I enjoyed a hectic few days with family in Norfolk as it was the February midterm break. We met Baby Daniel and the children loved fussing over their new cousin. We packed a lot into our trip and the time flew past. There was a visit to The Farm where I found myself asking about the milk yield of the new Jersey herd and I wondered if I might have room for a small cow in Scotland. The children made lumpy but tasty sausages with Grandad and enjoyed the novelty of walking to a shop. When a boy on a bike with a fishing rod who was wearing a kagoul and some particularly unfashionable specs, yelled across, “Wotcha!”, I knew that I had stepped into a time warp. My Dad announced that he wanted to look at fountains on the Internet. My mother was not impressed and expressed the opinion that he should really finish a project before embarking on a new one. That sounds vaguely familiar…
I would like to be a fan of British public transport but somehow it always lets itself down. I took the train to Colchester to do some longarm tuition with Janette. I missed the first train because some crucial traffic lights had broken down. When I finally arrived we had a really good day. She is not a novice so there was plenty of time to practise free-handing techniques and discuss her plans for a new studio in a log cabin. On the way home, my train was cancelled because someone had been run over. This meant getting on a crowded commuter train to Ipswich then catching a connecting train to Norwich. In Mumbai 20 people are run over by trains every day but the trains still manage to run on time! The journey back to Scotland was less eventful apart from the old bus that replaced the train from Norwich to Peterborough in thick fog. A Canadian tourist enquired hopefully, “Is there a bathroom on board?” The great thing about train journeys now that the children can occupy themselves with IPods and don’t need to go to the loo very often is that it lets me read a book.
I am reading the latest Diana Gabaldon tome in the “Outlander” series. It took me a while to get stuck into this one as I had forgotten who all the characters were but after 6 hours between York and Stonehaven I was back in the Americas of 1777. I did try to check emails using the wifi on the train but it was quite slow and typing on a moving train is quite tricky. I bet all the commuters take ages to check their work for typos or perhaps they are just pretending to work and are really playing solitaire.
I have a few more technological challenges to sort out. My Quilt Quine email address wasn’t working because my mailbox was full. My IPod has decided that it won’t let me sync all the podcasts that I told it to. This is annoying as I am trying to research what makes a good programme. I have been jotting down ideas for content and have ordered a hand held microphone so there is no backing out now. My husband was very puzzled when he told me that my computer had been making a funny noise like a phone ringing. That must have been Skype which is another gizmo that I have yet to master – a bit like Facebook. I have avoided taking my laptop out into the workshop because I’ll never get any work done if I do.
I did get a lot of work done on Saturday because I got up at 5.30am to drop Freya and 2 other Girl Guides off to meet the coach for a day trip to Edinburgh. We have had a lot of snow in our valley over the past few days and it was very icy. I had to defrost the Landy doors and start it up for about half an hour to clear all the ice from the windows. When it was time to leave the doors had frozen shut again. I drove slowly into Banchory and got out to see the girls off but when I tried to get back into the car the doors had all frozen solid again. Luckily, I was able to prise open the door of the boot and climb over all the seats.
I have completely finished 2 yurt panels and sewn on the binding. I actually finished another one but didn’t think the colour was right for my muted Scottish theme so I dyed it a wonderful gungey green. The trouble was that a hot wash was necessary and the panel is now 3 inches shorter so may have to have an extension to get it back up to 54″ in length. Not content with shrinking it, I decided to paint large areas. However, the washed and dried panel is now all crinkly so it is not going as smoothly as it should. I will need to work considerably faster than this and I dare not even look at the calendar as there are 22 more panels to go AND a roof.
My target for the week is to complete 2 (preferably 3) panels and cut up all the pieces of tweed for the roof. The first Stunt Quilter panel arrived from California. Sharon did a great job of the feathers on her Celtic knot. I could not resist adding about a million more pebbles to make the feathers pop out more. Then I decided to celebrate them even more by highlighting them with some Jacquard Lumiere paint. I LOVE Lumiere – it goes on so smoothly but doesn’t run. David reminded me that I really don’t have time to add all these details until later. He may have a point – I should just quilt everything and complete the panels at the exhibition with my tiny paintbrush and pots of paint.