Hope you like your greens

Hello All

I said that I would be practising with my new camera app. As you know photography is not my forte so it couldn't be any worse, right? Well you are right! Definitely sharper and clearer. Sorry turns out a good camera doesn't help my sense of composition or subject. If you are allergic to green look away now. I'll tell you when it's safe to come back.

I have a penchant for allotments. There I have admitted it. I love the thought of all those superb tasty veggies growing in small scale patchwork ranks. Mmmm satisfying.

On my way through to Oxenholme Station I like to wander from the main road and walk through allotment land.

Yummy goodness. Gorgeous fruit tress. No scrumping was undertaken. Honest.

Everyone has their own style. From slightly chaotic to serried ranks. You. Leeks! shoulders back, stand up straight.

Anyone remember 'The Flower Pot Men' ? Bill and Ben and most especially Little Weeeeeed? Those were innocent times!!!!!

Productive way to recycle old window units.

Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.

If you are ready for some new recipes for all those scrummy, crunchy, luscious veggies… (oh yes… you can look back greeniness is over … sort of).

I spotted this book yesterday and thanks to a kindly friend JH and her gift of a book voucher I was able to buy it and bring it home. At first I thought it might have too many fancy clancy ingredients that this country mouse would struggle to get. But as I sat drooling at all the tastiness within I realised the recipes were heart-warming, stomach-filling and easily made. In addition to the glorious food are tales of the rich Middle Eastern culinary heritage beautifully and humorously written.

Definitely got p166 Imam Biyaldi (The Swooning Imam … apparently) lined up for a warming supper. And warming is the order of the day here in the Cumbrian summer. Don't know about anyone else but I have been ffffffffreezing lately. So much so it has been even more of a pleasure to work on one of my ongoing projects, the scrap blanket.

Thankfully it has reached the stage where it is large enough to cover my legs and toes. And the scrap mountain is going down. Win win.

Hope your week is going well. What are you and your weather up to?

Until next we meet,
Moke xxx

Farfield

Hello All

Who-hoo what I great day I had on Friday thanks to AW who kindly gave me a lift to the marvellous Farfield Mill on her way to work at Sedbergh Library.

Farfield is a restored Victorian woollen mill with four floors of displays and exhibitions. It houses a history of the local woollen industry – from the Terrible Knitters of Dent through to the restoration of the mill as an arts and heritage centre – and arts and crafts exhibitions. I of course started downstairs in the Weavers’ Cafe! One toastie and tea later I worked my way up through the building. But sorry folks no photos as I respected their policy of no photography inside the centre.

Leaving the cafe (noting the sign for their regular weekly Knit and Natter sessions) I tootled through the building passing the HUGE warping mill – my old warping board seeming very puny – and took a peak at the Dobcross Power Loom which came to Farfield in 1965. The centre is  lucky enough to have a weaver to operate the looms, if you want to see him and the loom in action I think he is there at weekends, and the mill sells beautiful blankets woven on site.

Scuttling upstairs I headed for the first temporary exhibition PagePaperStitch – Fold beautifully sculpted paper and books created by three textile artists – Annwyn Dean, Joan Newall and Elizabeth Shorrock – who love bookbinding.

Next door was a stunning exhibition Working The View created by brother and sister team Mark (photographer) and Sarah Butler (writer). Through photographs and interviews they have brought together something like 40 Yorkshire Dales landscapes chosen by locals along with the stories behind those selections. In amongst the names of the participants were two I know (so I got very excited!): Annie Hamilton Gibney Community Archaeology Project and Development Officer who chose Mallerstang Edge Ruin and said that she felt these views “take over a little of your soul” and Jan Hicks Textile Artist and small-holder whose choice was Howgill Fells from above Raisbeck where she likes to take her sandwiches to eat her tea and look at the view.

Finally visiting the Howgill Gallery I enjoyed a luscious selection of weaving entitled Metamorphosis by The British Tapestry Group (Scottish Branch). I loved these tapestries: the rich colours, textures and individual takes on the theme of change.

Of course one of the best features at Farfield are the artist workshops where you can watch artisan felters, weavers, knitters, sewers, furniture makers and more making their wares and selling them too. Many beautiful things to drool over.

Time for a walk and what a lovely stroll I had.

Following the path, passing pretty cottages, admiring the delicate hawthorn and looking down to the fast flowing river it was refreshing to be able to stride and trip (I am the most clumsy walker) along the short cut to Sedbergh. I looked out for the packhorse bridge DSCI0150

and with a backward glance to Farfield DSCI0154

and the fast flowing river that once turned its waterwheel DSCI0157

set off between hedgerows DSCI0166

remembering all the nettle stings of childhood and the cool relief of the dock leaf DSCI0161

tracing the beautiful patterns of the dry stone walls DSCI0162
and snapping quick shots of the ever present sheep (don’t these two look like they have just shared a joke?) DSCI0158
some of whom are starting to look ready for a haircut…baaaaaa!DSCI0167

All was going well until….I took it into my head to turn right when I should have turned left. I probably added about a mile to my perambulation. But I’m glad I missed my way as look what greeted me, DSCI0168

I was quite startled by suddenly coming upon this field of alpacas – further up the road I saw a sign saying they belong to Why Not Alpacas – and couldn’t help but laugh with glee at their beautiful faces especially when they all trotted towards me. Not I suspect my charm but rather the thought that I might be bringing treats. DSCI0169

What gorgeous animals they are. DSCI0173Having realised – I swear I was at least half way to Kirkby Stephen – the error of my way only the alpacas saw me retrace my steps. DSCI0174

Lining the hillside like the ‘Indians’ in an old fashioned Western I’m sure I heard them sniggering.

Eventually back in Sedbergh DSCI0176

I toddled along the narrow street DSCI0179

purchasing some cinder toffee en route to the library where I met up with AW and one of her regular patrons local author Jean Briggs (JC Briggs to her readers). JC’s latest book The Murder of Patience Brooke will be published in paperback by The History Press in August 2014 and features Charles Dickens as author turned detective. Talking to her was a real insight into the novelist’s craft and her impressive passion for her subject was inspiring. You always meet the most wonderful people in libraries.

Before I go, a t-arn update. I have finished all the lovely balls of t-arn B cut and wound for meDSCI0130

and made a start on my rug DSCI0133

its not gi-normous (this is a dinner plate)

but it has the makings… although a bit of rummaging through the airing cupboard looking for old t-shirts is called for.

Until we meet again. Moke

I’m back!

Phew pay day came and work was such a rush that I couldn’t get out to purchase a new camera. Disgruntled face. But today is Saturday. Hint of a grin. I scuttled to AH’s for Latin and didn’t we do well. Total agreement over the answers means we must have been 100% right….mustn’t we?! Broad grin face.

Beaming smile as I drop off JG’s specsaver mat (sorry no photo, you know why). Scuttle down Stoney Lane, remember it? Stoney Lane

Whizz into library to drop off recent read and say a quick hello to my friends before – now fit to burst – rushing over the road to the shopping centre to pick up my new camera!!!!!!! Yessssssssssssssss I’M BACK!

A few purchases on the market and straight to Waterside Cafe to unpack my new digital optimal zoom whatsa-macall it. Excited (if a little alarmed) ‘Quick Start Guide’ scanned, batteries in and hey presto the first picture Buckwheat Burgers

buckwheat burgers! part eaten….

After this less than auspicious start I decided on a mini-project. Here then is my walk home: along the River Kent passing a herd (apparently) of swans, Swans on River Kent

 

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Abbot Hall

the Parish Church,Parish Church, Kendal

and taking a look at a reminder of an erstwhile Kendalian resident. Gravestone, Kendal

A little bit of river left on my walk and I saw my friend the lone swan,

posing beautifully don’t you think? (“Which is my best side?”). I also tried to capture (digitally of course) two ducklings. They proved too quick…

At the end of the river a sign to remind us that Kendal is worth mooching around. Explore Kendal sign at Kirkland

Not far now. Past Kendal College, Kendal College

up the lane, pausing to admire the bluebells,

almost home,

Home sweet home. Loving this plant in the front garden but what is it? Home

The troughs are looking jolly this year, Home - troughs

and I have my own (small) stash of bluebells on the doorstep to welcome me. Pot of bluebells

For those of you who are not photographically challenged (like me) and want to know what camera I am now using ‘ere ’tis:

Now I’ve had a little practice I will return to the Orange Box of secrets so look out for another post in a day or so.

Glad to be back amongst you. Have good one.

Moke xx

BIG P.S. CONGRATULATIONS TO SF AND BRIDE TO BE JULIA xxxxxx

The sound of distant drums

The weather broke spectacularly yesterday with the rumble of thunder, flashes of lightening and a tremendous downpour. Good to watch and listen to but not so great to be caught in! Don’t worry yours truly was visiting a friend for a natter and a cuppa. Lucky because we were there to quickly unpeg her washing and bring it in. But it’ll take more than a bit of rain to dampen my spirits ‘cos today is a drumming day!

I started hand drumming back in the early ’90s when I took my children along to workshops run by Alan ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. It heralded a wonderful time in our lives when we joined in many community ventures and I met my good friend and community arts mentor B.  Together B and I helped form a local drumming group and went on to run drum circle workshops as On A Roll all over Cumbria. Today – after many years of hauling drums about the county – B and I meet up with a couple of other kindred spirits, Ph and R,  to form Uz4 a quartet of happy drummers. It is always a treat. We have drummed together for so long that we often anticipate individual changes of drum rhythm so complimenting each others playing. Of course there is always food (you are beginning to see a pattern here!), very good conversation and some laughs.

Happy day!  Although sorry R couldn’t make it. So strictly speaking we were Uz3.

It was also a ‘swopsie’ day as B gave me two of her hand made books in return for some crochet (can’t say exactly what I made as I think they may be gifts so don’t want to spoil the surprise).  Aren’t B’s books beautiful? DSCN0389

Finally one to look out for…. DSCN0375

A friend of B’s Julian Hyde is putting on an exhibition of his work to aid the local food bank. His atmospheric photos and the stories that spring from them are a wonderful illustration of what can happen when you wander the backroads.

Night night.