So this year Di was shortlisted in the 2017 David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, with a picture of a langur monkey. New frocks were purchased, and we set off on the train to attend the preview evening. It was raining cats and dogs, but we did not care as we queued huddled under brollies to get in to the Mall Galleries. Once in, we raced through the gallery until we found Di’s painting, then we stood there for a while savouring the moment. Tearing ourselves away, we looked at all the other amazing art, drank a little bubbly, and generally basked in the occasion. We had a little chat to Hashim and Marie and to appreciate Marie’s picture. Then to our massive excitement we spotted David Shepherd, and somehow managed to wangle a photo with him (he was so lovely and put his arms around us). Of course, we did not know then that he would not be with us much longer, which makes the experience extraordinarily precious. We stayed and heard Peter Egan present the prizes, and quietly tutted to ourselves as so few of the winners were present. A bit more staring at Di’s picture, and we made our happy way home.

David Shepherd with Di and Ros

Di and Ros with David Shepherd

Di Haines at David Shepherd Wildlife Artist

Di with her shortlisted painting

Marie Antoniou with her entry at David Shepherd Competition

Marie Antoniou with her shortlisted painting.