We have had days of thick snow, heavy rain and overnight temperatures of -19 degrees. School was closed for another 2 days and I shattered the glass hen drinking jar by pouring on some lukewarm water to defrost it. Dog walking through a foot of thick slush was not that pleasurable but I felt that I really deserved my coffee afterwards. One morning I was quilting in my hat and coat because it was so cold but I did have to take my Wellies off because I was tripping over my feet. I didn't go out all week apart from commuting to the workshop and made do with what was in the freezer. We had Roadkill venison stew; it was pretty tasty but even a rich blackcurrant jam gravy did nothing to improve the liver in my opinion. I have always disliked liver and have come to the conclusion that I don't have to keep trying it any more. My spinach and risotto rice soup was less successful as I forgot about it and left it bubbling for hours. It was just like green rice pudding.
I did a lot of intensive yurt quilting this week. I thought it would look interesting if I microscribbled in between the nested Celtic spiros on the Shield panel but it took ages and my hands and elbows became numb after a while. I also finished the Half-Circles panel but after a billion bubbles in 2 colours, became a bit bored with micro quilting. I measured all of the tweed to see how much of it would have to be pieced for the yurt roof – hopefully Tania will give me a hand with that. I ordered another 45 metres of fabric for dyeing and a roll of wadding so I'm just about bankrupt.
I received an abrasive email on Friday that put me in a fairly bad mood. I was so distracted by it that I deviated from my plan for the Pub Carpet panel. I had intended to do some long, smooth vertical lines but instead I produced angry crossing-over lines. I should have stopped and unpicked at this point but I decided to carry on and make it a feature. It did not improve so I ended up scribbling over it all with frustration. It now looks like a Shetland shawl or mycelium (underground fungus growth). I have bound it and put it away for now but may paint over the mess with some gold paint and add some crochet circles to make it look like an intentional design. I am NOT going to experiment any more on this project...!
I made several marathon, fruitless phone calls this week to a Boiler Man who is ignoring my calls about the strong smell of kerosene fumes and the Reject Office Screen Company which is denying that my purchase was ever returned to its depot. I got very annoyed at being put on hold for 20 minutes every time I called and being fobbed off so I am going to call Trading Standards in a last ditch attempt to recover my £135.
Mo is preparing to set off on a jolly to Georgia, near Russia next week with a friend who wanted to take a travel companion on a business trip. She will be collected in a limo from the airport and have dinner with the ambassador at the British Embassy. Tania and I have been pulling her leg and reminding her to take a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates because that is what "The Ambassador" always serves at parties (according to the corny 1980's adverts). She is also going on a helicopter trip to inspect a pipeline with her friend so we have told her she will probably bump into James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) who will then take her on one of those trolleys under the mountain to a secret rendezvous where they will drink champagne and eat caviar. Well, you never know! She is hoping to visit a market selling folkarty things that would be useful for felting or quilting. Mo has been working hard for months so she deserves to have a great trip.
A Friday night out with Tania and Mo made up for all of the week's trials. We had a delicious supper at the new cafe at Woodend Barn. Smoked mussels in a shot glass of exotic oil were a huge improvement on Roadkill. The special guest warm-up act was Tempole Tudor who used to tour with the Sex Pistols. He looked like he had been on the road (and something else) for the past 30 years. His guitar was held together with string and was covered in scorch marks and holes but it still bashed out a tune. The main band was called "Hayseed Dixie" from Tennessee. They wore dungarees, had big beards and were delighted that we had worn cowboy hats. They played smokin' hot bluegrass versions of Bohemian Rhapsody, Mozart and originals such as Alien Abduction Probe. It was the best fun we have had in ages!
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