"not matter the long pause..."

This excellent piece of advice was given to me by Rossichka in a comment she made on a previous post... she meant it about art... getting round to it again after many years, beginning to find a voice. However, I have come to see the truth of it in so many areas of life... making art, yes, and also reading and learning about it through books and exhibitions... picking up a forgotten novel again... remembering to take pleasure in clothes and my appearance... reviving my interest in walking and generally exercising more... finding new life in a relationship... and so many other things, including...

...finally finishing a piece of crochet! This blanket was started exactly a year ago and I wrote about it at the end of this post. It's a proper old-fashioned, make-do-and-mend, frugal patchwork blanket made to use up odds and ends of wool from previous projects and no new yarn. Apart from choosing colours that complemented one another, there was no great design involved, just picking up a yarn, working a square, selecting another colour and adding another square, and so on. When the yarn ran out, it was finished.

It's made with all different weights and types of yarn, mostly aran but some dk or finer, which I doubled up to get the right thickness.

Then I used a mid-blue to do a nice scalloped edge:

I love the back of it:

It has a soft, dimpled comfortable feel to it which is different to the front:

So for all of you who have unfinished projects on shelves or in baskets, or plans that haven't yet come to fruition, or unfulfilled intentions, or a sense of stagnation about things... these words are for you too:

Not matter the long pause.

It's true even, or especially, if you previously thought there was a full-stop. You can change a full-stop into a comma quite easily, you know... just add a tail.

nobody here but us chickens

These energetic, characterful and beautifully drawn hens were sketched, probably by a little boy called Robert, about three hundred and fifty years ago in the Taylor family Bible. Aren’t they exquisite? I love the curious, slightly bonkers expressions on their little chicken faces.

This sort of thing is the reason I love my job. To find out a little more about the chickens (but not much, because they will always remain rather an enigma) have a look at the Chetham’s Library blog, home of all things quirky and interesting, many of them in an untidy pile on my desk.

Clicking on the images will enlarge them - because they're worth it.

holding on

This beautiful image of Japanese carp kites is taken from a tiny little calendar book from 1901 which we found at work today. It's about 6cm square and is printed on beautifully crinkled, terribly fragile crepe paper in these lovely watery shades. Every May, Family Day is celebrated in Japan (although I think it was still called Boys' Day in 1901) and these paper kites are strung up to flutter in the breeze as a symbol of good wishes for your family and children.

Our family has been rather disrupted this last fortnight or so, but I think we are finding some sort of equilibrium again now. Lots of changes are happening which are all quite sudden and surprising although hopefully, positive, and so this image of the happy, colourful carp swimming bravely in the wind is a good one for me just now.