Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stung, or ... persona non grata

Yesterday I sat down to relax, and then thought that I'd be better off in the garden weeding the onion bed.
That way I might be able to find the onions we haven't lifted yet.
As I went to put some scarlet pimpernel into my bucket for the compost heap, I felt a strange sensation.
I had been stung by a bee on the underside of my right little finger.
It hurts.
I wasn't wanted there, was I?

Tonight I closed the Art Room just after nine.
Cycling home I stopped off at the public library to catch the last few minutes of our reading group meeting.
I knocked on the door a few times, but got no response.
I could see everyone in the adjacent room.

They couldn't see me on the top of the steps, so I went down below the window, and shone my red and white cycle lights into the lighted room.
Several people got up, and waved to me.

I went back to the door and waited, no response.
I tried knocking again, and guess what, no response.
I even tried shouting, and yes you've guessed it, no response!!

By this time the meeting should have finished, so I waited at the door.
They were surprised to see me, although I had e-mailed ahead to say that I'd catch the last few minutes.
They thought that I was just some kids making a nuisance.
What does this say to me?

I suspect I should have just cycled home and had my snack.
It might have been less frustrating.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thwarting spiders, caterpillars, slugs and snails

It is that time of year again.
Every time I go down the garden I engage in a battle of wits with the local wildlife.

The stripy spiders think that our pergola, fruit trees and bushes are put there for them. So, if I forget to gently detach the anchoring strands of spider silk, I end up removing the traces from my skin and hair.

Then again the cabbage white butterflies think that our attempts to grow brassicas are purely to keep their population growing. We were hoping to have cabbages some day!

The slugs and snails love eating lettuces and marigolds, not to mention any tender plants recently planted out.

I venture down the garden in my attempts to keep up with all the fruit and vegetables.
After my breakfast muesli, my diet for the day seems to be purely fruit and vegetables.

We have plums, apples and pears ripening at a fantastic rate.
The autumn fruiting raspberries are still going strong as are the blackberries.
There are still a few redcurrnts clinging to the bushes too.

Beans and salad leaves are hanging in, despite the variable weather and little rain.
The tomatos ripen too quickly, and the aubergines are catching up with them.

It is also a time of human busy-ness.
The Art Room has new hours, and we are preparing some fun sessions in the run up to Christmas.

Ian was in Switzerland for a week, then home for two nights before heading off to Naples for a couple of days.
Next week it will be Berlin.

Stephen is engaging in the first week of his "A" level studies, laced with evening events.

Last Saturday saw the Melton Mowbray rare breed show.
I was there to help on the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand.
I was knitting some wire, as it makes people stop and talk to me.

I'll be doing it again as the first of the autumn stitching shows opens tomorrow in Birmingham at the NEC.
I'll be there on the "Relax and Knit" stand with Fred and Sue amongst others.
We usually meet up at one or other of the shows in the autumn.

And to top it all, one of my friends from Toronto, Elle, arrived in London last night with a friend for a brief visit.
I spoke to her on the phone this morning, and will meet up with her and Linda on Friday.
They are coming to stay for a couple of nights.

Now back to cleaning and tidying before going in to work at the Art Room.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Unpacking (the first part - Sweden)

Well, look what followed me home ... wool spun in Estonia and purchased in Stockholm (Sweden) and Frederiksvaerk (Denmark).

Right away on our first full day in Stockholm I tracked down Marias Garn where I found a bewildering array of unknown yarns. There was just too much to see. The green mix wool spun by evilla came away with me. I have tried knitting a small sample, and it is great yarn.

Just around the corner in the centre of Stockholm is another gem: the Almgren silk factory . We visited this the following day. Unfortunately, having accidentally gone into it the wrong way round we just missed seeing the silk weaver. There was masses to look at, and we just wish that we got there earlier.

The factory was used by Almgren's from 1844 until 1974. At that point the doors were closed, and it wasn't until the 1990's that it was opened as a museum. Upstairs on the top floor is a permanent exhibition about silk and silk weaving in Stockholm. There is also some footage from a Swedish film industry documentary shot in the factory in 1943.

We also had time to travel on some of the steam driven ferries, and went to Södertälje to visit the Torekällberget open air museum. Unfortunately, 100% Ull the textile shop in the museum there was closed for the day. All of this was done dodging showers of rain.

After four nights in the youth hostel at Fridhemsplan, we reluctantly moved on to Göteborg, or Gothenburg as we know it. This involved a train journey travelling westward across the country.

The linen cotton mix in my favourite purple came from the Bohusslöjd shop in Göteborg. There we were told about the design museum, once again to be found just round the corner.

It was too late to visit the Röhsska museet that day, but I went the next morning, while Ian was at the town museum. There wasn't enough time for us both to do everything.

I also tracked down a couple of yarn shops. In the centre of town is Strikk. We had looked in the windows late the previous evening when walking around town. Once more I marvelled at the yarns. I came away with a small ball of EKO (ecologically hand dyed) cotton from Atelje Huskroken that was unlabelled and in the sale basket.