Going for Gold!

Oh dear, this technology lark’s all very well but when it goes pear-shaped, well XX*%@**!!!XX!!!

Boy, does it go PEAR-SHAPED!!! Hence this long-overdue post….If silence is golden – then I claim the medal!

Over the last two months my nice, no sorry, my lovely, LOVELY (got to keep it sweet) computer developed a mind of its own, taking it upon itself to frustrate and annoy me in every way possible. No, not a dreaded virus (thankfully!)…only something as simple as a leaking (and seriously bulge-ing) battery, as it turned out. But until I knew the cause, I had to contend with it randomly ‘copying’ and ‘pasting’ all over the place at will –  taking every opportunity to drive me insane! It almost succeeded too!

Some days it would surprise me by behaving quite well, lulling me into a false sense of security before suddenly, without warning, attacking with a vengeance; randomly filling my desktop with over 20,000 photos at a time – before promptly deleting the whole lot into goodness knows where – cyberspace probably!! GRRRRRRR!!!!

The worst of it was it seemed to know I could do absolutely nothing about it till I returned to London (hmm, little call for an Apple store on a tiny Greek island, strangely) so war was declared… But this was a battle I refused to lose.

I’m happy now to report a resounding victory for man over machine; a visit to the flagship store in Regent Street and two months of utter frustration were gone in sixty seconds (well, near enough)…..Yay! All is well in my world once again…Apple, I LOVE you!! (Yes, yes laptop, I love you too – really I do….)

So here we are, with two months of news to catch up on (not to mention the 20, 000 images still to locate!) and not a clue, on either count, where to begin….

No official teaching this year but a constant stream of guests nonetheless. A busy summer filled with visiting family, friends and  fellow artists. Long days of trying to find ways to escape, in equal measure, both the exceptional rain storms and uncharacteristic heat waves…. and long nights in the studio, trying to get paintings finished and ready for a new (solo!) exhibition – which opened at the Skiathos Princess Hotel just hours before I left:

Returning to the UK at the end of July – as I usually do –  was not just to avoid the ‘mad month of august’ this time . Sadly, it was to carry out my late Mother’s final wish; that her ashes be ‘scattered in a Scottish Glen while a piper (from my father’s old regiment, The Seaforth Highlanders)  played ‘Land of the Brave’.

Returning to my childhood home, especially for such a poignant occasion, was particularly emotional but following a beautiful memorial service in the chapel at the Garrison of Fort George, as the wind carried her across the Moray Firth, onwards and up towards the Highlands, I knew my darling mother was finally at peace….and so were we…..

Touching back down in London a few days later, to be greeted by a battalion of black uniformed police brandishing machine guns looking every inch a swat team – complete with sniffer dogs (searching for explosives apparently) was not the most welcoming of sights – especially, I imagine, for the tourists, who had already begun to arrive in their thousands, from all over the globe, for the Olympics (although perhaps, like me, they’d feel relieved that we were making national security such a priority).

London is now teeming with visitors and although many of my friends and neighbours vowed they’d up sticks and leave the city for the duration, they have, like me, ended up staying and are now totally caught up in the excitement of it all. And how exciting it is!! As if the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations alone, earlier in the summer, weren’t enough to fill one’s heart with National pride, the whole affair , is quite simply overwhelming!

London, right now, is a fabulous place to be! There is just so much going on – outside of the Games too – that it’s simply THE place to be! The constant buzz in the air is electric. That said, the city in many parts is surprisingly quiet and thankfully, so far at least, the anticipated chaos, daily disruption and nightmarish road congestion, are nowhere to be seen! Living as centrally as I do, the only marked difference is the fairly constant stream of helicopters overhead – but even I am learning to live with that!

All in all it’s good to be home. Skiathos seems a million miles away right now and I’m happy to leave it to the throng of youthful party goers. I know, come September, peace and tranquility will have returned to the island and by then, refreshed and totally re-charged (just like my laptop!) so will I….

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone – wherever you are!