Change of Plan

Due to circumstances outside all of our control there’s been a change of plan, so my expected sojourn has necessarily been cut short and I find myself back home early, so I’m back to blogging, too, for the time being at least… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Sojourn

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Find


Temporary Absence

Just to say I’ll be away from home due to family commitments for at least the next few days/ possibly up to a week/ maybe even longer, so am unlikely to be logging on to my blog for the duration of my absence, but I’ll catch up with you all when I get back, whenever that is… 🙂


Just to let you all know my blog posts are likely to be a bit sporadic over the next couple of weeks or so as upcoming family commitments will necessarily be taking precedence over everything else for an unspecified time – but I’ll be back posting more regularly again whenever I can… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Sporadic

A-Z Challenge 2023: Reflections

So here I am having successfully completed the 2023 April Blogging from A-Z Challenge – yay!

I think this is the eighth time I’ve taken part in the A-Z Challenge, and over the years I’ve done a learning-about-photography A-Z, a couple of London A-Zs (one local, and one more extended, both completed when we lived there), a colouring-in A-Z, an Inverness A-Z (when we first moved here), a Covid A-Z , an all-about-me A-Z, and now this year my learning-about-painting A-Z. Phew! Maybe next year I’ll just totally wing it and do an off-the-cuff whatever-word-I-want-to-write-about-today A-Z…

Thankfully this year all 26 letters have been posted on time with both text and a relevant image to illustrate my progress (or lack thereof) in my ongoing quest to learn how to paint with acrylics, gouache, and watercolours.

I’d only decided for sure to participate quite late on in March, and at that point I tentatively decided on what topics to write from A-Z, but that left me with 26 images to create to go with each topic. It seemed a reasonable enough task to complete in a month, but I hadn’t really accounted for the real-time requirement to first create the art to be photographed for each letter – duh! Still, I managed to share 19 new paintings over the month, which felt great…

It felt quite helpful to have to focus so intently on painting for a few weeks, and one very pleasing outcome is that I seem to have got over my initial hesitation in just putting something down on the paper, making a mark and taking it forward from there.

Inevitably not everything I painted in April was shared – one or two disasters even ended up either in the bin (paper) or painted over again (canvas) – but overall it’s felt like a reasonably successful endeavour from a creative point of view as well as from the perspective of blogging.

When it came to checking out other A-Z participants, many bloggers I follow were already taking part, either officially or unofficially, so that part was easy. Otherwise I started off diligently checking out other blogs on the master list, and have even found a few new bloggers to follow, which is always lovely.

Although to be honest not every category listed interests me, so once I’d checked out those blogs that interested me most, by a couple of weeks in to the month I simply found I’d stopped looking. There’s only so much time I’m prepared to dedicate to blogging, and I also still had my regular (non-A-Z-participating) bloggers to read/ view, too, so needs must…

As always I’ve really enjoyed the experience, and I must admit I’m already looking forward to next year…! 🙂

Questions: A-Z, Yes or No?

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week is related to this month’s ongoing A-Z Challenge. He asks:

Have you been participating in the 2023 A to Z Blogging Challenge, either officially or unofficially? If yes, have you posted daily (except Sundays) without missing a day? If yes (or no) have you made a point of also reading the A-Z posts of other bloggers who are participating? What are your thoughts so far on this year’s challenge?

I signed up for the official challenge at the last minute, and so far have actually managed to post every day, on the assigned day. I started off enthusiastically checking a few blogs from the official spreadsheet every day, and have actually found a couple of new-to-me bloggers on that list I now follow, so that’s good! But now, two weeks in, although I’m still checking the A-Z posts for people I follow, my regular looking at the spreadsheet has most definitely tailed off.

The thing is, quite a few bloggers I follow are already participating in either the official or unofficial A-Z Challenge, so keeping up with them takes up time. And of course I also want to check the posts of all the other bloggers I follow all year round who are not participating in either A- Z Challenge, and that too takes time. But there is only so much time in a day I want to spend online, so as ever, I’m struggling with the whole ‘checking out everyone else on the list’ thing…

I was quite pleased to have come up with a theme that motivates me to paint more, but to be honest I’m not sure it was such a good idea, as it puts pressure on me to create paintings when I might not have done otherwise. So not every letter has a corresponding painting, but I think I’ll keep going with it for now and see how it all turns out at the end of the month! 🙂


Typically, on the day I’ve posted ‘F is for Fear of Failure’ in my A-Z Challenge about painting, I find I’m stressing about a particular painting in progress that may actually be a potential fail.

Ironically, part of the reason I’m so stressed about this particular painting is because it’s supposed to be getting done for my A-Z post tomorrow, and the added stress of feeling the need to paint a ‘good’ painting for sharing on my blog is basically making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

And as if to add insult to injury the A-Z guys have helpfully posted ‘F is for Fun’, reminding us that the challenge is always supposed to be fun… Ha! They are, of course, entirely correct…

So today I feel a bit dismayed and disappointed with myself that I’m letting it all bother me so much. It’s a painting, that’s all. Pigment put onto paper with the help of a brush and a little water. And I’ll either work out a way to make this one work, try to paint it again, or I’ll paint something else instead.

Oh yeah, and I’ll also remind myself to get a life, too! 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Dismay

Brimming With Confidence?

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m brimming with confidence at the prospect but I’ve finally decided on a theme and have just registered today for this year’s April Blogging from A-Z Challenge – yay!

As many of my recent posts have related to my learning to paint as a hobby, I thought that blogging about it alphabetically in concentrated form might help concentrate my mind on keeping up with my practice on a more regular basis.

I won’t necessarily be posting a new painting or relevant image every day, I’m not that prolific so I’m sure some letters will be text only, but I’ve tentatively chosen all 26 words to go with each letter so am almost ready to go, for the first few days at least.

Wish me luck, I’ll need it! 🙂

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Brim