31 March 2011

where march went

It's easy to get out of the habit of writing a blog when the world seems to be going bonkers, the internet connection goes down, and by the time you are back on line the sun is shining.  So here for the record, in no particular order, are the highlights of  the second half of March.

* Much fun at my wonderful screen printing class, courtesy of a Tower Hamlets Council Learning Centre, where my March Hares made their way onto a new bag.  If you are interested you can find out where it came from and see the other side of the bag on the Prick Your Finger blog here.

* A new saddle  (and panniers) for my no. 2 bike, a great improvement on the aesthetically pleasing but excruciating white racing saddle that it arrived with. Now I can whizz round the borough with speed and comfort.

* A visit to Elmley Marshes, lots of birds, with an exciting, if somewhat distant, sighting of a short eared owl doing its evening circuit at Capel Fleet later in the day.  And a hedgehog wiggling along.  When you live where we do these these little sightings are most exciting.

* An afternoon in Rochester, where the Cathedral walls are so old they've had to darn them, and the Cathedral Tea Rooms serve a roast Sunday lunch and a cup of tea and cake good enough to please an aging parent.

* The first day it was warm enough to have the back doors open, hang the washing out on the line, put my feet up with a cup of tea, take a picture,  and think about laundering my woollens to discourage the moths.

* Passing through Graveney Marshes on a visit to the seaside, where the lambs were shining whitely in the sun, and this dobbin was covered in mud.


* Lots of baking.  A batch of Welsh Rarebit Muffins for Cafe Direct's Night at the Sack Races in Shoreditch.  (I liked them but my son thought they were disgusting).  Then more cakes for our WI cake stall International Women's Day event in Spitalfields. We were next door to Shoreditch Sisters who were embroidering vulvas as part of their campaign to end female genital mutilation.  Yes, I did manage to crochet a little something, and no I didn't take a photo.

* Down at Mudchite, planting all of my seed potatoes, sowing my early salads and beetroot - 

- then sitting down for a picnic in the field where the sheep were grazing. 

* Walking along the cliffs from Seaford towards Seven Sisters after a visit to Lewes, where we found violets, heard skylarks and wondered why we didn't come down this way more often - 

- especially if it meant we might find mermaids too.

* Putting on a 15 minute performance at Chisenhale Dance Space about underwear with some EEWI buddies (this is Lydia's work). Being part of the creation of a performed piece was fascinating, especially how we mediated different ideas, skills and preferences and managed to pull them together.  But getting people to laugh at the preposterousness of underwear, especially when you are wearing a suspender belt hat, was the best bit of all.

I spent last night with Iolanthe and the Fairies at Wilton's Music Hall and today collecting seaweed for the asparagus, but I dropped the camera yet again and it's finally died.  Apart from that, the dentist's bill and the small matter of a party wall, it hasn't been a bad month on the whole.

Any suggestions for a good portable camera gratefully received.

11 March 2011

cold comfort

This is a chilly house, there's no doubt about it.  A kitchen with north facing windows and wooden floors over an earth cellar mean that there are times when the temperature in this room - in which I spend a lot of time - feels lower than the ambient temperature in the garden.  There is one advantage.  Flowers, like these lovely daffs,  last for ages.  I think I got ten days out of these.  Cold comfort indeed.

PS The little heart card was one I made at the Women's Library WI craft day last month (we made the cakes!).  It's made by iris folding.  Took a while to do with scrap pieces of paper but looks rather pretty and is an oddly soothing activity.  There are loads of free patterns around if you google the shape you want.

09 March 2011

the rise of princess oblomov

I like to wear my clothes or shoes to death before they get thrown away, but even I have had enough of the beaten-up pair of grubby looking espadrilles that have passed for a pair of slippers for the last few years.  So this week I got out a pair of sparkly sequinned shoes/ slippers that have been in my cupboard for a good while, a very good while, and  I have been flip-flopping around the house and admiring them from the other end of the sofa.  I wondered whether Prince Oblomov might have owned something similar but suspect that if he had then he would have wanted to get out and about a bit more to show them off.  As you do.

No giving stuff up for Lent planned in this house.

08 March 2011

in praise of older women

I saw her at the National Maritime Museum one miserable Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago when we thought we were going to see an exhibition about the seaside, but it turned out to be about cruises.  Actually, the photos of cruises were rather funny; but she was the star of the day.  I  particularly like  her smuts and lines and the way they add to her nobility.

Remind you of anyone?

06 March 2011

the only way to make dreams come true

This lovely little piece of embroidery sits above our bed.  The trouble is you can't see it when you are cracking the zeds.

 I think I'm starting to wake up.