Layers

Lazy rolls of thunder, sheets of silver and pounding water on sills late at night finally burst the brief heat bubble. Everyone was out. The bus which goes every ten minutes between two old wool towns was full, stopping at every sign, we eventually reached our destination.

The difference between the two towns and their approach to regeneration is apparent. One is achieving the other is flailing. How so, when they share a common history, heritage. What does it say about visionaries in town planning and investment. Both have relied heavily on grants, with some mill owners investing in their own properties to enhance new uses of vast mills, both towns have such places.

Färben mit Pflanzen via pinterest

But vision isn’t about money, it’s about love. I can’t help but compare to cities of Italy. Small is beautiful. The artisan is appreciated, local produce desired, and from such visions of love have come a world-wide reputation.

Färben mit Pflanzen via pinterest 2

Today I did a little experiment with layering. The usual way to make filling for a pita or gibanica is to place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. This time I layered with out mixing. Two sheets of filo for the base, the fresh spinach leaves followed by cracking eggs directly on top, then grating the courgette. Finally a layer of filo. The result was an enticing picture of colours and flavours, brought to life. Like winter in to spring. Am loving greens and yellows right now.

 

Past, present, future – writing and making for here and now.

Knitting and stitching projects, story-writing and rediscovering poetry are working towards being in the here and now and creating a new tomorrow.

I think it can take quite some time to make a shift, through the generations, out of tradition and into modernity. I am reading a mix of novels at the moment, including Lacuna by Kingsolver, Bosnian Chronicle, by Andric, The Ministry of.. by Roy. All of them evolve around cultures and the shifting of humanity across time. I have also learnt to accept that it’s fine to be between times, one foot here and another over there.

Progress is often slow, with a lot of stalling. It can be frustrating when a vision seems to take forever to transpire. But knitting and writing demand pacing, giving time and trusting the imagination. Trusting that if something wants to happen it will, when it’s ready. The vision of my work in progress is constantly there and I allow it to lead me to tell the story of others.

It’s Easter this weekend, and that draws me to painting eggs, baking with filo. The tradition would have been to pick food colouring from shelves, make a gibanica loaded with cheeses. Now it’s more about the natural (modern) way. Eggs are dyed with turmeric and coffee, as I used to with yarn years ago. Gibanica has a heavy dose of spinach and eggs, with sparing use of sheets.

 

Shifting is possible, keeping some traditions is too, if they are a part of you, ingrained. But a new way of being is also essential, for all of us. We travel constantly. Be sure to document your journey, and of others too. There’s a common theme for all of us.

I enjoyed a year of reading Italy, fiction and history, language and cuisine. I haven’t done yet. The dream is to go back again, soon, if possible.

 

 

 

 

After the beast

Migration, playing an instrument, imagination. That’s where it’s all at after the arrival of a Siberian weather front labelled beast from the east – which in my mind, is all about propaganda as we suspect a build-up to a second cold war. The primary problem lies with the west, but we fail to see the errors of our ways as per usual.

Experimental writing is not a challenge but requires an altered state, good soup, and cake. So I have made a healthy leek, broccoli and cauliflower soup, and an apple and oat cake is baking in the oven – wholemeal replaced with porridge oats and oat flour. Smells delicious!

Fuel your imagination, be true to yourself, learn to play a musical instrument, and all will be right. But remember to be a little revolutionary in your thinking and storytelling.