I painted the last picture of Bali 2008 from a beach chair, in a row on the front of Cafe Kesuma. On the chair next to me there were an elderly Austrian man (not an Australian, who are common visitors here), with his local wife, their son, and their dog. He came here 11 years ago and has been staying here since then. We were all appreciating the twilight. The next morning we were collecting our luggage at Narita Tokyo Airport. There was a mother beside us and her children were pestering her. They were very noisy, and she slapped her son's cheek. I've never seen such an incident in Bali.
It was too cold to paint in spring. That was my pretext for my second trip to the UK this year. This time I came to London with my brother who used my air mileage for his flight. He paid for the London hotels, and we shared a room for the first two nights and the last one. My brother then went to Portugal, Spain, and Italy, before coming back to London to rejoin me.
It was not till a couple of days later that I decided on Shetland as the destination for this year's painting holidays in the UK. It reminded me that my series of travels in Japan ended up at the most northerly islands, Rishiri and Rebun, and that not so many similar places exist, even in the UK. I thought about this while I was painting this picture, my first watercolour in the UK this summer.
For this spring holiday, before his move to the university dormitory, I asked my son to go to Bali with me but he chose the UK instead. We tried to travel frugally. In London we stayed for the first two nights in the accommodation of the Scout Association near Gloucester Street station, and in the Youth Hostel near St Pancras station on the closing two nights. In between we booked on a pensioner's bus tour to Torqay and then travelled using the reasonably-priced British Railway Pass that we had purchased in Japan.
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