A hazard to sitting

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.49.19 PMWhen I emigrated to Australia 1o years ago, I left behind me the vast majority of my worldly possessions.

I reasoned that it would cost more to ship my furniture, bookshelves, fridge and washing machine than it would to buy new ones here, more suited to the climate and my living conditions. I was right, but it was a spartan beginning. I had 5 cubic metres of stuff. Most of it books, pictures, lamps, household linen, rugs, mirrors, china and glass; all the things that makes a place yours. I brought exactly two pieces of furniture, one easy chair and one Regency mahogany swivel top card table that had belonged to my mother and without which I wasn’t going anywhere. I’d done my homework on that table, eaten off that table, played games on that table. It was coming too.

The result was the Shopping Trip of All Time, when I finally moved into the house I bought the day after I arrived, and subsequently spent 6 weeks renovating. A bed, chests of drawers, tables, chairs, pots, pans. The whole kit and caboodle. But the best buy of the lot was my sofa. It’s handsome, comfortable, sturdy, elegant, has washable covers, and best of all, it came flat packed. Yes, my friends, it came from Ikea. Anyone turning up their nose and making disparaging remarks at this point may go and play quietly in the corner.  It has done sterling service, and continues to do so. But it tempts me to bad habits.

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.49.57 PMWhich brings me to the title of this post. Bear with me, this really is going somewhere. I’m doing a lot of hand sewing at the moment. “No, really?” you cry. That will be quite enough sarcasm, thank you…. I have to change thread colour on a reasonably regular basis, and am surrounded by the tools of my activity: small scissors, papers, fabric, two reels of thread, needle threader, two needles, etc. On two separate occasions in the last week, I have lost a needle in the sofa, due mainly to my bad habit of parking them in the arm of the sofa whilst not in use. And I rediscovered them later. Painfully. In the part of me that does the sitting. Hence the title…

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.50.10 PMI have a pincushion, but it it’s not very exciting. It’s also a bit barrel shaped and rolls about annoyingly. It was time for a more satisfactory solution. One of my many scrap boxes produced the materials, I took a break from embroidery, and suddenly the needles are coralled, my hinder end is safe and I can once again hurl myself into the depth of my lovely sofa with a peaceful mind.

Back to the embroidery hoop, then.

Words Under Pressure #17

Every migrant knows that no matter how wonderful the new life, the new home is, there are some things which still tug at the heart’s memory.  Here are some of mine.

And I Miss…

English spring mornings, fresh and green,
The first primroses, honeysuckle blowing gusts
Of lavish perfume under my night-time window,
The triumphant morning song of blackbirds,
The tender baby-gold of new oak leaves,
The promise of release from daytime darkness.

Ease of body on warm summer afternoons,
The haze of bluebells in the cool scented woods.
Wild roses and raspberries in the hedgerow,
Pimms with strawberries and cream.
Sun without scorching, dry without drought,
Endless childhood summer days.

Blackberry baskets loaded, then jars of jam,
Late apples picked from September trees,
The shouting, glorious gold of beech trees turning,
Squirrels in the walnut tree, starlings swarming,
The high V of geese heading south, distant honking.
Nature tucking herself into bed.

Christmas in wintertime, log fires, apple scented.
A sleeping world snug under a thick white blanket.
Flannel pyjamas, cosy woollen socks.
Stark-black trees laced with frost against grey sky,
Deer running in car headlights, early lambs.
The sun at rest, the world restoring itself.

Tomorrow, we’ll be on the road. I’m taking the new camera in the hope that something in the next 6 days will be worth a photo or two, but I’m not holding my breath, the weather’s a bit sordid. Anyway, I’ll post again when I get back.  Meanwhile, I’ll be eagerly reading your posts, so get cracking!