I assumed that lockdown would mean I’d spend most of my time making things. For various reasons I’ve done less this month rather than more. This was partly because I’ve been working flat out compiling an anthology of nature writing. This involved selecting pieces from over two hundred books, many of which are firm favourites that I decided to reread. To compound the problem, rather than working my way through the piles of unread books in the house I also reread the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard and the Pallisers, or Parliamentary Novels by Anthony Trollope. In these unsettled times I find I want to read books that I know I’ll like; now is not the time for taking risks, least of all in one’s choice of reading. To go with my reading I’ve also been making biscuits. These were orange and cranberry (with only a little chocolate) and so were almost healthy as well as delicious.
Last month I decided that slow was good so I started a patchwork of windmill sails. Put together the squares form an optical illusion of sails which is both striking and intriguing. Unfortunately they are very fiddly to make and the overall design depends upon an exact repetition of the fabrics. I had exactly enough of the red and white fabrics for one square and, having completed it I came to the conclusion that while slow is good, that slow was a step too far. Instead I remade a huge quilt of shells that I had made years ago and stupidly backed with a rather heavy tweed for warmth. The quilt was warm but so heavy that one was pinned down in bed. Removal of the backing and a bit of tidying and I created a perfect cover for one of my very tatty armchairs.
I am now on number eighty-five of the One Hundred Boats. The main fleet sail through my bookshelves, weather permitting these sail through the garden. In honour of the NHS and Thursday evening clapping, they have rainbow sails. The pattern I use is from Ann Wood’s wonderful website which is a treasure trove of ships and many other charming things.