Sharing your stash with a friend

I have been a quilter so long now that I’m sure my fingers are shorter and knobblier than they used to be.  I’ve made big quilts, lap quilts, picture quilts pictures, bags – – – – and the list goes on.  So it’s not surprising that once in a while I look at the burgeoning fabric stash with a sense of bewilderment, and wonder whether I’ve done it for long enough.  Perhaps it’s time to get rid of everything and take up free-fall parachuting, or pottery or something.  Anything rather than tackle what’s in those disorganised stash boxes!

So it is wonderful when a friend comes to visit to look through the fabric to glean a few bits and pieces for her own project.  As she sorts through each box, she reminds me of all the wonderful colours in there.  Fabrics I’d forgotten I had.  Ideas start leaping into life in my head.  I want to start cutting then and there.  Blues, greens, yellows and golds pass under her hands.  And as she shakes each piece out to look at it, she methodically folds it away again, leaving me with everything perfectly sorted and tidied.

I told her she could come again any time she wanted.  I don’t think she realised just how sincerely I meant it!


Canine Rituals

The ways of the dog are many and strange, and their lives are full of little rituals.  Chopper’s day is a complex pattern of naps, snacks, farewells and greetings.  His day has two major highlights:  the Walk and the Return of the Other Parent, which is an incredibly important thing, since this triggers that blissful word  “Teatime”.

Sometimes I think he is more OCD than ACD*, and this is why:

1.  6.30am.  Get up, eat breakfast, ignore the parent who has fed him, rush upstairs and lick the other parent on the nose, then settle down for a nap.

2.  At 7.45am precisely, leave the bedroom and resume napping on the sofa downstairs.

3.  At 8am, tour the garden for signs of intruders, scratch at the doormat until it has turned precisely 90 degrees from its original position, stretch luxuriously, with every appearance of having completed an exhausting and complex task, and retire to the sofa for another nap.

4.  12 noon.  Bark at the postman, whether or not he is delivering to us.

5.  12.30.  Demand a walk.  During this process, the stairs must be run up and down twice before the lead is attached.

6.  1.00pm.  Demand a treat.  This must be eaten outside, and the back door must be used as an exit, regardless of whether the patio door is open.  In cases of extreme bad weather, this may be eaten on one of the living room rugs, but only on the left hand one, never on the right hand one.

7.  1.05pm to 3pm.  Nap time.

8.  3pm.  Demand cuddle.

9.  3.05pm.  Demand another treat.  When this is refused, throw dog bedding around the room, then suddenly lose interest, and fall asleep in the middle of the mess.

10.  5.50pm.  Stand with ears pricked in the living room, and remain so until the car can be heard returning to the driveway.  Hurl himself at the returning parent and attempt to disembowel him, then demand a treat.

11. 6.00pm.  Lie outside the kitchen in an attitude of terminal starvation

12.  6.01pm.  Eat dinner.

13.  6.30pm.  Whine disconsolately and drool until one parent cracks and offers another treat.  Sometimes this is given to him in a puzzle ball, which he attacks with grim determination, and the definite impression that he would be swearing under his breath if he had the right kind of vocal chords.

14.  11.30pm.  Bedtime.  Run downstairs, exit the house, turn straight round and run  upstairs again and wait for the final biscuit of the day.

15.  2.00am.  Wake up. Remember that he hasn’t had a pee.  Bark at the back door until someone lets him out.

– – – – at least we know where we are with him!

*ACD = Australian Cattle Dog


Five Ways to Disappoint your Dog

1. Take him away from Exmoor
2. Make a pit-stop at some woods, but refuse to let him off the short lead
3. Make him get back in the car as soon as he’s been emptied
4. Take him home, then surround him with luggage
5. Mow the lawn just when he’s gone outside for some peace

Chopper has decided that nothing good will ever happen to him again, and is looking very depressed indeed. Still, tomorrow we will go up to the Downs

My First Blog Post

This is the first day of a new resolution:  to keep a blog of day by day events, and stay in touch with my friends, who seem to be scattering further and further apart geographically.

Today is a rainy day on Exmoor:  the last full day of our holiday, and we are in that uncomfortable state of being partially packed, and mentally part-way home to Denmead.  It’s been a good holiday, with plenty of R&R and plenty of time to see our friends and walk the dog.  The dog has picked up on the half-way state of things, and is barking restlessly at everything he thinks he can hear.  Outside, in the pouring rain, preparations are under way for a big wedding tomorrow.  People have been scurrying to and fro under umbrellas, the marquee has been erected, and everything looks wonderful – – – – apart from the torrential rain!  We won’t be here for the wedding – we will be the last of the holiday guests to leave before the bride arrives, I suspect.  Still, it will be nice to look on the website of Little Quarme Cottages at Wheddon Cross to see if there are any photos.  Well, that’s it for today.  Tomorrow I shall be facing the jungle that is our garden after two weeks of neglect, and trying to remember where everything is in the kitchen!