Painting the festival at Dalemain Mansions
I've never been a great jam or chutney maker, once making pickled chow-chow about a decade ago with an inordinate amount of ingredients to the recipe, so much so that it took over my kitchen shelves for too long,
and once making Seville orange marmalade back in 2003.
Oh, I've made mint jelly too for a lamb roast.
Dan Lepard and David Whitehouse are amongst the supporters of the World Marmalade Festival and brought it to my attention on the BBC messageboards, and I'm so pleased they did.
From my making Dan's fabulous Seville preserve, to spending the weekend up at the festival and to finding a strong painting brief, I've had a blast.
I've even sold one jar of marmalade for the rather pricey sum of £6 which has gone towards Hospice at Home, the charity that the event supports.
Firstly, the festival being held at someone's private house and home, I had to get permission to set up my easel to start a painting at the Dalemain Mansion and Gardens. And was rather blown away by the support Jane Hasell-MCosh, and Dan & David have given me.
So, up to the Lake District we go, staying at Greystoke in a charming village pub the Boot and Shoe Inn, where they serve the locals nosy and friendly, and the chips home-made and fat.
Nice weekend destino that Greystoke.
But watch out for those locals who try to sell you their car now! The pub rooms do need work though, although the foods pubby and good.
The next day we walk up and round the eastern border of Lake Ullswater
and only just make the 2:45 steamboat back to Pooley Bridge. Perfectly peaceful looking out through the window from the boat isn't it
And Sunday is Valentines Day, and the day of the World Marmalade Festival at Dalemain Mansion & Gardens.
The car park is getting pretty full at 10:00am, and here in the courtyard the event is filling up already.
There's plenty of foodie things going on to keep everyone occupied, and I treat myself to some Belgian chocolates, all for me. And when the award ceremony is over, and the crowds have subsided, Tony and I wander to see the results of the competition.
My Seville orange & liquorice root marmalade is on the last table at the back.
& this is the day sketch, too raw to work well with, so I've decided to keep it as a rough record, rather than the actual painting I wish to sell.
and above is how I shall continue now this weekend, which I made a start on yesterday using this sketch as a guide.
I'll have it painted by the end of today probably (Saturday) now I've decided how to approach things.
& on to the walls at Moka Cafe, to see if we can add a little more than the £6 so far for that great cause.
I'll pop the finished picture up here when it's done.