Melanie’s August Monthly News
Welcome to Melanie’s August Monthly News, where another month has flown by. We hope that all of our readers are well and enjoying their summer (or winter) wherever you may be! We have had some wonderful weather this month, which makes a real change. Much of the UK is in a drought status, however Wales has seen some rainfall, so our garden is still lush and green. As you can see from our featured image, the day we did a mounting walk, the sky was blue and the wild flowers were blooming. Isn’t it beautiful! Scroll to read more about our mountain walk.
Wendell’s Oil Painting
Nicholas has been busy this month painting a beautiful portrait of a dog called Wendell for returning clients. The portrait has been packed up and is now waiting for the courier to collect it. Sadly Wendell passed away just after our clients commissioned us, which was extremely sad. We hope that they will be delighted with the painting and cherish it for a very long time.
Melanie and Nicholas
Wendell looks great so no tweaks necessary. Tiff will be so excited! This will be so very special for her. Thank you so very much. Have a great day and we look forward to seeing little Winki.
Melanie’s August Monthly News – Wood Stacking
We are still splitting and stacking logs from the old ash trees we had taken down last year. There is a never ending pile of rounds to split. Nicholas has finally finished stacking this bay and if you scroll down you will see a photo showing that it is four rows deep. Nicholas wanted me to stand in front of the stack to give scale, however the chickens and Lily wanted to be in on the action too. I am holding Snowy and Honey is below. The other two younger chickens – Daisy and Dotty were in the garden, they are much more timid but I will get photos of them for you all to see soon!
Melanie’s August Monthly News – Lily
Lily is doing well. I took this photo with my iPhone one evening using the ‘portrait’ setting. I thought it was so lovely, it should be showcased here on our blog. She was relaxing – on my side of the sofa – while I was sitting on the floor below her. That’s how spoilt she is!! Aren’t her eyes adorable!
Agapanthus and the Garden
The front garden has been looking lovely this year, the Agapanthus has done really well. This has to be one of my favoruite colours for flowers. The blue and purple hues are just divine. It’s such a beautiful cottage garden plant too and works well out in the front of our cottage.
The Japanese Anemones have also done well this year, they have so many flowers on them. I have to say they are very easy to grow and do multiply continually. They make the most stunning show at this time of year.
The pond in the back garden has had a few lily flowers this year, but not as many as other years. The leaves however, have gone wild! We also have a monster plant that has multiplied like crazy this year. It’s the green one that looks as though the leaves are just spiking out of the water. So much so, we are going to have to find new homes for the babies I think!
Melanie’s August Monthly News – The Robin
Meet Mr (or Mrs) Robin! I was just on my way food shopping, heading from the studio to the cottage and I heard flapping in the cottage. The back door had been open and I saw this little chap at the front window. In trying to release him, he knocked himself against our patio doors before I could open them wide for him to fly out. My heart sank! He landed on the floor behind Lily’s crate, so I opened the patio doors and picked him up gently. He was pretty dazed. Here is a photo of him in my hand…..
I popped him just outside the patio doors in a large plant pot to recover. Luckily Lily was down in the studio with Nicholas, otherwise things would have been much more chaotic.
He sat there for a good 10 minutes recovering and eventually felt well enough to fly away. I am sure he hasn’t gone far, as we have quite a few robins living around us. They wait for me to feed the chickens in the morning and then pop down for any titbits I have put out for them. So a happy story in the end!
Walk up Carningli Mountain
We have had a bank holiday weekend here in the UK which means we are allocated a weekend off including Monday. Nicholas and I try not to work weekends however it often doesn’t work out that way – as many other self employed people reading this will understand.
So we decided to head to Newport in Pembrokeshire – which is one of our favourite destinations, to walk up Carningli Mountain. We have been a number of times before however, not since Covid. Carningli is 347 metres or 1,138 ft high and this photo below is near the start.
Even just a little way along the path it looks quite far from sea level, we started pretty much where the inlet is in the photo below. Lily always climbs the first craggy rock when we get there, she is such a mountain climbing dog!
We were absolutely astounded by the colours of the heather and gorse. It was a beautiful carpet of colour. The purples, yellow and greens all matched beautifully with the blue sky, you couldn’t have wished for a better view.
Here is a closer up view. You can even see a bumble bee in the photo, it is absolutely perfect for wildlife and insects.
This photo was getting towards the summit! It does get colder the higher you go, but it was still a beautiful day.
And here we are right at the top. This view was looking in the opposite direction from the coast, inland towards mid Wales. We live somewhere in the middle!!
And finally a selfie of us both at the peak! There were plenty of people right up the top, including a mountain biker! He was trying to wave to his family, (with his bike above his head) who were camping near the inlet. I don’t think they could see him!
Melanie’s August Monthly News – Trail Running
I am still running three or four times per week with the gang and I have now procured a pair of trail running trainers. I absolutely love them, they are so grippy. And I love the colour too!! They are Gore-Tex to keep my feet dry (well relatively) and they are by Saucony – Saucony Peregrine 12 These are my second Saucony pair, I have some race trainers in this brand too The Endorphin Speed 3 and I would really recommend them.
So to test them out we headed to a lovely woodland area where bikers and walkers use the route a lot. It is so beautiful, about a 20 minute drive from here. I went with my main running buddy Harvey and we had a fab time running the trail.
The route we chose took us along the river which was so pretty, although the water was fairly low as we are mid summer.
It actually looks more like a stream at the moment, but that doesn’t take away from its beauty. Im sure we will go back in the autumn and winter time so I will see if I can take photo to compare and post here soon!
Poppit Sands 5k Race
Sarah, Harvey and I, recently attended a 5k race on the coast at a little place called Poppet Sands. We knew it was going to be hard!! It was a mix of trail, road and beach running so we wouldn’t be getting any kind of PB’s but we were going for the fun and experience. This photo was of us prior to the race… as we look tidy! We got a tad windswept running on the beach, the wind was pretty strong but we all persevered!! I managed it in 29.58 which was just under a minute behind Sarah and two minutes ahead of Harvey. We all did amazingly well considering how tricky it was.
The organisers took this photo of me below. We had to do two laps of the route and so jumped over these stepping stones a couple of times. I have to say I was quite careful going over them as I was worried about slipping. I didn’t have my trail shoes at that point. Also I was the designated driver that day and didn’t want to leave us all stranded if something happened to me!
After every race we always treat ourselves with some kind of food tea or cake. As this run was in the evening and none of us had eaten, we opted for chips and cheesecake in the car on the way home! Our motto is…. Run for Cake!! ….and why not!
Well I think thats all the news from here! We hope that you have enjoyed our Melanie’s August Monthly News. If you missed last months, hop on over to Melanie’s July Monthly News and read about the beautiful cat oil painting Nicholas completed. We also hope that you have a fantastic September and we will be back with another blog post soon!
Why not sign up to our Monthly newsletter accessible at the bottom of our website which comes out on the 1st of each month. Catch up on news from our Art Studio! Please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel too, follow our Instagram @petportraitartists and Facebook @petportraitartists . You are more than welcome to comment below too, we love hearing from our readers!
I enjoyed reading this newsletter and you seem to live in a beautiful part of the world. I am 85 now and I paint dogs for a group called POOPS and we walk them too. That is what made me somehow get your news. I was disappointed at first as I couldn’t see the photos but I put it in my browser and it was all good. We live in Western Australia by the way. Are you on Instagram if so what is the reference?
Wow hello to you all the way down under in Australia! I’m so pleased you were able to view my photos in the end. They should always show on our website / blog so if you have any problems pop along to the blog and you should be able to see them.
Yes we do have an Instagram account. I will add the link to it below. I am always so busy in the studio or doing extra curricular actives, our social media gets a little left behind. I really must start updating it again.
Do you have an instagram account where I can see your paintings? Walking dogs sounds wonderful, great for photography opportunities too!
I hope you enjoy next months blog news too and I look forward to hearing from you again!