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From where I sit at my loom with a view – the madness continues…..

Way back on the 21st March when we went into lockdown we all though it would be going back to some sort of normal by now – well – we were wrong weren’t we?

When I restarted this little page, I was determined not to mention the dreaded lurgy, and I have to admit to finding the whole thing now, rather on a level with Brexit as far as the boredom stakes are concerned. But more importantly, i am beginning to feel that the social limitations that have been imposed upon us (for our own good, according to the powers that be), are beginning to really get to me. I NEED to see the faces of the people around me. Right now, I feel as though I trundle down the aisles in Pick ‘n Pay in the company of a vast hoard of possible thugs and bank robbers. Worst of all, I don’t recognize the people that I know – and then I feel like an idiot, because they still seem to recognize me!

On the plus side though, I have – at last – the time to do all sorts of things that I have been thinking of doing for some time now – not least of all putting some of my teaching on-line on the Patreon platform. For those of you who don’t know what Patreon is, it is a platform, that allows people who have something to offer to the world at large a place where they can market themselves, their art, their passion and their skills and earn a small income from doing so. The lurgy has effectively nailed my feet to the floor and kept me at home, where I am spending a large proportion of my time at my desk – when I’m not at my loom or stomping around in the bush….., and while I am now earning a small income from the Patreon page, this time at my desk is also showing me a side of myself that I never really became acquainted with before.

For a start there is this……. I never saw myself as putting my thoughts out there for all to see. Oh, and Facebook – after years of having a Facebook page, I now finally do something on it! Oh, oh – and I have ‘friends’ – and I can see their faces, unless of course they have decided, in solidarity with the lurgy mongers, to post a profile pic of themselves wearing a mask.

Then, there’s Patreon (sorry to be a bit of a bore on the subject), which is forcing me to learn all sorts of new things – and those of you who know me best will know that i am a perpetual student. Yesterday, i filmed a short video of myself demonstrating a particular weaving process on my phone. Following that, I used the programme that I downloaded a couple of weeks ago to edit ( listen to me here….) said little video, convert it to MP4, before uploading it to my Youtube channel so that I could post it to my Patreon page. Talk about a learning curve!

It’s just as well my family don’t read this blog, because by now they would be rolling around on the floor, in hysterics, begging me to stop because their stomachs are aching from laughing too much! But the bottom line is that it is all absolutely, honestly and truly, without a word of a lie – true! Talk about being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century – and, to be quite honest, its not such a scary place after all.

Now, since I have started ” putting myself out there”, and am feeling more comfortable with it, the next thing I have to figure out is a way to deal with the lurgy monsters, and get over my aversion to pseudo thugs and bank-robbers. That challenge can wait until next week though, cause the shopping is done, and I don’t have to go out again for a while so until then I can pretend that the world is almost normal!

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From where I sit at my loom with a view

This morning I took a walk to the end of my driveway – I am lucky enough to have a rather long driveway and it was, after all, a beautiful morning. The dust in the road was undisturbed by car tracks, and there was ample evidence of Giraffe and Zebra having moved that way during the night. I looked to my right and caught sight of the mountains – in my neck of the woods, these would be the Northern Drakensburg – in the distance, and they were bathed in early morning colours of pinks and purples and greens – exactly as I imagine that Pierneef would have painted them. There was a cool breeze and the birds were clearly having a bit of an early morning party because there was lots of noise from them to shatter the otherwise silent morning. No traffic noise and no sounds from the trains that go through on a regular basis.

It is difficult to look at so much peace and beauty and then try and comprehend what others are going through at this time. People who are shut up in tiny apartments, who are forced to co-exist in a confined space with a partner they despise or a partner who is abusive, and small children that cannot go outside and run and shout and play just for the sheer joy of doing it.

I know that I am blessed to be in a situation which is not nearly as challenging as some, and for me this time has become one of productivity, experimentation and learning. I am finding myself falling into a little routine of sitting at my looms in the morning and my desk in the afternoon. the household chores are done as the need arises and the evenings are for sitting with Michael and just enjoying being together.

The shop will be back on-line soon enough and for the first time in years ( quite literally), I am able to spend time on my website and also on supporting my weaving buddies through the Facebook groups. I am content and productive and deeply conscious of how lucky I am, not least of all because I love what I do.

I saw a wonderful clip the other day that said: ” Grandma got through the War because her supply chain was local and she could do stuff”! Well I can ” do stuff” too and I think that being able to produce ” stuff” through the industry of one’s own hands, has go to be what is going to keep a lot of people sane!

So, to all my fibre buddies, and anyone out there who can ” do stuff” please keep on going, and don’t only stay healthy and safe, but stay sane too!