Tuesday, 2 August 2011

In which we consider incongruity and birthday treats

I've been thinking about incongruity.   As one does.   

I don't know if you remember Tony, my roughty-toughty motorcycle racer neighbour?   The one who once got cross and (allegedly) set fire to Nick-the-Wig's toupe in the pub?   Perhaps I didn't mention that bit before...  Anyway, yesterday I was having a bit of a lie-in, still recovering from a lot of singing and dancing on Saturday evening, of which more anon.  I was in a half doze, when I heard someone outside singing  'Morning has broken'.   I stuck my head through the gap in the curtains.   Tony, bare-chested and with a car battery tucked under one arm, was serenading Peter the Postman.     I nearly wept to hear 14 stone of muscle and metal plates giving a sweet, falsetto, and just about word-perfect rendition of a hymn that he must have learnt at junior school.    I gathered from the look on his face, and a retort that I didn't quite catch, that Peter was contemplating incongruity too.  

Village life isn't always so touchingly harmonious and there's recently been the divisive topic of someone's neighbour noise issue which should have been resolved between the two parties involved, but sadly became front page news in the free paper and hotly-debated topic in a local radio programme phone-in.  Nigel the cockerel was the villain of the piece, but such was his notoriety after this publicity that there was even talk of him being invited to open the village fete.    

I've been indulged with quite a few lovely trips and treats lately, mainly to do with a recent Big Birthday.   I'm the same age as Dennis the Menace.   

Our first treat took us to London to the Imperial War Museum to see the exhibition of Women War Artists.   One of the most striking paintings was by Anna Airy of a munitions factory.   The exhibition is on until the end of November and it's certainly worth a visit if you are likely to be in London.   We also had a stroll along the South Bank to see some of the exhibitions staged in honour of the anniversary of the Festival of Britain (also 60 this year) and happened to bump into my lovely neice who was having a birthday outing too - now wasn't that a coincidence?

Another rare treat was the opportunity to see all the exhibitors and trade stands at FibreEast, the first event of its kind locally in support of The Campaign for Wool.   There's a button on the left to link to their website.   Two marquees full of fibre to bedazzle the eye and tempt you to touch.   What joy!   Lots of it was aimed at spinners and knitters, but that didn't put this felter off, oh no siree.   No chance of going home with any money left in my purse that day!   One real delight was to meet Sara whose fibres I have used in my felting for a while.   It was brilliant to be able to see some of her limited edition batts up close and I did eventually make my mind up about which two to purchase.  

Further round the marquee I watched someone felting with a proper multiple needle-holder and realised that this was what I needed instead of the single needles which which I'm always drawing blood.   So, with new needles and some of Sara's artistic batts, I have made myself some hearts, using the batts as a base and embellishing them with alpaca fibres I got in a swap a while ago from Loco Lindy the Lama Farmer  (true).

I also bought some bits of lightly-felted blanket in lovely shades and some cute ceramic buttons with doggies on them and made a few brooches just for fun.  These fairtrade buttons are made in Johannesburg and sold in this country by Injabulo, who are having a stall at the Festival of Quilts.   

I loved their beads made from magazine pages too, and I'm planning to make some felt beads to go with them and construct a necklace or two.   They are made in Botswana under the auspices of mothersforall, a charitable organisation teaching skills to women who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. 

Saturday's treat was an outing to Audley End for a picnic concert.   So we joined the 9,998 other people sitting in the blazing sunshine on the hillside behind the house and ate our picnic listening (on headphones) to Test Match Special and the thrilling end of the first day's play in the second Test against India at Trent Bridge while we waited for the main attraction to appear on stage.   

No idea who all these people are, but somewhere in there was Gina of Fan My Flame!   Please go and visit her blog to see the wonderful snippet of video she took of the occasion.

You'll see from her clip that the star attraction was Tom Jones!   He certainly gave us a magnificent evening's entertainment, I can't believe what a wonderfully strong voice he still has at the age of 71.  And, of course, we boogied (is that the right word? I'm so out of touch with these things....) and sang along to Delilah at the tops of our voices.    What a fireworks display there was at the end - surely the best I've ever seen - just magic.

 (not my photo)

I'm sorry my blogging has been a bit inconsistent lately, not only v. busy, but having trouble with laptop and IE, so trying Firefox just to see if it helps.   So far so good ....

Have a great week - what have you got planned?

Chrissie x