From Fedex Fiasco to Firewalking

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I took a parcel of Ferret’s quilts that have been awaiting dispatch since September to Fedex in Aberdeen. It wasn’t actually in Aberdeenbut on a farm off the A90. They could not sort out my international parcel – I would have to go toEdinburgh for that.

Tania discovered that she can get a large Fedex discount as a British Airways employee so we decided to go down toEdinburghwith BK then make a trip to IKEA. We arrived after two and a half hours to discover that the office had closed down the previous week and that Central Fedex(in Mumbai – grr!) and Aberdeen Fedex had not told us this useful fact. However, a chirpy man with an armful of parcels went into the office next door and so Extra-Ordin-Air (in Scotland– hooray!) sorted BK out to go to theUSA. They were very helpful and gave me a discount but it still cost £111!! It just goes to show that probably plenty of British quilters could get work into the Paducah Show but don’t bother because of the cost.

I worked on “The Ugly Quilt” this week. This was the quilt that took 5 years to be hand pieced with curtain samples and thread that was like string; the backing provided was a poly-cotton sheet. There was plenty of cat fluff on it for additional warmth. I may not appreciate its beauty BUT a customer worked on it, finished it and obviously enjoyed making it enough to want to pay me to finish it off AND so it puts money in the bank.

I was out with the dogs and yelling at Wellington for taking a detour again when he came hurtling back with a large rabbit in his mouth. I was extremely surprised because I always think he charges around far too madly to concentrate on actually catching anything so I think this rabbit must have accidentally bumped into him. Much to Mabel’s annoyance, I retrieved the rabbit and decided to get Mo to give me a rabbit skinning lesson over coffee. She had 2 visitors and a garden full of escaped cows when I arrived. She shoved the coffee cups to one side and dealt with the rabbit for me. It really was like getting a jumper off but there is very little meat on a bunny. I decided that the rabbit wouldn’t go very far in a stew so she caught a spare cockerel and he suffered the same fate. We skinned it instead of plucking since it was for a stew. I thought this would make a great curry for Saturday night so she then produced a pheasant and a wild boar trotter from the freezer. I decided to make a Moroccan tagine type of thing with lime, chickpeas, spices and chutney in my new enormous IKEA soup pot, a bit like a cauldron really. Ferret phoned when I was still thinking aloud about what ingredients to throw in and was wondering about the addition of marmalade.

Fantastic news in the post on Saturday – I was awarded the £1000 grant by the Scottish Arts Council and Aberdeenshire Council for my exhibition yurt project. It just shows that you have to have a plan, decide that it will work and make it happen.

On Saturday night I went to Mo’s to have a go at Firewalking to celebrate the Spring Equinox. For a start we decided that we could not enter into such a venture without a glass or two of wine first so we sloped off with a nice bottle before the other guests arrived. They were not what I had expected. Mostly they had lots of “issues” and negative vibes to get rid of. I just thought it would all be a bit of a laugh and had been warned not to make faces or chortle. I was very respectful of the process. Around the circle in the yurt, the women had to tell the others what their problems were and some did this with a great outpouring of emotion. I just sat there thinking what the hell was I going to find to be negative about? In the end I managed to mutter about one sentence saying that I should try not to forget about my family when I am busy. There was drumming and singing in Sanskrit or something which was fun, before declaring what we wanted to be positive about so I managed to say I wanted to be successful in my craft. Someone thought I meant Witchcraft, not Quilting…Next there was the arrow breaking ceremony. Again, the others who had done this before were rather hyped up. You have to put a pointy archery arrow in the soft part of the throat and push against a piece of board until it snaps. There was much heavy breathing and hysteria from some. When it was my turn, I realised that you have to kind of nudge the arrow to make it flex then it just snaps. By now they are all thinking that I am a powerful Mystic whereas Sceptic would be more accurate. By this time I was losing all hope of getting any supper and tasting my Critter Casserole but finally it was time to walk on fire. The idea is that you can only do this if you are charged with positive power and you march across the embers in 3 steps. We were standing on dewy grass in Aberdeenshire that was so cold I could barely feel my feet at all. Walking on the fire is meant to feel like walking on hot sand. The contrast of hot and cold was quite tingly. It was a shame that I did not get the opportunity to take a photo. You have to look at your feet afterwards to check for “fire kisses” or small burns. I only had chicken poo on mine. I had fun and an interesting evening but no spiritual revelations.  I have decided that I am far too grounded to really appreciate the wonders of such experiences. The Critter Casserole was terrific though.

This week my task is to paint Freya’s bedroom and if I have any time left, decide whether to quilt the Hungarian Broken Dishes or possibly create a stitched Buddha. Perhaps I should meditate to decide… too busy – no time for that!

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