Our lovely neighbour is an artist and has been part of the Postcards in Isolation project, explained below. She has been drawing ‘”Little Lockdown Pleasures,” the things that have given her pleasure while in lockdown. Because we live next door to each other we have been able to ‘meet’ over the wall throughout and this has been special for us both, staving off the worst of the feeling of isolation. Here is the postcard that she made of one of her pleasures.
Postcards in Isolation was started by WildWorks, recognising that lots of people are not connected digitally. If you were shielding and not able to see your family and friends, then receiving a little personal artwork might prove cheering. It works by people nominating friends or family members to receive an art postcard. WildWorks artists then make the cards and hand write a message. Each card is unique. They are also making cards for St Petroc’s, a local charity for the homeless, and Age Concern. Here are three more of Sue’s postcards which have gone out to cheer people up. What a delightful and spirit-lifting idea.
What an evening we have had at The Lost Gardens of Heligan where the WildWorks production, 100: UnEarth, is playing. Both the Blackbird and the gate were where we had our supper and then the Gallery is of the opening moments of this heart wrenching piece of theatre. If you are in Cornwall, please see this show. It tells of the end of the First World War through the story of Orpheus and Eurydice in a most contemporary way, a story of love and loss, of hope and despair, with moments of tears and moments of laughter and moments for the audience to share the things they want to remember and those they would rather forget.
From the programme, “100: UnEarth was the last work that Bill Mitchell conceived and created and is a fitting memorial to his unique imagination.” It is a beautiful piece and Bill’s spirit could be felt all the way round.
Against all expectations, England won the football match this evening, in the penalty shoot out. We are delighted!
We watched the match with the Munich contingent of our family reunion in their holiday chalet where this piece of art had pride of place. They leave tomorrow, so our three weeks of family time finally comes to an end. What a lovely time we have all had together.
A Penzance boat
Regular readers may remember that I knitted some blue squares recently. They were for the WildWork’s 100:UNEARTH production which started this evening and runs until 22 July, The knitted torpedo stands by the Well at Heligan as part of the commemoration of the finish of WW1, 100 years ago. The torpedo was chosen as a symbol for the vast amount of knitting women and children did during WW1 and to commemorate the fact that women made many of the munitions used.
The knitted torpedo for which I knitted four squares
After the mizzle this morning the Clematis seed heads were beautifully covered in little droplets.
Isn’t this just exquisite?
Our all-edibles trug is looking luscious! Various Lettuces, Thyme, Gives, Borage, Nasturtiums and tiny Violas, almost in flower, all ready for salads in the weeks to come.
I love the ferns underneath too, makes this a piece of art!
I have been knitting again – squares this time for the WildWorks’ production, “UnEarth” which will be in the Lost Gardens of Heligan in July. I have taken a couple of paragraphs from their blog that explain both the story and the reason for the knitting. See below the photo.
My first 4 squares, handed over today
“The show, which will be at The Lost Gardens of Heligan from 3rd to 22nd July, is a story of war, love, loss and hope. It explores what happens when war is over. It’s been co-commissioned by Heligan and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. 100: UnEarth forms part of 14-18 NOW’s 2018 season marking 100 years since the Armistice.
During WWI people back home were asked to do many things, work in factories, work the land and knit. They were asked to knit items to send to the troops overseas. Women were also tasked with working in munition factories. We’ve combined the knitting and the munition historical references and will be creating a knitted torpedo – an artwork that will feature as a part of the show.”
Afterwards, the squares will be restitched into blankets.
From the moment we came back to live in Cornwall in 2008 and serendipitously landednext door to Sue and Bill, we were made to feel welcome and loved. We were asked in for a drink even before we had moved in. On moving day, the pantechnicon couldn’t get up our drive, so next door’s fence came down and we moved in from their drive.
Breakfast in Charlotte’s Tea House, Truro
Bill’s big hugs were so lovely and happened sometimes out of the blue such as when we had gone to Plymouth to see Beautiful Journey or London to see Babel and suddenly there behind us was Bill and then came the hugs.
It was some time before we began to realise that both Bill and Sue were something rather special in the art and theatre world! Bill was such a modest individual but over drinks and mince pies at Christmas or over dinner, he would regale us with wonderful stories of his work in the theatre, his designs and his inspirations opening our minds to new worlds.
I loved hearing the gentle whirr of the hand pushed mower as Bill mowed the lawn next door.He was right, it did make for a lovelier lawn.
Bill nurtured everyone’s talents. He knew that I loved to knit for our Grandchildren and one day asked if I could knit something for him. WildWorks were working on a project in Kensington Palace and needed knitted Crown Jewels! Bill asked if I could make the orb. It took some ingenuity and several trials but I managed it and it was there in Kensington Palace! It was held by each person who sat in the knitted throne when they visited the installation.
A child holding the Orb that I knitted for the exhibition
Bill gave me a most precious gift the last time we were in the car with them. Somehow we were talking about names and I told him how I had always disliked my middle name only ever using my initial, H. He asked what it was and though I had told no-one for 50+ years, such was Bill that I did tell him. It’s Hilda (and this will come as news to many, many people!) Bill told me that the name means fighter and warrior and that it suited my nature and that I should be proud of it – so I have regained the name my Granny gave me and I can now wear the beautiful gold and tiny diamond H which I inherited from her. When I was a little girl my Granny told me that she would give the little H on a black ribbon if only I would say I liked my name. I was named after her – but I was a stubborn and rather horrid little girl and I wouldn’t say it. With Bill in mind, I will now own my name with pride and honour my Granny.
H for Hilda
Bill couldn’t eat onions, leeks or garlic so making a meal was sometimes a bit of a challenge. I don’t like lamb but the lovely Mr S does. On one occasion I cooked a herby roast chicken in our house and Sue cooked lamb with garlic in theirs. We took the chicken round and Bill and I enjoyed that while Sue and my Mr S loved the lamb dinner.
Latterly, when Bill was unwell, he fancied puddings more than a roast dinner. He put in a special request for Treacle Tart, Lemon Sponge and Syrup Sponge and told me when we met over the garden fence that the puddings were, ‘Nectar; pure ambrosia.”
It was Bill who introduced me to Claire Ingleheart in whose choirs I have been singing ever since and with whose choirs I took part in Heligan 100. It was Bill who introduced us to the magic of community and landscape theatre through his wonderful WildWorks productions and it is Bill we will say goodbye to on Friday 5th May along with the hundreds of others who loved him.
Mecanopsis, a blue Poppy
Sue told me recently that Bill thought blue was the colour of memory, the Underworld, the blue yonder, ‘into the blue…’ so this beautiful blue Poppy, from our garden, is for Bill, with love.
For those who would like to know more about Bill’s professional life, these obituaries and the video tell the story:
After a beautiful train journey (with no photos!) we had three delightful days in London with KJ and family. Lucy was there too for some of the time which was lovely.
First, Saturday, the long tube ride to Waterloo Station, then the walk to the South Bank along which we found a wall full of poems! I so loved them, found them very moving and have chosen just a few to share with you. Then there was the Building of the Ark, the Rainbow Park, and the Festival Hall and lunch from the amazing multi-cultural food market. Sunday afternoon in the park was yet another delight.
Click on any photo for an enlargement.
Tabitha in the tube train
Free Mivvis for all at Waterloo Station
From Exile by Mvula Ya Nangolo of Namibia
Nayibamba Bophezu Kwemkhono by Msandi Kababa of Swaziland
This Morning at Joy by Emelihter Kihleng of New Zealand
The Daffodils From a Native’s Perspective by Sia Figiel from American Samoa
I missed who wrote this one and have been unable to find out. Anybody know?
1. A delightful day out along the South Bank where the atmosphere was truly beautiful – Londoners, visitors of all ages from all over the country and from all over the world, Olympians and lovely volunteers. There was singing, break dancing, art work and poems, a Rainbow Park made of sand for children and an Ark being built by the Wildworks team!
2. There was the most amazing food market with food from all over the world – amazing smells, lots of delicious samples to be had and a very tasty lunch in the glorious sunshine.
3. In the Festival Hall there was a Maze made of books! Lego packs were being given away! And the lift sings to its passengers! I just loved that – and joined in!
You’ll have to wait for pictures, I’m afraid, as my iPad won’t allow me to upload photos but they will be worth it!
1 Samantha Bryan, sculptor and imagineer, has put out a call to reunite all her beautiful fairies, if only virtually. She has asked any owners to photograph them and send in the photos. Here is one of mine that I love with her little birthday candle to light her way when she’s out in the dark.
Pedal Powered Fairy by Samantha Bryan
Label on my fairy
2 Today I have made the Chocolate Amaretti Torte for the reunion and for my guest posting with Go Bake Yoursel I can’t turn out the one I made today until the party so here’s one I made earlier for my father-in-law’s 90th birthday party. It is so smooth and rich and scrumptious!
Here’s one I made earlier!
3 Knowing how I love to knit, and to knit wacky things as well as beautiful things, my lovely next-door-neighbour gave me this book today. Thank you! Watch this space!
The Orb I designed and knitted for the Wildworks Kensington Palace Exhibition
Jake with The Orb at Kensington Palace
For those of my readers who like my recipes, I have today put KJ’s fabulous Lime and Ginger Cheesecake up on the Recipe pages. Do comment there if you try it. I’d love to know how you get on with it!
1 Saw this last magnolia blossom in North Finchley on our way to Woodside Park tube station.
2 The sun shone all the way home lighting up the amazingly yellow fields. The sheep and lambs seemed pleased to be drying out and I had four hours reading time! Almost finished ‘Restless’ by William Boyd.
Oil seed rape blossom
On a hill just before Truro
3 Babel was a surreal and amazing experience! It was promenade theatre where we walked through the tree lined paths of Caledonian Park – along which were individuals living their individual lives, playing the piano, peeling vegetables, knitting, typing – into the open space in front of the very beautiful Clock Tower built in 1855. In this space, tramping through chocolate thick mud, the people came together to build their city. There was music and fire and story telling. Very few photos worked (no flash allowed) but here’s a taster:
Playing the piano
Beautiful paper models, two of many
The Clock Tower, Caledonian Park
I don’t want to tell you more at this point -I want you to go and see it if you can and I don’t want to spoil it for you!