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Journal

Posts tagged spring
Officially Spring...phew!
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officially spring

...phew!

So here we are - spring has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere! Not a moment too soon for me!. What a thoroughly drab winter that was and to go out on a snowy blizzard - what an exit…(and it better had be the end, that’s all I’m saying…).

On Tuesday I scoured the lane for any signs of spring and was rewarded with one brave little celandine. Oh, it made me incredibly happy. I looked back at the photos I took on the same date last year and discovered that the banks of the lane were yellow and green with celandines in full bloom. Proof indeed that we’re well behind this year.

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But then we were treated to a couple of days of sunshine (although not a lot of warmth) and at last, the magic of spring has begun to reach us.

On Thursday, as we were leaving the wood, a heron flew overhead making it’s wonderfully primaeval call. There’s a heronry close to where we park our car and people travel for miles to come and watch them on their nests, but I’ve found that the herons regularly fly over us on their way I suppose to the canal, so we are treated to a private view.

On one memorable morning last year, we were overflown by a group of five herons, I’d heard the noise and initially assumed they were gulls, only to look again and realise they were in fact herons. It’s moments like that which really take my breath away, even now as I think about it I feel a little awe-inspired.  I’m so fortunate to have the time to spend outdoors every day. You can’t buy an experience like that.

On days when I’m struggling to find colour in the lane, I’ve discovered that it helps to look closer, to get down amongst the leaves or peer deeper into the hedge. And this week it was the mini-gardens of moss growing on a decaying tree-stump that amazed me. Such fascinating plants, tiny but with wonderful shapes, colours and textures. I don’t know the names of any of these little beauties and I feel a touch guilty about that.

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Then, finally, on Friday we found the first leaves beginning to unfurl on the elder trees. Elder, the tree of regeneration and wisdom according to Glennie Kindred. It certainly inspires me with joy when I see the first hints of green returning to the hedgerow trees.


In other news

  • Thank you so much to everyone who’s been in touch with ideas, thoughts and suggestions about a Contemplative Stitch workshop - you’ve helped me enormously. I think I’ve got some ideas now and I’m going to spend a while developing my thoughts. If there’s something you’d like to add to the melting pot, please get in touch. All input is very welcome.
  • On Monday we hung the new spring exhibition at The Workhouse, Dunstable. Lovely to meet such talented artists bringing their work to show and to sell. It’s an open exhibition this time, no actual theme, but many people seem to have brought along very springlike artwork, which is giving the gallery a fresh boost. Do call in if you’re in the area.
  • I’ve started a new piece of stitching. (No pictures yet - not deliberate, just a lack of time and light!)
  • I’ve just added a page to the Spellbook for Stokesay Castle, Shropshire. (Click here if you want to see it). As I mentioned once before, I’m not really a sketchbook keeper and I intend to use the Spellbook as a place where I can stash words and images that inspire me, that was really one of my reasons for creating this space. I’m still working on how I’m going to do that. Sometimes there are more words than pictures, other times it’s all about the images. Often I’m not really sure what I want to show or say - it’s a feeling of scribbling in the margins, but I want to capture a feeling or an atmosphere. Anyway, my intention is to gradually add to those pages. They’re currently grouped under hedgerow and places in the menu for ease of finding.
     
  • Stokesay Castle is a perfect example of a fortified manor house, built during the reign of Edward I and largely unaltered since. Which makes the history-junkie in me deliriously happy.
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  • And last week, I read on impulse a book by Gretchen Rubin (the author of ‘The Happiness Project’) called ‘Better than Before’. It popped up on my Kindle suggestions and something made me buy it. I’m really pleased that I did because it was one of those ‘light-bulb’ reads. It’s all about the power of habits and how to adopt them. I particularly appreciated the way she characterises people according to certain traits - this made so much sense to me and it was a relief in some ways to feel understood. Anyway, I have a theory that sometimes we find the right book at the right moment. It may not be of any interest to you right now, but it certainly was for me.

Until next time…

Happy stitching!

Anny x

Hello Spring?
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Hello Spring?

Greetings from a very snowy Beds/Bucks border, on what some people are calling the first day of spring...

Spring or not, you'd have to say it's doing a very good impression of winter - and I promise I will never use the adjective Siberian again to describe anything just a bit chilly, turns out the winds from Siberia are piercingly sharp, brutal in every way.

So, enough of the weather. What else has been going on?

Honestly? It's all been typically February here. It's our month when everything seems to happen within the space of a couple of weeks (which repeats in June for some reason) - do you have times like this? We have a succession of family birthdays, school holidays and reunion get-togethers, to which this year have been added university visits and catching up with various friends dotted about the country.

Almost all of it absolutely lovely, but at the same time both exhausting and totally disruptive.

When I get home I'm always disappointed to discover that the laundy-elves failed to come in and put the washing machine on or clear the ironing pile. And their colleagues, the house-elves are no better, how hard would it be for them to whip the hoover round, I ask you?

So yes, it's quite likely that I'm turning into some sort of grumpy-drawers. I've never been much good at creating a routine, much less sticking to it, but then as soon as what passes for a routine around here gets disrupted, I end up all over the place.

Still, it's now March and therefore things will naturally improve enormously...


There has been stitchiness in February - Excalibur made it to The Workhouse (by the skin of it's teeth - don't ask) - although I cut things so fine I failed to take any good photos of the framed item - you'll have to imagine it...or if I'm super-organized I'll remember to take photos next time I'm at the gallery.

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Excalibur.

It's really not as wonky as it looks here!

If you're anywhere near Dunstable, Bedfordshire, it's at The Workhouse Gallery until March 17th - or until someone decides to give it a new home.

And I've started another piece, as yet untitled. I've been putting a few 'work-in-progress' photos on Instagram and Twitter when the light is good enough (ahem). And this week I also signed up for an account on Vero (I'm Anny - Dreaming In Stitches if you want to find me there).

I'd really like to see Vero work, it would do Instagram good to have some serious competition, but so far it's extremely glitchy and I can understand many people giving it up quite quickly. We'll see how that fares, but if it worked, it would be a lovely way to share quick updates.


Out in the lane - when it isn't under inches of snow - there's very little sign of spring to report. A few green leaves pushing up, catkins on the hazels, birds being noisy and busy, but other than that, zilch. I wonder if, once the snow thaws there'll be a transformation? Daft though it may sound, once spring does arrive the first sign is more a feeling of energy than a particular flower or bud. I've walked the lane in previous years and simply become aware of a new sense of potential and I couldn't begin to say where that comes from, it just does.

What are you looking forward to when spring returns? What does spring mean to you? I'd love to know. It's never really been my favourite season, but perhaps after this winter I'm going to appreciate it much more. What about you?

I'll leave you for now with a few more 'spring' photos...enjoy! (And happy stitching) x