Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Double click to spot the problem

fire and water and grasshopper

Another conflagration in our neck of the woods. There are houseboats along the river, permanently moored partly because they have many many sheds attached and gangways as complex as Escher's staircases.
Along aways rest the abandoned vessels, slowly and majestically rotting.
Unfortunately it seems they contain metal parts and in these days stripping them of the good bits is a growth industry.
One way is to set fire to the boat and haul away the picking of whatever is left. This time the fire got out of control.

It is quite a distance from the space where the fire engines can be parked and the firey boats, so they must have very long hoses. Altho each boat has it's own stand pipe so maybe they could link on there.

The good news is that the fire burnt off the horrible yellow council health and safety notices warning people not to venture forth in them. Maybe with no money for extras these days we will be spared the out pourings of health and safety.
This County is dispensing with all council work and workers apparently and "out sourcing" I suspect this means the same workers being employed for the same jobs by private companies for less wages, so the company makes a profit and everything spirals down.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

not alone

Rachel Cusk wrote in the grauniad today
Jane Austen, who invented this genre in which the darkest aspects of female passivity and interiority give rise to an elaborated surface of verbal skirmishing. And at the end of it all the author curtsies - she was only joking.
So she doesn't like our Jane either - I think.
Spell checker doesn't like "interiority" nor do I

Thursday, 23 September 2010

woolly thinking

When we were in Swaledale I went to see Andrea Hunter's studio, she is a Felt artist, mostly black and white animals - sheep, horses, running hares.

She draws in charcoal so perhaps that influences her style, lots of movement and drama.

She uses marino wool and wasn't very impressed when I said I had a plan to knit up some Wensleydale wool I had bought and then washing machine that into felt [hopefully] and then stitch it.
I thought it would be nice to be able to have a piece of work from my holiday, but she wanted me to use [and buy] some marino wool. Sadly she wasn't very interested in chatting, but i guess when you are dealing with customers everyday it soons loses it's novelty.
fortunately the knitting and felting worked out and the pre dyed curlies I did buy from her studio are going to form the basis of a waterfall, I hope.

The wool has felted to a lovely rough and bobbley surface and is satisfyingly thick.

Maybe I will send her a pic of the finished opus, and maybe I will felt up some marino in the washing machine, now I have seen how well it works. It does gives a lovely soft fabric to stitch into.
Yesterday I went to my first of a short course of Hand stitching classes. I thought it would be nice to have some structure and my knowledge of suitable stitches is very unsteady.
Marian the tutor is relaxed and friendly, the class is small and so far unthreatening [I am pathetically paranoid or just plain grumpy] and I really enjoyed having a day when I just sat and stitched with out too much challenge.

There were two sisters, foreign born but have lived here so long there is no telling them from any other middle class Suffolk in-comer.
It was quite amusing to see the tension between them, as they has fallen out over their mum's will, some years back. Now bridges were being built but every now and then I glimpsed the spark of flashing steel as they crossed swords, then drew back There is ten years between them which I guess either works really well or doesn't. It was a hot day, amazingly in the 80s, so at one point we had to draw the blinds.
Today we went to Felixstowe and it wasn't quite as sunny.
The poor old cafe has had it's window broken by the local gentry [I assume] so we eat our fish and chips in more shade then we really wanted. An old fisherman was sat outside, grumping about the vandals, which was fair enough.
But I said I thought that if the local lads were working now on the fishing boats [no more] or even could be taken fishing etc. they may not act so meanly to the community that probably seemed to them to be ignoring them.
He wasn't impressed.
No doubt the situation will get worse with the credit crunch and the poor ill educated young unemployed will get the worst of it. It's been Battle of Britain week - these same vandals would have been drafted in the war and proved just as brave as any young men that fought then, but these days the only battles seem to be the wrong ones.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Heard some pundit on wireless today scoffing "what's the point of writing a blog if you only have 60 followers" Oh dear.
I could give out my address to acquaintances but my aspiration was to write fairly freely, not having to wonder about hurting peeps feelings, thus I think nobody reads my blog within 50miles............I value my distance followers so much and lust for comments.
I guess opening up would mean more interaction, but then I get paranoid so quickly..........I guess I am happy as I am. Just shaping the words gives satisfaction, and honing the thoughts even occasionally gives clarity to me, if no-one else.
I record another frustrating conundrum, fire engines are rocketing down the road to the river, I can see no smoke, but I am too inert to walk down and inspect events.
I think the cat has farted.
I am starting an Open University course in Creative Writing, when I can work up the courage to open the books.
It starts in October, so I am just dancing round them at the mo - the 2 work books are a very pleasing scarlet design. I hope having paid the fees I will bow the neck and acquiesce to instruction, however arrogantly I may respond initially, or how craven I will feel when trying to actually offer up my contributions.
I never lack ideas, but as in my art work I have difficulty developing the theme beyond the mediocre......
To sooth the nerves I am reading the new CJ Sansom "Heartstone" [medieval crime novel] and to deflect I am going to start tomorrow a 6 week course in hand stitching, where I will doubtless need to be tied down to learn something.
Having been a teacher I have very mixed reactions to other teachers practising their skills.
There is always something to learn.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


We have over 200 holiday pics, so don't come avisiting in the near future as you will not escape easily.

The cottage was gorgeous, seventeenth century with television and stone steps that twisted up and down to each room.

The garden ended suddenly in what they called a ha-ha, in effect an unfenced 8' drop into the sheep field below and the River Swale beyond.

We were anxious that Hattie would walk into thin air,[and land on thistles] but instead, the next day,she fell off this walkers' bank, above the river,fortunately on the sheep side.
We panicked but the sheep ignored her and she broke no bones.
Swaledale is just so lovely, the richest green I have ever seen, miles of intricate dry stone walling and wet becks and waterfalls.

This is purportedly the highest single drop in England,

this isn't.
All the rain that keeps the grass so green, runs down the hills into the myriad of tributaries over the rocks and into the Swale, which we were told with glee can rise 3 metres in 3 hours in the winter. Fortunately we only had 2 days of rain and we had a jigsaw.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

high jump

On Bank Holiday weekend we ventured down from the hill as I had run out of my favourite gunpowder tea.
Usually I keep a low profile when the sun is out, the populace is on holiday and it is the last w/e of the school holidays. However needs must.
The expensive organic farmshop down the road was celebrating making oodles of cash from the hungry middle classes by installing several marquees of aromatic, sizzling beef burgers, lots of little tents of hand made jewelry [for some reason] and a bungee jumpers crane.
I've never seen one in the flesh, so freakin high! and then the young person gets told to look straight out, not down, and then step into space, head first.
OMG the girl in the pic got a bit frantic [surprise] and started flailing around so much I thought she might crash into the crane, but i guess they know what they are doing, as she landed safely, if incoherently.
I used to think I should do a parachute jump, for the thrill - to prove something. Now I am an old girl I think life is quite risky enough, so watching others has to satisfy.