Its summer in Suffolk

And the weather is being ironic or testing. Is it an Emporer’s New Clothes moment where the heretic in the family may mention the word ‘Why?’ So many why’s; why come to a beach which is stony, a place with no easy parking, a chill North Sea with an even cooler breeze blowing off the beach?

I remember being deposited in Thorpeness in 1985 by my enthusiastic husband who on leaving me in a tiny fisherman’s cottage on a chilly wet day to return to work in London said ‘you will have fun’…with a toddler and a small baby fun was still being sort and usually my shell-shocked new parent self didn’t know I’d had fun until I had an on reflection moment.

And yet he was right, I did have fun and now live in the county that gave me and my children continuity and sanctuary through some tough times and the toddler and baby now both in their late 20’s still return to this mystical area of the country and love it despite its vagaries.



Knit a square…

If only life was as simple as knitting a square? Though perhaps some people’s squares are much larger than others? And then there are the squares made up of many different threads, I think my square is made up of many threads, or is it a mosaic of tiny squares?

The most amazing thing is how many other squares you can get attached to in life?

Bunting continued…

And so to compliment my neighbour’s efforts to make our tiny rural Suffolk lane become part of the ‘big event’ in London I bought bunting.

I bought bunting via the internet, unsurprisingly there was a shortage of red/white/blue bunting and absolutely no availability of Union Jack bunting anywhere; so I settled (never a wise thing to do in life or with bunting choice I have found) with some plastic version I assumed by the online photo which would be similar to my neighbour’s choice.

The bunting arrived late on Thursday…it was huge, I mean HUGE, not in length but in flag size, in fact it is full on pennants of bunting. Quite a challenge to swag along the hedge as the fluttering plastic had a mind of its own and seemed to be hankering after being a more dramatic ‘can I close the road’ role than it was being offered and kept on flying across the road, or rather tiny single track lane eventually secured it settled down to its minor festive role.

However unfortunately it has had its dramatic moments as the horses that are used to being ridden down a tranquil lane are not enjoying an unexpected practice for flag waving crowds and have danced their way down to ford.

And now I wonder when we take the bunting down, do I wait for my neighbour to take his down, or do I make an independent decision and go it alone?

The thing is I am glad we recognised the day, the wedding of two young people who set out on their joint life with the eyes of the world watching them. We all who watched them make their vows to each other bear witness to their union and in doing so should take a responsibility for nurturing their ability to make that union work. Granting them the privacy to be who they are without standing in judgement or causing them to hide by looking too hard.

Oh and I found out why I cry at weddings yesterday; I think it’s because I have an overload of the saying ‘the triumph of hope over experience’. And actually I wish that for anyone getting married at any age, the triumph of hope over experience is possibly the means to staying married when things get tough?

Bunting…I like bunting

There’s bunting in the lane near my house. It magically appeared yesterday, causing a smile, a pleasing moment of celebration draped on the hedge and a simple acknowledgement of an occasion about to happen. There is no street party here on the lane, there is no official visit, there is just a moment of bunting on the hedge to mark a wedding happening miles away…a poignant moment.

Prince William is a very similar age to my eldest son, and I will never be able to erase the image I have of him following his mother’s coffin along his brother Harry at an age where no boy should have to do such a thing. But the fact he did do his duty whilst devastated by grief is such a fitting testimony to the mother who cannot be at his wedding on Friday and the young man he has become under the care and guidance of his father.

Leaden skies

Leaden skies
I love this walk, so do my dogs – hence the poetic paw prints!

So knitting is the new ‘big’ thing, we use it as relaxation yet within living memory knitting was a necessary skill. I remember my Grannie’s house which was the most fabulous place, converted railway carriages and absolutely magical to visit. On the floors were countless rugs either worked from wool gleaned from old sweaters, or rag rugs made from old clothes, jewel like colours and a wonderful respite from a freezing floor……..the ultimate in recycling! She was always knitting, even when incredibly frail her hands worked and created wonders which lasted for years after her death, what a legacy!

Back to knitting, so we formed a group, well three of us, we felt the horror of those who assumed we were submitting to elderly pursuits and rejected us with laughter, the slightly weary comments from our teenagers who put knitting into the same frame as bookclub…….allowing us to be humoured with patronising looks, however one gets used to those!

And then we went to Jolie in the Hertfordshire village of Walkern, a sanctuary of escapism, where your hands are busy and thus liberate your mind, and spent a day learning, or relearning the skills required to start knitting, we came away relaxed, refreshed and inspired despite having revealed more of our own inner most selves than we realised at the time and with the smallest knitted square as evidence of our new found passion – wonderful………have a look.  http://www.jolie-home.co.uk/about_us.htm 

And now we knit, unravel and knit again trying to create the perfect effect……….a great metaphor for life really. Especially for those of us who have the challenge of dating in mid life. The thing is I have found you can knit a square for your blanket sometimes its perfect and can be set aside complete and treasured and other times you make a mistake, which gets reflected within the quality of the pattern, not only ruining the visual effect but also making you feel inadequate as the evidence of your lack of skill is for all to see, and then all you can is the unravel the stitches, roll up your now curly wool and try again……….the good thing  is the curly wool when re-used becomes as good as new when re-worked and the by product is the experience and due to the benefit of hindsight the room to make another, or rather a different, error!

life laundry………..

Hello world……..

Life is mostly froth and bubble

Two things stand like stone

Kindness in another’s trouble

Courage in your own

 Ye Wearie Wayfarer (1866) ‘Fytte 8’

Adam Lindsay Gordon

These words have become my mantra………I stumbled across in them in November 1988 and quoted them in a get well card to a dear friend who was an incredible woman under-going chemotherapy, two weeks later I needed to heed them when my husband died in a car accident in Canada………and this blog, written with the ‘benefit of hindsight’ is a product of a life truly lived……..and not all life laundry is dirty!