Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday 28th February

Eskdalemuir seen from afar

The day dawns, the lawn a silvered frost, the crows  in the copse assemble and chatter to each other, they will greet me later on with raucous noise when I go out to let the bantams out.
Next week is the carvery when a good part of the village assemble for a meal together.  Paul is trying to get a meeting together to address the problem of not having a chairman for our parish meeting.  A new arrival has offered to help and we are keen to get him to do the job.  But as the saying goes 'trying to herd kittens is an impossible job' a date cannot be arrived at.  Some people at the top end of the village do not talk to other people at the bottom! 

I wait in anticipation for the bed to be dug so that I can order plants, we also wait for a maybe visitor from Hawai, Chris, an old friend of Pauls' this weekend, the purveyor of Sake to London restaurants.

But as ever my mind has been ruminating (like a cow;) it has a lovely rolling sound ruminate).... see below

To get back to the subject, well it is about weaving, I have an Ashford Loom but it is large and warping is difficult in this house, though we do have a large table but it is always so full of stuff. what about  a small loom, 16 inches to be precise, just to play around with, all those coloured yarns I am thinking of doing, in other words just being creative.  There are many different looms on the market from  those great heavy looms down to little inkle ones, there are tapestry looms and Navajaro ones.  You can hold them with your foot or backstrap them.  Choice is difficult.

Tabor in comments mentions the header photograph, and my mind returns with ease to Eskdalemuir, I have never really explored Scotland much, the islands so vividly portrayed in the new Series of Shetland.  Eskdalemuir was fairly isolated a 15 mile journey to the nearest town, the landscape though was beautiful, except with one exception and that was the forestry plantations.  When the trees were cut they left the hills looking like trashed teeth it was an ugly sight.

I watch the artist that I had bought prints from on Facebook, as he creates more prints.  He recommended this blog, 'Working for Grouse'  An earlier essay is sad about the fate of curlews, who seem to be disappearing. I know that I did not hear any last year.  He blames it on predators, and I had a bit of a skirmish with Blanchard in emails about the killing of predators, and the hunting rights of landowners in Scotland!

to ruminate, or chew the cud if you are a goat!

think about, contemplateconsider, give thought to, give consideration to, mull over, meditate on, muse on, ponder on/over, deliberate about/on, cogitate about/on, dwell on, brood on/over, agonize over, worry about, chew over, puzzle over; 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday 27th February

Saddleworth Moor catches fire once more on the 26th February;

Whether you are a climate denier or not, the wildfire over Saddleworth Moor in West Yorkshire is pretty scary.  End of February, warmest day on record yesterday and we are having fires over the moor burning the dry heather, we did not have much rain in January, so what will the summer look like?

The news is covering it but this warm weather in February is rather worrying - forget Brexit ;) - our Earth is beginning to rebel against us.  Perhaps we should take notice and stop quibbling in schools about what our children should be doing in their lesson, one lesson is obviously Climate Change.

Am I the only one who’s terrified about the warm weather?

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday 25thJanuary

I do so love the skeletal aspect of winter trees

So foggy outside, this strange warm weather by day hits the cold of the night and we have fog.  Two police vans have just rushed by, so there is probably an accident somewhere.

Yesterday 'The Greenman' came to visit, okay he is a local gardener and looked at the job I want him to do.  Which is............... dig me out a bed by the church wall where the roses are, three feet wide, I should be able to plant lots of lavender and shasta daisies, and apparently he started 400 foxgloves last year so I have agreed to buy some. Quite exciting planning a new bed. The lavenders will be medium sized and hopefully the ones that smell strongly.  The person who came to coffee last week is also a gardener, and her son runs the warehourse for York Lavender a place I wasn't all that taken with but I will see what they have.

We have an old visitor to the garden, Jack the broken winged jackdaw, he hops around joining the bantams by their run and sunning himself on my cold frames. So another mouth to feed and protect.

There is talk of Third Energy (the fracking company) trying to take up their four licences in our area.  Now as we know they left Kirkby Misperton and took all their equipment away because the government did not think they were financially secure, especially as Barclays Bank had pulled out of backing them. So what is to be done? I know there is a landowners meeting at Castle Howard because one of our farmers is going.  It seems that no matter how much the people protest such things are forced through.

Fracking would presumably be much worse than the fact that the government is trying to get rid of wood burn stoves, probably succeeding in Scotland, all very strange ??

Here is a fracking song from the aging songsters of 'Seize the Day' at least its cheerful....

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday and the robin is singing outside my window as I write

Carn Meini
The weather is warm, the teachers are 'out' to protest about teaching our children about climate change - all is well with the world, not really.  Lucy is sleeping noisily at my feet.

First the funeral that was so well attended by so many people, all I can say about it was that it was very affirmative. We sang songs and listened to eulogies and poems, Gerry and the Pacemakers - You Will Never Walk alone; Westlife - You Raise Me up; and perhaps most poignant of all Eric Clapton - You look Wonderful Tonight.  Rod had organised his own funeral service and this was his tribute to his much loved wife.  I think above all that it wasn't sad and knowing that Rod is buried so very near, I shall learn to say good night to him when I go to shut the bantams up as it gets dark. He lies towards the back of the grave yard overlooking the sheep's field and the old gate down to the river.

To other things, we had an email from our American friends that released a spate of emails. D in North Western France, S in Cornwall, all about Stonehenge and the Preseli Hills, and the first thing that comes to mind is Pat telling us about that old man who had dedicated his life to a memorial to the death of  10 American servicemen in the park near him in Sheffield when he was eight years old.

It sparked the memory of fragments of another plane  that crashed on the Preseli Hills.  This time the RAF, here on a bleak Welsh mountain, there is still a reminder of the second world war.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday 20th February

There are teardrops running down the windows, yes it is raining and they come to dig the grave today for someone from the village for the funeral tomorrow.  When you live next to a church yard you become part of the backcloth to the events that happen.
We talked to the widow yesterday over the wall, she had come to sweep the church porch so that the sound of the rustling leaves would not be heard during the service.  She looked so tired, the events of death piling up around her but soon she will be free of the worry. We will have some of the attendees cars in our driveway as well.  Yet, do not forget, that it was a merciful release for her husband, who sadly got let down by the NHS.
Perhaps one should not give expression to other people's grief, but these are the ceremonies that we have to go through in life.......

But now to photos of the 'sad' colours I have been achieving, shall I light them up with the zingy colours of orange and turquoise, or that lime green which shouts at you, or continue my theme of a broad band of yellow tones.

Iron and Weld
second dipping

Some Japanese bark, sappanwood? purply-brown
Through all this I have dyed without cream of tartar, which softens the wool.... It will probably end up a crocheted blanket, when I have spun more wool.

We always invite people to come round at 10 0 clock to join us for coffee, well yesterday someone did;) And we chatted for a couple of hours with A who is looking after a friend's house (they have gone to Australia) in the village and their dog.  She is a gardener, and funnily enough had an email from J in Australia about the elderly women who had tripped on the kerbstone, funny how news has to go round the world to arrive back on your own doorstep!

Monday, February 18, 2019

News item

I republish Monbiot article - how do you value your life against the life of your grand children??

Why older people must stand in solidarity with the youth climate strikes.
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 15th February 2019

The Youth Strike 4 Climate gives me more hope than I have felt in 30 years of campaigning. Before this week, I believed it was all over. I thought, given the indifference and hostility of those who govern us, and the passivity of most of my generation, that climate breakdown and ecological collapse were inevitable. Now, for the first time in years, I think we can turn them around.
My generation and the generations that went before have failed you. We failed to grasp the basic premise of intergenerational justice: that you cannot apply discount rates to human life. In other words, the life of someone who has not been born will be of no less value than the life of someone who already exists. We have lived as if your lives had no importance, as if any resource we encountered was ours and ours alone to use as we wished, regardless of the impact on future generations. In doing so, we created a cannibal economy: we ate your future to satisfy our greed.
It is true that the people of my generation are not equally to blame. Broadly speaking, ours is a society of altruists governed by psychopaths. We have allowed a tiny number of phenomenally rich people, and the destructive politicians they fund, to trash our life support systems. While some carry more blame than others, our failure to challenge the oligarchs who are sacking the Earth and to overthrow their illegitimate power, is a collective failure. Together, we have bequeathed you a world that – without drastic and decisive action – may soon become uninhabitable.
Every day at home, we tell you that if you make a mess you should clear it up. We tell you that you should take responsibility for your own lives. But we have failed to apply these principles to ourselves. We walk away from the mess we have made, in the hope that you might clear it up.
Some of us did try. We sought to inspire our own generations to do what you are doing. But on the whole we were met with frowns and shrugs. For years, many people of my age denied there was a problem. They denied that climate breakdown was happening. They denied that extinction was happening. They denied that the world’s living systems were collapsing.
They denied all this because accepting it meant questioning everything they believed to be good. If the science was right, their car could not be right. If the science was right, their foreign holiday could not be right. Economic growth, rising consumption, the entire system they had been brought up to believe was right had to be wrong. It was easier to pretend that the science was wrong and their lives were right than to accept that the science was right and their lives were wrong.
A few years ago, something shifted. Instead of denying the science, I heard the same people say “OK, it’s real. But now it’s too late to do anything about it.” Between their denial and their despair, there was not one moment at which they said “It is real, so we must act.” Their despair was another form of denial; another way of persuading themselves that they could carry on as before. If there was no point in acting, they had no need to challenge their deepest beliefs. Because of the denial, the selfishness, the short-termism of my generation, this is now the last chance we have.
The disasters I feared my grandchildren would see in their old age are happening already: insect populations collapsing, mass extinction, wildfires, droughts, heat waves, floods. This is the world we have bequeathed to you. Yours is among the first of the unborn generations we failed to consider as our consumption rocketed.
But those of us who have long been engaged in this struggle will not abandon you. You have issued a challenge to which we must rise, and we will stand in solidarity with you. Though we are old and you are young, we will be led by you. We owe you that, at least.
By combining your determination and our experience, we can build a movement big enough to overthrow the life-denying system that has brought us to the brink of disaster – and beyond. Together, we must demand a different way, a life-giving system that defends the natural world on which we all depend. A system that honours you, our children, and values equally the lives of those who are not born. Together, we will build a movement that must – and will – become irresistible.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday - 17th February

Up early this morning as I made myself busy in the kitchen I watched the sun rise a warm red turning gently towards a lemon yellow and then disappearing into the low hanging grey cloud.   I had my dyepot out, I want soft 'saddened' colours, I just love that word sad to describe colours ;).  So for moss green, a soak in ferrous sulphate, or iron, and then Weld on the stove, the colour looks very sad! Dull greens, yellows and gold are what I am aiming for.  The next wool will be mordanted in the iron again and then turmeric chips.

There is a hint of the morning chorus in the air as the birds welcome this warmer weather, the blackbirds are the most vociferous, what a lovely noise to be greeted with.  The robin is normally the first tweeting away when he sees the kitchen lights go on.

A couple of days ago we had an 'accident' happen just outside the church wall, an elderly lady tripped over the kerb as she made her way to the church and hurt her face as she fell forward.  It is a dangerous blind bend and the kerbing has a double step.  I wrote an email on it all and it went round the village, hardly any answers, and I realise bureaucracy will also do little to help as well.  We have an impasse in the village, no Chairperson for the Parish Council meetings, which means we can't do anything until someone stands forward.  Our church has also given up services for the next two months, whether it is permanent or not I do not know, this is due mostly to lack of churchgoers but also because there is no churchwarden to carry out the business of services and functions. There is to be a funeral this week, we have offered our driveway for car parking, but it is a perennial problem this no parking spaces near the church.

This is something I read a few days back, it is by the late A.A.Gill, and is called a 'long read'.  Written in 2016 it is about Brexit.  You may not like it, myself I think it errs too much on the side of the 'remainers' but still.  Life should be a broad church.

Friday, February 15, 2019

15th February

So what happened yesterday?  We went out for lunch at our favourite pub restaurant, Ben the manager was there and he chatted for ages until more people came in.  He is interested in the life of our village though he lives elsewhere and told us a tragic tale of the person who had owned one of the houses many years ago.  Which I will not tell here but that is how stories are kept alive.
Though it is of no consequence both of us always go with 'first starters' for the main meal, and a bowl of chips and a salad.  I had garlic mushrooms, left half the bread so that I could have a pudding afterwards.
Then we stopped at Daisy's garden centre and I bough compost and she gave me a tour of the small vegetable and fruit store that has been opened at the back, very proud of this new venture, refrigeration to be brought in soon for meat, so we are not likely to starve!  The Co-op is also buying a piece of land from Kia and we are to have a much larger store than the one we have now.  You can keep your upmarket Waitroses and Sainsbury, down here the Co-op rules;)
Wednesday was Gardening club, a very good turnout but the speaker   (growing vegetables in a small garden) unfortunately he hardly jelled with the audience.  He comes from that (is it?) dying brand of people who 'show' their enormous onions and leeks in hope of a prize.  I think there was a collective sigh of unhappiness at the photo of a tableful of pesticides, herbicides, slug pellets and disinfectants for the soil.  I have even written about it but decided not to get cross today!
Things seem to be on the move in our town, the vets have bought another large piece of land and they are building a very large building.
Ben had mentioned that he had worked at the 'Penny Bank' cafe in Kirkby it still exists, although I think it is only used as a 'green repair shop'.  So intrigued by the name I have looked it up, especially at the moment as we see the demise of the bank in the high street.
Well it originally traded as the Yorkshire Bank, turning later in 1872 to the Yorkshire Penny  Bank. Do read that link it is a fascinating history of banks as they gobbled each other up - and now look where we are!!!

A solitary iris reticulata appears from original 6 bulbs

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Experiment ;) Click on Valentine's Day

If it works for you then Happy Valentine's Day x

Courtesy of Jacquie Lawson

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What the BBC does not show you

Climate Change

The polar bear video in Russia is perhaps a better video of what is happening, are these creatures starving as they rampage through the town?  But the above video is the beginnings of  another rebellion protest 'Extinction Rebellion' against a world that is too blind to understand that economic growth will be our undoing. 
The story of insect extinction will rollick through the news as well, let us see if our politicians have anything to say. As you may have gathered I love the natural world, the bees, especially bumble bee, moths and butterflies, the old dung beetle and those pretty 'frog hoppers' beetles, damselflies and dragon flies, even wasps they all have their place in nature, yet I am helpless to protect them.  As I cut down winter dead vegetation yesterday a ladybird stirred on the stem. the promise of spring breaking through the earth, waiting to happen what will it be like in 10 years?
How did we get here, a land that in the height of summer would have had insects buzzing around us in the heat?  Yesterday on the news were young people talking about how they were going to do something about it in the schools, there is an anger in the young in that we have brought the world to this state, that their future is at risk of starvation and catastrophic breakdown.
There are things in life you have to believe, London protests happen regularly the closing down of the bridges for this particular protest went part way towards its goal, the non-violent peaceful protest has a lot to say, except..............  it doesn't get to the politicians unfortunately and of course the news covers that B***** affair.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

How does a female define themselves?

Well Storm Eric has thrown rain at the windows, howled through the trees and whistled down the chimney all night.  Eric* for goodness sake, why not Thor, or Woden or even Lugh throwing their weathery anger at us....
I have been up early because of the storm, so watched the last of  The Victorian House of Arts and Craft,  enjoyable, and did not those poor modern craftsmen have to work hard over the four weeks.  Sometimes the article that won was not my choice and though I thought the weather vane beautiful, the silversmith knew her business, I was taken by the curtains designed for the drawing room, and the magazine was so authentic.
Also watched the programme featuring Angela Carter as well,  Winterson said something very revealing as well here.  It was to do with the 60s and not much good fiction coming from the era. Why not? well because the creativity was out on the street everywhere... think about it.
What do you make of the feminist movement? Angela Carter with all her four letter words, bold and dashing, but did she get anywhere?  Never read any of her books, they seemed vibrant splashes of fictional work, described almost like a painting.
Which brings me to another thing I have been listening to whilst making the coffee in the morning, Threads of Life - A History of the World through the eye of a needle Yesterday she talked of the 'Dinner Party' at the Brooklyn Museum

This takes a long read, again an expression of feminist angst, laid for 39 women, everything takes the shape of a vulva.  The place mats are exquisitely embroidered as well.....

The principal component of The Dinner Party is a massive ceremonial banquet arranged in the shape of an open triangle—a symbol of equality—measuring forty-eight feet on each side with a total of thirty-nine place settings. The “guests of honor” commemorated on the table are designated by means of intricately embroidered runners, each executed in a historically specific manner. Upon these are placed, for each setting, a gold ceramic chalice and utensils, a napkin with an embroidered edge, and a fourteen-inch china-painted plate with a central motif based on butterfly and vulvar forms. Each place setting is rendered in a style appropriate to the individual woman being honored.

Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, Boudicca and Elizabeth 1st are the British ones, as also is Bridget.

Anyway, the BBC occasionally does us proud in their more obscure programmes of past times and past people, and what a learning curve ;)what about Erik Bloodaxe?

* made a mistake there, actually called Erik, so 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday 8th February

Gloomy weather! but isn't it beautiful at the same time, the mist outlining the skeletal shapes of the trees?  This is the little copse at the back of the house, I love the graceful lines of the tree in the middle, think it is a larch.  Have always tried to capture the morning sun as the sun glows pink on the trunk.  Behind this little group of trees is the bank containing the river and for the first time looking out of Paul's study I noticed how high the water was. due to flooding, and so near to the garden.  Walking down to the bridge later on and the river had widened itself over the banks at least 8 foot higher, it must have been due to the rain overnight.
Yesterday Yodel arrived with a small bookcase from Cornwall, it is to sit on top of a cupboard in the kitchen, doesn't match of course, eclectic comes to mind, but I am happy with it, it gives a sense of homeliness to the kitchen with its jumbled array of tea cups.
Paul found his great gran's teaset out and I noticed it has scenes of a Chinese nature, did that spark his one great adventure in life of going off to Japan I wondered,  to live and work?
And a happy birthday wish to my eldest grandson, Tom, who was 25 years old yesterday.  ;) ;)

second from left

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

"Trying to find the sunshine in my later years of life" McCullin

It is almost springlike, the dawn chorus almost there, but it is probably a false dawn for spring. Yesterday a friend called in to tell us about a rescue dog she had been offered. I have lived through three years of C wanting a dog, not sure about it, perhaps it would be best not to have a dog, etc  My advice is go for it and hang the consequences and take on another of life strays!  Though it is not exactly a stray, rather a young long-haired dachshund who doesn't get on with a newly arrived baby.
Thoughts buzz through my mind, watched Don McCullins the photo-journalist, don't cry over this video on war, you have the freedom not to watch it. On TV last night he was photographing the funnier aspects of life in our seaside towns, and Glynbourne, whilst also going back to his London birthplace, some of his photos on poverty in the 1960s makes you wince with the sheer brutality of being poor.  Now in his eighties he makes new forays into the eccentricities of the English race ;)
Have we changed? Poverty in a different disguise still exists, the North-East is being sold out once more by the conservative party but then are not diesel fueled cars unacceptable, at least we still have the £60 million pounds, to be paid to Nissan, intact.

Wayland's Smithy long barrow in Autumn a very peaceful place.

But the masons leave
for the lime-pits of time, with flowers, chaff, ashes,
Their plans are spattered with blood, lost,
And the golden plumb-line of sun says; the world is leaning,
Bedded in a base where the fingers
Of ancient waters touch the foundation.
But feel the walls; the glow stays on your hands.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Monday 4th February

Monday, monday today, that brings to mind The Mamas and Papas ;).  Watching Lucy Worsley on 'America History's biggest Fibs' was the catalyst.  Surely Worsley with her 'little girl' image does not seem the right historian but there again she is Joint Chief Curator of the Royal Historic Palaces, she is a blue-stocking and much favoured on tv as a presenter. Anyway she dances her way through America draped in the colours of the flag, and it is interesting and informative programme.
Little girlism? A Xmas book, was a Japanese book of very simple things to make, it even has the patterns at the back

Look at those poses, meek, submissive, a broken doll? Well definitely not like the strident female politicians that occupy Parliament at the moment, but I know which model I prefer, even if they are strident.... And when you look at the patterns one can easily make them into more grown-up clothes, especially tunics.
There is a cult in Japan of little 'girlism' all cute and childish, I don't approve to be honest basically because it lives on the edge of porn or paedophilia's, but there again freedom of dress and speech? how difficult it is to live in this New World......

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saturday the 2nd February

Apple blossom, so clear and white is what I select today.  Sad news in an email this morning a villager has died in the local hospice yesterday, his widow and son must be devastated. He will be buried in the church yard next door, a fireman in earlier life, his wife makes curtains of exact detail, the hems matching up immaculately.
Yesterday was also Imbolc, the time of lambs and the growing of grass, though in reality, Britain was caught up in snowstorms that brought havoc on the roads.
Then there is that Polar Vortex in America, so cold, and unexpected I wonder?
Natural events we have no way of controlling death and weather.  Should we fear such things, that is for the individual to come to terms with, but in both there will be signs of beauty.
The snow flurries round here, can't open the door to the bantams run, except by running a kettle of boiling water over it.  Went a long walk in the week, when the sun shone and the wind was still, the fields covered in a fine powdering of snow, the barn owl a grubby cream as he slowly flew ahead of me.  Lucy close to heel, for the biscuits in my pocket, the river dancing over the stones.

And a blessing by Caitlin Matthews, for Imbolc is caught up with St.Brighid and Eternal Fire.  Of course you all knew that St.Brighid was taken up by the Catholic Church but I prefer the pagan version;)

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.
Mother of our mothers,
Foremothers strong,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth,
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.
The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance,
from heartlessness,
This day and night,
From dawn till dark,
From dark till dawn.
– Blessing for Hearth-Keepers
by Caitlin Matthews