“I should have returned energised from my most recent trip to France in September. My co-pilot has been replaced by a new one; my good friend, Heather. A short crossing to Calais where we sat on deck in glorious sunshine, quaffing bubbly, mine non-alcoholic, of course. A seamless afternoon journey to Avranches followed by dinner in town and a stay at a lovely hotel. The following day we head south down the west coast of France to visit and stay with friends near Mont-De-Marsan. Then the next morning it’s a long drive east with distant views of the Pyrenees as we head along the A64. Our final destination is the French Riviera where I hope to find inspiration for a series of landscape paintings. I am also tempted to stop near Albi, where there is a magnificent 7 bed Maison de Maitre for sale. It would make a fantastic venue for an artist retreat but we must press on as we need to be in Remy de Provence. Besides now, being newly single, is hardly the right time to start investing in property.

I’ve been through some time tough times since I stopped drinking over four years ago but nothing could have prepared me for the shock of what happened to me at the end of August. Never have I felt the need to reach for the bottle more than I did a few weeks ago. But even La Belle France can’t lift my spirits and whilst I had snapped away, nothing inspires me. Further when I return to my painting of Sally, which had started so well I can’t seem to move forward. Surely being so cruelly dumped and having my world turned upside down shouldn’t have robbed me of my ability to paint too.


















My creativity is blocked;to be treated with such disrespect has me floored. I cannot get him out of my mind, even though many of my friends said I was better off without him, which is a fair point. I must muster up all my strength to hold it all together. But I never did pick up that bottle.



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