Sunday 17 May 2020

Blogging n the Time of Covid 19 Part Two

We returned from Ireland and by the end of the week we were in Lockdown. But not me...oh no! I am the official Gofer. I had to endure these scenes which I’m sure everyone is familiar with, but I had to show my Mum why I couldn’t quite get everything she wanted from the supermarket.

My husband is over 70, my Mum is 92 so it’s down to me even though I have type 2 diabetes. I am quite fit and my ‘numbers’ are good so I hope I’m not at risk. 
My mum was in a state of anxiety and panic for the first three weeks, but seems to have made a complete recovery but is lonely. She goes to the local shop every day for a newspaper, which is probably not a good idea, but I think she’d go mad if she didn’t. 
She has no internet so that’s the only contact she has with the outside world apart from phone calls. 
Anyway..what have I been doing?
This collage is from quite a few years ago and you can see that there are one or two virus like shapes there. 

I thought I’d make a topical one just for fun, this may remind you of something! 

This brooch received a lot of comments on my Facebook page and some people wanted to own one. 
I had also been thinking of the food bank missing out on all the donations because people were so worried about getting enough food for themselves, that they couldn’t also buy extra to donate.
I usually take a bagful to church , as do others, but there’s no Church either. 
So..I decided to make a number of brooches , to fill in my income gap ( as my teaching has been cancelled) and to donate £5 from each sale to the food bank. 

                                       I sold them all immediately and had a long waiting list. 
So two weeks later I made another huge number. 

This time, I was able to donate more than £100 each to two hospices, who are also experiencing income drops. 
I felt useful, I felt creative and it kept me upbeat and motivated. 
But then......
Someone made an unpleasant comment on my photograph, and I got an ‘angry’ emoji too. 
I realise that the Corona virus has had a devastating effect on many hundreds of families, and that perhaps my brooches were in poor taste. 
So I stopped. I still get requests so I may do a few quietly and list them in my Etsy shop. Of course, they’ll have to be more expensive to accommodate Etsy fees but that’s how it has to be. 

The weather has been amazing and we have taken full advantage of the lovely area we live in. We are lucky to have a variety of walks nearby. 
We have Moorland 

And farmland

Tracks both high and low

We can look down from the moors onto our village and if it’s clear, you can see the sea and Blackpool Tower. 

We find old ruined farms above the woods. 

And peaceful spots with reeds. 

The woods are lovely now , full of bluebells and new leaves. 

The grass verges have been beautiful

Full of wildflowers, 

But even the lockdown didn’t stop the Sports club strimming them. 

Very sad. 

So to counter that we’re encouraging weeds. Aren’t these gorgeous?

Also gorgeous too are these Aldi ranunculus, well they were until the recent cold wind. 

It takes my garden a while to burst into bloom but there’s joy to be found in colourful leaves and the blue of the forget-me-nots. 

We have our own bluebell patch and they look amazing with the euphorbia. 

This blurry photo fills me with joy. Once I only saw these in a museum showcase but now they come to the garden. 
Global warming? 

Now I’m sewing in a different way. 
I’ve tried and tested various patterns and this seems the best. 

I’m just waiting for a delivery of elastic. 

A couple of years ago I read ‘All Among the Barley’ by Melissa Harrison. 
This was my favourite passage and I think it means more in theses days. 

Let’s look forward to a better future. 

Saturday 16 May 2020

Blog in a time of be continued

Looking at my last post, I can’t believe how much has happened, or not happened, since that date.
Just after that we had our usual trip to Ireland, which was the best yet I think, despite our sailing during Storm Jorge, remember that?
We had a beautiful cottage opposite the sea, with a roaring fire and lots of room.
The skies were mostly blue. 


I met up with my lovely textiles Irish friends, Breda McNelis and Ester Kiely who as usual inspired and encouraged me. I felt a genuine sadness when we parted. 

We met at Kennedy’s bookshop in Galway which had the most moving and wonderful exhibition of work by John Behan, called Migrant. 
RTÉ arrived to film the Kenney family,  who had been there for a lot of years , I can’t remember how many. The lady with the red hair is a presenter for RTÉ .

Here are some of the pieces, which depict desperate people. 

I had a line visit to Polnabrone Dolmen and ended up talking politics with the warden. 

We enjoyed the music, the food, the friends and on our last night visited our favourite place, Linnanes Seafood bar at The Flaggy ashore. 

 This Seamus Heaney poem was on the wall and describes it well.
We didn’t see the swans this year, perhaps Jorge had driven them away.

There were hand sanitisers and slightly nervous and jokey mention of ‘The Virus’ at the Corofin Festival over the weekend. Not all the concerts were full. 
Just a hint of things to come. 

Saturday 22 February 2020

January February

Happy New ish Year. 
Only 2 months late. Where does the time go? 

I thought I’d force myself on to the 30 days sketchbook challenge. It started well. 

Spots and dots was the first prompt , easy peasy and fun. 
But I’m sorry to say I only lasted twelve days. I didn’t have enough time to devote to it.
Here are a couple I did ..

Garden tools. 

Musical instruments. 
How could I not do the ever present concertina?

Then it was Brian’s birthday. 
My Mum seems to be enjoying herself doesn’t she? 

Bittersweet end to January though as his brother’s wife died after a 6 year battle with Cancer. Fortunately we were able to see her  and say our goodbyes but she didn’t know we were there. 
His birthday card, posted  two days  before, had her name on it .

Then came the 31st and the most stupid, most pointless, most shameful thing happened. 

We pulled up the drawbridge and became Little Britain for no good reason. I know many will disagree with me but I make no apology for my opinion. 

I’ve been very busy with the U3 A a splendid organisation with a new branch in our area. 
We were fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with Olivia Keith for three
‘Hedgerow weaving’ sessions. I’ll admit to being a bit baffled by it but I signed up because it sounded interesting. And so it was. 
The first session produced this a shallow ‘ bowl’ made using Olivias materials. Then we had to forage for our own 

And two weeks later we made these.. 

And during the final session I made an obelisk, wigwam, plant support. 

Keep trying to find a good place to photograph it as outside is wild and woolly. 

But I’m sure you get the picture. 
 I also joined the new handbell ringing group. I’m not a bit musical 
and my biggest contribution so far is sewing 20 calico bags with drawstrings to protect the bells. Everyone is a lot more impressed by them that they ought to be! 
It makes you realise how many people don’t sew. 

Now talking of sewing.....
Yay! I got inspired again. 
It happened this way

A lovely lady in America liked some old things from my Etsy shop and asked if I could make her similar. So I had a go. 
The result!

So after a brief obsession and many sales of these silly fish, someone else suggested two fish together. 

And my obsession was also doubled. I’ve made and sold about 6 of these and am just revving up to go in my sewing room and make more. 

At the moment I have a very bad cold and am desperate not to give it to my OH as we are soon to be crossing the Irish sea for the Annual concertina class. 
It would be a shame if he was ill for it. 

I’ll leave you with a picture of a new visiting member of our textile group. 
Meet Chester. The dearest, darlingest little mini Schnauzer,

Except for Hetty of course. 

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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