Monday, April 18, 2011

Being A City Slicker

Once again we were thwarted in our efforts to get to Shoestring this weekend.  Aaaargh!  Why are things conspiring against us?  This week we made it a long way out of town and then the wretched car broke down. We had been so much looking forward to a weekend at Shoestring.  Has the grass seed germinated?  Are the seedlings and new plants flourishing?  Who knows! 

This week we are supposed to be taking possession of our "new" (old) kitchen and taking it to Shoestring for the installation over Easter weekend.  No doubt that will be fraught with unexpected setbacks and difficulties, so a peaceful weekend would have been nice in advance to prepare Mr Shoestring for the arduous tasks ahead.  He has now found two more red wooden handled kitchen utensils to add to his collection, so he needs a suitable kitchen to keep them in.  And not to be outdone, I have undertaken the most difficult collection challenge so far.  I don't think I mentioned that my mum collects fair ground souvenir glass with the name "Elsie" engraved on it?  (Not really a collection because so far she has only been able to find two pieces, but top maks for a valiant effort.)  Well, I am going to outdo her.  I am going to collect china or glass labelled "Harry" and here is the first piece.  It may also be the last, but what a challenge!    

Now there are good times to be had in The Big City as well as at Shoestring Cottage.  One of the highlights of the working week for me is the stitching group we have one floor up in our apartment.  There are six of us and it has to be admitted that stitching sometimes takes a back seat when we are all cackling like a coven of witches over some fresh happening or a terrible faux pas one of us has made during the week.  The generous hostess of our stitching nights is Elle.  (That is not her real name but when I first met her I could only remember that her name began with the letter L.  I tried all kinds of exotic and unusual names but usually not the right one, and I began to feel that some of them were not greeted with enthusiasm.  In the end I thought perhaps she would like to be called Elle.)  She really is the hostess with the mostest and though we are all trying to be abstemious she often plies us with delicious foods which we cannot resist.  We sometimes have a "show and tell" time and she brings out some of the items miraculously stashed away in her apartment.  I particularly love this donkey applique - look at the way the tension between the donkey and the lady who is trying to lead him is so cleverly but simply expressed. 

Last week Elle excelled herself with a fabulous cake - I must ask her if she minds sharing the recipe with us all.  Another interesting thing at stitching this week was that Mrs WOT had just come back from a trip to South America and regaled us with stories of her travels.  Also, she had discovered a shop in Buenos Aires jam packed to the gunnels with art deco clothes and accessories.  She thoughtfully brought me back this wonderful black hat which will mean a new costume for next year's art deco weekend of course.  How well she knows me, and how wonderful to think of art deco artifacts being squirrelled away all around the world.  The workmanship in this hat is very fine; when you see it close up the hand pleating and gathering is more evident and the way the fabric has been manipulated is skillful. 

The mannequin who models hats for me is rather languid, isn't she?  She is so morose that sometimes I fancy I can see a tear forming in her eye.  I did feel sympathetic to begin with but her melancholic mood never lifts.  No matter what delightful confectionery is placed on her cranium, she refuses to cheer up and I begin to believe she is suffering from such a degree of ennui that she never will.  She needs a name but nothing suitably tragic springs to mind.  Can anybody suggest one for her?

Despite my moaning about not getting to Shoestring these past two weeks, all is not dire in the city.  Walking to and from work I am pleased to see the changes in the season and nature's determination to assert herself in the most difficult circumstances.  The other day by a church I spied this seedling tomato which had presumably germinated from a scrap tossed aside.  It was trying its hardest to create fruit amongst a selection of assorted weeds only centimetres away from the passing feet of thousands of passers by. 

And not long now until the long Easter break and surely nothing more can crop up which will prevent us from getting to Shoestring Cottage this time?