Friday, 16 April 2010

Thursday night/Firday morning.

Oh dear. More dramas for my daughter.

Now I am reconciled with the idea of the wedding in Mauritius, it may be that Abigail and Eric won't get there as the whole of Europe has an airtravel restriction because of volcanic ash in the atmosphere causing danger to the aircraft. The airports are shut for now and they are due to travel on Saturday morning. I have suggested they contact their travel agents and try to get away from Germany tomorrow but I haven;t been able to get in touch with them tonight.

In the same vein, I bought Cris a rail ticket to get him back to Southampton tomorrow. He had a flight booked from Manchester but there is no way he would have got on that, so I am glad I insisted on buying a ticket this afternoon so he had a guaranteed seat to Birmingham at least. So that was money I wasn;t expecting to pay....!

I am at the flat in Leeds at the moment, where the electrician has just put some new plugs in, so no more trailing wires -at last. And I can have light where I need it rather than where its possible.

I need to upload my photos. I have over a thousand waiting to be processed! Silly me.

Then I can show my new beading skills. I have learnt how to do Ndebele or Herringbone stitch and am trying to do an Ndebele rope now - its a hollow tube. Once I can do that, I can go on to making a solid one. So now I can do - ladder stitch, brick stitch, square stitch, ndebele, I know how to make simple ropes, and I need to remind myself of how to do right angle weave. I can follow netting patterns. What I need to learn now is peyote stitch and I will do that when I have finished this rope. I will put a photo up of that asap.

I have been sorting a huge number of beads that a friend gave me. She bought necklaces years ago in charity shops and chopped them up and I have been given a big box of them, and she told me that this was a small sample of what she had in her loft! She does tend to get obsessed with things - but its my gain. I have a lot of wooden beads and I want to learn to make beaded beads with them. I also have a lot of pearls in various colours and spacers and beadcaps, as well as.......I will photograph some of this collection. Its a shame some of them were cut up - they might have been nice pieces.

I bought a tourmaline chip necklace in a charity shop last week for next to nothing. I am going to cut that up and make something special with it - I have a plan....I have also spotted some beautiful necklaces in the window of a local charity shop and might go and buy one of them tomorrow as it has gorgeous beads on it - and I will wear it as it is!

I have loved the look of steampunk for ages without knowing its name, and lo and behold, now I know about it - there is so much online information and lots of photographs.  I thought I could do something unusual...but as ever am too late.

What I would like to do is to set myself a challenge. I want to make a body of work that is nice enough to put in the display cabinet of our local library. I don;t want to sell it, just to make it and show people that I can do this. Then - I don't know what I would do with it. But thats then. First thing is to get good enough and get the stuff made.

I am starting to feel like writing again. I was writing a memoir and then life caught up with me in a strange way and I wondered whether I had a right to write about my childhood, or even to write fiction based around it. I have decided to go for it after all. Now I am beading and stitching, my creativity in other fields is beginning to shift and I realise that I really need space and time and quiet to let it develop. Its hard to find that sometimes, and when I do have the time, sometimes I have no quiet in my head!!

And to finish this post, a little tale to remind myself to put the lid securely on a tube of seed beads or it takes a long long time to pick them up again......and I managed to drop the tube twice, the second time just as I had finished picking the silly little things up from the first time. I put it into my left hand which is unreliable anway - it twitched, and seed beads in the carpet and rug for weeks I think......

Monday, 12 April 2010

Moving On

Last night I was listening to Radio 4 and a lovely thoughtful programme came on, presented by Mark Tully entitled Moving On. He was talking about leaving a flat he had lived in for 30 years in India, and he presented poetry and music on the theme of moving home and what that might mean to each of us. I found it so moving. Memories of moving from Norton Road came flooding back, and what it had meant to me to leave what had been a home, a business premises, a place where dreams and hopes came to fruition or faded, and the space in which I brought up my two children and a generation of music students.

I remember going to see the property for the first time and being totally unimpressed with it - it was almost too much to take on, but fortunately Glyn saw the potential in the house from the first and with a little gentle persuasion I came on board and we bought the house. We moved in during September. The house had been empty all summer - and probably longer - and the lawns were thigh high, the hedge obscured the drive, and everywhere weeds were flourishing in the gardens. We hired a box van, moved our furniture in - now looking rather puny in the large rooms - and the first thing that Glyn and his Dad did was to cut the hedge. The clippings filled the box van and when we drove to the tip later that day the man on the gate thought we were professional gardeners and wanted to charge us a professional rate.

Abigail was only nine months old when we moved. She crawled on dirty carpets, on floors covered in plaster dust, on floors that I had only just swept free of the debris from a demolished fireplace. She lived in the mess of no kitchen, no hot water for a week as the central heating was put in, as we turned the house into a habitable home. The kitchen was horrendous and needed doing as soon as we moved in, cheaply but cheerfully.

Cris was born four years later. By that time the house had been decorated throughout, we had new carpets, and I was working as a piano teacher in one of the rooms downstairs. It was incredibly difficult trying to look after a baby,  take care of Abigail who had just started school, all my students, as well as the housework and trying to improve my own playing.  We eventually extended the house to build on a music studio, and up into the loft to put in a proper bedroom for Cris. Home felt like a palace - lots of space, two huge lawns which gave us a degree of privacy especially in the back where we spent long afternoons in the sun which shone there through long afternoons and evenings.

Leaving home after Glyn died was one of the most difficult things I have had to do. It took two tries - the first was impossible, and the second I managed, but it hurt me deeply for a long time. I don't know what I missed most. I can still walk around the house in my mind look out of its windows, see my children in their rooms, see Glyn sitting in his favourite place in the front room, smoking, reading, and watching tv. I do know that after he died in the house - I could not live there on my own. I felt as if I was treading on a grave when I walked through the hall and I could not manage those huge lawns on my own.

But so much has been lost. So much.

I threw away ("decluttered."....sigh) things I should have kept, and I know that even had I held onto them - they would have lost meaning by now, or would have had to be disposed of or put into long term storeage, but the memory of clearing the house, trying not to grieve over the loss of things when the loss of Glyn was so much more than that, the memory is not easy to live with.

Moving on is - as the song says - hard to do. Maybe when one has spent a quarter of a century in one place it is not really possible to get that place out of oneself, of ones truest being.