fresh air and exercise...
in which we grovel about in the undergrowth and breath in the autumn air…
Ha! Who imagined I’d make it three weeks in a row?
Anyway, how are you all doing? Lots of stitchiness? Is everybody ok?
My week seems to have been largely spent outdoors. I finally managed to dodge showers and get into the garden. Inevitably I filled the green wheelie bin with weeds and dead stuff and you could hardly tell I’d done anything. Then the OH mowed the lawn and suddenly it looked good enough for Open Gardens… (slight exaggeration perhaps).
I’ve also spent much of the week grovelling in the undergrowth with dog lead (attached to dog) in one hand and phone in the other, trying to photograph interesting mushrooms for the blacksmithing daughter who is doing a project. Entertaining in itself, but enhanced I feel sure by the impromptu comedy routine that usually accompanies my attempts to get up again. Who knew that middle-aged knees could be so sneaky.
this week in the lane…almost…
* The sloes are not in the lane. There are none there this year, but these beauties were over at Sharpenhoe.
walking round a hillfort
At the weekend, the OH and I decided to walk up Sharpenhoe Clappers - brilliant name don’t you think?
It’s an Iron Age promontory hillfort at the northern edge of the Chilterns. I’ve driven past loads of time, but hadn’t realised you could walk around. Anyway, off we went and spent a couple of hours admiring the views across Bedfordshire and enjoying the beech woodland just before it turns to autumn glory.
The history of this place goes right back to the Iron Age, and it’s easy to understand why the elevated position on top of the spur would have been attractive as a defensive site and potentially a place of high status (as Time Team would have said). But the name Clappers apparently dates from the medieval period and relates to the use of the same area as a warren, a place where rabbits were farmed for meat and fur, not as this bellringer thought anything at all to do with bells…ahem…
news from the stitching sofa
Well, the bad and indeed sad news, is that I am now certain that it was the hessian that was aggravating the asthma. I gave it a really good go, but for some reason, no sooner did I pick it up and start stitching, my poor lungs would react and I’d be fighting for breath. So for now at least I’m going to have to admit defeat with it.
Instead, I have set myself up a small piece to work in needlepoint on scrim with some sections of chiffon and angelina fibres. This is really just because I was enjoying the rhythm of the needlepoint so much I wasn’t ready to stop. I’m not sure it’s actually going anywhere, but we’ll see. Sadly however, using the scrim means that I can’t stitch with the thicker threads that I’d been enjoying.
And then I decided to set up another piece, this time using scrim as the base, but with the intention of couching instead of needlepoint. This should enable me to use most of the thicker threads, albeit in a rather different way. You can see some of the sari silk and wools in the picture below. I haven’t done much couching for a while and I’d forgotten how versatile it can be. I have a mind to fill the whole canvas with thread, I wonder, will it work? No idea, but at least I can breathe while I’m doing it.
I was thrilled by Hanna Varga’s new hashtag which she launched this week on Instagram and Twitter #yourdailyleaf - so if you follow me on either of those platforms you’ll no doubt see more leaves! Do join in if it grabs your fancy too. For years now my daily walk with the Delinquent Dog has been an opportunity to take a close look at what’s happening around me in nature and to notice the small trifles that go by. It’s really quite a meditation. Which is why I’m so keen on this hashtag - it’s simple and yet it directs you to seek. I really like that.
Until next week chaps.