An elegant sufficiency

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I know they are here somewhere

but where?

I really hate losing things, and don't - very often, because I'm an organised kind of person. When something does go missing, I can usually track it down by means of visualisation, working out when I had it last or simply going through the whole house methodically. Fortunately I don't have to resort to that option very frequently!

On this occasion, however, I'm stumped. I've seen that pesky little Ziploc bag of plastic rings very recently and can visualise exactly what I'm looking for. I know the kind of place it must be - inside a box of similar craft components, with jewellery or button-making things. But I've looked through all my drawers and cupboards, opened up every box more than once and they are simply not to be found.


And yet, they were somewhere here only days ago.


But I did find something for Maggie.

It's in the post.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meeting Maggie

To Cirencester today for a haircut and a coffee with Maggie, in the newly refurbished Brewery Arts. Conversation led to work in progress and Maggie's need for small plastic curtain rings. "Oh I've got loads...I'll put some in the post to you" said I, knowing that I'd found a bagfull when looking in vain for my small red-handled jewellery tools last week. I've just spent a happy hour looking in every cupboard, every box in my studio and can I find the plastic rings? Of course not!

But look what was staring me in the face when I opened the drawer in my worktable.

Now, what to look for so that I can stumble upon the plastic rings for Maggie?
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

An Extraordinary Evening

We knew when we booked tickets for last night's performance at Symphony Hall, that it was going to be memorable. But would it be memorably good or memorably bad?
The performance was of the classic silent film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolf Valentino as Julio Desnoyers. The CBSO provided the accompaniment - composed and conducted by Carl Davies. Symphony Hall was turned into a theatre, with the orchestra in a pit beneath the screen - this is such a versatile venue.

Only a few empty seats remained as the opening credits played, and from that moment on, we knew we were in for a real treat.

The passion, the drama, the surprising humour and the tragically sad ending; all were so beautifully conveyed by both film and music. Though it was a lengthy performance, it never palled and the quality of the remastered film was incredible.

The score was haunting and fitted the action so perfectly that from time to time it was easy to forget that there was a real, live orchestra there - until the final climax, when with all stops pulled out one could have no doubts that this was no recording.

So, did we see a film with live accompaniment, or did we hear an orchestral concert with a silent film showing? We felt we did both - and more. The atmosphere was electric, the acting simply amazing and the performance outstanding.

Oh, and did I mention how beautiful the leading lady Alice Terry was as Marguerite, remark on the mischief of Rudolph Valentino as he invited her to his studio and promised "to behave", with a wink, or comment on the anti-German sentiments throughout? Don't you agree, the handwritten captions are simply amazing? And I failed to mention Julio's pet monkey, who went with him to war wearing matching uniform, right down to his tin helmet. Oh, and that haunting close up shot of Marguerite's face - those silent movie star eyes and tortured expression, especially when she put on her Red Cross uniform...I could go on.

I think you might say, we enjoyed our evening!

And this, view from the balcony during the interval, is especially for Sue.


Friday, February 22, 2008

From where?

Just when I said I'm not a pack rat, I go following trails around the blogs I read and find quite a few entries about this creative writing project.

I am not a writer, preferring to express my creativity in colour and texture rather than words. But I did a short writing project with a very talented tutor last year and feel more confident to try these things out than I did.

I have found reading the many versions of this absolutely compelling and feel it's only fair to share mine in return. If you have a go yourself, perhaps you'd like to share, too? I was inspired by reading Terry's blog which led me to other blogs by Suze by Meggie, and Mary who credit Molly with the suggestion in the first place. I like the way that not everyone has felt compelled to stick to the straight line but take a more convoluted route in some cases.
Me, I can only follow instructions in such things, for the time being, anyway.

I am from a candlewick bedspread, from Omo, bedtime drinks made in a Horlicks Mixer with TT milk with a green top. From the Hull Daily Mail and the green Sports News on Saturdays.

I am from the terrace called an Avenue, small and cosy for three, and never thought about where Clovelly really was.

I am from the white rose, from bowls of hyacinths under the bed in November and pansies, brought home on our bikes from the place under the railway bridge.

I am from Hornsea on a Sunday and a new dress on a Friday, from you Ernie, and Popeye and Courtney.

I am from save it for best and do it gladly or don’t bother. From birds flit people remove.

From please be careful and don’t go on the road and from more than Soft Joe.

I am from St Johns, Newland, Brownies Church Parade, from Beverley Road and the Avenues and a quick swing in Pearson Park on the way to my Nan’s on a Saturday afternoon. From Janet and John and Enid Blyton, Noddy and Sooty and Sweep.

I'm from the East Riding, the flat fields of Holderness, the City of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire pudding and haddock and chips.

From staying up late to watch Z Cars, from instructions not to play on the bomb damage and get dirty and getting a smack from Mrs Dosser on account of my knitting.

I am from little bundles of old birthday cards, small treasures and everything I ever did kept in a drawer forever.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

A gift

On the day when British Gas announced a £571m profit it was kind of them to find the time to send us a small thank you gift, to help us with energy efficiency.

It's a bleeding key.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A rare event

A completed knitting project! I have finished a pair of socks for Mark - they were the Retro Rib pattern from Favourite Socks and my first pair following this pattern. He likes them and I find it a comforting knit - interesting enough but not too complex to chat at the same time! Yarn is Trekking XXL, bought in Boston.

I think the colours are yummy - and he does too (I think)

The scarf is my other mindless knit on the go. I'm not sure about this one. The Debbie Bliss yarn is possibly a little too uneven in thckness for the pattern, but I shall soldier on because again, I love the colour!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Help please?

I am trying really, really hard to post photographs to my 365 blog from my Nokia N95 phone. Blogger tells me it's possible, and I've read all the (limited) help files with no success.

I'd really appreciate any suggestions from someone who's been there, done that.

A bit later than everyone else

We work on a different timescale here and long after everyone else has read and raved about The Memory Keepers Daughter, it's the choice of my book group this week.
I find that I am resistant to the Richard and Judy* tide and far from encouraging me to read the titles with that sticker on the front, it actually puts me off. Can I be the only one who has no wish to be a packrat?
*I used the Wikipedia link to R & J because their own site is one of those annoying ones which won't let you go back. Not only that, the "bookclub" page is a sales site. I don't think they need my help in getting more business, do you?

Anyway, I spent much of yesterday engrossed in it and can only say if you haven't, you should.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

In the early morning garden

It's been a really chilly start to the day, a hard frost and our heating went on the blink yesterday. We were slow to get up as a result and as I dressed, I looked out of the window to see one of our fox friends taking a drink from the edge of the pond.

He teetered over the frozen surface until there was a sudden crack and in he fell! Poor thing had such a shock - that icy water must have made him jump! He scrabbled to the edge, leapt out and gave a hefty shake before running off.

What a wake up!

Our heating is now sorted - we'd been in Birmingham last night for a concert and when we got home, we thought it unusually chilly. For some reason the boiler had not fired up but fortunately my clever husband knew which knob to twiddle.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Home again

Though Brighton was fun, it wasn't quite like this.
It was more like this.

We enjoyed our stay, the Textile Treasures were great and received the same marvellous reception as previously. All in all, everything went according to plan.

The hotel wasn't that great, but let's move on.

It's good to be home, catch up on things and find time to read, knit and be creative.

I might even do some ironing later.

Life is getting back to normal.


Monday, February 04, 2008

We are in Brighton

We drove to Brighton yesterday, for a couple of relaxing days before I begin my Textile Treasures responsibilities again on Wednesday. We stopped for lunch in King Alfred's city of Winchester, which was fascinating if bitterly cold. I especially loved the
medieval tiles in the cathedral and took many, many photographs of them, of course. A guide was happy to chat about the memorial to Jane Austen and the magnificently reconstructed west window
and we were more than happy to stand and learn more.

We arrived at our
hotel in Brighton to find the heating in our room had broken, so we tried our best to keep warm with a fan heater and electric radiator. The wind whistled and the shutters rattled however...Brighton seafront in February is a bleak place, believe me.

We wrapped up and went for a walk to get our bearings before snuggling in for the night after dinner and a mojito or two.

This morning, we had blue sky so went out along the prom first thing. Not many people about but some great rusty railings!

This afternoon, we really enjoyed a visit to
The Royal Pavilion and had planned to take in the Art Gallery too - but sadly, it was closed for a refurb. Bad timing. Never mind. Lunch at Bills was fun though, and since the sun had shone for most of the day, we counted ourselves lucky and came back to face the toughest challenge of the day...where to eat dinner.