25 September 2017

Mend and make do

The other day this Work In Progress resurfaced -
It's a bit of almost-finished mending on my favourite teatowel, which was an irresistibly useful extravagance many years ago. Made in Sweden by Ekelund, with an interesting four-colour weave to be double sided, it was much used and now, let's face it, it's pretty well worn out, appropriately in the area of the coffee pot.

But I'm not afraid of darning - indeed, it's a peaceful activity with lots of scope for listening to the radio or podcasts. I'm trying to make time for peaceful activities with a listening component...

And there is a growing pile of mending - hems needing fixing, moth-holes needing disguising, hanging loops needing adding, that sort of thing. So instead of heading off to a coffee shop, I "should" be settling down to get on ith it. (Wouldn't it be "interesting" to sit in the coffee shop and do some mending there - a "mending morning" sounds like a community-minded monthly event that coffee shops, libraries, or bookshops could undertake ... but I dream ...)

Back to reality and a zingy cardigan bought during the art foundation course (2009), which I still love, silly stitched-in writing notwithstanding. Its appeal lies in the colour - and yet, it's the colour that's the problem. Darning wool is wanted, but is not to hand, and my extensive cache of embroidery threads doesn't have a match.
The search for something that might just do started with the totally unsuitable rosy colour to the left, got a bit nearer with the perle purples, which are too thick. The stranded-cotton drawer had plenty of offerings and reminded me that "Tone does the work, but colour gets the credit" - so it became a search for the right tone. The red and the purple seemed the best candidates.

A tiny trial shows the purple to be too dark, as confirmed by the mend on the left -
Using one strand of red and one of purple seems to work (to the right of the buttonhole). It'll do...

Once the small holes are mended, the crunch will come with the frayed cuff -
Needle felting is a possibility - so is turning the cuffs under and stitching them down.

Plan A, though, is to try to get some (tapestry) wool to match, which involves a trip to London Bead Co in Kentish town, a 45-minute walk - killing two birds with one stone, to use an unfortunate turn of phrase - or three, if a pit-stop coffee and cake is factored in. Something to do before, perhaps, "making do".

24 September 2017

Patterns and passing shots

red chairs

blue chairs

nr Victoria

mind the gap

from Yemen

so many red berries 

construction collage

survivor nr Russell Square

gracious and undisturbed

23 September 2017

Busy week

A week with too much going on, and not enough time for reflection, or getting sorted - even though some of the busy-ness was about sorting stuff. A little every morning, before breakfast. (Not on the weekend, though.)

Monday, walking around Victoria - ah yes, Shepherds and all the wonderful papers and bookbinding equipment, must have a look ... the bookbinding exhibition included this lovely prizewinner, Dusk, by Tracey Bush
 A view of the shop -
 Disused doorway in Pimlico -
Following on from the Open House visit to Connor & Lockie in WC1, another tailor (SW1), Redwood & Feller, with a complicated entrance to the shop (love the pattern of tiling) -

 A symphony of brick and stone? Westminster Cathedral opened in 1903 and is the largest Catholic church in England and Wales -
It's not to be confused with Westminster Abbey, which is neither cathedral nor abbey - since 1560 it's had the status of a "Royal Peculiar" -
 The talk on Dorothy L Sayers (Anglican theology was one of her literary subjects) was held in Poets' Corner (rather a difficult acoustic) -
 Tuesday, on the way to drawing (afternoon session) I saw a couple of exhibitions at the Brunei Gallery that were about to end - the architecture of Yemen
 and a collection of early photos from a mining town in Namibia
 So much construction for Crossrail around Tottenham Court Road tube - this row of Victorian buildings is now a mere facade, seen here from the back - perhaps by now, five days later, they have been demolished too. -
 The Royal Society was giving its (30th) annual science book prize - they all sounded terrific, and four of the authors were present to talk about their books.
 Past winners and shortlist are here.

Looking up Lower Regent Street, the lit buildings are dazzling - photos don't do them justice -
Hot on the heels of reading about "drunken forests", I noticed the angle of the trees on Eversholt Street, down which I've walked hundreds of time without "seeing" them -
That was after hearing about research on social adjustment in young women with Turner syndrome, at the Wellcome - the talk was snappily billed as "chromosomes and health" which, when you think of it, is a bit of a riddle. Genes and health, yes ... but in Turner syndrome, a missing or incomplete X chromosome is the root of the problem.

Something completely different - opera at the cinema, Zauberflote from the Royal Opera House.
The serpent made a wonderful start
Image result for magic flute royal opera house
(via)
and the puppet bird was delightful, as was the rickety bird-gondola the Three Boys flew across the stage in. The singing was pretty good too!

Thursday - a spot of gardening - the big areas are almost all dug out, sifted and sorted; another few bags of soil might be needed,though -
 Walking home past the reservoir, newly mown, with glimpses of "downtown" in the distance -
To the RA for Matisse in the Studio, and the preview of Jasper Johns, and also to "Theatres of Memory", Dubuffet at Pace Gallery (till 21 October) -
The quote says "these assemblages have mixtures of sites and scenes,
constituent parts of a moment of viewing ... by the mind ...
if not the immediate viewing by the eyes"
 The "gridded" small pieces appealled most to me -

 ... and the hoardings outside the gallery provided interest ...
 Friday, walking past the palace just before 11, in time to see the crowds waiting for Changing of the Guard
 and hear the band playing -
 Later, on the way back, all was quiet, and the shadows were crisp ... I was intrigued by the density of trees, and their shadow-outlines -
 Ceramics in the City, at the Geffrye Museum till Sunday 24th, yielded  eyefuls of delight - and a little jar-shaped brooch by Miyu Kurihara -
 Cityscape near Liverpool Street -
 Friday Late at the Institute of Civil Engineers - live jazz, a well-used bar, a rollicking debate on the best infrastructure of the past 200 years ... transport to Olympics? Thames Barrier? London's sewage system? London Underground?  We voted on our phones and the sewers got 47% of audience votes.
Music in the Great Hall

The dome in the lecture theatre

A photo by Matthew Joseph, whose photos of tunnels are spectacular -
 but this is a recent winner of Doggett's Coat and Badge rowing race,
with which Tony's family, which included many watermen, was associated

In the library, explanations of tunnelling, and archaeology

... and a chance to build your own tunnelling machine!

As well as a former presidential chair, used by Thomas Telford

22 September 2017

Sunny morning, Parkland Walk



The start

The view, revealed by a bit of tree-cutting near a bridge

The occasional jogger

Leaving the Parkland Walk

Descent to Crouch End

The destination

The coffee shop has some books available for perusal - I picked up Life on Earth by David Attenborough, published in 1979 and quickly reprinted 10 times that year. Amazing photos, in a pre-digital era, including this lacewing in flight
and the sort of fantasy island that you might find as a map on the endpapers of escapist reading for 10-year-olds -
 Back home (6000 steps before 9am), this surprise in the garden - one of the neriums planted some years back has decided to revive -