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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

WIP Wednesday ...


I'm really looking forward to seeing the spring bulbs and, in anticipation, I'm working on a row of cheerful tulips. I've up-cycled some old bed-linen for material, drawn out my posies and I'm working in tapestry wool and stranded cotton.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Instagram Royalty at Osterley Park


Last Wednesday I got to play with Ros Atkinson (@her_dark_materials) at Osterley Park, where she hosted a fun workshop for about a dozen enthusiasts. She'd set the props up in the Osterley kitchen before we got there, and we had a couple of hours to go nuts and take photos.


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

WIP Wednesday

What have you got on-the-go at the moment? I've not got a lot of knitting to show for WIP Wednesday. There's the usual collection of things that have lived in the WIP corner for a-g-e-s, and with which I have totally fallen out of love with, and am never likely to finish anytime soon - short of a miracle.



Friday, 1 February 2019

London Institute of Photography

Last week I shimmied over to the London Institute of Photography on Brick Lane to do their beginners' course. I've been taking photographs pretty much all of my  life,and it's been something that I've hugely enjoyed doing. I've owned a succession of fairly respectable cameras, but I've pretty much always kept them on automatic or some other-semi automatic programme that did all the thinking for me. I haven't troubled my head with the physics of how any of it worked. And I've been delighted with myself on those rare occasions when the planets have aligned and I've bagged the odd decent shot here or there.


But last week all of that changed. I explored the mysteries of the exposure triangle, learnt how to pan, investigated how to achieve shallow depth of field with good bokeh, and how to get greater depth of field for landscape or street photography. It was an eye-opener as I discovered more and more of what my respectable but not-very-fancy camera could do, and how the art of taking a decent photo actually has more to do with technique than simply being in the right place at the right time.


Friday, 25 January 2019

Minestrone Soup ...

I'm in the throes of seasonal grey. I am filled with admiration for those people who can enthuse about all the seasons and extol the delights of our great British seasonal variety.  I try. I really try to mimic them and muster some enthusiasm for January, but it always defeats me. January is just a month too many in the book of my year.

If January were cold and crisp and full of frozen cobwebs and ducks slipping and sliding on the lake over at Osterley Park, where the WonderDog and I like to stretch our legs, it might be different. But right now, right here in the Big Smoke January is cold and grey and wet and miserable.

So I'm hunkering down and making soup. I've been on a health crusade since last June, which involves not eating many processed carbohydrates so I've left pasta off the list of ingredients and bigged up on the beans for this fortifying Minestrone: a small midday fix for the January blues.




Sunday, 6 January 2019

January ... bleurgh! - time to grab a book ...

I'm back for my start-of-the-year moan about January. I know I do this every year: so grey, so bleak, so ... predictable.  I've just taken down all the Chrimbo decorations, sent the cards for recycling, clinked all the empties off to the bottle bank and then, to add to the grimness, I've taken the pledge for a dry month - no more vino til' February 😨. I'm about as cheerful as that pitiful pile of denuded conifers waiting on the Common for the council to carry them off for composting.

So, what do you do when it's so grey and uninviting outside? You could do worse than reach for a good book ...

Cold grey London skyline


And if, like me, you're a crafty type you may enjoy the Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair, which sets out to explore the history of fabric, but in effect gives us an needle's eye view of world history. It's a whimsical subject that takes you on a romp through all the ages of clothing from the linens of ancient Egypt to the silken robes of the Chinese emperors to the woollen sails of Viking longboats to the space-age fibre technology of what astronauts wear on moonwalks. It's all there, and it's all compelling.