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Lydia the Tattooed Lady

 For no reason other than it's fun!

The immortal Groucho Mark singing Lydia the Tattooed Lady

And the Muppet version for good luck.

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Sailing is fun

 Went out on Molly for the second time.

This time I got to take the rudder and main sheet (at least I think that's what the rope in question is called...) for a while and learnt the very basics of sailing.

The wind was very light and we got caught in the lee of Brownsea Island.  Lin took the tiller while Richard and I rowed (very handy that Molly came with oars).  I quite like rowing - we've taken Oswin out in hired row boats on the River Stour.  We got two or three times the speed when rowing added to the sail power.

Mind you, both Richard and I row better solo.  With an oar each, we don't keep good time, even with someone calling the strokes.

Here we all are as a family.  Lindsey at the tiller, Richard and myself on the centre thwart and Oswin in the lifejacket.

You can see how flat the water was, hardly any waves at all.

It's very good having a boat that can take a family.
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Wet weather

 We were going to be out sword dancing tomorrow, but the weather forecast is dire.

I've contacted the organisers saying that we'll not be there (we were performing for free).  I suspect they'll end up having the cancel the entire event as it's all outdoors.

I feel sorry for the organisers - a lot of work goes into organising these things.

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Molly and the rain

 Got back from morris last night around 11pm to discover that the high winds had started removing the tarpaulin we'd tied over Molly.  (She's on the trailer on our drive at present)

So I retied the ropes and added more, getting my skirt thoroughly wet in the process.

That held until morning. Fortunately it was dry and sunny today, so we took off the tarpaulin, bailed her out and gave her a good airing.  

I've discovered that rain gets into the bow compartment, owing the the trailer being on a slope, so I dried that out with a sponge.

Some bits are still a little bit damp (that handles of the oars, as they aren't varnished, and part of the bow compartment), but most is fine.

Wrapped her up again as tomorrow is likely to be just as bad.

For long term storage, she'll be upsidedown, but we need to get a proper cover for her first.

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Messing about on the Water

 My daughter has long been fascinated by boats. She grew up with 'Swallows and Amazons', has had two holidays boating on the Norfolk Broads and on the rare occasions when money allowed has hired a dinghy in Poole Harbour.

She recently lost two of her grandparents and inherited some money.  Most of that is earmarked for finally being able to afford a step towards the first rung on the housing ladder, but the dream of owning a dinghy also floated to the surface.

New dinghies are crazy money, £9000 for a new fibreglass Gull for example.

On the other hand, if you love older boats and are prepared for the love and attention that a wooden dinghy requires, then a second-hand wooden boat is only a fraction of that....
Fate sort of took a hand...Collapse )


Tablet Weaving

 I finally figured out how to get my photo from Flickr to appear here.
As you'll probably notice, it gets neater as you go down it. I started on a backstrap loom, made a fair number of mistakes, abandoned it for a while when its original purpose became obsolete, bought a cheap inkle loom, finished it off and was very pleased with the even tension and increased ease of weaving (and far less back ache) achieved on the inkle loom.


 was so happy with the final result that I promptly started a new project (see below).  This was a relatively simple pattern.  I wanted to take advantage of some sparkly yarn I had, so I used that against a darker background. I don't think you can see the sparkle in the photo. 
I won't be buying any more of the yarn. It's easy to use and I had it to hand, but sparkle is non-biodegradable plastic...  However, I shall use up what I have.  (I thinking about ways of using recycled yarn in the long term, but I've several balls to use up first.  The dark yarn in this was old left-over wool I'd inherited.) 
I'm pleased with the way the little bells worked.  They were left over from an old morris school project.  Because the warp threads twist around the weft, they grip it very firmly.  Hence, an inch or so on each side, threaded through the bell's loop is all that is needed to secure the bell to the hat band. Yes, it's another morris hatband...  Not sure who is going to get it yet.  I'll offer it to my son's fiancee and see if she likes it.  

He proposed to her a month or two ago, and I'm very pleased that C said 'yes'.  He loves her from the bottom of his heart and she's a lovely person.

The whole project was very fast. It probably took as long to plan it and to warp the loom, as it did to actually weave it. About three days in all.

Lesson learnt: continuous warping is easier when you don't have a border of a different colour...  You have to start knotting bits together and it's a bit of a pain.

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Egyptian Diamonds in Tablet Weaving

 I've been tablet weaving again.

For some reason, I can't get the photo on Flickr to show here, but I've put a link  for those who would like to see the design.

This particular pattern has an interesting history.  Originally found by archaeologists, it was several years before anyone figured out how to reproduce it.  Normal tablet weaving patterns change on horizontal lines (across the width of the piece), but this one changes on the diagonal.

The trick is to change one pair of cards on each side of the centre line, every two picks, working your way outwards (or inwards) until you reach the edge (or centre).

I started this pattern working on a backstrap loom as I've always done in the past, but I've been getting back ache from this kind of loom, so having found a cheap (but perfectly servicable) inkle loom at Sidmouth folk festival, I transferred the weaving to that.

You probably won't be able to spot the change in the photo, but the tension along the edges was noticeably better on the loom.  and I found it easier to correct mistakes there as well (mistakes in tablet weaving are difficult to correct at the best of times, and virtually impossible at the worst)

I'd originally been intending to make a glasses case out of this band, but having found a case at another festival that did exactly what I needed, and did it better than the design I had in mind, I abandoned the project for some time.  When I came back, it was very difficult to pick up the pattern again and I ended up doing and undoing the first inch several times over.

The moral turns out to be that you should leave yourself a note saying which side of the loom you were doing the pattern changes on....

The narrowing in at the end was done by turning warp threads into weft threads and then cutting them off at the edge.  The loop at the top was there from the start - I used continuous warping to originally set up the pattern.

I eventually braided the end and finished it off with one of those useful things you learn in Guides.  The whole band is now gracing the hat of Anonymous Morris's accordion player.

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Contact lists

 Strange how the numbers stored on a phone are almost a history of your life...

As part of the process of changing banks to get away from those pesky fossil fuel investments, I'm adding Nationwide telephone banking to my phone.  In the process, I started looking at old numbers and deleting those that were no longer relevant.

An assortment of charity shops that I no longer volunteer with, the bank before the last one, people I was on committees with over a decade ago, an optician I no longer use, etc.

But also those numbers that I still choose to keep. Some friends that I haven't spoken to in years, but don't want to cut the thread with entirely.

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I've just changed my bank.

I've moved from First Direct, who have a lot of fossil fuel investments, to Nationwide, who have none at all.
So far, the changeover process has been very easy.

I don't want my money to enable new oil wells to be dug or new coal mines to start up.

I'll miss First Direct's excellent telephone banking, but Nationwide have two branches within walking distance, so I still have human beings within easy reach. And internet banking, of course. And their savings account pays a good rate of interest (for a bank savings account).

Many ways of reducing carbon emissions are difficult, but changing bank is within everyone's grasp.

Having the cutest four-year-old in the world as a granddaughter, I'm acutely aware of the future that our society is going to leave her. Winter floods and summer droughts. Temperatures that ruin crops and kill the elderly. Any small step (especially one that doesn't cost me a penny) is worth doing to help her world.

Once the changeover is complete, if it all goes smoothly, then I'll be waving the "refer a friend" option at people in the UK. It gives you and me both £100 if you change your account to Nationwide. I'll donate my £100 to charity if anyone takes up the offer.
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LJ Log ins, or lack thereof...

 And it gets even odder. On LJ, I cant reply to a response in my journal.

I appear to be logged in until I try to reply. Then it tells me I'm not logged in, then it tells me to prove I'm  a human being, but with no box to follow instructions in....

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Judith Proctor


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