France, Summer 2021, after all.

Discovering splendid municipal architecture in Évreux, and castles in Lapalisse and Châteldon (the home town of Pierre Laval, though that doesn’t get much of a mention in the tourist office!)

I am also quite a fan of the N7, but I think this rather large sign in Lapalisse is new:

Likewise this rather alarming roadside cross that has appeared right outside the front gate… I think over the last year European money has restored several of these 19th century calvaires which had disappeared during the late 20th century.

We’ll get used to it!

Reading, walking, eating….and several sessions with the dye pots, mostly sock yarn this time.

I also took some pictures of a corridor my daughter decided to decorate some years ago:

We are holding a memorial event to celebrate her life on Sunday. This is necessary, but not easy. I think I will take my late September tree pictures on the same day – still a really useful prop!

Liberation

From quarantine (technically ‘quatorzaine’) after our time in France. Where, in fact, we had voluntarily isolated ourselves, turning down all invitations and never setting foot in a town. We even froze outside on the ferry, keeping rather more than social distance, so we were not worried we were importing anything nasty.

The two weeks confined to the house were spent in an orgy of Etsy work. Lots more spinning (always my favourite) and somehow managing to turn myself into a baby blanket machine – hours and hours of it, got a bit carried away…”just one more…”

It was a good move, though – I’m now back at work (in a drastically altered classroom) and won’t have that sort of time for a while!

OK, no excuses….

(And definitely no resolutions, either!)

But this is where the time went – late Autumn in the Auvergne, then a family wedding in the West (with another visit to Salisbury sneaked in). In the photos it all looks rather brown. The picture of the leaves on the black grass has recently evolved into a skein of tweedy speckled handspun – so I have been fitting in a bit of work….

December was much more urban.

Paris, the first week of the French strike….Eurostar cancelled, no metro, no buses – and no **** Opera, which had been booked since September!

The Orangerie was also closed – but they let tourists into the Monet waterlilies – AND they didn’t charge! The dramatic metal figures (outside, along the river) are free to view anyway – such upmarket street art and so French!

Then back to Christmas. Rather traditional this year – family, books, music, puzzles….ridiculous quantities of food…. The decorations have got to be the best bit – I spent a great deal of time staring into the depths of the tree and was fairly gutted to have to take it down!

Some silk dyeing has been going on too – but that is for next time.

Summer skies and storybook squirrels

 

 

I don’t know a lot about clouds but I recognise an exciting bit of texture when I see it… Further inspiration from French skies.

I don’t do a lot of cute, but these squirrels in Taunton’s splendid Vivary Park last week were pretty irresistible! Not proper Alison Uttley colouring – but actually not totally grey either.