I left Graissessac on Saturday 16th, paintings in the back of the car and Thomas on the seat beside me. All was well in my world. I had taken the car to the garage, I had been worried about the engine and thought something was wrong. No her told me all is fine. Can I drive to England safely? Oh yes Madame I can’t find anything wrong with it!

So off we set direction Montemboeuf to see my friends Janet, Tom and Felix.

View over Saint-Gervais-sur-Mare

Just 40 minutes drive from Graissessac we have to stop. Thomas to sniff me to gaze. I will come back and paint here I thought.

Thoroughly enjoying the views and the drive all was well in my world until two hours away from my destination my car started to make some very strange noises and slowed right down. I was on the motorway and I became increasingly worried, so best get off as soon as possible. As I took the side road off the auto-route the car came to a stand still and wouldn’t start again. Being a woman on my own and broken down on a motorway the pick up truck was there in minutes. He took me to his garage which conveniently had a hire car service there. He didn’t tell me that I was covered by my insurance to take me to my destination. Well of course not. What he did tell me was that the gear box was gone and that it would cost me €3000 or more to fix it. I knew he was a crook there and then. I was pretty sure it wasn’t the gear box but something to do with the engine. I hired a fiat and left my car at the garage not sure what else to do and drove to Janet and Toms. Where everything started to feel better. Janets local garage said they would get my car and mend it for me. I knew it would cost a lot less and it has.

So I spent a lovely few days in Montemboeuf. We went to La Rochefoucauld in the morning to do some sight seeing.

And in the afternoon we went riding. I haven’t ridden for at least 4 years or more so I was expecting to be very stiff. Amazingly I was OK

Janet on Smurf, me on Polly and Brook Jan’s dog leading the way. It was a perfect afternoon and ride.

Two days later, hire car loaded with paintings I am off to the Chelsea Art Fair. Filled with a fair amount of trepidation and anxiety. What if I don’t sell? how will I pay for the car and all those nagging and worriesome thoughts that recur relentlessly however hard one tries to escape them. Still I arrived at Chelsea Town Hall and there were my friends Hilary and Jean Pierre, my stand was up in a jiffy and a very pleasant evening we all had. I didn’t sell a thing the first night and almost resigned myself to the fact that I would leave the fair poorer. But very happily I sold both on the Saturday and the Sunday.

I sold the Flamingo’s the big abstracted Waterfall and the two little ones beside it. I actually had a wonderful  time and met some really fabulous people and lovely artists. I made friends with a few and might have sold some paint trips as well. So all in all I am happy and heading home tomorrow first thing.

Ooh almost forgetting my dear friend Bill came to the Fair and he bought the flamingo’s I delivered the painting this morning and had coffee with Bill at his home in the Chelsea Royal Free Hospital. As a child I always wanted to vist and here I was today aged 61 being taken on a private tour by a Chelsea Pensioner himself. A beautiful summer’s day in February and it all seemed quite surreal.

A bientôt