6th September 2017
Summer’s done and packed her bags, then. Well, that’s going too far, but I’ve been out and about all day and she’s definitely begun to turn the other cheek. Bring on the shears, fetch my wheelbarrow and enjoy the possibility that by starting your clipping early, you might get an incorrigible autumn that’ll bring about some decent last months flowering. I thinking of Echinops, but you go ahead and fill your boots with Cosmos if that’s the way you snip.
Anyway, this isn’t Gardener’s Quadrangle, and I’ve been otherwise busy with things to fill this blog with. Some of them aren’t made up, that’s how busy I’ve been. Mostly what I want to talk at you about is this;
Notes on watching a woman weave.
Anna recently took me to an indiscriminate sheep shearing hootenanny to collect some buckets of wool for looming (see I’m already lying, Anna took us there months ago). We came away with bags full of lice-infected mixed colours of wool. If that sounds like meanness on my part against the sheep, I’ve already been fussing some today, plus I saw one just piss all over its underwool in a field. They’re not a disgrace but they hit no branch of the Decorum Tree on their way down.
I wonder if they ever eat mint of their own fancy? I saw one having a chomp on some lemon balm today and it got me wondering. Also would it be fair to refer to a sheep as a critter? I only mean that as in, ‘Grab your critter by the cloven hoof’ on solstice day.
Perhaps that isn’t fair I’ve decided; I’ll take that back but keep the wool because its great stuff once you’ve cleaned it.
And I mean really cleaned it, as in bought an entire corner of an industrial wasteland to turn into a biohazard rehabilitation centre. I’m thinking of something like that bit in Dr No with the special showers and all the LED lights going off. You might be thinking of hiring your own International Space Station for the job, which would be up to the task, especially as they like playing with water around exposed electricals. You’d need to be wearing more than the standard issue khakis if the sheep shuttle docked as well. I’m going to presume that is why Anna just used a ‘wool sack’ and a washing machine with the dial set to Perpetuity instead.
And that was the preparation done! Now where did Anna leave that loom…? And the doweling pegs, where are the three missing ones?!
I don’t know, I said and did a pretty decent job (I thought) of replacing the missing dowel with sturdy pen lids. I left her alone after that, her frown telling me many wrongs. When I returned it appeared that the loom was complete and home to a thousand complicated pieces of string that appeared to be doing an impression of Escher’s Harp. From what I could make out from a safe distance, the strings seem to sort themselves out and it’s the wrenching of the wool that you have to focus on. The longer and more witchity your fingers, the easier you’ll find that. Think about what a tendon pulling machine might look like down your local Wednesday market and that’s the action that we’re talking about.
Then came the weaving. I thought that might chill Anna out, so I sauntered in and pulled up a chair, only to replace the chair and scamper off. To be fair I have been known to break the focus of precise work. I’ve just got a lot of questions.
And then the moment of peace, whence those first few weavings have held together and the rest should just repeat itself to completion. From then on Anna was a beacon, her mind far into the middle distance of thinking and action, her fingers like little yogic sprites all over the loom. I still wasn’t allowed to ask any questions, or talk about motorbike racing, but it was pleasant nonetheless.
Then she got down and fearsome with the weaving in a last minute wrestle of pulling and further wrenching before the ends were all garrotted together and everything was decreed complete.
And on the seventh day, she did rest.
The snake in the grass is now up your sleeve…
JW Bowe xx
P.S! Anna has had a crescent moons worth of my time here already, so I am going to talk about motorbike racing after all!
We’re about halfway through the season with Moto GP and there’s a whiff in the air, or else a churn in the wind. Ducati are on top, and this is most irregular, much like the Ducati chassis design upon which those tight leathers of Andrea (not pronounced that way) fit, presumably by fork lifting him onto the bike somehow. I just like watching the racing, and I’m not crazy about the details that get them there. Although during a practise session the other week I did hear the commentator refer to a tyre choice as ‘hard on’. I have only recently recovered. Elsewhere, erstwhile villain Lorenzo continues to chew on the tailpipe of nowhere. He sure looks like he enjoys the taste, but all luck to him moving forward.
If you enjoyed this blog, and you’re impatient for something else to read, feel free to bunch up close to a free sample chapter from JW Bowe’s debut novel, The Meifod Claw, which is available now at Amazon, iTunes and on various other international eReaders.
You can also double up your sampling by following this link to the forthcoming fictional autobiography of The Meifod Claw’s wheelchair-in-chief, Derek Gainsborough. His life and apologies will be released next year under the sail of The Brine in Me.
JW Bowe can also be unearthed on YouTube and in various other ways through the Serious Biscuits homepage. Scroll down for further links, action and disclaimers.