hope everyone in the UK enjoys the long weekend and that we get some more of that lovely weather!


  1. Great pictures and I also watch Countryfile so will keep my eye open for your husband's photograph. Wishing you all the best with painting the Queen, an awesome task. Let us know how you get on. Enjoy your holiday. Happy PPF, Annette x

  2. I am so glad you posted your husband's pictures. They are wonderful. I love all of the beautiful bright colors. Have a wonderful holiday.

  3. I can see some of these picture making the Countryfile calendar, Nicola.

    The top pictures should be captioned, "Superdog springs into action"

    Really nice post :0) Have a great weekend

  4. This single large poppy I love, would be an ideal picture. Saludos

  5. Wonderful post! Your photos brightened my day. Happy PPF

  6. Art is art, and these are wonderful! I've missed all my PPF friends and am trying to get back into the swing of things!
    I hope you do the portrait and it wins!
    PPF Hugs,

  7. Lovely photographs - I love the wee bird at the nesting box and the poppy came out lovely. Pity the flowers don't last too long. Enjoy your week end. Mum

  8. Photos are fantastic! He is very talented. :)

  9. All the Jubilee happenings look so cool to me over in the US. I loved my visit to the UK last year- wish I could go back this year. Your photos just radiate summer fun! Have a wonderful holiday. Happy PPF!

  10. I was actually thinking how amazing these photos were. Your hubs really has an eye.

    I totally think you should go for it with a portrait of the Queen. I'd love to see your take on Herself. Maybe you should do her reflected in the eyes of one of her corgis...two birds, one stone. You could connect as a fellow dog lover.

    Enjoy your extra day away!

  11. Gorgeous photos!
    My favorite is "peek a boo!"
    Yay for Brodie and Reuban, too!!
    I had 2 Westies growing up. :)
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  12. OH man! What eye-delight! The poppie is my favorite.

  13. Beautiful photos! And sorry about the weather--I think I know how you feel, it's pretty much the same where I am in north Germany. We had one amazingly gorgeous week, and this week I became seriously disoriented because it feels like fall is already here!

  14. The photos are absolutely amazingly good!!! Tell husband I said so please! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dogs coming at you rock!
    The flowers are scrumptious!

    So glad YOU personally will not be hung in the National Gallery or else where I hope. But if your portrait can be that would be divine! Good luck with that! Can't wait to see it. HPPF.

    Oh it is hot as hadies where I am in sunny California!

  15. That photo of Brodie literally flying is incredibly great! I love all them all. Happy PPF

  16. Beautiful photography. That poppy is breathtaking!

  17. Yeah, an extra sweet of the Queen! :) I love your little Westie and all your hubs pictures, they are all beautiful! Happy PPF!

  18. Thanks for linking up anyway. Love your thoughts and pics, especially pups and bird. . . I would love to see Ireland one day, it looks beautiful. Always something whether it's a Queen or a president. . . however, we do tend to cope and I do appreciate how you celebrated your coping with us. Blessings, Janet PPF

  19. What wonderful photos, especially of Brodie. Isn't it amazing how when we look at them running and playing, we think of them as children. My thoughts are always, watch out, don't run so fast, be careful, stop jumping off the bed-you'll get hurt. The heart is so full when we think of our family pet members and when we lose them, it's like someone tore out your heart. Oh there I go, getting all emotional. Sorry. Excellent photos, have a wonderful weekend. I better go, Chocolatte, my FPM, has to go pee. lol.

  20. your photos are stunning, all of them, thanks for sharing, such a delight!

  21. Fantastic photos and so glad you spent time with your parent ~ happy weekend ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

  22. The Brodie pics just make me happy and I loved that poppy picture... we are getting a lot of jubilee stuff here as well... I think it is the same all over the Commonwealth...not much of a royalist either and I have been grumbling a bit about the overload... but hey it will be done soon... sorry summer is done already... we are having a wet autumn/ winter at the moment which is driving me nuts, because usually it is when we dry out.. at this stage thinking even the cold will be welcome if it comes with a bit of fine weather... oh the magnifying age is an old one of twiggy... I found it ages ago and stuck it into a sketchbook thinking I would draw it one day and it was nice to finally paint it into a piece... nice spotting...and I laughed at the Willy Wonka reference cause I debated long and hard about putting in a reference... we are soooo on the same wavelength a lot of the time...xx

  23. I think painting the queen is a fabulous idea!

    Love the photos especially of the bird, his adorable home and your two beautiful dogs. Have fun while you're away.

  24. beautiful photos, the dog shots are jsut so cute, what a little love,

  25. I'm LOVING your summer pix. Such a big contrast to what we're having in Aussieland. And the doggies are sooooooooo cute. Thank you for sharing! :)

  26. Awesome photos, all lovely but my favorite is "busy, busy"! Good luck to both of you in the competitions, sounds fun! Cute dogs!

  27. So much fun!

    I love the photos of Brodie and Reuben frolicking... Such joy!

    I look forward to seeing your portrait of the Queen :)

    I hope more sunshine is headed your way... ENJOY!


  28. I've never been to Ireland but always wanted to. Hubby's a keen fly fisherman so one day we will come over for a fishing/sketching trip! I didn't know the summer was so short though, lol! We live in the south east of England so I suppose we get the best of what there is, but still can't rely on it! My mum came over yesterday and was laughing about dad, who is being a real grouch about the jubilee! He's apparently sick of it already - he's never been a fan of the royals, lol! So, in my latest post I made him out to be a real fan of the queen, knowing he would read it! Mum phoned up in stitches because apparently he almost choked on his tea when he read it! I love the idea of painting a portrait of the queen! What a great idea! I love the photos by the way - he is clearly a natural photographer! Hope you had a great trip!!

  29. Beautiful pictures ! Love the birdie hanging down the little house and that vibrant poppy is amazing!

  30. Wonderful post!! Love your dogs!! I always had two at a time for years! Your poppy, and all the photos are just wonderful!!Good luck on your painting of the Queen!! The Olympics will be gone before you know it!! We had them here in 2010!! Big party everyone had great fun!!

    Hugs Giggles

  31. Thank you for the nice word you left o my blog. Hope that you make your dream come true and find a school and start studying. It was difficult after 25 years to go back to school but it was only in the beginning when I was learning how to learn... after that it was just fun..

  32. Wonderful photography, I especially like the bee and poppy shots. I know from my own experience that red flowers in the sun and bees in full flight are a real challenge to photograph. Summer seems to be over here too. Cold and rainy - "British weather", as I call it ;). Enjoy your long weekend!

  33. Beautiful, vibrant colors and subjects! I love the flowers and the puppy shots, and the way you tell a story, you and your hubby could write books together...and you can BOTH illustrate!

    Happy Tuesday, chica!

  34. Your water colours, especially 'Trojey Square', (even the photograph was very good)and also the a painting in your travel section of buildings in a desert with a few cactii in the background, probably Mexico. It is outstanding in its conceptualisation, composition and colours used. An Indian painter i used to admire, still do, though he is no more, who used pointillism really well was N.S. Bendre. If you google the name you may see samples of his work.
    I like S's pictures of your dogs, especially Reuben on the bridge. Not easy to take pictures of dogs. Thanks for your comment on my blog. pratap


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