I was very keen to post something on flickr to celebrate Scotlands national day, St Andrews Day, and all week was applying some creative thought to what it would be - without much success I might add. I couldn't come up with anything that wasn't too over-sentimantal or maudlin' (which is the same thing, I think?). All week I tried and yesterday finally got into the studio - it was make or break! Well as it happens it was "break"! Came up with a design (top) but somehow couldn't translate it into a satisfactory painting. I think I had put myself under too much pressure trying to complete it in one afternoons work when I probably wasn't totally convinced myself about it. Made three attempts at painting - in oils, acrylics, and watercolours, but abandoned each in turn as unsatisfactory. That was when I turned to my sketchbooks and came across a watercolour sketch made direct from life of a group of thistles. Both the composition and the drawing weren't that strong so I re-drew them, adding a couple more to strengthen the composition, and painted it with bold washes finishing with some felt pen markers to pick out finer lines like the spikes. A hover-fly alighting on a toorie completed the sketch which was duly posted to some acclaim from some of my regular corresspondents. So a successful end to an unsuccessful day. We went out to celebrate this our National Day as you would expect - Chinese meal of Noodle soup followed by Sweet and sour chicken and fried rice, then on to The Village Theatre to see an extremely funny gay man (Craig Hill) in a kilt cracking laugh out loud jokes, often at his own expense, but also at others, singing and dancing. The boy comes from East Kilbride and was extremely well recieved although when asked no-one in the audience admitted to being gay! All in all an interesting and varied day. What more can we ask?