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 


Jane said...

Sounds like you've been having a rare old time, Chrissie - a favourite expression of my grandmother's but it seems to fit the bill here! It's nice to hear that someone else has a late July birthday. I abandoned IE for Firefox a few years ago and find it's less hassle.
I don't go to London often these days, but I nearly always see someone I know - usually, they also come from miles away.

Toffeeapple said...

Gosh, you wear me out just reading what you've done! I'm glad that I don't live in a village if you get that many interruptions.

The exhibitions would be no good for me to visit, I'd be in tears before the second picture. The Laura Knight is very good, don't you think?

I shall be investigating the Campaign for Wool site further, it looks very interesting.

Congratulations on your birthday, you do look a lot better than Dennis and Gnasher!

Regarding browsers, my main one is Google Chrome (fast) backed up by Firefox 4; I abandoned IE a few years ago.

Magic Cochin said...

There! another exhibition to add to my list (I know I won't do them all, but the War Artists looks great).

And the South Bank and all that yarn - Wow!!!

You lucky girl - Tom Jones! I so pleased you all had such a fabulous time - TJ is my choice for 'driving-music' :-)


Printed Material said...

Gosh Chrissie, so much to take in. All that felt, those fabulous buttons and the brooches you've made. All those treats AND Tom boyo too! Wonderful! Lesley x
PS: I know this sounds thick but was there something significant in the fact your neighbour had a battery under his arm? Was he on charge or something?

Menopausalmusing said...

That Lesley asks so many questions............ what she really wanted was a photo of him bare chested!

Loved picturing roughty-toughty Tony and Peter the Postman - they sound like story book characters.

Super buttons and brooches.

Gina said...

I'm still laughing at the thought of roughty toughty and Postman Pete! What a wonderful busy lot of birthday treats you had... and what a finale on Saturday. Love those little dogs!

vintagerockchick said...

I had to check out how old Denis the Menace was - your CERTAINLY don't look the same age as him. Must be all that throwing your underwear on the stage at gigs that keeps you looking so young! Love the felted hearts, and your neighbour sounds perfect - a macho biker whose in touch with his feminine side. Just my type. Belated Happy Birthday xx

vintagerockchick said...

Ooops, I mean 'who's', not 'whose'. Must keep up my grammatical standards.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've been having a great time, Chrissie. Must get to the Fibre East event next year - I love your hearts and those cute little buttons. Weather permitting, I'll will be taking my hubby to Audley End this weekend - no special event, just want to see the walled veggie garden. Hope you have a good one!


Your post is a hoot ;o)
Loved it all. So glad you had so many treats


Things Hand Made said...

You always make me smile!

Jill said...

What a wonderful picture you paint - lovely entertaining post. And I agree, we all want to hear more of Tony and Pete. Love your little doggy felts, and welcome to the club, had my bus pass a whole year now! That Tom can really still cut the mustard. You and Gina obviously both had a great (separate) time.

Jackie said...

I too am the same age as Dennis the menace. When was yours? It was good to meet you yesterday. (You look younger!)