Epoisses & Rioja
18 x 14cm
Oil on Linen
Back in the sweltering heat of the summer the manufacturers of the log cabin (my studio) at the end of my garden assured me that I would be ‘toasty’ in there with a small heater throughout the winter. Sadly this hasn’t been the case. I have failed to be ‘toasty’ with my small heater in there despite increasing layers of clothing until I resemble ‘Bibendum’ the Michelin man. Meanwhile Elgar my dog has had the sense to stay in his basket back up at the house . . . looking decidedly ‘toasty’.
So just when I thought I had done everything necessary to complete the studio and could get on with some painting along comes the task of insulating its roof.
In order to get insulation board into my car it was necessary to saw the massive sheets in half. The assistant at Travis Perkins builders merchants demanded that we saw them outside the warehouse because he didn’t want to have to “sweep up all the bloody mess”. It was a windy day so the real challenge of sawing the sheets outside was remaining on Terra Firma. There was no apparent mess – perhaps this was whisked away in the wind.
All the “bloody mess” made itself apparent in my studio when I sawed the insulation boards to fit into the roof joists. It’s sort of like polystyrene snow and it gets everywhere and sticks to anything and everything. What a nightmare, it took me longer to clear up than it did to insulate. Anyway it’s done and I’ve treated myself to a better heater with a timer on so that it comes on in the mornings an hour before I get in there. It’s almost ‘toasty’ and I don’t look like an extra from a moon landing movie when I go to work.
So we are approaching the winter solstice which falls on 22nd December. The North Pole will be facing away from the sun and it will be at its lowest point on the horizon affording us the fewest hours of daylight of any day in the year – which I think in London is 7 hours 49 minutes and 43 seconds. I’m looking forward to the 23rd when the daylight hours begins to lengthen again and we head towards another ‘toasty’ summer.
BTW The word solstice comes from the Latin solstitium meaning ‘Sun stands still.
Number 17 in the Christmas 2019 Paintathon