Hello, my Fine, Fibrous Friends. Please note that this post is illustrated with photos of all sorts of things that just happened to float to the forefront of my mind as I wrote. Many of them are a bit out-of-season right now, but you’ll forgive that I hope?
We are not living in funny times, but it’s OK to seek solace in humour (and art, and nature, and literature, and sport) on even the darkest of days. Laughter was my coping strategy when I had cancer, for example… that and growing vegetables… also, drinking wine. Just please don’t mistake my silly tone here for any lack of concern for what’s going on a thousand miles from my front door. I know from recent comments that many of you are weary enough already after two years of covid and so you wander over here for five minutes of lighthearted distraction. That’s fair enough. (I come here for lighthearted distraction too, my friends.)
Clearly somebody has invoked that most brutal of ancient curses, “May you live in interesting times.” Like, ouch. I don’t know who that somebody is, but if they’re a knitter then I hope that their best cashmere gets munched by moths and that they accidentally twist their work when they join in the round. Most of you are knitters, so you’ll appreciate the viciousness of these words and you’ll understand that I don’t use them lightly. I don’t want to live in interesting times. I want to live in an era of such tedium that future historians are driven to drink from the sheer ennui of lecturing on the subject. (Sorry, historians.)
But here we are, and so from here we must proceed. It’s our job to persuade the next generation to be generous of heart, empathic, concerned about the natural world, interested in others’ differing perspectives even when profoundly disagreeing, peace-loving, AND TO PICK THEIR DIRTY SOCKS UP OFF THE BATHROOM FLOOR RIGHT NOW OR SO HELP ME THERE WON’T EVEN BE A NEXT GENERATION FOR MUCH LONGER. Oops, got carried away there. It’s been a long day with a not-insignificant quantity of other people’s malodorous laundry. Sorry, sorry.
Meanwhile at Twisted Towers, spring cannot possibly spring soon enough this year. Every brave bulb that bursts into bloom this early should be awarded a certificate of merit to hang on the nearest fence, plus a month’s free mulching of home-made compost. These little beauties are an uplifting sight, even more so than usual this year.
It hasn’t been a ‘pretty’ – aka Instagrammable – winter here. There’s been no snow so far, and very few aesthetically frosty sunlit mornings – at least on days when I’m not working the day-job so can get the camera out. Mostly, we’ve had greyness and traditionally British drizzle, with a side order of gales to spice things up and redistribute the nation’s trampolines and wheelie bins into the branches of other people’s trees.
But I like to make the best – or the least-worst – of any situation, so whenever there’s a downpour, I shuffle the houseplants around so that every point of roof-leaky drip-drip-dripness is underlain by a thirsty pot of vegetation. Result! The plants are effortlessly watered and the floor is unruined. Win! Follow me for more horticultural advice. Or perhaps don’t.
I’m excited about the food-growing possibilities in 2022. This year, I’m focusing hard on growing my dinner vertically, since I don’t have anywhere near enough horizontal space. Dramatic photos will – all being well – follow soon. I’ve been lashing metal arches together with twine and I’m excited to show you the results.
And of course, I’m knitting. I’ve been working on a couple of characteristically Twisted designs for the Finnish yarn company, Novita. And I can’t wait to show you the results.
Meanwhile please stay safe, my friends. May your every stitch slip perfectly from your needle and may you never drop a single stitch.