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Helen Clark - Peak District Artist Talks Robot

Blog Posted on 30 Jan 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Gulp - I am so sorry not to have blogged sooner. I just don't know where the time has gone since the jolly hollies finished. I bet you thought the men in white coats had really taken me away - you did, didn't you? My last couple of blogs were borderline  hysterical I thought -but nothing new there then - but I made it through all my work and got all my pet portraits done in time to get to the North Pole - a record 26 paintings this year. I'm still working on the aftermath - customers who ordered before Christmas, but didn't mind if I completed for January.

All is quiet at the mill and craft centre and it is so,so cold, as you can see.
Where do you go if you're a duck and want to get warm? Inside my shop that's where. They are like crafty feathered ninjas, appearing out of nowhere when my back is turned. They creep in unnoticed between customers ' legs, and I know nothing about it until Bog Dog hears them and then all hell breaks loose. We're usually all quite warm then - you know, after the fur and feathers have finished flying.

I'm glad it's turning colder though, it's been so miserable and damp. I don't know about you, but it really affects my mood - which means I've been in a black one nearly the whole of January. Driving to work the other day, I was just grumbling to myself about all the traffic and congestion I have to put up with. Just look at all these vehicles cluttering up the road. Oh deer........
And then when I actually get to my gallery, I have to put up with views like this out of my office window.  Yeah, I really have good cause to be depressed working here don't I?
It was so lovely to see the snow on the hills, out towards Hathersage, Castleton and Buxton the other morning. The only trouble is it puts me in a Christmas mood, which is a tad early, even for me. I'm nuts about Christmas - love nothing more than seeing all my family and friends, love being tucked up cosy with my loved ones.......oh and then there's the partying, the eating too. The fact I have a legitimate excuse to get trollied from lunchtime onwards - that's always appealing. I actually made 2 very important discoveries over the festive period - so important I will write a science paper about it. I discovered  that it is possible to drink your whole body weight in Bailey's, in one whole afternoon, and not be sick or die - how cool is that?  (I did die the next day so I need to work on my practice a bit more)  Also, I discovered, that Maltesers (which I half inched from my child's selection box - don't tell him) only float for about 1 minute and 45 seconds before they sink to the bottom of the glass. VERY. IMPORTANT. RESEARCH I think you'll find- especially if you're a Malteser.

I have broken many New Year's resolutions already, alas. Because I am such a Contrary Mary, or as I prefer to be called, an ' Enigma'  (this is what the Hubster calls me - it's a polite way of saying he hasn't got a clue what I'm going on about - but I like it, it's a prettier description). I decided instead of saying I would give up wine and chocolate, I told myself that I wouldn't.  And like every small child, I thought I would rebel and do the opposite. But instead I simply continued to take my own advice. Hmmmmm - better have a rethink for next New Year's.

I've got oodles and noodles of writing work now, and I am loving it so much. It's been quite hard concentrating on painting when I have all these words in my head that just need to come out. I was finding I would start painting and then, my mind would wanders and I start concocting all these brilliant sentences in my head for a particular website and I just HAVE to write them down. And so I break off painting and start typing, and get carried away and forget I should have been painting. I have had to say goodbye to so many paintbrushes, resigning them to paintbrush heaven in the sky because the paint has dried and the bristles are hard- I really ought to have had a bonfire/cremation and I could keep the ducks warm.

Anyway, I have taken drastic measures and bought some speaking software malarkey. It involves wearing a headset and microphone ( the novelty still hasn't worn pretending to be either Madonna  Rosemary the Switchboard Operator off Hong Kong Fooey - I'm getting the hang of it at last).

I am actooly spoking this bog at the miment, as I am mining - yes you have read that last bit right. This is one of the problems. It seems to want to invent new words and make it all up itself  -  I can't control it and it scares me. That last bit should have said ' I am actually speaking this blog as I am ironing'. I really hate ironing, but I can talk to myself whilst doing it, something that is quite a regular occurrence anyway - but at least this way it's getting it down on paper - sort of.

I do love to multitask, but I have to say I'm not particularly good at it. I forget I have the headphones on and if my thoughts stray, I tend to sing or hum - which of course is being transcribed- and then it's more work editing it, then rewriting it ....sigh. Plus it's also quite dangerous. I keep garrotting myself, forgetting I have the headphones on and walking off . It's called 'Naturally Speaking' but there isn't anything naturally speaking about the way I dictate my notes. I have been likened to a 'stuttering robot'  by the Sprog  and I won't tell you what the Hubster said - needless to say,  he got his own tea that night.   I'm going to give it one more week and then it very may well end up on the paintbrush funeral pyre.

Something else new for 2012 is my shiny new toy phone. I bent under the pressure from my boys and got the latest touch screen thingy ma jig.  I hate the blooming thing. It might be able to turn the television over, operate the microwave , speak Japanese and tell me where I am in the world - (creepy - I really ought to know where I am I think) - and it may be one of the bestest, superist smartest, smarty-pants phone on the market today - but I don't like it. I seriously don't like it. I try and text and it takes me three times longer than it did before. I eventually send a text to the person I want and it sends it to someone totally different.  I ring people when I want to send a text. The screen is so sensitive, I basically breathe on it and the next thing I know, there's a pizza delivery at the door, a pizza that's come all the way from Japan - eh??

Anyway normal blogging service will resume I promise. That is one of my New Year's resolutions I do intend to keep. So tune in next week, or look out in the local Peak District papers, to see if I've managed to train the dog to operate my phone, to see if Sproglet has taught me how to talk normally and also to see if the Hubster  has mastered the ironing. (I'm pretty sure the latter ain't gonna happen any time soon, but we'll see).

And you can all cheer up now, because it's February and the depressing month of the year has passed. What we have all now got to look forward to, as nearly every customer keeps telling me just to cheer me up no end - is that we're now one month nearer to the end of the world -  Ta - ra!

This blog was brought to you by Helen Clark



Type Of Art: Painting
Location: Caudwells Mill
Contact Number: 01629 732 638

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