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Whitworth (ii)

The other exhibition I saw was Revolutionary Textiles. I wasn't clear what was revolutionary about all of the textiles on show, to be honest. Mostly they were British printed fabrics from the 20th century, although there was also a section of Russian Ballet costumes, and other Russian textiles.

I particularly enjoyed the story of the female designer working with indigo dyes who kept setting the house on fire, and came up with a urine-based method, which required her to hold regular events called Barron's Piddle Parties.
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Two months ago, I made a list of exhibitions I wanted to go and see as research for the textiles course. Yesterday I realised I hadn't actually been to any. So today I went to two! Both in the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

First, Tibor Reich. He was a textiles designer, best known for developing a technique called Deep Weaving. This is not a profoundly philosophical view of art, but a way of weaving lots of layers of yarn, including boucle yarn, into fabrics which have depth to them. You will probably have come across examples of this on, for example, public transport seat covers. I wasn't sure whether I'd like his work or not, but I LOVED it. Mostly because he had an incredible sense of colour.

I was also surprised and delighted by his weird, Alice in Wonderland-ish, doodles and drawings, often coloured with pencil crayons. Some of these were developed into ceramic designs, but I think most were just whatever happened when he had paper and pencil - or biro - to hand.

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Not a learning log

I spend far too much time online already and manage too many websites/blogs/social media accounts to want to set up another one. So I'm keeping a pen-and-paper learning log for my OCA Textiles course. But I do want to share some of what I'm doing, especially with who is also doing the same course, and this seems the sensible place for that. I'll try to remember to put images behind a cut so you can easily scroll past if you're not interested.

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On the telly!

I feel like I may have saturated the internet with references to this over the last month, but I haven't said it here, so just in case anyone doesn't already know: I am going to be on proper telly!

Songs of Praise, BBC1, 5.15pm TODAY (May 15th).

They interviewed me about my job, filmed me with the team I do an online chat show with, and also had us in the background of several links. Oh, and we got to show our non-entries for their Christmas card competition! I will not be singing. The trailer is already up:

It'll be on iplayer for a month afterwards too. If you're not in the UK, sorry, you'll be missing out on this great treat.

Happy Easter!

It's been a busy week at work, and then the clocks went forward today, and this afternoon was a first birthday party for my niece. So it's now 7.30pm and I think I'm going to bed very soon.

Hope you've all had a lovely day!


It has been a very peculiar day. Almost everything was a disaster in the morning and almost everything is vastly better now.

I had period pain bad enough to wake me up last night. UGH. It is now fine.

When I got up (see above), the toilet seat broke. In pieces, not just coming off the hinge. UGH. I have now got a new toilet seat and I have fixed it in using a spring washer which will apparently stop it coming loose. WE SHALL SEE.

When I woke up (see above) it was pouring with rain. UGH. But the rest of the day was sunny.

My cleaners didn't show up last week and hadn't replied to my email, so the house was a mess and I was girding my loins for finding a new cleaner. UGH. But they got back to me apologetically this evening and are coming tomorrow.

I spent most of the day waiting anxiously for an Important Phone Call. UGH. Instead I got an Important Email with the news I was hoping for. I am going to be on telly! On Songs of Praise, being interviewed about my job, to be shown in May.

Also today, I have acquired wine and chocolate, and I have done some gardening.

It has been a Day Of Win.

All I need now is for the mouse that was being extremely loud in the attic last night to have found its way outside during that nice, sunny day.

Rare public post

My letter was S.

Something I hate: Snow. I mean, I like snow when it is looking pretty somewhere over there. I do not like snow when it is here and I have to deal with it. It scares me. I'm not sure quite when this started (sometime in the last 10 years, I think), but it is now quite a big deal for me. I get physical symptoms of anxiety when it starts snowing or when snow is forecast. I am scared of driving in it, walking in it, and being trapped at home by it. Generally the reality is not nearly so bad as the anticipation.

Something I love: Sunshine. Also sewing, sleep, sandy beaches and spa hotels.

Somewhere I've been: Sardinia

Somewhere I'd like to go: Right now, I'd like to go to a spa.

Someone I know: I used to know someone called Serenity. She did a very good job of living up to her name.

A film I like: Oh, this is too easy. The Sound of Music.

If anyone else would like a letter, leave a comment!


Swim 0 to 1500

Gulp. I have been swimming a couple of times a week for the last few weeks, doing 2 more lengths each time. Having begun from a very low starting point of 4 lengths, I have worked up to 16 lengths. I also like to do some arthritis exercises (this was the main motivation for starting to swim again) but mostly I am trying to work on more lengths.


I found a thing called zero to a mile, which is a bit like the Couch to 5k running programme. Except it doesn't really start at zero, it starts at 700m. And it's not actually a mile, it's 1500m. But also, it only has weekly increments and some of the steps were quite big. And it's written for people doing yards.

So I have done my own version. I normally only go twice a week and I'm also very prepared to have to do several of the days multiple times. So I'm expecting to take two to three months, rather than six weeks (not least because I shall be away for a couple of weeks at the end of July). But I am hopeful that eventually I might be able to swim 1500m all in one go. We shall see.

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Much better day.

Finished the Jonah studies and sent them off.
Worked out what needed to be done to chapter 2 and fixed half of it.
Decided to go as day visitor to RNA conference and sent off the form.
Did a lot of admin things for the new box set.
Cheered Andy Murray.
Knitted very slow, tricky row of lace shawl.
Made exciting plans to visit a friend next week.

And now I am making dinner (bacon, potato and leek omelette) and then I have to go and lead a bible study group.

Honestly, nearly nothing

There was an awful lot of sitting on the sofa, eating chocolate and not really watching the tennis today. In between that I also:

Wrote two and a half bible studies on Jonah
Knitted about half a row of lacy shawl
Went to church prayer meeting
Uploaded church prayer diary to twitter for the month
Made a sort-of pulled pork from leftovers which worked rather well
Sent a few admin emails