The baby for whom I knitted this blanket has just been having fun on his first school journey – time flies!
He’s been off for a week in Dorset visiting beaches I knew well as a child. On one such I learnt a lasting lesson: as we walked my dad and I spent time gathering special stones…
with natural holes, threading them on a flotsam string. I carried my prize along, then suddenly realised it had disappeared – the string had broken. I was upset.
My dad: ” Don’t worry, we’ll find them, they’ll be just hereabouts” We looked down and sure enough we found them there scattered all among the other pebbles. We restrung them.
“How did you know?”
“Antennae! When you lose something that you’re wearing or carrying your balance changes and your body usually notices straight away.”
He was right – mostly – I’ve put it to the test many times. I think it’s a question of innate awareness – it taught me to listen to my physical intuition. I still have the pebbles on their string, above: they remind me of those body antennae.
Losses this past year have been profound, unable to be made good by the exact same thing refound. But the shocking unbalances they’ve left have made room to welcome – tentatively – new and real growth, discoveries and fresh finds. Flowers bloom – doors open.
From stones to sticks – I watch the birds; I’d love to witness the beginning – the very start – the first twig – of nest building. The pigeons are so careless with their wildly flung together assemblages; the robins have such meticulous and cosily woven homes. How do they begin these works? Thinking of this I looked out the window: how lucky to see the robin, moss in beak, darting into the garden cupboard – building a nest. Wedged between wall and hosepipe roll, there it was, scruffy twigs outside but a perfect half globe lined with moss within.
There was an air of nest-building around Seth Siegelaub’s marvellously eclectic collection of hats on show (no longer I’m afraid) at Raven Row. Feathers, wood, hemp, hair, wool, beads and assorted treasure trove were pressed into service for practical, decorative, fanciful and magical purposes.
Some dates to note;
Artists Open House in Dulwich, where among many other delights we will be selling at Kish-mish-mash some of our collection of old and exotic textiles, 12-13 May, 7, Stradella road, London SE24. Pat Albeck – always worth listening to – will be giving a talk at the FTM on Thursday 17th May. At the V&A on Thursday June 14th I will be joining Mary Schoeser in her talk …and again at the V&A on 18th and 19th July I will be running a scarf painting workshop – exact details yet to be announced. And a reminder that I talk at The Beacon Hastings on Friday, May 18th.
Finally – thank you Unilever and designers Hornall Anderson UK for my favourite Jubilee product so far. I laughed out loud when I found this jar of marmite on the supermarket shelf the other day – spread the toast for Ma’am indeed!