" Then sing ye birds, sing a joyous song,
Ye that pipe and ye that play, Feel the gladness of the May"
This last week or so I've been out and about away from home. Saturday to attend a First Aid Course, at Pilton Village Hall, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. I needed a one day Emergency First Aid at Work Certificate to validate my Yoga teaching insurance, and it was due to run out before I realised it had to be renewed. (I only teach one class a week, but still like to keep everything in order and up-to-date). Courses locally were full up, hence the travelling; well out of my comfort zone.. Armed with my son's satnav and lunch I set off at 6.30 am to avoid any possible delays. Successfully navigating the Chepstow countryside, the Severn Bridge, (and toll on the way back,) M32, M4 ,part of Bristol city, I arrived in Pilton Village Hall at 8.30 am for a 10.00 am start! It had to be a yoga venue; there was a row of Tibetan prayer flag bunting fluttering outside. A lovely bright morning and no one about, time for a short walk (sadly without my camera) through this picturesque village. Every other garden had a heavenly scented blousey lilac bush and honeysuckle growing. At the brow of a short hill, a fabulous view of Glastonbury Tor. Back through a beautiful wooded public footpath strewn with primroses, ransoms and bluebells. At the end near the village centre I went inside the village Church which was open at this time of the morning. It was heated, and had a toilet ! I did my ablutions, said a brief prayer of thanks for my safe arrival and wonderful surroundings, wrote in the visitors book and made my way back to the car and ate a sandwich for breakfast. Across the road, a pretty whitewashed cottage with lilac coloured window frames, 'Paradise Cottage', and, the top of a gaily coloured gypsy caravan just in view. More walking, around the back of the house revealed some other caravans for camping and glamping, (it is near Glastonbury after all) with sign-writing on the back of one of them - 'Everyone needs laughter in their life'. Another walk around the village, spied a garden with large twisted sculptured figures made from the tree trunks and a wooden sign saying, 'Tree Pirates'. Back through the Church once more where I picked up a Community Church Magazine with a sketch of May blossom and a butterfly with the Wordsworth quote I've written under my robin photo above. 'Then sing ye birds, sing a joyous song, Ye that pipe and ye that play, Feel the gladness of the May'. (That pic was taken back at home last Sunday). Then on to the village hall where other course participants were arriving. The course was fun and interactive, not too embarrassing, about a very serious subject. Thankfully we rarely get call for First Aid in my Yoga class, although you could be forgiven for mistaking one or two students as being unconscious when they are relaxing in Savasana, but, I wont be wading in with C.P.R!
A neighbours heavenly scented lilac bush back in Hereford.
Thankyou for the well wishes for my injured thumb, which is so much better after a great deal of rest. It may be of interest that J.B. Mennell in his book from the 1930s (I don't recall why I possess this book) on 're-education of muscle and training the finger and thumb muscles' gives the following recommendation,
" As strength improves (to the thumb) simple co-ordination work should be undertaken . . .writing with chalk on a blackboard, fastening buttons of various sizes, tying knots, and, later on, threading needles of different sizes, followed by actual needlework or knitting, will tend to do more to restore strength and co-ordination than we anticipate."
And there we have it, medical authority states I am meant to sew again!
The last 10 days has been fairly busy. B. and I joined dearest friends from Manchester for a lovely evening with them and overnight stay in Llandrindod Wells, across the border in Powys, Wales 40 miles west of here. A beautiful country drive through the Welsh countryside.
By way of a complete contrast last Tuesday up the M5 to Birmingham dental hospital, for some on-going gum treatment, administered by a second year university student who is supervised. The student, Krishna, is lovely, petite, and very competent. But, this time, I noticed she was slightly ill at ease; as her own supervisor was on leave she was being supervised by one of the top dental professors in the country. What I really appreciated about him, he insists that dental work, especially injections should be completely pain free. They always double check their students work physically. This was after I'd had my mouth open for nearly an hour! He said that he felt something that was so minuscule under my gum root that wouldn't really matter, but as I was numbed up he'd sort it out. I could feel it, but it wasn't in any pain. Krishna had done a brilliant job, and Professor was generous in his praise, that is until just one little incident. It only takes something that seems so small to change everything in an instance doesn't it? He asked Krishna for a piece of gauze, and now feeling confident she rather too hastily said, "I'm a cotton-wool girl myself". I had that sinking feeling myself, for her. According to the Prof. cotton-wool is not sterile, even though Krishna had just opened a brand new pack. Unfortunately there wasn't any gauze in the nearby drawers. Then more trainees were in for some criticism for standing around when they could be stocking up drawers and cupboards for the practitioners. Krishna, to her credit without being asked twice went in search of gauze and came back with some. The Prof. was a happy bunny, and back to being his calm, reassuring self. He got the offending item, a speck of something the size of a gnat's dropping, out of my gum, like little Jack Horner (but not with his thumb), so pleased with his result turned to Krishna, and said, " There you are, you wouldn't have been able to see this on a piece of cotton-wool!" Point made, lesson learned I think.
As students spend longer time practising on their patients whilst they are learning, it can be physically taxing on their hands, Krishna told me her wrists, unsurprisingly, were aching after an hour. I was able to give her some simple resistance exercises she could discretely do on a desk, table or against a wall. I'm sure she will do them; she does listen and take note. She's a bright young woman. I know she will do well in her exams, and I see her again in July.
Crab apple blossom to bring back a smile!
And bluebells - ' feel the gladness of the May'.
The hexie patchwork grandmothers flower garden quilt I started last year for the animal rescue charity shop just came to a halt when the dark nights started to draw in during the winter. Thankfully lighter days and nights are here, but I managed to damage my thumb opening a bottle of something, and it really has put paid to sewing for a good few weeks, and has been quite painful. It's surprising how many activities your thumb is needed for. At first even holding a kettle handle was almost impossible. It still hurts to put pressure on it e.g. ironing and cutting with scissors. Like most injuries waiting to heal, there is great lesson in patience. But pleased to report that progress on the quilt has been resumed. Individual fabric and card hexagons were already cut out, when I bought them from the shop. I intended make up the quilt and return it to the shop, but didn't say when, although I had thought Christmas - it may be Christmas this year!
There were very few solid colours in the stash, so I have used a blue bed sheet to make the flowers outline, to suggest flowers against a blue sky. When I started this quilt I had no real plan of how to make up the design or if I did it's since been forgotten. I know from recent books I have read I've broken modern quilt-makers rules: they say you should use new fabric - these patches date back to the 1960's; that you should use the same weight and type of fabric - there is an odd mix in here. Also, that you should have planned your design out on a graph beforehand - I made up the flowers trying to have a solid in the middle and patterned petals, and then started at the centre and worked round and out. All that keeps coming back to mind is that the pioneers surely used scraps from various materials they had to hand. Although a plan would be helpful if more than one person was making up the quilt.
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