Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Sunshine and stitching.
Well the sun is shining here in West Norfolk, in a clear blue sky, and it is so welcome after the grey and drizzle we've had recently. The real cold approaches, however, so I will be jolly glad to be leaving these shores for a wee while, heading Down Under to NZ to stay with Kit Krissie and the children. Deep Joy! The Kitchen Doorstep views are a little misleading as the sky looks a bit grey here...but it really isn't!
Some new shoots appearing, snowdrops, crocus, grape hyacinth, and a little further out of shot, some daffs pushing up through the soil. I hope the chives start appearing soon, I do miss them; but I think I need to replace some of them, we used to have masses of them around the garden but they have declined over the last couple of years.
Ouse Washes Molly side danced out on Monday evening, at The Hare Arms, a lovely pub in a hamlet called Stow Bardolph, not far away from Downham Market , West Norfolk. We would usually be dancing over at Ramsay for the Plough Monday celebrations, with a huge coterie of school children; however as the schools didn't go back until Tuesday the usual routine had to be altered. (If anyone wants to find out more about the Fenland traditions, and the history of the Ouse Washes Molly Dancers, do have a look at the OWMD website. Gordon 'Phil' Phillips, OWMD Squire, and Nicky Stockman, OWMD Muso-in-Chief, spend a lot of time working with Fenland children, introducing them to their own traditions and legends of the area, and teaching them the dances.
Unfortunately, anyone who managed to watch the Unthank Sisters' film A Very English Winter, shown on BBC4 in December, won't have seen the huge amount of footage taken of the children processing and dancing at last years' Plough Monday/Straw Bear event. Partly I suppose because of time contraints, but also because it seemed to us the BBC was nervous about showing so much of the children...political correctness gone mad??
We had a relatively small audience for our revels on Monday night, but the Landlord and bar staff were very appreciative and supportive, and it was a reasonably mild and DRY evening. My applique-adorned top hat was much commented on, and very favourable remarks made. I should be going into business selling hats for dancing and festival-going! I'm really pleased with how the first one turned out...I added more embroidery and was quite disappointed when I had to stop.
The only stitches I've used are straight stitch, fly-stitch and french knots. Oh you could say cross stitch but really it's just an extension of straight stitch.
I have made the base for the second one, all in black this time, and I am embroidering the motifs BEFORE stitching them on, to save some of the contortionist antics required last time!
Today is Stitch and Bitch day, so more stitching to do, cake to consume and plans to make, much nattering to attend to. Such a nice, gentle day, I do enjoy them. I'm having a short rest before starting to prepare the evening meal - grandson Chris invited himself round for dinner, and a pint afterwards with his Granddad. I hope your day has been as enjoyable.
PS A special word for readers in Australia Tasmania (especially you, Chris) I hope you and yours are safe and sound and have not been affected by those horrific bush fires.