Hello.................... I found a brown mouse the other day. She was lying on the road, between two cobbles. I picked her up gently, and tried to warm her in my hands, thinking I might be able to revive her. On closer inspection, I found a tiny puncture wound on her neck, and came to the conclusion that the cat who lives on our street had caught and killed her.
I've never been squeamish about things like this, only ever fascinated. I also count it as a wonderful opportunity to hold a tiny wild mouse, and be able to stroke its softer than soft fur, look at its delicate ears and examine its tiny fragile paws.
The last time I had this sort of opportunity, was about twenty years ago, when I was staying with my Mum and Dad in Spain. I went for a walk in the valley, and was stopped in my tracks by a tiny Shrew lying on the ground in perfect condition. It was hard to believe it was dead.
I did my first ever school visit last week, and as part of my time there, along with the books I've illustrated and preparatory drawings and original art work, I showed them my sketchbook, which the children were fascinated by, some of them wanted to go about making their own sketchbooks, wonderful isn't it? I enjoyed the visit to the school so much (it's a fantastic school) I'd like to put my name down on the contact an author website for school visits. The positive feedback I got gave me a lot more confidence to do that, which is a relief as before I started my visit, I felt sick with anxiety about it.
Last week was a funny old week, what with the food poisoning I got from the smoked salmon I treated myself to, followed the next evening by burning my face while trying to liquidise hot carrot soup. It's a good thing I had my glasses on or I would have got some nasty burns on my eyes. I eventually took myself to A and E, and a sympathetic nurse dressed my burn, which is on my temple down the side of my face, close to the hair line fortunately, so not too noticeable.
One thing I did learn is that you should never put ice on a burn, only ever put a cool wet cloth on it, (after running the affected area under cool water for ten to fifteen minutes to reduce the heat of the burn), ice makes the burn react and go deeper, causing more damage. The nurse told me you should never let a burn dry out, she told me to apply vaseline on it a few times a day, until the burn fades (I think this is for minor burns, if it's a second degree or third degree burn you have to be careful about infection). The nurse who dressed my burn said it's a common misconception that you put ice on a burn. I had put ice on my burn, and that's why the pain was getting worse and worse, and I decided to go to our local Accident and Emmergency unit.
So this explains my absence last week, illness, accident, school visit, huge pressure from my art editor to finish another set of revised roughs, so the book can go to Bologna Book Fair and .........................
............ and picking up the plinths for my sculptures (above), all three pieces I had in the exhibition sold (hurrah!). The exhibition I'm talking about is the one I mention in this blog post.
I've also got another gallery wanting me to give them six paintings and three sculptures to sell a.s.a.p, that's apart from the solo show of my work at the end of this year, and the commissions I'm working on. I'm not panicking. No. I'm just seeing it as tremendous opportunities I've been given after a lot of hard work. I'm absolutely determined to take every opportunity that comes my way, and make the most of what I'm offered, this is what I've been dreaming of and never thought possible. So far this year, I've been extremely fortunate workwise.
And now I have to decide what to do with the little brown mouse. She can't carry on being kept in a sealed container in the fridge like she has been all week. Every time I open the fridge, there she is, peaceful in her little plastic see-through box, it's a bit disconcerting when all I want is the milk for my cup of tea.
Perhaps I should give her a full burial like my Niece Millie and family gave Bob the Hamster last weekend. Millie insisted on a minutes silence in his honour, she then said a few prepared words through some tears, before he was placed in the hole that had been dug for the Plum tree that was being planted. My sister said that the fruit produced from that tree will forever be known as Bob's Plums.