On Pavlova, Reading and Yet More Yarning ……

Okay, we’re starting with dessert today – click here to see what  Kelly has just posted about something I made last February when the ‘Blogging Babes’ got together – this was our first meal all together and the only one at my place and so of course I had to wade straight into the great Pavlova debate ………  You don’t know about the great Pavlova Debate?   Well, go on then, click here!  We’ll wait for you to come back.

That was quick – what did you think?  Did you notice where I dropped a peach slice bang into the middle of that Pav and completely ruined the entire presentation?  🙂   My friends were kind and pretended not to notice…..

Now, to reading:

My friend Derrick, he with the beautiful garden and the seemingly endless library including many older books, wrote of the book he had just finished reading and I made comment that I was going in search of it.  I found it to be out of print and Derrick generously sent on his copy to me.  I’ve read it.  Quite quickly, for even though the two stories are not particularly happy, the prose and style of the writer is such a joy to settle into I found myself reading longer than usual every evening.  He captures perfectly the sea-swept, barren lifestyle of the crofters of Orkney at the end of the 19th century.  The harsh terrain producing stoic and impenetrable peoples, their stories too reflect that terrain.  There’s a melancholia, an inevitability to the stories, but still I sometimes found myself shocked by the unfolding personal histories.davGeorge Mackay Brown’s book is two separate novellas.  Times are changing, the modern world is reaching the Orkneys, the expectations of the new generation include a wider world,  crofts are being deserted and falling into disrepair.  And yet we see how the people live on, battered by the storms of change, the actions of others and themselves – aware only of their own little world, their own hurts, their own expectations.  An accurate reflection of much of humanity in general perhaps.

George Mackay Brown writes so compellingly – there’s a poem at the end of the second story that wrings the heart.  If you can find his work anywhere I do recommend it.

From the sublime to the yarny stuff:davI’m making this, it’s maybe half finished now – it’s a prototype for an idea I have for a ‘mandala’ style wall hanging – a big one.    This one though, is simply table sized.  When finished it will be maybe 60cm diameter.   I’m not sure yet which way I will go.  Sandra  over at Wild Daffodil has been making them for her grandchildren and shared with me Lucy at Attic 24’s designs too.  So many choices!

This is where I’m up to.  It’s about 35 cm diameter and I’m half way through the pattern.  I don’t think the variegated cotton helps the pattern very much, what do you think?dav I’m still happily growing this keeping pace with Eleonora’s weekly design postings.  Even though the blanket is officially reaching ‘huge’ proportions, there seems to be loads of yarn left in my basket.  I’m loving thisdavHere’s Siddy visiting his second favourite person and her new cat.  George is a bit mean to Siddy (he runs at him with evil intent) and Siddy is trying really hard to be brave.  But he isn’t really – he’s a lover, not a fighter.sdrI’m having a tidy up in the craft room this week – yikes, it’s a mess!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

On Light Catchers and Other Things

I found the ensuing post in my drafts folder.  It was written in October 2017, just before I fell over my own feet and the legs of my easel and started the ball rolling on three months of ‘failure to stay upright’ events for myself and my family which you mostly know about and suffered through with us.

Now safely on the other side and having been uplifted by the wonderful community that gathers about this blog throughout, I want to share this news, aged as it is, with you and introduce you to some great folk, whom I do hope you will wander off to say hello to – tell them I sent you and you’ll be in like Flynn  😀

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Some months back, deep in the heart of my winter, Susanne and I got into a bit of a discussion on her blog about patios and light catchers and weathering and as a result of that conversation I sent a light catcher off to Canada.   Susanne was going to hang it in her little summer garden and we were going to undertake an experiment, observing how the components behaved in an outdoor situation.   It never arrived.   Please do go here to read her beautifully written and wickedly funny piece on time and tides and missing light catchers and what eventually happened…………

While waiting to hear from Susanne – and expecting the worst – I made more light catchers.  This is the only one that made it into the gift shop.  It’s called ‘Summer Garden’ and I love the colour mix…….

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The others were given away.  And eventually I even received a commission from Luanne to make a coral one – you read about that in the previous post.

Also included in the long forgotten draft was a little story about the inspiration for she who is variously known as YD or the Official Photographer or even by her own lovely name of Danella – the inspiration for her living-room do-up.  An event that some of you may recall from last year.   It’s important to still post this as I promised Derrick I would and life got terribly in the way of me keeping my promises for the past four months…….   

Any hoo – the inspiration came from a photograph my friend Derrick sent me of his beautiful garden.  (I say ‘his’, but the garden designer and curator is really his wife, the lovely Jackie, and Derrick’s role is, I am led to believe, chiefly that of flower dead-header and chief photographer and eater of lovingly prepared evening meals.)  I requested a copy of one particular shot that had captivated me and Derrick kindly and generously sent me three different prints.  At first sight of a particular one, YD’s eyes lit up and per-ping it was off to live at her place.  Here it is seen on the wall in this previously unrevealed view of her living room, taken from the sofa

Ds room 2

And a closer up shot, in case your eyes are as poor as mine……

Ds room detail

Which, on reflection, I see doesn’t help at all – the light being on as it was a dull morning when I requested the photo be taken STAT!  Any how,  that lovely pink and green photographic print was the inspiration for all this

Inky Wall 4

Which I’m sure you recall…….    Various comments about the state of depletion of the wine rack not withstanding, this lovely room has been almost entirely her only venue of residence since breaking her leg and fracturing her ankle on that unfortunate night at the end of last November.  And said wine rack has been variously refilled and emptied and refilled again  – so it’s just as well we had made it pretty for her.  All thanks to Jackie and Derrick’s fabulous garden inspiration at the Old Post House in the UK.  Please, allow  me to urge you to pop in and say hello to these two charmers, Jackie’s already begun planting up her spring garden and the first daffodil has shyly bloomed and Derrick has his camera ready to capture whatever comes next.

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Now we are back to the present day.  We’ve had a largish fire, whipped up by a violent wind that preceded the arrival of a weather conflagration that was somewhat alarming as a tropical storm moving south through the country met an elongated east-west weather system originating from Antarctica right over the South Island and dumped an extreme amount of water in a relatively small area over a 24 hour period…..  It put the fire out (yay!) and flooded the usual places (boo!) and cooled the air down (yay!).  It went from 35C to 16C in 36 hours.  So, this is the new look Summer here in the Riviera of Antarctica folks.

Now that it is summer here and winter there, my friends in Alberta, Canada and Virginia, USA and San Jose, USA are busy rifling through their wardrobes to find some appropriate clothing to pack into their suitcases …………..  Come prepared for anything I say!  Three weeks to go and we’ll have kicked off our little bloggers reunion gathering!

And that my friends is a very big “YAY!!”

Here’s Siddy, before the storm,  wondering what that delicious aroma is floating through the air, from somewhere not here ………..  Mmmmmm B-B-Q!

Siddy smells barbecue

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!