Yesterday I was a lady of leisure. Kitty was in nursery, H went to work, and I went for a swim. Pure deep cool bliss. I love to swim, having grown up a waterbaby, and I’d missed it. Even with all the crazy up and down racing people, and trying to dodge being splatted by a stray backstroke, it was good.
The reason for this seemingly sybaritic lifestyle (for yes, I abandonned the housework and spent the rest of the morning catching up on Downton Abbey and spinning) was my afternoon treat; Coffee Colour and Cake with Jane Brocket at the Warwick Words Festival.
Now when someone whose work you’ve admired is giving a talk mere moments from home it really is only proper to give credit to the wonders of the universe/literary festival booking agents, and make the time to attend. So we did.
Jane’s talk was entertaining and engaging and her love of creating and the sheer joy she has in plunging into colour shone through. She brought piles of samples from her quilt and knitting books and shared the inspiration behind each one.
My friends, I have, over the years, built up a certain immunity in the presence of beautiful handmade things. I can go to the International Festival of Quilts at the NEC without needing a chaperone for fear that I will empty the family bank account at the feet of a stallholder with fabric galore (actually this year I took Kitty and she kept trying to steal my wallet and crying when I took it off her so perhaps that’s not entirely true). I can go to a yarn shop and just buy a pattern. I’ve even been heard to remark that I just want to enjoy my stash.
All this counted for nothing in the face of Jane’s samples. If I felt affection for the ideas when I saw them in the book, it’s true love now. I am longing to sew a silk squares quilt; pull together fiery prints with black for Russian wrap quilt; and knit a colour wheel cushion cover. It was a wonderful afternoon polished off with good company and a slice of iced and layered carrot cake.
So I finish with thanks; thank you Jane for travelling all the way to Warwick, for signing my beloved and slightly battered and crumb-strewn copy of The Gentle Art of Domesticity, and for filling my afternoon with laughter, sunshine and glorious colour.