I have just got back from an extremely cold walk with the dogs. The wind so fierce it cuts to the bone, and red nose and running eyes are such charming accessories. It’s the sort of day that cries out for just a little walk. But the guilt snapped in (the dogs didn’t get a decent walk yesterday as I was in London) so I took them around the top of the farm, what I call the long walk which in reality is still a little less than 2 miles.
Personally I’m very much on the side of the violets, which are still not blooming, why poke your pretty head out of the good earth in this weather? Good earth indeed, every so often the moles migrate from the woods into the field. Now must be the time, as Cedar meadow is amass with rich brown mole hills, we farmers hate them, we artists and designers are fascinated, the earth is such a rich deep brown. I like the fact that Earth is covered in, well, earth, the mole hills seem most important to me.
Hall field was being ‘sprayed’ this morning, a Saturday? Fortunately no hair curler this morning, just the woolly hat, pulled low, with a puffed-up puffer coat and the sockless wellingtons; never let it be said that us country folk don’t have style!
So, my trip to London and The Fashion and Textile Museum; The Private View of Kaffe Fassett, A Life in Colour. Oh, where to begin?
I wore the new ‘Orient Express’ coat; I did not remove it and leave it in the cloakroom, as any sensible person might do, it being arctic outside and toasty warm inside. And yes, it was warm, but sometimes one must suffer for one’s art, and pink cheeks always add that youthful glow. I arrived quite early, before the crowd, and could not find the ladies who were to show me around and introduce me, but then, as if by magic I was alone in the gallery – well, okay, there were a few people there – with Kaffe Fassett. He admired my coat, I introduced myself, and now I can tell you that, yes, it is true that he learned to knit on a train coming from Scotland to London – I wonder if the lady that taught him realises the revolution she started?
Now for a bit of name dropping, Kaffe introduced me to Anne James, from the BBC, lovely, lovely interesting lady, she was so kind. Kindness is addictive isn’t it? Everyone should ‘do’ kindness and give up the fags, drugs and/or booze. Then I met Brandon Mably, who described my coat as a ‘stunning ensemble’ – that pleased me, well worth the warm flush. Then I was suddenly with this vision of colour – no one could be unhappy alongside this lady – Zandra Rhodes, in all her magnificent colour, another lovely lady. This show was designer’s heaven.
I came home bulging with ideas; the garments on show were displayed on a wall with a pole running through the sleeves, excellent. It’s hard for me to photograph many of my things as my daughter-in-law the lovely, willowy, Holly, does have a life to live and is working most days, when the light is good enough for photos. (She and my son Charlie own that amazing hotel by the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, The Kings Head, Great Bircham).
The beautiful, serene, Alice, the great love of my son, Jem’s life, lives in the north, and I only get to see her and coerce her into modelling my garments in school holidays. Follow Alice’s blog, Alice’s Adventures in Knittingland here.
So this morning, very early, I found a nice pole and couple of pegs. What I can’t find in this house is a spare, blank, piece of wall. Do I have to fill every space with ‘stuff’? Well yes, but only things of inspirational beauty.
I am still working on the fish border. I usually knit cord (ideal for the weeds that I want the fish to swim through) with two pointed needles. But then, from way back, I remembered French knitting. Tom, the estate carpenter, didn’t blink an eyelid when I produced a couple of ancient wooden cotton reels and asked him to knock 3 nails in one and 4 in the other. A wonderful solution, a very soporific pastime, and so small it will fit in my handbag or pocket. The train journey from here to London is almost 2 hours, I made quite a long cord, changing yarn at Cambridge, not trains!
I will save the rest of my London trip for tomorrow………………