Sunday, May 31, 2009


Used to be: aubergine

Now is: charcoal

The Week That Was

This has felt like a pleasant, uneventful, productive week, always the next necessary step taken, a small risk, progress. On Tuesday we had a shoot and had Felix to help us, as I was set-up in one room for interviews while Stefan was on the main action so Felix was on the rifle mike, and helped with all the support work. I enjoyed it very much, it made it all much easier on me and since it was in a business context and politically important, I know he found it informative too. That evening we rewrote his resumé, this week he has moved house, I have designed and prototyped my hang-tags and been right through the sound mix with Paul, Stefan is cutting the helicopter extras, I have started a little job for Zany - just the pleasant bread and butter of life.

I bought a retractable lead for Buckley - an I getting too involved?

Monday, May 25, 2009

A First

Stefan has been teaching me how to build elements of my new website and I have been having a fine old time, although working under excitement is always quite wearing. It is actually happening, building under my eyes!

Of course we still need to take all the photos, and I do wonder if I have my critical path straight - should I be trying them in shops first, to see a response? Art Fairs? And of course, if I need to do twenty-six in each colourway.....

Today and tomorrow we have the lowest tides of the year, -1.9'.

Hello to mum, on holiday in Sydney for her birthday!


This is Memorial Day weekend, and everything has taken on a bustling, celebratory air.

The day started with a wonderful long walk up San Pedro Mountain (just a big hill really) with Barbara and Buckley, then we met Stefan at Peet's for coffee. Actually I woke inspired at six and sewed two new colourways which I have called grandly, Mombasa and Seattle, and such a proud creator am I that I dote at them and think Lordy, they look good.

I powerwashed the decks at long last, then the afternoon was the Point party on the beach, a good hundred immediate neighbours were there and we had a marvellous time, way past the allotted 4pm halt, but we went home eventually, I hairy-goated all the machine, bolts and threads away before Dee and Jill arrived for dinner, minus Ed who had been sprited off to Albequerque at short notice. We joined Sally and her guests for a drink before our own dinner and their first viewing of our film, heartwarmingly enthusiastic and observant despite an equal appreciation of the product. Once again I looked at it and thought, it is good. Still waiting on the sound edit... and waiting.... He is doing a very good and thorough job, and it is driving Stefan nuts.

Proud Day

Felix graduated on Saturday and we were all there to cheer him on in the usual San Francisco Arctic conditions. At the end of May I was wearing: wool pants, socks and boots, shell and shirt, with my big London camel coat over the top, and a pashmina (genuine article, bought in Nepal) for luck. I was just sorry I hadn't worn gloves. He graduated in fine style, we drank champagne in the Economics department where they had put on a good spread, George manfully took photos of every permutation, then we met up again in the Hayes Valley for a good dinner. When we got home we had a very quiet night.

He is now rather exercised about what he is going to do in this current economic market. Exchange program? Find a job? Further degree? Whatever it is, we are proud of him and sure he will do well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Morning Song

Out into the garden by seven, into that wonderful freshness and promise. There is quite a lot of gopher activity so the original pair I saw during the rainstorm last year must have multiplied. It would be good for me to think in terms of them digging over the earth for me, which they do, rather than eating the roots of my trees. At the very least they must make water penetration easier. When I put my finger into the soil it feels friable and warm but so dry. I am trying to water more deeply, less frequently: and the hot weather hasn't even begun.

I have just finished re-reading my favorite book, Tirra Lirra by the River, by Jessica Anderson. To me, every word is perfect. About time I hunted up her other books.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Water Day

I am planning a water day tomorrow - water the garden, power wash the deck, and go out in the kayak, tide permitting. When I tried on the weekend there just wasn't enough water.

Today had very little to do with water, except for hand washing my beautiful mohair and silk sweater that Buckley had torn, once I swiss-darned the holes. I finished the work for Zany, and sewed myself two linen trousers for summer, one white, one brown, and made five seat cushion covers for the deck from scraps. I can't sew more cushions as I am waiting for more fabric, with bated breath.

So not an exciting day. We are STILL waiting for the sound mix, can't believe it. My website is built but not stocked with the right information yet, and it is beautiful.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blind as a Bat

Ah, insomnia. I caught up on the news, scoffed some leftover Thai food (delicious!) from William's visit, tried Skyping Norma, and was just settling in to email with a cup of tea when I heard something outside. Turned on the light, opened the door, and there was a dear little grey cat gazing winsomely at me from the foot of the vine. "Lulu?" Then I realised it wasn't so little. At last I meet our raccoon face to face!

Yesterday I dropped in on Sally next door, new neighbour, as she washed her dogs. We sat and chatted, I brushed one while she shampooed the others, Buckley very interested in all this, and I was quite proud of him as he took an intelligent interest, clean himself with his coat gleaming after I had been over him with the Furminator. He sat like a lamb while she clipped his horrible Mandarin front claws, I think he is getting to like all the attention.

While I type there are all sorts of scuffles and scrapes outside - Rocky obviously isn't put out by my presence.

I met Amy and Bonnie while I was walking over to Carolyn's in the morning, and we talked about the summer block party. I so enjoy having neighbours, and living in a place which lends itself so well to block parties.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not just Sewing

Yesterday I set up my machine at the big table under the skylights, put on my music and just sat and sewed while fresh salt air wafted round me, bathed in sound and fresh, bright linen, and pondered Bishop Spong, and the gospel makers, and poor tortured St Paul; groping back to remember all the early Church history I learned not once but twice! I tried to immerse myself into the mindset of the 1st century, Mark, then Matthew, a brief voyage around Patmos for St John and then back to Luke...

Meanwhile Stefan had come happily back from the bank and breezed in, lowering the screen against the daylight to check a disk, backwards and forwards to find the Bluray, then set up, put in the disc (notoriously slow). So he started singing to it (Rawhide): "Loadin' loadin' loadin'-"

"STEFAN! I'm thinking about St Luke!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Balanced Life

Sometimes I think that if you manage the White Knight's however-many impossible things before breakfast you skim the cream from the rest of the day. It isn't yet nine and I am fatigued...

Rejoicing in my garden, so lush and green. I did all my laggardly correspondence, and got out the radio mikes and transmitters to change the batteries ready for this evening's little shoot at the Ferry Plaza - we will go over by ferry! And today I will sew.

Yesterday we went to China Camp and the Civic Center with Drina and Roger, and afterwards I gave Buckley another bath and brushed him thoroughly after being ticked off in the dog park for his condition. There is a Last of the Summer Wine social group there in the afternoon which I find very pleasant.

First a little loll on the deck is in order, with tea.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


This happy morning passed in Mucky Old Woman mode as I scragged my hair back, cleared the decks and finished the long sofa cushion, and the lavishly edge-padded intersticial blanket is cut out and on its way. My linen has arrived and is better than I had hoped, clear light blue, natural, soft yellow: the only slightly off one was the red, too dark, so I washed it with bleach and it looks faded and soft and wonderful. Everything is lined up for my big project, my machine is sewing better than ever, and once I get my commissions out of the way I shall start, and time myself too, to make sure I am calculating the right amount of labour.

I spent all this evening in a long and fraught neighbourhood committee meeting hammering out the wording of our negotiations with the local quarry. Interesting stuff, and I like my neighbours so much, and we actually came to a satisfactory and (I hope) productive conclusion. By that time I was in Clean Lady mode, neatly dressed and perfumed, had run my errands and had borrowed a pile of books from the library, pure escapism. A good balance.

Yesterday we celebrated Suscipe's 19th birthday with cream, schnitzel, chicken and tuna. Our dear little white queen hasn't had one of her distressing fits for weeks, she is self-possessed and affectionate, and I can imagine her 20th next year, in 2010. What a blessing she has been. I love naughty Buckley too of course, but Suscipe has a very special place in my heart. When they are together it is almost like a fantasy of my best dog Clancy and best cat all portmanteau-ed into a dreamlike ideal household, and all I would need would be the children young, and Gillyflower my favourite horse - and maybe me young too! Like one of those idealised wildlife posters with all the birds and animals going about their business simultaneously. Maybe I should imagine this house and the water but with the Park Village garden - and English rain.

The last Donkey Tail I propagated has gone, plucked cleanly from the pot leaving just a tiny conical void. Maybe they didn't all rot away, maybe the birds find them delicious.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Goodness and Mercy

Gentle, constant, unstinting, soaking rain since Friday; I wake in the night to hear it and relax in the deepest fibre of my being. All my buckets are full, my little pond overflows, even the reeds in their salt water look greener and stouter. This is an especial blessing as the rains are usually over in March.

I am sewing a second long sofa cushion for Carolyn, wrapping and shaping the foam, I have cut out Zany's stuff and anxiously await the return of my sewing machine, with its tension correct this time. I have been drawing compulsively since I can't sew, and will see if I can harness my muse to my income. Sometimes I feel it is enough just to have an idea, then move on to the next one - certainly that way is the most interesting, but it doesn't exist until it is made concrete. I have ordered a fair amount of fabric and bulk invisible zippers - invisible for the posh - and shall see how I go. This is not an area where I have confidence.

The second house Penny found for Dee and Ed, the second one with promise that is, went into contract on Friday, Dee and Ed are not back from Antigua until Monday. I noticed the first one fell through the day I measured up and produced the floor plans for a new extension and layout, brilliant though I say it myself. The second one fell through the morning after I had a 2am epiphany about the style, positioning and layout of the new work, and even the roof angles... Even I can get fed up with bright ideas which never manifest.

The function of time is concretion from potential. Whitehead.