Monday, February 25, 2013

Turkey soup

In one of my favourite scenes in  "Cold Mountain," the pragmatic Ruby deals with a "flogging rooster" by wrenching off its head and making of it the yellow stew that Ada has been dreaming about. I always think of this when we have turkey soup.  Not sure that I would be up to killing my own bird, however.  Instead, we start with a turkey leg, eaten as a roast dinner.  Then the rest of the meat, diced and added to a regular vegetable soup, makes the most delicious meal in these bitterly cold wintery days.

This week's task has taken me back to my teenage years.  At the bottom of our garden is my husband's shed.  He had decided to insulate the walls by cladding them with polystyrene and lining them with hardboard. It certainly needed doing.  "Before" pictures would have looked like scenes from "The hoarder next door", as my husband tends to see possible future uses for all manner of unlikely items.  The "After" pictures would show the transformation to a clean and snug working space - like the inside of a cardboard box.

This last week I have been the gofer, locating the tool required and handing it up, bracing items being drilled and basically following instructions.  With only a hazy grasp of the big picture and none of the skills needed, it reminded me strongly of assisting my father with tasks on the farm - milking, calving, haymaking.   In my late teens I spent some time doing each of these, in a supporting role.

My latest weaving project: Last summer I bought a skein of yarn from Susan Heath.  I loved the freshness of the colour combination, although I would never choose these colours to wear myself.
I wanted to see what the effect would be to use this yarn for both warp and weft.  It turns out as a kind of plaid, with a distinctly spring-like mood to it.

Remember this image of the beams in our dining room?   There is a similar arrangement in our first-floor bedroom.   We have been revisited by the team surveying houses in the "Discovering Coggeshall" project.  They have a fascinating web-site.

Our house was shown to have been rebuilt in 1636, reconstructing an open hall, to put in a first and attic floor.  The current theory is that this end wall dates from about 1400, linking it to the house on one side with which it shares a passage-way.  All of these houses were used by merchants and clothiers in the wool-trade, spinning, weaving and marketing the woollen cloth for which the area was famous.  As I warp up my little loom, or as I sit at my spinning wheel, I can almost feel those earlier inhabitants looking on in amazement, that what was once sweat-shop labour is now a leisure activity.


Christine said...

When I have been in England, I often would try to imagine the "parade" of history while sitting in an old church or visiting an old building such as yours. In America "history" only goes back a couple of hundred years! The historical weavers/spinners are watching you!

kristieinbc said...

As a Canadian I can hardly grasp the idea of living in a house that was originally built in the 1400s. That pre-dates the settlement of this country by Europeans!

Your scarf is lovely. And what an amazing thing to think as you work on your fibre projects that many other fibre artists have sat in your home doing the very same thing.

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