Friday, 30 May 2008

Quote of the week

Found this one in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Mineral; it made me smile, and put into words exactly how I feel a lot of the time when reading pompous tripe on the net!!!

"It's just the high-mindedness that rankles; when moral superiority combines with billowing ignorance, they fill up a hot- air balloon that's awfully hard not to poke".

........... part III...........

A walk around the garden - part II

A walk around the garden......

I think my back garden is looking really nice at the moment - probably a bit untidy or weedy for some, but I love it! took the camera with me this morning. Everything going on really well, so pleased with all that - promises of good harvets from the greenhouses and vegetable garden, lots of soft and tree fruit, lots almost ready to plant out. The extras will go on the table by the gate, hopefully get that sorted this weekend. The sun is out now too.................. :)

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Hard work

"It's hard work, but it's all we've got".

This was relayed to me yesterday by my OH, who heard a report on radio 4 about fuel poverty in the Western Isles; fuel poverty is said to exist when a household spends 10% or more on fuel, whihc seems to be the case for a large number of people in the Western Isles. The above quote is attributed to a man who has gone back to or continued cutting the peats for fuel. Some folks up there never stopped, but it looks likely that more people will have to take up their peat cutters and go out and get it. This is coupled with the plans to build a very large number of wind turbines on Lewis, as I understand it, much against the wishes of those who live there.

I can't find the exact report OH listened to (very grateful if anyone can point me in the right direction, give me a link, etc, thanks).

I think the opening quote above will become more frequently heard in theh coming years as things become harder generally for a lot of people. Time to get ready *now*, start preparing as much as possible to make the ride a little less rough for you and yours. Worrying and uncertain times.

Nice easy day.........

Not much going on today, which was nice, so fairly relaxed and unhurried here; garden still sodden, so inside it was. Was interviewed this morning by a chap writing a new book on Dorset - what it's like to live here in the 21st century, so enjoyed that, looking forward to seeing the book next year I hope. Asked him to put a positive light on our village 0) which he assured me he will. Then took a notion to cut out some blocks, ended up completing the 7 I need for a quilt-along on the CL forum, so need to get the sashing prganised for that. Good chunk of reading with the Barbara Kingsolver book - some interesting recipes in there I would like to try, inclduing mozzarella - speaking of which, am awaiting a home made pizza about to be delivered out of the oven..............Today's pics - the view from the front kitchen window into the blowsy front garden, lemon curd I made last night for the WI coffee morning tomorrow, and some of the stash I used for the new blocks I compelted today.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Very fruitful day.......

..........and it's only 4pm! Here in Dorset, we are very lucky to have Dorset Arts Week running every two years:; in our village, we have three venues this year - the Blackmore Vale branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, a stained glass artist who does prints and drawings as well, and a very talented weaver. We set off out at noon today, Bean and I in the pouring rain to visit the venues. Started with the Guild, up in the village hall. I'd been got at by a friend up the road to join the Embroiderers for a while now, but wasn't sure what their work was about, thought it might just be straight embroidery. No, all sorts of textile work - quilting, embellishment of every kind, bags, freestyle embroidery, pictures,, figures, goldwork, the lot. Decided to join, so Bean and I will have another monthly textile-related meeting every month :0) They had an excellent sales table too, so came away with some rather nice fabrics for a quilt I am working on, plus some delicious purply boucle for embellishing the felted bowl I made this morning. Very pleased, very inspired, and Bean is now ensconsed in the kitchen with my machine having a go at free form embroidery........0) Next door to the hall is Rosemary Levy, a very talented weaver, with lots of rugs and tapestries on show, along with cards, postcards, etc. Lots of pinks and greens and smoky colours, purples, WIPs on the looms too; she is a friend of ours, so we stayed for a cup of tea, lots of talk about textiles, travelling and boats, and ended up with the offer of a free coop that will suit a broody hen and chicks admirably! On the way home, we dropped into Ann Whitehead for stained glass, prints and drawings; I bought a very pretty little stained glass flower for Bean. Ann's prints of local countryside are lovely - lino cuts, black and white, my favourites. Her actual studio was open too, for a look around, and I saw the piece she is currently working on at the moment.

Brilliant, inspiring, nice to know there are such talented people close by. So much I want to try and to do and create.

Let the tree hug you...............

These are just the most beautiful thing I have seen for a long time:

I need to save up for one of them, I'd love one..............truly a thing of great beauty.

Edited to add, or I could have a go myself.......found some pictures and instruction on Instructables! Off for a think.

Militant grannies.............

Much cheered to come across this in the June issue of Let's knit! magazine

Wish we had something like that in this country, I would join like a flash. Maybe I could infiltrate one of the existing groups, though, and do a knitting for peace initiative........

On a similar note, I found this a while back, and mean to give it a go, but will probably just use the idea and make it more my own:

One day :)

Very , very wet here this morning, so probably no outside work, so lumped with the housework - again! Needs doing, though, and to make some lemon curd for the WI coffee morning on Friday, and cut some blocks for one of the quilt alongs.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Sunsets and paeonies................

Today's pics.................


Just finished this wonderful book - Shantyboat - a river way of life, by Harlan Hubbard. It's taken me a couple of years to actually get hold of the book and read it, but well worth the wait. A truly inspiring book for anyone who hankers after a slower pace of life and simpler living. I was unsure about the fact it was based around the rivers, as I (thought.........) had little interest in this, but something stirred my interest this time, and I became fascinated by the terminology, following the currents, the imagery of the differing banks as they drift by,and very importatnly, the people they meet and encounter along the way. Written in the 1940s, his and his wife's journey begins at Brent in 1944 and ends in New Orleans in 1650, a distance of 1385 miles, drifting on a handmade shanty boat. His style of writing brings so much vividly to life, and I found the domestic details fascinating - they took a hive of bees on their boat with them. Beautifully illustrated with woodblocks by Harlan himself, inspiring me to get out my lino cutting again and do some more.

"On modern living there is such protection from the elements that those who live in cities pay little regard to the weather unless some extreme condition causes them discomfort or onconvenience" - how true, and sadly, this applies to folks who live in the country too. We have lost touch with the most primitive of forces out there. I know a fair bit about our weather, but would like to know a lot more, and actually get out in it properly from time to time, albeit it with the greatest respect for mother nature.

"..... found our shantyboat such a cheerful and snug place, and our enjoyment of living there so keen, that we felt we were celebrating a continual holiday, one about which the rest of the world did not know." - that is livng, is it not? Real living, taking time to enjoy the moment, be at peace and ease with yourself and the world around you.

On gardening: "It is an unrivaled adventure, putting seeds in the ground, in this case intensified by the strangeness of our situation and our voyage to these new shores"

"I do not mean that our way was better, and do not recommend it. To most, it would mean deprivation. To us it had an honorable simplicity and independence. We were living as we desired, and put out less than most, to get what we wanted"

Another week.........

........ flown by! Been a whole week since I posted in here, must do better:0) Have done a lot outside in the good weather - up to date with all the seed sowing, and the planting out of vegetables; still some almost ready to go out - more pumpkins, and some black runner beans. Everything else growing like mad - you can see day-to-day progress, which is good. Lots tidied and rubbish moved, new tater bed made and planted (Muscovies love sitting on it, must be the heat.......), nettles trimmed back from the compost heap and the shquashes planted on them. OH installed the new-to-us Freecycle freezer - just a small chest one, but will be sueful. Misgivings about another electrical appliance, but I think we need it, and if it's used efficiently, should be OK. If not, then out it goes - easy! Need to get out there today and sort out the current freezer and decant stuff into the new one.

Terrible weather here yesterday - blowing a hooley and lashing rain, so inside all day. Finished my book , and the Friendship quilt from the forum, followed by a fish and chip quiz over at the pub. Good fish, I think it was pollack, but not certain. We came third, which was good, considering how many teams there were, and theh size of the two teams that beat us!!

Getting excited about the wheat field now - see the pic for the current state of the ears. Hopefully I will get good enough weather to ripen it when the time comes.