Monthly Archives: October 2013

Online legacy…

This morning on BBC radio 4s Thought for the Day Vicky Beeching was speaking about the potential of the Internet and new communication technologies. As a powerful tool in our hands we have a choice how we use the Internet, for death and destruction, (as is so often reported in the media), or to promote life, health and wellbeing.

At the end of this month a great Internet resource will be coming to an end. I feel it has been a wonderful pioneering example of how new technology can impart skills, encourage creativity and connect people from all over the world. Quilt University was set up by Carol Miller and since the year 2000 has offered online classes by teachers, and for students, all over the world. Following Carol’s death earlier this year the courses will come to an end but Carol’s inspiration lives on in the creations of 1000’s of quilters, sew-ers, embroiderers, and other textile artists.

blossom mini quilt

I have pieces of work on my wall and in my portfolio which were birthed by Quilt University courses. I, for one, am very grateful for Carol’s vision in using new technology to share her experience, to teach and encourage others.

An inspiration to us to do the same, you leave a wonderful life-giving internet legacy, Carol. Thank you.


Warning – work in progress

The builder who has been working on our chimney warned me
“It’s like opening up a can of worms,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be too bad”, we thought.

The old stone brick fireplace is coming out, to be replaced with an eco friendly, fuel efficient, wood burner. Opening up the old fireplace reveals an inadequate lintel, already displaying some cracks. It will need to be cut out and replaced. Taking the bricks back to the appropriate width takes longer than anticipated, odd bits dating from the early 70s are found hidden in the spaces. A strangely placed electric socket was discovered immediately above the old mantelpiece. We wonder what for?. No flat screen TVs in those days.
A week on and the plaster is drying and awaiting paint, new tiles will be laid to create a hearth before the stove is fitted. “We’re getting there”, we think.

But be warned – the knock on effects continue, the whole room needs repainting, furniture rearranging, and most challenging of all, the bookcases have to be moved.
So it’s not worms all over the carpet but piles of books, representing ideas, hobbies, stories, travel from many years of our life, all needing sorting, rearranging, rehousing or (like the rubble from the fireplace) simply taking away in plastic bags …IMG_1482

Under siege

A strange week this week, with plumber and electrician installing new boiler and radiators. Although I have have been in our home I have not been feeling “at home”, more “under siege”. I have been shut away behind closed doors in order to conserve the residual heat, protecting myself from noise and dust, only emerging from time to time to make tea for said workmen and myself.

My body has been under siege as well, as I have been suffering with a cold, (the “common” cold as it is known, but still horrid) Like the plumbing project, I am working through the stages. The sore scratchy throat followed by a perpetually streaming nose and spluttering sneezes. Now I am moving on to the coughing stage, which is giving my intercostal muscles a good work out.

It has been interesting to contemplate both processes, plumbing and bodily. There are certain parallels! Uncomfortable and disruptive to go through, but both hopefully building up defences against further attack from cold and “colds”. The last radiators should be in today, the electrics are expected to be ready to fire up the boiler to give us a warmer night tonight, and I am already feeling more energised as my body recovers.

So thank you to both the skilled workmen updating our heating system, and to my immune system kicking in to defend me against this virus

Orange on grey

Beside the allotment path,
Brave calendula
Lighten the grey day
Setting fire to October.

October begins and the sky has remained depressingly grey all day. The bright orange and yellow calendula marigold is known as this month’s flower. I have been lifting my spirits by ironing brightly coloured strips of sari silk and found a wonderful orange to make a great border for an autumn leaf stitch, set on a grey blue silk. I am thankful for the fiery oranges, yellows and reds of autumn as the days become greyer.