First of all, just want to say thanks to everyone who has emailed or left a comment, etc, to wish me happy birthday - all those good wishes are welcome, even if I haven't had a chance to reply to them all!
Today I spent the day up in town - first I popped into the Royal Academy to have a look at the exhibit called Aime Maeght and His Artists (the artists in question being Miro, Calder, Giacometti and Braque with a few other bits and pieces). Miro I like ok, Calder I can take or leave and Giacometti I adore. Braque is not an artist about whom I knew a lot before today (not that I know a lot now, but I have more familiarity than I did). I think again, I can take or leave much of his work as I am not a huge cubism fan. I can appreciate the artistic ideas behind it, but it doesn't thrill me to look at it.
There was at the exhibit also a wonderful set of landscapes - and I can't for the life of me remember who they were by - either Braque, which seems unlikely given the style - or Bonnard, which seems perhaps more likely, though I can't find anything like them with a google image search - anyway, they were mostly just very plain, fields and sky, with heavily textured oils, but they were great. [If anyone has seen the exhibit and knows what I'm talking about, let me know the artist - they were on the left hand wall as you came into the back room - four paintings, fairly small - to the left of the showcase with the larger Grecian inspired Braque pieces...]
The exhibit also had a small handful of works by Matisse, including the above picture, Le Buisson (The Bush), a painting I have always liked. So the verdict for me - not so thoroughly enjoyable as the last exhibit I saw there (the Hammershoi) but still a nice visit. The Byzantium exhibit looked promising from a distance, so I may try to get back before that finishes.
Anyway, I came home to lots of nice presents - some of which being:
This treasure trove from Karol Ann - all individually wrapped on the left - including a silk scarf, another African bag, a book, candlestick and diary. And all the bits of ribbon and so on used to wrap the pieces. What a great gift! Thanks, K-A.
Also a lovely card from Marga, which was totally unexpected and very thoughtful, and a package of Indian goodies from Lana, which was totally expected and very thoughtful! And of course she wrapped it all in a gorgeous piece of silk, rather than use something silly like wrapping paper... [this was delivered via Rod a few weeks ago when he was in London on business - I've been dying to open it as Lana always gives good presents...]
And here are a few more - on the left, a bag, purse and magnetic bracelet/necklace from my mother (who, by the way, is doing a Pay it Forward drawing over on her blog - go check it out!) and my birthday socks (cotton, as I am allergic to wool) made for me specially by Cathi, who also gave me a $40 gift certificate to eQuilter - why she thought I could use that.... LOL! Anyway, I love my socks, they are very comfy (not to mention funky) - this photo doesn't really show the funkiness of the knit, but they are indeed totally cool.
I also got a fabulous (original) watercolour painting of some lovely trees (autumnal, trunks, no leaves) which I will attempt to photograph in the daytime - hard to photograph things behind glass without a glare - from my blogless friend Caroline. All the lovely pressies make me wish my birthday had a zero on the end every year!
I didn't do any sewing today, of course (though I have high hopes for tomorrow, as I have to spend the day in the house waiting for someone to come put insulation in my loft some time between 8 and 3) though I did also manage to read an entire book (Property, by Valerie Martin) on the train and while sitting in Camden Lock Market having a coffee. Which is a birthday present of its own, really... I also went out to lunch with Geoff at Hache and had a truly excellent burger. So, happy birthday to me!