Sunday, 27 January 2013

Half Life


I have not actually been thinking about how long it takes radioactive isotopes to break down but it occurred to me on my birthday that I have now lived more than half my life in Scotland. Local school children have been busy learning and reciting Scots poems to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns and wearing tartan to school. Although I have a very unplaceable accent, I must be more than 50% Scottish by now since my Mother is a Scot, and 2 out of my 3 children were born in Scotland! Anyway, I enjoyed my haggis, neeps and tatties on the 25th.

At the age of 45 I am probably now at least half way through my lifespan and I still have a lot more that I want to do. It would be a good idea if I stopped wasting so much time faffing around on the computer, trying to get Stupid Skype to work. It is meant to be simple - a fun way of contacting friends and family around the world without the connection dropping out, crackling and showing nothing but a blank screen. All I wanted to do was take a screenshot of me talking to the Stunt Quilters for a magazine article but it proved to be extremely frustrating. The final straw was when I lost my wifi connection, having told everyone that a group call was about to be made...

My whole week had a slightly frustrating undertone. There were two school snow closure days even though there was not really a huge amount of snow here. I spent some time working on BzB making lots of curvy blocks to put in between sections. I joined almost two thirds of it together and need to figure out how the rest will connect. I might have to create some spiky sawtooth borders if it is not quite wide enough. BzB is nothing like the "anti-wholecloth" that I had in my head. I will simply have to make that one another time!

 I can't spend all day in the workshop when everyone is at home. I had to do catering, fire stoking and supervise the homework that had to be done since the children were at home all day. My husband commandeered the Landy to go to work since I did not really need to go out but I kept thinking that I might just want to nip out to the Post Office or buy cat food. 

It was a quite a keep-fit workout taking the dogs out in such wet snow. Mabel kept sinking up to her armpits and I had to carry her. Welly, the spaniel had to be defrosted in a warm bucket of water as he had huge ice balls stuck to his hairy legs. He then received an emergency haircut to remove the parts that had turned into wet felt. 

I am making myself enjoy a tea drinking renaissance as I am trying to stick to my no wine rule. I bought a super new teapot with a sieve inside. I have been trying to tell myself that bespoke tea is just as satisfying as a full bodied glass of red (it really is not, for the record).

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sunday, 13 January 2013


I finally spent time on working on BzB but after two days I had very mixed feelings about what I had managed to produce. I have deviated a long way from the original idea of a simple not-quite-wholecloth into a collection of pieces that may or may not blend well together in the end. The hexagon section is the most troubling. It just looked like a part of something else so I forged ahead regardless and curve pieced some big sections of probably unsuitable green sateen and shiny purple-blue silk. In fanciful light it could be said that it looks like Scottish hillsides but in others it looks like a bit of a mess. I laid the other blocks out to see if that improved matters. I just have to hope that by the time that all of the sections get curvily joined to each other, it will all look like it was meant to be. A box of gorgeous Oakshott fabric arrived which may just tie it all together. If not, I can start again more simply with my bracken coloured collection.

Just when I was making progress with my project I had to go into school teacher mode. I admit that I found this week after the holidays hard as there has been some challenging behaviour and it was also confirmed that the temporary post is due to end in early February. I have to start making plans for how much supply teaching I am prepared to do as Spring approaches. I would love to concentrate on being a textile artist and do a few talks but realistically I also have to make some money as well.

I made up my mind to try and stick to a minor diet this week so I had porridge for breakfast, no snacks because I was a bit bored and most significantly, no wine. That one has been the hardest! Herbal tea is no substitute: I don't know how Temperance League Ladies managed to make headway with reforming the gin drinkers of Victorian London. 

My internet connection has been an absolute pain this week. It is either frustratingly slow or does not connect at all. It took 4 days to upload some photos into a Dropbox so goodness knows whether I will be able to Skype a group of stunt quilters this week to meet the deadline for the Quilting Arts article... I suppose the upside of having no internet is that I can spend more time sewing for a change!

I took Freya and Nell to see the movie version of "Les Miserables" at the weekend. It was spectacular and very emotional - it really deserves its many award nominations.