Sunday, 27 July 2014

The only words I have at the moment

I was in my garden a couple of days ago, enjoying the sunshine. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a tiny caterpillar wriggling in a spider's web. The spider was about four times the size of this baby creature. The young caterpillar was fighting for its life. I had to admire its struggle. The spider was in no rush to finish the job. It knew its carefully constructed web had trapped its victim and was happy to watch on while the brave little caterpillar tried to escape. Cornered and exhausted, we all knew the mighty spider would eventually overpower its prey.

Meanwhile on the radio, a reporter was describing the devastation currently being reigned on Gaza. I couldn't ignore the blindingly obvious analogy. The drama being played out in my garden was happening on a much bigger, human scale on the small strip of land where too much blood has already been shed. I'm sickened, outraged, appalled and angry about what the Israeli Government are doing to the innocent people of Palestine. I feel totally powerless to help. I'm just watching from my comfortable home, listening to the murder of thousands from my sunny garden, going about my daily routines; cooking food for my family, getting drunk with friends, liking pretty things on Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram, worrying about the fate of one small multi-legged creature. I feel so guilty. I feel like I never want to post another link about a craft fair or the health benefits of organic food, 'like' another upbeat status, share pictures of the fun I'm having, while people's homes are being destroyed, hospitals are being bombed, arrogant leaders are spouting nonsense about their right to defend themselves. I feel impotent and powerless. What can I do to help? The very least I can do is use my blog to help spread the message about this terrible situation and encourage others to do the same.

I'd been watching the spider and caterpillar play out their own battle for about five minutes when somehow the caterpillar managed to wiggle free of its webby prison and I gasped as it fell to the ground. Me and the spider could only watch as the exhausted creature crawled away to freedom. It would be crass of me to continue this analogy when human beings are dying. But I, for one, am supporting the people of Palestine in their struggle.

Here's a first hand account of the atrocity happening in Gaza, well informed, intelligent and moving, something worth reading and watching from the British journalist Jon Snow.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Sewing For My Supper

I am still struggling to find time for crafting in between my work at Hobzy, looking after a growing family, the food co-op I'm involved with and organising craft fairs with the Crafty Muthas. I didn't manage to have a stall at either Bearwood Handmade event this year, although I did spend both days in the kitchen, serving tea and refreshments to the hundreds of visitors - which was equally fun and tiring!

I assuaged my guilt at not making enough to have a stall by taking on a few commissions, though as I write, one remains unstarted! There's that guilt again ;) One of my oldest friends asked me to make a gift for a new baby. "A hoop with embroidery - you did a treehouse last time" were the instructions. So that got me thinking - I needed a new design. I came up with bunting. Not very original, granted, but I was happy with the finished piece. Might even put this in my shop so that people can commission their own.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Reading Lists 4 + 5 + 6

The inspiration for Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch

Yeah, that title says it all. I've been reading a lot and not finding time to write about it! As this is an overdue catch up I'll just keep it short and sweet. Some good books here...the first three quarters of The Goldfinch being the stand-out for the sheer beauty and brilliance of the writing. Had been meaning to read Slaughterhouse Five for years and really pleased I did. The Husband's Secret was a proper page-turner and I really enjoyed Life After Life, which I'm happy about as I'd sort of gone off Kate Atkinson. The Zero - a dark, 9/11 themed, mad trip inside a cop's head was hard going but worth it. The rest were decent enough. Sometimes you just need to lose yourself in a story for a little while :)

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty
Everyone's Reading Bastard - Nick Hornby
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
Missing in Malmo: The third Inspector Anita Sundstrom mystery - Torquil MacLeod
The Zero - Jess Walter
Fractured - Dani Atkins
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson