Monday, November 11, 2013

Critters and Procrastination

I haven't been sewing or quilting much since England and summer. In fact, I've been so bad I'd need a map at this stage to find my way to my sewing room. Which is not good. There's a lot I should be doing in there. I should be working on little grand daughter's quilt, if nothing else. Last thing I sewed was a doll's dress. Here's the doll wearing it....

Her other grandparents live on a farm with chickens and pigs, guinea fowl and sheep, geese and goslings, so it seemed logical that her quilt should tie in with that since she and her big brother are there a lot and love all the critters..

 And so The Little Red Hen quilt was born. Or maybe I should say conceived. Since the actual birth is turning into quite a long labor. One of love, it goes without saying, but protracted nonetheless. The contractions seem to have stopped. Pass the ptocin. Move that part of my anatomy upon which I sit.

So, you may ask, what is the problem? The problem, though I don't think of it as a problem really because I love it, is the writing. The scribbling, the editing, the follow up to Julia Cameron's first book which our library group has now embarked on, as well as the smaller group meetings, all these things can be grouped under The Writing. And as far as sewing is concerned The Writing seems to be the villain.

A start had been made, pre-England. Hope ran high that I would take it along, but alas! The part upon which I sit does not move with that kind of speed. In case you suspect me of prevarication, observe...

These here critters will scratch and dig, snort and quack their way around the outer edges of the quilt while the inner part will (eventually) fill up with pinwheels.

At least that's the plan. Anybody got a stick of dynamite?

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Miss Muffet Falls in Love

Bygone days by Nick.Coombs
Bygone days, a photo by Nick.Coombs on Flickr.

Looks like my cheering section's down to a few die hards, those who can deal with the randomness, and the frequent total absence of a blogger on these pages! One of these stalwarts is Isabelle. I was catching up on her blog last night....(I've been very baaad....had to go back quite a ways)...and came upon a post about the Yorkshire Tea Song, complete with video. It was brilliant! I became a Yorkshire tea addict this past August when I visited the OC in England, toppling my former favorite, Barry's, right off its pedestal. I even cautioned the OC when he made reservations to come home in October, that if he didn't bring a very large box of Yorkshire tea with him, he might want to make other plans. It's important to get the priorities straight.

"Hovis - for Grandma too!" - advert issued 1923, illustrated by Rowles by mikeyashworth

The Yorkshire Tea Song reminded me of the Hovis bread advert from back in the last century (I love saying that! It makes the Bean roll his eyes. Silly old lady, thinks she's funny!) Anyone else that ancient remember it?

"Little Miss Muffett sat on her tuffett as busy as busy could be,
When along came a seaman, a stout hearted seaman, who asked her to join him for tea.
But Miss Muffet said "No!" to this bold mattillot, until he produced some Hovis.
So naturally nice, such a wonderful slice! At last she's found out what true love is.
Now Little Miss Muffett's no longer Miss Muffett as she's driven away in a carrriage,
As wedding bells sound, in Hovis they found the perfect beginning to marriage!"

 "Hovis - for Grandma too!" - advert issued 1923, illustrated by Rowles, a photo by mikeyashworth on Flickr.

It must have been a radio commercial back in my teens. It just came flowing out of me like a river, no google , no pen chewing, no wrinkled brow or straining brain. It came like a torrent. Now, why can't I store important things in the part of my brain that so lucidly and cleverly stores rubbish --- with apologies to the brilliant Hovis advert creators.

The memory is an amazing organ, even mine, which those who know me acknowledge is tottering towards oblivion. When the OC calls each evening and asks what I did today the memory routinely fails.

"What did I do today?" I cast about for morsels of memory....

Surely I did something, other than drink tea and pull wool out of my navel? Meanwhile, he's waiting, and breathing. He's not a patient man so I've told him it helps to b_r_e_a_t_h_e  while he's waiting for my memory to kick in. Often, after an especially lame attempt, I'll hang up the phone and then, too late, as Christy Brown said, the full list of my day's accomplishments comes into focus. International calls to cell phones are too expensive so I don't call him back but make a mental note to wow him belatedly with my industry, on the morrow. Unfortunately, on the morrow it'll all have gone south --- again! And so, round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal runs.

I cannot remember what I did a few hours ago.

But inconsequential ditties from long ago?

No problem! I'll even sing them for you!

One of my recent reads was The Humans by Matt Haig. I loved it! He has so many hilarious observations about humans, English humans in particular.

And yes, I wrote them down. It would be folly to depend on my memory. Here's one:

"I was drinking a cup of tea. The tea seemed to be making things better. It was a hot drink made of leaves, used in times of crisis as a means of restoring normality." (This from an alien who's been sent to earth to inhabit the body of a professor at Cambridge University. Read it yourself. You'll love it!)

 Everyone knows that about tea, right? A nice cup of tea has restorative powers pharmaceutical companies can only dream of. But I hadn't heard it articulated quite like this before and it made me laugh.  I would have posted this several hours ago but I ran into a snag.

I  remembered I'd written the quote down, in one of my notebooks.

 What I couldn't remember was which notebook? They are legion. I can rarely go to Target or Staples without buying another one 'cause you never know when you're going to run out of notebooks. And what, in that unlikely event, would I do then? Thwarted, I went to the library. The Humans was on the shelf and I found my quote.

When the OC called tonight and asked the predictable question, I debated. Should I tell him I spent a large part of the day hunting for something I wrote somewhere then lost? And then more time searching for it at the library? Yeah. You're right. Better to tell him about the bills I paid, the laundry I washed, the vacuuming I did, the weeds I pulled, the grocery shopping. And leave
 him in the dark about the writing, the reading, the blogging, the left-over snickers bars, the nattering and the tea drinking. (Yes, he did bring a big box.).

 I was in luck. He was too excited about Glasgow (though he doesn't understand the language, which is certainly not English, he claims) and the Hebrides and Whiskey distilleries, to have more than a cursory interest in "what I did today."

Next time I go to England I'll be on a mission to rediscover Hovis, that "wonderful slice!" I might even "find out what true love is, and be driven away in a carriage" to a sweet little cottage where I'll live 'til I die, eating Hovis every day, washing  it down with Yorkshire tea and finishing all my quilts. But, based on weather reports from Isabelle, I'd more likely freeze to death in the first few hours.

One sugar or two?