Because I eventually managed to book up overnight accommodation in Bath and the Yurt for the WOMAD festival, I thought it might be time to invest in some new camping equipment. I bought a couple of sleeping mats, a “pocket-rocket” mini primus stove and a cute, red whistling kettle. I decided I could not postpone the inevitable any longer - it was time to spring clean the garden yurt. This task took me most of two days as we had a really wet winter and the yurt was sadly neglected. I hauled out the carpet which was wringing wet and sprouting mushrooms. The kids helped me to hang it out to dry on the climbing frame while I mopped up the puddles of murky water, wiped the mildew off the furniture, swept up dead bugs, live worms, got rid of a wasp nest and discovered 3 deceased sparrows inside the wood-stove.
Fortunately, we had no rain all week so everything had a chance to dry out. Tania helped me to haul a couple of tarpaulins onto the yurt roof to keep it water-tight until I save up enough to commission a new canvas cover. The old sofa-bed was particularly disgusting so I decided to leave it outside all summer. The bottom of the garden now looks like a gypsy camp or a set from Country Living Magazine.
I finally made a start on the stitch-in-the-ditch quilt that will take forever and “Dunes Duet”, an entry for the two-person category at FOQ. It will have LOTS of concentric quilted circles all butted closely together then I will have to decide how to fill the tiny gaps. I am aiming for a modern look but it will be hard for me to keep it simple. I may be compelled to make it really complicated as it will obviously have to have some gold paint, embroidery and possibly even some tiny shells.
One of my Facebook friends in America told me that the June/July copy of QuiltingArts Magazine has a 5 page feature on the Yurt and its Stunt Quilters. I downloaded it onto my Ipad rather than wait for a paper copy. It is a beautifully presented article so hopefully it will help to raise my teaching profile in the USA.
We delivered the Coracle to the local Orvis fishing shop where it was to be featured for the Banchory River Festival. They did a great job of displaying it by tipping it up onto its end and staging it with bunches of reeds. Helen wove some wicker fish and a paddle; I used up the rest of the leftover quilted spandex to make a second cushion.
I attended the junior session of the Strathspey and Reel Society with Fenella for the second time and managed to keep up with most of the tunes on my fiddle. The teacher kept asking questions about the key signatures and told the players to sit up straight and hold their bows correctly. I have so many old bad habits that I look like a hill-billy when I hold a violin so I should probably just put on my dungarees to go and practice on the tatty sofa that I have parked beside my fire-pit.