I ceremonially switched on my upgraded APQS Millennium and quickly quilted a tiny quilt that will be for the kids’ piano teacher when her new baby makes its appearance. The machine worked even better after I connected up the extra cable that I had thought might have been a spare. A custom quilt arrived in the post that requires a lot of stitch-in-the-ditch ruler work so I need to order a new ruler base from the USA as soon as possible or decide whether to remove the thread cutter that will allow my old one to fit back on.
I was feeling nervous about chopping large chunks off the coracle skin to make it fit so I persuaded Mo to supervise me placing darts around the outside. I decided not to cut sections out as it would have left raw edges, exposing some wadding so I have just sewn them down. After some debate, I decided to put the bronze spandex on the outside of the coracle instead of the chamois. This means that the lighter side of the skin will be seen on the inside through the gaps in the wicker. This is actually a much better place to sew all of the beads since they are less likely to fall off if they are inside the boat. When it was sitting on the work-table upside down it looked just like a giant turtle. I need to attach the chamois binding and lace it all on by the beginning of June as the fishing shop in Banchory has requested it for display it in one of their windows during the River Festival Weekend.
Obviously, 24 hours of having the internet working without a hitch was a fluke. The minute I tried to reset the wireless printer the whole thing went down and I had to make several long and frustrating phone calls to Orange, aka EE. First you have to pass a secret password test with Geordies then you are transferred to a crackly phone line to the technical experts in India with tinny muzak blaring out of the phone every time you are put on hold. To add to this infuriating process, I was unable to use the landline and the mobile phone reception in the corner of our granite house where the modem is situated was awful so the technician kept getting cut off. Somehow I managed to control my temper and insisted that I should be sent a new modem which duly arrived 48 hours later.
Amazingly, I plugged it in, tapped in a new code and got all of my gadgets working again. It is incredible how dependent I am on having a reliable wifi connection. I needed to find out about UK Customs red tape, send emails as Chairperson of the School Parent Council regarding planning permission for a car-park, correspond with quilters, liaise with teachers and purchase disposable cameras for Freya’s school trip to Spain.
One of my friends idly wondered why I seem to live my life at a frantic pace but I did not have time to reflect on an answer to that question for more than 3 seconds as I was too busy dashing about. An added complication has been that my husband had to go in for an emergency eye operation to have a detached retina fixed, probably as a long-term result of a childhood accident. To recuperate from this procedure, he has to move as little as possible and he cannot drive.
This weekend I ran a workshop for a group of girls from the International School and their mothers. It was great fun despite being a bit crowded; we even had to set up some cutting tables outside the workshop, weighing the fabric down with stones to stop it from blowing away. The girls learned how to hand-sew hexagons and make half-square-triangles for a cushion. They all seem keen to come back and do another class when I have some free time.
On Saturday evening I went to see Fenella in her first fiddle concert and competition with the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society, followed by a lively ceilidh. There were visitors there from all over the North of Scotland including many talented young musicians from Orkney. On Sunday afternoon it was Fergus’s turn to perform in a guitar concert where we enjoyed everything from acoustic versions of The Beatles, Spanish gypsy rhythms, to Jimi Hendrix and some serious rock solos.
It has been quite a feat ensuring that everyone has the necessary supplies, equipment and is in the right place at the right time. I zoomed past the arranged rendevouz with Freya and the other Duke of Edinburgh hikers whom I was supposed to collect after their camping expedition and there was no mobile phone reception to let them know that I was making a minor detour and may be slightly delayed.
It is little wonder that I have not had time to visit the hairdresser for a while and have had to resort to snipping my fringe with pinking scissors again. I think that when I go and stock up the fridge before leaving on my forthcoming trip to Malvern at the end of this week I will treat myself to a bottle of artisan gin 😉