This is the view I have been waking up to since arriving at my sister Jane’s house in Gloucestershire, or is it Hereford, she lives on the border of these two counties. The hill seen through the mist is May Hill, a local landmark and much walked by my sister, including Christmas morning before the feasting begins. I have knit wool grown on sheep who lived on May Hill, and this week visited Nell, the woman who owned those sheep, and who “messes about with wool” as her husband puts it. I bought a lovely brown sheepskin for the boat, and got lots of ideas for my future, including this way of making wool rugs from uncarded fleece.
Today is my last day here. Shortly I will get out of bed, haul my suitcases and other accumulated clobber down stairs. Actually, Martin will probably do the heavy lifting, lucky me. We are then driving to Nantwich in Cheshire to see Little Star, my narrowboat, and to hand me over to my younger sister Sally and her husband Trevor. I am very excited to see my home from February to June next year.
My time at Jane’s has been very eventful. Walking to the pub in pouring rain, listening to a talk about local and national suffragettes, seeing The Shape of Water in a local community hall by a group called Flicks in the Sticks, and visiting my sister as she did her volunteer shift in the village shop/post office, run by the community as the original shop was closed by the owner. Oh, and making four dresses
Jane loved the style of this dress, she has had one for twenty years and it is wearing out. I had a pattern that was close. First I adapted the paper pattern, then made a white cotton version to fit the pattern to Jane. It is a princess line, tricky to fit. When the cotton version was properly fitted then it became the pattern for the dresses. Jane and I are pretty similar in size so fitting mine was not too hard.
Yesterday we had coffee in Newent after yoga and browsed around the town. This caught my eye:
It appears to be a wood stove that has a burning chamber one foot square. It certainly got my brain thinking about its effectiveness. How much space would it heat? Does the energy needed for cutting logs small enough to go into it count towards its effectiveness? How frequently would you have to reload it? Then I thought, stop thinking Canadian, maybe it is not for wood. Maybe it is for coal. It was very cute.
Jane and her partner Martin get the weekend Guardian, published on Saturday, and the Sunday Times. One left wing, one right wing, so a nice balance. They provide reading for the whole week, that they usually do in the rebuilt conservatory. Three walls of glass and a heated floor. Lovely. Magazines also accumulate, and I was very heartened to see this article:
Now if we can only keep those bees alive.
Lastly, before I haul myself out of bed, I wish I had this as a kid. A puzzle of the counties of Britain (and Ireland). I only have the vaguest idea of where the southern counties are located, coming from the north as I do, and it being unknown lands down there. I have colour copy to serve as a reference for this trip!