I have made a fervent resolve to stay home this week and try to catch up on some of the things that haven’t been getting done whilst I have been ‘gadding about’ - as we say ‘oop north’. However - and I don't know why? - I can't get any of the photographs into my text so - for now - I'll have to remain 'undecorated'.
I’m going to rattle off a few of the things I’ve seen and done over the last few weeks – bearing in mind that hardly a day has gone by without some little diversion!
I went with my friend Julie to see the Matthew Williamson exhibition at Urbis – pretty much the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ as far as we were concerned. Yes, the colours were vibrant and the pattern striking but in terms of cutting and construction the garments left a lot to be desired. We resolved to go home and sew … and so we shall.
The Platform Gallery Open Exhibition was a treasure. The highlights for me were Joan Newall’s ‘retrospective book ‘At this moment’ – a real punch in the solar plexus! Gilly Cowan’s layered pieces were so colourful and beautifully stitched. Two of my all-time favourites were also exhibiting - Janet Browne’s ‘journeys’ and Jacqueline Smith’s collages are always a delight to behold and both had lovely pieces on show.
I’ve taken part in two concerts – and all the rehearsals leading up to them – ‘The Armed Man’ again and, last Sunday, ‘Fauré’s Requiem’ and four ‘Motets for Christmas’ by Poulenc. Very challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a relief to be doing Christmas carols once again - but it feels like it ought to be August still! Where did the year go?
I’ve been to the theatre twice to see Chekov’s ‘Three Sisters’ and my own very favourite play ‘Antigone’. This last was a stunning production and reduced me to tears by its intensity and passion. I’m a bit of a Greek tragedy ‘nut’, I have to confess. (My friend, Barbara, a true romantic, who was hoping for a happy ending, reduced me to giggles as she gasped with horror as the bodies piled up!)
The other trip to the Royal Exchange was to hear Sheila Hancock talking about her book ‘Just Me’ – a sequel to ‘The Two of Us’ about her marriage to, and the death of, her husband, John Thaw. I feel a special affinity to Sheila and had the opportunity to tell her so afterwards. I could identify with her experiences of going abroad on your own without the presence of the loving companion with whom you have long shared your travels. You’ve just got to get in there and do it – or sit at home and go into a decline?
I enjoyed the ‘Fashion and Embroidery Show’ at Harrogate, though possibly not as much as in years gone by? I particularly liked Jessica Abraham’s work – it gets better all the time.
Preston Embroiderer’s Guild took part in the Arts Society exhibition in the Minster and my felt pieces were finished in time! Just! I've managed to bring these in through 'Picasa' but it doesn't work for all the others. Why? Anyway, these are 'The pool at the Jardin Majorelle' 1-4.
I've done several courses/workshops - one at Cedar Farm with Sheila Smith and Joanne Eddon, using painted silk to nuno on to felt and one with Sandra Coleridge using the embellisher, both very enjoyable.
Most of all I enjoy the felting group that I belong to. The members are so kind and generous and happy to share their expertise one with another. Our inspiration is Fiona whose wonderful work you can see on 'Fiat84'. She kindly came to give me a personal 'tute' on 'Paint Shop Pro' which is - at last - beginning to make sense. We are all indebted to her for sharing her techniques and tips and inspiring us with her sense of colour and stitch.
As well as Jackie keeping us 'in tucks' with her stories, we have CAKE - how could it help being my favourite way of spending a day?