Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What do Grandmothers leave behind?

Well, mine left me a wealth of things,

her novels, published in the thirties and fifties

Howard Rowe at the far left, was my great grandfather - Nanya's Husband.
The six novels to his left are by his daughter, my grandmother

and strange little ditties like this

Wiggle Waggle Man

There was a little man
And he dressed all in brown
He raced and he ran,
Right round the town

Catch me if you can
            Said the Wiggle Waggle Man

Up came all the people
Chased him round the town
Chased him to the steeple
There he laid him down

When they came up roaring
The little man was … snoring!
He winked a bright blue eye
And jumped into the sky

Catch me if you can
            Said the Wiggle Waggle Man

It would be recited, by her, later by Mum, with the greatest of glee and the most sparkling blue eyes.

One suspects the glee is of Irish origin and comes from

I have no idea where Wiggle Waggle Man comes from - it might be an "Irish'ism" - there were a number of them.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

And the stitches

The sky has become almost an exploded bargello pattern, as I've been trying to capture that shimmering quality it gets sometimes

There are little hesitant clouds of wear in the denim sky

french knot woodlands bordering the fields -

and a hedgerow that will extend into the borders once they're attached

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Thought you should see the back

This always looks so tentative, as though the stitches were slipping away by themselves.
The piece is a mish mash of textiles - a corner of my old gardening jacket - I couldn't bear to throw away the soft worn corduroy; a piece of my daughters old jeans, cut up to patch newer ones that fit and the offcuts from a skirt of my Mums - the dark green bit on the front that defines the hedgerow. She wore it when pregnant with me, I found the trimmings when sorting through her stuff after her death - a sad and ongoing process, like domestic archaeology.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Meanwhile the little landscape grows

I am having SUCH fun with this!

Garden pleasures

as our move approaches I've been thinking about what I will miss from this garden. Obviously many plants can be replaced once we have moved, it is rather the spirit of the garden that I will miss

The flow of sunlight casting its magic in the mornings

The cherry tree in spring - petals so soft you just have to bury your face in them

The maple, a tiny supermarket bargain that has given immense delight with its snaky green branches, light catching leaves unfurling in spring and autumn richness

sheela na gig being coy

Summer and Autumn's bounty

Cats up the cordyline

Sitting in the ponder spot, surrounded by herbs and roses, with all the fluttering of life busying itself around me

Wol in his corner
And the little water boy forever gazing across the garden ...
to his lady love beneath the trees
All these little dynamics and special spots will be left with some sadness, each inhabitant will have to find a new space to be in, but we too will have a new place to work with, a fresh spirit to discover. It is an adventure to relish.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Patterns in the landscape

My good man and I have been lucky enough to have two short holidays recently, one to Norfolk, where he was born, and one to the Lake District. We both enjoy walking and visiting gardens and interesting places and I always take my camera. One of the things I am constantly watching is the richness and variety of pattern around us, do we but take the time to look for long enough.
These are just some of the things that drew my eye. Some are from the wonderful garden at East Ruston Old Vicarage, which was an inspiration, others are taken around the Langdale Pikes

Virginia creeper, texture on texture

in the sunken garden at East Ruston

Shingles and sky

The beauty of old brickwork

Lightfall in Bury Cathedral

Stone and Iron

rhythm and light

Such soft curves

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

stitching Norfolk furrows

this little panel is coming along quite nicely.

It's just an experiment, inspired by a brief view of a landscape in Norfolk, which I managed to hold in my head until we got back to the hotel and I could get my sketchbook out. I've never done anything quite like this before, so it's all rather inspiring. Just playing really.

As I was stitching I realised there was a great glowing in the garden, radiating off the brick walls of the houses at the end. I went to the front of the house to find this wonderful sky. What beauty there is in this world.

Tomorrow I'm going here which could be very dangerous. Perhaps I should leave my debit card at home and only take cash!!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hastings Pier Deja Vu

Our dear old pier has been struck down, set fire too at around 1am this morning. It has made national news as seen on the BBC News and in the Daily Mail's excellent article, which also details those greats, for example the Rolling Stones and Hendrix, who played there in the past.
The Pier was also badly damaged by fire in 1917
As from today it has once more gone from being the beautiful backdrop to our seafront life

 To this

The seafront was cordoned off and the town, even by lunchtime, was still clothed in a haze of smoke. A great sadness which had a number of townsfolk, even in foul weather, standing by stunned or snapping photographs in the streaming wind and driving rain. It was THE subject of conversation in town center businesses. Everyone who mentioned it to me today had been to some kind of concert or event there, or knew someone who had.

For a bit of historical background, try here and here for a view of it in its glory days.