25 February 2008.........well another Cambridge Glass fair is over, the weather was lovely and there was a great turnout. It was not my day unfortunately, I definitely could have done better, but never mind, I loved meeting lots of new people and the regular visitors whom I have got to know over the years. Thanks to all who came specifically to say hello to me, I was very touched, and my customer who came to collect his order I am sure enjoyed making a day of it.
I was not sure how the day would end as my dear Daddy had been given only a few days to live and so I was relieved to hear on my return home that he had been taken off the heart monitor and not as bad as the day before. Everything I manage to do each day I think how lucky I am to be able to do it.
23 Feb 08.......Secondly I just wanted to let you read a snippet from an email from one of my friends still surviving in Zimbabwe, for all those who still ask me why I left:
".....That means the pound is $ 30 million to 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So 500 pounds is 15 billion dollars !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? My mom saw a small house in the paper for sale for $ 900 trillion !?????? So what happens after trillions ???????? Quadrillions .... and to think that we already knocked off 3 zeros 1 and a half years ago....."
"....my mum has had no water for 4 days and no power for 2 days !!!!!!!!!! And let me tell you what, things will not get better... they will get worse.
We have had not a drop of water the whole day today at home ... thank goodness for our swimming pool (with sparkling clear water) and for the borehole water I bring back from my office every day...."
So there you are, and when I left 6 years ago with a few £10 notes I brought rolled up inside my belt....it was Z$400 to £1, this is not an exageration, this is the REAL situation in Zimbabwe today.
18 February 2008....for progress of my weekend mural commission (trompe d'oeil) see my Paintings page.
17 February 2008:.....update on my dear Daddy is that he now has MRSA in his wound (absesses by his bed sore which he got the first time he was in hospital), he is in a serious condition in hospital still, I just wish he wasn't so far away. He had a stroke 9 months ago and has been in bed ever since (does not seem right to me), has had physio about 3 times in total!! So many doctors see him and they all seem to have different ideas. It is appears that if my mother did not go and look after him in the hospital he would simply die. There are not enough staff to take time to feed him his drink and meals which are slowly sucked through a straw. he is blind, can barely speak now and is paralised. He struggles to swallow although he is getting better at sucking through a straw. The antibiotics give him thrush in his mouth so his discomfort must be unbareable and he cannot call anyone. At least when Mum is looking after him at home she sees to all his needs (with carers visiting briefly twice a day), and knows his needs so well by now, but it is very stressful for her to leave him in the hospital each night. I absolutely despair and am powerless to do anything other than pray. My Daddy is a fantastic artist, drives around taking beautiful photos of the Lake District and then creating his oil paintings.
I have to keep going with my work which is coming in steadily and I have a number of serious deadlines to meet this week. There are always times when I can fit in small jobs along the way though.
Next big event is Cambridge Glass Fair next weekend, February is always the busier of the biannual event. See my For Sale page for the main items I will have on my stand and see the top of this page for event details.
I have been working hard on my mural including in the freezing temperatures this morning (Sunday) ...there is no heating in my customer's garden room, just a plug in heater, so I was painting with thick gloves on ...actually quite comfortably I must add. I will add pictures as soon as I find a moment to download them. My medium is scrumptious Windsor and Newton Acrylics and I am thoroughly enjoying this weekend deviation from my normal creative medium.
9th february.....today I begin the mural....car loaded with paints, brushes, radio etc etc...so I will be back in my workshop on Monday. Please don't hesitate to call me on my mobile 07796906073 or leave a message on my answer phone 01986874634.
with another hat on:....for the Halesworth ladies offered Virgin Vie cosmetics draw prize, there were no winners as there were no orders! Do have a look at this fabulous range. I use nothing else! visit www.myvirginvieathome.co.uk/web/lesleypyke
7th February....well I am back from a very emotional and traumatic visit to see my Mom and Dad up in the Lake District. I have no words to describe how cruel I believe life can be. God Bless his heart and my Mom who is working so hard to look after him.
I begin my Trompe D'oeil (mural) on Friday evening, I will be taking pictures so watch this space. My normal working week will not be interrupted (apart from Saturdays)
The East Anglian newspaper feature I mentioned earlier has now been published online I see and so if you would like to see it click HERE
Great news is that my upgrade to GOLD AFFILIATE is done and you can now see all the prices for stock from my main supplier (before engraving of course) on my catalogue page.
31 January 2008.......I am going to visit my father who is very ill, so I will not be in my workshop from Friday - Monday incl. I will be taking my laptop and hope that the broadband plug available at the hotel will work so I can keep up with emails in the evenings. If that doesn't work please understand any delay in answering your emails.
26th January.....today I feel very honoured as I have a 3 page feature in the East Anglian Daily Times! My very grateful thanks to the feature writer Steven Russell who did an incredible job and also big thanks to the photographer.
14th January:.....last December I was announced as the joint winner of glass photography/engraving in White Fire Optical Crystal and Best of Best category and sole winner of the Balmoral Glass category.... in my main suppliers annual competition. Total of £500 worth of stock of my choice from those ranges arrived this morning as my prizes..... will keep me out of mischief for a while hey??!!!
Also this morning I was interviewed by a very nice gentleman from a newspaper for a feature about my work, how about that!!! ...and this afternoon I will have my precious little sister and her family for 2 nights as they are visiting from South Africa, what a great day it is!! The day started, though, with having to take one of out 14 year old labradors to the vet for blood tests, I so hope she will be ok....staying positive as always!
4th Jan.......NEW LOOK catalogue , please have a look HERE and keep watching as later this year it will include all prices too!
2nd January 2008
Happy New Year to one and all !!!
I have a fantastic feeling about this year. Well we cannot think about it any other way.
Cambridge Glass fair is next month already. Lots to do, oh and I have a tromp d'oeil to design and paint on a long wall in a private garden party room, theme: Spanish, Mediterranean.......watch this space
stay positive - drink lots of water - exercise - floss
I have just added a little VIDEO about the Darsham craft day.
10 th December 2007
My dear Daddy is back in hospital again, a good 6 months since his stroke and still completely paralysed down one side and battling hard. Such an elegant, gentle, lovely man. Please God make him better.
I had the very great pleasure once again, of teaching at the Darsham craft experience day. It was such a fun day as usual although one person was missing and sadly missed, Mr. Kirby, who had passed away recently. My condolences to Mrs. Kirby and all the family.
On this day roughly 14 different crafts are taught to approximately 6 students at a time, they each have a go at 2 disciplines, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is preceded by tea, with a lunch break in the middle and a raffle afterwards. The day is the best family day I have ever come across and the organising is always spot on. My students are young and old, male and female, most having never tried to engrave glass before and often VERY nervous, but all learn very quickly and get stuck in after my instructions. Each will complete 1, 2 and some 3 different glasses using a simple diamond tool, in just half a day. I have done this day a number of times now and one of my students, Gill, has engraved 4 times now with me!!! There is no stopping her! Here are my lovely students (permission is given by all to publish their photos) and some of their masterpieces. Congratulations everyone and thank you for the very happy experience.
The Glass Collectors Fair was a great success even though the weather was foul! I engraved all day and many found that quite interesting. I had 2 large stands, one for demonstrating and one for my display. I sold several pieces, my Chinese dragon decanter and several small items. A big Thank You to all the organisers who put a huge amount of work into this new fair.