Thursday, 27 February 2014

Fugue in progress

No - I haven't finally taken leave of my senses but I have taken leave,
temporarily, of the Chateau.  It's currently in the very capable
hands of my highly trained staff who are probably at this very moment
sitting back drinking a glass of the local rose, playing cards and
generally being French (berets optional - there's no dress code).

Can't trust them for five minutes!

The "fugue state" is usually defined as a period when the individual
(me in this instance) wanders away from their home or place of work
(both in this instance) for periods of hours, days or even weeks (in
this instance).  It stems from the Latin word for "flight" and that's
exactly what I've done.   One can only take so much and since
Christmas it's been one thing after another - my reserves are depleted
and it's time to take drastic action or sink without trace.

... nothing like a ferry crossing in February.

After a gruelling sixteen hour journey by land and sea I am now safely
back in one of the bosoms of my family deep in rural south England.  I shall
visit the east bosom later in my fugue.  I'm stuffing down delicious
home-made cakes and other delicacies in order to regain lost weight,
breathing fresh farm air to bring some colour back into my cheeks
and am on the receiving end of much love and kindness,
which I find almost overwhelming at times, to bring a little joy
back into my soul and my designs.  I even have access to a friendly
tabby cat who is doing his best to fill the awful void left by the
loss of my longdogs.

This part has been played by an actor.

As my strength returns so will the frequency of my posts
- who knows what adventures await me and tales I will have to tell!
Right now I'm going to take a leaf out of old Christina Rossetti's
rather paraphrased book and attempt to -
"forget and smile rather than remember and be sad"
Bring it on!


Friday, 14 February 2014

Hare Apparent

In ancient times the hare was a symbol of vitality,
sexual desire and fertility and was often chosen as
a gift between lovers.  Come on, you can tell me,
it's Valentine's Day - roses, chocolates, perfume,
a hare - what did he get you this year?
The cheapskate!  I'm sure it will be delicious.
In Christian iconography the hare is an attribute of
St Martin of Tours.  I only mention this because
he lived just down the road from here back in the day
and the fields around the Chateau are
overrun with his furry little chums.
Hare Apparent would make an ideal Valentine's gift and
much less trouble than the real thing.  Think about it.
No need to search for dandelion leaves if given live or
suitable recipes should it come "oven ready".
To tempt you further here's Louise's fine rendition
just back from the framer's and all ready to hang.
Bravo, magnificent comes to mind!
Start nagging now and this easy to follow chart could be in your
sticky little hands by nightfall - although I do hope
you wash them first before stitching.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Oh no! ... another limerick

There was a crosstitcher from Kent
Who's needles were broken or bent.
She had threads on the floor,
A stash by the door,
And a framed Long Dog over her bed.
Boom, boom!

Monday, 10 February 2014


There was a young lady from Surrey
Who did everything in such a hurry.
She would stitch as she cooked
But one day didn't look
And her sewing got covered in curry.
Boom, boom!

Thursday, 6 February 2014


I've been struggling recently to find something nice to tell
you about but this morning the gods were on my side
because into my mail box came some photos from sunny California.
Hip, hip, hooray - Martha has finished Tobasco!
And here it is all stretched out and ready for framing.
I'm sure you'll all agree it looks even better in pride of place
on her wall.  She's even dedicated it to her husband Carl -
I wonder what he did to deserve that honour!
Don't forget to keep those photos coming - finished pieces, WIP, needlework
events - because now that I no longer have my beautiful, photogenic dogs
 there really is a limit to the number of times you'll
want to see pictures of the pony at the bottom of the garden
however handsome he is.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


The second of February in the Christian calendar marks the
Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation
of the baby Jesus.
It was known to the Celts as Imbolc or St Brighid's day and
the belief was that on this day winter will either end or strengthen.
Why do I have the feeling that this year the latter may hold true.
It's the time of year when farming communities begin thinking about
planting their crops for the year ahead and traditionally
Celtic women would dress the corn dolly made at Lammas
in a bridal gown and put her in a basket in the hope of a bountiful harvest.
Here in France we typically tend to think more of our stomachs than of
anything else and 2nd February, la Chandeleur,
is no exception.  So whisk up the flour with the eggs and milk,
get the pan sizzling hot - it's pancake day!
Well my dears, whatever your calling or persuasion and whichever
way you chose to celebrate this Fete de la Lumiere,
or whether you just simply decide to ignore it - I wish you a good one.
I know what I shall be doing - when in France do as the French.
Sniff out someone with a pan on the stove
 and pull up a chair!