Saturday, February 08, 2014

The River Wild...

Here in Essex the terrain is fairly flat, but we are also some distance from an actual coast.  Water meadows, however, are a landscape feature here; our village has a willow plantation along the banks of the river.  Famous name cricket bats were made, probably still are, from that willow.

So we should not have been surprised to see the river burst its banks this morning.  We've seen it much higher than this.  One half-term I parked my car in its usual place down the road, just opposite a sign for Lakes Meadow, before going north to visit my mother.  My husband, in our house some few hundred yards away, and several feet higher, saw my car on the local news bulletin.  The flood water had risen and filled the footwells on the car.  Strangely, it started first time and dried out eventually, although there was an awfully swampy smell in there for some time.

 In the middle distance, swans taking a break on the river-bank.

This strange little item is made of a linen yarn bought from the Sudbury silk mill on a cone, so probably a weaving yarn.  Even used double it is very light and has no give.  I'm using it to make a pouch for my MP3 player, which I use to create my own little zone at the gym.  Those who know me in person would be surprised how well I have taken to regular gym visits this year.

 On my first visit I was astonished to see a former colleague on her way out, and even more  to see her name on the chart for the top performers of the previous month in our age-group.  Nothing like a bit of competition to spur one on.  Last month, there I was, in the top five.  But I do find it awfully beneficial, not only in keeping my joints going, but also in inducing a state of calm, so that the rest of the day can be enjoyed.


 Finally, the latest strip for my  cream Celtic Throw.  This attempts to emulate the spirals which appear in Celtic cross carvings.  It's not my invention; I simply looked up Celtic Cable on Ravelry. 

Alongside is the dear little pincushion and pins given to me by one of my great-nieces, who has begun to fall under the spell of the haberdashery store.  In my attic, I have the hand sewing machine used by my own grandmother to earn her living as a travelling dressmaker.  She would strap the machine in its case on the carrier on the back of her bicycle, and off she would go.  This would have been before the First World War.  She was beyond sewing when I knew her, but after she died, my father bought this machine for me from the auction of her effects.
Now, should I give this machine to my great niece, that would be her great-great grandmother's sewing-machine.  Strange to think of it like this.

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