Friday, June 24, 2011

Mid Summer

I thought it was about time I relieved you all of the sad D.H. Lawrence poem in the previous post!
So here are some photos of what's been happening in the world of summer in Harling.
Whenever Spring and then summer hit here, I always forget about certain flowers and the ones I've forgotten this year are the hollyhocks.When I was little our Nanna used to have the obligatory Crinoline Lady embroidered tablecloths. I always loved their fairy book quality and never thought such flowers or places really existed. Then I came to Harling and found they did.
Look at this double beauty.
The first time I saw a snakes head fritilary, I was flabergasted that the flowers I'd thought were made up, were real. How could you possibly think that a checkerboard flower was real?
Inspired by the colours of the fritilary, I decided to send some tiny models off to Liberty to see if I could interest them in my cushions. I've had some of these tiny fragments of embroidery for at least 20 years now and never been able to use them on anything before as they were so tiny. It was like making dolls clothes and took me easily as long or longer to make them than full size ones. I was swearing as I unpicked the tiny piping on the bolster for the third time to get it just right. Luckily no tiny zips were involved.
The perfect pieces of olive green silk with embroidery on them were from some old vestments that were in the main part, too tattered to use. The stitching on them is immaculate. The regal purple velvet was a perfect frame for them.

Let's hope they like them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My favourite poem

D.H. Lawrence

Climbing through the January snow, into the Lobo Canyon
Dark grow the spruce-trees, blue is the balsam, water sounds still unfrozen, and the trail is still evident

Two men!
Men! The only animal in the world to fear!

They hesitate.
We hesitate.
They have a gun.
We have no gun.

Then we all advance, to meet.

Two Mexicans, strangers, emerging our of the dark and
snow and inwardness of the Lobo valley.
What are they doing here on this vanishing trail?

What is he carrying?
Something yellow.
A deer?

Que' tiene amigo?

He smiles foolishly as if he were caught doing wrong.
And we smile, foolishly, as if we didn't know.
He is quite gentle and dark-faced.

It is a mountain lion,
A long, long, slim cat, yellow like a lioness.

He trapped her this morning, he says, smiling foolishly.

Life up her face,
Her round, bright face, bright as frost.
Her round, fine-fashioned head, with two dead ears;
And stripes in the brilliant frost of her face, sharp, fine dark rays,
Dark, keen, fine rays in the brilliant frost of her face.
Beautiful dead eyes.

Hermoso es!

They go out towards the open;
We go out into the gloom of Lobo.
And above the trees I found her lair,
A hole in the blood-orange brilliant rocks that stick up, a little cave.
And bones, and twigs, and a perilous ascent.

So, she will never leap up that way again, with the yellow flash of a mountain lion's long shoot!
And her bright striped frost-face will never watch any more, out of the shadow of the cave in the blood- orange rock,
Above the trees of the Lobo dark valley-mouth!

Instead, I look out.
And out to the dim of the desert, like a dream, never real;
To the snow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the ice of the mountains of Picoris,
And near across at the opposite steep of snow, green trees motionless standing in snow, like a Christmas toy.

And I think in this empty world there was room for me and a mountain lion.
And I think in the world beyond, how easily we might spare a million or two humans
And never miss them.
Yet what a gap in the world, the missing white frost-face of that slim yellow mountain lion!

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) was an English novelist, poet, and essayist famed both for his writing and for his unconventional opinions.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

London with Tamara

When I feel inspired to write a post here I find myself swerving toward the positive. I guess I keep my sad times to myself. They still happen and they usually take the form of NOT writing on the blog. Conspicuous by my absence I guess.
I also find that I often use this platform as a method of giving thanks, usually for great friends helping me out in various ways.
One of those helping me out at the moment is the wonderful Tamara. I met Tamara recently when I found myself talking nervously to her husband in a Ryanair queue on my recent visit to Rome. He tucked me under his wing and took me home to meet his wife Tamara and their kids. We got on famously. We are the same age and both have a creative streak. It's amazing to have a partner in crime of exactly the same age to compare all sorts of things from hair removal tips to musical taste.
Tamara rang a week or so ago and asked if I'd like to accompany her to the Paris Open! I must admit I was at a very low ebb and saw nothing but fear in going so far from home. She coaxed and cajoled and I tried my best to get her to come closer to me this time. I finally wore her down and even got her to come to East Harling on the promise of that most English of experiences...the inauguration of a new village vicar, complete with 40 strong robed choir, Bishops, bell ringing and a fabulous supper. She was a very gracious and enthusiastic guest.
After I'd fed her a few meals and felt I'd evened up the score of hospitality a bit, I let her take me to London for an all expenses paid birthday treat. Phew. Just in the nick of time as my confidence in my abilities and my creativity was waning. We walked and walked and I felt I earned a small amount of kudos by being the map reader and guide. Tamara has a keen interest in street art and seeing it through her eyes I became a huge fan too of this most optimistic of creative pursuits. The first piece we saw was this incredible and huge heron on the side of a wall in Bricklane It must have been 30 feet high and when we came around the corner it made me catch my breath and brought tears to my eyes. How on earth did they get it here?
Walking around this East London area was amazing; another planet compared to what I see normally here in Norfolk. The artwork seemed so cheeky and easy, painted on scraps of newspaper or chiseled out of the fabric of the wall itself.
Most of my time is spent franticly trying to make money out of my creativity and to see it thrown onto a wall for everyone to see and enjoy was such a breath of fresh air. No tickets to buy, no strings attached, just Art for Arts sake.
Kooky and beautifully vibrant.
Sad and political.

Exuberant and full of colour.

and textured.
and downright clever

So thanks Tamara for a truly amazing few days in one of the most amazing cities in the world. No need to be scared of weazels any more!