I like surprises. So when I picked up the phone to Maureen, an old friend from Strathpeffer on Thursday night, I was pleased to hear from her. Even more so when I discovered that she and Shirley were in Cromer, on the North Norfolk coast, and planning to come to visit on Friday. They called me again yesterday. We're in the village, they said. Now it's not difficult to find the road we live in, but the house itself is another thing. But why was I not surprised when they said they were in the pub...! So I walked up to meet them, to be met by three delighted dogs, who wiggled, barked and wagged enthusiastically (clearly they remembered who I was...), and of course, two enthusiastic humans, who hugged and laughed and told me all about the goings on in the Strath, admired the village, and, eventually, the house, and generally just picked up where we left off just over two years ago.
The painting above is a surprise, too. Not sure where it came from, what it's about, or even if it's finished. It just appeared the other day, as I worked. The joys of painting are, of course, expected. It's when you surprise yourself, though, that the true joys appear. I've been reading June Underwood's blog avidly, about her QSDS trip and workshop with Michael James. Today's edition shows the work she did, and I suspect it took her by surprise, too. But my, it's worth it; strong, original, feisty...not unlike her wonderful self. Watching friends grow and change is another unexpected joy...long may it continue.