Sunday, 4 August 2013

Summer Daze

The most boring part of a holiday must be sorting out the laundry and putting away all of the camping gear. No-one felt like doing much so I sneaked in a few more chapters of the last book of “Game of Thrones”. I felt flat after I finished that novel as the story is not complete and there is no firm publication date for the next installment. I could not even try out my new hammock because it kept on raining. 

I spent another full day in school discussing the timetable, covering an enormous wall in backing paper - cutting around the whiteboard, door and plug sockets. Later, I cleared out an substantial accumulation of mis-matched ice-cream cartons and bald paintbrushes from underneath the sink. The furniture got rearranged, the teacher’s desk drawer was sorted out and the bookcase was tidied. The rest of the school may be totally disorganised in the wake of renovations but our classroom looks ready to go. I have even printed out plenty of sticky labels for pegs and made a new sign for the classroom door.

By Thursday I was in full-on-faff mode. It was too early to pack for Festival of Quilts and I did not have a quilt project to work on. I decided to have a go at tie-dyeing T-shirts rather than knuckle down and do something useful like work on my book, sort out my paperwork. or waste time looking at cheap caravans on Ebay. The procion dyes always look fantastic while they are developing but then seem to wash away to nothing. I must have added far too much synthrapol rinsing-agent to the washing machine as it started oozing soap suds out of all of its openings! 

I received lots of helpful tips regarding procion dye from Facebook friends but I decided to try again using some of my Hungarian dye. I heated the dye solution first then squirted it onto a scrunched-up damp cotton T-shirt. I then “cooked” the bundle in the microwave for 5 minutes before rinsing. I decided to microwave  it a second time, rinsed it in the washing machine, dried it outside and finally ironed the dyed shirt. I will have to wash it carefully but it looks like this method could work well and it does not involve a long wait for results. 

I ferried children around on Friday and bought yet another giant jar of Nutella from Costco. In the evening I took Freya out for supper before we went to see “The World’s End” movie by Simon Pegg. As avid “Hot Fuzz” fans, we thought it was hilarious. The soundtrack was cool, the acting was superb and there was a subtle reference to Cornettos as in two of his other films. 

 A student who wanted to learn how to do free-motion quilting came to visit and spent the day building up her confidence and skill. I explained that it is a combination of a little technique and a LOT of practice. I usually tell pupils that free-motion quilting is like learning how to do joined-up-handwriting and that everyone will eventually develop their own individual style.

The phone rang as I was making a list of what to take to FOQ - local band, Victoria Sponge, wanted a fiddle player to go straight to the recording studio to play a few bars on   the backing track for their forthcoming EP. I was obviously the only violin owner in the vicinity who happened to be available so after a very scratchy practice I had to put on big headphones and try to look as though I could actually read music. I don’t usually play slowly or soulfully and there were 4 sharps in the key signature but the Magic Mixing Man seemed to have enough technology to meld my squeaky tones into the rest of the instruments. It was great fun but I wish I had practised a bit more or had time to get changed into dungarees like the fiddler from Dexy’s Midnight Runners...

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