Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday 20th July

What do I wake up to first thing this morning, Trump is a candidate for president, I switch the radio off in disgust - How can you do it America??  There is his wife cribbing Michelle Obama's speech and the whole distasteful band wagon is off gleefully eyeing up the presidency.
Well there is a few thousand miles between us and though he has graced the shores of Scotland doubt if Theresa May will have much to do with him.
Hot weather for two days and the tractors have whizzed up and down bringing the hay in, it is round baled, but there is also small square baling going on across the road, as Jo and David cut their small field hay for Charlie's feed this coming winter.  Charlie is the pony that pulls Jo and friend around the countryside in a small trap, that was the field I had my eye on unfortunately.
We have sat out in the garden to late evening watching the swallows wheel overhead, the birds have been incredibly noisy during this hot weather.  The thrush joins us as well spreading her wings to catch the sun.
Yesterday there was a man cleaning a gravestone yesterday evening, it belonged to his wife, and this coming Saturday his daughter will be married in the church, there are only two weddings booked in though.  There is something sad but uplifting that the mother who lies near the church door will be part of her daughter's ceremony on Saturday.  

the river fields are now mown

mown but not gathered

'Jam  and Jerusalem' rose. too bright and bumptious

my favourite plant, the lemon lily at the moment

this is a loom to make straw string, I suppose for tatami rugs and also straw shoes.


  1. I have to go on record as an American who is thoroughly disgusted and dismayed with the choices before us in the current election. A manipulative career politician and an ignorant loud-mouthed buffoon!
    I think many people who consistently vote in the final presidential election don't usually vote in the primaries--and those who did this time were easily swayed by the Trumpian rhetoric.
    It is interesting that most heads of state have their 'speeches' scripted for them--a little helper has now confessed to inserting the lines from Ms. Obama into Ms. Trump's pretty spiel. Arrrgh! I wish I could be strong-minded enough to stop reading the news.
    I like the spill of nasturtiums at the edge of your planting--better to concentrate on the scent of freshly mown hay and whatever blossoms in the garden--so much ugliness and pettiness which is beyond our control.

    1. Hi Sharon, we are all victims of our politicians, perhaps I should not have been so cross, I just can't understand such an idiot as Trump getting so far. I know many Americans would not give him house room but the people who vote for him will be pretty miserable if he gets office.
      The nasturtiums are on the front verge, alongside the campanula and foxgloves, people have commented on them as they make their way to the pub, I love the shock of their bright colours.

  2. Most intriguing your blog for I have seen straw ropes made though never with an article the like of which is on your table. So are you able to demonstrate exactly how it is used ?

    1. Hi Heron, perhaps I could answer on Thelma’s behalf.

      It’s a very simple loom that I picked up in a Japanese village bric-a-brac shop some forty-odd years ago. The top of the straw (rope) warp is attached to an overhead beam (or something) and then passes through the holes in the loom (which would be positioned at sitting height). You can see one set of holes quite clearly in Thelma's pic but there is also an identical set of holes bored into the rectangular cuts.

      If you imagine the loom in the position of Thelma’s pic (with all the warp ropes parallel to each other) that is the start point. If you then take hold of the wooden handle and tilt it towards you a gap will appear between each alternative warp. The weft (straw rope again) is then passed through the open warp and knocked down with a wooden mallet (maybe Thelma can take a pic of the mallet as well sometime). The process is exactly the same as a horizontal loom but this one is just positioned vertically.

      The final product was a durable straw mat that was once common in cottages and farmhouses in the countryside – unlike the more delicate tatami mats found in Japanese towns and cites. We have a lot of fun with our loom – asking visitors to try and guess what it was used for :-)

    2. Well strangely enough I could not find the equivalent loom on the net, I have a table loom completely different and dependent on the tautness of the warp for weaving. Straw must have been the devil to weave with.