Sunday, 18 January 2015

little steps

Unbelievable, two weeks of moping around not feeling like doing anything!   I should have dragged myself out to get a bit of fresh air and exercise, but quite frankly outside was cold, wet and miserable.

Pleased to report a little textile therapy this week, in the form of dyeing up some threads since my basket was empty.

I made lots of spools

hanks of yarn ready for dyeing

both pretty mindless tasks that let my wander in a creative way - yeah!

and then


one lovely bundle of threads with more on the way

this was very good medicine

perhaps tomorrow I can deal with neglected paperwork and e mails
slowly, slowly, but it's good to be back

Monday, 5 January 2015



this year has started quietly
I am recovering from a nasty flu type bug

my trusty iPad kept me entertained

books to read - The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton,
which I would thoroughly recommend, and now
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia

then there was the app Monument Valley which involved
'manipulating impossible architecture and guide a silent
princess through a beautiful world'  Think Esher in colour
the flu befuddled brain had to take a rest every so often

today I made a good start by tidying my desk drawers
what a load of rubbish bits and piece, and how did
I amass so many pencils?

cleared my desk and various 'holding' boxes
big black sack full

tomorrow with clear head and clean desk
perhaps the muse will pay me a visit

Thursday, 18 December 2014

bah humbug

'tis the season to come out of hibernation and ignore Santa Claustrophobia.

the 'tree' looking splendid against the white wall
the thick branches are the ones I dragged from Chisil beach
during the storms after last Christmas
the rest from our hazel trees
just looking at it has made me smile
and that's before it is decorated

the Christmas garden has been raided for
holly, mistletoe and ivy

a family gathering here on Saturday
a game of football on the beach
back for bowls of hot warming soup
and festive fayre

wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas
and a wonderful New Year

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Time flies when you are enjoying yourself.    We've been back home for three weeks which have been full what with celebrations and a family gathering.     Thoughts of early hibernation came to mind - all that rain and grey skies.

Onwards and upwards.    Delved into the sewing 'basket' and discovered a pair of jeans that I had promised I would patch way back in the Spring, along with various garments that needed buttons replacing.   Felt very virtuous.

then there are the leaves, big brown soggy piles of them
not very inspiring!  

and now tidy black bags of wet leaves  and that is only from the front garden
I am thinking I should try to procure some really bright refuse bags!

the back garden will probably produce as many bags again
still, it is very good exercise lugging bags up hill and down dale

time for some colour

I never take any stitching with me on my trips instead I prefer to
sketch, make notes, take photographs and catch up with reading

this time I thought I would, however, hardly a stitch was sewn

the stitching on the old distressed cushion from 
Ghanerao  had to be recorded in stitch

oops some of the beads came home with me

I have some 'found objects' to be included at some point
meanwhile I have been researching Chemanthi Stitch which is
used as flower petals on this fragment of Indian embroidery
which I think might be Rabari from Bhuj, Kutch

I found Lakshmi Sadala's blog with a brilliant tutorial on Chemanti 
stitch, not only in pictures but also a video.    I have to admit it 
took me a few goes before I cracked it

a little stitchy sketch on the go

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


a bed of lotus flowers as far as the eye could see

a cushion that has seen better days

green paint pot

I just love this colour and I brought back 
pigment paste (f.geen) to mix with white
emulsion to the required colour

that will be after Christmas then!

a terracotta vessel 

Adavarsi temple with terracotta horses
given as thanks for favours from their god

wonderfully naive with daubs of paint, dots, lines etc
some are huge, some small    outside a pile of discarded/broken
horses to make room for new ones    eventually they will break
down in the heat and rain, returning to the earth

one last festival

while we were drinking coffee we could see lots of these floating in the lake

tiny taziyas - bigger ones appeared later in the day

it was the Muslim festival of Ashura   
the Taziya represents the mausoleum of Imam Hussain

the were crowds of men gathered at the ghat with their taziyas
big and small, waiting to load them on to the boat
(women and children were there enjoying a picnic but not taking part)

with a great deal of banging of drums in the distance the taziyas were submerged

later in the evening we witnessed the procession of huge taziyas wobbling their
way through the small streets of the town.    These were spectacular especially the 'Badi Paten Ka Taziya, measuring 35ft in height.    

we went to sleep with the sound of drums

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


it was time to say goodbye to the Gujarat country side and head back to Udaipur 

no more rural scenes like this

a group of Rabari on the road to the next camp
camels and donkeys carrying all their worldly goods
sheep and goats following on behind

For us it was National Highway No 8 to Udaipur, a five hour journey with a couple of breaks for chai and then lunch.   At one dhaba we watched astonished as fourteen people emerged from the inside of a 4x4, another four passengers on top, plus luggage.

The road cuts through the Aravalli Hills, all ups and downs.   Lorries drivers choose any lane they fancy and since they have huge heavy loads the likelihood of them changing lanes is remote.     On long steep hills they hardly move, just slowly chug to the top.   Small cars take scary chances and weave in and out.   Not all complete their journey, we witnessed a couple of horrible accidents.    Sadly, many drivers think they are invincible.

only five days left before we leave Udaipur

the one thing I really miss is proper coffee -  first stop, Ginger Cafe and Bakery
where they serve a jolly good expresso and rather nice pastries!    

it's a nice place to relax by the cool of the lake   right now the outside sitting area 
is restricted!    the flower pots marks the normal height of the water
of course there is the option of a little paddle!

 Lake Palace Hotel in the centre and on the left Lake Pichola Hotel

we celebrated out 45th wedding anniversary on 1 November

supper at Upre on the roof of the hotel

photo taken by one of the 'boys'
I think it captures a moment of laughter and fun

a chocolate cake with a firework candle
in the background you can see the lights of the Palace

we were upgraded to the Rani Suite
hugh room with two balcony windows looking out on to the lake  in one 
swing seat and the other mattresses and bolster cushions to lounge on
while we were having supper the boys had been busy,  the floor 
was covered in rose petals    they also decorated the bed  with rose
petals in the form of a heart - ahh, so romantic!

the last few days passed very quickly, just relaxing, having suppers with 
friends,   a little shopping  - eventually came the day to pack the suitcases
it's always sad to leave, but already we are making plans to return in February!