A Stitch in Time Part 6

Part 6 – A Voice From The Past.

 

The following day was a very busy one for all three of them. Len got up to the smell of bacon drifting up the stairs and hurriedly got dressed. In the kitchen, Grandma was waiting with a bacon sandwich in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. She nodded for him to go and sit at the table, where Grandad was already tucking in to his.  He was munching away happily and Len didn’t like to tell him he had ketchup in his beard.  Len drank his juice as Grandma put his breakfast on the table in front of him. She was back in a trice with her own plate and the three of them sat and ate in silence, apart from the sound of munching and Grandad’s occasional slurp from his mug of tea. 

They cleared the table and washed up together and then Len and Grandad headed out to the shed.  By the time Grandma joined them about half an hour later, Grandad and Len had set up three work stations, so they could work without getting in each other’s way. Grandma had brought out a giant carrier bag, which she placed on the floor, just inside the door. It was huge. Both Len and Grandad knew what it was – refreshments for later. It looked enough to feed the entire street, and they grinned happily. 

And then they set to work. Grandad had drawn up simple diagrams, showing how to put the mini’s together and all the bits were neatly placed in boxes, one for Len and one for Grandma. There were one or two questions but it didn’t look too complicated, so they got going pretty quickly.  For quite some time there wasn’t a sound, apart from the occasional “Dammit” from Grandad when something didn’t quite go to plan. 

And then something awful happened. Grandad farted. It made the most horrible noise but, worse than that, it smelled very, very, VERY bad. Grandma and Len made a dash for the door. 

They stood outside, taking great big gulps of fresh air. 

“Oh stop making such a fuss,” said Grandad from the doorway, “It’s not that bad.” 

“Open the windows, Stewart, or I’m not coming back in there.” said Grandma sharply. 

He looked as if he was about to argue but changed his mind when he saw the expression on her face. 

“Load of fuss about nothing.” he muttered, but he did as he was told. 

Across the garden was a picnic table, with an umbrella and chairs. Grandma held her nose with one hand and leaned into the shed to pull out the giant bag of food, carried it over to the table and took out a flask and some plastic mugs. As far as she was concerned, a cup of tea made everything better, even Grandad’s bad smells. 

The three of them sat together drinking tea and crunching biscuits. They discussed progress so far and were happy to realise that Grandad had finished the second STITCH and Len and Grandma had both completed a mini and were well on the way to another one each. 

Suddenly Grandad held up his hand. 

“What’s that noise?” 

They listened carefully. It was a voice calling out from down the side of the house.

“Len, Len. Are you there?” 

It was Neil, and Len ran down to fetch him. He didn’t need Grandad to tell him not to say a word about what they had been doing. 

Neil was carrying an old fashioned shopping bag, which looked quite heavy. He heaved it up onto the table, said a polite hello to Grandma and Grandad and then looked hopefully at the packet of biscuits. Grandma held them out to him and offered him a cup of tea. It wasn’t long before they were all chatting comfortably.  

Eventually, Len asked about the bag. 

“It’s the tapes my Grandad made of his potty old Dad, Len seemed interested the other day so I asked my Dad if I could bring it.” 

Grandad bustled across to the shed, took out an extension lead and plugged the old fashioned tape player in.  There were two tape cassettes , numbered 1 and 2. The number 2 tape was carefully wrapped up but Number 1 was ready to play. With an air of importance, Neil pressed the PLAY button. 

There was a shuffling noise and then an elderly voice began:

 

Well, right then. I know you all think I’m mad as a box of frogs but I remember it as clear as day and it was real. No-one can can tell me otherwise. 

I was ten, no, I tell a lie, I was eleven the first time I met them, Len and Mester Stuart. “

Len and Grandad looked at each other and Neil was staring at them both. Grandad put his finger to his lips and they listened eagerly now for the story. 

“I was working up at Big ‘Ouse for old Mrs Nesbitt and that nasty runty son of hers and I was gardener’s lad. It wornt a bad job, plenty o fresh air and a good dinner int middle of the day. She was a bit fussy and you had to mind yer P’s and Q’s but she was alright really. He was a proper nasty piece when he didn’t get his own way. Treated us all like muck, except Leggett, the gamekeeper. He was a big nasty sort and I think young Mester Nesbitt was a bit scared of him, truth to tell. 

Any road up, one day I’m coming out of the potting shed and there’s a chap and a lad standing looking all gobstruck. Well, young Mester Nesbitt dint like strangers about so I asked them who they were and the lad answered that he was Len and this was his Grandad.  They looked a bit funny to tell the truth, odd clothes for a start. I got talking to the old man and next thing I knew the lad had got a load of food out of his rucksack and was offering it round. 

Well, I’m not one to say no to a nice bit o grub, so I sat down with them like and pitched in. Right nice it was an all. Pork pie and little fiddly rolls and a smashing bit o cake. I was havin a grand old time and suddenly, here comes young Mester Nesbitt, Leggett the gamekeeper and our Eric walking behind. 

Well he was in a right temper, was young Mester Nesbitt.  Sent me packin and lucky not to get a flea in my ear I was, so I ran off without sayin another word. I don’t rightly know what happened next, but our Eric told me later that they found a box o tricks belonging to Mester Stuart and the lad but young Mester Nesbitt decided it was finders keepers and sent him and Leggett back to the house with it. Eric said they just walked off leavin the lad and his Grandad standing gawpin after them. 

Well as soon as they were back in the house, I went back to see what had happened but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I couldn’t see how they’d got away without bein seen but there was no sign, except one of them little sausage rolls on the floor.  

That afternoon, Mester Penny, my gaffer, said I was to go up to the house at five o’clock as the young Mester wanted to see me. Well, that had me right worried, as you might guess. Nothing good ever came of being called into the house.

As it happened, I needn’t have worried. As instructed, I set off up to the house at ten to five to find a right to do goin off. The old lady was in a flap and no mistake, cryin and shoutin and sendin for the police. It turned out, young Mester Nesbitt had upped and disappeared. Gone into his study after lunch and never come out. I was that relieved that I wasn’t goin to be dismissed that I didn’t take much notice at the time.

Mind you, I was fair scared to death when I was pulled in to see the Magistrate a couple of days later to tell him what had happened that afternoon.  It looked as if the old lady was trying to say young Len and his Grandad had run off with her son, abducted, she called it, but everyone agreed that they hadn’t been seen anywhere near the house.  So I played dumb and said as little as possible and they soon left me alone as bein too stupid to be any use. 

Our Eric wasn’t so lucky. It seemed him and Leggett had been last to see young Mester Nesbitt alive. (Not that anybody saw him dead, like, just never saw him again.) they were questioned three or four times, having to describe exactly what had happened when they got back to the house. They’d carried the box in through the front door – very impressed with that was our Eric, as he’d never gone in that way before. We were used to the servants’ entrance, weren’t we? Anyway, the young master led the way across the hall and into his study, where he swept a load of stuff off his desk and told them to put the box there. Then he shooed them out, nearly snapping their heads off to get the door shut behind them.  He went in for a quick lunch with Mrs Nesbitt and then sent for Leggett and Eric to come and move the box onto his work bench. Not one to get his hands dirty that one. 

Once they’d got it on the bench, he shooed them out and that was the last they saw of him. But, well, you know how it is, sometimes you get curious and, knowing that the box belonged to the two strangers, for some reason I was itching with curiosity. So, instead of setting off up to the house for five, I went up a good deal earlier and went round by the study window, to see if I could catch a glimpse inside. I was going to pretend to be weeding the flower bed underneath the window if anybody asked, but nobody did. 

I crept up, quiet as I could and looked inside. There was Mester Nesbitt, measuring the box and poking inside. He stepped back and took a good look at what looked like a big red button on the side. Then he straightened his shoulders, stepped up to it and reached out to press it. 

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. He just wasn’t there any more. No puff of smoke, no clap of thunder, just not there. And no box.  As I was standing there, peering in through the window, the door opened and Mrs Nesbitt walked in. Well I didn’t wait to be caught because I was sure that, whatever had happened, it was me who’d get the blame, so I backed off, sharpish like, scooted across the lawn and reappeared trying not to look guilty as I walked along. 

So you see, mad or not, that’s what happened and that’s what I saw. I had the sense to keep me mouth shut for years but then it happened again.  But that’s another story.” 

The tape crackled and stopped.  The four people sitting round the table looking at each other. 

“Cup of tea?” said Grandma.

 

A Stitch in time – Part 5

Part 5  Len and Grandma find things out.

 

When Len got back to the house some time later, he was buzzing with information he’d got from Neil, so he was a bit disappointed when neither Grandma nor Grandad showed much interest. He was sent to wash his hands ready for tea and then there were fish and chips followed by green jelly and then there was the washing up. 

 It was only when they sat down with a cup of tea, intending to watch the news – which Len usually ignored, playing on his tablet instead – that Grandma said,

 “Never mind that. Don’t bother with the t.v., I’ve been finding things out.” 

 “So have I.” said Len

 “And I’ve got something to tell you about STITCH.” said Grandad. 

 It was obvious that Len was bursting to talk, so he went first. He told them about meeting Neil. Apparently, his great Grandad Norman, who had died before Neil was born, was known in the family for being slightly mad. In his later years, he had claimed to have met time travellers, on several occasions and even travelled to the future with them once. Of course, everyone knew he was a bit barmy but he insisted so much that, in the end, his son had suggested he write down his adventures. Norman had agreed but, not being much of a writer, he had dictated them instead. Neil had never listened to them, although his Dad said they were fascinating, if a bit crazy. So Neil was going to bring the tapes and a tape player  next time he came to see his Gran in a couple of days’ time. Len was bubbling with excitement. 

 “That’s us, Grandad. It must be.” 

“You didn’t tell him that, did you lad?” asked Grandad anxiously. 

 But Len shook his head. Once Neil had got talking, he was hard to stop, so Len hadn’t had to say much at all. 

 Grandma went next. Her reading of old newspapers at the library had paid off. Apparently, just about a hundred years ago a local man had gone missing. His mother, Mrs Evangeline Nesbitt, had reported it to the local magistrate and some efforts had been made at a search but with no results. According to the local newspaper, Mr Nesbitt was something of a recluse and had been carrying out scientific experiments in his study one afternoon and he just disappeared. 

 He had not taken any luggage with him and all that seemed to be missing was a piece of scientific instrumentation that he had been working on that day. The staff had been closely questioned and both the Gamekeeper and his lad had agreed that they had helped carry some scientific equipment to the house, placed it on the desk in his study and that was the last anyone had seen of him.

 They sat in silence for quite a while. 

 “What happened after that?” asked Grandad gloomily. 

 “Well as far as I can gather,” said Grandma, “his mother stayed in the house for another thirty years or so, until she died, in fact, always believing that he would come back.  The thing is, reading between the lines, she was a bit of a fusspot and no-one was really surprised that he had upped and gone. It was just the suddenness of it that was a bit strange. I suspect that not much effort was made to find him. After she died the house was empty for a few years and then it was bought, the land was sold off to the farmer across the way and some time later he sold some of it to build this estate and no-one lived the house again until about 35 years ago, when Mr Nottage’s parents moved in. He inherited it when they died“  

 “And no one knows where he went.” murmured Grandad thoughtfully. 

 “Not where, Grandad, but when.”

 There was another silence. 

 “You see,”, Grandad, said, thinking out loud, “the power pack  may well have been enough to send him, but not to bring him back. It uses an awful lot of power each trip, you see. It’s one of the problems I’ve been struggling with, making sure we would always be able to get back. That’s why I made the mini’s as well, as a safety feature.  If that silly little man pressed the red button, he would have gone back in time, as I hadn’t re-set it for coming home. And it was set to go back a hundred years.”

 Len did some quick calculations. 1820. That really was going back in time. 

There was another long silence. 

Grandma got up and took the cups back into the kitchen. As she washed them, her voice  came back to them. 

“Well, nasty or not, you can’t just leave him there.” 

“I’m not keen on going back 200 hundred years though. We’re not dressed for it. I shall have to give it some thought.” 

“Don’t we HAVE to leave him there?” 

Grandma and Grandad looked at Len. 

“It’s history now isn’t it? If we go back and rescue him, it’ll change history and you’re not supposed to do that. I mean, look at the trouble it could cause.” 

“Like what?” they both asked at once.

“Well, I don’t know exactly but in my books, whenever anyone goes back in time, they are warned not to try and change anything. It’s like ripples on a pond or something.”  

Len didn’t really know what he was trying to say but he knew changing history was tricky and they should be careful. 

“Well, while we ponder that, let’s hear your news Stewart.” and Grandma sat down to listen. 

“First, I’ve got a new improved version of STITCH up and running. It uses less power so whenever we go to, we can be sure of getting back. Well, as long as nobody steals the bloody thing anyway. Pardon my language.” He cast a sheepish glance at Grandma, ” I’ve got the second one about half done and I was thinking you and Len might both be able to help make a couple of mini’s, you know, to speed things up a bit.” 

He looked up hopefully to see both Grandma and Len nodding.  He grinned. 

“Yup, I thought you might. Anyway, all being well, by tomorrow teatime we could have two STITCH kits fully operational and we can go whenever we want.” 

“And then it’s like Thunderbirds, you know, International Rescue. That’ll be us.” Grandma smiled. 

“Unless Len’s right and we shouldn’t meddle with the past. Except,” he paused thoughtfully, “we already have, If we hadn’t gone  back there, he wouldn’t have got hold of a time machine. And if he hadn’t got hold of it, he wouldn’t have gone even further back in time. If he has. I mean, we don’t even know for sure that’s what happened” 

Grandad was rubbing his head. 

“This needs some thought.” said Grandma and they left it at that for the day. 

 

A Stitch in Time – Part 4

Part Four – Home And Away

 

Len was close to tears. Adventure was all very well but he suddenly really wanted to be at home with his mum and dad. 

 Grandad rubbed his forehead and turned to walk back the way they had come.

 “Aren’t you going to try and get it back?” cried Len. “You can’t just let him have it. And what about us? We’re stuck here forever.” His voice was getting louder as Grandad walked away and he ran after him.

 “Certainly looks that way doesn’t it?” murmured Grandad. He didn’t seem all that worried. 

 “What are you up to?” Len asked suspiciously. “You are, you’re up to something.” Len had seen that look on Granddad’s face before.  A horrible thought occurred to him.

 “You’re not going to fart are you? Because things are bad enough as they are, without you smelling awful as well.”

 “Cheeky little beggar, and don’t let Grandma hear you say fart, she’ll have my guts for garters, she always blames me when you say something you shouldn’t.” 

 They were now just about back where they had first arrived and Grandad was looking around and muttering to himself. 

 “Bench about here, window, yes, door, yes. Right lad, hold on to me and hold on tight.”

 Len didn’t argue. He flung his arms round Grandad’s slightly tubby waist and held on as tight as he could.

 “Ready?” 

 “Depends what for.” Len’s voice was muffled by Grandad’s jumper.

 “We’re going home, you clot. You didn’t think I wouldn’t have a back up plan did you?”

 And he thrust his hand into his pocket, muttered a bit more and said quietly “Now.”

 

Len waited for something to happen but nothing did. He opened his eyes. They were back in the shed. The rain was pouring down outside and they were standing a couple of feet away from where they had been but apart from that, everything was just the same. Mr Nottage had gone, it seemed, but nothing else seemed to have changed.  

 “How long have we been gone?”  asked Len.

 “Well we were there nearly an hour all told, so I should imagine that’s how long we’ve been gone. Let’s go back in the house and see, shall we? “

 They walked back to the house together and Len was secretly relieved to see Grandma sitting doing crochet and listening to an audio book. She switched it off and smiled.

 “You two  been having fun? You certainly got Mr Nottage in a tizzy. He thinks you’ve got an escape hatch in the shed. Wanted to go in and have a look but I wasn’t having any of that. Sent him off home with a flea in his ear. Cup of tea?” and she bustled into the kitchen to put the kettle on. 

 “I suppose you’re both starving. Time travel takes it out of you doesn’t it?” she grinned at Len’s shocked face. “Well you didn’t think he’d keep secrets from me did you? Mind you,” she said crossly to Grandad, “You might have warned me. I thought we had an agreement.” 

 “I know” muttered Grandad sheepishly, “It was all a bit spur of the moment.”  He glanced at Grandma “I lost my temper with the nosy old fool.” 

 “Old fool yourself” she answered “You’re supposed to tell me so I know how to find you if you get into trouble. “

 “I know. And the thing is, we did.”

 And so Grandad and Len sat with their cups of tea and a few sandwiches, and told her all about it. 

 The rest of the day was spent a bit quietly, each of them doing their own thing. Grandad disappeared back to the shed and made it clear he didn’t want any interruptions. Grandma went on the PC, saying she was doing some research, which meant she didn’t want to be interrupted either. So Len went to his room and played on his tablet until teatime. No one mentioned their little adventure as they sat eating cottage pie followed by lemon cheesecake and it was driving Len nuts. Eventually, after the washing up was done, he couldn’t stand it any longer. 

 “Are we going to go back and get your machine Grandad?” 

 “And just how are we going to travel back in time to get it when it’s back in time and we aren’t?” Grandad was obviously feeling a bit grumpy. 

 But Len had done quite a lot of thinking over the afternoon and he was pretty certain Grandad had something up his sleeve.  He wasn’t wrong. It turned out that there were in fact another three versions of the time travel machine, not all in full working order yet. That’s what he had been working on in the shed all afternoon and he said he needed more time before he was confident he had one he could safely use. 

 “Two” said Grandma. “We need two. Then, next time you get into bother, I can come and rescue you. And a mini each. We’ll need a full STITCH set before you go off again. ” 

 A mini, apparently, was the little hand held device that Grandad had had in his pocket. It was a single use item, only good for getting them home in one piece from whenever they ended up.  And STITCH was what they called Grandad’s full size time travel kit – Stewart’s Travel In Time and Come Home was its full name. 

 And that was how it stayed for a couple of days. When he talked to Mum and Dad that night, he somehow failed to mention it and, although he had one or two funny dreams, it didn’t seem to have disturbed Len all that much. What disturbed him more was that nasty Mr Nesbitt having Grandad’s time machine but there was nothing he could do about it.  Grandad spent all his time in the shed and it was understood that he wanted to be left alone. 

 Len and Grandma did more baking, walked up to the playground in the park for an hour each day, did some shopping and visited the local library, where Grandma, for some reason, spent quite some time looking at old newspapers. The weather had cleared up, so Len did quite a bit of cycling round the little housing estate too. 

 One afternoon, he saw a familiar face playing in one of the gardens. It was Norman from the big house. But it couldn’t be. That was 100 years ago and this was now. Without thinking, Len had stopped.  The boy looked up from what he was doing.(He appeared to have been putting in some small plants.) 

 “Hello, “ said Len. “Do you live here?”

“No. My Gran does. I’m just visiting.”

“Me too. They live over the back there. What are you doing? “

 

It didn’t take long for the two boys to get talking. Neil, not Norman, lived at the other side of the village and it was his great grandad who was the gardener’s boy at “The Big House”. Len very cleverly said he’d been finding out some local history and was interested in the Big House.  

 And that’s when things started to get really interesting.

 

A Stitch in Time – Part 3

Part 3  Not Quite The Big Adventure

 

Len had closed his eyes just as Grandad pressed the red button.  He waited but nothing happened.  They hadn’t moved and he was pretty sure they hadn’t gone anywhere.  Cautiously he opened his eyes and took off his goggles. Grandad was doing just the same thing. 

 “We haven’t gone anywhere,” said Len.

  “No of course we haven’t.” said Grandad “We’re in just the same place we were before, but 100 years ago.”

  Len blinked.

  And then he looked round and he realized, yes, actually, things had changed.  For one thing, they were no longer in the shed.  In fact, there was no shed.  It wasn’t raining either.  The fence between grandad’s garden and Mr Nottage’s garden had disappeared.  The trees in Mr Nottage’s garden were much smaller and some had disappeared altogether. In the distance he could still see the Nottage house and there was a big wooden shed, even bigger than Grandad’s,  just over to their right, that hadn’t been there before. 

 Len suddenly realised that the mechanical box, which had been standing on the bench, was now being carried by him and Grandad and it was quite heavy.  They put it down carefully on the ground and started to look around them.

 “Have we really travelled in time?”  asked Len.

 “Oh yes. I’ve tried it out once or twice before.  I wouldn’t have used it with you if I didn’t know it would work.”

  “Wow” whispered Len “that’s amazing. I mean it’s like Doctor Who and stuff.”

  “Well I wouldn’t go that far.” said Grandad “It’s more Wallace and Gromit really.  You know, we’re having a Grand Day Out.”

 “Well,”  Len  grinned  “let’s hope there isn’t a Were- Rabbit” 

 “Shall we put this behind that big shed over there and go for a look round?” Grandad suggested.

 They found a nice dry spot and put the box down with some relief, because it really was quite heavy. As they walked round the other side of the shed, the door opened and a boy about Ben’s age came out. 

  “Eyup,” he said  “Who are you?”

  “My name’s Len and this is my Grandad”

  “Stewart” said Grandad.

  “Morning Len, morning Mr Stuart, said the boy “I’m Norman and I’m the gardener’s lad.”

  “You don’t live in there, do you?” asked Len looking curiously at the shed.

 “Nay,” said Norman, “It’s where all the tools are kept.  Does Mr Nesbitt know you’re here?” asked the boy

 “No, no not exactly.” said Grandad

 “Hey, you’re not poachers are you? Because there’s nothing here for you. My Dad sees to that.  There isn’t a rabbit safe where he is and my mum makes a lovely rabbit stew. Either way, poacher or not, you’ll be in trouble if Mr Nesbitt spots you. He doesn’t like strangers.” 

 “Why not?” Len asked. “We’re not doing any harm”.

 “He likes his privacy, least, that’s what he says. I think he’s up to something but Dad says to keep my nose out and just do my job. So I do. Mostly.” 

 “What do you mean. Mostly?”  asked Grandad, with a grin.

 “Well you can’t help seeing things sometimes and it doesn’t hurt to have a look, does it?”

 “That depends on what you see.” 

 At the mention of rabbit pie, Len realised he was feeling hungry. Fortunately, Grandma, who knew what he was like, had packed some food in his backpack, which he now remembered. He dropped it on the ground and started to go through it to see what he could eat. Grandad and Norman were discussing Mr Nesbitt still, but Len wasn’t listening. When he was hungry, all he thought about was food. 

 

Now he pulled out a pork pie, thoughtfully cut into pieces by Grandma, and a couple of apples. Grandad and Norman sat down on the grass and Len shared things out between them. Norman was delighted, since he hadn’t eaten since his porridge that morning and didn’t get pork pie all that often. He was even happier when Len pulled out some little sausage rolls and some slices of cake. Grandma always packed as if she was feeding a dozen or so. 

 As they ate, he told them quite a lot about his life as a gardener’s boy. He could read and write a little bit and was learning a lot about plants and growing things. From a family of eight children, he considered himself to be lucky to have a job at age eleven and to be helping the family with his wages.  One of his older sisters worked as a maid at the big house and his older brother was apprenticed to the gamekeeper. None of them liked Mr Nesbitt, who lived with his mother, and Norman’s sister said there were some funny goings on but wouldn’t say what they were. 

 They were so engrossed in their food and conversation that they didn’t see or hear anyone approaching until it was too late. 

 “Trespassers, by God.” said a thin little man in a tweed suit. “What are you doing on my property? Snooping? Trying to worm information out of my servants? Get back to your work, boy and don’t let me catch you slacking again. “ 

 Poor Norman scrambled to his feet and ran off across the garden, brushing crumbs off his clothes and looking back over his shoulder regretfully.  

 Behind the speaker stood two men, one in his teens, with a look of Norman that made Len wonder if he was Eric, the brother he had mentioned. He looked a little sheepish, as if he would rather not be there.  The other man was a big brute with thick dark hair and a nasty look on his face. 

 “Have a look round, Leggett and see if they’ve taken anything.” ordered the man, who they assumed must be Mr Nesbitt.  The big man and the younger one circled the big shed and a few moments later there was a yell. 

 Len and Grandad looked at each other. 

 “Oh no,“ muttered Len, but Grandad shushed him.

 “Oh no what?” snapped Mr Nesbitt, “Stolen goods is it?” 

 “We haven’t stolen anything. It’s ours.” shouted Len. “You leave it alone.” 

 The two men came round the shed, carrying Grandad’s time machine by the handles.  Mr Nesbitt’s eyes gleamed. He examined it closely but he didn’t ask any questions. He walked round it, peering in at all the complicated wiring, the little flashing lights and especially at the red button. 

 “What is it?” he asked, looking at Grandad. 

 Grandad gripped Len’s shoulder hard. Len understood – he meant “don’t say a word.” so Len didn’t.

 “I’m a geographer, it’s for making maps.” said Grandad quietly. 

 “Really?” sneered Mr Nesbitt “How does it work?”

 “Well it’s not easy to explain.  Unless you are a fellow geographer of course.” 

 “Hmmm. Well I’m a scientist myself, and I’m sure I’ll be able to work it out for myself. ” He looked up. “Take it up to the house and put it in my study.” he ordered the two men. “And be careful with it.”

 “You can’t do that. It isn’t yours.“ Grandad was remarkably calm, 

 “Well you can’t prove that it’s yours and it’s on my property so as far as I’m concerned, it’s mine.” 

 He turned away and followed the two men back to the house. 

 Grandad and Len just stood and stared. 

 “Aren’t you going to do something?” hissed Len 

 “Not much we can do, lad.” 

 “But Grandad,” moaned Len, as the true horror of the situation dawned on him, “Haven’t you realised, without the machine we’re stuck here. We can never go home.” 

A Stitch in Time – Part 2

Part 2 – Time To Go

 The house in Yorkshire, instead of having a stream at the bottom of the garden like he did at home, had  another house instead.

 It was bigger and much older than Grandma and Grandad’s house and it had a big garden and it was lived in by a family who really did not like having other houses around them. Grandad and Grandma did not see much of the neighbours who lived in the big house, even though they had lived there for a long time, but sometimes they had met them on the way to the shops, or coming home in the evenings and the people from the big house never spoke.  They never said hello or good evening; they never smiled and, if Grandma or Grandad was out in the back garden, gardening or hanging out the washing,  even though they saw the neighbours and spoke politely to them, the neighbours never answered or smiled in return.

  And the neighbours really hated it when Granddad was working in his shed.  Now this was partly because Grandad sometimes played music and if he did play music he played it loud and he liked to sing along.   And sometimes he used machinery; he used drills and lathes and hammers and he made a noise.  But, to be truthful, no one in the big house would have been able to hear the noise because it was quite a long way away, but the neighbours complained time and time and time again.  

 After a few times Grandma and Grandad had got fed up of the complaints and they had stopped apologising for the noise because the noise wasn’t that bad. They stopped trying to say a friendly hello and they stopped trying to smile at them over the fence when they were hanging out the washing.  They had as little to do with the people over the fence, who were called Mr and Mrs Nottage, as they could, but it was a shame, because they got on well with all the other neighbours. 

 The Nottage house was a big old house, much older than Grandma and Grandad’s and it was across a big garden, with some huge trees in between.  In times past, the house had had a much bigger garden but it had been sold to build houses on, including the one Grandma and Grandad lived in. 

 On the day when Len finally saw whatever it was that Grandad had hidden in the corner of the shed, Mr Nottage was out in the garden. He was soaked to the skin and grumbling to himself.  He watched as Len ran across the garden in the rain and into the shed and he moved nearer.  Grandad saw him through the shed window and muttered to Len;

 “He’ll be snooping again.  He’ll be listening to every word we say.” Grandad raised his voice  “Because he’s a nosy old devil.”  and he grinned at Len

 “Now then, you stand on that box so that you can see what we’ve got here.”  he said to Len.

 Len pulled the big box across the floor and climbed up onto it. He then took a good look at the tin box on the bench and watched as Grandad pulled out the two handles that had been folded into it. They looked as if they were lawn mower handles that had been shortened and there was one at each end, hinged so that it folded over flat across the top of the box or stood up, presumably to carry it with. There were wires and tubes and little flashing lights but there was nothing to show what it could be used for. 

  But, no matter how hard Len looked at it, he still couldn’t see how it could be any mode of transport. There were no wheels or skis or even legs. There was no way this thing was ever going to move and it certainly wasn’t going to transport anybody anywhere.  While Len was trying to work it all out, Grandad picked up a small hammer and started to hammer with short sharp taps down one side where some of the metal had been folded over.

 “Stop that noise!” shouted a voice from outside. “You’re giving me a headache.”

 “Take no notice Len.” said Grandad “If he’s daft enough to stand outside doing his weeding in the rain, he deserves a headache. Anyway, it’s not because of the noise I’m making, that’s for sure.” 

 He picked up his electric drill and drilled two more small holes in a line with one he’d already done. As he started putting a bolt through, he stopped and looked out of the window and there, standing on a short ladder leaning against the fence, was Mr Nottage.  He looked very angry.

  “I said stop that noise.” he said “Do you want me to come round there and stop you?”

  “I’d like to see you try.”  said Grandad and he shook his fist through the window at Mr Nottage.

  “Right,” said Mr Nottage, “just you wait.”  And he climbed down the ladder and set off marching back across the garden to the house.

  “He looks cross.” said Len “Do you think he will come round?” 

 “That told him.” said Grandad, “Didn’t it?  What?  Come round here?  I don’t think he will. Grandma wouldn’t let him in the house for one thing and he’s no business coming up our garden for another. No, that’s the last we’ll see of him, don’t you worry. Here, put these on” and he handed Len some goggles.

 He put on some goggles himself, picked up his electric sander and started to rub it across one side of the tin box, smoothing along where there were little bits of rough metal sticking out.  And suddenly there was a loud knocking on the shed door. Len and Grandad both nearly jumped out of their skins. 

 “I’ve had enough of you!” came Mr Nottage’s voice from just outside the door.” I want a word with you.”

  Grandad looked at Len and Len looked at Grandad. Grandad looked slightly flustered.

  “Are you going to let him in Grandad?” 

 “I most certainly am not.” came the reply. “Go away you silly old devil.” He shouted. 

 There was the sound of Mr Nottage rattling the door handle.

 “Are you going to let me in?” he shouted.

  “No, I’m not.” said Grandad. “Go back home and dry off you silly old fool.” 

 Mr Nottage was speechless with rage. He rattled the door handle again. 

 “I don’t think he’s going away.” said Len, a little nervously. 

 “Well he’s not coming in here. He can stay out there in the wet for all I care.” He paused thoughtfully. “Mind you, it’s a bit of a nuisance having him out there making all that noise.  How am I supposed to concentrate on what I’m doing with him rattling the door all the time?”

 Mr Nottage had gone quiet. He was no longer rattling the shed door. And then, suddenly, to both Len and Grandad’s surprise, his face appeared not two feet away, outside the window. Quick as a flash, Granddad leaned forwards and pulled the curtain across.

 “Right, I’m not having this.”  he said.  “Come on, let’s be off.”

 Len was a little bit puzzled to say the least, but Grandad was turning a knob on the side of the tin box nearest to him.

 “Right, you hold onto the handle and hold on tight with both hands.  Are you ready?”

  “Grandad,” Said Len,  “Where are we going?”

  “Not where,” said Grandad,  jiggling some dials at his end of the box “but when.” 

 And he pressed the red button.  

 

 

A book in Parts 1

 

When lockdown came around, I didn’t even think about it but then I started writing a story for my grandson Ben, sending it to him in instalments once a week. It keeps us in touch and him entertained. It gives us both something to look forward to and it adds a little purpose to an otherwise uneventful life – mine, not his. 

 So I’m going to publish them on here, where he won’t see them, and I’ll continue sending him and instalment each week.  you might enjoy reading them I don’t know. It’s hard to tell if your own work is any good.  If you read them and enjoy them, let me know. If you read them and don’t enjoy the experience, stop reading them but I don’t need to know thank you!

STITCH In Time – Part  1 

Len and Pooart Set Off 

Somewhere in England there lives a man called Ben.  When he was at school, there was another boy in his class called Ben and because the Ben we’re talking about was tall and actually a little bit plump, his friends called him Big Ben.  He didn’t mind and when he was grown up and got married and had a son of his own, He called him Ben too.  When his son Ben got older, things got a bit confusing – like when Ben’s wife said “Ben”,  they both answered or neither of them did, thinking she meant the other one. So  Big Ben  started calling his son Little Ben, which was ok for a while but,  as Little Ben grew up, he wasn’t too pleased with being called Little Ben, so he squished it together,  first to Lil Ben and then to Len  and funnily enough neither his mum nor Dad minded too much, so instead of being Ben, he became Len. 

When Ben became Len, he was about 10 and he went up with his mum and dad to see his Grandma and Grandad in Yorkshire, which was where they lived.  They stayed for about a week and had a great time, with Ben helping his grandad out in his big shed in the back garden on rainy afternoons.  Grandad was very good at mending things and quite good at making things and Len was quite good at thinking of things for Grandad to make. Grandad’s real name was Stewart, but once, for a joke, Len had called him Pooart, because he had farted and it smelled really, really bad and sometimes, for a joke, he still called him that. 

At the back of the shed, in one corner, there was something covered with a big blue cloth that Grandad wouldn’t let Len look at, not once all the time he was staying at their house.  Len was curious, in fact, Len was nosey but he knew better than to poke his nose in where it wasn’t wanted and although he asked 

 “What’s in the corner?” Grandad just tapped his nose and said 

“Never you mind.”

The day before they were due to go home,  Len’s mum got a phone call from their neighbour to say that it had been raining day after day while Len and his mum and dad had been up in Yorkshire and now the stream that ran past the bottom of their garden had flooded. First it had just flooded a bit, but gradually the water had run along the garden, up the path and had seeped in under the back door. 

It wasn’t just their house, the other three houses on their side of the street were flooded too, but only their house was empty, with no one to help clean it out.  Len’s Mum and Dad had a long discussion that night after Len had gone to bed and when he got up in the morning they told him what they had decided.

“We’re going to go home early.” said mum “and see what we can do about cleaning up the house and getting things mended and doing all the paperwork, Now, you can decide for yourself;  you can come home with us or you can stay here with Grandma and Grandad for a few days. Which would you prefer?”

Well there was no question in Len’s mind, even though he liked the idea of paddling about in the kitchen and splashing in the water but he didn’t like the idea of a house that had no heating and you couldn’t cook and maybe couldn’t have any electricity or Wi-Fi, so it wasn’t difficult for him to decide to stay with Grandma and Grandad and that’s what he did. 

Len’s Mum and Dad packed up the car and left just after lunch, telling him to be good and not be cheeky and he hugged them and kissed them and felt just a little bit strange as they drove away without him, because he’d never stayed there on his own before.  Then he turned around and walked back into the house to where Grandma was waiting with a cup of tea for him and Grandad was watching Last of the Summer Wine on television.

“Come and sit here Len,” said Grandad, “ this is a funny bit.” 

Without a second thought, Len grabbed his cup of tea and scrambled on to the settee at the side of Grandad and settled down to watch Last of the Summer Wine.  And it was funny and he had quite a nice afternoon, doing some drawing, playing on his laptop and then having tea with Grandma and Grandad and it wasn’t until bedtime that he missed his mum and dad a bit. 

He called them on WhatsApp and they had a chat and they showed him all around the kitchen, where the floor was still covered in mud and the sitting room, where the carpet was soaked and muddy and the settee was ruined and he was actually quite glad to be snug and warm at Grandma and Grandad’s house. 

The following day it rained a lot in Yorkshire too, but Grandma and Grandad lived on the top of a hill and there was no way they were ever going to be flooded, but even Grandad admitted that you can only watch so many episodes of Last of the Summer Wine before you get a bit bored.  Grandma had Len making pastry to make some jam tarts and that was fun for a while as well and then after lunch he didn’t like to say anything, but he was a bit bored.

“Well if you’re so bored” said Grandma, who could read him like a book,  “you can wash the lunch pots.  I’ve got things to do.”  Len wasn’t all that pleased but he admitted that it wasn’t particularly hard doing the pots. It didn’t take all that long and when he had finished pot washing, he looked round for something else to do. He couldn’t find Grandad anywhere, so at last, having done a full circuit of the house, he asked Grandma and she said; 

“I expect he’s out in the shed. I suppose you can go out. In fact, you can take him a cup of tea. Well go on then, don’t hang about getting under my feet.” (Which meant she was going to play games on her tablet for a while.) Len ran out of the back door, flask in hand, and through the pouring rain to the shed.  He hammered on the shed door 

 “Can I come in, Grandad, it’s raining. I’ve got you some tea.”

“Well you’d better come in, I suppose,” said Grandad , but he didn’t look all that pleased and as Len  shut the door he realised why. The thing in the corner was no longer covered up and in fact it was no longer in the corner. It was out on the workbench and the cover was in a screwed -up heap on the floor.  Len did not say anything.  He didn’t ask any questions. He just looked and tried to work out what it was.  But in the end, he had to give up and he looked at Grandad, who had a very wicked grin on his face. 

“Go on then, ask me what it is.”

“What is it?”

“I’m not telling you. You can guess.  I’ll give you a clue.  It’s a mode of transport.”

“But it hasn’t got any wheels,”  

And it hadn’t. It was just a box, in fact it looked as if it had been made from several biscuit tins soldered together. There were wires and sort of sparky bits and bits of tubing and of course there was a flashing light and there was a big red button with a label that said

DO NOT PRESS THE RED BUTTON!!!   

Something To Keep You Going…

This post is written for my two friends who Zentangle with me on a regular basis. We normally Zoom but this week I will be on a long journey and won’t be able to join in, so I’m leaving a step by step guide to this week’s session here. Please fell free to join in if you want to.

Good morning girls.

I thought we’d try a simple wreath this week.

You will need:

Paper or card. (I’m using an A4 sheet of 180 gsm smooth paper so it can take the alcohol inks easily.)

Alcohol markers – two or three shades of green; two or three shades of peach/orange/salmon pink. But, of course you can use whatever colours you prefer. I used Grass and Bright Green Promarkers and two Sharpies in bright and pale orange – they don’t have names I’m afraid – plus Promarkers is Coral, Soft Peach and Tequila Sunrise

A fineliner pen; I’m using a Pigma Micron size 0.3 And a Signo white pen but you can easily manage without it, it’s just for a few bits at the end.

A pencil and an eraser. (Yes I know Zentangle don’t use erasers but rules are for breaking on occasion!)

A compass or something to draw a circle around – about a 10cm (4 inch) diameter and something else to draw around about a 6cm (3 inch) diameter.

So here we go. I started by drawing a 6″ square and putting a dot in the middle to mark the centre for my compass.

Then I drew two concentric circles, one with a 2″ radius and the inner one has a 1.5″ radius, I’ve said radius rather than diameter for if you are using a compass, as opposed to drawing round something. I used pencil for this, as pale as possible because it will be erased later.

Next came a set of small circles, drawn freehand and scattered randomly around the two rings, but not too close together.

You’ll notice they are freehand and not intended to be too precise. We’re going for naturalistic rather than geometric.

Then another circle inside each one.

And then we are doing the pattern that we’ve done before, called Henna Drum. This time it’s a full flower shape rather than a partial one like we did on the Crescent Moon drawing. You’ll notice I’ve done two petal shapes. In the picture below this one there is a close up of types of petal you could choose. It’s up to you whether to do all your flower shapes the same, or vary it a bit as I have.

The longer you make the sticks to start with, the bigger the petals will be. Try to make them middle sized, so they don’t all touch and there’s room for stuff between them.

At this point, we stop drawing and do some of the colouring. This is mainly to avoid smearing the lines when adding alcohol inks. But first I rubbed out all the pencil lines because, once the marker goes over them, they can’t be removed. Then I started with the darker green and created a clumsy outline. The clumsiness doesn’t matter at this stage because we will be drawing over it.

I then filled it in with the paler green.

I know it looks painfully childish at this point but it should come together as we go further.

And here we start with a pattern called Printemps. There’s a video below from the Zentangle team showing how it’s done. However, when Rick starts to explain about sparkles, don’t worry about it. I didn’t do sparkles on this because I didn’t feel it was necessary. You can if you want to though, entirely up to you.

There are lots of videos like this on the Zentangle website and I highly recommend them. In fact, if you fancy the idea, we can do one of the Zentangle Projects at a later stage.

But back to our wreath.

If at a later point you feel it looks a bit empty in places, you can always add a bit more Printemps.

So now we are going to colour the flower shapes. I did one set in the paler peach colour, adding some darker ink in places. See two pics below. The second one is a close up of how to fill in the petals.

It will look a bit more subtle on the finished drawing. You can see here the two colourways I chose – pale peach with the mid colour and then mid colour with the darker orange.

I then gave each of the flowers a couple of tendrils. This pattern, the tendrils, is called Fescu. I gave them quite long stems to spread across the pattern underneath to break it up a bit.

I then coloured them in the darker colour and gave each of them a halo of seven or eight dots.

Then it was back to a little more line work on the flower shapes. There’s a close up below to show what I did a bit more clearly. You can see I also filled in the middles with tiny circles and white dots. Not required but I liked it better with than without.

So this is pretty much the final version. Frankly, I’m not thrilled with mine because I rushed it. (I hadn’t realised how long it would take to stop and scan every stage, so I was rushing to get it done.) Anyway, if you’re bored and you want to give it a go, let me know how you get on. By the way, the colours on this are a bit washed out but no matter what I did, I couldn’t persuade the machine to brighten them up enough.

And because I forgot to post this for Jan…

Neurographic Art. (Mindfulness, Therapy, Fun.)

When I started to write this blog post, I found one I had already started from some weeks ago. I include it here purely to demonstrate that we have survived pretty much unscathed through Lockdown – so far.  If you want to get straight to the Neurographic Art, just scroll down.

The Loved One and I decided to self isolate due to the corona Virus as soon as the Government recommended it, so we are currently into Week 6. I can’t say it has been all that difficult – it’s knowing that you CAN’T that is annoying, rather than being at home itself. I like being at home. I enjoy the drawing and crochet and playing games on my tablet. And I’ve started writing a book, although whether or not it gets finished remains to be seen. There’s a strong possibility that, once I’ve got the main idea out of my head, I may not feel the need to complete it. 

I’ve got three new hobbies too.

Acrylic pour painting is just great. However, it’s extremely messy so I have shelved it until the weather is warmer and I can do it outside. I’ve included a link here just to wet your apetite.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06mC_b9R_e0&t=5s

And then my younger daughter introduced me to jewellery making using UV resin. this is really good fun, although I’m not very good at it yet. When I finally make something that is worth looking at, I’ll add a photo. but this a another link to a YouTube video of how it’s done. The initial outlay isn’t that expensive and you can make some good stuff. It’s just that I haven’t yet!     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYcbvH9beVE

And then there’s pyrography, which I have been fancying trying for a while. I bit the bullet and bought a kit but I haven’t tried it out yet. Again, I’ll let you know.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IswNq-ztvr8 

During Lockdown I have, like many other people, spent a lot of time looking at all sorts of art on the Internet.  It has given me a great deal of pleasure and, on occasions, quite a lot of amusement. One of the things I “discovered” was Neurographic Art, which I liked the look of from the start. At the top of the page is my first attempt, with which I am inordinately pleased. I looked it up and found myself in a world of Russian psychologists and some interesting theories but well out of my comfort zone, so I went for the easiest way out, found out what to do and then had a go.

When I published three of my pieces on Facebook the response was flatteringly enthusiastic and quite a few people asked me what materials I had used and how I had gone about it. Frankly, I did not feel inclined to refer them to the psychologists and make them wade through all of it, so I have put together a step by step guide on How To.., without the background information. You can find it if you go looking for it, I assure you!

I’ve not done one of these before, so please bear with me.

The equipment.

I used an A4 sheet of Bristol Board, 240gsm and cut it into two pieces; a square 21×21 cm and a rectangle 21×8.5cm. The other ones I had done were A5 and I wanted to try a different shape and size. My choice of Bristol Board was because it is so smooth, which suits using alcohol markers better than mixed media or water colour paper/card, as they have more tooth and the colours tend to bleed.

 

Teh pens are Sakura Microns in sizes 01, 03 and 08, plus a black Sharpie in case there are any large areas of black and a tortillon in case I do any pencil shading at a later stage. (Forgot to include a pencil in the pic. It would have been a 3B.

So off we go.

I can’t draw a freehand shape that even vaguely resembles a circle, so I used this stencil.

Ready to really get going.

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason i like to leave one circle without any lines going through it. there is no reason for this, I just do. And, although I’ve used circles in everything so far, you don’t have to. I’ve seen people use other geometric shapes, organic ones and representational ones – it’s really all down to how you feel.

Getting started with the rounding

Rounded but not yet filled in – see the arrow?

And then filled in.

So you start by rounding off all the angles where lines intersect. I’ve seen ones where people only round some of these but I like to do them all. It is very, very, VERY soothing. I love this part.

All rounding complete although I’m willing to bet I’ve missed some!

I quite like it at this stage and I think I may do one in just black and white, using patterns instead of colour.

A selection of colours to choose from

At this point i chose my colours. although I have done one using a lot of different colours, I didn’t like it as much as the limited palette ones. I haven’t finished it yet and I’m hoping the addition of patterns and shading will improve it.  As you can see from this picture, I went for a wide range of greens, knowing I would not be using them all. In order to pare down the number of colours, I did a swatch to find ones that went well together.

You will also see that there is a mix of brands and they will all work together, although some blend better than others.

 

 

A colour swatch using all those pens so I can eliminate what I won’t us.

The eventual more limited palette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the swatch and my eventual selection.

Putting the first colour in is always a bit daunting

Funnily enough, it gets easier after the first colour is in there. or at least, it does for me.

all the greens in – I think

I added just a little lilac for contrast.

This is where I started to add a few patterns here and there.

This may be finished.

And that’s probably it. I just kept on adding to it until i got to the stage where I thought if i did any more it would spoil it.

My second piece.

So, if you think that was any help, please let me know. If you didn’t, I’m sorry. (And you needn’t let me know!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the third.

Until another day, oh world of crafters, be good to each other.

 

 

Back in The Swing of Things

This is NOT me!

I dyed my hair purple today. Well, it was raining.  I read the instructions on the bottle of stuff – the stuff that didn’t work last time  and has been in the bathroom cabinet ever since because it would be a waste to throw it away.

“Wearing the gloves provided, apply to towel dry hair and leave for 10-15 minutes depending on how vibrant you want the resultant colour to be. ”

Well my hair was already dry so I damped it a bit with wet fingers and then applied a thick dollop of pale mauve cream with bare hands because I’d used the gloves last time and thrown them away. Within seconds my hands were a delightful pale lilac, which hasn’t shifted after 4 hand washes, and which I thought would bode well for the colour my hair would eventually be. So I left it for an extra half an hour, just to make sure, while I took some stuff from the craft room de-clutter experiment into the garage. Then  I dove into the shower in a panic in case leaving it on too long meant my hair would fall out at the roots and I’d end up with a purple scalp instead.

It didn’t.

I didn’t get purple hair either. If there is any change at all, it is minimal. My hair is for the most part a slightly darker shade of steel grey than it was and the whiter bits, which I had hoped to see a fetching lilac, are a slightly paler steel grey, although darker than they were before. The colour now resembles that of one of the female guards on the Gulag Archipelago. You know, the ones who who do shot putt and water boarding in their spare time.

My hair is a bit of a disappointment at the best of times. I once read a description of a woman who:

“Had white strands that swept like gulls’ wings back from her face”

This is not what I signed up for.

When I started to go grey, I had visions of gulls’ wings. Distinguished and classy. Instead I look more like a Staffordshire bull Terrier, with a sort of overall brindled effect. One of the many less attractive features of the ageing process.

However, not one to be put off or, to put it another way, not one to learn from experience, I have another pot of purple dye that I’m going to try in a few days’ time. And this one is violet! Not violent, that’s what I’ll be if it doesn’t work.

As for the craft room de-clutter, it’s been a long time coming. I mean, I threaten it now and then. I push things to one side so I can draw or paint in a small space and I say: “Really must clear up in here.”  And then I finish painting and go down for tea and everything is just as it was. All I’ve done is acknowledge that it needs to be done.

BUT NOT TODAY! Today I have gathered all the Christmas card making paraphernalia into a large carrier bag and taken it out to the garage. (Which I know is a mistake because I bet I’ll find tons more as I go along.) And I’ve gathered together all the wires, micro-filters and plugs from 20+ years of computers into a box and they’re going outside too. (At least until my technically competent son in law comes and identifies what needs to be kept and what can go. ) And now there’s an empty drawer that can be used for some of the bits and pieces lying about on the desk, shelves, floor. This is sooooo cathartic. But I’m pacing myself. I don’t want to rush into it and throw away things I will later need, so I’m gathering things together and going through them a bit at a time.

And of course I need a break now and then, for a cuppa or an online game or something. It’s odd though… I’ve filled two litter bins at least twice; there’s a huge carrier bag full of Christmas things waiting to go outside; there’s a box of wires ditto; there are piles of stuff around the room waiting to be put away – but there doesn’t seem to be any less than there was before. How can that be?

So I’m off to put the kettle on for a coffee to gain strength for the final push. I want it clear today because tomorrow the next stage begins… clearing out the drawers and cabinets. (Can you hear the Jaws music getting louder?)

 

So until next time, world, think of me as I plod on through a ten year collection of things that might come in handy, ruthlessly discarding things that could have been thrown out years ago.

In these uncertain time, look after yourselves and be good to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

An Uncertain Time

I drew this for Inktober last year and loved how it turned out with the fish and the worm eye to eye.

Well it has taken a pandemic to get me back on the blog so we’ll see how it goes from here. My experience of lock down so far is fairly unthreatening. When we are not away on hols to the sun, I spend a lot of time at home, drawing, painting, crochet and reading, plus all sorts of other crafts that I try out.  The thing is, from inside my normally well provisioned, comfortable home, the world doesn’t look much different. If I avoid tv I can convince myself that there is no danger and everyone will be fine. But I know the reality is different. The Loved One and I are both over 65 and so are many of our friends. Many of us have what are now called “underlying conditions”. (I thought they were the result of the ageing  process for the most part.) So we are classed as “At risk”.

I do feel that people are stating the obvious here. The old and infirm have always been “At risk”. It’s part of being old and infirm isn’t it?  So it’s no surprise that we are the ones popping off first. I’m not happy about it but it is a Malthusian fact of existence.  We are also the least productive members of society in practical terms. We don’t work, we don’t contribute and we can be seen as a burden on the state. We’ve done all our contributing. So if anyone has to go, maybe it’s us.

Well that’s not very cheery but I feel better for looking it in the eye, so to speak.

This does not mean I am volunteering!

Underneath this rather cold hearted look at the world in its present state is an attempt to toughen up, so that if/when my friends and family are affected, I will be able to cope with it emotionally. As for getting the dreaded virus myself, well, I’m assuming that won’t happen because, let’s face it, what bug would take ME on?

One good thing has come out of the present situation…

I’ve started a thorough de clutter in the craft room. In fact, we must hope that the lock down period is fairly lengthy if it is to be completed. So when next I write it will be from a tidy, well organised and efficient work space. (And pigs will be flying over South Yorkshire.)

Until then, world, be good. (-ish)