No photos with this post, sorry. Just a catch-up . . .

Hello everyone; I’m quite frustrated with trying to use a tablet that’s a combination of touchscreen and keyboard. It’s a great idea, but the technology sure needs a lot of work.

Anyway, I thought I’d touch base here, at least, as it’s been so long since I posted. Uploading photos is very challenging, so I finally decided to just write and to post photos once I’m back in BC and can use the laptop.

This trip has been pretty amazing, although I’ve done little in the way of ‘touristy’ things. Instead, I opted to save up and visit Norway for three weeks. Definitely worth it, as I was able to stand in front of the house where my Mum’s grandfather was born and spent a couple of nights in a bed and breakfast that was the old Priest’s House at that time. He was likely baptized there, as the church burnt down the year before he was born.

In August I moved north from Surrey to a room in Heaton (part of Bradford, Yorkshire) and have been quite happy there ever since. The woman who manages the renting of rooms loves to cook the way I do (meaning that we use recipes as general suggestions and then just ‘wing it’ ) so we take turns cooking and share the meals. We both like spicy middle Eastern flavours, too, so there is often a lot of that going on. I’ll be sharing some of the ‘recipes’ I’ve concocted and some of Karen’s, too, later on. And I’ve adapted a vegan recipe for almond flour chocolate fudgy brownies that are possibly the best I’ve ever made. And a frittata and a couple of varieties of houmous, too.

Just a few days after I arrived here, Karen loaned me a tent and sleeping  bag and one of the owners of the house loaned me a sleeping mat and an emergency blanket (just in case) and I returned to Scotland to see Runrig for the first and last times. Yes, I said ‘times’!! I had a standing/camping ticket that included a campsite and free entry to a Ceilidh on the Friday night plus entry to the last-ever concert on the Saturday night.

My camping neighbours helped me figure out how to set up the tent (no time or space for a trial run beforehand) and then we helped other campers and made new friends as we did so. Then one of their friends came along and they brought him over to meet me. Colin had an extra ticket for the Friday night that he said someone had given him and he was looking to give it away. So yes, he gave it to me!! I gave him a donation for a cancer charity he supports, as I didn’t feel right about having a ticket for free when others had paid so much to be there. And it was worth every minute! So I missed the Ceilidh, which I heard was fabulous, but I got to see Runrig twice!! Something that’s been on my ‘bucket list’ since I first heard them perform on youtube.

The final concert was exactly eleven years previous, to the day, and I’m happy to say that while it did rain a bit, it was nothing like 2007, when it rained all day the day before, all night and then through the day of the concert. People were up to their ankles in mud, although no one left . . .

Anyway, it was all my heart desired it to be. I took photos on the first night with both my ancient iphone (4S, I think, and now they are up to 10 or 12 or something like that); the second night I couldn’t find the iphone, so only used the camera. I found the phone on Sunday when I was packing up, though, luckily for me.

I mention this because at the end of September, I went to Yarndale in Skipton, Yorkshire. I took plenty of photos the first day with the same camera. On Sunday, as I was sitting on the train heading back again, I was trying to reset the time so it would be accurate. I have no idea what I did wrong, but suddenly  the camera ‘ate’ all the photos on it; over three thousand! Shocking, at the time, as I’m sure you will understand. I had copied some of my photos onto a data stick (the terabyte sized external drive that I brought with me for storage worked perfectly in BC with the laptop, but refuses to talk to the tablet. So I bought a data stick. Downloading three days worth of photos took me nearly ten hours, tying up both the device and the tablet for that time, so I’d been putting off downloading more. Lesson learned, I tell you!

Now at first I was a bit down, to say the least, but then I heard that our friend Wendy’s grand-daughter had passed away and that’s a real loss. I have not felt down about my photos since. I figure that I have my memories and also whatever is on the iphone and that is more than I ever expected to have in this life, so I’m not going to be whinging on about losing my photos. I have felt quite wary ever since, though.

Well, Yarndale, too, was more than I’d hoped for. I met a couple of the bloggers I follow and that was a huge thrill for me. Christine from Winwick Mum and Lucy from Attic 24. Both were beyond kind and took time to chat a bit. I was lucky to meet them at the end of the second day, when the crowds had thinned out. Lucy invited me to attend some of the coffee and handwork meetings that occur at Cooper’s Cafe in Skipton and I will be doing that during the first two weeks of November.

I will post about some of the exhibitors I met (and a couple more bloggers, too) once I’m back in BC. I was very much looking forward to meeting the folks from River Knits UK, but although I visited the booths beside them and across from them, somehow I missed them. I was quite disappointed about that. They are a small family that hand dyes British wool yarns and until recently lived on a narrowboat. Now they have a house and the narrowboat has become the dye studio. I’ve been following them on Instagram for a while and wanted especially to see a couple of delicious-looking green yarns.

I’m having a hard time believing that it’s mid-October already and that I have just over three weeks left of this amazing adventure! I will have been here six months less a day when I get back. It hasn’t always been easy and there was a long list of things I’d hoped to do that didn’t materialize, but that’s because I chose to do the things that mattered most to me, which certainly included the time in Norway with my cousin and on the island of Leka (where my great-grandfather and one of his sisters were born). I rather think there will always be items left undone on a list like that and the positives have been so wonderful that I really have few regrets.

I shall be returning to my cousins’ for the rest of the winter and looking for a place of my own, hopefully by late spring or early summer. I hope to buy a second-hand caravan but failing that, to rent something affordable where my storage items can be brought and then gone through. I won’t be keeping most of it, but I do want to enjoy the things I collected for my retirement, at least for a while. And there is plenty of crafting supplies, so life will not be the least bit boring.

I am quite sad to be leaving the UK; it’s been one of the best summers of my life, and I’ve had quite a few great summers in my 70+ years! Just living an everyday life here has been exactly what I both wanted and needed. Time out from all the stresses of the past couple of decades and nothing familiar to trigger sadness, nostalgia, etc.

I’ve made some new friends here and that has been so good, too. I wore my Runrig jacket to Yarndale and met three different people who had been in Stirling for The Last Dance and who stopped me to talk about Runrig. That was most exciting!!

I’d love to return for another visit and next time I’d plan more and have a larger budget. But really, for me the experience of living in another country and just savouring the days and everyday sights has been the best thing ever! I had a similar experience in Mexico City back in 1987, when I was there for a week on my way back from a work-related trip to Costa Rica (the world’s first all-organic foods and products trade show; my boss and I represented four or five Canadian growers) and so I learned that for me, living like a native of another country is one of the most exciting things I can do.

I haven’t done much here, either, but did go with Karen to Saltaire, a World Heritage Site, and that was lots of fun, too. I particularly enjoyed the David Hockney exhibition at Salts Mill, The Arrival of Spring.  That was especially interesting because the paintings were all created on an ipad, then printed out, five feet tall. There were signs saying it was ok to take photos so long as we didn’t use a flash, and I checked and it was true, so I have pictures of some of the images that most spoke to me.

There are a few sites here to visit still, like Lister Park and the art gallery there. So I shall have plenty to write about once I’m settled in BC again. I’m feeling ready to post regularly again, which I think is a good sign.

The other two things are Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, on 05 November and the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, a very important day for me. When I made Peace Poppies for the installation last year, I kept one for myself and I shall be wearing it this year and attending one of the ceremonies, most likely in Bradford.

I haven’t forgotten my 500 winners, either, although I’m sure they think I have. I started and then scrapped several ideas and now I think I’m going to go for something more simple and just get it done.

I’ve been working on a crocheted string bag for Karen these past weeks, I’ve finished my second pair of socks and have decided I like them so much I shall frog back the two pairs of Fair Isle style socks (three of them are up past the ankle, too). But re-making them on 2mm needles will make them both more attractive and longer-wearing. I like darning socks, but have no intention of making it a weekly event! 🙂

I’m knitting a sort of hat now, mostly because I know the cold weather is on its way; we’ve already had one fire and I’ve been using a hot water bottle for weeks now. And two thick duvets! I’m lovely and toasty warm at night, though. So nice!

I’ve done some rock painting and some watercolours, nothing wonderful but plenty of fun as I can sit at my lovely tall window and enjoy the view as I work. I shall be taking a teacher’s advice from when I lived in Victoria, BC. He said to never throw out a watercolour you are not happy with. Instead, cut it into small squares and sort them by colour into envelopes. Once you have enough, use them in collages. I’ve been doing some writing again, too, but nothing spectacular; just that I enjoy the doing.

I walk up to the allotment every few days, taking the bucket of compost material as a contribution. Karen’s friends have the allotment and during the summer we would find a bag of some delicious treat or other on the front door. And so I made the acquaintance of English runner beans . . . I shall be growing these next summer, even if I have to plant them in pots or buckets! Huge and delicious and wonderful in a frittata as well as on their own. If you’ve never tried them, do!

I bought two fresh mackerel when Karen was in New York for three weeks and the new room-mate hadn’t moved in yet (so the fishy smell wouldn’t be a problem; smells from the kitchen rise to the top of the house and we all know how fish lingers for ages . . . I stuffed them very lightly with chopped garlic and basil and fried them in a cast iron pan. Oh my word!! I would eat them every day if I lived here on my own!! And they were quite large, but only one pound each, so a real bargain. It seemed a shame to live here, where fresh fish abounds and in such variety, too, and not to try some at least once. I’d almost forgotten how much I love fresh fish.

When I was in Surrey, a new friend and I drove to Littlehampton and I bought fresh cod fish and chips and we ate them at a table by the beach. Unforgettable!

When I was a child, Dad and sometimes my brothers would bring home brook trout for supper. And when I was a very young Mum, living on South Pender Island (in the Gulf Islands that lie between Vancouver on the mainland and Vancouver Island, the Big Island), we would fish for rock cod at least twice a week (successfully, too!) and bake them whole in a cast iron frying pan. We dug clams and pried mussels off the rocks, too, and those went into chowders that we would eat three meals a day until they were gone, then we’d make another one. Somehow, I have never tired of any food that I love.

I had some excellent fish and chips at my host’s in Surrey, too, and before I go I plan to try a place in Shipley, where we do our grocery shopping. It was highly recommended to me by one of the lovely taxi drivers.

You know, I was warned several times about Bradford before I moved here, but my experiences have all been most positive. Everyone I’ve met has been friendly and helpful and interesting to chat with. So sometimes I think it’s what we bring to an encounter that defines it most.

Well, it’s late now and I’m tired of fixing the typos that occur in nearly every paragraph. I hope I’ve gotten them all out; if not, please forgive me.

I’ve dropped by the blogs written by many of you, sometimes leaving comments, more often just a ‘like’ to show I’ve been by.

I’d love to tell you about this house and the neighbourhood, and so much more, too, but I’ll leave all that for another post. In the meantime, stay warm (or cool, if you’re on the other side of the world). I’ve missed blogging and am really looking forward to resuming on a more regular basis.

Love and Light to each one of you, my friends. You are in my thoughts every day.  ~ Linne

For music, I have only one piece to offer. This is the Tweed Ceilidh band, who played at the Ceilidh I didn’t attend in Stirling. Everyone who did see them loved them!

March, April, May . . . part One

Wow, do I have a lot of catching up to do . . . but Mum’s computer is hooked up now and I can use it when it’s free, so here goes . . .

First of all, thanks to all my lovely readers for your comments, especially on the death of my much-loved Aunty. A loss is always difficult, even when expected. We seem to expect death to come; just not ‘today’ . . . I’ll catch up with replies to comments soon, now that things are settling down to some degree.

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Can’t remember if I posted a picture of this sweet bunny. I think I did, but he’s cute enough to share twice. Selma from the Eclectic Home and Life blog posted the pattern. Very quick and easy, they make lovely ornaments, bunting, etc. This one will be attached to the project in the following photo. I haven’t done any more on that project, ’cause it won’t be used ’til next winter . . . and you know, I’m all about the deadlines . . .

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While I was staying with the Crafties back in February, March and half of April, I ‘appropriated’ this cup for my morning coffee. Here it is, sitting on the coffee table while I work on one of the CAL blankets. I was struck by the colours of the cup, scissors and the table, as seen in the morning sunshine.

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Mrs. Crafty scored a huge box of assorted dollies and every day there would be a few sitting in the sink for  a bath and shampoo. Quite fetching, aren’t they?

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Below is the hand of the youngest Crafty granddaughter, busy working on something for me, to be part of my project that will travel far from here. More on that once I have the rest of the makings . . . Young Miss C was helped by her lovely big brother Master Z. The creativity seems to have skipped a generation, but is alive and thriving in the grandchildren. Wonderful to see!

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I finally finished CAL #1, and here is the second row of the edging just being finished.

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The third row of edging . . .

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This wee Scotty dog sits on a small table outside the room that I slept in at the Crafties’. I took the picture to share with Selma after she posted a pattern for a sweet little Scotty brooch. Isn’t he cute?

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This is a gallon jar, probably once holding pickles or mayonnaise; sometime later it was decorated by a talented folk artist. It found its way to the Re-Use-It Centre, and leapt off the shelf into Mrs. Crafty’s welcoming hands . . . For now it sits on a shelf at the foot of the bed I slept in. It’s so nice to be surrounded by handmade, home-made items. I can just feel the love, can’t you?

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Below you can see how I finished off CAL #1 – with a lovely hot pink ruffle!

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I rather like it and I do hope the little girl who will receive it likes it, too. It’s large enough to use on her bed even into her teens. She’s not very tall, so that was easy.

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Above, the house where Doc Martin and the lovely Louisa were to spend their honeymoon; I’m SO tempted to move to Cornwall and take over this place! It reminds me in some ways of a couple of the homes I lived in as a child.

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I borrowed this from a friend’s post on FaceBook; nice to know I’m safe 🙂

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One of the middle Crafty granddaughters; this is the girl I was teaching to knit. She’s been doing quite well with it and her piece was quite a bit longer when she left for home the next day.

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In the last couple of weeks I stayed with the Crafties I interrupted my  work on the three CAL blankets to follow the project that Selma’s class had moved on to: a ripple stitch item; for some, it was a blanket, but a couple of us chose to make a pillow. Mine is actually a pillow cover, for the pillow I used behind my back when I sat in the old recliner at my Aunty’s place. I ended it with a border of my own design, then realized the border wouldn’t show up once the piece was folded and stitched. So I added the white rows at the other end and now the border stands out just right. I’ll have to take a picture of the finished pillow; I rather like it.

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Two of the  antique dishes owned by the Crafties’ son and his fiancée. The brown lustre dish is meant to hold develled eggs around the edge and I assume a bowl of something in the centre (or crackers? or ???). The clear glass is a beautiful dish, probably meant to hold sweet treats at a ladies’ tea.

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A bottle of root beer, whose cap (and another) I have saved for Narfie7’s wall for Stevie-Boy. I hope root beer counts as a ‘beer’ . . .

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Thanks to Jess the Rabid Little Hippy for this section. She shared a picture of a waffle pattern baby blanket she had made (I think it was her first ever crochet project, too!); She kindly included a link to the pattern site and I just couldn’t resist . . . So this is part of one of the CAL blankets now.

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My Mum found this gorgeous towel in her things when she moved here after staying with my youngest sister for two and a half months. It looks rather old, but not antique. I’m planning to write out the pattern, once I find myself with more thyme . . . Thank heavens for spring and summer, eh?

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Some of the best banana bread I ever made! (and I’m not exaggerating, either!) I used a recipe from my Mum’s old Women’s Institute Cookbook, published back in the ’50s to celebrate British Columbia’s 100th anniversary. Most of the recipes have the ingredients in no particular order, so I missed something important when I started mixing things up; I saw ‘3-4 bananas’ at the end of the list, and rejoiced because I had exactly four that badly needed using up. So I mashed ’em and smashed ’em and mixed them with sugar and all the other good things. I had the wet items mixed and the dry items stirred and before I began melding them, I decided to go over the ingredient list one item at a time, just to be sure I hadn’t missed anything . . . and there in the middle was ‘one cup mashed ripe bananas’.

Oops!! Now what? I definitely had more than one cup; still, undeterred by fate, I mixed it all together, then added another half cup of flour or so, plus a spoonful more of baking powder. When I took them out of the oven I turned them out on a rack, as you can see by the clever pattern of indentations on the tops. Once cool, I cut into them, buttered the slices (no law against gilding the lily, is there?) and both Mum and I declared them the best ever!  If anyone is interested, I would be happy to post the recipe. Just let me know.

I’m going to stop here, as I have quite a bit more to go and I really don’t want to leave you all exhausted by such a huge post after the long months of drought . . .

Much Love and many Blessings to each of you; you are always in my heart and mind. More soon . . .

Oh, Frabjous Day!! Callooh! Callay!

. . . she chortled in her joy! (I hope the author forgives me for tampering with his perfection)

Here’s why: Mum went down to fetch the mail and came back pretending to be quite disgruntled, ’cause it was all for me . . . well, one card was for us both, from a dear friend who lives near here . . . another from a lady at the bank that is a co-executor with me on a friend’s estate. But that wasn’t what got me chortling . . . it was this:

My order from The Contented Crafter arrived, done up with a lovely green ribbon (how did you know it’s my favourite colour?? Enquiring minds want to know . . .) 😉

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Can you tell I fell in love with that old chair from the first time Pauline posted about it?

The post is here: http://paulinekingblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/the-old-chair/

I have been so inspired by Pauline, as I, too, have been working on an Etsy store for a couple of years, but have not opened it yet (haven’t made anything to sell, for one thing. lol) With the current state of things here, I’ve been working on sorting more of my things (I know, I talked about this months ago. Any of you would be done by now, but not me, nope! But it’s coming along now.) Next on the agenda is a shawl and maybe a couple of other things. We’ll see how they turn out first. If they are not so great, I will keep them and use them myself . . .

She is extremely creative and does so much with little or less (see her post from yesterday: http://paulinekingblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/an-outdoor-entertainment-area/

But I simply had to have that chair, even though it’s long gone from this version of reality . . . but which version . . . oh, never mind . . . I’ll have one of each, please, and one big print of my favourite.

I wanted the Buddha card, too, so that was added to the order. I’m not sharing, either . . . maybe at some point; for now, I just want to look at them and appreciate them and use them to remind me that all is possible . . . even an old chair can be a thing of beauty, in its own colourful fashion . . .

So thank you, Pauline. They are everything I hoped for. I forgot to mention that Pauline, in her infinite sweetness, added one of the ‘girl’ cards (which I also love); I am putting it next to my mirror where I will see it morning and night. It will remind me to be grateful for so much that I have just now and also to send love and light to all my friends, here in the virtual village and also those I know face-to-face.

I have been working on a couple of longish posts that may not see the light of (virtual) day. In the meantime, here’s a short version . . .

The ‘Light in the Window’ has gone out . . .
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. . . but I am grateful for having had it for several days (longer than usual, even in summer).
At its peak, it looked like this:
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Now it’s gone. This was the end, a day or two ago . . .
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Still, there was light in the window at my Aunty’s on my last morning down there:
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I love an east-facing window wherever I sleep . . . and you’d never guess that this early morning sunrise is shining through very heavy burgundy coloured drapes, would you?

We have had freezing rain, leaving people ‘skating’ across sidewalks and parking lots, and lots of car accidents. Lucky I didn’t have to go out for anything. We have had snow, the rain, above freezing temperatures (barely) and now are expecting +3C tomorrow and -15C the next day. Go figure . . .

IMG_4505[1] Look how much snow is on the small trees / large bushes outside the burger place across the street . . . that was a couple of days ago.

I’ve been working on the ‘barn cardi’, but not as much as when I am at my Aunty’s. No photos today, but soon . . . it’s been very exciting, again. 😉
Well, I’ll share one photo (it’s all I’ve got right now):
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I removed the ‘holding’ yarn from the provisional cast-on (remember, back at the end of September? The 30th, actually). You can just see the dark ‘holding yarn’ to the left of the right needle. The loops it had been holding were very, very big and kinky, so I undid one row (good thing I knitted three rows of the hot pink / magenta yarn first, isn’t it? then I began working downwards from there. I’m adding a lovely large motif, then will do one last five row motif just to bring the greyish accent down further, then it will be on to the ribbing at the bottom (if I decide to do ribbing; the jury’s still out on that). Then to finish the sleeves . . . and the cuffs . . . oh, and to cut boldly up the centre front and then add button and button-hole bands . . . don’t know if I’ll be done by the end of the year; methinks not; but I will have it to wear next year. If I ever get to visit my country cousins with all the chooks, goats, lambs, etc., I’ll bring it to wear when helping to muck out the barn, gather eggs, milk the goat, whatever . . . it is a ‘barn cardi’, after all . . .

I’ve been going through my FeedReader and trying to catch up with my growing community . . . lots of great posts, ideas, etc.

In spite of being a tad busy, I’ve made those Norske egg pancakes several times, with lots of applesauce on top. Yummmmmmmm………. (a girl has to eat, right?) and a couple batches of houmous, minus tahini, sesame oil, or any hint of sesame. None to be had in this kitchen just now. I tossed the old bottle of sesame oil because it was very old; then didn’t replace it. Oh, well, lemon and garlic powder make it still pretty good. I do have olive oil, but forgot to add it. I used some mayonnaise and a bit of evaporated milk to thin it down so the stick blender could handle it. Then I got out the round corn chips . . .

The pear mousse in the fridge now is the last for this year. I treated myself to a jar of Robertson’s ginger marmalade and put a wee spoonful on top of every bowlful. gingermarmalade

If you are not aware of the origin of my title, it’s from “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. His original version (this is the first verse) was published around 1855 and looked like this:

    Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
    Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
    All mimsy were ye borogoves;
    And ye mome raths outgrabe.

Still a favourite of mine (and all my sisters; one of them taught her children to recite it before they ever went to school. So cute!).

My interest in poetry has been re-ignited by Jean Tubridy of the Social Bridge blog; also by finding this book at the ‘Re-Use-It’ centre here:
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Mum loves (and writes) poetry and she has been enjoying finding some Kipling she hadn’t read before.

My own favourite poet is Gerard Manley Hopkins, but it’s a long, long list . . .

I love his ‘Inversnaid’, ‘Pied Beauty’ and ‘The Windhover’. He was a Victorian-era poet and Jesuit priest. Much of his work is informed by his vocation; his nature poems stay with me forever.

“As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame.” or

    Inversnaid

    This darksome burn, horseback brown,
    His rollrock highroad roaring down,
    In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
    Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

    A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth
    Turns and twindles over the broth
    Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning,
    It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

    Degged with dew, dappled with dew,
    Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
    Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
    And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

    What would the world be, once bereft
    Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
    O let them be left, wildness and wet;
    Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

    ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

You can read the rest of his works here: http://www.poemhunter.com/gerard-manley-hopkins/poems/ Hopkins is perfect for reading aloud; he was so far ahead of his times in the way he used language and rhythm . . .

The article on him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Manley_Hopkins explains his use of rhythm far better than I could. His innovative approach to writing poetry changed it forever, but he was not known until after his death at only 45 years.

I was lucky, when in school, to have to memorize a great deal of poetry, including bits from Shakespeare. Those bits stay with me to this day and I am very grateful for the presence of poetry in my life.

Well, you must know by now to beware when I say I will write a ‘short’ version of anything. 🙂 Oh, well, that’s me. Words tumble out of me like puppies at times . . . It’s good to live in a world with so much inspiration that manifests in such a variety of ways, isn’t it?

I’ll leave you with a link to a favourite song by Woody Guthrie, done by Mumford & Sons (recent favourites of mine from England), Edward Sharpe – The Old Crow Medicine Show (I think there are others there, too, but have no idea who). It was recorded in an Austin, Texas trainyard. Here is “This Train“:

To see my old childhood favourites rocked like this is just amazing . . . The guy in the long-sleeved white top dancing away; such a variety of instruments and performers . . . all these people are just having so much fun . . . they make me laugh for joy and my heart sing!

Art about, and inspiring, change…

If you read my replies to comments on the last post, which was a re-blog (Save Our Seeds!), you will have read about how I arrived at Dr. Lissa Rankin’s website and purchased her book.

What I didn’t mention was that, in the middle of that journey, when I read the “Stardance Trilogy” by Spider and Jeanne Robinson, there was a reference to the work of artist Alex Grey being used as a focal point of meditation practise (Soto, or Farmer, Zen practise) for one of the characters. I immediately checked out Alex’s website to see the series for myself:  http://alexgrey.com/art/paintings/soul/ These are the Sacred Mirrors.

Alex_Grey_Bond  “Bond”
According to the “Use of Art” page on the website, I am allowed to use one image, so long as it is no larger than 300 pixels square. This is half that size. He gives permission for his art to be used as a tattoo for free, only requesting that a photo of the work in progress and one of the final image be sent to him. (He also requests that the work be done by the best tattoo artist you can find, which I feel is more than reasonable.)

 

These paintings depict the stages of human evolution from egocentric to sociocentric to worldcentric (see the quote below in green). The detail is stunning, as is the imagery. In the book, the series appears on a wall before a meditator, one at a time, in sequence. I could definitely see creating an animation of my own to use in a similar fashion, although my own meditation practise differs from the Zen tradition. One does not exclude the other, luckily . . .

and then I read about the rest of Alex and his wife Allyson’s work and about the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors http://www.cosm.org/art/sacredmirrors.html

I’ve long felt that one possibility for art is to show us what’s wrong in the world (see The Scream by Edvard Munch or Guernica by Pablo Picasso); to me, a much greater use of art is to show us what’s possible, and I feel that Alex and Allyson Grey’s work and projects do just that. They are not alone, of course, but the work is monumental.

Alex has also created

. . . approximately fifty performance rites, conducted over the last thirty years move through transformations from an egocentric to more sociocentric and increasingly worldcentric and theocentric identity.

A quote from his bio on the website:

Countless teachers and spiritual leaders, including Deepak Choprah, incorporate Alex’s art in their power point presentations. Grey’s paintings have been featured in venues as diverse as the album art of TOOL, SCI, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Time and Newsweek magazines, the Discovery Channel, rave flyers and sheets of blotter acid. Exhibited worldwide, Alex’s art has been honored with solo exhibitions at Feature Inc., Tibet House, Stux Gallery, P.S. 1, The NYC Outsider Art Fair, The New Museum in NYC, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil.

. . . so, it isn’t the end . . . and other things . . .

Well, I’ve a fair bit to share today, so no Wednesday Word again. Maybe next week . . .

Stacy left me a comment that included this:

Did you ever see the Marigold Hotel movie? I love that movie – they say “All will be well in then end. If all is not well, then it’s not the end.” 🙂

I told her I was stealing part of it for my blogtitle. So now you know what that is all about . . . or you will further down . . .

Meantime, lots has been going on here; first, the weather continues unabated. Clear or nearly so skies in the early part of the day; mild clouding in the mid-afternoon; strong winds bringing hail, lightning and thunder, as well as deluges in the evening or the middle of the night. This is the hail from two or three days ago (the day I was caught in the first go-round; this was a second set a couple of hours later) Note that the railing in the picture is only the reflection; I loved how it came out all wavery and I think where the paint is peeling makes a very pretty pattern:

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We heard on the six o’clock news tonight that another bunch of thunderstorms was heading our way. I went out to look, but there was nothing in sight then. It’s now 9:30ish and the sun has a half hour or so to go yet. At 9:00 the sky  was looking like this (the photos range from slightly south-west to north-north-west, but are not in order):

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While I was typing, the storm arrived, with enough wind that I had to get up and close the windows and sliding doors. It sounded like hail or else very large and heavy rain. I got a couple more photos (sorry about the screening; I was looking through it and forgot the camera sees everything!):

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The lightning and thunder have been going on for a while now, but the rain has slackened. I can hear the tires shushing along the street that runs in front of the building. I just looked out the window again and there is another set on the way! So I suspect Mum and I will be sitting up for the third time, watching the lightshow from the living room.

The ‘plain’ garter stitch shawl continues to grow in size:

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I have been thinking about Christi and the BO’s slaughtered Cornish hens since I read her posts on Farmlet. Then I remembered an organic rancher whom I very much admire for his humane approach to raising animals for meat. His company is First Nature Farms and if you have time, it’s worth checking out his site. He and his wife, along with their two children, raise all sorts of stock, from bison to beef to turkeys (the wild variety, not the white ones), chickens, and more. They have large rolling meadows in which to graze their birds, so their solution won’t work for everyone. What he did, though, was to design huge cages on wheels, with netted tops to keep the hawks, etc., from an easy feast. Every day, he takes the tractor and moves the pens a length or so, which means the happy birds have fresh forage, grubs and all that yummy stuff to enjoy. I remember when he told me that he had wanted to reduce the levels of adrenalin and other toxins in the meat he raised; everything was fine on the ranch, but the ride in an unfamiliar vehicle to the slaughterhouse stressed the birds. So what Jerry did was to record the sounds the birds make when they are first moved to fresh pasture. “Happy Turkey Songs” I called them, as it was turkeys he was speaking of a the time. They had stripped an old school bus to use for transporting the birds. Jerry plays the “Happy Turkey Songs” all the way to the slaughterhouse. This keeps the birds happier and more relaxed, which results in healthier, tastier meat.

I don’t know if a movable pen would protect against weasels, anyway, now that I have given it further thought; no doubt they would just duck under the side netting. Of course if there were a way to have a second,  outer layer of mesh and then electrify it a bit . . .

A knitted doll my Mum made a few years ago:

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I’ve spent some time thinking about Kriscinda’s neighbours, and Narf7’s, and those of others who left comments. And now I have my own semi-equivalent! Today we had two pieces of paper thrust under the door; one was a notice that the water will be off tomorrow from 9:30 am to whenever some necessary repairs are done. The other was a thunderbolt that really threw me for a loop: An official notice from the condo board, whom seem more and more Nazi-like in their approach to dealing with tenants as we go along.

This is the same board that took from early January 2012 to late September the same year to finish the repairs to the suite I lived in until the flood (early January) from a suite several floors above me damaged at least 15 suites. I was staying at my Mum’s place when the flood happened (she was away on the coast), so continued to stay there (but was still paying rent, as my landlord-owner is a great guy). When I lost my job in mid-May, I moved the remaining items into a storage unit until I could find work and rent another suite. By then it was obvious that my Aunty needed some support, so that’s when I began the current regime of staying with her for 8 nights and at Mum’s for 6.

What this translates to, for two older women, both of whom have collections from well-lived lives and who both do nearly every craft known to woman (and have the supplies to prove it! This includes several floor looms that are in pieces, a small one that is set up, two warping mills, etc. we won’t mention the yarn and fabric stashes, nor the paints, dyes, fibres, stamps, and much, much more . . . ) is that we live in a two bedroom suite that is crammed with supplies and also with the things we love from our various lives. Mum has pottery she’s made, a few pieces of family china and more. I have a Hoosier cupboard that my Dad refinished and books in boxes.

The upshot is that a lot of what we have is wrapped in plastic and living on the balcony (we are on the ninth floor). We were bringing things indoors and going through them in an attempt to downsize without giving up all our joy in those things. Then we heard that after the building’s roof was repaired, all the ceilings which had water damage from leaking over the past few years would be scraped, re-textured and painted. And that the painters wanted the rooms empty or nearly so. This was a few months back. We’ve had two estimators come, but not heard anything more. But we stopped bringing things in and began planning to put more out.

You can imagine how we felt when we read the notice today, stating that from now on, balconies were to be considered ‘common property’ and all that would be allowed on them are bicycles, lawn furniture and barbecues. None of which we have or plan to have. The notice said that there is an inspector coming to check that the balconies are safe to use and the railings all secure. This is a real issue, as apparently a couple of units have railings that are no longer attached to the concrete and which could conceivably detach if anyone were to lean against them.

The scary part: if there is anything not on the “allowed” list still out on the balcony when the inspector arrives, the condo board will have the items removed at the tenants’ expense . . . I  presume that means that our things would be thrown in the Dumpster.

I doodled this at Christmastime; my sweet little hobbity hole . . . wish I were there now!

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My first reaction was that I would simply move out and take my things with me, but in the end what I think I will end up doing is this: move almost all of my things into another storage unit, except for a few necessities like clothing LOL. Then we can bring Mum’s things into the suite. I can still stay with my Aunty during alternate weeks. In between, I could sleep at Mum’s as I do now, so as to be available to both of them when needed. My cousins have been paying me for the help I give their mother, so I should be able to manage this. But it’s a setback to my long-range plans. I currently have managed to get a month ahead on all my bills and have been saving to make a lump payment on my bank loan in December. (thanks to Mrs. Saving For Travel and her challenges). I’ve even been able to set a wee bit aside to help here and there, as when the Living Waters Quilt raffle was on.

It’s doable, for sure, just another huge inconvenience imposed with no thought for the happiness, comfort or needs of tenants who don’t fit into the tiny ‘approved’ box. It’s painful to be constantly reminded that there is one ‘right’ way to live and that is not our way. I believe in accepting people as they are and am always shocked at the rigidity in some others; I know it comes from fear, and I’ve certainly dealt with lots of that in my own life, so can empathise, but I don’t understand how that translates into trying to force others into one’s own mould.

I wonder what they would think if I had the power to make rules that required them to learn a variety of crafts and amass the tools and materials with which to practise those crafts? What if I demanded that they cook from scratch and quit watching TV? Read books! Go green and walk or bike; get rid of the extra car? Oh, and wear clothes that I approve of . . .  😉  . . . you get the idea . . .

The world could use a few more hippies, I think . . .

I’ll leave on a lighter note now . . . the first picture here is a scan of a photocopy of a drawing I did some years ago. I based the wings on a photo of an owl’s wings and the angel on a photo of a model holding a large ball. The second is a watercolour I began from that drawing back when I was in my own suite. I got to this point and liked it so much I was afraid to do more in case I botched it entirely. So I started another watercolour, which was also turning out well. Then came the flood, the packing and moving, so that one is not completed, either.

One day, though . . . . it’s nice to have things to look forward to, isn’t it?

Have a great week, all of you!

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Hand-bound books and much more . . .

I found this today while researching ‘but and ben’ croft architecture. (don’t ask)

http://www.felicitybristow.com/

Her posts are very interesting and her work is lovely. I’ve long had an interest in hand-made books and have some ideas for making a couple for myself. Felicity surpasses all I have dreamed of.

Hope you all enjoy this one.  ~ Linne

Rainy-Day Crafts for Children

Whether you are expecting lovely spring rains or lovely autumn rains, you may find yourself with children indoors for the day (or, perhaps, adults!)

I found this today, on The Pioneer Woman blog:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2013/05/rainy-day-crafts/

There are some cute and easy crafts here. As the writer suggests, you may want to stockpile supplies and then bring them out the next day you are all housebound . . .

I especially loved the owls! and the melted crayon art. and the homemade water colour paints. and the suggestion for homemade stamps for card-making and other activities. and . . .  😉  I hope you enjoy these!  ~ Linne

‘Lost’ and Found

You may remember that I have been going through my supplies and other things here; organizing and compacting. One of the delights has been ‘finding’ things, with all the memories still attached. Here’s a few:

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20130326-100541.jpgThese are from the printmaking portion of ‘Introductory Studio’. It was a first year uni class designed to help young students decide which art stream they were most interested in. I was a returning student and I had the most fun! For this print, we made a collaged self-portrait, inked it and wiped it, then ran it through the press with watercolour paper. You can see that the first one has too much ink left on and the second, while better, still had too much. I liked the third (sadly upside down, I see!) best and by then I was well and truly hooked on printmaking! A couple of years later I took a class with a practising printmaker and this is one of the prints I did there; it’s called “Gleaning the Mourning Tide”. It’s a unique, watercolour print and I love the texture achieved with this technique:

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