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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A Little Bit of Crafting


It seems ages since I went crafting but yesterday our Federation of Women's Institutes had a craft day and of course, I was there.  Just two projects to show you.


This Christmas tree is made from milk bottle tops which have been padded with wadding and then covered and stitched together.  I may put a cinnamon stick as a trunk and maybe a few star anise - it will smell nice as well as look good.  


This is a simple purse but it felt as though I was doing origami.  I like the design but if I make it again I shall use better contrasted fabric.    




Sunday, 11 November 2018

Two voices from the Great War

Market Rasen Church this week
On the night before her execution Nurse Edith Cavell said 

"Patriotism is not enough.  I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."

The poet Wilfred Owen, the news of whose death reached his mother one hundred years ago as today, said, 

"Christ is literally in No Man's Land.  There men often hear his voice: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend.'  Is it spoken in English only, and in French?  I do not believe so."  

One hundred years ago the guns fell silent.  The voices of those two people who died in that war should never be silent.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

A sabbath reflection

Every so often I read posts on other people's blogs which seem to have been written just for me.  I've just been reading Small Moments and a comment by Angela from Tracing Rainbows who reminded me of a poem by Joyce Grenfell, "Time".  Here's the first verse.


When I was a girl there was always time,
There was always time to spare.
There was always time to sit in the sun;
And we were never done
With lazing and flirting,
And doing our embroidery,
And keeping up our memory books,
And brushing our hair,
And writing little notes,
And going on picnics,
And dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing–
When I was a girl there was always time to waste.

Thank the Lord.

Today is my Sabbath, my weekly period of quietness and reflection which in my girlhood would have driven me crazy but is now one of my favourite things.  I read that verse and realised that I'm in my second girlhood!  

I'm always busy, but I've always got time to spare if someone suggests an outing, or a cuppa and a natter.  I've got plenty of time to sit in the sun when the sun wants to shine on me.  I've time not just to embroider but to knit, sew, crochet or whatever.  I don't have a memory book but I have time to write a blog.  I not only write little notes but make the cards to write the notes on.  And in my head I am often dancing but have to admit that on this one the spirit is willing but the flesh extremely weak.

I spent part of my youth working in Nigeria as a librarian and have been looking at some photographs of that precious time.  I see Nkere, Mandu. Helen, Aniema and other women with whom I talked and laughed.  The average lifespan for women in Nigeria is just 53 years.  I am now 67.  Have any of those women on my old photographs also enjoyed the privilege of advancing years?  I don't know.   


Friday, 9 November 2018

Nimbler in November

Mother used to tell me to use my head to save my legs.  What she meant was think about what you're doing so you don't need to use any more energy than necessary.  These days when I bend down to tie my shoelaces I look around to make sure there's nothing else I can do while I'm down there.

As you know I am "mobility challenged".  I use a trundle truck (mobility scooter).  I have a Home Enhancer (cleaner) and a gardener/handyman to help with stuff I can't do for myself.  All sorts of people help me on an ad hoc basis and most of them would do far more if I would let them.  And therein lies a problem.  It would be all-too-easy for me to lose even more mobility.

"Using my head to save my legs" needs to have  new meaning for me.   I want to keep such mobility as I have for as long as possible and that means I have to move rather more than I have been doing.  I have to find ways to move which I can fit into my everyday life.  This is easier said than done!

This week I have spent a lot of time in front of my computer doing a big job of scanning.  I decided to set an alarm to remind me to walk a few steps (about a hundred) every half hour.  Today I remembered that I owed a friend £1.  This morning I have walked the hundred yards or so to take the money.  I know she would have been quite happy for me to pay her next week when we meet for coffee but the challenge of that walk was important.  I've tried to stand at the worktop rather than sit at the kitchen table to prepare food.  

These "movement snacks" are all things which most people do without even thinking about it.  For me they are important.  I want to save my legs.