Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A moments introspection - and what went wrong!

I do hope everyone reading this will have enjoyed the Christmas festivities if that's something you do, and if not, you spent a happy and healthy few days not overdoing it! Myself, well, I'm looking at another 3lbs on the girth - and that's being optimistic!

A more universal celebration is perhaps New Year. Happy New Year everyone! It's a time to make new resolutions, and possibly forget them again by next week. I'm reminded of the words of Joseph Connolly:

How you elect to spend New Year's Eve, will depend on your:
1)   Age
2)   Remaining levels of optimism
3)   Threshold of pain

I shall be popping off to bed for a well earned rest with a cup of something that warms (cocoa)

However, I do like to spend a moment reflecting on the past year and thinking about what the next one will hold.

Things that could have gone better:


1) Not have worn my trousers inside out for a whole morning without realising. Rendered especially attractive by the large label which stuck out from behind my bum saying XL.

2) Complained about the lack of time I have to do things, but waste my time faffing on the interweb.

3) I really should try and not to be so forgetful.  Still, did you know that Einstein forgot his address and had to ask a cabbie to take him to "Einstein's Home".  There's hope.

4) Take the giblets out of the chicken before cooking it especially if they're in a plastic bag.

5) When standing on a bucket, not lean too far to the left even if you need to.

6) Also, when standing on a very steep slope which is made of clay and is wet, don't garden, or if you do, use the fork for grip. Moving slowly backwards inexorably towards the ground is a recipe for a bumped bum.

7) Not doing the housework doesn't mean that the fairies will come and magically do it for you.

8) Failing to travel successfully by train anywhere and permanently lost and needing help is pityful. Here's an excerpt from another blog.....

It's such a pain to catch trains to London and then have to battle with the underground.  Generally speaking I have no sense of direction and I have no idea where I'm going most of the time. I blindly follow G like a faithful old dog trying to please.

 Apart from needing help to get into and out of all the stations because the ticket machine wouldnt read the ticket it was fine.  NB I was told politely by one station manager, that I should try using my train ticket in the machine and not the seat reservation ticket which really couldn't be expected to work.  I told him that's what happens when cousins marry.  He fell over.

We had oodles of time to spare so went for a bite to eat and spend an hour at the Tate.  This involves a walk along the south bank, next to the river.  I hadn't twigged that it was called the South Bank because it was on the South Bank of the Thames. But then I only recently found out that Banoffee pie was a mix of the words banana and toffee. What can I say?

9) I could also have man-ned up a bit when it came to worms.

This gardening lark can be quite alarming and I did have a bit of a shock - ghastly goings on in the compost.  Eeeeeyouuu.

I lifted the lid of the black bin in which DH stores the leftover raw veg and trimmings, expecting it to be empty.  No, no snakes or toads, but there were worms.  Not just say, a hundred, but a thick layer almost 2 inches deep of small red wriggly things. 

Well, dear reader, I confess to a muffled scream. The lid was flung upwards in my haste to escape. Sadly, I failed to notice the thick lining of worms on said lid, which soon parted company from the plastic once the correct velocity was reached.  Unfortunately for me, most of them landed on my arm and head.   I confess, I ran. Pointless of course, as worms are not known for giving chase but there you go. I shook my head until my ears rang and tore off my clothes doing a passable impression of a Life quilt as I hastened to the shower and a slug of gin. Phew and yuck.


Things that were just Ace


1) Family.  I especially adored my granddaughter this year.  I hope it's mutual. Bless them all and I love you lots xx

2) Work-wise, I had enormous fun, with probably the height of arty-pleasantness in March.  I don't think I'll ever better it to be honest. I went to the opening of an exhibition at the Oxo Tower in London where my work was hanging alongside Tracy Emin and others.  I was taken in hand by Cherie Blair, who put her arm through mine, and who was simply wonderfully nice to me. We had a really long chat about the quilt, left, Life 4, and how I did it and the thinking behind it. Rather immodestly, I'll admit I was in heaven.

At the time I was pleased to sell the quilt, but part of me was sad to see it go. It took me so long to do, think about, write etc. However, I also learned that I never would have had that opportunity if I hadn't have kept plugging away and kept doing my own thing. You need to do that people. I still doubt myself but some self-doubt is healthy.  There's more odd quilts to come and I'm learning to be brave.

My thanks also go to those 2 fabulously talented and kind quilt artists Laura and Linda Kemshall, who have been so wonderful to me, and to Through Our Hands.  We jointly write a free quarterly magazine for everyone to enjoy. It's hard work at times - and just the sheer number of emails makes me pale; it's all done for free with goodwill and endless energy.  Thanks also to Margaret Cooter and Helen Cobby for writing for us, and to all those who've contributed so far.

Laura and I also jointly run a free website with a platform for artists to advertise their work, and take part in exhibitions we organize on their behalf.  It's all about getting art quilts out there and helping to raise their status; we have 2 exhibitions in 2015 at Wolverhampton in May/July and Festival of Quilts in August.  Again, as ever, all done for free with hours devoted to the cause.  Thank you Laura.

So lots to look forward to and be grateful for.  Brilliant stuff. Onwards!


  1. Thank you for a really great giggle! Really needed that!! Particularly enjoyed the seat reservation ticket business and "that's what happens when cousins marry" comment followed by "he fell over" And then the worms scenario, can just feel them creeping all over me right now!!! :-D Thank you also for the encouragement to keep plugging away and doing my own thing, how self doubt can keep the procrastination alive and well, but persist we must to keep our sanity. And thank you for all the marvelous work that you do, both with your quilting and with all that you contribute to the world of art and artists. May 2015 be as wonderful as you can make it be (and hopefully I will succeed in doing the same!!!) Kind regards, Marian from Adelaide, South Australia :-D

    1. Hello Marian, thank you for your kind words. Best wishes for an inspiring 2015, and indeed, may it be as wonderful as you can make it! A x

  2. Get a grip!!! Those worms are making glorious compost. Or you could pop a few in the post. My own pitiful heap needs a bit of pepping up.

    Meanwhile onwards and upwards for 2015 and here's to the next batch of life quilts though I think this one is my favourite ( something to do with those slippers I think!)

    Your biggest fan and bearer of biscuits for when the going gets tough and only a custard cream can out the world to rights!

    H xxx

    1. Thank you ltw. I'll bring you a bag of worms when next we meet!! Thanks for all the biccies, and raising you a plateful of cucumber sandwiches served by Jason. x

  3. Thank you Annabel for your great sense of humor but your artistic voice which speaks the truth for women. Beth from Searsport, Maine

    1. And thank you for listening Beth! All the best for 2015 x

  4. I miss you, this was a good catch up but one interactions are sort of sad. Happy New Year.

    1. Hello Sally, great to hear from you! And, I'm glad you found me. Happy New Year to you too - hope it's full of happiness x

    2. I've just realized you're not on my blog reader Fsb - must sort!

  5. Well into 2015 but your reflections had me spluttering over my coffee, particularly the cousins and the worms.

    May your 2015 be even better, if that's possible, and just keep on doing what you do so well.

    1. Thanks Maggie, and may 2015 be wonderful for you too!