Aren’t these photos beautiful?

That’s me and Helen up there in the window of Monet’s house. I was so happy being there that I cried. The tears came bubbling out of me and the sun was shining and the bees were buzzing and people were laughing and I was in one of the best places on Earth. This photo reminds me of all the good things in life and of how happy it is possible to be. So happy that you feel like joy is just about to explode out of the heart any second and dance into the world on a starburst of sunbeams. That feeling can last for hours. I had that feeling when I held my newborn babies in my arms and it was definitely with me when I visited Monet’s garden which was nearly 2 years ago now but as I like to say, I am still getting my money’s worth.

When I was there I saw lots of flowers including a magnificent flower which fell off into my hand as I reached down to touch it. I think it was a Dahlia (promise! I didn’t pluck it) Vanja said  ‘It was meant to be’ and we took a photo of me  posing next to the most outrageously beautiful pink flower in the world. I think I have to plant some Dahlias!

I went to Monet’s garden as part of an art retreat with Jane Davenport (I know! How lucky am I) and I travelled around Paris and a bit of France with this wonderful bunch of people. I miss them all. Here we are getting on the train to make our way to Giverny which is such a pretty town!

I love to do art journaling and here is an example of journaling whilst out and about. You can see the original photos I took and then my drawings. I often take my sketch book/journal  and drawing tools with me but this day was so wet and rainy, I waited until the sun came out before risking it. Magically, the sun did come out when we were there and we had a chance to be inspired by all that colour sitting just outside Monet’s house.

Another magical thing happened while I was there and I don’t tell many people but when I was sitting near the Lily pond sketching the delightful pink flowers, I had a visit from a water fairy named Minerva. She told me that Monet used to set up in the morning under neath the willow tree and he would have his painters coat on and be playing around on the canvas and one day she decided to splash him. Well at first he was upset but then he saw the way the water droplets had formed on the canvas and that gave him an idea for the painting and they were best friends ever since!

After all the excitement I needed a beer or two on the way home in the train still wrapped up in my emergency raincoat. Boy did we get wet that day riding the bikes and wasn’t it fun!