Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Hardest Thing To Do, but well worth it!

I'm afraid I have no photo for today's blog-post, but there are plenty of really good ones on Ember's blog, so please go and have a look!

Penelope Wilcock is the mother of my long-time best friend, and I was very proud and happy to be asked to join in with the musical festivities at the launch of her most recent book, The Hardest Thing To Do. I have to admit, I haven't actually read this one, due to current shortage of money, but I enjoyed the earlier ones, and the chapter read aloud at the launch party was moving and funny and interesting and stirring and all of those things that a book should be.

OK, plug over. But the party was magnificent! The theme, in keeping with the book, was medieval, so I was able to pull out my wedding dress (If you follow the link, I'm the musician with the blue dress and red bandana). I had a chance for a recorder performance, which I always jump at as most people forget recorders exist outside of primary schools, as well as some fiddling and singing which are always good. The audience sang well too, which is even better.

The party was held in Ember's church, a beautiful Gothic-style building lit with candles, with lavender strewn on the floor, and sheepskin rugs wherever people might wish to linger. The food and drink were varied and very very yummy, and I found good company wherever I looked. I haven't had such a good chat with a bunch of strangers for a long time!

Thursday, 13 October 2011


I've been neglecting this blog for a while, because I have been extremely busy in Real Life. I spent last week preparing for a concert to raise funds for a local church, which involved singing and playing and hilarious merry-making with various groups of friends, and was great fun, if somewhat stressful at times! I've also had numerous birthdays, other people's events to visit and help at, meetings, groups, all the usual things.

 This past week, I have had plenty of bloggable thoughts, and time to write them, but have not been able to decide where to begin. So I thought I'd cheat, and do a quick photo roundup of where I'm at, and clear my head ready for the next proper post!

 I'll let this little hairy fella start me off. I'm not sure who he is, but my girls found him in their "Secret Hole" in the garden, and came running to fetch me. Looking online, the closest match seems to be the Ruby Tiger Moth larva, but if anyone can correct me, please do!

This was my Druidry homework for my Bardic Course (if you want to know more, see the link for The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, on the right).  I'm immersing myself in the element of Earth for a while, to see what it has for me. Now, I know mind-maps are good for getting the creative juices flowing, but this turned out to be a really fun exercise, writing down absolutely any old thing that came to mind relating to Earth, however absurd. It was quite interesting seeing which things just kept cropping up over and over again, which I won't list now because they mostly come under the category of 'you had to be there'.

It was my mother-in-law's birthday last week, and I made this needlebook for her. Anyone who knows how traumatised I was by my experiences in textiles and school, and how averse I have been to any form of needlework since then, will know what a huge achievement this was for me. And what's more, I had really good fun doing it! Turns out it's just as addictive as those silly free computer games, but it produces real presents for people. This was based on the pattern given at Rhythm of the Home by Linda of Natural Suburbia (see link on the right).

And here is the inside.

While I have been getting into my needlework, Dawn has also taken it up. I can't tell you what she's doing here, because it's also a Christmas present, but I can tell you that she loves it and it's gonna be great!

Finally, this was my supper. Shortcake made with Rapadura, which I eventually managed to source relatively cheaply online at this store. I expect you've heard of unrefined raw cane sugar. The trouble with that stuff is that it's neither unrefined nor raw. It is cane sugar, but has usually had the molasses heated and spun out of it till there's not much left. It's only because they haven't got around to making it white and fine that they get away with the 'unrefined' label. Rapadura is cane sugar juice that has been pressed out, dried, and made into crumbs, but has its nutritional content intact. With tinned fruit and evaporated milk, I think I've managed to make up for the cost of the sugar! It tasted good too.

That'll do for now, I think. I'll leave the ethics of hair and my frustration regarding the school system until another time. See you soon!