Joseph Bayley, my great grandfather, went

thumbnail_Bayley_Dr. Joseph_photo_1863_

as a very young man, with or without his little dog,


to be a surgeon to the navy during the Crimean War and witnessed the bombardment of Bomarsund.

On his return he married

thumbnail_Oliver_Sarah Jane_photo_1863_

Sarah Jane Oliver, the daughter of the superintendent of the Salop Asylum. He then  was chosen from among forty seven candidates to be superintendent of St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton.


He lived with his family


in Priory Cottage in the grounds of the hospital. It looks more like a substantial villa than a cottage to me. Therefore my grandmother, like her mother before her,  grew up in a mental hospital. Though there is a great deal too much ivy about the place, I’m glad the windows of Priory Cottage are mostly open.

Bayley_Joseph&Sarah_photo_1893_Bayley Family portrait at St. Andrews Hospital

What quantities of children Sarah and Joseph had! (Ten actually). My grandmother, Gretchen, stands on the right. Their names were Eleanor, Joseph, Harold, Beatrice, Percival, Maude, Leslie, Gretchen and Claude.

Beatrice was the mother of the artist Cecily Peele.


I especially like Lawrence of Arabia – whose childhood home at 2, Polstead Road, I lived in when I was an art student. (But that’s another story entirely).


What a lovely detail.

Beatrice was also great friends with Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, another splendid artist.


But I digress…

Gretchen was my mother’s mother.


When they got quite old

Bayley_Joseph&Sarah_photo_1895_ Shrewsbury

Joseph looks tired and Sarah has got rather fat. The poor cat (lower left) seems to be running away.

And that is quite enough storytelling for today.



So we are back in Marrakesh and it feels as if we ever left.

Sunset seen from Cafe France…..

A very odd, slightly terrifying stuffed creature in Gueliz in the gun shop where the window never changes -well hasn’t for the last 10 years at least.

And the light and the glass 

Not to mention the veggies

And reflections and patterns

And real orange juice

Straight from the trees

And doors to long to look behind

And our first chum on this trip in Casablanca airport…..

Lots more random images to come!


Obviously things very gloomy in the US nowadays.

So, trying to make the best of things, I walk with a friend through Central Park


where a very dead old white chap stands out in the cold. We go to The Metropolitan Museum where there are always guaranteed delights.img_6643

A Gaugain that was new to me. What lovely contrasts of light and shade! What nice sound shapes. How splendid to focus so specifically on mangoes and flowers.


Ah, Matisse! Palm trees! Simplicity.


What batty colorings. How absurd the uplooking eyes! When I was thirteen I thought this sort of look very splendid.


Trees on Long Island


a cat coolly observing our folly


Good stuff to eat at Sarabeth’s bakery


and love conquering all – we hope!


The Dark Alchemy of Black Radish

For some reason there was something darkly glamorous about the billowing green tarp cavern where the root vegetables dwell…


what do you do with black radish except wonder at its spooky, strange


glorious roots.


Some green things


and back to those roots like nerves spreading…

img_6551Last an overall view!





Apparently the Danish word ‘hygge’ – pronounced hoogah – was chosen one of the trending words of the ill-fated year 2016. It has to do with cosiness and comfort and how to survive a long cold winter. Candles – a soft, kind, romantic light. Chatting with friends.


Chatting with friends about books. Finding faces in cookies…

Books – to escape into different worlds without the use of technology.


Walking and bicycling – exercise and transportation rolled into one – no pollution either.

Knitting – most therapeutic and producing endless cosy wooly hats for which there may or may not be takers….


It all sounds splendidly friendly and lazy and not striving at all…

Home made soup, perhaps and paper whites at the window.




etc etc

I’m sure comfort also lies in having access to health care etc etc…


I discover I am wonderfully in tune with the times and didn’t know it.


Happy New Year!



Fall Thoughts – assorted

A rather sepia-tinged time of year – my favorite really.


Last week it was 85F but time for raking leaves thought there weren’t enough to make a jump-able leaf pile.


A season of very round things


and more round things


and a giant sunflower seed head.


Time to get out the water colors and work on images for my Jane Stories.

img_3904-3And look at the light on Robert’s notebook!

img_3913Halloween approaches and Berch has been busy on the local diner window. The light was so clear and bright yesterday afternoon that the paint thew splendid shadows.

img_3915This makes the window paintings extra good.

img_3922In the later afternoon a walk by the Hudson. So breezy and clear.

Four Days on Long Island

First evening at sunset on the beach…

such glorious light!

Connecticut in the distance.

How pink the sea wall at the neighboring beach!

The next morning it was foggy.

We went to the pond at Centerport

very tranquil

and mysterious.

Robert Moses beach was swathed in fog

rather like in a Fellini movie – and no one was there except us. It was like being inside a cloud and our hair got completely wet.

Someone said this looks as if Robert is walking out of one of his own paintings…

The Sweet Shop in Northport was like going back into the past… and the ice cream was all home made….

and delicious.


The dry  cleaners looks like a window into the past.


Most unusual to find a building on either side of the Atlantic that was built in 1940.