RSS

this old thing?

Today we’re experiencing chilly, wintry weather. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s “sit in front of the fire with a hot chocolate and a good book” time. Oh, and, you know, bring out your warmest woollies. In my case that would be my very old, cabled, red jumper; the one I knitted in 1984 prior to departing for the northern hemisphere. There I wore it solidly from almost the day I arrived till the day I departed. It certainly features in many photos from those years, including this one among the ruins near Nonno’s village.

1984-11-25 Roviano Lazio Italy

YoungB looked at me wearing it today – yes, it’s somewhat tighter nowadays, in case you were wondering 😉 – commented on how warm I looked, and asked was I knitting anything for him! Uuh, yeah, about that. I reminded him that he’d changed his mind about the cabled jumper I’d planned to knit for him and then been unable to decide on anything else. Also, cables? In those days they weren’t his favourite adornment. He’s lived in a truly cold climate since then and has come to appreciate cables as providing visual interest as well as extra warmth.

Also, he reminded me, I’m mending his fingerless mitts. He loves them and has worn them so much that he’s gone through the palm of one. I often say he’s knitworthy  and worth the food. How could I resist making something for someone who’s so wholeheartedly appreciative?!

If you’re in a cool part of the world, I hope you’re managing to keep warm, whether by sitting in front of the fire or from wearing something lovingly handknitted.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Knitting, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

what a year can do

irisbed.Jpeg

The relocated irises, looking sparse.

By happy coincidence, the above photo popped up on some reminder this morning. So today, I whipped out my phone and took the photo below.

thrivingJpeg

A year later, here’s what’s happening with the irises. Blooming and all 🙂

If ever there were a lesson in the value of leaving things to their own devices and being able to pretend you’re a gardener, this would come close. For a splash of closer colour, here’s the true beauty of a blooming iris.

happy.Jpeg

In spite of the cold, in spite of the neglect, in spite of battling with thistles and soursobs, there they are: blooming happily 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 8, 2018 in gardening

 

Tags: ,

and is it really nearly midwinter already?

mignonette.Jpeg

Recent flurry of floral activity in the garden

I think we all know the answer to that.

Knitting progress? Not quit nil, but very slow. Crochet progress? Minus – that is to say, I’ve had to unpick the little I’ve managed. Sewing? Nil. Surviving? Yep, we’re managing that in the face of some serious setbacks. We might not be the creators we once were – I couldn’t tell you how long it is since any of us was involved in a live performance – but I think we could safely claim that we are survivors.

It hasn’t all been horrible. YoungB graduated. Yeah!! That’s not his afternoon ceremony, but one from the following morning. I thought you might like a glimpse of the lovely (nowhere near as old as you might think) hall in which Adelaide University graduations take place (as did Youngest Aunt’s in the late 1970s and Dr B’s in the early 1980s). Eldest Aunt (who graduated interstate) and Youngest Aunt attended the ceremony too, so we made plenty of noise when YoungB’s name was only slightly mispronounced – the small matter of a gender change with his middle name! – and he was presented with his two testamurs.

We had some time to kill between the end of the ceremony and our dinner booking. So we dodged downpours to consume coffee at the nearby Art Gallery cafe, then tramped up side streets to a trendy, inner-city bar with wondrous heating, for more refreshments. Youngest Uncle joined us at the celebratory dinner here, where our attentive waiter plied us with some spectacular wines. It was a long and tiring day, but a most worthwhile celebration. Well done, YoungB. That was a long half-decade, but you did it.

But it is true that matters medical, matters of family history, matters of world uproar and domestic repercussions, matters of friends and some of their woes have all tried to tip us off the planet this year. All the same, here we are. And in a delightful twist, a visiting cousin’s recent – joking – insistence on needing a splayd to eat his slice of orange-and-almond cake was met with provision of the requisite implement; a set of which had been a wedding gift from his parents. Impressive stuff. Right? Dr B was actually more impressed by the fact that I knew precisely where to go to locate the splayds. Plainly, there’s a great deal of chaos but it hasn’t yet overwhelmed us.

May your world still be wobbling on the usual orbit, and remember that fingernails don’t have to be talons to enable you to hang on. 😉

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

lots of TV, perhaps?

tv-watching shawl

The amount of progress suggests entirely too much time spent either watching TV or accompanying Dr B while he watches it 😉

It’s a bit blurry, but there’s progress. Nothing exciting at all!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 15, 2018 in Knitting

 

Tags: , , , , ,

getting another run

Wedding bunting

A bit wrinkled after more than two years in storage, but still looking fabulously festive 🙂

Middle Niece was married on Friday. The reception was held at her parents’ house, under a marquee on the back lawn. Among the decorations? The photo is a little blurry – phone cameras have their limitations, after all – but I’m sure you’ll get the general idea. It was lovely to see the made-by-me bunting adorning another celebration. This space was smaller than the previous one, with a steeper ceiling pitch, so the bunting appeared much denser and it certainly draped differently.

On the subject of matters crafty, I’m still knitting the scrappy scarf or shawl. It’s making progress. I’ve decided to embrace the knot. There seem to be many in the yarn I’m using and there’s a limit to my patience for dealing with them. My theory is that you’d be hard pushed to notice the occasional bump when the scarf is tucked under a coat collar, as is likely to be its final destination.

Also, I’ve booked to attend a beginners’ weaving course. It’s being held near the town where I grew up, so Dr B and YoungB will cycle the Riesling Trail (more info) while I learn all about looms, weft and warp and other wondrous new terms.

Whatever you’ve been doing, I hope your plans are all turning out exactly as you’d expected. Mine never do; but I hope yours are!

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

revisiting your own past

1989-09-24 Armidale NSW_01

World premiere performance, concert version, Claudio Pompili’s “Songs for Ophelia” for unaccompanied female voice. Given in Lazenby Hall, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia, as part of the Musicological Society National Conference concert, on 24 September 1989.

Sometimes, as the years slide past, you forget the details of the good things as well as the bad. In my case, the bad might include mistakes I sometimes made mid-performance but the good definitely includes how stellar some of my vocal performances actually were. Luckily for my memory and the possibility of sharing some of that splendour with possible future grandchildren, recordings can bring a reminder. A few months ago, Dr B and one of his old schoolmates were working on Dr B’s motorbike together. They’re neither of them entirely capable of staying on the point, so their conversation wandered from motorbikes and strayed across many strata of music composition and performance and getting inside the technical stuff; and their physical presence wandered from the shed into the house for some musical evidence.

Some of the recordings Dr B used to illustrate points were of me singing his music (that’s not uncommon). A couple of works I’d practically forgotten, it’s so long since I recorded them and I probably never performed them more than a few times anyway (they were to some extent experiments by Dr B and not well suited to my vocal range or timbre but I sang them anyway in the spirit of collaboration and because they were too beautiful to let such minor details deter me utterly). Dr B’s Songs for Ophelia remain perhaps the most spectacular things I have ever performed, with all sorts of wondrous vocal pyrotechnics whose sparkle and agility still have the power to surprise even me; and I was the one pulling them off.

I would perform them differently now for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which would be that my voice is considerably older and darker than it was then (1989 – 1990) and, because rarely used nowadays, distinctly lacking in the sparkle and agility. I reckon, though, I’d still get the kind of reaction from the audience that I got the other day from the old schoolmate: a recognition of something special. (And a chuckle from YoungB who reckoned the resulting warbles were remarkably akin to those produced by the damn magpies when they start up at about 4.00 in the morning, as we well know from years of being up at that hour for rowing training.)

Now, you’re probably going to ask where can you hear any of this spectacular stuff and, I’m sorry, I can’t upload without going Premium. That’s probably not going to happen on our single income, particularly when this blog is not an essential part of anyone’s life.

However, I hope I’ve added a link to the page of Dr B’s recording where the Songs for Ophelia can be found; if you have time to scroll down the page. Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day is short – we’re talking 22 seconds – but stunning, if you’d like an idea of why I’m pleased to have unexpectedly revisited that part of my past (yes, unexpectedly because, in the normal run of things, you wouldn’t expect motorbike maintenance to end up encompassing the sharing of what are now close to vintage recordings).

I tested the link, and it worked for me. I hope it will work for you, too 🙂 And of course the photo is of me singing my little heart out to a sizeable audience. The recording was made at the Ultimo studios of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (usually referred to as the ABC, the Abe – think the Beeb – or Auntie). I believe the original recordings have since gone the way of the dodo in one of the many clear-outs; but note that the copyright was originally with the ABC.

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

excavations

Jpeg

Well, you know, it keeps me off the streets!

That excavator seems to be still waving its bucket around, but at least we now have some happier, sillier things for it to excavate, in among the health issues and potential surgery. The potential surgery would be for Dr B, much as we’d like to avoid it. But if it’s necessary, then he’ll have it done and I’ll take some time off work to soothe his fevered brow while he recovers.

The happier excavations include the forthcoming family wedding and all the usual, “OMG, what AM I going to do for a decent dress?” dilemmas. But even more than that, as Middle Aunt and I agreed when we were discussing wedding attire, there’s the all-but-insoluble dilemma around the availability of shoes that don’t hurt but look acceptable. Yeah, not thick on the ground. On the other hand, we agreed it’s not world-shattering if you end up with something less elegant than you’d hoped for if it means you can walk. Priorities. Right?

She and I have both recently had optometry appointments and are eagerly awaiting our new specs. I haven’t had new specs for six years. That’s pretty good going. When I was picking out which of the multifocals I wanted, the girl who was explaining their various attractions started to talk about how one version is easy to scratch. But then, she pointed out with a bit of a laugh, I plainly don’t scratch my glasses. No. They’re either on my face or waiting to be put on my face, so the likelihood of their getting scratched is remote. Not beyond possible, but extremely improbable. It would, I suggest, be the result of a significant accident; in which case, scratched glasses might be the  least of anybody’s worries.

YoungB submitted his last ever essay (for a while, anyway. Nobody would ever suggest he might not return to study at some point in the future). We had a group hug to celebrate that, but agreed that the champagne can wait until graduation day. We also agreed it has been a long five years. But, you know, here we are and there he is and now let’s try to find a silver lining in the Centrelink queue when he rocks up there on Monday!!! (That would be our dole office equivalent, if you think I’m talking gibberish.)

And the simple shawl that I’m knitting? Yes, that’s making progress, too. It’s keeping me out of mischief while Dr B watched telly and that’s all it needs to do. 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2018 in Health, Knitting, Musing

 

Tags: , , , ,