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2020 - Definitely Not The Year We Ordered

Six months ago we were getting ready for Christmas and anticipating the New Year, the new decade, that was just around the corner. The talk was still about Brexit, and increasingly, about climate change. Little did we imagine what surprises, no, shocks, 2020 had in store for us.

Espalier Apple

On a personal level, we were preparing for a big house move. A little disappointed that it hadn't happened pre-Christmas, we were looking forward to finally being settled in by February. I had big plans for 2020 - a solo exhibition, two venues for Open Studios and, most exciting of all, the new house would give me a dedicated studio space for the first time. I even invested in a wall planner!

2020 had other ideas! When the house move fell through, gutted was an understatement, but as we know, these things usually happen for a reason, and by early March we had found a place that suited us even more, and my new studio would be even bigger and better. Hurrah! A new build, virtually finished, we hoped for completion in good time for Warwickshire Open Studios which would start in June. A few weeks later of course, 2020 struck again and the next bombshell dropped. Lockdown. Alarmingly, those of us of a certain age, or who live with one, all found ourselves quarantined, shielded, anxious, scrabbling for home-delivery slots, discovering wonderful local suppliers and new found connections with neighbours, and relying on jigsaw puzzles and Netflix to get us through the day. Or perhaps that was just me. And of course, all the exhibitions and events that we had carefully planned for, were cancelled.

Our builder, thankfully, continued to make progress towards completion, but supply chains and government departments had other ideas. Even if they had been working normally, removal companies were not. A house move in May became a hoped for move in June, that has now shifted to July. If we're lucky, fingers crossed. So, not the year I mapped out on my sparkly new wall planner, but, hey, we're well. The family are all well, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Tragically, not every family can say the same, so we are very aware how lucky we are.

On the plus side, Spring in the UK was amazing this year, and so many of us had the time and opportunity to get out there and enjoy it. The roads were quiet, but the birds were not, and we could hear them! The air felt fresher despite the invisible threat. Silver linings.

And so, while we can't all be in our studios and our venues to welcome everyone to Warwickshire Open Studios, the exciting news is that our clever leaders have created a virtual event, Art Weeks At Home which will be running from 20th June to 5th July.

Pop over to the website and check it out

and if you're on Facebook, there is a daily theme of galleries and workshops.

Find them here:

If you want to see what I'm getting up to, follow me on

I've created some little videos showing a wide selection of my greetings cards. They are all on my Facebook page and I'll be uploading them to my website later today with information on how to order.

I'll sign off, as has become customary in these surreal times we are living through.

Stay safe.

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