Living In Lockdown, Day 39

Monday 20th April


I’m up earlier than everyone in my house. I am an early bird. My husband Marcel reckons when I say this I am paying myself a big compliment. But I love early morning these days (not that 8.00am is early). Birds are in full throat and I have the house to myself. This morning the sun is streaming in through the dining room window and the bottle of fizzy drink that Marcel got for the kids is casting a pretty reflection on the table. Paddy (18) calls it “pop” because it makes us laugh. I draw everything quite fast, but by the time I come to painting it all I make a rookie error: I leave too much time between painting the shadows of the bottle and that thrown by the window, so they are pointing at different angles. They change fast at this time of day. Never mind! A very clever person could probably work out how long it takes to draw and paint a sketch of mine by looking at the shadows…I make another very elementary error with the chair on the right, which was pushed in against the table. I did not draw the supports at the back parallel to the edge of the table, which makes the chair look as if there’s a turn in it. Nonetheless I enjoyed the drawing, and Paddy, another early bird, was with me for most of it: he is always thoroughly entertaining.


While I do yoga on the lawn, Liv goes into my studio to revise her French homework. My sister Fiona has encouraged me to take up yoga for about twenty years. I have resisted, because I always fall asleep in the classes I attend…hand on a minute! I’ve just realised – they’ve always been in the evening! Early birds don’t do evenings! These new yoga sessions take place any time I want, because they’re on You Tube. I follow along and it’s easy as anything. Liv (15) started me on it: I was trotting off for my daily walk one day when she waylaid me and insisted we do an online yoga session together on the lawn. It was wonderful – nothing but blue sky for a roof. I have always been mean about yoga people saying “Namaste” but now I want to say it with all the others. And each day I am slightly stiff and a teeny bit sore, even though it feels very gentle.

After this session, I go into the studio and sketch Liv. She is “with ” her friend Naima, on Google Hangouts or something, and we all want to include Naima in the sketch. The best way I can think of to do that is to include the conversation between the two girls. It is lovely that the two friends can be united through their phones.


It’s late, but I adore my studio, and it’s still looking rather clean and tidy from my Instagram Live session with Rob Sketcherman yesterday. I decide to do a bit of sewing and before too long I have another two face masks to add to my growing collection of unusual gifts for my friends. These two are for my friend Mat in Paris and his girlfriend Alicia. It’s fun, and they’re small, so take no time at all to put together.

I fall into bed, tired but satisfied.

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