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This exquisite watercolour of one man and his dog was a special commission. The artist is Janet Weight Reed. The subject is Mr FND with our dog Pisch.

In the twenty years we have been together, we have rarely been able to give each other birthday presents. Let us say it has been the norm more often than not to let the occasions pass us by with barely a nod; finding money for food and utility bills has taken precedence.

I determined that last winter would be different because our circumstances were changing. Mr FND was in London selling our flat and as soon as we exchanged contracts, I emailed Janet asking if she would be able to paint a watercolour in time for 19th December if I sent her a photograph.

She could, she would and she did!

It was at this point that my old MacBook Pro died, as some of you know, and I was reduced to data roaming on my mobile which is not conducive to work or approving Janet’s painting before she sent it to Crete. I sent Janet a message, via a friend, with our address and said that I trusted her talent and instinct enough to ‘approve’ without seeing a scan!

The pleasure and excitement that the painting was coming and that Mr FND knew nothing about it was indescribable.

Except that it didn’t arrive before 19th December. Nor did Mr FND as there had been endless problems on the journey from London, not least the Anek Lines Ferry driver who broke the hand brake on our small van, and the impossibility of finding the new Piraeus ferry terminal in Venice. Signposts might be a good idea, especially as it still looks like an unmanned building site!

Mr FND arrived on 20th December but the painting went AWOL in the Greek postal system and did not arrive until after Christmas.

In spite of the delay, our joy in the watercolour is infinite. Janet has done a superb job, capturing a likeness of man and dog that is quite, quite remarkable, and every brush stroke expresses the loving bond between the two.

Janet, you really have made us immeasurably happy and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If anyone reading this is considering commissioning a painting for a special occasion, I cannot recommend Janet more highly.

I end this post with some of Janet’s magical hummingbirds.

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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