Thursday 31 May 2018

...picking up the pace

Everything seems to have shifted up a gear in the past week. At the park crowds of golden buttercups are turning their cheery yellow faces skywards, and scarlet poppies glow against the lush green grass. The air is thick with pollen, making my eyes water and my nostrils twitch...but the rhododendrons are so heavenly pretty it's worth getting up close, despite the inevitable sneezing that follows.
We dropped the car off at the garage in Wakefield for an oil service, and wandered round the corner to the Hepworth gallery. I admired the Serena Korda installation of dreamy floating ceramic mushrooms and failed to get any decent pictures of the Hepworth and Nicholson paintings on show. They inspired me nevertheless, with their rhythmic geometric shapes, earthy tones and contrasting areas of texture and flat colour. My fingers positively itched to pick up a paintbrush again. 
Rug made to a Howard Hodgkin design
A scone and a cup of coffee in the gallery cafe and then back to the garage to pick up the car, where they kept us waiting for another half an hour. Just long enough to justify me taking five copies of their rather lavish in-house magazine with me when I left. Those lovely bold rainbow squares printed on the matte heavy-weight paper front and back covers - so many possible uses for the creative crafter, and such a waste to have stacks of them sitting around in a car showroom! 
I've been tackling the overgrown grass in the front garden now that the forget-me-nots are going to seed. We don't own a lawn-mower (it's too small to be classed as a lawn anyway) and the strimmer just mangles it when it's overlong and damp, so I'm using shears and doing a few square feet at a time. It sounds ridiculously labour-intensive, but it doesn't take long and is actually the best way to avoid detonating the disgusting landmines left by the neighbourhood cats. I'd nearly finished the job this morning - just one little corner left - when I encountered a rather flustered toad in the damp, shady undergrowth near the bushes, and decided to leave him in peace. I love the fact that my untidy jungle of a garden in inner-city Leeds makes such a good habitat for wild creatures - hedgehogs, butterflies, toads and bees. Time to relax and smell the roses instead. Aren't they beauties?

I've abandoned the cardigan I started - the bargain-basement yarn just wasn't right for the pattern (too thick) - so it's destined to be frogged and made into a baby blanket or a scarf (or both). It's a lovely colour, so certainly won't be wasted. Instead I'm embarking on this pattern - 'Gable' by Hannah Fettig - just as soon as the correct-sized interchangeable needles arrive in the post tomorrow. Can't believe I don't already own 3.75mm needles for my circular cables, but it's apparently true. I'm ever so slightly disappointed with the yarn I ordered. It appeared more a pale whitish-lilac shade on the website, and is distinctly grey in real life - but light grey with lilac tones still works for me and it will probably be a lot more practical, go with more things etc. I certainly don't dislike it enough to go to the bother of returning it!

My attempts to improve my physical health are very gradually beginning to pay off. I'm still in a fair bit of pain and discomfort but I'm making the effort to move more (even if it hurts) and have lost around 6-7 lbs in weight so far. At my last appointment the physiotherapist noted a definite improvement in the range of movement in my hips, which gives me hope that I won't be a Tin Woman forever. Follow the yellow brick road!

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