It was a traumatic start to the weekend because I am a lucky mum to still have No1 daughter, her boyfriend and grand dog. They were driving in the near-side lane of the M6 on Thursday evening when they were side swiped by a lorry, pushed along the carriage-way by the same HGV, spun around 360 degrees across the motorway and ricocheted onto the barrier of the hard shoulder. They are battered and bruised, suffering whiplash and shock but otherwise unharmed. I shiver to think how different it could have been and was most relieved to see No1 daughter yesterday afternoon and give her a hug.
Thankfully I have good friends to rant to, weep on (sorry JG, B and RS) and keep me diverted from thinking about what might have happened.
Its 2014 and time to begin a new Latin book with AH
it’s the last book in the series and from the length of the first translation alone we can tell it will be somewhat taxing.
On a Roman theme I have been asked to share a workshop I attended sometime ago with AH when we spent a couple of days with book binder extraordinaire Michael Burke (of Dominic Riley and Michael Burke fame) making a facsimile of a Vindolanda wax tablet.
It was quite a struggle. There was chiseling ( I have never before or since chiseled!) which meant CAREFULLY working the beautiful tulip wood to hollow out a very thin recess or pocket in each sheet without piercing the other side of the ‘page’, especially the double-sided leaves
and being EXTREMELY CAREFUL to keep intact the fragile little wooden bars at the centre of each page that act – once the sheets are filled with soot-dyed beeswax (don’t ask me about working with soot and molten wax…) – as a means of separating the leaves (aaarghhhhh, they all have to LINE UP!!!!!).
Once you have wrestled with the problem of getting sooty hot beeswax – I’ve told you, don’t ask me about working with soot and molten wax – on two sides of the three centre pages you finally get to put the waxed cord through the teeny tiny holes that you drilled (yes…DRILLED!) after CAREFUL MEASUREMENT to hold your Roman book together. Phew.
You’ll have gathered it was not the most relaxing craft project that I have undertaken. Infact I seem to remember rushing home to pick up my crochet hook and work a curly-wurly wreath just to calm down. BUT I hope you agree that the finished item is a thing of beauty and for experimental archaeologists a real eye opener. ALSO spending a couple of days in Michael and Dominic’s wonderful home and bindery with such expert bookbinders was a privilege. And do you know I still have the ‘book’ but have no idea what happened to the wreath.
Talking of book binders my two very good friends B and JG – who were taught by Michael and Dominic – are accomplished binders in their own right and today I joined them as they discussed their current project, creating beautiful bindings for ‘Letting Go’ by Angela Topping published by Mother’s Milk Books.
Of course we talked about interesting books to read. B and RS have the wonderful Fireside Bookshop in Windermere so we were spoilt for choice, I also notice that a library book has crept in too…
and the afternoon would not have been complete without putting the world to rights over a tasty lunch and a slice of B’s latest gluten free baking. Today it was delicious pineapple and banana spiced Hummingbird Cake,
What about the bird in the hand I hear you ask? In the midst of this week’s highs and lows I have been busy creating a needle felted Guinea Fowl for a friend of Bs. Infact it became a bit of a welcome obsession. I doodled him in my craft book (remember the one B made and swapped for a pair of my fingerless mittens)…
I even sketched him in my diary…
He began life as a shaggy pile of wool tops … then began to take shape…
something like a pheasant/hen/turkey…vulture?!(unkind)…cross…started to look like a down at heel Jemima Puddleduck … but then found his feet ….
and erm…blossomed into a Ghanaian Crested Guinea Fowl a la Moke….
a bird in the hand.