Wednesday 28 November 2012

And just where do you think you've been, young lady?!

Do you think if I sneak in at the back and just join in nobody will notice I've been absent without leave for months and months ...... ?  There are loads of reasons why I haven't blogged for so long, but none of them would sound very convincing on their own, though they seemed real enough at the time.   But a couple of weeks ago I fell head-first into the bottom of a brambly ditch and it seems to have knocked some sense into me at last.   So (though don't hold me to it!) I expect to be back blethering fairly regularly.   And if I can remember how to dowload photos from my newish camera then we might even get some pictures.   Huzzah!  
Just for now I've managed to find and download this lovely wee fellow who was wafting in the breeze, quite unperturbed by the crowds, atop the flora planted around the Olympic Stadium this summer.
So, many apologies are due to the lovely friends whose blogs I have been neglecting of late and I hope to put matters right before too long - I've missed you!
Chrissie x

Monday 5 March 2012

"No Rum .... No Fun"

Or so I was told by the crew member who doubled-up as barman on our catamaran trip.   I discovered that it's no use asking for a  non-alcoholic drink - the Bajan's don't have a way of removing the rum from a fruit punch!   Anyway, I'm sure a strawberry daiquiri is purely fruit, ahem...

Another thing I learnt during our week away in Barbados was how you really tell the sheep from the goats.   A lot of animals on that island are masquerading as goats, but turns out they are black-bellied sheep, which don't need shearing.   This information was one of the gems imparted by Hettie, our bus driver on the journey to Bridgetown to meet the catamaran.   Incidentally - what you need to know is that goats' tails stick up and sheep's tails hang down.   Who knew?  

Hettie could point out where Sir Cliff's mansion was, where Cilla had her condo, how to tell a 'reggae' bus from a local authority bus, and why every driver toots his horn all the time.  Apparently you must toot when about to overtake, during overtaking, if someone looks as if they might step into the road, if someone has already stepped into the road, if you see someone you know in the distance, or driving an on-coming vehicle, well, just about for anything really.   Somehow the tooting always seems really good-natured though, not the road-rage blast on the horn we're used to in UK.  Hettie generously loaned her bus microphone to the lovely Emma who led us all in rum-fuelled community singing on the way home.   Goodness knows what possessed me to launch into 'Donald Where's yer Troosers' .....

So, snorkelling.     The kit for this was freely available at our hotel, and, having done a stint of snorkelling about half a century ago, I felt fully qualified to give it another bash.   But, oh, you've never seen such a carry-on, me trying to get my flippers on in some quite strongly-crashing waves without losing my mask and snorkel.   Inevitable outcome was that I was flung onto the beach from the shallows, dragged back out to sea in the undertow and my right knee ligaments, which are prone to such, locked out and I could neither straighten my leg nor stand on it.   While I was floundering in the surf trying to formulate a workable three-point plan for not drowning, a big wave came and knocked my knee back into place.   I sheepishly (or was it 'goatishly', no definitely 'sheepishly', as I had my tail between my legs) returned my equipment to the beach store.   Isn't it amazing how a well-honed skill can desert you in the space of only 50 years?   

I was reminded, too, that gentle flattery can also make your knees a little weak, leading to another humbling tumble.   One of our wedding party was a handsome young man from Portugal, who, with a  perplexing generosity of spirit (rum, probably) whispered that he thought I was most elegant and regal and, indeed, beautiful.   Now, while this did make me uncomfortably self-conscious for a couple of days, I gratefully relinquished any pretentions when I was told that he also adored the Queen Mother and has a portrait of her above his bed.  

me being regal

Sorry about the view up one's regally-flaring nostrils - I was obviously experiencing a little ennui while the official wedding photos were being taken - but at least you're spared the double chins!!

Have a good week!


Monday mosaic

Tuesday (not Monday) Mosaic

Via Flickr:
1. Cubes (blue patchwork), 2. · perros de acuarela ·, 3. 8√®me arrondissement, 4. ., 5. Tulip , 6. home sweet home pillow, 7. outra vez, 8. DSC_0025, 9. Scottish Castle

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Bajan Beach Treasures

I've brought you back some tiny treasures from our trip to Barbados - (niece's wedding)

Wish I could have brought the blue seas and sunshine too
the sign leads to ...   Atlantic breakers on the N E coast
not far from the peaceful West Coast beach...

a neon sign .....
 advertising frying Flying Fish ...
billowing sails....
above the Wedding Belles ...

who had been swimming with turtles ...
rum-punch toes

which had been following a yellow brick road leading to ....
green monkeys ....
a shell-seeker ...
sunset dreamer...
I heart Barbados ...

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Promises to Keep

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

You have until Sunday 6th January to listen to the BBC iPlayer broadcast about Robert Frost's poem and his home in Vermont where it was written.   Strangely enough he wrote it early in the morning on 21st June, the longest day.   The narrator of the broadcast, a Scots poet, recounts that when he asks groups of children who they think is telling the story, they invariably say Father Christmas.   Frost was very happy for us to have our own interpretations, so I hope you find a way for it to speak to you and have the time to listen to the programme (30 minutes).

The fabulous woodblock print is a card I bought from Etsy long ago and thought the title was joyfully evocative - I had no idea then that it was a line from what has become a favourite poem. You can click on the photograph and see it better in close-up.

Apology:  Every cloud has a silver lining, if you are of a mind to make it so.   But sometimes the grey lowering weather front takes a while to pass overhead and you can lose your confidence in the certainty of a shining lining.   The last few weeks have taken me into some terra incognita, full of dragons, bewilderment and sometimes despair.   The details are someone else's story, so will not be related here, but I claim the right to use it as a reason for the lack of blogging.   But I'm back.   I have promises to keep.

Sunday 1 January 2012

"Life is what happens while you're making other plans"

Happy New Year! Thank you to all the kind people who have asked where I've been for weeks - I hope to be back blogging very soon. Chrissie

Thursday 15 September 2011

Magic Feathers

Jude Hill, of SpiritCloth, is gathering 1000 embroidered feathers from around the world and sewing them together.   She says: 

"The Magic Feather Project is a collective stitching project focused on creative sharing and giving. The magic feather has been my personal symbol for almost forever. With the idea of making it a symbol of something bigger than just myself, I thought I would share it with you and you in turn might stitch one (at least) and send it to me so I might, in turn, sew a bunch together and put the larger cloth to some charitable use.My target for any charity efforts connected with this project  is children. Their well being and education. I may give or donate some of the cloths directly or donate them for auction. We'll see."

She also has a Facebook page and a Flickr page, if you would like to see some of the wonderful donations she has already received.
I'm finding them a bit addictive to make....  These are sewn on a piece of roughish cotton which I indigo dyed at the shibori workshop I went to earlier this year.   The one where I had to walk home 3 miles carrying a bucket and drainpipe and looking like a bag lady. Oh, don't remind me.  Anyway, the bits where the dye was resisted look a little bit feathery in places, so I though I would use silks in similar shades to create some harmony.  
The backing cloth in this one is an old soft thick piece of cotton which was an altar cloth in a previous life.   It's actually a bit more of an ochre colour than it looks and is gently faded in the folds.   The thread was some hand-dyed I bought years ago from Myfanwy.

In between feathers I've free-machine stitched some little brooches.   This poor bunny perhaps needs reporting to the RSPCA, with its dislocated tail and withered back leg....

Job for today:  removing Bondaweb glue from the ironing-board cover before my husband permanently fixes his work-shirt to it....