Definitely early summer now, May going out with a heatwave, warm balmy evenings. Peaceful by the sea as the holiday season isn't yet in full swing. A stroll along the prom; then just sitting on the beach steps, listening to the gentle lap of the waves watching the sun go down. Blissful.
Walking on the beach is new every time. I like to see where the wind has blown the sand, notice what tide's left behind, see who's out walking, and look out at the horizon. Just hear and see the sea. and today I have my camera with me so that you can see it too.
So good to see my sister and brother in law, and spend time together. Taking a whistle stop tour around Blackpool, lovely and sunny with a chilly wind. Visit complete with traditional seaside fish and chips.
Everything is more colourful: narcissus, muscari, pansies, primulas, tulips, herbs in the fairy garden, star magnolia. it's so much lighter. The heavy feeling has shifted. My yoga teacher has made a full recovery. April's garden is beautiful, red- tailed bees are dashing about, courting bird song of blackcaps, chaffinches, sparrows and seagull all in a heady chorus. Spring has sprung!
A neighbour let me play with an antique manual (not a treadle) singer sewing machine that was in a pitiful neglected state when he came across it. It was covered in cobwebs, full of dirt and dust, but I knew that Singers usually work if all the parts are there. The wheel turned, just about; the bobbin winder was stuck solid with grim, on the positive side the long bobbin was in the bobbin shuttle. I'd not used a long bobbin before so this was an interesting challenge.
I looked on the Singer site to find out the date of the serial number. No. 12321485, and came up with the year 1894. Not that original as about 562,000 had been manufactured that year. I found a diagram there about how to thread a long bobbin. I also went on you tube and found how to oil and clean a vintage long bobbin machine by Lizzie Lenard, She has a very helpful blog for vintage quilters too.
I must say I found a pastry brush, and inter-dental toothbrushes, and metal polish most useful for the cleaning task. It was only when polishing the metal badge on the front of the machine that I realised that the emblem was a bobbin shuttle. 'Pearl' now positively gleams, works well if simply; a wonderful piece of nineteenth century engineering.
,A few years ago I remember reading a blog where the blogger called her singer sewing machine Pearl, made me smile at the time. As this one has now found a new lease of life and is singing again, I will dedicate this one to that blogger (sorry I don't know her name or her blog any more), and my fondness for Elkie Brooks!
Spent a lovely day with Sean, Victoria and Jura, as they were shortly moving from Keswick up to Fort William. Walking out from The Lingholm Estate www.thelingholmestate.co.uk after a bite to eat at the Lingholm kitchen cafe and shop to Derwent Water, very misty, always beautiful. Ubiquitous daffodils steal the show and some gorgeous red rhododendrons, Alpacas and a selfie.
A new Easter bunny, Parsnip, is happily sitting in a basket with chocolate chicks and bunnies. Parsnip's soft fur is made with velour furnishing fabric, with blue spotted cotton ears. Dressed a little hastily last night and slept in his clothes to make an appearance this morning; from recycled baby T-shirt and trousers. His eyes, mouth and claws are coloured embroidery thread. I think he will be sporting some better clothes very soon.
A sweet little duckling card from my sister Ang. A painted boiled egg for breakfast. I still like the tradition of painting real eggs, even with no children here. Crafting and sewing makes me happy, 'good when times are difficult or stressful, and a pleasure at anytime.'
Two little hearts made for friends I meet at a weekly aqua zumba class and have coffee afterwards. One friend, her Mother died last week at the amazing age of 101. To think of all the historical events she has lived through - and changes witnessed. . . two world wars. . .
A photo on a card, poppies from the weeping window at Hereford Cathedral, sent to me last week from a dear friend, Denise. I haven't done her photo justice as she's managed to take the poppies with snow in the foreground. The poppies are there until the 29th April; part of a touring 5 year arts programme connecting people with the First World War. www.herefordcathedral.org I don't think I will get to see them so its lovely to have this picture. . . Thinking of my friends, the poppies, . . . thoughts of my own dear Mum and Dad, both passed away - my Mum fifteen years ago last week, and my Dad thirty-four years ago last week. . My eldest son's birthday born thirty- four years ago, Sean, from the Irish, meaning, 'gracious, - a gift from God', one of my most precious gifts.
A Buddha, my new garden ornament; a wonderful unexpected gift from my current yoga teacher. She has been ill with a chest infections and difficulty breathing (a real worry for a yoga teacher) for the past six weeks, I offered and have taught the class for the past two weeks. My insurance is valid even though I haven't taught for two years due to moving and Brian's medical appointments. Teaching again has been a privilege and a pleasure. The Buddha is sitting in the sunshine among the daffodils.
It is Easter Sunday, Christ is risen; for me there is no conflict between Buddha and Christ. Compassion, forgiveness, passion, a nurturing gentle breath of life, resurrection. Love, light and happiness are all. Happy Easter X
"Daffodils, that come before the swallow dares,
And take the winds of March with beauty"
Daffodils (narcissus) in their yellow petticoats and green gowns made their welcome appearance for Spring Equinox. Still a biting cold north easterly wind, but how lovely the lengthening days of light. . . daffodils shouldn't be put with other cut flowers or they will poison them. When they die down, even though untidy, they shouldn't be tied back or their leaves cut; leave them for six weeks and they will repay you double in bulbs for next year. Groups of bulbs may be lifted and divided in early summer to improve flowering. Narcissus, loved for many centuries, were used in ancient Egyptian funeral wreathes. Immortalised, among others by William Wordsworth as a 'host of golden daffodils' growing wild in the Lake District.
Crocuses, the coming again of Spring or so the song of the Crocus Fairies would have us believe - 'yellow, mauve and purple, in brave array; white like a cup of light, hundreds of them are smiling up . . . '
A brief walk by the Wyre Estuary passing a flock of ducks,huddled together at low tide, tall swaying sedge sings and bends in the wind. A family visit. A sign in the picnic area ( far too cold for a picnic.) Notice the sign - a family of thirteen used to live here in a two bedroom cottage! There are still damson trees here - picture for the autumn. Spring lambs happily munching the grass, and prickly gorse bushes.
Fast forward a couple of days - or backwards - Spring is shutting down, winter is not giving up without a fight. Blue skies turn grey, the bitter east winds are blowing snow in. March is roaring in 'like a lion'. Much of the UK is on red and amber alert with snow warnings, only a morning's fluttering here; there is snow in fairyland in my garden.
Earlier in the week, although cold, the sky clear of rain, the wind had dropped enough for a walk on the beach and enjoy watching the waves fully alive before each crashing with the incoming tide.
Later, hail and sleet forced retreat to the library; on the 'returned today' shelf - a copy of Helen Dunmore's book of poems 'Inside the Wave'. I had recently read that Helen Dunmore was posthumously awarded the Costa book of the year award last year. Most of her poems were written when Helen knew she was dying, of cancer; some from her hospital bed. Short, easy to read whilst sitting in the library. Her poems are touchingly uplifting, life affirming, very light and dark at the same time - true. The title poem to be 'inside the wave' before it breaks is to be ALIVE. . . . . . .
. . . . . . Back home, cheerful tulips - metaphors, poems resonate. In many different ways our fragile lives are cut short, or changed in an instance - we must flourish as long as we can.
My life’s stem was cut
But quickly, lovingly
I was lifted up,
I heard the rush of the tap
And I was set in water
In the blue vase, beautiful
In lip and curve,
And here I am
Opening one petal
As the tea cools.
I wait while the sun moves
And the bees finish their dancing,
I know I am dying
But why not keep flowering
As long as I can
From my cut stem?
Helen Dumore (1952 -2017)
Welcome to my blog about arts and crafts, countryside. . and much more ...