Thursday, May 24, 2018

Better late than never.......

Well, there I go, publishing something that should have been done months ago, and not continuing with it.  I can't decide whether its my age or whether I'm just tired, but I have found it difficult to continue writing about the Israeli trip. It was wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but for some reason, I just felt that I didn't have the notes that I had on the first trip, and felt I would be shortchanging you.

So what shall we talk about?

Hmmm, i might have to think on that a bit, but I promise I will come back.

It was so good the first time.........

I've been quiet for a while haven't I?

To be honest, I lost the will to write, but am very glad to say that I am now back and feeling much better. Oh gosh, I hear you moan, now we'll never be rid of her. Well that's just tough :))

So, what brought about this change in demeanour? Well, I have not long been back from my second trip to Israel. I really did love it the last time I was there in 2014, and I had promised myself that I would go back, I think it came at just the right time, and I find myself in a much happier place than before I left.

Again, my wonderful friend Shoshi arranged so much for me and her brother, Moshe, was again my guide. She said they had been meeting to arrange things, but I think it was more likely that Moshe was trying to get out of it 😁😁. Seriously though, he is a great guide and always make it so interesting.

So, where was I? Oh yes, I decided that this time, I would leave at the end of August and then I would be there for the Israeli Quilters Association exhibition in Jerusalem and it would be a great opportunity to see people again, and also see the quilts first hand.  The flight was good although an interesting thing happened. I had been told about it, but had never seen it, but an ultra orthodox gentleman boarded the flight. He took his hat off, stored his bag, and then asked the woman sitting in the middle seat to move. Yes, he did, it's a tricky thing, he cannot sit next to a woman who is not his wife, and so he asked her to move. As you can imagine, she wasn't happy and there was only one spare seat left and she moved into it. Why didn't he, I hear you ask? Well as soon as she vacated it, his bag came back down and spent the entire flight on the seat between him and the man on the other end. The man sitting next to me was angry about it as I think a number of people were, but it is part of the ultra orthodox view - don't necessarily agree with it myself, as I think its demeaning, but there you go.

Anyway, flight landed, and after queuing to get through border control,I got my luggage and went out to find Shoshi and Moshe both waiting for me. It was lovely to see them, and we loaded my cases into Shoshi's car, and then headed off to Ramla, where Moshe and I were being dropped, and we would be meeting up with Shoshi later that day. Her office is about 5 minutes from the airport, so not too far away.

What were you doing in Ramla? There's nothing to see there, so said several people. Well, there is quite a bit to see there. We had been dropped by a small park and Moshe was giving me the history of the town. Ramla is an Arab town, and old (there's an observation for you), and we were sitting just outside the Pool of Arches, which used to be the town reservoir. We descended the stairs and I was marvelling at the architecture, when Moshe said get in, we have to row. Dear reader, I had been flying for about 14 hours all told, maybe a bit longer, and had just stepped off an aircraft, and really wasn't expecting to row a boat!

Rowing our boat or at least trying to stop it hitting the walls!

The architecture is really lovely

The oars are really heavy, and I had never rowed a boat before, and between us, we giggled  lot as we kept bouncing of the walls and trying not to go round in circles. I was thankful to get back onto dry land.

From there we walked across town to the White Tower. This stood at the entrance to what was an old Mosque but is now in ruins, the history was fascinating and I know I have some gaping holes in what I should be telling you. The White Tower has a beautiful view for the top, I know as I climbed the stairs to see it, not really sure if I was just mad or game for anything. I must say it did feel good to be moving.





The White Tower


Ruins of the old mosque, it was very big and must have been beautiful in its day. I know there are also underground cisterns there, but no longer open to the public as they are to dangerous.

From there we walked into the old city and into the market







I love markets and could happily wander for hours. We started in the fruit and veg section and I love the noise of the vendors calling out to people, the bustle, cats waiting for something to fall off a stall, the smells. it was then that Moshe stopped and said we would have something to eat. We went inside this cafe, and had Bureka's, hot flaky pastry filled with cheese, potato and another with spinach which we shared, and my favourite drink of all time, lemonade with mint.

After this feast, we carried on walking the market and then went to a museum


Friday, July 7, 2017

Where did he go.....?

Well, sad news I'm afraid.

My lovely Leo has disappeared. I took a workshop at the end of May, and the husband was doing his job of looking after my lovely babies, fed them both one evening, and Leo went out and just never came home.

We are both upset that this happened, and would love to find him but have no clue where he has gone. I am lost and Patch is even more lost.

It's been almost eight weeks now, and Patch has almost got used to being the only one, but I think he really misses Leo badly, he was certainly very lost, and I did wonder if he blamed himself for Leo's disappearance as Patch would ambush him every time he walked through the door, but I think it was done for fun, there was never any malice attached to it, they would chase each other around the house

So in his memory and with much love, I post photos of a much loved and missed member of our family. I hope wherever he is he is safe. Rest in peace my beautiful boy xxxxxxx





A continuation........

I posted the last piece and then read back over a previous post, and saw I had written about the cormorants. I didn't post a photo, so here it is, I hope you like it. I'm finding my work is getting quite spare in quilting and decoration.


Anyway, back to Noo Yawk... We got up very early the next morning, as we were going into the city to do a couple of Galleries, and then on to a show in the afternoon, and starting the drive home in the evening.

We went back to Ossining to get the train into the city, and bought the tickets on credit card. All well and good until it asks for your zip code. There were two people standing there but neither spoke English so the Pooh Bah googled it and bobs your uncle, up it came. Can anyone explain how a Canadian credit card is accepted with a US zip code? No, I didn't think so.

Well we got the train and had a lovely ride into the city, right next to the Hudson River all the way, until we hit the outskirts. We had a really good breakfast at Grand Central Station, and then took a cab to the Neue Gallery. I wanted to show the Pooh Bah the "Lady in Gold", the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt. it is the most extraordinary painting in its technique, execution and subject. I saw it for the first time in March and was glad to go back and see it again. It is breathtaking, and I loved it. Just to be in the same room and to study it is wonderful, as are the other paintings, a couple unfinished, but thats what makes them extraordinary as you can study the technique and the way he layered things.

We then walked a short distance to the Guggenheim and had a wonderful time there too. I was able to purchase the book I wanted that I didn't get in March when I was there with the husband - don't ask, its difficult travelling with him - so I was happy, and then it was down to 7th  St for the theatre.


The Guggenheim and its galleries

We get there in time to have lunch and then potter across the street to the box office to get our tickets.....only the Grand Pooh Bah has managed to purchase tickets for the following weekend...... We sorted that out and had a jolly time at Stomp, and then headed back to the station for the train to Ossining.

By 8pm we had arrived in Binghamton which was about an hour and a half from Corning and our plan was to do the glass museum the following day. Our hotel was good and we had a wonderful meal and slept well.

We have breakfast and then head off to Corning. The drive was lovely, and we got there nice and early, The museum is really good and we had a great time, lunch and then the Pooh Bah says we should head back to the border. We have been there for over three hours, looked at a lot of glass, watched demonstrations , and seen so much, shopped until we dropped, had a good lunch, but it wasn't until we walked out, that I realized I had had my sunglasses on the entire time!!! The Pooh Bah hadn't noticed.  She said that people would think I was in a witness protection programme, I said they would think I was mysterious.That would have made a great tale for a trunk show..........

Aaah...... that's better.........

I do hope the last post, didn't send you all over the edge, but I think I needed to get that out of me. Thank you to those who dropped a quick line, I really appreciated it.

Well, I have to tell you, that I am feeling much better this week. The Grand Pooh Bah and I went on a road trip to New York State. We had planned to go at the beginning of May, but work commitments put paid to that, so it was decided that the past weekend would be the perfect time to be away.

 We had a really cracking trip. The scenery was fabulous, the sun shone, and we laughed and talked our way down.



A view of New York State

We were making our way to  Haverstraw which is on the banks of the Hudson River, about 40 minutes outside New York City. It was a long drive, and we stopped in Warsaw for lunch. and then again in Corning for gas.  I hadn't been there for some years, and the Grand Pooh Bah had never been, so I suggested that if we had time on the way back, that we should stop and do the Corning Museum of Glass.

We eventually arrived in Haverstraw around 7.30pm. The b and b was interesting, and had been beautifully restored. Our room overlooked the Hudson, and it was a beautiful spot.



The town itself was very interesting. It has a large Hispanic population and there were plenty of wonderful Latin and Mexican restaurants to choose from, we had the most amazing meal in a small restaurant, enchiladas and rice and refried beans, all home made, and then we rolled back our room.

The next morning dawned sunny and bright, and we looked out at the smooth river. We didn't have much of a plan today as we were meeting up with one of our lovely Israeli quilters who had been part of our Quilts of Israel show 4 years ago. So we got up to a wonderful breakfast that had been prepared by our host, and then sat on the front porch and did some sewing. We had both taken a workshop a couple of weeks earlier, so we were both eager to carry on.The Grand Pooh Bah was working on a piece which was sand and sea foam all done in chainstitch. I was working on my map. The Map of Angry. I will post photos, but just needed to work through some issues and it seems to be doing the trick, I have started another piece which is related, called "Incandescent." I am not the best at this but it is all a learning curve and I'm enjoying it.

Anyway, we had a very relaxed morning and had planned to get the ferry across the river to Ossining, the only problem was that the ferry was only a commuter ferry so didn't run all day. Oh well, we'll just have to drive round. But first, we had to have lunch, so we went to a great restaurant in West Haverstraw called Off the Hook, and did fish and chips. It was decidedly delicious, and we had a great meal, which set us up for our drive.

There are two ways to get to Ossining, either driving around the bottom or going around the top. We took the top route which was interesting as it was a very windy road curving this way and that, which sent the Pooh Bah into overdrive.  We decided to stop as we saw a sign for a scenic lookout and boy, it was on a corner and straight in! The views were amazing, and the grand Pooh Bah was happy of the break!

We got to Ossining and met up with Tami, and she took us back to her apartment for a quick break, and then out to Croton Dam to see the views.
 For those of you who don't know, and I didn't, Ossining is home to Sing Sing Jail, the big square building.


Croton Dam



Looking into the river


looking down onto the bridge the photo above was taken from

We had a wonderful walk, and then back to Tami's apartment, where her husband had prepared the most wonderful meal. We eventually left late, but after excellent food, a wonderful evening viewing quilts and talking about Tami's trip to Israel, where she is right now, and my forthcoming trip.

More to come..........

Monday, June 5, 2017

What do I do now?

Well, its been a while since I wrote anything of any interest, and, to be honest, its been a funny old year...... I can't wait for it to end. I keep thinking that if I can get through June, things will get better.

It all started badly at the end of the year, when I learnt that my much loved Aunt, had Pancreatic cancer. As I spent a lot of my summer holidays with her and Uncle and visited once I got older, I really wanted to be with her. So, the husband and I made the trip back to the UK to see her.

It is painful, as I am sure many of you know, to see someone who had been so vibrant and always doing something, be too tired to do much. Just getting up everyday was an effort for her, and she put on such a brave face when she had visitors, I know they didn't see how exhausted she was when they left.

The hardest thing I had to do was say goodbye. It was so painful and I didn't want to leave. I cried all the way back to Heathrow as we were dropping off the hire car, and I was driving.

She passed away on her 91st birthday in April, and I have cried buckets since then. I miss her so much but think I hear her every so often, and have planted roses in my garden in her honour, she had a lovely garden and loved her roses. But then, thats the next thing as I have had plenty of time to garden.

We got back home in the early days of April, and I was summoned to a Board meeting of the Quilt Festival. Things had not been going too well, and we certainly didn't have enough entries to make the show viable this year, so I said there was no show, and not one I would put my name to, and, before everyone gets upset, it was not the QUALITY of the work which was outstanding, it was the QUANTITY. So, we decided to suspend the Festival for this year and work towards next year.

Well, that decision led to me and the Grand Poohbah resigning our positions with the Festival. Why? I'm not going into it.

So, you will say, that leaves you more time to do what you want to do, so whats your problem? Well, the thing is, it was great to start with, but I've now reached a point where I don't know what to do. I feel utterly lost and bereft, with nothing to work towards, although there is a lot coming up, I can't clear this fog I'm in. And, to cap it all, my lovely long haired ginger and white cat, Leo, has gone missing. So what, its only a cat. Well, try telling that to Patch, who is bewildered and very lost without his best friend, and every time I take Patch out, he's looking for Leo. So more tears have been shed.

I do hope I can find a way through all this, but Im just feeling so lost and empty, I don't know what to do. If any one has any suggestions as to how to deal with the loss of a cat who just went out and never came home, please do let me know, and how to get through the loss of a job I loved with the Festival, as it feels like a bereavement I would be grateful.

Please leave a comment if you wish.

Monday, November 21, 2016

I really must get on with it.........

Yes, I really must get on with it. Not that there is much to get on with.

I have got items ready for the book sale, and I dragged a piece out that has sat in the studio for almost two years now, and made great headway with it yesterday. It seemed rather odd to pick up from where I left off, and even managed to mix paint that resembles the original colours which was rather pleasing.

The piece is of two cormorants sitting on a branch in a lake, I had done one, and started painting the branch, but not the other cormorant. Thankfully, that has now changed, and I painted him and the rest of the branches.

I sometimes surprise myself as it was lying lat on the table and it wasn't until this morning that I hung it up and stood back and really looked at it.  As I say, I surprise myself. No photos yet, so sorry, I still have a lot to do, but feel good about where this is going.

I also cleared the decks this weekend, as I am doing an online class with Dionne Swift on silk screen printing using thickened dyes. As you know, I ice dye like a fiend, but had never used it any other way. I have to say I really enjoyed myself, and here are two of my efforts from today, with a lot more to do, leaving them to dry so I can over print.





I drew the rose stencil myself, and was rather pleased with it, using an old duvet cover as the under sheet which is why you can see another pattern under it.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this is going to go, but enjoying the process.

Had the first fall of snow yesterday, just a skiff, but winter is here. The cats are both unhappy. Leo, as it is too cold to go far, and Patch can't make head nor tail of it all. He didn't go out last year, as he wasn't well enough, and this year ....well, we will see. I took him out, but we don't go too far and head straight for home.

Got to go, but will write again when I have something earthy shattering to say.....