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Friday, 6 December 2013

Long time, long time

Where to start? Been a long time, mainly because I seem to have transferred my computing completely to the new iPad, and sadly iPad doesn't like blogging. I'm not sure why. So, all photos recently have been on the iPad, or my phone, neither of which talk to this laptop. I need to replace the laptop probably, but that's not happening just now. Anyhows, excuses aside, my work for my first semester at skool is done, and is photographed above. The silk screen prints (on silk, and hand hemmed in red silk) have been put away, they didn't make the cut, I am only exhibiting the Big Red Tent. Make of it what you will! Next term, for my degree show, I shall be making and exhibiting 3 tents with lady-parts. I'll keep you posted. Here's a heads up though - the degree show is at the beginning of June 2014, at University Centre, Grimsby, and I would be delighted to see you there.

November has slithered by in the winking of an eye. My cousin arrived from Australia for 48 wonderful hours shared with his English family, particularly my Dad. All very emotional. He was swiftly followed by his daughter, her husband and their two children who made a rather longer stay of a week! It was absolutely wonderful to get to know the next generation. I hope the smalls will remember us!

The yellow horse endured a very uncomfortable November with his back. I think he might have a trapped sciatic nerve. He has had several remedial massages, new shoes and is now on anti-inflammatories, all of which should contribute towards making him more comfortable.

Gardener's Question Time (Radio 4) was recorded in Wainfleet towards the end of November, The Farmer and I rolled up, clutching our tickets and our questions. I am a big fan. As luck would have it one of our questions was selected for the recording, and I took my place on the front row to complete my radio experience. It was a great evening.

Dog news. The eternal virgin (the blue roan bitch) duly came into season towards the end of November. Once more, despite James' determined charm onslaught, she seemed to be resisting all his attempts to coerce her into a sexual liaison. However, as I walked them all over the fields yesterday the tiny poodle must have surprised her, and caught her off her guard - and WHOOPPEE!!! The deed is done. Obviously we don't know whether there will be a puppy shaped outcome to their consorting together, but we are hopeful. Not as hopeful as James though, who is now working hard at repeating his lucky break!

Early December has seen me beginning to purchase white wedding dresses on eBay for my post Christmas tent-making, also pink, red and grey fabric. I have sourced 10 meters of sack-cloth, and hand-dyed it grey. All for same installation work. Can't describe how excited I am with the concept. I hope I have the technical skills to bring it all to fruition. This success is tempered by my absolute and utter failure in the dissertation writing department. I cannot bore you with the details, suffice to say I have now written three beginnings for three different dissertations, each of 4500 words. As the entire total only needs to be 10000 words I am feeling pretty worn out! Hoping my third writing effort proves to 'the one' as I am pretty satisfied with it - the decision, however, rests with my dissertation tutor, and she's a hard taskmaster.

Finally, yesterday and today have seen a TIDAL SURGE down the East Coast. Its been a very uncomfortable and tense time, poor old Boston, and Hull have really caught it, and Skegness has not emerged dry from the experience either. More news to follow, as photos are only just beginning to come in.

All in all, its been an interesting month, and year. I think its the right time to wish you all a SUPER HAPPY, PEACEFUL AND RELAXING Christmas, and much success in 2014.

Mucho festive love.... Cx

Monday, 21 October 2013

Kent, Brighton and Wonderful Warsaw

So, folks, its been a busy time and I seem to have done lots of travelling. The weekend of 4th, 5th and 6th October I planned to drive myself to Brighton, stay in a super-luxury hotel, glide along to an artist talk and exhibition I wanted to attend, and then make my leisurely way home, refreshed and illuminated. The reality was that a dear friend, on learning that I was travelling so far south, found a horse she simply had to see, in Kent. Approx 60 miles from my own destination, but what are 60 miles between friends? So, we set off (in her very new and comfortable car) early on Saturday morning, straight to see the horse. He was a complete poppet, and we arranged to see him again on the Sunday morning. Thus, we were able to make our way to our previously booked accommodation in some rooms behind a Pub.  They had looked fantastic on line. The reality, folks, was somewhat different. Grubby, cobwebby, with a strong odour of damp and bed linen that would have benefitted from a very good hot wash, it looked like £95.00 very badly spent for us. My friend was reduced to tears. I offered to clean it if the Landlord would provide the materials! Instead we returned our keys, had a very frank exchange with the owners, and made our way to a spotlessly clean Premier Inn about 30 minutes away. Hooray! Thank you Premier Inn. Early next morning we were back with the little horse, and a deal was done in good time to transport me to Brighton for my Artists talk. I had not forgotten that the talk was the purpose of my journey to the south coast! Sadly a few miles into the motorway transfer the new car suffered a puncture, on the roadside rear tyre. We were too chicken-hearted to lay in the motorway to attempt a wheel change, and so a wonderful AA man had to come and risk his life.... this meant that my arrival at the talk was postponed until half-way through the event. No matter - it actually worked really well. The Artist's talk was poorly attended, she greeted me like a long-lost friend, and I achieved all I wanted (networking, advice, names, names, names) within the ensuing hour. My chauffeur and I then climbed back into her benighted vehicle, and crawled back to Lincolnshire on the 50mph safety spare.... it took some time.

Not content with this adventure the Farmer accompanied me to Warsaw in Poland last weekend to visit a life-time retrospective exhibition for Magdalena Abakanowicz (One of Poland's foremost sculptors) at their national centre for sculpture near Oronsko in the depths of the Polish countryside. I take my hat off to the farmer, who exited the aeroplane, booked out a hire car, drove us 100km across Poland, walked the exhibition and talked to the Curator all afternoon, then masterfully drove us back to Central Warsaw to drop off the hire car. Phew. We were absolutely shattered! We had a further two days exploring Warsaw and beginning to understand the awful wartime experiences they are still trying to come to terms with. Our homeward journey was not quite so straightforward, we had a 6 hr delay and  airport transfer on a coach, owing to fog, and the awesome awfulness of Ryanair. Oh well. You can't win them all.

This weekend brought us the Baby Boy and the lovely D to fill any time we thought we might have to spare, also more horse viewing with another friend and coffee and cakes with yet another friend! Luckily its half-term week from skool, so I have a couple of recovery days in hand, prior to a visitation from the Eldest, our silver wedding anniversary (tomorrow) and my 'slightly more than 21st' birthday on Thursday. Friday will see me in Lincoln. I am thinking of applying for some time off for good behaviour......

On the advice of the Kent horse buying friend I purchased some horse clippers and have shaved one of the spaniels. Her coat has deteriorated since we had her spayed, and she seemed to have become completely woolly. The clipping looks wonderful and she seems much happier in herself. Excellent advice and a very happy outcome.

The Baby boy is working hard at the Royal, the Big Boy also at FisherGerman. The Farmer is all harvested but the weather has turned before he has quite ploughed up. Now too wet to try, so he will have to be patient. He has sold his big blue tractor, and is now having fun trying to find a replacement, and scouring tractor porn on a daily basis.

College going very well, skidding downhill to finishing in 2014. Full of ideas for practical artistic output between now and then, and the first few pages of the dissertation committed to paper. So, all in all, a busy, productive and very satisfying October so far. Be Christmas before we know it.

Toodle - Oooooo old chaps. XXXX

Sunday, 29 September 2013

And the harvest is.............IN!

The weeds of shame (don't even ask) have finally been cut, the rape seeds shaken free of the encroaching overgrowth, the resultant woody stems baled and cleared, and whoop-de-whoop, the last field is DONE! Relief apparent for both the Farmer and me, the growth of the weeds of shame have been something of a bone of contention at this house. Thank all the gods that this growing season is now complete.

After taking a day to recover from a migraine yesterday I am on form today, baking and cooking like a dervish, cleaning and vacuuming now that the (very large) chicks have pushed off once more.

Have firm ideas about the direction of this term's college work (not for the faint-hearted) and researching far and wide for the dissertation thingy.


I have a friend who is about to start out in business making fancy back shirts (dinner shirts or office shirts) bespoke. Choose your gaudy fabric, and she will tailor it into a new, high end, designer, plain fronted, sober shirt which only displays its giddy heart when you remove your jacket. She is such a clever needle-woman I believe it will be a roaring success. I have ordered one each for the boys on the basis that they will be walking advertisements at their University events!

Must press on, much to do, much to do.... X

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Home news

 Pretty pleased that my vine has come to fruition this Autumn. I remembered to pinch out as many grape clusters as I could find, and as a result, these three are plumping up nicely. Some time I would like to learn how to look after the vine itself, its like a triffid, absolutely enormous, and I have a suspicion it needed cutting back at some time!

Another Autumn surprise. The Motherbulb has not only thrown off another dozen young bulbs for splitting and potting on,  she has found the time (and energy) to bring a little colour to my Autumn days. Anyone would think I was green-fingered. As it happens I mostly have killing fingers, but those that can survive my care and attention seem to push on and do extremely well indeed. Tough on the inside and the outside.

Life needs a little something to cheer it sometimes, and I found these in Waitrose recently. Mmmmm. The orange flavoured gin is  ..... citrusish, and moreish, I have yet to sample Bloom's Premium. Something to look forward to as the nights draw in!
Pottering forward towards my birthday and 25th wedding anniversary, both of which have come around in practically the blink of an eye. October may contain a trip to Brighton to listen to an Artist talk about 'ladyparts', a flight to Poland to see some Abakanowicz Sculptures and a wedding anniversary holiday. I see that every weekend is already spoken for (sigh). No wondering where the time runs away to! Took the Baby Boy shopping yesterday, for appropriate clothing and footwear for his new Masters endeavour, also new tyre for his car (its just worn out!) and usual stationery requisites. Bank account now so light it practically floated away last night when I check depredations. Guessing Mothers never have any funds to call their own.....thinking I might have to sell my soul (or what's left of it) to fund October's gadding around. Oh well, as the baby boy would say - YOLO!!!Slightly damp eyed at the prospect of the nest being empty again - let's hope for puppies...
Toodle ooooo X

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

6 so far - look away those of a sensitive disposition....

Delighted with the set. Thinking I might make a screen print thingy to be able to silk screen one repetitively. Happy days.

Big boy pipeline walking near Caistor. Baby Boy packing to go to the Royal. Busy times.

Monday, 16 September 2013

And so, it begins

Well, here are the first, trial sketches. Mixed papers, varying techniques, and A1 size...
my neighbour in the next studio at college can't even look at the drawings, and was so appalled by the photos that she could hardly talk. Only one or two students have been into my space to look, or discuss, the imagery, though it's early days yet.

The fourth sketch. I was particularly pleased with it, however my fellow students (the two who were courageous enough to look) disliked it more than the others. Hmmmm. I have now selected one of these images to draw 6ft tall. What a challenge! I need a set of steps...

Took an elderly, and moulting, mink stole apart at the weekend. To my immense surprise each of the 6 pelts had a mask/head complete with a pair of glass eyes and a black waxen nose, a pair of hind legs and its tail. So, I have brought all 6 little furry fellows into college, and am moderately sure that there will be an opportunity to use them in my installation towards Christmas. They look quite excited about it don't they! Currently they are just 'hanging around' watching the world go by through their hard little glassy eyes.
Here is the MONSTER roll of drawing paper now erected on the wall of my college studio ready for the first fandango drawing..... The size of the drawing surface scared me to bits.... gathering courage tonight to make a beginning tomorrow.
I other news. The Baby Boy's eyes are improving and stabilising. He leaves for the Royal Agricultural College to start his Masters in 2 weeks. He's excited. The Big Boy has not had time to come home for weeks, hoping, really hoping, that he is coming this weekend. He's as busy as a bee.
The farmer continues to struggle through his harvest. Beans will be a bit longer before they can be collected, apparently. Bad weather has currently stopped play, though ploughing continues.
Here's the baby boy wearing his 'sleep goggles' which protect his newly operated on eyes from being rubbed in the night. We thought he looked rather 'froggy'. Probably hoping for a kiss from a princess.

And here's the yellow boy after winning his class at a local show two weeks ago. We had a fun day out. I rode him to the show, took off his tack and left it on a bale of straw, went into the show ring and won, then tacked him up again to go home. I carried all our 'stuff' in a rucksack on my back, and also carried a shooting stick to sit on whilst at the show. I hope you are truly impressed! It would have been a damned sight easier to have taken the horsebox!
Surely there's been much more action 'down on the farm' but at the moment I can't think of any. Too, too tired to have fully operational memory! Never mind. I will try harder next time.

Mucho luvo duckies XX

Sunday, 25 August 2013

caught napping

After an enormous mid-day Sunday repast, with the old peeps, both sons and the lodger, the Farmer retired to the sitting room to watch the Grand Prix. The lodger thought he might like to watch too. Ten minutes later the Baby boy went to offer them a cup of tea. This is what he found. The washing-up dodgers had both decided to succumb to the napping fairy. The lodger even managed to sleep whilst clasping his own mug of tea. Miraculous. Caught in the act, they claimed to be resting their eyes. The farmer did seem to know who won the grand prix when interviewed later, I suspect he managed to catch the highlights. The Big Boy has gone to the pub with the lovely young lady who helped him with his Chinese language and translations, and the baby boy is resting after some farm work (which has covered him in dust and mud). The lodger managed to lose his spectacles last night (possibly due to some 'close-contact' with a member of the opposite sex). He didn't go to specsavers.....

Took the yellow horse out this arvo., and also let the poodle accompany. He has his own high-viz jacket, which he wore with pride. He rode the horse with me on the way home. His legs were tired.

Toodle-Oooo for now chickadees. X

Saturday, 24 August 2013

road kill pie

The Big Boy came home from A-de-la-Z this morning. On his journey he happened upon a fresh killed baby deer. Obviously, being him, he stopped his tiny car and flung the carcass into his boot. There was a happy arrival at home, with much welcoming and embracing. He opened the back of his car. The dead deer face peered up at the throng. Without stopping to draw breath the boy had the body strung up, skinned, gutted and on the kitchen table for butchering. Its been quite a trying afternoon. However, the dogs have a pan full of 'stuff' and the haunches and fillets are in the freezer. I learned much and could claim that the entire process was a bonding experience with my son.....

Living in interesting times. X

Thursday, 22 August 2013

pony perturbation

We went back to look at handsome Ron, and the decision has been made that he's a bit 'green' even though he's grey & black. If he doesn't sell, we might go back again. We drove onwards to Leicester to see a guaranteed, cast iron promise of a quiet and slightly older version. When he was led out of the stable he turned out to have 4 legs that were not straight, and 4 feet which added interesting twists at the ends of each leg. He was already (probably) worn out when we arrived, and nearly fell over (literally) when I picked up a foreleg. We watched him work for approximately 60 seconds, the poor lad crossed his front feet with every step. My companion then excused us, and a very tense walk to the car and reverse up the drive saw us make our get-away. Nearly 200 mile round trip to look at a poor thing. What a bunch of time-wasters!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Skegness' Own Big Fat Gypsy Gathering

The seafront car park last weekend. The farmer wouldn't let me get any closer. The tax-dodging, litter strewing, 'brand new transit' driving hordes occupied the entire car park in Skegness, and also in Ingoldmells. I hope they have taken themselves off by now. Have not been to look, its soooo disheartening. My mother in law wondered if they would be paying for their parking!!! Hohoho.

Spent 20 hard earned pounds on this last week:
When I first put it on, it fitted the yellow horse. After three days the rope had given/stretched so that it now hangs down his nose, and gapes at the back in a dangerous and irritating way for the yella fella. I CANNOT find my purchase details (careless) and so have given the now giant headcollar to a friend who keeps shire horses. The moral of this story is: don't be impressed by good looks and pretty colours, leather takes some beating! The yellow horse also has two scrapes behind his chin, a big graze on his shin, and a slow-healing nick on a hind heel. I blame all these bloomin' flies, making him kick, bite and rub to drive them off his skin. So, he is now liberally dotted with purple spray, fly spray, wound cream and blue bandage. Looks like a clown.

Went with a friend to look at this pretty boy yesterday. His name is Ronaldo, and he is full of Irish charm, he was born and bred in Connemara. If the farmer would not have murdered me I would have bought him for myself, (move over yellow horse, this ghostly grey is just as gorgeous). Thankfully I managed to keep quiet and leave my wallet in my pocket. Not so sure about the friend, who was seduced by a large and kind pair of eyes and a laid back attitude. So, boys, take note. Grey hair is very distinguished and a kiss of the blarney stone never did anyone much harm.....

Think we might be going for a second look at the lovely Ron later in the week. Otherwise, no dates in my diary and so anticipating a quiet and peaceful week of cleaning and polishing..... (unlikely).

The farm-yard is full to bursting of Anglian Water equipment. Tractors, containers, some sort of pipe-lining machine, 24hour guards and other sundries. Apparently they are re-lining a local water main. The cost of all this stuff must be absolutely immense. Assuming this is why our water supply is so expensive. The gate alarm is ringing 50 times a day and it feels like Clapham Junction outside. When harvesting begins I probably won't be able to hear myself think! Looking forward to the peace and quiet of college in a couple of weeks!

Adios for now amigos. X

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

a whiff of art in the air

In keeping with my 3rd year Fine Art subject matter (for studio practice and Dissertation purposes) - 'the silencing and objectification of the vagina in a post modernist, porn-obsessed culture' I made this lovely little 3D vulva sculpture, which will enhance the front cover of my sketch book for the next year. I have to say, that as a first attempt, I'm rather pleased with it. A neighbour visited yesterday, and I discussed with her the possibility of knitting a vulva.... not much chance of finding a pattern for that, so assuming we shall have to 'knit freehand!!'

Having purchased and activated my new iPad (and fallen in love with it too), I bought this natty little keyboard to work with the iPad, and make my typing skills usable, even with a touchscreen. The iPad sits in the slot, and my fingers do their walking over the keys at high speed, a more efficient way for me to move text into the iPad than tapping the screen. The iPad fits with the tiny keyboard to make a hard case, which keeps the screen safe for travelling. All in all, pretty delighted with it. iPad World somewhat different from Windows world, and I am adjusting, slowly but surely. Probably got an app for that.....

And this book arrived yesterday. Much excitement when I opened the box from Amazon. My poor son and his guests raised their eyes to heaven and shrugged their shoulders, french style, at the madness of the mother. What an embarrassment I am proving to be! The reference book, however, appears to be full of absolute gold-dust for research, and I am delighted to have found it and secured a copy.  Three cheers for Amazon book-store (and the iPad app.....)

The farm is currently playing host to the lovely D's brother, who is an infant soldier. On a training course in deepest Lincolnshire his wisdom teeth have decided to make their presence felt, his face has swelled up like a melon, and he is experiencing a great deal of pain. We have, therefore, whisked him away from training camp to rest and be medicated, and to see whether he is going to mend without further dental treatment. UPDATE: looking unlikely that he is going to recover quickly, poor lad is in a real pickle with pain and swelling 4 days after starting the antibiotics, so he must make his way to the South Coast, and home, to be seen and referred by his local dental and health service. What a horrible experience Lincolnshire has turned out to be for him.
Our other lodger is labouring away at Butlins on split shifts looking after dining guests, and learning much about the eating habits of the general public. Its not pretty. Someone did an anonymous widdle on the restaurant floor today. The old and the young on holiday. They need careful watching!
The lovely D is working on her Masters dissertation, as the clock ticks for her return to hospital working within the next two weeks. She seems to have much to do, and not enough time to do it all in. It seems that training to be a Doctor is one long, long, long, hard slog, with not much time off for good behaviour, nor financial support to ease the long years of study. She must want it very much, and I applaud her dedication.
The baby boy continue to learn from the rural chartered surveying practice which has taken him under its wing. He has about another two weeks working and learning and he is then set free! September should see him undergoing laser eye surgery, cycling from the top to the bottom of the UK, and then preparing for the Royal Agricultural university.
The big boy spent 3 1/2 hours flying around in a helicopter last week, allegedly surveying an oil pipeline, though it seems to me he was also thoroughly enjoying himself. Helicopter surveying seems to be 'the way its done' so he can look forward to enjoying quite a bit more flying time during his year's work experience with FisherGerman. We were delighted to welcome the boy home last weekend, and it was really lovely to see him. I have no idea when he might have time to visit again. Sad but true.
I keep having a small panic at the speed with which my own break from University is disappearing. I start back at the beginning of September, and then its a relentless progression to my Degree show and graduation. I worry whether I will be able to create enough original and skilful work, and also write the 12000 words I need for the dreaded dissertation. Every time I think about it my knees knock and my heart speeds up. Going to have to calm down slightly or I shall have some sort of heart attack!
Quiet week this week as care of visitors has taken priority over everything else.
Enjoy your week. X

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Bella the ball....

Here's 'Bella'. A work in progress & a sketchbook preparation for next term. Any contributors who wish to be celebrated like this, get photographing..... Does it make you embarrassed? Or uncomfortable? Me too, and it really shouldn't, so I'm working to improve attitudes and familiarity with this amazing thing. It's a feminist statement (no pun intended!)

And a list:

the poodle got shaved, the Farmer & I went to Bishops Stortford for a birthday BBQ, the big boy came back to these shores from China, the Farmer & I went to see the big boy (and reclaim my car from him), I waited on tables at a tremendously posh wedding in a marquee in the Wolds, the baby boy and lovely D returned from their holiday travels, and then we all had a bit of a rest.

That's what has happened in this house since the Graduation day. And, it feels like it has been a busy month.

Off to London tomorrow to deliver a piece of art..... exciting or what! Might try to squeeze in a gallery before my return journey.

Old peeps for tea, crème brulees & eton mess should keep them quiet for another week....

Mucho, mucho. XXX

Thursday, 11 July 2013

James, the dog!

Announcing the arrival of 6 puppies to Scope (mostly white) a Jack Russell belonging to Liz Pears, and sired by James, the Poodle stud king. The puppies' colour is, surprise, surprise, BLACK with an assortment of white bibs, bows and toes. In 8 weeks time they will be looking for their forever homes. Liz can be found at Grange Farm Equestrian, near Louth. Do look her up if you are interested.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

graduation ceremony

A long day, and a tiny bit emotional. Graduation ceremony long, dry and also charged with emotion. Have left him to celebrate in Leicester, then the lovely D is taking him away for a few days R&R.

Hooray for all of them. X

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

water, water everywhere

 The Baby Boy was 21 yesterday. 21 years since he was born, weighing in at a mighty 10lb and 1/2oz. With a broken collar bone, fractured skull, paralysed arm, cephal haematoma, and his mother, yours truly, torn to shreds. Ah well. 21 years and much joy and heartache have passed. Some family and friends arrived at 6pm last night to help him celebrate both the day of birth and his degree award. He has earned a First in his History degree (award ceremony shortly). We are all delighted, proud and generally chuffed to bits.
 The evening began in a very civilised manner.
 And then the water pistols came out......

 And it became a celebration of two halves, the dry and the not-so-dry running around the garden.

 However, the ladies began to experience some alarm. The 'dry' area showed evidence of water ingress

Even the baby Doctors could not resist the temptation of a fully loaded water canon

 Conditions rapidly deteriorated. Small children began to resemble drowned rats

Older guests maintained a calm and philosophical outlook in spite of random watery accidents

 Old people within the 'guaranteed dry area' began to cheat - firing at will through the porch windows
 Even older people (who were trying to raid the wine stores) suffered remorseless assault, and had to retire to guaranteed dry area for safety (without any raided wine I might add).
 Things began to look grim for the dry guests
 Luckily, refreshments were in plentiful supply in the dry areas
 A wet juvenile attacker, temporarily disarmed to rest his trigger finger...........
 A young drowned rat. Happily she seemed none the worse for wear even at 10pm.....
 Old people begin to take possession of armaments and show the soaked youngsters how it's done

The dry area now completely annexed by 'old people who should know better'
Beneath this cardboard box is a child, tired, soaking wet, and attempting to find the safety of a vehicle to carry her home.

 Old people who should know better, drunk, exhausted, garrulous and needing to be put to bed
The young men then retired to the very bottom of the farmyard clutching a multitude of beer cans to play some kind of drinking game. They returned, in pretty good condition considering everything, at 1am to consume all edibles remaining in the kitchen and then to retire en masse all around the house.

This morning saw them all rally to the cause and reignite their celebratory demeanor with further energetic games and trials. I, however, am completely zonked! Baby Boy has now motored off to Leicester for a few days and then he is being taken on a mystery holiday by the lovely D as a surprise gift. He recommences work in two weeks, which will be something of a relief.

The Big Boy has phoned from China twice in the past few days. He is eating, communicating (courtesy of some sort of phone app) and enjoying the cultural contrasts. We look forward (very much) to welcoming him back to these shores. He is much missed.

Having restored order to the garden and house today I am shattered, and now considering the luxury of a nap. So, thanks for reading, I'm signing off to see whether the bed is still comfy...